The Education Committee of the SW Common Council

Wednesday, 11/23/2022

6:00-7:15 pm

For Zoom Link, Contact John Boutet @

PDF of minutes:  SWCC Education Committee Minutes 2022-11-23 V3 .pdf


John Boutet            SWCC Education Committee Chair, 328-4271,

Eleanor Coleman   Rotary SW, CCFCS YouthBuild, 224-5119,

Lee Loomis             Volunteer coordinator for School 10,

NEXT MEETING: December 28, 2022

Welcome & Introductions

  • Because of Thanksgiving, many of our regular members are either traveling or hosting family and could not join us Wednesday.

  • We heard from some of our member by email or by phone during the past few days and that information was used in our discussions in this meeting.


  • Thanks to the great turnout we had in the election, all our local progressive State Representatives in Allbany were returned to office which will help us continue to fight for what we need for our schools.

The SWCC’s Future Structure was Discussed, Including its Impact on our Education Committee

  • Currently SW Common Council (SWCC) is Co-Chaired by Karen Emerson and John Boutet.

  • Eleanor Coleman and Karen Emerson are arranging a meeting with Charles Reaves at NSC to talk about the SouthWest Quadrant meetings, how it compares to SWCC, and what SWCC will look like moving forward.  Purpose is to learn more about each other, clarify our missions and determine how we might collaborate. Other attendees will be: John Boutet & Marian Boutet, John DeMott, John Curran.

  • The need to keep the SWCC in close contact with the NSC was discussed. We also agreed of the need to keep the SWCC independent from the NSC and other City and RCSD committees so we can champion issues that those institutions may oppose.

  • The need to get input from younger individuals was also discussed. We agreed requesting input from Asimi Coleman would be a good place to start.

In-School Sheltering and Uses for Closed Schools

  • In early November John found an interesting article about a School in San Francisco which let homeless students and their families sleep on site: How a Homeless Shelter in a School Paid Off in the Classroom. Student who participated in the program are improving scholastically.

  • Could we do that in Rochester? John contacted the RCSD Board and many District staff members as well as the Mayor and City Council, sending the article with questions of their impressions of the concept. In 2017 2,459 students were homeless at some time during the year.

  • RCSD Commisioner James Patterson responded: "Personally, I think it’s worth looking into."

  • City Council member Michael Patterson said "I think it’s a great idea but the RCSD would have to take the lead on the planning and implementation with support from it’s partners in government." City Council member Mitch Gruber said Thanks for sending. Have you spoken to anyone about this at the school district?” We also heard back from the Mayor who agreed homelessness is a problem nationwide.

  • At a CET meeting Monday with School 19 and one Tuesday with School 10, John had a chance to request input from teachers and Principals.

  • Per School 19 Principal, they currently have 10 kids officially homeless (In Shelters); many more are “couch surfing” at a relative’s/friend's so the count is not really representative of what “In-School Sheltering” need could be.

  • Families can only spend a month in any given shelter and then you have to move on; School bus transportation system loses track of where the students are to pick them up. They miss many days of school every time they move.

  • The experience often traumatizes students; they show up tired and hungry most days they get to school..

  • Principal Eva Thomas from #10 sent contact information for individuals in the District to Contact.
    *  Director of The Homeless Program: Chrisandra L Mareus, Chrisandra.Mareus@RCSDK12.ORG
    Executive Director of Student Supports: Elizabeth Reyes, Elizabeth.Reyes@RCSDK12.ORG
    Families in Transition Program: ( FIT- Homeless Families) website for RCSD:

  • Heard back from Mitch Gruber Tuesday the 22nd asking we safeguard closed schools to use as low income housing. We also discussed using some closed schools for In-School Sheltering. For instance School 44 could be used for sheltering for homeless students and their families in the SW. This would have the benefit of not needing to break down sleeping quarters every day.

  • Mitch recommended that John B connect with Shelley Jallow @ RCSD.

  • Families in Transitions Program connected to RCSD needs to be explored

  • Wrap-around services are essential

  • Ralph Spezio transformed School #17 in a neighborhood-based school starting with eliminating/limiting the busing into the school; brought health services into the building; throughout this process, determined that ALL the children in the Special Education classes had lead poisoning, which significantly impacts neurological system and causes permanent brain damage. From that came the Coalition to Prevent Lead Poisoning.

School #10 Tutoring

  • In progress - Lee has had a difficulty in arranging for time in the school to tutor students. Meeting with Principal and principle players is scheduled for 12/5; Lee will prepare an agenda.

  • Most of the current staff has not had experienced with the past tutoring services offered by Lee’s tutors because of pandemic lock-down. The program had offered 400-500 hrs per school year; difficult to have them grasp the success of the past 10 years.

  • Can’t use tutors as baby sitters or tools to develop curriculum for how to tutor students. Tutors are not the inventors of wheels but they are the “rollers” of the wheels.

Scribe Services: Eleanor Coleman, CFC YouthBuild & Rotary, 224-5119,


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19th Ward Community Association
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To report animal cruelty, call 911 or  THE ANIMAL CRUELTY HOTLINE: (585) 223-6500

City of Rochester Low-income Spay/Neuter for pet Dogs and Cats

Rochester Community Animal Clinic - low-income spay/neuter for pet dogs and cats, and feral cats

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Lollypop Farm, The Humane Society of Rochester and Monroe County 



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Rochester Prep Charter School

U.S. Dept. of Education



St. Monica Church


El Latino Restaurant
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