19th Ward Schools Committee
7:00 p.m., 7 September 2021 by Zoom

A video of meeting can be found at https://youtu.be/gCN3HdY3roI

Present by Zoom: Joe Baldino (Principal School 29), Melody Bishop (Site Coordinator School 19), John Boutet, Douglas Giebel, Lee Loomis, Phyllis Moss (Chair - Schools Committee), Jay and Dan Ross, Eva Thomas (Principal School 10), and Sarah Yaworsky

Phyllis Moss called the meeting to order at 7:00pm and led introductions of each one present.

Phyllis reported her contacts with the principals of Schools 10 and 19, inquiring how our Committee and the 19 Ward Community Association might help them, particularly in recruiting and vetting new volunteers to help overcome the educational challenges from the past academic year of hybrid learning because of the COVID restrictions.

Phyllis discussed more immediate concerns about the cancellation of busing because of the shortage of drivers, and the various strategies to overcome this difficulty. Joe Baldino reported 16 students needing transportation to School 29, with hybrid learning as the fallback if transportation is not available. He expressed confidence that busing may become more available now that Edison Career and Technology High School, Northeast College High School, Northeast Junior High, Leadership Academy for Young Men and Rochester Early College International High School will have transportation provided by RTS, enabling about 30 school buses to be available elsewhere. Eva Thomas reported that 91 students, excluding students with disabilities, from School 10 are lacking transportation. She expressed gratitude that a local bicycle shop has donated 150 bikes and helmets and locks for the four elementary schools most lacking in transportation options. Fifty of these bikes are intended for School 10.

Regarding volunteers to help in the schools: contacting the Site Coordinators at each school is the preferred way to get started. John mentioned that School 19 has Melody Bishop and School 16 has Robert Burns for Site Coordinators. Eva Thomas (Principal School 10) identified Ricky Fraizier as the volunteer coordinator for School 10 as the best to be contacted until the appointment of a new Site Coordinator. Principal Thomas expressed a preference for retired certified reading teachers to be volunteers, but was eager for any interested in volunteering to contact Mr Fraizier.

Lee Loomis and Principal Thomas plan to meet shortly to address the ongoing volunteer program that Mr. Loomis has been organizing for the past several years. He plans to publish an article in an October journal soliciting volunteers to continue this program.

Douglas Giebel reported that the efforts to recruit volunteers from the Education Department at Roberts Wesleyan College were unfruitful at this point. Principal Thomas gave a PowerPoint presentation of the standards expected of School 10 to fulfill their receivership requirements.

Mr. Giebel reported that Charlotte Giebel has approached Karen Emerson, president of 19th Ward Community Association, and Tyrese Bryant, coordinator of the 2021 annual convention, with the possibility of seeking support for volunteers in the schools at the 19th Ward Community Association’s annual convention held in November.

John Boutet indicated that the Rochester Coalition for Public Education will be meeting Friday 10 September 2021 at 4:00 pm.

Douglas Giebel reported a grant request of $2,000 has been submitted through the 19th Ward Community Association to the Rochester Area Community Foundation for Spelling Bee support for 2021-22 to bring the total amount available for a budget of $3,562.11.

The meeting adjourned at 8:13 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Douglas Giebel
Secretary pro tem

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