Kathy Johnson of Facilities went through a long explanation of our policy on functional capacity and how other districts figure this. She said that OSPI doesn't keep any stats or have a rec on capacity calculations which I find interesting. For the record here is what the district is stating (now) as functional capacity:
Functional Capacity at SPS is the target number of actual students that can be assigned to a school; accounting for school programmatic elements based on student demographics and service needs. Central Office calculation based on uniform space utiliation assumptions such as class size, homerooms and PCP offerings. SPS includes portables in capacity calculations. F/C is not how the school chooses to use their space. (italics theirs)
Note there are two slides for functional capacity: Slides 9 and 10. Slide 10 talks about how it is applied to buildings.
She mentioned that some other districts like Lake Washington are going to a K-6 model. She also said other nearby districts had declining enrollment except for Lake Washington (they will have 425 students more over the next 5 years).
What was interesting were the definitions from the National Center for Education Statistics (2005):
- overcrowded - larger than design capacity from 6-25%+
- at capacity - within 5% of designed capacity
- under capacity - enrollment is less than design capacity by 6-25%+
- secondary schools are more likely to be overcrowded than elementaries
- doesn't include portables/modular in base design capacity
Steve: I have schools in my district that feel full and wonder how to accommodate additional students next year. They understand keeping full but the question is how many central office wants versus school's wants. Amen, brother. It is hard when a school is used to having a couple of rooms for other purposes and how full is full?
Kathy said they resolve that working together. She said the Executive Directors will be working with principals on that issue.
Then there was a weird interchange with Sherry asking about changes in numbers (Hamilton dropping 50 seats. Don Kennedy said that they wouldn't have an explanation until Fall (2011). Kathy jumped in to say they will have it in January but not a "data run-thru".
Steve: on boundary requests, we set an overarching design to hold boundaries until 2015. Mr. Kennedy said they should try not to do any changes in year one or two and see how it goes.
Tracy stated that the deliverables - enrollment report - will have a capacity management report and the NSAP transition plan and in April/May the Board will be asked to vote on criteria for making changes.
Kathy referred to Slide 13 - Sample Metrics (where the type is so small as to be unreadable).
Michael said he would be strongly against moving towards 110-120%. He said there would be significant disruption in the academic environment.
Kathy said the idea is to get head of it - to see the trend coming.
Steve: on Madison, communities in West Seattle are trying to figure this out. Are we beyond boundary fixes and have to add new capacity? (Note; that means a new building or renovated building)
Tracy said in creating the Transition Plan for 2011-2012, to "beware of unintended consequences".
So the vibe I got was that staff realized that there are growing pains to the NSAP but that they are reluctant to do anything big. However, then we got to Garfield.
There was no discussion of the district knowing this was coming and not having a plan. Ideas include:
- split schedules (Auburn and Eastlake School districts are doing this). They said next Wednesday (which would be today the 8th) there would be 3 possible scenarios presented and a letter to the community would go out.
- Optional program at Ingraham.
- changing the boundaries (there were maps outlining the various changes)
Steve said that a split schedule seemed like a mitigation point to him and would be transitional.
Kay pointed out that expanding Nova's geographical zone would do little as Nova is full. She said she would rather push south with Garfield's boundary than north. Betty concurred.
Kay seemed to think the student might like the split schedule and the opportunities it affords.
Sherry also seemed to lean towards pushing the boundaries south. She liked the idea of the APP/IB strand at Ingraham. She said that moving more students into RBHS would reinforce the need for good programming.
Michael said Map F would be precluded and that the problem is to ind balance across all the schools and that RBHS is the challenge. He said the district needs to have a convincing case for families to move to RBHS and that's what the boundary change could do. He said Franklin is full at 9th grade. He agrees with Harium who said the boundary changes should be their last choice.
Tracy said she was hearing good informational feedback from the directors and it was what she needed.
And here, dear readers, is where I left after sitting through nearly 6 hours of meetings that day. So I missed the discussion of:
- tiebreakers for schools and programs
- Non-Attendance Area K sibs
- geographic zones for Option schools
- HS open seats
- Sequencing of applications processing
- Program placement
One thing to comment on is the Slide for high school open seats (slide 49) is what the heck is this?
Basically, it would be for 25% of 9th/10th graders of school's functional capacity, if 11th/12th grades is more than 50% of functional capacity, reduce the open seats target so that total enrollment is not greater than 100% functional capacity. They would publish a minimum target of open choice seats at each school each year and it would be a minimum of 10% of 9th/10th grade target enrollment (unless the school's enrollment is already at its functional capacity. The minimums would not change based on changes in attendance area population. May have more than the published minimum if attendance area residents are less than 90% of target enrollment.
Did you read all the way thru that? Why??? It's nonsense, of course and every single middle school parent should push back on it. What kind of voodoo is this? Pick a number and stick with it.