Education Committee of the SW Common Council 

Wednesday, August 26, 2020

at 6:00 -7:00 pm

PDF of these notes are:  SWCC Education Committee Minutes 2020-08-26.pdf

Video of this meeting is on YouTube at



Joe Baldino              School #29 Principal, 490-2245, 

Melody Bishop       Community Engagement Coordinator, School #19, 

John Boutet              SWCC Education Committee Chair, 328-4271,

Camaron Clyburn    School #10 Principal, 324-2010, 

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

Pat Connor               Rochester Public Libraries, 428-8398,  

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

Destiny Draggett    CCE 4-H,

Lia Festenstein      School # 10 Community Schools Site Coordinator,

Sean Harrigan        Telecommunications Consultant, 414-1297,

Chantel Lischer      WFA Community Scool Site Coordinator, 463-4100,

Amy Maloy              RCSD Board Member, 262-8525, 

Howard Maffucci     Retired Superintendent E. Rochester/County Legislator, 

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


Busing - Make sure 2016 Managed School Choice Task Force Info is Supplied to Board and Superintendent and Push for Adoption 

  • Speaking quite a bit with Amy Malloy, School Board Commissioner/Governance Committee; Task Force focused on trying to minimize busing. Child must be bused over 1.5 miles for reimbursement.  Amy joined us for a few minutes at the start of this meeting.

Get Our Whole Community Online - Fight Poverty, Facilitate Online Learning, Facilitate Job Hunting, Facilitate Providing Online Jobs 

Maffucci:  Online access not a County Legislature issue yet; did his doctoral dissertation on Broadband.  Found out County has a fiber ring that has never been developed.  Educators can’t withhold textbooks from students; shouldn’t withhold Internet access.  

Howard is trying to create a public/private partnership to get Internet into the hands of folks that need it but can’t afford it.  Real sense of urgency around this partnership among a couple of Legislators and other influential community reps (Simeon Banister, VP of Community Programs @ RACF). For a developed nation, we don’t do well with high-speed Internet access.  Models exist; city of Geneva has a very effective system.  Nothing is FREE, but subsidies are proposed for those who need it.  Goal is to subsidize online access for low-income.   Need the right kind of expertise on partnership group Howard is forming.  We will look to get Sean Hariggan. involved.

County owns buildings in a variety of places; putting wi-fi access on cell towers there could work.  Tesla also has a model that uses satellites.

Note:  For tower-based, non-cellular band wi-fi, tree leaves have proven to be a barrier. 

Greenlight:  Sean reviewed the latest news announcements, Mayor’s Office has reached an agreement with Greenlight to get them to resume installation in the city in exchange for a Waiver of Fees for Service for installations; Current coverage that would be worked on in 2020 would be Park Ave & Corn Hill installation that had been designed before the shutdown. Greenlight needs to rehire a design team before they look at providing fiber development for additional City areas.  How fast could installation go?  They could span the entire city within 12 months, but only if there were enough contractors to provide that expertise.  There is a continuous shortage of people in this field; They are currently recruiting staff from out-of-state.  That is sad considering how much we need jobs here.

Mary Coffey will connect with John Boutet in regards to contacts she has made with Mark Zeldon in Labor Dept in Washington for getting jobs into Rochester. They might help us with training.  Is there a way we can bring this type of skill training into our schools or our community?  

Bandwidth guideline from Sean for what would be considered “good-enough”:   anything under 6 meg (Mbit/sec) is not considered broadband by government; 12 meg is high speed; farms not connected to receive the local telco in the area can receive funds from Dept of Agri for better Internet access - must have 25 meg connection to do their work. 

“My-Fi” Hot-spot info from Pat Connor.  Libraries initially got 20 to 30 from T-Mobile.  The units were $30/month for service and they will not throttle service down if you are using it a lot.  To check your speed check out From  Sean Harrigan :

Walk In Items

  • Reminder:  Mary Coffey reminded us we were going to reach out to Wade Norwood to discuss the expansion of vocational schools.
  • Superintendent Days:  RCSD & RTA decided on moving Superintendent Conference Days to the beginning of the year to enable teaching and training for remote learning.  As of today, RCSD Calendar and At a Glance do not reflect those changes.  Chantal will send a notice to Tom at RCSD to request updates.  The at a Glance calendar is at:
  • Libraries:  No changes to Arnett hours - Walk-In; Wheatley still has Curbside; Tech Center at Central has had a soft opening; limited number of computers; 60-minute time limit.  Located in the old Teen Center in the Link.  Wi-fi on 24/7 at all the branches.
  • This afternoon I had received an email from Lee Loomis who had mentioned that the SWCC Education Committee is looking into possible sources for improved internet service for students and their families, and that we’d be discussing this at tonight’s meeting.  Steve Day, an RIT professor and RES Board member, provided the attached information and link for us to explore: 

    Hi Lee –

    I do now know the details of this offer, but know that Spectrum was rather generous towards all educators and students in the spring when we all went suddenly online.  I would hope that RCSD or even that Mayor’s office could help advocate for a good deal – perhaps paying in bulk or offering vouchers to fund – if this was not extremely aggressive discount.

    Thanks for your efforts on this.  RIT did ship chromebooks and hotspots to students, many of whom were without internet, in the Spring, but we had funds to do this.


  • Followup from Mary Coffey
    This is the gentleman we worked with in the US Department of Labor Centers for Faith and Opportunity Initiative (CFOI) in Washington DC. He was wonderful but could not get downtown or Connected Communities to work with him?????

    View the CFOI Homepage
    Director, Mark Zelden, 202-693-5950

Views: 39

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