Here are the meeting notes as a .doc file:  SWCC Education Committee Minutes 2017-05-24.doc

The Education Committee of the SW Common Council

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

6:30 to 8:00 pm at

Arnett Branch Library, 310 Arnett Boulevard


Joe Baldino                         School #29 Principal,

John Boutet                        SWCC Education Committee Chair, 328-4271,

Eleanor Coleman                OACES & ProsperRochester, Inc. 224-5119,

Shaunta Collier-Santos  RSMP, 530-9318,

Liz Eng                                 Roch Parent Preschool,

Thomas Felton, Jr.              STEAM Charter School,, 230-1830

Carlos Garcia                       Assistant to the RCSD Superintendent,

Valerie Johnson                  19th Ward Resident, 154 Lehigh Ave

John Laing                           19th Ward Schools Committee Chair, Volunteer @ Schools #16, #19 & #29

Jennifer Lenio                      Rochester Public Libraries (South District), 428-8272,

Chris McDonald                   SW Rotary President, 302-439-0621,

Travis Miller                          RSMP Bus. Oppt. Mgr, 512-3816,

Michael Schmidt                  RSMP Chief Operating Officer,

Dean Schove                       19th Ward Resident, 748-1760,

Tamara Schove               19th Ward Resident, SW YMCA, 563-6027,


Library news

Central Library

  • Women’s Suffrage Exhibition Grand Opening 6/2, 6-9 p.m.

Phillis Wheatley:

  • Story Walk nearing completion.

  • Shawn Dunwoody design, working with the kids.

  • Community Paint Day, Sat, 5/27, 9-1

  • Grand Opening Wed, 5/31, 4 p.m.

STEAM - Thomas Felton, Jr.

  • Letter of Intent approved by SUNY

  • Have been meeting with potential partners focused on science, technology, engineering, arts & math (MCC, RIT, SU, Nazareth, SJV)

  • Teacher Opportunity Core (TOC) recently held panel discussion around how to prepare teachers to engage students in an urban environment. TOC established to provide funding for urban educators to teach in urban settings; connected to Jackie Bryant. Important that education not be contained to a particular model; “Journey of Education is the focus.”

  • Currently writing for second round of RFP’s.

  • No site to date

  • Planning on 162-190 students

  • Recommendation: Engage UR, Lisa Norwood/UR Engineering; UR also has TOC initiative

19th Ward Spelling Bee

  • Successful event for K-8; sponsored by RACF, 19th Ward Community Association, University, & Public Library. Schools can send 2 finalists and an alternate; 10 children per grade compete. First year we’ve had a tie.

Square Fair School Table Participation

Square Fair 6/2:

  • There is food, entertainment, Books by Bike, book sale, variety of vendors, pancake breakfast 8-10am, parade at 11am
  • Education Committee will have a table in Aberdeen Square in front of School #16; opportunity to build momentum and excitement around School #16 coming back.
  • Have had difficulty building a bridge between teachers and the community; a few have come to the 19th Ward Annual Convention and to Westside Farmers Market.

Community Center – need to stress the value:

  • School #16 is planned for long-term use. Community Center will be able to be separate from the rest of the school building. It has a hallway (marked Lobby, Commons and Corridor in floor-plan below) for easy community access to the gym and cafeteria which can be closed off to the rest of the school after hours.

  • 3 air-conditioned rooms could be accessible.

  • The cafeteria floor level is being raised so it will be at the same level as the new gym and the Community Center E-W hallway which is handicapped accessible from the Post Avenue and parkinglot entrances . Ramps in connecting N-S halls will bring students up an additional 1 foot to the level of the main part of the school 1st floor.

  • Community Center will be marketed as a plus to all area schools.

  • Do not yet have a commitment from anyone to staff the facility.

  • City and YMCA are being investigated for staffing. Other suggestions are welcome.

  • What data has been collected to determine a need for this community center in light of the other centers that are in the area (Madison, Gardiner, YMCA, Boys & Girls Club)? Data collection necessary.

  • Home-ownership has an impact on neighborhood stability; SW has become more transient.

  • Promoting use of neighborhood schools helps build connections and friendships between students and between families in the school community. This encourages stability.

