SWCC Education Committee 

ZOOM Meeting



Here are the meeting notes as a .pdf file: SWCC Education Committee Minutes 2020-04-22.pdf

Videos from meeting:  SWCC Education Committee Zoom meeting - Sch 10 renovation

SWCC Education Committee Zoom meeting - Part II


Joe Baldino                    School #29 Principal, 490-2245, joseph.baldino@rcsdk12.org 

Bryan Babcock             19th Ward Delegate & RCSD Parent, 969-3222, bryan@14619.org 

Chirstin Babcock         19th Ward Residen, RCSD Parent 633-7480, chrisinmae@gmail.com 

John Boutet                    SWCC Education Committee Chair, 328-4271, jboutet@frontiernet.net 

Mary Coffey                    N. Winton Village Co-Chair; Many Neighbors Building Neighborhoods; Public Safety,                                                                       marycoffey0@gmail.com 

Eleanor Coleman          Rotary SW, CFC YouthBuild, 224-5119, eleanor.coleman@gmail.com

Dan Drmacich                Rochester Coalition for Public Ed. Coordinator, 506-8978, dandrmacich123@gmail.com

John Laing                      19WCA Schools Committee chair, Sch #16 Volunteer, 235-5236, jlaing1@rochester.rr.com

Aria Camaione-Lind     School 10 parent, PTO, 319-6007, aria.camaionelind@yahoo.com

Lee Loomis                     Volunteer Coordinator for School 10, 738-3079, leeloomis46@gmail.com

Travis Miller                    RSMP, Business Opportunity Manager, 512-3816, tmiller@savinengineers.com

Alicia Ward                     19th Ward Resident & SUNY ATTAIN Lab, 820-7672, award@badenstreet.org

Deborah Washington   School #3 Principal, 454-3525, deborah.washington@rcsdk12.org 

Rebecca Zacherl          School #10, Teacher, Rebecca.Zacherl@RCSDK12.ORG



Rochester Schools Modernization Update - Travis Miller

  • Construction Manager is LeChase; Travis provided an overview of what schools are involved in Phase 2; all projects are currently in progress.
  • Side Note:  Small business best practices being offered virtually; online curriculum available.  Tonight’s session is about business plans - 22 participants.
  • School #10 Construction - Community Outreach & Engagement:  Notice of Construction Activity was passed out to a 3-block perimeter of the school to let folks know what is happening there; subsequently, an updated progress flyer was distributed.
  • Gymnasium is the largest portion of new construction.  There was some lessening of the footprint due to financial limits.
  • Decorative metal fencing being installed to maintain a separate playground area for Pre-K & Kindergarten students.
  • Loading dock is progressing nicely
  • Attractive corridor/atrium separates education and gymnasium; neighborhood and community members will walk into this corridor.
  • Designers using SED benchmarks for design to maximize cost allowance.
  • Kitchen and bathrooms remodeled; new library.
  • Natural wood (legacy design features) maintained whenever possible; legacy classroom - cabinetry, floors & cubbies maintained.  The artwork around the original stage was maintained.
  • COVID-19 Impact:  Initially experienced some reduction in labor until the Governor named construction as an essential service.  Using split schedules to reduce the number of tradesmen on site throughout the day.
  • Substantial Completion planned for June 26 (e.g., moving in furniture); waiting for finished doors, windows, etc. which were on hold due to factory delays. 
  • To see individual portfolios of RSMP projects, go to www.rsmpnews.net, go to “Projects” and you can see updates that include photos.
  • Phase 3 - Strategic Plan approved by the Board over a year ago; hoping for State Education to approve the bill last year but delays have occurred.  Schools impacted:  East,  Edison, Monroe & School #3.


RCSD Budget Update in the Shadow of a Pandemic

  • D&C article circulated earlier by John B. describes several of the issues that contributed to the RCSD’s $27.4 million deficit.  For example, Charter School Tuition - Under-budgeted by $6.5 million;  Retirement - overspent by $4.6 million; Health & Dental Benefits - Under-budgeted by $16 million; Substitutes - Overspent by $7.8 million.


School 3 Transition to Middle School - Deborah Washington, Principal

  • School #44 transitioning to Pre-K school; School #43 is closing; School #3 to be repurposed as a middle school.  Principal has been planning with teachers, parents and students to decide how to”brand” the school; will keep the Soaring Eagles as their mascot.
  • Change starts next school year, 6th graders will move to 7th, 7th graders will move to 8th; addition of 50 new 7th graders.
  • “Whole child” is the focus in regards to incoming students; too many situations of trauma that are out of the family control.  
  • East High academic level has been increasing; excellent school climate; need to be aware of how much money and resources are being poured into that school; extra social workers, counselors, etc. have an impact on teachers and their ability to be positive with and supportive of students; unrealistic to replicate that model in other schools because of the needed costs.

