The Education Committee of the SW Common Council

Wednesday, 12/1/21

6-7:30 pm on Zoom

Here is the PDF of these minutes: SWCC Education Committee Minutes 2021-12-01.pdf


Attendance:

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

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

Tiffany Owens              SWAN @ 10 Cady St, 436-3090, towens@swanonline.org

Moniek Silas-Lee         School #19 Principal, 328-7454, moniek.silas-lee@rcsdk12.org

James Patterson         RCSD Board, james.patterson@rcsdk12.org

Cassandra Small         SWAN @ 10 Cady St, 436-3090,csmal@swanonline.org

Lieselle Taylor             Director of Community Schools, lieselle.taylor@rcsdk12.org

Lee Loomis                  School #10 Volunteer Tutor, leeloomis46@gmail.com

Stella Wang                  Neighborhood Resident & UR Professor, 355-8568, stella.wang@rochester.edu


Welcome & Introductions

Quick update of school & community news

  • No new news; meeting Monday, 5pm, to understand the re-configurations and to provide input.

  • John expressed annoyance with changing school names repeatedly based on reorganization.

  • Concern about sending students with significant disabilities to a brand new environment

  • John gave a history of development of new schools for School #16 and 10. Managed School Choice policy has negatively impacted neighborhood and community schools. Transportation has a definite impact on how parents make decisions about school placement.

  • Strong focus for Education Committee is still on universal busing; modify school choice policy by allowing students to go to school locally if they don’t get their school choice.

  • SWAN is still progressing; Tiffany invited folks to stop in to see the updates.

Local busing / News from Malik

  • James against Managed Choice policy; ALL schools should be attractive and effective. Parents who don’t live in the neighborhood don’t come back for open houses, parent conferences, or after-school events.

  • Another challenge with not having neighborhood schools is that gang members are brought together in the same school and fights are imminent.

  • Moniek - consider two zones with equal opportunities.

  • Cost of busing is approximately $60 million.

  • Keeping students together in their neighborhoods builds relationships and connections.

  • Opportunity to connect with the Neighborhood Service Centers to connect resources with families, especially to limit relocations.

  • When Malik was on the School Board, he advocated for local busing (smaller buses to accommodate folks who live 1.5 miles from school but the neighborhood is considered unsafe).

  • Majority of drug and gang activity happens in the afternoon; getting to is school not an issue so much as getting home from school; dinner draws the parents & caregivers back to the school to safely walk children home. Make the schools places where students can stay when parent can’t pick them up.

  • Parents must take responsibility for their children;

  • Kids need exercise; walking is good for students and families.

  • We are doing a great job on Pre-K attendance and services; need to outsource childcare services for K-5th grade. Teachers shouldn’t be put in place to be babysitters.

  • School #16 - the new design supports evening activities by including a section that keeps the gym separate from the classrooms; that section can be locked.

  • Walking School Bus (adults/parents who walk students to school) was very helpful at School #19 but not active at this time.

  • Local busing supported by Mayor Warren; State’s response to provide busing through dangerous neighborhoods is to make the neighborhoods safe. Warren recommended establishing “Safety Zones,” for which the State has criteria. Warren also proposed using “equity” to provide for short-distance busing. In the suburbs, taxes can be raised to support increased transportation for less than 1.5 miles.

  • James does not see the State giving us anymore money; they want to see fiscal responsibility with the high increase of funding (millions) coming into RCSD. Board needs to come up with and agree how to right the system that’s been wrong for so many years.

  • We’ve lost 1,000 year of students going to charter and urban suburban schools.

Rochester Coalition for Public Education News

  • Meeting this Friday at 4pm to discuss RCSD’s proposal to combine schools and eliminate space; this leads to larger classroom sizes. And, why can’t they use extra space for wrap-around services for the kids.

  • UR Partnership with East High has been extended. Don’t know how much the cost per student instruction at East compares to other schools.

Walk in items


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

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

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