The Education Committee of the SW Common Council

Wednesday, December 28, 2022

6-7:30 pm at

For Zoom Link, Contact John Boutet @

A PDF of the minutes are here: SWCC Education Committee Minutes 2022-12-28.pdf


Lila Alshehri           Rochester Coalition for Parent Education, 

John Boutet            SWCC Education Committee Chair, 328-4271,

Mary Coffey          N. Winton Village Co-Chair; Many Neighbors Building Neighborhoods; Public Safety

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

Cecilia Golden       Education Leader, 680-9317,

Lee Loomis             RCSD School #10 Volunteer Tutor,

Phyllis Moss          19th Ward Schools Committee Chair,

Elisa Ruise             RCSD School #16, Community School Site Coordinator,

Chojy Shroeder      RCSD Retired,

Lieselle Taylor       Director of Community Schools,

Eva Thomas            RCSD, School #10 Principal,

Welcome & Introductions

Quick update of school news - We have a superintendent!

  • We have a new RCSD Superintendent, Dr. Carmine Peluso; positive feedback to date.

  • Lee Loomis reviewed his efforts trying to revive his Engineering Society volunteer group to work with School 10 students. When he his volunteer group is running at 10 he can confer with other schools about starting groups with other organizations.

Local busing update

  • We were able to keep in state and local office those representatives who helped us push through ½ mile busing bill; it was not approved but representatives say they will continue to support the bill.

The In-school Homeless Student Shelter Study

  • We read a “reasons to be cheerful” article that inspired us: How a Homeless Shelter in a School Paid Off in the Classroom

  • We are wondering if this concept can be adapted to Rochester. We have been talking to a lot of people to determine interest and obtain input. To eliminate disruption in schools we are planning to use an closed school for a centralized center and buss students to and from their schools. Some of the things we need to determine:

* Can we tailor the program so it is wanted and succeeds?
* How do we involve prospective clients of the program in its design?
* What organizations will support or oppose this effort?
* Where can we find financial support for this effort?

  • Needs to be carefully thought out; for example, what if drugs or other disruptions are introduced in the setting? Clear consequences needed. Would need a clearly layed out plan to address the need to “uninvite” someone.

  • It could foster “family support” for one another and build community.

  • There no longer appears to be a focus on school truancy; why aren’t we following up with the reasons truancy is so high? Staff has been advised NOT to refer parent to Soc Serv. for child’s truancy as an initial action - trying to build trust first to correct the problems the family has.

  • School #16 - 377 students registered; half of population chronically or severely absent.

  • Staff checks attendance and design interventions, make phone calls, trying to determine root causes so child can be connected to needed resources.

  • We need to have a concrete plan in mind; can’t go to legislators and leaders making this suggestion; need to have “steps.” Who would staff it? Where would food come from? Who would be in charge?

  • In the case of homelessness, RCSD refers to the FIT (Families in Transition) Program ( FIT reps immediately reaches out to families and tries to connect them with resources; Contact Person is Elizabeth Reyes; can receive clothing, bus passes, agency referrals, transportation, etc. Once a child is identified as homeless by FIT and is enrolled in a school, FIT will continue to follow the student at the new school.

  • RCSD has received 2 grants for afterschool programming, which will begin in January and end in June.

  • Busing this year so far is doing well; buses are coming on time.

  • Some divorce issues reach into the school and ignite custody legalities.

  • High time of trauma - COVID easy to catch when families pull together to support one another; somebody had to be with the children when schools closed or when education went online. Many parents still had to work.

  • Eva Thomas reported that School #10 received a parent engagement grant - First Parent Cafe at School #10 will be Jan 4th to listen to parents. Attendance will be one of the issues on the agenda. Grant is focused on getting info from parents.

  • Suggestion to explore homelessness issues in schools acknowledges the complex needs of families and the barriers to attending school when poverty is so high.

  • Rec Centers provide dinner for children; computer labs with homework help; it would be helpful to get a sense of what all of the Rec Centers provide. Recommendation: Invite Shirley Green who oversees all rec centers to this meeting.

Rochester Coalition for Public Education News (Minutes Index)

  • Wade Norwood spoke recently; lots of support in NYS for reducing high stakes testing.

Attend if you can!!! School #10 Exhibiiton Day 353 Congress Ave, Jan 4, 9am-2:30pm. all students from K-6 will be sharing their winter research.

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

Views: 75

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