Rochester Coalition for Public Education - Dan Drmacich, Coordinator

  • Asked for two State “monitors” to assist the Superintendent in addressing school issues; have been approved for one monitor to be named by the Board of Regents.
  • Coalition is strongly recommending to Regent Chancellor Rosa, the interim Commissioner & Regents Norwood & Andrew Brown, urging them to appoint Dr. William Cala as the new RCSD monitor.  
  • Terry Dade announced that he intends to resign at the end of June 2020 - too many issues: lack of school board support, no money from Legislature, no funds from the federal government, etc.
  • The Coalition is also planning to offer community forums on the following education issues in 2020-21:
    • What the research says about how poverty & trauma impact student performance,
    • An evening with world renown educator, author, researcher and activist Diane Ravitch; most recently author of "Slaying Goliath."
    • The high-stakes standardized testing "Opt-Out Movement," with NYS parent leaders of the movement.
    • What the current research says about the benefits of school desegregation.
    • The research on charter schools.
    • How to create more effective, healthy schools with little funding.
  • Perhaps the monitor's support could impact the current Superintendent's decision; either way, it is important to contact the Regent representatives to push for Bill Cala to be considered (former Superintendent of Fairport for 20 years; interim RCSD Superintendent for RCSD for one year).
  • PAC - Parent Advisory Council (Board for parents); need to be aware that parents of today participate differently than “white” parents did 75 years ago - issues were different; shouldn’t expect the same model.
  • School #17 success - while this model has been very successful, it is foreseen that, with the budget cuts, staffing is going to decline; resources and services provided through the Mayor’s office and other organizations can’t be sustained without the extra funding that supported them.  Also, as a Receivership school, extra funding was received; once you come off the receivership list, you don’t get the funding anymore (e.g., resources like restorative justice disappear).
  • Should we be reaching out to Terry Dade to let him know we support him, would like him to stay, and will help build relationships?  Overall agreement that the current Superintendent has made many good decisions, just doesn’t have the support he needs.  Long process identifying a new Superintendent; budgetary restraints also a factor.
  • Unintended consequence of Dade leaving - could lead to a State appointed Board of Education, which negatively impacts the enfranchisement of citizens & parents who currently have the opportunity to make decisions about the School Board; Mayor supports State-appointed Board route; fear that Charter Schools would be pushed for by the Mayor.
  • The School Choice model we use now was to relieve segregation (race & financial) - does not do that now.  School #10 - 40% live in 19th Ward. Critical mass of families that live in the walkable area.
  • Would eliminating buses be an alternative to the budget crisis?
  • Per CET input, parent contact at this time is not consistent among the various schools.
  • NYS owes RCSD $86 million in foundation aid.  This has severely impacted the budget annually.
  • Charter Schools are able to remove children who may not test well making their scores look better.


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 

  • 4 SW schools  we are involved in (Schools 10, 16, 19 and WFA) have resumed their CET meetings on Zoom.  Attendance has been good Zoom meetings.


School 29 Update - Joe Baldino

  • Mark Sweetland doing a really nice job on maintaining the Community Garden.


CFC YouthBuild - Eleanor Coleman

  • Class was scheduled to start 4/20 - will be rescheduled once there’s a better sense of when things will be reopened (anticipating it will be later in the summer); unable to access our space on Lincoln at this time. However,  Reg Walton (766-7344) is doing orientations and enrollments over-the-phone.


ATTAIN Lab/19th Ward - Alicia Ward

  • Alicia thanked John for having such a mixed panel of community members and educators on this committee.

UR Americorps VISTA w/ Cornell Co-op 4H

  • Michael Dondorfer missed the meeting but sent in a report:

    Hi John,

    I apologize for not being able to make it to the SWCC meeting last night. A conflict arose last-minute that took up too much of my time.

    I wanted to share a resource that my organization has been sending out to food shelves around the county. If I made it to the meeting, I would have also offered 4-H’s help to anyone who worked at a school during the meeting, as we can do online programming for classes that are still in session (offer live lessons/activities, or pre-recorded videos).  
    Program Resources Flyer (Association)2.pdf

    Is there a recording of the meeting available online?

    Sorry about that, again. I hope the meeting was productive!

    Mike Dondorfer
    Rochester Youth Year AmeriCorps VISTA Member
    4-H Partner Liaison
    Cornell Cooperative Extension | Monroe County
    2449 St. Paul Blvd, Rochester, NY 14617| cce.cornell.edu/monroe| mpd94@cornell.edu | 585-753-2568

Scribe Services: Eleanor Coleman, CFC YouthBuild & Rotary, 224 -5119, eleanor.coleman@gmail.com

SWCC Education Committee Chair, John Boutet, 328-4271, jboutet@frontiernet.net

19thWCA Schools Committee Chair, John Laing, 235-5236, jlang1@rochester.rr.com

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