I wasn't able to attend the Integrated Planning Workshop of December 9, but here is the Powerpoint for your review.
I just have a few notes on the slides.
* I see the annual enrollment report has been pushed out.
* I wonder why the Tentative Funding for Schools Set and Tentative Central Office Reductions, which are scheduled for February 11, 2011, appear on the timeline ahead of some January things.
* I see that the report to the community on the Budget Survey is scheduled for tomorrow, a Saturday. That's odd.
* I see that the introduction for the Board motion on the Transition Plan is scheduled for January 5. That's before they even see the enrollment report or the capacity management report. They vote on the 19th, before they have had much time to consider them.
* Nothing on the whole first slide has anything to do with Academic Assurances. On the second slide only two items address the topic: curriculum alignment and "Equitable access to programs and services".
* We REALLY need to pay attention to this statement about "Equitable access to programs and services". I hear it a lot but I have yet to see the District take any action in support of it. On the contrary, the District concentrates programs geographically instead of distributing them geographically. Consider: the two elementary APP sites are less than three miles apart, and both in the Washington Service Area. The District wants to add another language immersion program in the north end, but they want to add it in the Hamilton Service Area, same as JSIS. How does this provide any access for students in the Whitman or Eckstein Service Areas? It doesn't. Likewise, they will add sister programs for Concord and Beacon Hill, but they will add them in the same middle school service areas as the existing programs. That's totally messed up. That is literally the opposite of equitable access, yet no one seems to question this plan or quit claiming this goal. Bizarre.
* The District says that they want to expand Advanced Learning programs by adding 5 additional sites. This is crazy since they can't operate the sites they have now. When the District added three ALO sites this year they promised that the new ones would not be "ALO in name only", yet there is no evidence that they are anything but exactly that. In fact, there is little evidence that any of the advanced learning programs actually exist and there is no evidence that they are effective.
* When did the District decide to offer IB at Rainier Beach? Who decided this? What community engagement was done around this?
* Focus on increased academic rigor at West Seattle HS/Madison MS. Why is this included in the Advanced Learning slide instead of the Academic Assurances slide?
* Name new elementary International School in Hamilton service area. As I wrote earlier, how does this represent equitable access to programs? How hard would it be for them to place the next language immersion program in a school in another service area, but adjacent to the Hamilton Service Area then create a feeder pattern to Hamilton?
Non-Attendance Area K Siblings
* Here's the long and the short of it: Surge capacity has been maxed out. Surge capacity was a one-year transitional strategy for 2010-11 and it would be unrealistic for us to expect that it will be possible to increase surge capacity further for next year in most schools. Conclusion: Non-attendance area kindies are S.O.L. for 2011-2012 (and going forward).
* The District staff acknowlege that there are serious capacity concerns in various hotspots around the district. Their response? "Yeah, you just sit tight. We'll get back to you on that."
West Seattle Issues
* Four elementaries feed to Madison and West Seattle while six elementaries feed to Denny and Sealth. This could lead to dramatic imbalance between the schools. District's response: Donworryaboutit. There will be plenty of room at each school for all of the kids who want to go.
* There are 28 students on the wait list for Lafayette Spectrum. Eleven of those kids are from outside the area; the District thinks they should just go to the Spectrum program in their own neighborhood. Seventeen of the kids on the waitlist are from the Madison Service Area. The District staff have noticed that 22 of the kids now in Lafayette Spectrum are from outside the area, so they conclude that there would not be a waitlist at Lafayette Spectrum if people would just attend the Spectrum program in their own neighborhood. Consequently they conclude that there is no problem here at all. Next!
* From the slides it appears that the staff is looking to adjust the Garfield/Franklin and Franklin/Rainier Beach attendance area boundaries to shift 200 students from Garfield to Franklin and 300 students from Franklin to Rainier Beach.
* From the slides it appears that the sentiment is to make an attractive program for APP students at Ingraham, but not to automatically assign students to it.
AS#1 Gets a Reprieve
* As has been discussed.