Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Board Meeting Tonight

Today sees both the Work Session on Capacity Management and the regular Board meeting.

The Capacity Management Work Session starts at 4 p.m.  These are the supporting documents.
Look at the Presentation because there's a definition of Functional Capacity (collect 'em all) AND why it fluctuates.  According to the 2011 Capacity and Enrollment numbers, the district is at 97% capacity utilized with K-5 at 104%.

The Board meeting starts at 6 p.m.

The Board meeting looks like it could be shorter than usual with a lighter-than-usual agenda.   The public testimony list is full.  The Teaching and Learning update will be presented by Cathy Thompson on ICS and Inclusion.  I note that 6 of the speakers on the public testimony list will be speaking on the ICS program. 

As previously mentioned, we will hear from Robert Boesche, the interim CFO, and Pegi McEvoy, the interim COO.  Ms. McEvoy will be speaking on the VAX.

31 comments:

Anonymous said...

Excellent! Another dog-and-pony-show extolling the virtues of ICS. Problems? There are none, of course. Will we hear some tear jerking news about some kindergartener in their local school? Every student is getting what he/she needs! I'm sure the new grand poo-bah will be sure to tell the board that... again.

But, ask the parents. We know better. It is an unmitigated disaster. Let's see how many of these parent speakers are positive. Any bets?

sped parent

Po3 said...

Last page of NSAP Presentation:

"April 6 Board work session to discuss metrics, criteria for opening, repurposing, and closing schools, and the framework for the annual capacity management report.

Is closing schools on the table right now?

Greg said...

Speaking of board work sessions, I've lost track, where are we on the district budget for next year? Are they still using the budget proposed by Goodloe-Johnson, the one Meg Diaz described here:

http://dolcenutella.blogspot.com/2011/02/budget-workshop-recap-shorter-and.html

Is that budget still the working budget? Not final, but also likely to be close to what is implemented?

In short, I'm confused about where we are in the budget process and whether the departure of the superintendent had any impact on the budget process. Does anyone know?

Dorothy Neville said...

Greg, we are all confused about that very thing. Peter said it is too late to change anything. Kay thinks we need to do a budget refresh. Will Robert Boesche be a miracle worker?

Juana said...

"Peter said it is too late to change anything." That is really a lame argument by Maier. Getting it right is more important.

SeattleSped said...

SPS should undertake a zero-based budgeting exercise. Build every department from scratch, look at staff skills and functions, then only retain that which directly benefits schools and students.

emeraldkity said...

They are 2 to 3 times as likely to be identified as Emotionally/Behaviorally Disabled

As whom?
As white kids? As Asian kids? Then why don't they say that?

I had to fight to get my white daughter tested for learning disabilities- actually having to go outside the district & then showing them the results.
At the same time she had friends " of color" who had to fight to get into advanced math classes.

Every teacher & staff member in the district should have taken a comprehensive child development course as well as a developmental course that goes into ways of learning & accommodations and work arounds for disabilities.

I agree with sped parent.
More likely it will be another bout of patting each other on the back.

Melissa Westbrook said...

Po3, I don't think closing schools is. (I think I read someplace else for sure not this year.) I think it's just standard text.

Anonymous said...

I see Melissa signed up to speak at the board meeting about World Language Credits - what are your thoughts about this? For or against?

Sincerely,

Parent Looking for Credits for My Child

Jan said...

There has NEVER been a reasonable budget process. Kay is totally right on this one. I like SeattleSped's idea. But at a minimum, we need to get ALL of the available dollars on the table, and then set a limit (like 1% LESS than the current average of other districts -- because we are in a crisis, and are trying to push dollars to schools -- NOT central administration) -- and tell central they have to figure out how to staff central admin functions within that amount.

That is what the states are doing. They just announce how much each agency gets of the total amount available -- they don't invite one agency (central admin) to come in before the others (the schools) and announce how much it needs/wants -- with the others to make do with whatever is left over.

Melissa Westbrook said...

I am for them. I agree with Chris Jackins that it might be fair to allow ALL native speakers (no matter the language) credit but I also see the difficulties there could be. But I think students who can show ability in any language taught in SPS should get credit for it.

I actually won't be speaking very much on this subject as there are other issues to address like Pottergate.

Anonymous said...

I'm wondering what will happen to Lowell as it is already overcrowded and beyond functional capacity. It's enrollment exceeds that of Rainier Beach.

The Board report lists next year's strategy as "continue to use surge capacity." What surge capacity? PCP classes are already in spaces that can't be used as classrooms.

Having three programs makes it more challenging to adjust for class sizes/splits and portables aren't an option (due to rules about ratios of building footprint to open space).

There will need to be additional ALO classes next year and beyond to accommodate the larger K and 1st grade cohorts. There are currently two ALO classes for each of grades K and 1 (4 classrooms total), yet in the upper grades it's only a 3/4 and 4/5 split (2 classrooms total).

How is it in West Seattle?

-Feeling the growing pains

Anonymous said...

Am I imagining things, or did a linked file just disappear? There was a school by school list with functional capacity numbers and now I can't seem to locate it.

The Watcher said...

