Here are the meeting notes as a .pdf file:  SWCC Education Committee Minutes 20180228.pdf

The Education Committee of the SW Common Council

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

6:30 to 8:00 pm at

Arnett Branch Library, 310 Arnett Boulevard

To check all minutes:  SWCC Education Committee Minutes Index


Joe Baldino              School #29 Principal, 490-2245, joseph.baldino@rcsdk12.org

Grace Bilodeau        School #44, 732-8926, grace.bilodeau@rcsdk12.org

Pamela Bollar           Aenon Church, 19th Ward

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

Eleanor Coleman     OACES & ProsperRochester, Inc. 224-5119, eleanor.coleman@gmail.com

Dan DeMarle            19th Ward, 328-5982, jddemarle@frontiernet.net

John Laing               19WCA Schools Comm & Sch #16 Vol, 235-5236, jlaing1@rochester.rr.com

Karen Lahr               School #44, 727-8597, Karen.lahr@rcsdk12k12.org

Beatriz LeBron         RCSD Board Commissioner, 687-8130, bblebron@gmail.com

Jennifer Lenio          Rochester Public Libraries (South District), 428-8272, jlenio@libraryweb.org

Bill Nichthauser       19th Ward Resident & Volunteer, 235-0851, inky389@frontiernet.net

Michael Schmidt       RCSD Chief of Operations, 262-8275/410-3830, michael.schmidt@rcdk12.org


Phase 2 Projects – Michael Schmidt - Meeting video: https://youtu.be/zbIBf_BsN8c 1:00 to 34:40 min

  • Total of 4 projects to be completed with 8/1/2018 target date, (#16, #7, Bldg.#1 and Monroe)

  • Complete gut renovations of 2 of the buildings, School #16 and Bldg.#1 are large challenge needing complete renovation and mechanical upgrade. School #16 will have 3 pre-K. At the time of #16 design 3yr. old pre-K was not in the picture and not planned for.

  • Monroe project has been in progress for 3 years and in good shape.

  • School Bldg.#1 will now be the home for School #15 once renovations are complete.

  • Hoping to include “maker spaces” and more progressive classroom settings in all facilities that are being renovated.

  • There will be public access to school spaces (gym, office, cafeteria, library, stage, bathrooms) for community use.

  • School #10 will have partial second floor addition and will have a gym and cafeteria addition on the south end that can be used as community center after school hours as at #16.

  • Need to think more strategically about refurbishing School #44. Schmidt will look into #44 and bring back updated information.

  • Mike is traveling to Albany tonight for meeting tomorrow looking to have smart bond approved.

  • Biking – no safe place to store bikes at the schools; Brighton has high number of safety staff who help monitor bikers and bikes. City parents generally do not feel biking is safe for their children.

Library News

Libraries have received another large budget cut. Not yet clear as to how that will impact the branches.

  • Wheatley – 6X6 Art Show, 3/21, 4:30-6:30 can create a piece of artwork; 3/24, 10:30-1:30, Black Woman’s Book Fair (authors, poets, spoken word artists) books for purchase; Homework Tutor every Wed & Thur, 4-6pm; Resume Writing for Teens every Tuesday, 4-5pm; Tech Help by Literacy Navigators, Mon-Thurs – times vary; TASC Tutoring Thursdays 4-6pm

  • Arnett – Yoga for Teens every Thursday in March, 3:15-4pm ; Ar-knit and Crochet Club, 3/22, 5-6:45 for all skill levels; 3/29 Family Talk Workshop, 5:30-6:30 – how to talk with kids about healthy relationships (sex, drug abuse, etc.)

Path Forward Summary - John Boutet, Beatriz LeBron - https://youtu.be/zbIBf_BsN8c 39:00 to 55:30 min

  • In 2015 a Managed School Choice Task-Force was set up by Liz Hallmark Which included teachers, principals, parents and various education community committee members. Its objective was to look into how to improve or replace the the existing Managed School Choice Policy which was set up in 2002 and uses a lottery to determine who gets into the good schools.

  • A major need identified was the need to focus on upgrading the schools that are not a high choice in the school lottery so that all schools are attractive in some way.

  • The Managed School Choice (MSC) Task Force also promoted having students who do not get their school of choice in the lottery be placed in their neighborhood schools when possible. Short-distance busing is initially needed to institute this change. Parents want busing for safety reasons. NY State's busing reimbursement only applies for distances over 1.5 miles leading to parents picking schools that are 1.5 miles or more away so that their children get bused even if there is no educational advantage to that school.

  • In December 2016 a meeting held at School #44 led to space need assessment. The question was asked as to whether we should be reviewing the need for future classroom space as opposed to blindly closing schools based on State requirements that is based on 10 year old data. Mary Adams got a resolution written and adopted to hold off closing more schools until that new assessment is done. It is looking like we do need the existing schools.

