Meeting Clipboard: 1/14/21

Meeting held virtually via ZOOM videoconferencing.

MEMBERS ATTENDING (22): Dick Drumm, Bill Dowd, Carol Orvis, Murray Forth, Maggie Forth, Peter Brown, Debbie Brown, Debbie Rodriguez, Geoff Brewer, Terry Brewer, Tony Morris, Charlie Foote, Roberto Martinez, Jim Leyhane, Dean Calamaras, Doris Calamaras, Pat Bailey, Andy Leyhane, Kevin Leyhane, Becky Raymond, Phil Kellerman, John Justino.

GUESTS (2): Lara Vazquetelles, Carrie Knudsen.

MEETING NOTES: President Dick Drumm welcomed members and guests. The 22 members constituted the largest such group we have had since transitioning from in-person to virtual meetings for this Rotary Year. … Bill Dowd reminded members that rather than sending out repetitive emails each week to give Rotarians the link to our ZOOM meetings, everyone is asked to check the calendar page on the club website to find the link and simply click on it to access the session. …

Our guests were two teachers from the East Greenbush Central School District, sharing their experiences so far handling “Education In the Age of Pandemic” — Lara Vazquetelles, a veteran special education teacher who joined the district in September, and Carrie Knudsen, who has been teaching sixth-graders at Goff Middle School.

They discussed the changes in public education created by the pressures of the COVID-19 pandemic.

They touched on the variables in class size, the need for innovative use of technology, group dynamics, distractions during virtual instruction (barking dogs, loud music, etc.), the ongoing need for socialization while maintaining proper distancing and safety measures, and so forth.

They took questions from members both during the meeting and for another 20 minutes or so in an “after hours” session attended by nearly every member who had participated in the formal meeting period.

NEXT MEETING: 7 p.m. Thursday, January 21. Terry Brewer will lead a discussion on the possibilities of applying for 501(c)3 IRS status (the club currently is recognized as a 501(c)4 organization) and the pros and cons of creating a foundation as an adjunct to the club. Members have been sent copies of an analysis by Terry that will serve as background for the discussion.

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