The Education Committee of the SW Common Council

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

6:30 to 8:00 pm at

Arnett Branch Library, 310 Arnett Boulevard

Minutes Posted on: www.locationSW.org/group/sw-education-forum


Joe Baldino              School #29, 490-2245, joseph.baldino@rcdk12.org

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

Elizabeth Eng           Adult-Family Educator, 324-3144, 314-5241, Elizabeth.eng@rcsdk12.org

Gail Evans                 School #3/Corn Hill, gaile810@gmail.com

Fred Hagan              19th Ward, Chemist, 444-3998

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

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

Natalie Sheppard     RCSD School Board eff. Jan 2017, natalie.sheppard86@gmail.com


Library News

  • Branch Facilities Study still in process; stakeholders meeting went well; RFP out for the facilities planning project development – hope to have word by the end of December.

  • Wheatley

    • Snowman Snow Globes 12/13, 5:30-6:30pm – decorate your own snowman

    • Hot Cocoa & a Movie 12/19, 4-5:30pm

    • Wild Wi Day, 12/27, 5-6:30pm

    • Homework Help Wed & Thur, 4-6pm

    • Take it Down Traveling Exhibit is there for viewing. Removal of racially offensive panel from the Ontario Beach Park Dentzel Carousel. Carousel panel has become an educational exhibit that includes the panel as well as text and video elements on the panel artwork’s history and its modern implications.

    • Kwanzaa Festial 2017, 12/28, 2-5pm

    • Tech Help w/ Literacy Navigators , Mon – Thurs, 11am - 5 pm

  • Arnett

    • Puppeteering Awards 12/26, 12-4; Puppet Show 12/30, 1:30pm

    • Game of Pet Life – 12/27, 2:30 pm – learn about the costs of caring for a pet, Ages 8-12

    • SySTEMic Science Project for teens, 12/20, 4 pm

    • Free TASC Tutoring continues, Monday 12:30-2:30

School #10 - Update

  • Lee Loomis provided a written report for Nov & Dec highlighting School #10 field trips and projects.Winter

  • Wonderland & Family Fitness Fun Night, 12/20, 6-7:30pm includes “Take a Picture w/ Santa”

School #16 - Update

  • Construction continues; gym looks like it’s been closed in on the sides.

  • John Laing and wife continue to volunteer

  • Next Spelling Bee is in April; first 2 winners of the original event now in college (MCC & RIT) and are eligible for $500 awards.

  • Will talk next meeting at the Tues at the 19th Ward Schools Committee meeting (Association office on Thurston) at 7pm about recruiting for School #16. Will reach out to City Rec (Kevin Holman) and Betsy Romson (longtime resident) who have a strong interest in recruiting and attracting students from the neighborhood.

  • Early Childhood will be promoting Kindergarten at School #16 Pre-K (which is housed at School #10) soon and is assuming those students will be going to School #16.

School #29 Update - Joe Baldino

  • Cabinet meeting held at school today; highlighted School# 29’s effort to become part of the neighborhood.

  • Garden will get a new face-lift next season. Marian Boutet donated several tomato plants; students can use this as classroom education. Capital Improvement Planning includes more parking spaces and maintaining the gardens around them while also building new flower boxes.

  • Playgrounds – half-court basketball court to be added; open space for soccer and football. Lawyers for Learning will help playground to be accessible for disabled. Public can use building permits to make use of the physical education spaces.

  • Painted Ballards – lots of positive feedback on the ones that were done by the students with guidance from the Art Teacher; definitely something to replicate.

  • Will continue to be a good neighbor.

  • One extra RTI teachers and two reading teachers. Optimistic about the impact of these extra resources.

  • E-Books: Obama's instituted accessibility to many electronic books. Still appears to be a resource. Google Obama E-Book Program

School #44 Update - Facilities Capacity & Needs Assessment Impact

  • No Report

Wilson Commencement Update - Jean Kozlowski-Willmarth (Speech Therapist @ Wilson Magnet)

  • Per Joe, Wilson is part of the Path Forward project, which is a strategic plan to improve RCSD in many different areas. Using Wilson because it has IB, extensive IP courses, etc. Want to replicate the rigor of the school curriculum. Choosing sites to model; replicate what works. Superintendent will put forth 3 plans at the end of December for review.


