SWCC Education Committee Minutes for Monday August 5, 2013 Meeting at Thurston Road YMCA

Here are the meeting notes as a Word file:  Meeting Notes SWCC Education Committee Agust 5, 2013.doc

SWCC Education Committee

Monday meeting at Thurston YMCA

August 5, 2013

The Meeting convened at 6:03 pm.

Present: Mary Adams, Valerie Barattini, John Boutet, Maya Broady, Stacie Colaprete, Dan DeMarle, Robin Dettman, Mary DeRouen, Brenda Driscoll, Sonja Griffin, Tammy Hahn, Linda Harris, Jennifer Laird, Tim Louis Macaluso, Marie Milord, Bill Nichthauser, Melinda Peck, Betsy Romson, Kim Shepard, Lieselle Taylor

The Education Committee of the SW Common Council met Monday, August 5th from 6:00 to 7:55 pm at the Thurston YMCA with all interested SW Quadrant community members to discuss ways to support neighborhood schools in SW Rochester.

We reviewed the latest news on our local schools and had Melinda Peck say a few words about Y involvement in the schools near the start of the meeting.

We had two featured speakers: Melinda Peck from the Y and Stacie Colaprete from Vision Quest.

Coming to order and introductions. We started by going around the room with introductions following the agreement that the meeting would be videoed.

Melinda Peck Presentation - Melinda is the Executive Director for the SouthWest and Monroe YMCA Branches. She described the Thurston Road facility and explained we were meeting in the before and after school program area. Space is tight at both branches. Because it is summer most of the kids are out at Genesee Valley Park at Camp Thunderbird. The Y has a U-Pre-K room and a buss to pick students up in the morning and take them home at noon. This is in partneship with RCSD. A wrap-around program for afternoon is available. There is also a teen center upstairs. Many people in the community are unaware of all this.

YMCA is a charity. Urban Y branches are subsidized in part by the suburban branches. ($145K per year for SW Y) They like to provide services in the community but money to pay staff is always an issue. Rochester Y has a new VP of Youth Development and hopes to expand the services. Ubran YMCA are trying to enlarge facilities and services as space and funding allow. You can check the video of Melinda's presentation on YouTube to get the full story: http://youtu.be/Wwz-3MZEFiI

Update for Schools 10, 16 and 44 - I started a quick review of what has happened regarding these schools:

  • School 16 closed on Post and relocated to Freddie Thomas - summer of 2012.

  • SWCC reactivates its Education Committee to fight school closings in the 19th Ward - summer 2012.

  • 19th Ward Community Association passes resolution opposing closing of schools 10 and 16 in the Ward. (10 was slated to move to bldg #1) - Fall of 2012

  • RCSD agrees to refurbish and reopen School 16 on Post in 2015 - Winter 2012-13

  • Fight continues for keeping School 10 on Congress. - Winter/Spring

  • 19WCA reactivates its Schools Committee to represent the neighborhood in ongoing interaction with District on 19th Ward Schools as 10 and 16 are renovated and 16 is brought back. - Spring 2013

  • District finally agrees to keep 10 on Congress but decides to close 44 - late spring 2013

Eight of the 20 people present are teachers at School 44 and the questions quickly focused on why the decision to close 44 was made and what this would do to the community. Mary Adams gave a review of the discussions that had gone on for the past year with regards to School 44. Part of the School 44 discussion and Mary Adams detailed review of School 44 deliberations can be seen in this YouTube video: http://youtu.be/21v2Duq_b2Y

Vision Quest Community School Presentation.- Stacie Colaprete.is one of two parents on the board for creation of a new teacher led school. Currently they are talking to various neighborhoods in the SW to see if they have support for forming such a school. School model would be teacher, community and parent led. They do not plan on having a principal but would use a round-table leadership approach and they have a teacher with administrative credentials. They would like to have the school's academic focus be project based. For instance they would investigate gardening, touching of the variety of disciplines involved in gardening. They also want to be heavily focused on the arts and would also like to be a neighborhood school.

This effort is in part in response to the request the Superintendent has made for new school models. Dr. Vargas is hopeful that such a school might be able to take over a failing school and turn it around. Stacie thinks this would only be feasible as a cooperative venture between Vision Quest and the other school. Vision Quest still needs more teachers. The possibility of partnering with School 44 was discussed a bit and is worth investigating further. Robin Dettman offered to help as an organization consultant. Details of the Vision Quest presentation can be viewed at: http://youtu.be/PppPDW9ygps

The meeting adjourned at 7:55 pm.

Minutes submitted by John Boutet

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