The Education Committee of the SW Common Council

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

6:00pm – 7:30pm at

Arnett Branch Library, 310 Arnett Boulevard

Here are the meeting notes as a .pdf file:SWCC Education Committee Minutes 2019-10-23.pdf


Joe Baldino            School #29 Principal, 490-2245,

John Boutet              SWCC Education Committee Chair, 328-4271,

Andrea Carvalho      Coalition to Prevent Lead Poisoning (CPLP),

Mary Coffey               N. Winton Village,

Eleanor Coleman      CFC YouthBuild, 224-5119,

John Laing             19WCA Schools Comm & Sch #16 Vol, 235-5236,

Colleen McCarthy   Many Neighbors Building Neighborhoods Education Chair,
Monique Silas-Lee    Principal, School #19, 328-7454,
Lindsay Swanson    Innova Charter School for Girls, 410-0147,


Review of Budget Overrun Impact on this Year’s Programming

  • RCSD intends to keep lid on new hiring; keep current programs in place; this outcome impacts hiring the new Community School Coordinators slated for the CET schools.

Lead Coalition Neighborhood Outreach - Andrea Carvalho

  • Where are we with community lead poisoning at this time? This week is National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week.

  • Coalition to Prevent Lead Poisoning, CPLP, is an Education & Advocacy group; goal is to eliminate childhood lead poisoning through education and empowering community to know their rights around lead poisoning.

  • Lead poisoning shows up in soil contamination, water, leaded gasoline, paint in old homes (paint chips or deteriorating old paint that turns into dust); a sugar packet worth of lead dust causes injury.

  • Lots of progress in Rochester starting with Lead Ordinance passed several years ago. Still have hundreds of children being poisoning every year; 500 new children poisoned county-wide.

  • Rochester has 55% old housing stock (before 1978 when lead was banned); includes renovation of historic homes.

  • Lead poisoning causes: irritability, loss of appetite, low IQ, speech & language deficits, ADD

  • 1 and 2-year olds most vulnerable (crawling, lead dust on hands)

  • Can affect pregnant women; lead absorbed into mother’s bones if she was previously exposed to lead can be released into her blood if calcium deficiency is caused by growing fetus; lead and calcium then is absorbed by developing fetus. Mother should have high calcium diet.

  • Other impacts of lead poisoning: crime, dropout, dementia

  • Get your child tested at 1 and 2; NYS law. Need to push health care providers to follow through with lead testing and encourage parents to test their children.

  • If test positive, doctor must report to Dept of Health; MCDH very thorough to determine the source (home, childcare, etc.). Free blood lead test for a child up to 18 at MCDH.

  • Lead poisoning affects brain development in a child; adults - connection showing between lead poisoning and dementia (breaking bones can re-release the lead that has been absorbed);

  • Free home lead inspections 585-428-6520; landlords legally responsible for addressing lead issues in the home.

  • Rochester City’s local ordinance says all commercial buildings must pass lead inspection; renew every 3 years if rental. Go on City’s website to see when your property was inspected (Google City Property Lead Inspection).

  • Residents and parents need to know their rights around this issue.

  • CPLP distributes information, holds forums, etc. – a resource to navigate the system, especially if you find your child has been poisoned.

  • Remediation is expensive. City can’t force home owner to do remediation but inspection will go on unit’s record and seller must inform a new buyer. City recently got funding to help with lead remediation costs (loan). Go to City of Rochester Lead Poisoning website.

  • No cure for lead poisoning. Extreme cases can use chelation (flushing lead from body); won’t work for lead in bones.

  • Calcium deficiency can lead to replacement of lead for calcium.

  • Ralph Spezio, former principal of School #17, was instrumental in creating the CPLP as a result of learning that there was a direct relationship between kids in special education and lead poisoning.

Community Forum on Education – Sponsored by Rochester Coalition for Public Education, Great Schools for All, and SWCC Education Committee - October 29, 4-6:30pm - Update

  • To be held at Brockport University Downtown Campus @ 161 Chestnut St.

  • Plan is to review the document “Recommendations to Ensure that RCSD Students Succeed” point by point. Reps will talk about the 8 topics and then they will divide up into groups to discuss (depending on number of people who attend).

  • 1.5 mile minimum for busing reimbursement law is destroying neighborhood schools because parents choose schools further away so child can be on a bus vs walking in an unsafe neighborhood to local school. Working parents also need options for childcare in the morning.

  • Study shows – if ¼ of children chose neighborhood school and were bused, you would break even with costs of present 1.5 mile rule. If 75% chose busing to nearby school over $4 million would be saved.

  • 10% of students leave charter schools and go back to public schools.

  • Seeing a very positive impact of UR taking over East High. Intentionality around literacy is showing strong results. Attitude between students and teachers is very positive.

Community Engagement Team (CET) Updates

  • We’ve attended 5 CET meetings to date this fall at our 4 SW schools that have gone into Receivership and have chosen to become community schools. (School 10, 16, 19 and Wilson Foundation Academy)

  • Only one (School 10) has gotten a Community School Coordinator so far.

  • Our role has been to foster community connection.

  • One of the parameters is improving student absentee rate which is difficult to attain; approx. 20% of children move from home to home during the school year which impacts attendance. It takes several days for the busing pick-up for the child to be changed.

School Updates

  • 10th Annual Spelling Bee coming up for 5 SW school; $500 scholarship for winner

  • School #29

    • Keeping up the community garden; have added a fence;

    • Reaching out to neighborhood families (door-to-door) to encourage them to attend neighborhood school;

    • Have students painting bollards as a way of increasing school visibility;

    • Started a before school program starting at 8:15am; paying para-professional extra hour.

    • Only have one kindergarten right now; charter schools are taking students from public education.

    • Low violence.

    • Facility Modernization was to be done in 2020 moved to 2021-22 because of Albany delay in Phase 3 FMP funding. School infrastructure poor.

    • Major initiative is enrollment; need to recruit 45 new students.

CFC YouthBuild / Rotary SW – Update

  • YouthBuild - has another Cohort starting on 11/4; it will be full days, 8 weeks long for curriculum and an additional 4 weeks on-site work experience. For more information, contact the Recruiter, Reg Walton, at (585) 766-7344.

  • Connecting with City Roots Community Land Trust to explore on-site work experience options; CLT works to provide affordable housing for city residents.

  • Rotary SW

    • Meeting change: 1st Thursday meetings will now be at 6pm (vs 8am) at Carlson Commons, 40 Coretta Scott Crossing

    • Induction Ceremony 12/5, 6pm @ Carlson Commons

Walk-in Items

  • Innova Collegiate Academy – Lindsay Swanson, Former NYC Computer Science Teacher

    • Charter school proposal in the works – girls grades 4-8 focused on STEM; pushing lifelong learning.

    • Early planning stages; school wouldn’t open for 2 more years.

    • Exploring locations; would like to see a neighborhood school.

    • Asking for feedback; what are community needs and community strengths.

    • Acknowledging that RCSD does have some successful school models; not looking to pull students from good schools; looking to provide an option

    • Charter schools are authorized by the State; are able to access $14,000 per RCSD student

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

SWCC Education Committee Chair, John Boutet, 328-4271,

19thWCA Schools Committee Chair, John Laing, 235-5236,

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