  • Concern that the many moves between different schools have hurt graduation rates.

Accountability Questions:

  • What is foreseen down the road (e.g., next 3 years)? When schools are heading to receivership, should the focus be on the physical building? What do we want the school to look like in 3-5 years and is the model sustainable?

  • Two separate issues: school closing vs the actual school building closing

  • Difference between neighborhood schools and community schools; also, looking at Beacon Schools

  • Are we populating locally or busing students in?

  • Wilson - 19th Ward Community Association advocated for Wilson and was the preferred school for neighborhood children; lots of walkers.

  • School #29 - can accommodate high need and medically fragile students; 80% bussed, 20% walkers. Important to consider parents’ preference. School #29 has seats available in regular education.

  • How do students from varying communities react to each other? Principal leadership is the key factor in creating school climate and bringing about healthy environments.

  • While the schools may change composition on a regular basis, the community is the constant.

  • The superintendent is currently doing a school space need reassessment will be completed by Dec. 2017.

  • Reassessment will guide School Choice Policy adjustments.

Michael Schmidt, RCSD Chief Operating Officer

  • School #16 is designed for community access, lower utility and maintenance costs; plan is to finish by August of 2018.

  • School #10 will be renovated; portables removed, extra space added; design is for PreK-6; students will go to #44 during renovation; School #10 renovations will start in 2019 with a 2020 opening date.

  • School #44 students to go to new School #16; not enough space so individual attention needed to accommodate all students

  • There are 5 PreK’s at #44

  • Current elementary schools (including School #4) all being renovated as PreK-6; none can accommodate a full K-8.

  • Looking for natural feeder patterns and logical progressions.

  • Dealing with 100 yr old buildings.

  • Wilson Foundation growing out; adding 6th grade; unable to accommodate IB program if this happens. Looking for a temporary bridge for a permanent solution (possibly Charlotte, which has the space). Hoped that IB would be housed at MCC. State will only allow RCSD money for facilities they own so they are working with community leaders to determine how RCSD might access the resources to renovate this “warehouse” space for classroom instruction (took MCC 2 years to renovate their space). Superintendent very supportive of IB program, which has a successful track record (60 students now on college campuses taking college courses).

  • No Junior High information available at this time.

  • Will see movement and information starting July 1, start of the coming school year.

Phase 2 Business Opportunities - Travis Miller

  • Bricks and mortar information available online - ; newsletters available updating public on activities and highlighting individual schools.

  • Joint School Board has incorporated business development as part of the program; small business and minority business that want to be involved can be; training and mentoring provided

  • Flyers were distributed in the School #16 neighborhood to inform residents - 042617-School 16 Construction Mobilization Flyer-Dual Language.pdf ; this will be a standard practice; planning on distributing the School #16 flyer update to parents at Freddie Thomas where other School #16 students attend. Flyers provide information on what’s happening, when will it happen, who’s doing the work, etc. Flyers are bilingual.

  • Link will be sent to John Boutet and mailed out as well as added to

  • Newsletter shows how to help businesses who want to be involved.

  • Working closely with Carlos Garcia & RCSD to adhere to overall strategic plan and maintain continuity. Will continue to work with media (recently featured on Channel 8.

  • Same team that worked on School #7 will be working on School #10; this is a strong asset and an advantage in establishing symmetry and coordination.

School #10

Lee Loomis reported that they recruited over 20 volunteers this year. He has been hosting Lunch and Learn meetings for various engineering groups and is hoping for 25-30 volunteers next year.

School #29 - Joe Baldino

  • 10 regular education seats open
  • Working on sensory and vegetable gardens with South West Rotary.

  • Original garden on Kenwood created by 19th Ward Garden Group with School #29 students is looking good; Little Library is well used

  • New design planned that will replace existing garden on School #29 property with parking spaces but in its place create handicapped accessible gardens along the sidewalks so that all students are able to be part of the experience.

  • Opportunity to volunteer in gardens on 5/26 after school.

SWCC Education Committee Chair, John Boutet, 328-4271,

19thWCA Schools Committee Chair, John Laing, 235-5236,

Scribe Services: Eleanor Coleman, ProsperRochester, Inc.

Views: 163

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Information Links

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19th Ward Community Association
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