The Education Committee of the SW Common Council

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

6:00 to 7:50 pm at

Arnett Branch Library, 310 Arnett Boulevard

Video of meeting is live at:


Ricardo Adams         19th Ward Resident, 615-1626,

Joe Baldino               School #29 Principal, 490-2245,

John Boutet              SWCC Education Committee Chair, 328-4271,

Eleanor Coleman      CFC YouthBuild, 224-5119,

Dan DeMarle              19th Ward Resident/Doctorate in Education, 328-5982,

Tammy Hahn             School #44 Teacher,

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

Karen Lahr                 School #44 Teacher, 727-8587,

Theresa Lippa           UR Americorps Vista w/ Cornell Co-op 4-H, 753-2568,

Avril Little                   19th Ward Resident/YMCA, 420-8521,

Colleen McCarthy     Many Neighbors Building Neighborhoods Education Chair,

Betsy Romson            19th Ward Resident, 328-8313,

Square Fair Report: did we use this great chance to recruit local families and volunteers for our schools? Short answer, no. But there is more.

  • Education Committee had a table at Square Fair and hoped local school teachers would use it to recruit local families. None did.

  • RCSD staffed a Student Equity & Placement / School Registration table which could have helped teachers sign families up.

  • No local school participation. Need to get more teachers into the community and meeting residents if we want to promote community schools.

  • Competing RCSD year end event on the 1st Saturday in June has been a problem for Square Fair school participation for several years. We need to try to avoid such conflicts in the future.

  • 19th Ward House Tour is 10/19 – The house tours start at School 16. Mike Schmidt has agreed to have School #16 open for school tours; We need to get School 16 to provide teacher guides for school tours and to greet the public; hoping many teachers from all our schools will take part in house tours so they can see some of the beautiful homes in our neighborhood. They could wear “Teacher at School #xx” to promote discussions and promote their school.

Building City/neighborhood/agency connections with our schools - Mayor, City Council, Neighborhood Associations.

  • Agreement from Daisy Algarin, Director of Neighborhood Service Centers (NSC’s), to try to get teachers more aware of the neighborhoods near their schools with connection to NSC. NSC can be used to host events that include various City resources, police on horses, City department services, other neighborhood information. Good marketing opportunity for teachers to promote their schools. Algarin proposed hosting a breakfast in the fall for returning teachers.

  • Suggestion: Have a neighborhood packet that welcomes new teachers.

  • Karen proposed meeting with Union rep that provides new teacher orientation to get a better idea of what they are doing and what might be possible. She will see about connecting Union rep and Daisy Algarin. Karen noted that days for teachers are very long and stressful and proposing evening commitments is difficult for teachers to follow through on. Teachers also have family obligations.

  • John B. and John L. met w/ Mayor Warren regarding local busing. Her position is that the City can’t really have an impact on the busing initiative to change NYS reimbursement formula; needs to be the School District that champions this. Warren gave some suggestions on how to influence groups.

  • John B. and John L. were introduced to new Superintendent, Terry Dade, by the current Interim Superintendent, Dan Lowengard; both Superintendents in favor of local busing. 2013 Report showing local busing saves money was given to new Superintendent. Net savings if 75% of students were bused to local school instead of distant school is $4,133,000. We also left a copy of RCSD: Neighborhood Schools Implementation Plan - February 2015. They mentioned busing cost is nearing $100 million per year. Previously had heard $66 million. Dan Lowengard said we should work with Mike Schmidt on local busing.

  • Dan DeMarle suggested:

    • How do we gain power to influence groups? (RCSD, City, State) Options:

      • 1. Play golf with them.

      • 2. Hit them legally.

      • 3. Associate with grassroots to put pressure on them.

    • Get T-Shirts that make note of SW Education Committee; something that markets us; synthesize our goals into 2-3 and promote them.

    • Identify and highlight local parents who have children at the school in question. Make them available to help market the school to other local parents. Success stories. Suggestion: Have these families connected to new-to-the-school families. Isn’t this what an RCSD Parent Liaison could do?

  • Important to keep the Superintendent abreast of political positions and changes that occur so he has that information in advocating for the District.

  • All 10 receivership schools are signing up to be community schools. Not sure they realize all the prep work that goes into actually creating a community-engaged school. Have contacted Luis Aponte to review what has been going on in JOSANA neighborhood and School 17. Also need to connect with Primcipal Caterina Leone-Mannino.

  • The Rochester 2034 plan (Initiative Area 3) contains information very much like what we’ve been advocating for in regards to local busing. Question how much would be saved when you consider that funds would have to go into the local school to provide the services and programming that ensures parents want to send their children there.

  • We no longer have neighborhood diversity. Many parents leave when children start attending school. Neighborhood participation in RCSD now made up of people who can’t afford to leave or very committed people who want to see change. Some families who stay avail themselves of private school scholarships and charter schools. Note: Must fight for the community as a whole (racism, poverty, urban renewal/destruction, redlining, etc.) and not just education. Listen to Connections: Debating "educationism" from June 21, 2019 and also Nick Hanauer’s piece on education

  • NEXT MEETING: Identify 3-5 themes on which we want to focus.

Elections, news developments, staff changes.

  • John passed around information on the 4 winners to the School Board – Ricardo Adams, who was attending this meeting, was congratulated.

  • Carla Roberts, Principal, has left School #16; the Assistant Principal, Lisa Garrow, will take over.

  • John B. recommended teachers join the 19th Ward Community Assn. That had been offered free last year to School 16 teachers. We had no takers. Tammy asked John to follow through on making that happen for her and Karen.

  • John B. noted that, in general, Parent Liaisons don’t engage as much as we would like with the community to make connections. The principal sets the tone for involvement.

Summer staffing at School Rec Centers, Playground

  • Betsy spent the better part of the week trying to determine what the situation with playgrounds is. School systems used Dept of Rec. Money has gone into rec centers.

  • School #29 – Facilities Modernization on hold (state legislators didn’t approve Phase 3 Facilities Modernization Money). Problem with people from community using the playgrounds because of liability issues; playgrounds must be permitted out.

  • All school pools should be open per Mike Schmidt. Marshall pool has been maintained and a person is assigned to it but no one is using it.

4-H Club - Theresa Lippa

  • 4-H resources for schools. Youth development, hands-on learning, life skills through games and other social/emotional learning. Community volunteer opportunities. After School or daytime programming offered. Serves ages 5-18.

  • Excellent program being offered at School #29.

  • 4-H Expo July 14, 12-6, at Charlotte Beach; Rec on the Move; animals, etc. Jeopardy Board has been created by School #29 students and will be highlighted.

School #29 – Joe Baldino

  • Will repaint the vacant lot posts; not looking how they’d like them to.

  • Put up an old-school sandwich board recruiting parents from the neighborhood. Will also use social media, snap chat, etc.

  • Walking School Bus – need volunteers to walk students to school. Check with Healthy Kids group.

  • Afternoon – Extended Learning Time; children get out at 4:30. Convenient for parents; children can walk to school and then be taken home by bus.

OACES, CFC YouthBuild – Update

  • YouthBuild’s last cohort for this year starts 7/1 at 121 Lincoln Ave. Special Enrollment Orientation this Friday at 1pm at 87 N. Clinton Ave.

Scribe Services: Eleanor Coleman, YouthBuild & OACES/NEDP, 224 -5119,

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