The Education Committee of the SW Common Council

Wednesday, 4/27/22

6-7:45 pm

For future Zoom Link Contact John Boutet:

Video of this meeting is at

Here is a pdf of the minutes:  SWCC Education Committee Minutes 2022-04-27.pdf


Melody Bishop           Community Engagement Coordinator, School #19,

John Boutet               SWCC Education Committee Chair, 328-4271,

Mary Coffey                N. Winton Village Co-Chair; MNBN; Public Safety;

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

Marilyn Cunningham Graves CME Church Pastor, 436-2663,

Carmen Jones           Rec Centers/Do the Right Thing,

Lee Loomis                School #10 Volunteer Tutor,

Josie McClary            Monroe County, 19WCA VP,

Phyllis Moss               19WCA Schools Committee Chair,

Moses Robinson        Community Liaison Officer, Rochester PD,

Liliana Ruiz                    City of Rochester. 428-7192,

Kisha Smith               SWAN Emergency Services, 436-3090,

Shaniqua Smith         SouthWest NSC, 428-7630,

Welcome & Introductions

Quick update of school news

  • There was a thorough discussion of the budget at School Board meeting.The discussion lasted from 5:30pm to about 12:10am. Everyone cooperated.

Local busing update- (Please support Assembly Bill 1276 and Senate Bill 4414).

  • We may get ½ mile busing through Albany this year - new bills in Senate & Assembly

  • Moses: Local busing to get more neighborhood students attending their local school creates an asset for the neighborhood; 3 things inspired the Civil Rights movement: school, family, and church. Local schools should be the center of these three components, as well as connected to the businesses in the community.

    • Until you make the building safe, it’s going to be difficult for students to learn - climate must be safe for learning. Whole community needs to buy in to the safe environment. Teachers should be in a place they can teach.

    • Children are the highest investment for us; no community is safe if the school isn’t safe.

    • Needs to be a confidential survey (download an app) to ascertain feedback on school safety. Ask adults, youth, the janitor, etc. Cross reference the information and move in a data-informed way.

    • Students should have a say and should be heard about what they feel; what do students feel makes for a safe school. Shouldn’t the system respect how students feel about safety in the school, the neighborhood, etc. Students should have input on whether or not to have police in schools.

    • All hands on deck. Best practices shows that the people who are relevant to intervention and prevention MUST have a cultural and gender significance. Language barriers are important to address. The person sitting across from students should have a connection - trauma-informed care. Social workers. One-stop shop that helps connects students to teachers, teachers to students. Kids should never be afraid of the people who protect them. We shouldn’t need to wait for a crisis before something gets done and things happen because of our ignorance.

  • Officers in Schools

    • There was a job description when officers were in schools; but application of it was principal driven and was different school to school.

    • Officer Friendly in elementary schools helped students see officers with a different point of view.

    • Should be uniformity in officers in the school; job description should be clear.

    • Moses: Testimony at US Dept of Justice brought forth from many partners that, primarily urban districts, officers were being used to create the school to prison pipeline. We should not be arresting children; need to evaluate social/emotional issues that are presenting. We have too many resource agencies that should be assisting with trauma. There should be a clear Memorandum of Agreement among everyone as to what the SRO officer role was supposed to be - to build relevant relationships with kids. But if you don’t revisit the MOA and evaluate how the process is going, it can turn detrimental. Civil Liberties Union hurt us when they removed SRO’s because of school to prison pipeline.

  • Melody: First resource for addressing student issues at School #19 is teachers and CFY Support Staff. SSO is the last person called on in the building. There was a positive impact when police were eating lunch with students.

    • We need Licensed Mental Health Professionals, not just social workers. Many other issues in addressing mental health issues (transportation, overwhelmed caseloads, etc.). We must address the whole child. Many professionals lack trauma-informed care. Want students to adopt their own opinions, not just what they are told.

  • SVPP - funding being made available to use to improve school and school grounds through evidence-based safety programs - up to $53million. There is money out there - we need to go out and get it. We cannot do this without a partnership. Recommended book: Feed the Teachers So They Don’t Eat the Kids; making sure staff sees issues from a trauma lens. No one should be in our schools if they don’t understand the cumulative affects of violence on children. Not acceptable for staff not to know or care to know.

  • NYS per capita per child has the highest amount of money. We must make sure this money is spent correctly. Moses confirms Mary’s high praise for East before UR and East now. They did bring in mental health and social workers. Interaction between teachers and students is completely difference; they know they matter. Other schools can model this blueprint. Social/emotional learning helps children feel safe.

  • Ask the student, “Why do you not want to come here?” What makes this school unsafe or unattractive? Should be a perfect fit for all concerned - parents, teachers, students, staff.

  • Who makes the call to refer child for counseling in a shooting situation? First thing is to address the medical situation. Then make sure social/emotional issues are addressed.

  • DASA form - Dignity Act. Addresses repeated bullying. Students have complained that these forms are not being filled out when bullying is reported.

  • Family Court needs to be trauma informed; judges who are trauma informed can bring service providers to the table to hold parents accountable. Rochester is resource rich. When a child goes to a detention center, County pays $250,000 per child. Many children go undiagnosed for a current, existing mental health disability; this is not true for just the child, but also the parents.

  • This is the first year they have accepted Educational Neglect cases.

  • Must stop working in silos; you’re going to find that same parent and family is working with several different groups.

  • If we don’t address trauma, we are punishing traumatized kids for not knowing how to live, survive and act after being traumatized.

  • BOCES has layers of security. First layer - Paras. Paras are all trained with Therapeutic Crisis Intervention (TCI). Classroom has a button they can hit to get a support team in the room if issue moves to a higher level. $35,000/year for students to be at BOCES. We need teachers, PARAS, etc. who are trained in TCI. TCI teaches things like, when a child is in crisis, you close your mouth; don’t escalate the situation.

  • We can’t hire enough social workers to deal with 26,000 kids. Everyone needs to be trained and it needs to be mandatory.

  • Suggestion: Have Moses attend Coalition for Public Education and make a connection with Citizen Action. Make a connection with Jalil Muntaqim.

  • Moses: We should learn about a person’s weakness and help them address it. What do we agree on? We all want the survival and safety of our children. What can we agree on to move forward that creates safety for everyone. Stop focusing on other person’s deficit and/or beating them up because their viewpoint is different.

  • Moses will send John a link to the State’s safety grant that will help us know more about it and provide a letter of support. Even entities with opposing points of view can get behind making safer schools. Let’s be proactive. (School Violence Prevention Program

  • Need a Moses replica training program; must have passion.

Rochester Coalition for Public Education News

  • Coalition meeting this Friday, 4/29 at 4pm

Scribe Services: Eleanor Coleman, CFC YouthBuild & Rotary, 224 -5119,

SWCC Education Committee Chair: John Boutet, 328-4271,

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