The Education Committee of the SW Common Council

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

6:30 to 8:00 pm at

Arnett Branch Library, 310 Arnett Boulevard


Here are the meeting notes as a .pdf file: SWCC Education Committee Minutes 2018-09-26.pdf


John Boutet            SWCC Education Committee Chair, 328-4271,

Eleanor Coleman    YouthBuild, OACES & ProsperRochester, 224-5119,

John Laing             19WCA Schools Comm & Sch #16 Vol, 235-5236,

Betsy Romson         Resident, 328-8313,

Library News

For detailed information go to

Local Busing Initiative – History and Lobbying Plans

  • John B. passed around copy of RCSD: Neighborhood Schools Implementation Plan - February 2015. We received this from Dr. Vargas as he was leaving RCSD. Report was able to plot the students who attend School #17 (very wide and scattered) and then showed what it would look like if students came from the #17 school zone (very small and concentrated). John B. used report to lobby representative Gantt in Albany in February 2016. Need to continue effort.

  • We talked a bit about history of busing in Rochester. Started in the 60's with integration goals? Used through to the 90's to get kids to school with special programs... Magnet schools. Busing use mushroomed with advent of Managed School Choice program in 2002 when parents were able to choose any school withing their zone. That led to busing being valued as a safety and child care benefit.

  • Need to get in touch with Mike Schmidt to see if there’s an update to Neighborhood Schools Implementation Plan or newer school busing data.

  • Need to request a busing cost difference analysis. About 80% of kids get bused now over 1.5 miles. What is the actual average distance? How much cost difference is there if 1.5 mile minimum limit is eliminated? Assume the change eventually results in a distribution shifts to 15% continuing to choose school 1.5+ mile away, 75% choose to be bused to their neighborhood school (ave .5 mile?), 10% are dropped off or walk.

  • Busing cost analysis need to assume pick up time remains the same since some parents choose distant school to have kids picked up earlier. Resulting need to open schools earlier needs to be factored in.

  • Who are the decision makers in regards to the busing issue (local leaders, RCSD, government representatives, etc.)?

  • Follow the money.” Who gains from keeping the status quo? Busing Companies? Privatization camps? Charter schools? Who benefits from failing schools?

  • We should be bringing up the busing issue at the School Board meetings.

Creating Agents of Change - We got into this in an off topic discussion.

  • To change the system we have to prepare students to work for social change.

  • Age appropriate teaching of the need to use democracy and the political system to affect needed social change is required.

  • They should learn about the events that took place here in history and how they impact us here today. They should learn about the Native American tribes who lived here and their advanced culture, to what issues are important in our culture today. With giant such as Frederic Douglas and the North Star, Harriet Tubman and the Underground Railroad and Susan B. Anthony and the suffrage movement, we have all sorts of roll models to inspire them to continue the effort to make our community better.

  • Drawing on the local newspaper archives might be a good way to bring important local events to life. Whether it be the underground railroad, local Civil War events, to more recent events such as the ’64 riots, there are all sort of topics that the D&C and other news organizations could use to create “This day in History” sort of articles or booklets to help our students.

  • Students should have a sense of civic duty and be aware of the costs paid for enjoying the rights we have today.

  • Turning 18 and getting the right to vote should be a big deal that each student looks forward to using.

  • Betsy will contact Julie Phillips at Gannett to see if there could be a booklet or local periodical written for students to compare today with our history. She will also reach out to Jim Memmott who writes for the Editorial Page.

Action Items from July 25, 2018 Meeting:

  1. Community tours of School #16 happened 9/15; community impressed.

  2. After school social with teachers and neighbors at Dawn’s house; would have liked to see more people from the community. Mary Adams and Beatriz LeBron attended. Teachers felt welcomed. Had a robust discussion about the “Distinguished Educator”.

  3. Confirmed with RCSD we can use School #16 for the 19WA Convention in November.

  4. Make arrangements with Carla Roberts for contacting teachers for 19WCA membership. Will bring this up again at the Superintendent’s Day 10/5.

  5. Contact candlelight dinner committee to plan inviting teachers to dinners and coordinate w/ Carla Roberts.

  6. Work closely w/ Ernestine to involve the community in school plays and volunteering as tutors.

  7. Invite community representatives to address the teachers and staff with the above vision on Superintendent’s Conference Day, 10/5

School #3 – Update

  • No Report

School #10 – Update (Lee Loomis)

  • No Report

School #16 – Update (Carla Roberts)

  • John L. reminded group there would be an open house at School 16 September 27. The 19WCA Schools Committee will have a table at the event.

School #19 – Update (Moniek Silas-Lee)

  • No Report

School #29 - Update (Joe Baldino)

  • No Report

School #44 – Update (Debra Ramsperger)

  • No Report

Wilson Commencement – Update (Julie Van Derwater) (X-Cats, Jeff Siortino)

  • No Report

YouthBuild – (Eleanor Coleman)

  • Second cohort now working on construction sites for hands-on experience – mostly Habitat for Humanity. Next class will probably be mid-October
  • We are moving to a new location but details not yet available.

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