3 tired children, a very hot room, and a very slow-paced meeting led to my decision to leave and go home.
7:05 pm --- the recommendations....finally but Board members asking questions after each section so this could drag on for a while
- Six buildings permanent closure
- One building temporary closure
- Nine programs recommended for relocation
- Two new programs
- Five programs discontinued
- Relocate SBOC from Old Hay to Meany and co-locate with Nova High School
- Meany Middle school students assigned elsewhere
- Involves change in SBOC model, students allowed to stay in school longer
- Carr asking question about whether or not honoring earlier promises to SBOC community
- Martin-Morris asking how Meany students will be re-assigned; Tracy says it's complicated and provides different scenarios based on where the student currently lives; described some of the transportation implications as well. Looked at reassignments where children would be able to access school buses.
- Bass concerned about what happens to Meany students as well. Concern about "cohesion" and "displacement" of students.
1) Do programs need to move to other areas of the district to improve equity/access? Or be added? How will closures affect student learning and district financial health?
2) Evaluating buildings based on 5 guidelines: a) balancing capacity across district; b) building condition based on Meng study (buildings with condition below 79 were candidates for closure; above 79 candidates for re-purposing); c) cost per pupil; d) other schools close-by serving same grade levels; e) academic performance
Closure timeline presented (nothing new here). Make sure to check the website for all details and look at when you need to call/e-mail to sign up to speak at the Board meetings and site hearings at schools scheduled for closure.
Demographics presentation by Tracy Libros. This year had an increase in enrollment, driven entirely by elementary enrollment. Total enrollment had been dropping for a decade. Had the largest Kindergarten class this year in a decade.
Grades 6-8 have been dropping as smaller cohorts move through. But we expect to see that climb back up again as larger enrollment numbers in elementary move up.
High school is the area with the largest drop in enrollment numbers. Expect that continue until to 2012.
By area of the city, expecting increases in elementary enrollment in every cluster except Southeast and Central.
I get the feeling that the Board has been told to ask questions to drag this section out until 7 pm. This feels endless.
Holly talking about "definitions."
Planning capacity: teaching stations X average class size; 25% set aside
Average class size used: 23-K to 3; 25-4 to 5; 30-9 to 12
Results in macro-level average capacities across the system
- Planning capacity compared against the actual use of the building
- Results in building-specific capacity numbers
Bell has concerns with some of this....too subjective. "After reading the analysis, a number of our schools are under planning capacity, but 30% are actually over...." due to efficient use of buildings and high demand. "Almost any school will fill space available."
Holly talking about how it involves "walking the building, looking at what's there...also looking at what could be there."
Goodloe-Johnson said changed policy this year. Principals no longer allowed to set their own lower desired capacity. Final decision about capacity now rests with district.
Don Kennedy showing "savings" for closing buildings, different for elementary school, K-8, middle school and high school.
Martin-Morris asking question about potential costs for closing school buildings, wanting clarification about which budget year those costs would be applied to.
Bell asking for analysis of capital costs that can be avoided through closure and consolidation process. Also wants to make sure one-time costs of closures do not impact this year's operating budget. Kennedy says costs will be covered by using budget reserve. Will present details to Board at December 17th meeting.
Don Kennedy talking about fiscal challenges and potential solutions.
Expected expenditures increased, created $24 million shortfall for FY2010.
Review of Weighted Staffing Standards model "Cost savings through identifying and prioritizing the most critical services for student achievement."
Potential elimination of I-728 funds from state. Final state budget revealed end of December.
At 7 pm the district will post the proposal on the web site and send out an e-mail to media.
This is the page to watch: https://www.seattleschools.org/area/capacity/index.dxml
I wonder if they are going drag this out and not make the announcement until then...
Just saw another blog author --- Johnny Calcagno.
Southeast Education Progress Report - Aki, Kurose, Rainier Beach and Cleveland principals presenting
Cleveland principal makes interesting reference to doing the things that "90/90/90" schools do. Will do research and post more about that later. Basically, these are schools with mostly low-income and children of color achieving beyond expectations. Discussing staff development and other efforts as well.
Talking about increase in number of honors and AP classes being offered. Daily "learning walks," changing in culture/climate, home visits, back-to-school nights, and much more.
Turned over meeting to Dr. Goodloe-Johnson.
"Preliminary recommendations...come directly out of our vision...and work for Excellence for All...$24 million known budget shortfall for next year, and that number may grow...We can expect a 7% additional cut from the state...an additional $21 million...Sister districts losing money this fiscal year...important for framing the acceleration and why we are making the decisions that we do to reduce the overcapacity that we have."
"If we don't make these decisions...the flip side would be very deep cuts to programs...building closure is only one of many strategies...Looking at making central office cuts...reviewing weighted staffing standards...efficiency audit...balancing budget and creating a stronger district for our families." "The team considered various options for every single school...kept returning to "How does this recommendation strengthen schools for every single family..."
Actions to reach vision
- Math and Science
- Data systems
- Hiring process (timely, efficient and attracts highest caliber talent) and
- Managing capacity and student assignment system (tonight's focus)
Outlining the "problem" (restating issues that have already been presented in the past)
The meeting room at the Stanford Center is now full and overflowing. Cheryl Chow has just opened the meeting. Calling it a School Board "work session." Dialogue between Directors and Staff. (understood: not audience)
The room is still quite empty within only 15 minutes to go before the "workshop" starts. There are almost as many media folk as parents.
Mel, Charlie, Chris Jackins, Denise Gonzalez-Walker, and other long-term parent education advocates are here.