The Education Committee of the SW Common Council

Wednesday, 1/25/23

6-7:30 pm

For Zoom Link, Contact John Boutet @

A PDF of the minutes are here: SWCC Education Committee Minutes 2023-01-25.pdf


Lila Alshehri               Rochester Coalition for Parent Education,

Joe Baldino                School #29 Principal, 490-2245,

John Boutet               SWCC Education Committee Chair, 328-4271,

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

Marilyn Cunninham   Graves CME Church Pastor,

John Curran               (Rapids Cemetery, St. Monica’s Parish, WFM, REACH),

Lee Loomis                 School #10 Volunteer Tutor,

Josie McClary             Monroe County,

Mike Schmidt              Chief Operating Officer w/ RCSD, 410-3830, Michael.Schmidt@RCSDK12.ORG

Chojy Shroeder          RCSD Retired, Cell 585 943-9596,

Jessica Tette              St. Monica Church, (585) 235-3340 ext. 124,

George Warren          My Brothers Keeper (MBK) Coordinator, 585-428-7938,

Welcome & Introduction

Quick update of school news

  • In-person Tutoring will start Monday, Feb 5, @ School #10

Local busing update - no current updates.

The In-school Homeless Shelter: Original concept In-school Homeless Shelter , Concept adapted for Rochester, V2. We have been talking to a lot of people. We'll review our progress since Last Month's Meeting.

* Who have we talked with? (School Board, City Council, Ashley Cross (The HUB585)
* 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?

We have been exploring the idea of repurposing empty school buildings to accommodate homeless families with the hopes of decreasing change of schools and making accessible support services. Based on yesterday’s meeting w/ Dr. Ashley Cross, Executive Director of The HUB585, a program that provides cash assistance to vulnerable families - most requests are housing related; few beds are available. We have created the following “To Do” List:

  • Contact Luva Alvarez @ PLTI (Parent Leader Training Institute) - Josie McClary is a PLTI Ambassador and will make this connection for us.

  • Contact Common Ground Health - focus on physical & mental health; resources

  • Contact Children’s Agenda (poverty, health, K-12 education)

  • Contact Dr. Myra Henry, YWCA

  • Contact Chris Bruno @ OCFS; are there zoning regulations we need to consider?

  • Reach out to actual program in California for data, barriers, lessons learned, etc.

  • Contact County via Corinda Crossdale, Deputy Director of Health & Human Services

  • Contact Jeremy Cooney, Senator, and Sarah Clark, Assemblywoman


Looking to adjust the model to use vacant schools as housing for families vs setting up and taking down living arrangements daily.

We need to deal with the fact that many of these families are traumatized; simple, safe environment is crucial. COVID regs for housing says 1 person per room; reduces tension and maintains stability. Will need City & County buy-in.

Will need to take into consideration the cost of staff (3 shifts per day). Can offer stipends to residents. Staff must be able to deal with flexible situations (e.g., snow storms).

Stability very important. Not a quick fix. Consider model of the McDonald House.

Need to consider young children and doing background checks for adult residents as well as staff.

In 2017 there were 2,400 RCSD students missing from class at one time or the other during the year. Need updated data. What do teachers think; what do students think? Must do focus groups. At School #10, they have 6-7 students at any given time with housing issues.

Mike Schmidt (585) 410-3830 has been reading the minutes on this project and will continue to provide information to us, primarily the operational side of the project. District does not own any property so there are consultations with the City required for any building use. Building is the least of the problem; services, safety, etc. are much more costly.

Security is provided by staff on site at many shelters vs police. Train staff to defuse matters and not involve police as a first step.


  • Contact Sister Rita, Sister Beth & Sister Grace (House of Mercy); it was pointed out that the facilities mentioned are pretty much at capacity and could provide advice, not housing support.

  • Collaborate and join forces with others focused on housing issues.

  • Explore vacant churches.

  • Start looking at costs so a budget can be developed.

  • REACH Advocacy can help with the cost of housing a single person in a homeless shelter; shelter, food, necessities are cost factors. Need a cost baseline.

  • Consider food pantry on site.

  • Nail down the actual and current absenteeism data.

  • Predictability must be present; can’t have on and off again services.

  • Contact ROC the Future as they have current data.

  • Can probably only care for 20 families at a time to start. Stay in one quadrant to start.

  • What about a hotel, like the Holiday Inn by the airport (911 Brooks Ave.). Contact, Jim VanBrederode regarding Holiday Inn. REACH used a functioning hotel which offered laundry and kitchen services.

  • Invite someone from the PIC (Person In Crisis) Teams (City & Council) to speak to group. Get lots of information to provide a clear picture of what is needed and how it can be created.

Addressing the Housing Issue - FIRST, avoid the eviction process. COVID eviction moratorium is over; evictions are up. It is less costly to pay the rent for a person than to find a new home. Speak w/ Andy Carey who is understanding and kind and currently collecting names of integral landlords. Andy can point you in the direction of a growing number of landlords with whom to work. Residents will have stability if they’re given the proper financial support.

REACH is only available for advice, not services at this time.

Rochester Coalition for Public Education News (Minutes Index). Their next meeting is February 3rd on Zoom at 4pm

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

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