(Did anyone attend Tuesday's? I think Dorothy said she did. I looked at the PowerPoint and there is a lot of stuff that I wish I had heard presented. I'll have to tease it out in another thread.
Here are my notes from the PowerPoint of the 2nd of last week's "integrated" work sessions (a mash-up of budget and transition plan). I did not stay until the end so help me out if you did.
All the Directors were in attendance as was Dr. Goodloe-Johnson. They started at page 45 of the previous day's work session.
They started talking about program placement and the new possible Accelerated IB program in response to the overcrowding at Garfield. It would be modeled after the program at Interlake over in Bellevue. (I'll just say here that I think it's done. The community would have to rise up, en masse, to prevent it. I just think there's way too much work already done for this to be just a "possibility." The question is whether it will be optional or mandatory.) There was also mention of an IB CTE (vocational center) at Ingraham but I honestly know nothing about what this means or takes to create.
It was claimed that all the APP student could fit at Ingraham even after the Ingraham remodel.
They next talked about AS#1. The claim was that AS#1 enrollment was continuing to drop despite established enrollment goals. Tracy said the AS#1 students could go to either Jane Addams or Thorton Creek.
Next was Madrona and Rainier Beach High School.
Madrona's enrollment has declined from 426 to 356 this year. In discussions with the community, the community expresses a desire for a music emphasis, engagement with community partnerships and basically, outreach to the neighborhood.
We can pause here to recall that several years back many in the neighborhood had wanted to engage with Madrona but were ignored or discouraged in their efforts by the then-principal. And, the district didn't act like the mediator that they should have. This should be a good school.
RBHS is at 425, down from 500 last year. Some of ideas generated were an IB at RBHS, a K-12 continum from Rainier View Elementary to Aki Kurose Middle to RBHS. The PTSA there has offered some other options like a legal/law enforcement focus. They want the needs of SE students addressed. The SE Executive Director was to meet with the PTSA but that meeting was postponed because of the snow.
Tracy then asked for questions.
Peter brought up AS#1. (My first thought was "good, it's one of the schools in your district".) What did you ask? Before it's closed, what would go in? He seriously asked this question without one word of defense or acknowledgment for AS#1. He said he wanted more info on this idea of Pre-K going in there, condition of the building and "internal" staff capacity to make the change. He also wanted the financials and noted if there was Pre-K, they wouldn't need a principal. Where would AS#1 students go?
Harium said he was concerned with the assumption that there would be somewhere for AS#1 students to go. He said Thorton Creek "had no more room at the inn" and Salmon Bay was nearly at that point. He expressed concern about the unpredictability heaped on AS#1 and that their dropping enrollment reflect that ( at least in part).
Kay said she wanted to see cost estimates for repurposing Pinehurst. She echoed Harium's concern over the unpredictability that AS#1 has faced. She said the district should look at the spcial qualities of the program and how they dovetail with other programs (outdoor leadership for example). Maybe they could be co-housed with another program? She said that the letter sent to 5th grade parents about middle schools did not mention option schools and specifically what was available in their region. "We did a disservice to K-8s."
Betty said she was worried about a closure. She asked staff to remember why AS#1 was created in the first place and how might we keep it.
Sherry said she could see both sides. She said that AS#1 enrollment had been in decline for a decade. She noted, however, that AS#1's 6-8 enrollment(72%) is higher than South Shore's (57%). Good point (and South Shore needs a long, hard look at how their program is doing 10 years out). She also said it was puzzled to be looking at pre-k seats when we need K-8/middle school seats.
Steve said the decision wouldn't be made in advance of the Program Placement Committee recommendations and when would that come back to the Board? Dr. Enfield said she didn't know but would let the C&I Committee know.
Michael said he was struck by the difference in how AS#1 is being treated, that there is no discussion of the program. He said he was looking for consistency in how we treat school communities. He said AS#1 is not the least underenrolled school. He said we need a baseline that we can justify and defend that applies to all schools (a series of steps to follow).
Kay said that Madrona is excited about the idea of an enhanced music program and that there could be synergy between Washington Middle and Madrona K-8. She said potential Madrona parents are interested in a foreign language immersion program or, if that isn't possible, a foreign language teacher. She said there was support from Broadway Bound for working with RBHS on their performing arts program.
(I would just interject here that it sure would behoove the district to find a grant from someone so that we can bring more foreign language instruction into our K-5s faster. It is clearly a draw and once brought on-line with grant money, would likely be sustained by the increased enrollments.)
Sherry seemed a little dismissive about the idea of a legal/law enforcement program at RBHS. She said they need to have programs for jobs for the future such as STEM. I would disagree. I think if you have strong math and science instruction at all the high schools, they don't all have to have that as a focus.
Betty said she wanted to let people know that one reason for that legal/law enforcement focus at RBHS is because an NBA player who went to RBHS is willing to fund it. (Then she congratulated the Super and staff for placement of programs at RBHS. No, I didn't get it.)
Tracy then, as I noted elsewhere, kind of rushed through the public program placement requests. The slide was up like 15 seconds. She said there were 12 but not much merit to them. One more came in late because of the snow. (I reviewed much of this elsewhere.)
End of coverage of the Powerpoint from the first work session. I'll start with the Powerpoint from Wednesday in another thread.