The following was information sent by Kay Smith-Blum to Lowell parents. Please note these are considerations only. Also she still references an "Advanced Learning" taskforce so I'll have to ask her about that as the consensus here is that it is for APP only.
Staff has considered ALL of the following in recommending the move of majority of the cohort (sans the walk zone Lowell students, who will have the option of going to Lincoln if they provide their own transportation - similar to the way we handle matriculation to Hamilton as a choice without transportation for those students graduating Lowell now):
- the condition of Lincoln, making it “friendlier” for elementary students
- transportation for those south of ship canal, routes will cross Ballard bridge and Fremont rather than getting stuck on I5 for QA & Mag students
- library and other resource beef ups, mitigation funds will be used up to create the necessary materials
- costs of extra staff, the balance of mitigation funds for the Central Region will be used for this, along with other cuts yet to be determined
- physical challenge of making the move, teachers will be supported by central staff and I am hopeful a coordinated effort will be executed
- possibility of 5th graders being able to move into middle school, no capacity exists at either HMS or WMS to allow for this solution
- creating a 3rd pathway, we are just under the “magic” number for a third viable cohort, so this can be part of a long range task force conversation
- affects to Thurgood Marshall, first through third grade there is plenty of room at TM, 4th and 5th grade, we are assuming some students will provide their own transportation to Lincoln, and if so, TM should not need an extra teacher – if all 4/5 graders go to TM, we could use the computer lab as an extra classroom for 2011 only
- affects on leaving Lowell without a structured advanced learning program for ALO matriculation, Dr. Vaughan is vetting the idea of creating a truly central region Spectrum at Lowell. Currently the ONLY Spectrum in the region is Muir, which is too far south to truly serve central region students
- affects on the interactive programs at Lowell with SpEd students, Mr. King and staff will work to create the same interaction between the general ed students and SpEd students going forward
- Lowell’s viability as a school population going forward, our projections for Central region show the school’s capacity will be needed, and with attractive programs we are hoping that will mitigate some of the overcrowding at schools in the region as well
- Other locations besides Lincoln that would have capacity to house the cohort for possibly two years if necessary, all other buildings would not have the capacity if a second year was necessary
- ALO students being allowed to return to their neighborhood schools if they choose, staff will handle each request separately
- possibility of 5th graders being able to move into middle school, no capacity exists at either HMS or WMS to allow for this solution. I don't get this as those APP 5th graders will have to go somewhere. Maybe she just meant the remaining-at-Lowell students?
- Spectrum at Lowell? Which version of Spectrum? Next thing you know, dogs and cats will be living together.
- ALO students going back to neighborhood schools if they choose and Enrollment will hand each separately? Well, good luck with that. If it isn't a blanket coverage, then you will end up with a lot of unhappy people.
I have also been told that Mr. King will be principal at both places (with an assistant principal being the feet on the ground at Lincoln). Is this what Lowell parents are hearing? It seems odd to me but the district probably doesn't want the cost of another full principal.