But then I saw this via Kellie LaR. from the West Seattle blog about next year's "plan" for capacity management.
Three School Board members – Steve Sundquist, Sherry Carr, and Peter Maier – were at the meeting, introduced toward the start; Sundquist said he wanted to be “in touch with the community’s reactions” to the proposal.
Their vote on the first year of “capacity management” is scheduled for next month; a timetable shown during the meeting included plan tweaking from October 20th-November 1st, and then a plan to be introduced to the board on November 2nd, with a vote two weeks later. Then in December, design work would begin for anything necessary to reopen schools that the board signs off on reopening.
So here's the timetable:
- 3 community meetings in a week's time from Oct. 4th- 10th
- Plan "tweaking" from Oct. 20th-Nov. 1
- Plan introduced to the Board on Nov.2
- Board vote on plan on Nov. 16
There are any number of reasons for this lightening quick pace. One, and always number one with a bullet for the district, they have to get this done. And quickly. Because, the district finds itself in a near-crisis...again.
Did they not know this was coming at the end of the school yera, 2010-201r? I'm pretty sure they had a good inkling. So what was happening to prevent staff from doing some "what if" templates over the summer and getting this started the first week of school? Nothing really except a stubborn belief that they know what they are doing.
As far as capacity management at SPS, there is not evidence to support that belief. The district wanders from patchwork to patchwork plan with no clear future vision. They all seem so happy to have this problem because it looks good to the world that SPS has more students.
It is a good thing in terms of bringing more of our city's children back into the fold. Every student brings in dollars.
But the district refused to listen to parents and communities who saw this coming years ago. More advance planning could only have helped and yet this all has to get done quickly so they can figure out what to tell parents for enrollment. What schools are reopening? Where are the boundaries? What happens to students who are now in another boundary? What happens to their younger sibs? How fast can they get these portables and how to pay for them?
These capital costs are bound to be huge; look at the costs for the reopened schools in the last two years. Plus buying/leasing portables. It's not like there is an endless fund of capital money.
And the scheduling for the 3 community meetings. I don't know about the other two but at least 3-4 West Seattle elementaries were having their open houses that night. Someone at the West Seattle blog asked if they checked the calendar. I had to smile because if there is one master calendar at the district that shows major events at all the schools (open houses, curriculum nights - events all schools have), I'd be surprised. Of course, no one checked.
I know. This is a problem that must be addressed soon. But I honestly feel some sorrow that this is what our district does, year after year. Move from one crisis to another. No wonder we can't address ACADEMIC issues like program placement and instructional materials waivers. The district's management always needs more attention than the academic instruction at least for parents and communities.
I am grateful to being afforded the opportunity to sit down with Pegi McEvoy to talk about capacity management. So I'll ask you - what should I ask/tell her?