The Education Committee of the SW Common Council

Wednesday, 9/28/22

6-7:30 pm at

For Zoom Link, Contact John Boutet @

Minutes Posted on:


Joe Baldino School #29 Principal, 490-2245,

John Boutet SWCC Education Committee Chair, 328-4271,

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

Yaritza Delgado School #19 Community Site Coordinator,

Carmen Jones Willie W. Lightfoot Rec Ctr, 369-3029,

Cyril Kastner Finger Lakes Souring Club, 235-0935,

Lee Loomis School #10 Volunteer Tutor,

Jalil Muntaquim Citizen Action Special Projects Coordinator,

Lieselle Taylor Director of Community Schools,

Veronica Vargas Wilson Magnet Community Site Coordinator,

Welcome & Introductions

Quick update of school news

  • School #10 - it’s been 3 years since School #10 has been able to accept face-to-face engineering science tutors; hopeful to being able to serve students this year.

Rotary Club’s Roc River Ride event update - was Saturday September 17th

  • About 100 people turned out for the family-oriented bike event 9/17; variety of bikers involved, including scout troop; good feedback including requests to do it again. Plans are being made for a second annual event.

  • Good to see so many youth involved; would like to see more students able to ride bikes to school. Still hopeful that Walking School Buses can be established, which would help with increasing likelihood parents would feel comfortable with having children attend neighborhood schools.

Local busing update

  • Current law is reimbursement for 1.5 miles or greater busing

  • Managed School Choice – Started in 2002 - Parents can pick the school to send their child to and if it is over 1.5 miles away the students get busing.

  • About 80% of students get bused.

  • School is out of walking range.

  • Miss the bus, you are absent for the day.

  • Poor families often can't drive to their child's school for events, to volunteer, or talk to teacher.

  • Having only 1.5 mile busing harms schools and neighborhoods
    School 17 story. Ralph Spezio in 90's - He stopped the busing to ensure local enrollment. Added a lot of wraparound services. Ended up with state recognized Model school.

  • On 09-23-22 meeting with 19WCA members and City reps, we talked about city violence and ways to reduce it
    City reps were:

    • Victor T Saunders - Office of Mayor Malik Evans, Advisor on Violence Prevention Programs. Capt Michael Jones, Charles D. Reaves – SW NSC, Anthony L. Hall - Pathways to Peace, Councilmember Lashay D. Harris

    • They all said that in general these are very local gangs who end up violent over one group dissing the other. These are mostly youth groups and not drug gangs. When asked if reducing cross-town busing and having local busing would hurt or help, they believed it would help reduce violence by having more local students in the school reducing gang friction.

  • We were lucky this year to have our local representatives in Albany all be progressive and in the in the majority. They introduced bills in the Assembly and Senate that would provide ½ mile busing but Bills did not get passed this session. We need to make sure they can reintroduce them next session and pass Them.

  • Here is a link showing our Rochester Area State Delegation Majority Members 2021-2022 which includes their, district maps and the numbers of the ( Assembly Bill 1276 and Senate Bill 4414 ) introduced for the spring 2022 session. We need to make sure these bills are reintroduced for the 2023 session. Call or write to encourage them to pass them.

"Learning and Exploring At Play" (LEAP) - Mary Beth Spinelli –

  • Update – 2 Hours at the UofR on Saturdays. LEAP Partner Child Recruitment flyer 2022.pdf , Operating a program on Saturdays at UR called "Learning and Exploring At Play" (LEAP) for K to 4th graders; catering to students who may not have access to enrichment programming. LEAP clases are 9:30am - 12:30; parents can drop children off; there is a bus if family is located by School #33 crosstown. Engage students in science, math, reading, social studies, art, etc. through games, activities, experiments, etc. Program may still have openings.

  • Wilson Magnet has a partnership with UR that they are reigniting.

