Attendance: Howie Maffucci, John Strazzabosco, Donna Lamura, Vicki Robertson, Don Pryor, Mark Hare, Bernard Alexander, Don Bartalo, Connie Flahive, Ralph Spezio, John Boutet, Dan Drmacich
Discussion & Decisions:
1. We welcomed Bernard Alexander, from NYS Senator Brouk's Office & encourage him to continue attending our meetings.
2. We sanctioned the Coalition BoE Interview Committee decision to not endorse any candidates and to seek their written responses to a list of questions to publish for public review.
3. We discussed Donna's proposal to conduct a survey of RCSD Principals on student, staff & administrative needs, but decided not to initiate it due to predictable Principal rejection of it due to their time & perceptions that we may be over-stepping our boundaries. However, we did recommend that the Coalition make recommendations to the BoE & Supt., on how to spend the RCSD's increased funding. Dan will initiate a process for a Coalition recommendation & share it with members.
4. Dan shared that Candice Lucas, from the County Executive's office, has communicated that her office is willing to help organize an "education leaders" summit to discuss action to implement the RASE Commission's Education recommendations. We approved doing this in collaboration with her office & other local education organizations. Dan will contact Candice to explore possibilities.
5. Idonia Owens is in the process of contacting new Regent Ruth Turner to assist in organizing a meeting with her & the Coalition.
6. We discussed further Racial Equity & Justice PD for our Coalition members & agreed to share an article on "White Supremacy" that Bart will send to Dan for distribution & discussion at our next meeting. Dan enthusiastically recommended that Coalition members purchase the book, "Me & White Supremacy," by Layla Saad.
7. Dan reported that he & Regent Norwood are in the process of organizing a meeting with Supt. Myers-Small to follow-up on our meeting with the Commissioner.
8. John Boutet reported that the Mayor is strongly supporting universal busing for a large number of RCSD students & will be meeting with the Supt. for discussion.
9. Dan urged Coalition members to purchase the book "Schools Reimagined" by Brooks & Brooks. Several NYS education leaders are urging the Regents to read it & participate in a PD session with the authors. The book focuses on scientific research, the art of teaching & how to re-invent schools to more effectively meet the needs of students & society. Our reading of the book would enhance our collective & individual efforts in educating & lobbying other education leaders, legislators & parents about why education practices should NOT go back to the way they were, pre-pandemic & the BLM movement.
10. We discussed Coalition member, Walida Monroe-Sims' letter regarding the possibility of the RCSD BoE having a non-voting Parent rep participate in all BoE business for the purpose of enhancing the parent voice. We think that a more effective alternative could be for all BoE Commissioners be elected from City geographical areas, so that each commissioner is accountable to the residents of that geographical area. Dan will inform Walida of this idea.
11. We agreed to meet again at 4:00 pm on Friday, May 14th.