The Education Committee of the SW Common Council

Wednesday, 6/24/2020

Zoom Meeting 6:00-7:30 pm

Contact John Boutet for Link Info @

Here are the meeting notes as a .pdf file:  SWCC Education Committee Minutes 2020-06-24.pdf

The video of this meeting is at:


Joe Baldino                    School #29 Principal, 490-2245,

Melody Bishop            Community School Liaison, School #19,

John Boutet                    SWCC Education Committee Chair, 328-4271,

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

Camaron Clyburn        School #10 Principal, 324-2010,

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

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

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

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

Lee Loomis                 School #10 Volunteer,585 738-3079,

Erick Stephens            Parent Engagement, Common Ground Health,

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

Deborah Washington    School #3 Principal, 454-3525,

Latest on New Superintendent

  • Rochester Coalition for Public Education met with Superintendent, Lesli C. Myers-Small, and State Monitor, Shelley Jallow, last week. They were both impresive and looking at what will be needed in the comming months depending on COVID-19 impact.

  • Governor has, in the past, been pro charter school; State needs large amount of federal assistance due to loss of tax income; if no Federal assistance a 20% reduction for schools predicted.

BLM Impact on Schools

  • 90 Feet Under Book presented by John Strazzabosco, the author, reviews all the issues that poverty brings with it to the classroom; John Boutet shared the link to video of presentation:

    • Author listed 90 indicators for poverty; children, families, relatives and neighbors are ALL likely to be experiencing all, if not most, of the indicators creating extreme stress and inhibiting learning.

    • Stress affects chromosomes negatively

    • Stress hormone Cortisol impacted; stress regulation is impaired; cognitive skills diminished.

    • Parents of Advantaged Families provide children: 7 positives per 1 negative feedback; Parents of Kids in Poverty: 1 positive per 2 negatives

    • Black child hears about 5 negative comments throughout the day; multiply that by days of the week, weeks in a month, months in a year, etc.

  • Education is the way out of poverty; quality of education in inner city Rochester is very low.

  • What are we as individuals doing in Rochester to change the system?

  • Need to have the same transparency regarding the RCSD as we are demanding from RPD.

  • RPD in schools: Glad RPD has been removed from schools; primary purpose is perceived as being there to protect teachers.

  • Restorative practices being implemented in most schools; shows up differently.

  • Teachers constantly moved around, cut, administrators changed; those are relationships and school families that are being impacted by those changes.

  • Popular scenario - administration moves money into a program, scores improve; as soon as school is lifted up, they remove the administrator and/or they pull the funding.

  • Can’t blame it on any one thing - it’s a system problem.

  • Need a Superintendent that’s in for the long haul.

  • Some of the issues are based on mandates from the State; need to address the State.

  • It’s not about one group of people; have to see that we are all impacted by poverty; can’t have concentrated poverty in one area and affluence nearby, yet no connection when it comes to educational standards and opportunities.

  • Proposal: Get Wade Norwood to come to one of our meetings to give guidance on how to address the State and how to change the system.

  • Common Ground Health is a regional planning agency; Wade also on Board of Regents

  • Say Yes organization in Buffalo (; also, Syracuse, N. Carolina, Cleveland - one CEO for a city; brings 50-60 other people/positions who would be connected to the school but only answer to the organization; Say Yes has a very large network of 2-and 4-year schools, technical programs, businesses, etc.); key is that parents believe in the program; gives families in poverty opportunities (scholarships). Companies need a viable workforce; it’s in their best interest
    The mission of the Say Yes Buffalo partnership is to strengthen the Western New York economy by investing in the education of Buffalo’s future workforce. The primary goals of the partnership are to convene the school district, parents, teachers, administrators, state, city and county governments, higher education, community based organizations, businesses and foundations to increase high school and postsecondary completion rates.

  • Would like to have the State Monitor, Shelley Jallow, speak at one of these meetings to define her role.

  • Poverty is NOT a Black/Brown issue; 55% of people in poverty in our Region are White. Everyone should be working together to address poverty; it’s in everyone’s best interest..

  • If poverty was treated like a virus, it would be leading the news every night; need to see the relationship between poverty and health; people living in poverty are likely to live 9 years less than in the suburbs; losing alot institutional knowledge (parents, grandparents, history, etc.)

The Rochester Coalition for Public Education

  • Holding another meeting to talk about impressions of Superintendent and review 90 Feet Under.

  • Need to address the impact of elections; Harry Bronson has been supportive of education but not in good favor with our Mayor.

  • Anticipating that Demond Meeks will take over for Gantt; Meeks has a very good community-based reputation. Optimistic about his election.

  • Many absentee ballots still need to be tallied before we’ll know for sure.

  • Coalition will meet again with the Superintendent on July 20th

School 29 Update - Joe Baldino

  • Very positive event last Friday to recognize 6th Grade students; drove around the City to visit students and their families

  • Pushing custodial staff to significantly spruce up the building (paint all the classrooms, fix up outside grounds, etc.); facilities modernization scheduled for a year from now.

  • Will schedule community events to encourage folks to invest in school.

  • Need to have children in schools as we move into Phase 3; young children need the interaction with positive environments - dangerous to have them isolated; meeting with Mike Schmidt to see what will happen for the next school year. Some ideas - creative use of spaces, red dots on floors, staggered schedules, etc.

CFC YouthBuild – Eleanor Coleman

  • Talk of opening a new YouthBuild class in the beginning of August; need to see what the COVID-19 protocols entail.

  • Eleanor will connect with John Laing regarding digital/electronic learning possibilities.

Monroe County 4-H - Mike Dondorfer

  • Youth Development programming that promotes hands-on learning

  • Summer Fair will include Themed Weeks for youth ages 5-19; opportunity to interact with other youth, learn new skills, receive feedback on their creations, and have fun in a safe and supportive environment.

School #10 - Camaron Clyburn

  • Renovations should be done by the end of June; furniture goes in the first week in July; end of July, boxes from Marshall come back.

  • School building is very attractive; still has a lot of original character.

ATTAIN Lab- Alicia Ward

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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