The District staff gave the School Board a briefing on the current status of Capacity Management yesterday afternoon.
I'll give you the short version: The plane has flown into the mountain.
The District will be seriously deficient in capacity for 2012-2013 all over the place:
Elementary schools in every part of the city except the Hamilton and McClure service areas will be at or over capacity.
Elementary schools in the Denny service area will be critically over capacity.
Four middle schools will be critically over capacity: Aki Kurose, Eckstein, Mercer and Whitman.
The numbers for 2013-2014 and 2014-2015 just get worse.
Here's the worst news of all: the District does a perfectly terrible job of counting students and counting seats. The numbers shown to the Board are "adjusted" numbers. They are adjusted to discount students in option schools, students in APP, and students in K-8s. So, although the District reduced the student count for these populations, they didn't discount the school capacities for these populations.
Take a look at the numbers for Hamilton. It shows that the school has a functional capacity of 938 and it shows "adjusted" student population in the service area of 661, so they conclude that the school will only be at 70% of capacity. Gee. I guess they forgot about the 220 or so APP students at Hamilton. Put them into the school and the building is at 94% of capacity. Or, viewed another way, reduce the capacity of the school by 220 students and the school's capacity for area students is 92% full.
Is this the way that they calculated the right size for the Garfield attendance area? Did they forget to reduce the capacity available in the school by the number of APP students?
Seriously, this mistake is so basic, so stupid, that is defies credibility.
In all of the capacity management calculations, going all the way back to the beginning of this whole messed up exercise, the District has never thought about non-geographic communities. Given the number of students in option schools and special programs, it astonishes me that the folks planning capacity have forgotten them.
So guess what the District staff is going to do? First, they are going to go around and calculate the functional capacity at each school - WHAT?!? Ummm, dude, haven't we done that about three times already? Are you telling me that none of those counts were any good? Then, their big plan is to place portables all over the District wherever more capacity is needed.
This briefing exposed the desperately poor state of the District's capacity planning and revealed the unspeakably poor job the District has done so far reckoning how many schools we need or where we need them.
I'll say again: they think that Aki Kurose has too many students but Hamilton could take half again as many.
By the way, check out the slide for the timeline for construction. Do you see the community engagement on there? No, you don't. They left it out. Just didn't think of it.
Look at these numbers and you'll get a sense of how monumentally the District has failed throughout the entire capacity management effort. Why did the District close schools? Not for any real capacity reasons, just entirely for political reasons.