Attendance: Mark LaCelle-Peterson, Christine Babcock, Don Pryor, Mark Hare, Howie Maffucci,
Don Bartalo, David Hursh, Alicia Ward, Connie Flahive, Chojy Schroeder, John Boutet, John Strazzabosco, Vicki Robertson, Tom Hernandez, Ralph Spezio, Lila Shehri, Donna LaMura,
Dan Drmacich (Whom did I miss???)
Discussion & Decisions:
1. David introduced Mark LaCelle-Peterson, the Director of a national organization for teacher preparation and certification.
2. Dan shared that he will contact Rev. Clifford Florence & his daughter, who are each running for RCSD BoE positions, to arrange for Coalition interviews with them and will share that date & time with us.
3. We agreed that since we cannot reach agreement on a letter to the RCSD Supt., regarding the opening of schools, that all are encouraged to send her personal letters advocating their recommendations and/or support for the current plan.
4. We briefly discussed the "Farash Foundation" grant, that is searching for a Rochester leader to advocate & create positive change in the RCSD. The Coalition wishes to collaborate and endorse a candidate, but no one was recommended. Dan has one possibility he will investigate.
5. Dan shared that he has contacted Assemblyman Harry Bronson for information on how a replacement for Regent Andrew Brown will be determined. We need to explore possible candidates for recommendation. What Rochester-area individual would be able to push for progressive, research-based, student-centered education policy?
6. We discussed our 3/16 meeting with the Commissioner & RCSD Supt., and agreed to having several additional Coalition members attend, as observers & possible contributors to the process, if needed. Dan will send out an outline, for feedback of the suggested meeting agenda, subject to change by the Commissioner or Supt.
7. John Boutet shared that there has been no news from the mayor on the proposal for free busing for students within the 1.5 mile range, to increase the development of community schools. Ralph expressed his strong concern for the elimination of that rule for School #17 & how it will harm the progress #17 has made as a community school. John will ask for help from the mayor, again. Vicki, shared that we must take into consideration, the impact of budget-cuts on the entire district.
8. We decided that, due to time constraints, to postpone our Racial Equity activity until our next meeting.
9. Bart shared his interest in collaborating with the Coalition & the Hummingbird Theater, to host a Zoom event focusing on Charter Schools, using a Thomas Sowell's video, that strongly supports charters, Shawgi Tell, who opposes them, and a panel of Rochestarians. We withheld a decision until we have a chance to view Sowell's video and for Bart to re-present at our next meeting.
10. We agreed to meet again on Friday, March 5th, at a new time: 3:30 pm, by Zoom.