The following is a Word document of the minutes:  SWCC Education Committee Minutes 05-20-15 rev 2.doc

The Education Committee of the SW Common Council

Wednesday, May 20th, 2015

6:30 to 8:00 pm at

Arnett Branch Library, 310 Arnett Boulevard

Next Meeting: Wednesday, June 17, 2015, 6:30 pm at the Arnett Library, 310 Arnett Blvd.

Meeting Convened at 6:30 pm


John Boutet SW Common Council Education Committee Chair

Eleanor Coleman OACES & ProsperRochester, Inc. (Grandparent/School #10)

Jeremy Coleman Uncle/School #10

David Culeton Investor, 362 Arnett & Hunt’s Hardware

Robin Dettman Grade Schools for All, Volunteer

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

Jennifer Lenio Rochester Public Libraries (South District)

Lee Loomis FREE Partnership (Rochester Engineering Society Tutoring Team) School #10

Rosemary Rivera AQE/Metrojustice Education Committee

Eamonn Scanlon 355-2765

Beverly Usher School #44 & #16 Volunteer


School 16 and 44 Discussion (Including Latest Resolution)

  • John B. provided a copy of the latest resolution passed by the RCSD Board to have School #44 stay open until School #16 gets renovated on Post Ave; that gives us two years.

  • If we’re keeping #44 open so that neighborhood children can attend, what are the ramifications when #16 comes back and it becomes the main elementary school in this area.

  • John Laing provided and described a 44 to 16 transition plan for preK-6 from 2015-16 through 2018-19 (photo of diagram on LocationSW)

  • More than enough local students to populate the school

  • Would like to see 16 do Pre-K through 5 or 6 and then 44 for middle school (6,7,8); need a marketing strategy that lets community (parents and neighbors) know that community voice can shape the desires of the community.

  • Will get information at the Square Fair; Westside Farmers Market also a good venue for sharing information.

Short Distance Busing - Major issue is the short-distance busing issue. Parents do not have adequate before school options for their children and getting them onto a bus to go to a further-away school so that they can get to work on time is the choice that is often made.

Constant advocacy is required. Next PTO meeting is 5/28 @ 4 p.m. at School @44 (gathering and thank-you with food) to thank community members who have supported keeping School #44 open and let them know what future plans are being considered and to ask for input and participation. (CANCELLED)

John B. asking for Metro Justice help to advocate for short-distance busing.

Hunt’s Hardware

Dave Culeton has a contract to purchase Hunt’s Hardware which he intends to keep as a hardware store with the same name. Is expecting to continue to have David Hunt and Michael Heineman operate the store. Envisioning workshops in the back using larger equipment that could then be used by the community; bring in contractors (roofing, electrical, etc.); help youth get employed.

Offering future store credit for every donation of $100 to the campaign, which results in $150 in store credit over the next three anniversaries of the store’s re-opening.

Crowd Funding site has been established at to provide additional information about the new vision. More information in in several different groups.

David has arranged for an artist to use the vacant building between Hunt’s and convenience mart on the corner to open an art studio/art school in that space. Anticipating that the property at 362 Arnett will be a Mexican restaurant.

Wireless Internet Update

Robin met with Del Smith and Alan Williams several months ago and it was considered. Subsequently, conversations being held considering city-wide internet access.

Center for Urban Entrepreneurship

City initiative - purchased building to create an entrepreneurship “center.” Building is still empty; RIT was partnering with City on this initiative but no movement to date. Robin has referred a prospective business.

Metro Justice / Alliance for Quality Education

New advocate, Eamonn Scanlon, Education Organizer with Metro Justice. Focused on 3 area: School to Prison Pipeline, Restoring funds to schools, Community Schools (like School #17). Eamonn and Rosemary Rivera work with Citizen Action of NY (none in Rochester so they are affiliated with Metro Justice via Alliance for Quality Education).

Law passed recently that says there are 4 schools in Rochester that have been identified as persistently failing schools (failing for 10 years or more) calculated via high stakes testing, etc. Governor to put in $75 million across the state of NY. Schools have one year to show demonstrable progress: higher attendance, lower suspension, ELA gains, etc. If schools do not meet these metrics, they will come under receivership (local control of schools will be taken away). List by Regents won’t be finalized until July; draft gets voted on 6/15. Four schools are: Monroe HS, Charlotte (being phased out and foreclosing), East HS (already under receivership w/ UR), and School #9 on N. Clinton. Planning process is not clear. Concern that lack of adequate planning will result in negative outcomes which will then falsely indicate that change can’t happen even with large amounts of funding provided to schools. AQE wants to see community involvement and engagement in the planning process. Indicated schools have large populations of students with limited English and high special education needs.

School #44 is on the list for having to improve within two years.

Community School has wrap-around services in the school. Neighborhood Schools, where children live in the neighborhood, could also be Community Schools.

School to Prison Pipeline

Working for year and a half reducing suspensions and arrests data to show the current situation. Want to get to situation where students feel welcome and supported; teachers have the resources they need. Avoid exclusionary discipline where students end up back on the street, arrested, incarcerated, out of school. Way to address this is to look at the Code of Conduct - when can you suspend a child. Trying to take out the criminal language (kids are seen as criminals vs restorative interventions). This is a racial issue: African American, Latino and students with disabilities are arrested at much higher rates. Want policies that recognize the issues, address them, and move toward positive school climate. Currently drafting a new Code of Conduct that has community input; this will go to the Board to be passed and then implemented for the next school year. Advocating for the new Code of Conduct at the 5/28 School Board meeting - please consider attending. There are those who would like to lengthen this process; AQE maintains that we need to take action now as we are in crisis. Have seen significantly positive results in Buffalo.

Superintendent put $500,000 toward improving climate in the RCSD. Recommended that we find out who has done well in this area vs spreading it throughout schools with no viable end result. Need to make the most of this funding.


  • Books by Bike Mobile has arrived. Mobile will now be able to attend Square Fair, Westside Farmers Market, etc. to provide books. With I-Pad, will be able to do library exchanges and searches, register for library cards, etc.

  • Arnett was voted the Public Library of the Year Award

  • Study Skills Techniques for Teens tomorrow at 4:30 at Arnett

  • Shawn from Arnett will transfer to Phillis Wheatley as their Head Librarian.


The meeting adjourned at 8:15pm

Minutes submitted by Eleanor Coleman

Views: 109

Replies to This Discussion

The School 44 May 28, 4:00PM PTO meeting has been CANCELLED.


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