The Education Committee of the SW Common Council

Wednesday, February 26, 2020

6-7:30 pm at

Arnett Branch Library, 310 Arnett Boulevard

Here are the meeting notes as a .pdf file: SWCC Education Committee Minutes 2020-02-26.pdf

Video of this meeting is at: 2020-02-26 - SWCC Education Committee meeting,  (


Janie Anderson            EMMA Neighborhood Assn; 342-2794,

Joe Baldino                 School #29 Principal, 490-2245,

Bryan Babcock             19th Ward Delegate & RCSD Parent, 969-3222,

Chirstin Babcock         19th Ward Residen, RCSD Parent 633-7480,

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, CFC YouthBuild, 224-5119,

Mike Dondorfer              UR Americorps VISTA w/ Cornell Co-op 4H, 753-2568,

John Laing                      19WCA Schools Committee & Sch #16 Volunteer, 235-5236,

Colleen McCarthy         EPUC, MNBN, Pres. Lock 66 NA, 775-8310,

Dorothy Parham            EMMA Neighborhood Assn, Founder; 795-0111,

Moniek Silas-Lee          School #19 Principal, 328-7454,

Alicia Ward                     19th Ward Resident & SUNY ATTAIN Lab, 820-7672,

Deborah Washington   School #3 Principal, 454-3525,

RCSD Budget overrun and funding update

  • If no additional funds are received based on recent lobbying at State level, there will be more cuts

Rochester Coalition for Public Education - Update

  • Small group with Harry Bronson, who has been very supportive and raising awareness.

  • Recommendation - do a 5-yr plan vs a 1-yr plan with RCSD -can’t fix this in a year; letter to Cuomo being crafted that states this and shows support for current Superintendent

  • Meeting with Adam Urbanski scheduled for 3/2 to find out if there is anything that can be done via RTA in addressing the RCSD deficit.

  • All Pre-K’s not slated to go into just 2 schools; would keep about 40% of the CBO non-profits; existing RCSD Pre-K's remain where they are.

RORE (Rochester Organization of Rank and File Educators) calls for March 6th strike - Discussion 2/21/20 meeting video:, Also check out new parents group, calling itself ROC-FIST:

  • Focus - District needs to be funded properly; Albany has been shortchanging RCSC for many years.

  • Strike is to highlight the need to sufficiently fund schools.

  • March 6th was chosen because it’s a half day and the Legislative Breakfast will be in Rochester on the 7th.

  • Charter vs Public Schools - we should be looking at what is best for the children.

  • Currently, two school board members are part of non-profits that provide Pre-Schools for Rochester.

  • Students that attend private Charter schools are more likely to go into Charter Schools vs public schools.

  • Pre-K funding is separate from regular RCSD funding which is the reasoning behind having Pre-K be separate; also, trying to raise the number of students who are then ready to move to Kindergarten, hopefully into public schools.

  • Don’t use just testing as a measure of achievement. Standardized tests do not reflect what students are capable of.

  • Students must be prepared for higher education or the cost is born by the colleges and, in the end, the student because they have to use their financial aid for remedial education which students need prior to being able to attend regular classes.

  • Students need the same teacher all the way up to 6th grade. Shouldn’t be treating school as a business.

  • Charter Schools suck funding from Public Education; documentation shows that Charter Schools send back children they cannot serve (after they have gotten the funding to serve the child).

  • Pre-K’s are the jewel in the crown for the District; need to make sure we promote Pre-K whether they are public or private.

  • Need to have more vocational/technical schools; John B. will get someone with more information in this area on next month’s agenda.

  • Need to go where the parents are instead of expecting them to come to them.

Community Engagement Teams (CET) – updates Videos for 2019-2020 school year 10-a, 10-b, 10-c, 16-b, 16-c,16-d, 19-a, 19-b, 19-c, 19-d, 19-e, 19-f, 19-g, WFA


  • Above videos are from Schools #10, 16, & 19; WFA asked not to be filmed.

  • Kelly Briggs oversees all the CET’s and can get you on the distribution list for minutes.

  • School #16 parent survey was handed out to children on a Wed & many came back by Friday; definitely high involvement in supporting school.

  • Students should be aware of all the people who work behind the scenes to support the community.

School 44 transition to Pre-K plans -

  • Budget issues require School #44 closing, relocating children, and opening as a Pre-K center; this at least keeps the building open as a public school.

  • An ideal option parents of each class at 44 should be given is to have current classes and their teachers transferred to nearby schools such as 29. Teachers would loop with their class in 20-21.

"Harriet" Showing for Students 4/1, 10am - Update

  • This initiative is sponsored by the Rotary SW.

  • Over 230 from Schools 3, 16 and 29 are going (Cinema has total of 280 seats). School 44 will also beinvited to the 10am showing. Targeting 5th, 6th, 7th and 8th graders. The possibility of a secopnd showing at 1pm has also been discussed for School 19 and others.

  • Cinema Location - 957 S. Clinton Ave

  • We should also be highlighting local African-Americans who have made contributions, not just people of history; Eleanor noted that Rodney Brown, Editor and Founder of the Southwest Tribune Newspaper posts regularly the “Heroes and Sheroes” of the Black community on his Facebook page - most are people who are alive today and have made significant contributions to our City.

  • Community Room at School #19 will be named after a current Hero or Shero. Parents, students & teachers have all voted and the winning name should be announced soon.

School 29 - Update

  • Phase 3 renovations now slated for 2020-2021.

  • Starting a morning program; parents who live in the neighborhood bringing their children; 20 students attended. Children can come as early as 8am and receive extended learning and early breakfast.

School 3- Update

  • Remodeling/renovations moved to 2020--2025

  • Received significant cuts but have rearranged so they can continue to serve students.

  • Monthy CET meetings as they plan for finishing this year and preparing for studnets next year.

  • Black History presentation tomorrow - “Unapologetically Me”

School 19 - Update

  • Front of school has been remodeled - Moniek extended an invitation to come and see it.

  • Doing pep rallys to raise excitement around testing.

  • Hosting Saturday sessions to help prepare for testing.

CFC YouthBuild - Update

  • Graduation for the current YouthBuild Cohort is Friday, March 20, 1pm @ 121 Lincoln Ave - all are welcome!!

  • New Cohort will begin 4/20; contact Reg Walton, YouthBuild Recruiter @ 766-7344 for more information.


“Farm to Table” classroom lessons are available at no cost; specific to second graders; please spread the word.

Future Agenda Items

  • Vocational/Technical Education

  • Conducting an Evaluation of Teachers That Makes Sense

  • Tenure

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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