  • To apply the MSC Task Force recommendations and Space Assessment information in a way that the Rochester Community approves of, the RCSD launched a “Path Forward” study in the fall of 2017 to gathered information from the community.

  • The School Board requested the Superintendent present at least three Path Forward options for the Board to chose from.

  • The 1st Path recommended was to go back to the original Managed School Choice Policy and implement it properly which includes monitoring schools that are not performing well and improving them.

  • The 2nd Path recommended was to implement the MSC but whenever possible place students who do not get their first choice or have no choice into a neighborhood school as the MSC Task-Force had favored.

  • The 3rd Path recommended is implementing a “Multi-Dimensional Socio-Economic Model” that looks at a number of factors that indicate each child's needs and place them in thel school that best meets those needs to the extent possible. The group was highly doubtful RCSD could make that happen given the difficulties implementing special education.

  • Beatriz felt the Board does not yet have enough information or data to make a decision around the 3 proposed options.

  • Transportation impacts single parent families in many ways (asthma and winter when families have to walk to school, working parent schedules, etc.)

Meeting Video - https://youtu.be/zbIBf_BsN8c from 55:30 min to 1:40:45 min covers many interesting discussions with Beatriz Lebron, Joe Baldino, School 44 teachers, Grace Bilodeau & Karen Lahr, and the rest of the committee considering ways to improve teacher/school/community interaction.

School #3 – Update - Gail Evans

  • No report.

School #10 – Update – Lee Loomis, Volunteer Coordinator

  • No report.

School #16 – Update – John Laing, John Boutet

  • Carla Roberts, Principal: Email report - School #1 scheduled to return to Post Ave for the 2018-19 school year; principal working collaboratively with the architects, constructors and district representatives to make the transition smooth. Roberts will be meeting with the SBPT (school based planning team) to discuss the school’s collaboration with the community as they transition back to the neighborhood. Principal has been monitoring latest construction and renovations on Post Ave.

  • John B was at SBPT meeting to talk about what SWCC Ed. Com. Is doing and find out whats #16 staff is doing. The need to let parents in the 19th Ward know that #16 is coming back to Post Avenue this fall is important. They need to know in time to sign up their kids. Teachers at SBPT suggested contacting WDKX: Lilliana Ruiz to try to get on Feedback Friday or Saturday Morning to get the word out to parents

  • There is a Project Fair 3/22 at Scio St. location. We'll have a table to publicize return to Post Ave.

School #19 – Update

  • No report

School #29 - Update - Joe Baldino

  • Backpack program extremely well received (filled with food) – Thank You, John Laing.

  • Large number of disabled students (136) and are focusing on making the school inclusive for all children with help from consultant Anita O-Brien:

    • redoing Mission & Vision with a focus on inclusivity

    • expanding gardening opportunities, including a sensory garden

    • large playground will be expanded and/or redesigned with help of RIT design students and legal consultants

    • buddy classrooms” connecting differently abled students

    • dance

    • visit Letchworth, which is accessible to handicapped

  • Recommendation: connect with Evan Dawson WXXI

  • Aenon Baptist Church doing their Bible School at School #29 in June

School #41 – Michael Schmidt

  • Past ground water pollution issues from Kodak facilities are currently not a problem. New testing of test wells will be done if any new construction that disturbs the grown is needed.

  • AQE/ MJ Education Committee is still fighting to try to minimize disruption to School 41 as they are forced to close and reopen as a new school by the state. Currently the state mandates the principal and ½ the teaching staff be replaced. They will keep the teaching staff stable for autistic student classes.

School #44 Update

  • Two School #44 teachers attended this meeting: Grace Bilodeau & Karen Lahr. There is still a lot of concern in the #44 staff about the future of the school.

  • Losing two pre-school classes of five in the upcoming school year, although Schmidt reported today that only one will be gone.

Wilson Commencement Update

  • World War I Memorial (almost 100 years old) is located in front of the school; Julie Roselli, principal, took the lead in getting the base of the memorial rebuilt.


  • New Facebook page offering updated information on students and programs

  • Youth Build will teach construction skills to 16-24 yr old at-risk youth and help them earn HSE; goal is to place them in construction jobs or higher education

City Recreation:

  • We heard that from Kevin Holman, Roxie Sinkler Director, that he has retired and has requested another Rec Center rep be assigned to our Committee.

Scribe Services: Eleanor Coleman, ProsperRochester Inc., 224 -5119,  eleanor.coleman@gmail.com

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

19thWCA Schools Committee Chair: John Laing, 235-5236, jlang1@rochester.rr.com

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