Minutes of the July 9th, 2019 meeting of
The 19th Ward Community Association Schools Committee
Attendees: John Laing, John Boutet, Dan Ross, Jay Ross, and Sara Yaworski
Approved, no June meeting
Spelling Bee wrap-up
One issue that occurred was the lack of permission slips for some of the students. We need to understand who is responsible for generating and collecting the permission slips and can one form be used for activities on campus, the bus ride, use of pictures, etc. Having this process established will enable printing the programs with the students’ names in it.
The fraternity decommitted from several activities they had done in the past – printing the program, supplying the trophies, and taking the students to the gym (this year to Wilson Commons).
I watched the video since I was out of town for the event. A few comments: the students faced the audience in stead of the judges – the latter would prevent any one from “helping” a student with a word, or thinking that someone else was helping another child. A new custom introduced this year was clapping for children as they returned to their seat after misspelling a word.
We discussed the addition of grades 7 and 8 but rejected it due to previous history with low participation.
Superintendent and Mayor meetings
The Johns met with the old and new superintendents concerning the local busing proposal. The outgoing superintendent, Dan Lowengard has been in favor of it and wanted to assure that the incoming superintendent Terry Dade would have the same position. We had a straightforward discussion with Terry and found him to be open and a good listener. Our contact within RCSD for the busing issue will be Mike Schmidt.
Later we met with Mayor Warren. She had advice on lobbying Albany to make certain that the school district had our proposal as their first or second priority. If not the legislators would ignore our request. She also felt that there was enough flexibility in the RCSD budget to accommodate any increased cost.
We also met with Eamonn Scanlon from the Children’s Agenda. The outcome of that meeting was an action item for us to work with legislators and The Childrens' agenda would work with state Ed and the Board of Regents.
Of the four candidates who were elected two are present board members, one is the spouse of a prior board member, and one is a new person who has experience as an educator. We need to introduce ourselves to the board and look for opportunities for 2019-20.
Short distance bussing
In a short period of time (referred to as summer) will be over and the school year will gear up again. If we are to make the case for short distance bussing and make progress for the following year we need to start now to put us in a good position in the fall. This spurred a good discussion, which is summarized below.
What have we done?
Prevented the closure of schools 16, 10 and 44
Participated in the redesign of school 16, including preK-6 decision
Organized the 9th Annual 19th Ward Spelling Bee with partners Rochester Area Community Foundation, RCSD, U of Rochester, Sigma Phi Epsilon Fraternity, Arnett Library
Established contacts and credibility with RCSD personnel
Got over 700 signatures on a petition
Had input to the CET documents for school 10, 16, 19 and Wilson foundation
What do the schools (teachers) want from us?
Provide information on the 19th ward
Review CET’s segment on community schools and summarize next steps for all local schools
Help recruit volunteers for the classrooms
Put together a brochure on how to volunteer in the RCSD schools for distribution
The next committee meeting will be Tuesday August 6th at 7 pm in the 19th Ward Community Association office.
Submitted by John Laing