SWCC Education Committee Minutes for Wednesday January 21, 2015 Meeting at the Arnett Library

SW Common Council Education Committee
At Arnett Branch Library
310 Arnett Blvd.
Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Next Meeting: Wednesday, 2/18/15, 6:30 pm. at the Arnett Library, 310 Arnett Blvd.

The Meeting convened at 6:30 pm.


John Boutet              SW Common Council Education Committee Chair, 19WCA Delegate,

                                    Member of 19WCA Schools Committee, Location19.org Manager

John Laing               19th Ward Schools Committee Chair, School #16 Volunteer

Jennifer Lenio          SW Libraries Coordinator (including Arnett & Wheatley)

Pat Merle                   Corn Hill Resident, Retired Social Worker – ran program for woman in prison

Michael Moore          Grandparent of Student at #44

Bill Nichthauser       19th Ward, School #22 Volunteer

Lori Thomas             Retired Teacher, Education Advocate, Business Owner

Beverly Usher           Grandparent of student at #44, PTO at #44, 19WCA Delegate

Update on School Volunteers – The District did not renew the FREE MOA that the 19WCA Schools Committee was operating under. We submitted our own 19WCA MOA request and it has been granted through 12/20/19. We are resuming placing volunteers that had been recruited in the fall.

School #44 Update – Beverly Usher, John Laing, Michael Moore and John Boutet have been attending many of the Coffee and Conversation meeting with the Superintendent to lobby for keeping the Pre-K, Kindergarten and early grades open at 44. With School 16 closed on Post Avenue, there are not going to be enough local seats for Pre-K, K and 1st grade in neighborhood schools in the 19th Ward area next year. We believe that promoting students attending neighborhood schools is important for promoting parent involvement in the schools.

Beverly Usher has been appointed School 44 PTO vice-president. She is going to talk with Dave Brown with food services and Erick Stephens to try to make sure food that is leftover is not wasted each day. The food should go home with needy students.

A PTO meeting is being planned for February 4th, 2015. It will start with a pasta dinner at 6:00pm and run through 8:00pm. All neighborhood residents interested in helping 44 are welcome.

On February 3rd Beverly and John B will attend the 8:30 am Thurston Brooks Merchants Association to rally support for our neighborhood schools to keep 44 open. Beverly has gotten the support of Cataia's Meat Market to fight for 44. They will help with connecting us with their customers. Beverly will also reach out to other long time merchants in the area such as Hunts, Menezes Pizza, Crowley Plumbing. Churches will also be contacted. Real-estate agents such as Adrienne Kllc would also be good to talk to.

School #16 – The governor has signed off on the Phase 2 appropriations for school renovation we need at School 16. Planning is starting. A presentation was made to the board in January of three options. Option 1: $20,622,000, Option 2: $23,506,000 and Option 3: $28,925,000. These costs pose a problem in that the maximum State allowance per 5 year period is around $11,000,000. The district will try to bridge two 5 year periods to get the work done in one effort in the next 3 years. While the hoped for reopening is 9/2018, the community input on what will be done is now.

Check this link: http://www.rcsdk12.org/site/default.aspx?PageType=3&ModuleInsta... and also Facilities Modernization overview has several useful links.

The Dream Tank – Lori Thomas updates the project she first reported on at our September 17, 2014 meeting.

We now have 3 Websites: http://www.thedreamtankllc.org/ , http://www.thedreamtankllc.com/ , http://www.thedreamtankllc.net/ . We are still looking to have letters of support to have our headquarter at 800 East Main Street but are also working outside of that in the mean time.

  • Have $50,000 in the bank.
  • Looking to purchase property that will house 4 families, The Dream Tank headquarters and an early childhood learning center at the same location.
  • Working with families of incarcerated individuals.
  • The Dream Tank Co-op joins with the entire community.
  • Rather than having 800 East Main become elder apartments Dream Tank would provide housing but also employment for partners that live there.
  • Would try to connect older adults with younger partners.
  • Currently the 800 East Main renovation is in asbestos removal and that will last about 6 month which hopefully will give time to get letters of support for The Dream Tank using it.

Pat Merle volunteered to work at School #44. She would like to find out what is going on and where she would be best able to help.

Beverly has talked to Wade Norwood who is her pastor and is also a member of the Board of Regents to get him involved. We are scheduling a meeting with Wade at his earliest convenience to discuss strategy. He has suggested January 30th or 31st. . We will suggest 4pm on the 30th so we can meet with him prior to the AQE/MJ Schools Committee meeting at 803 West Ave.

Jennifer Lenio reviewed a few of the many programs the Arnett library is offering to help students. There are homework helpers sponsored by dial a teacher several afternoons a week from 3 to 6pm. The Library also has Story Time twice a week Tuesday 11:15am and Saturdays 1pm for toddlers. Bruce Tehan does a great job posting these Events on Location19.org.

The meeting adjourned at 8:00pm

Minutes submitted John Boutet

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