19WCA Strategic Planning -

  • First meeting was Tuesday 9/27. Lieselle R.Taylor, Director of RCSD Community Site Coordinators, and Veronica Vargas, Community Site Coordinators at Wilson Commence attended because we would like to get HS Students involved. Challenge is to have roles students can feel committed and excited about. Roles must be interesting, proactive and inclusive.

Finger Lakes Soaring Club - Cy Kastner

  • Cy past engineer who earned pilot’s license. Past 20 years has flown gliders in Dansville. Opportunity for 2 HS students to learn to pilot gliders; Get license, See or visit Facebook page. Soaring Club has been in Dansville a long time; other pilots engaged in the program. They have 35-50 members at any one time. Junior program starts at age 11-18; they are a Charter School and 401 C-3. Teach students and young people how to fly on Saturdays and Sundays; Juniors highly subsidized by club members. Weekend activity; number of adults with flying experience; 5 instructors.

  • Juniors doing the same things the rest of the club members are doing; maintaining aircraft, maintaining facility, launching aircraft, retrieving aircraft. Some students have been flying professionally; one in Navy flight; aircraft maintenance.

  • Cy contacted Victor Saunders of Pathways to Peace and offered to sponsor some of the young people. The effect of being able to fly an airplane is immense; responsibility, confidence building. What you have to learn to actually fly a plane, etc. are things that build self esteem and can leave a lasting impression.

  • Can lead to an FAA pilot’s license.

  • Cy has pursued funding to cover cost of hosting students. Challenge is transportation to Dansville. Have not been able to move program forward - need to have a partnership. Lieselle Taylor offered assistance and connection. Important for student to be motivated and willing to do the coursework involved.

  • Potential for expansion of program. Model that may be worth exploring is Camp Pathfinders which gives inner city students the opportunity to go camping; program also addresses transportation barrier. Opportunities for students they normally wouldn’t have. Flying an airplane is probably not even on a young person’s radar.

  • Flying is an expensive venture; program is highly subsidized. Average Junior costs about $500/yr (a fraction of what an adult would pay).

Rochester Coalition for Public Education News (Minutes Index) email from:

  • Dan Drmacich /span>>
    Tue, Sep 27 at 9:47 AM
    John, I have a conflict & cannot make your meeting. However, feel free to share the following:
    1. David Hursh, U or R Ed. Prof., has been selected to be part of the Board of Regents Blue Ribbon Committee on Graduation Measures & Expectations. One key item we will be lobbying for will be alternative, high standards diplomas, assessed by performance-based exhibitions & portfolios; Vocational, SWW (liberal arts-type & traditional Regents.) This change would be student-centered for more intrinsic motivation, engagement, attendance & real world preparation.
    2. The RASE Education Recommendations Implementation Committee will be hosting a community presentation on the vocabulary necessary for all anti-racism initiatives to advance, on Nov. 17th. More info forthcoming.
    3. Feel free to share our Coalition letter to local legislators on the Senate Receivership Bill. Encourage considering something similar from your organization. (Letter is attached)
    4. Share that Joe Morelle has voted for more national "robust" funding for charter schools. Does your organization support that?

  • Dan Drmacich /span>>
    To:David Long,Sean Smith,Dave Atias,Eileen,Deb Hanmer, and 77 more
    Tue, Sep 27 at 10:04 AM
    Our last 2 meetings took place with rather low attendance, despite some very important agenda items dealing with education policy & initiatives that could prove critically helpful for all students (but especially those in the RCSD.) We need your ideas, perspectives & participation in order to generate our most intelligent and effective initiatives for education change. Please try to attend our Zoom meeting this Friday, September 30th at 4:00 pm. The Zoom invitation link is below.
    Hope to see you there.

Citizen Action - Mobilization for Public Education, September march review

Walk in items

  • Suggestion to look into equestrian programming for students; a Horse’s Friend out in Scottsville offers this.

  • School #29 & Rotary SW have done a wonderful job expanding on the Little Free Library garden to provide a much larger venue for natural environment of play and exploration at the SW lot of Kirkland Rd. and Kenwood Ave. Project was funded by Kaboom via 540WMAIN.

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