The Education Committee of the SW Common Council

Wednesday, 2/24/21

6:00-7:00 pm on Zoom

The YouTube video of this meeting can be found at:

Here are the meeting notes as a .pdf file:  SWCC Education Committee Minutes 2021-02-24.pdf


Don Bartalo                Coalition for Public Education,

Sandi Bastedo            Cornell Cooperative Extension, 315-530-2546

John Boutet                   SWCC Education Committee Chair, 328-4271,

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

Lentory Johnson         Light the Way/Legacy Pk Sta, 749-3494,

Lee Loomis                School #10 Volunteer Tutor,

Caterina L.Mannino     School #17,,

Tiffany Owens            SWAN @ 10 Cady St, 436-3090,

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

Meeting with Mayor

  • Mtg held in January w/ Mayor and other staff to discuss local busing which impacts student attendance and family participation; looking to reduce the 1.5 mile minimum so that, if parents want their child to be in the neighborhood, they have that choice.

  • Current system has children on the bus for long periods of time.

  • Parents often choose bus transportation over neighborhood schools because of employment needs and lack of adequate childcare.

  • Option exists for most suburban families.

  • Mayor suggested and will explore the issue of equity around local busing. Mayor has met with Superintendent and the issue is being discussed.

  • Caterina Leone Mannino, Principal School #17, closely exploring this issue on several fronts: Graduate education project; Board of Education, Frederick Douglass Family Initiatives, legislators and other politicians; working in Albany on special designation for Child Safety Zones which could impact busing.

    • For School #17, 386 children are currently without buses at this time.

    • There are other bus issues regarding busing related to COVID (adequate space); need a multi-pronged approach. What are creative ways to transport children to school; Walking School Bus, pay parents to walk children, etc.

    • School #19 completely on Board with push for neighborhood school attendance.

    • All other suburban districts have lower busing distances (except E. Rochester)

    • Caterina has quite a bit of GIS mapping overlays regarding crime and other relative data that she will send to John.

Cornell Cooperative Extension - Sandi Bastedo

  • Senior Nutritionist; 6 nutritionists at CCE and 6 and Foodlink

  • Can offer programming in schools, on Zoom, phys ed, health classes

  • Offer a Master Gardening program that can help with garden start-ups & maintenance

  • Work with all ages - 1st grade to 12th grade; all curriculum research- and evidence-based.

School #10, etc. - Lee Loomis

  • Volunteer Tutoring Team ready to begin serving

  • Recently got a tour of the beautiful new building renovations. Friday there will be a tour at 12 noon (about 40-50 minutes).

  • 4th and 5th graders will have access to a Makers Space, a STEM lab for trades and technology

  • Main entry to building still on Congress for now.

  • At School #17, piloting Virtual Tutoring; professionals tune in twice a week from their desks using Break-Out Rooms; worked well with 2nd grade - gained more volunteers this way. School #10 2-3 weeks away of piloting the same project.

  • Teachers are struggling with simultaneous instruction; too difficult to switch attention back and forth; this is a good place to bring in tutors who could work with the online portion of the class.

  • Not as much of a need for clearance issues as work is online and can be monitored.

  • Lee will connect School #10 staff with Caterina and School #17 staff for tips

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