When are schools notified of their budget allocation?

I'm wondering if elementary counselors were eliminated.

The budget meetings did not reflect a closed gap. There was not a concensus regarding cuts i.e. WSS vs HQ

There are still many unanswered questions. I guess these questions will be answered behind closed doors.

I don't see another budget meeting scheduled.

So much for transparency.

Anonymous said...

Principals were given their school's budget on Feb. 18th. Elementary counselors are not in the budgets.

A parent

wsnorth said...

It seems they just ignored the schools that are already at 150% of design capacity (like most of those in the "Northern" part of West Seattle).

I guess if there are enough portables and places to huddle out of the rain, that's sufficient (for a third world school district, anyway).

Charlie Mas said...

I find it interesting that the District only needs six months (from March to September) to allow credit for learning students did outside the District in World Languages, but needed three times as long to allow credit for learning students did inside the District if done at a middle school.

Charlie Mas said...

Note that schools have to be at 125% of capacity to be considered "Severely Above Capacity" or "Severely Overcrowded" on some slides, only 110% of capacity on slide 22, and 115% of capacity on slide 23. Notice that only one school, Gatewood, is more than 115% of capacity now. Bryant is just normal.

wsnorth said...

I think "Severely Above Capacity" or "Severely Overcrowded" is when 25% + of students are housed in tents in the parking lot. Rusty, moldy portables, inadequate lunchrooms, crowded gyms, dangerous playgrounds, insufficient bathrooms, fire trap hallways, etc. are not an issue. Students and parents are so spoiled these days, expecting running water and sanitary facilities within 500 yards. Jeez.

Luz said...

SPS's definitions of overcrowding are ridiculous. View Ridge is not in the list, it currently has 575 students, its functional capacity was posted last year as 534 (I found that on Meg's blog, can't find the original functional capacity for all schools either) so it's "only" at 107% with 4 Ks, 4 first grade classrooms, 4 second grade classrooms and 4 third grade classrooms. And expected enrollment for K next year? Will definitely fill four classrooms. Where are they going to put all the students as they move up? I see no graph for such a school, do you? I wonder which other schools are in a similar situation.

emeraldkity said...

In the utilization site analysis from 2005-the capacity for View Ridge without portables is 385.
With portables it is 479.
Have they extensively remodeled View Ridge since 2005?
Crammed more students into a classroom?
Done away with dedicated broom closets?

Luz said...

They have not remodeled VR, there are definitely more kids per classroom, and there could have been a shift in programs. But for sure we need one extra classroom next year.

Dorothy Neville said...

Re Capacity Management Worksession. Yes, a board member asked about known overcrowded schools that didn't end up on the official list. The answer was ... it depended on what the principal and building team decided to do with the space. So if a school decided to make all the classrooms really crowded so wasn't teaching classes in closets and on the stage, then they weren't considered as full as schools that were. At least that's the way I interpreted the somewhat convoluted answer. Mel was taking notes and I am sure she has something clearer to add. But she's off to that press conference this morning.

Oh, and Michael asked about high schools, why wasn't Garfield on this list? Answer was that they weren't thinking about high schools in the same way. Michael countered that since high schools were so much larger, being at 15% over capacity is really a LOT of students. This does affect the school tremendously and there needs to be better focus on their issues.

emeraldkity said...

At least that's the way I interpreted the somewhat convoluted answer.

SO making the educational experience equitable isn't really about equalizing opportunity after all is it if school get to decide how many students to have in a classroom, & what size space can count as a classroom.

dan dempsey said...

Could it be the true capacity problem should be viewed as a bathroom capacity problem?

What is the Pupils per Potty ratio?

Now we are talking true functional capacity.


Bring on the Porta-Pottys.

The each school's current level of crowding can be analyzed in the school's average weekly Poop Per Porta-Potty (4-P). Of course a new position will be created at JSCEE..... Director of 4-P research.

After all no one is against appropriately placed Pee.

Luz said...

Right on, Dan!
I doubt that the principals have much say currently on the number of students they have to accept. After all, that's the deal with the NSAP, you get what you get...

Chris S. said...

Great suggestion Dan, but my school has far more toilets than hand-washing facilities. How 'bout that ratio? (And associated 'eeeew' factor?)

Buy stock in hand sanitizer.

Anonymous said...

For me, the overcrowding presents some real safety issues. Can all the kids be evacuated safely in an emergency? Can they have school assemblies without exceeding the fire code?

Shouldn't the "functional" capacity numbers take into account the building's more practical functions, such as bathroom facilities, lunchroom capacity, fire code requirements, etc.?

Just because the teacher contract allows 32 kids in a class does not mean it's safe to squeeze 32 kids into a room designed for 25.

Not feeling safe

Anonymous said...

Hey, I just want to give a shout-out to the new WS North Capacity parent group that made their concerns known at the Board Meeting.

Lafayette parent

wsnorth said...

Lafayette parent, do you have a contact for the WS North Capacity parent group? That is awesome.

Anonymous said...

Hey WSnorth, I thought that was you! write to beckycarlson@comcast.net or check your lafayette or schmitz park bulletin.

Lafayette parent