  • Legislative Breakfast 12/7; Open House in January

  • YouthBuild will be officially starting up soon and will teach 18-24 year-olds construction skills.

School #3 – Gail Evans

  • Gail Evans is the new representative for School #3; this is her first meeting and she will be orienting herself to school issues; has reviewed an initial document stating concerns and will follow up.

Work w/ AQE/Metro Justice on Behalf of School #41

  • John Boutet attended a recent MetroJustice meeting about School #41 possibly going into receivership. Have a short window in which to justify keeping the school open. Looking at becoming a community school that has wrap-around services. Could the portables that are no longer going to be used at School #10 be used at School #41?

  • There is a local receiver who is interested and has put in a bid, but not authorized. Other option is to close the school down and open it up again as something else.

  • What is the Brownfield status of this location?

  • Creating Great Schools – Regents Policies Panel Discussion on Tuesday 12/5, 7-9pm @ World of Inquiry

Rochester Prep/St. Paul Street Brownfield Site – Dan DeMarle & Fred Hagan - YouTube of discussion at https://youtu.be/WOMnZmDX3_k

  • In 2014, it was reported that 690 St. Paul/175 Martin St. is a Brownfield. Assumed that the precautionary steps had been taken; County had known for 4 months that the same pollutants crossed the street; TCE exposure. Good news – students there now are significantly safer than any other students who have been there. Initially, starting in 2000, Edison Charter School children spent several years in the building while contaminants went unchecked; 2002, huge storage tank of chemicals found by contractor; 2003, kids getting sick – high level of carbon dioxide (poor air flow). 2004 – kids were vomiting because air was so bad. 2008 – RCSD signs 15 year lease – over $1 million per year. COB, pays $1.4 million a year across the street. After RCSD signs contract, contractor Dante Gullace from Genesee Valley Real Estate Company files for Brownfield assistance; School 33 entered building, then School 10; 2008 - more contaminants in soil and radioactive thorium; School Board voted to not allow kids in building, but staff stayed and it continued to be rented to Charter Schools. 2014 – building deemed unsafe; TCE – 5 mg’s is maximum limit; some samples outside had over 3,000 mg’s. 2015 – remediation was done; in June, 2015, owner signs an environmental easement stating that ground water can never be used for anything and the building can never be used for residential use (yet we still have children in the building).

  • New round of testing going on; doubtful the community will receive the results.

  • Fred Hagan invited to this meeting because he has a strong chemical background. TCE used in early 1900’s until they discovered it caused cancer. Used as a degreasing solvent for water and oil. Low boiling point , can leave the soil and get right into the air. When you breath it, it rapidly goes into your lungs and deposits into fatty tissue. Leaves the body quickly. TCE is not the only compound noted there. Removed top soil and put on new soil. Deeper reservoir will travel back up. There should be a plan for this. What we’re exposed to as adults is not as crucial as a child’s developing nervous system.

  • Questions to ask: What monitoring has been done and what is planned going forward?

  • District should make reports public, not just say “it’s safe.”

Walk-in Items

  • School #19 – due to a recent bomb threat, lunches were supplied from Central Office; teacher found mouse feces on the chicken mcnuggets and posted a photo online. Though teacher was told to take the photo down, it was reported to the Department of Health.

  • Recommendation: SWCC or another entity should recognize the Art Teacher (Maureen Frazier) at School #29 who organized the painting of the ballards.

  • World War I Memorial in front of Wilson for all students from the neighborhood who died in the war. Dan recommending that teachers develop a curriculum for students around this memorial and then in 2018, the 100th Anniversary – rededicate the memorial.

Views: 61

Replies to This Discussion

Note that a link to the video of the brownfield discussion https://youtu.be/WOMnZmDX3_k  has been added to the minutes.


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