The Education Committee of the SW Common Council

Wednesday, July 22, 2020

Zoom Meeting 6-7:30 pm

Here are the meeting notes as a .pdf file: SWCC Education Committee Minutes 2020-07-22.pdf

The video of this meeting is at:


Melody Bishop         School #19 Community School Liaison,

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,

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

John Strazzabosco   Author, 90 Feet Under; RCPE Member,

Rochester Coalition for Public Education’s (RCPE) Mtg w/ Superintendent

  • Focused on how/when schools will open

  • Looking at hybrid models

  • Have started a Strategic Plan


  • Potential positive COVID byproduct - schools being forced to bridge the digital divide; it gives a lot of organizations/committees focused on education a way to broaden the diversity in those groups.

  • John met with Kilolo Moyo-White ( who is with Roc the Future (affiliated with The Children’s Agenda); shared goals of Education Committee and offered connection.

  • Funding options: Tax the rich. Billionaires in NY: Last year 114, this year 118


  • No recent meetings due to summer vacation; working on getting sign-off signature for Continuation Plan

  • Melody reported that they’ve been working on their Needs Assessment using surveys completed by teachers, students & parents; will begin meeting as a team again the end of August

  • Working on consciously overlapping priorities in a positive way so reporting is more fluid.

  • Surveys were completed prior to and at the beginning of COVID; will need to reevaluate and determine how to proceed.

  • Engagement & contact with families are two different things. By end of school year, teachers had been in contact with every single family. Engagement for primary grades was lacking. Barriers: participation levels vary; parents not always available; children in daycare; only one device in a home.

  • Lots of positive feedback on virtual science activities; San Diego live zoo visit was successful.

  • Has fueled parent/teacher connectivity.

  • Being more creative; working on more pathways for students to learn.

  • Are there enough devices in each household? Grades 4-12 received devices; no word on devices for K-3 yet.


  • President’s Meetings

    Contact: Daisy Rivera Algarin, 428-7711, Daisy.Algarin@CityofRochester.Gov is the director of the City of Rochester's Neighborhood Service Centers (NSC's). Have reached out to Daisy to try to get the schools to know about the NSC's and have the NSC's support getting the schools more involved with their surrounding neighborhoods. Daisy organizes a monthly presidents meeting which invites the presidents of all the Neighborhood Associations (NA's) in the City to meet to discuss concerns. Many NA's have Education Committees. This could be a way for principals to connect with NA's throughout the City. You probably could arrange to make a presentation to that forum. Wondering if the NSC's might play a role in helping schools fill the digital divide that plagues poor sections of the City.

CFC YouthBuild

  • Class to start 8/10. 10-12 students only. In addition to carpentry basics, curriculum will include activities and volunteer projects in line with Social Justice

Rotary SW

  • Service Projects:

    • Gardens: School #29 has 2 gardens; one is across the street (plants & flowers, Little Free Library, bench, etc.) and the second is behind the school (this will be a vegetable garden and needs to be planted as well as maintained; site has water). Principal, Joe Baldino is very supportive and also an active Rotary SW member. Rotary members are doing garden watering and weeding every other week. Have painted and stained the bench and put a new door on the Little Library; Library has been listed in the worldwide register.

    • Face Masks - over 150 masks have been distributed. David Culeton, Owner of Laundry on Arnett, has been handing them out to customers and to other business and neighborhood passers-by as needed. We are going to continue to replenish the supply to meet needs outside of the residences served by the City and to provide masks for the businesses with whom we are connecting. Also collecting masks for small children that will be offered to SW schools.

    • School #19 would like to have a supply of children’s masks.

    • NEED: Thermometers in the home; distribute and teach how to use if needed.

    • Clear facemask would be helpful in classroom so kids can see the teacher's mouth/smile to communicate emotions better.

    • Rotary is working with refugee group in Rochester to manufacture clear facemasks. Contact Rotary SW, or., 585 471 5008. See flier: ClearsightWindowedMask.pdf

Cornell Cooperative Extention - Michael Dondorfer

  • Summer Virtual Fairs & Zoom workshops available; recorded videos that can be accessed by teachers. Some of the courses offered are Public Speaking, Horticulture, Agriculture, Weather & Climate, Health & Fitness, Coding & Programming, etc. Themed weeks with activities for every day.

  • Mike leaving; another AmeriCorps VISTA will take his place; he will share our info with her.


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,


Views: 44

Replies to This Discussion

I want to thank all of you for your creative work on so many aspects of this new challenge. Gail Mott


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