Finally, onto a biggie.
Ron English - Spokesman for a team of staff. Needed to have community meeting at Thornton Creek and that happened. TC doesn't want to be a K-8 program and want to preserve integrity of program. Second issue in last two weeks about finances and whether estimates of per student costs were too high. Joe Paperman looked at that. When estimate was prepared several months ago, it was 125 students and now it's 150 students. That's his explanation of why it is lower.
Third issue is instructional and revised BAR outlines this. Each Option school is unique with culture, values, academic approach, etc. Two Option schools in same building under same administration, you won't get two schools but some hybrid. So programs really need separate administrations to preserve a program (so says Ron English).
Suggestion of merged with APP at Lincoln. The BLT team for APP voiced the same kinds of concerns as TC in an e-mail to Michael Tolley today. "Core" building areas being used at Lincoln, he says. Lincoln south-wing is a prime candidate for APP kids if too many are at Hamilton. (So it seems staff thinks there is NOT room at Lincoln for the program.)
Discussion among Board members:
No questions but comments.
Carr - Can Super speak to his work with Native American community about opportunities for program placement, was verbal commitment to them for the interim?
Banda - I don't know that we've had that kind of level of conversations. Maybe Shauna wants to talk about that.
Carr - I know there have been a number of conversations and the NA community thought there would be room at Wilson-Pacific and looking for an interm.
Shauna Heath - Talked about access for after-school program for interim. Communicated about Native American Advisory committee. Talked about what curricular supports would look like for Native American program.
DeBell - working with many alternative schools for many years in Seattle. Had this debate before on the Board. What would you estimate the minimum viable size for Option K-8 school?
Michael Tolley - no exact number but we do know with smaller k-8 programs, offering opportunities at the middle school level becomes challenging. Not a comprehensive middle school experience and many parents may not be happy. We have 10 K-8 programs of varying size so I don't have a number.
DeBell - not exact number but they cluster around 500-600, right? And we can offer the services that students require?
Tolley - yes
(Well, that was leading the conversation. DeBell clearly doesn't want to keep this program.)
Martin-Morris - what would be the impact to schools in surrounding area if program closed?
Libros - students in Option schools do tend to live near schools and Pinehurst is no exception. Some to JA K-8 or attendance area schools or other Option schools (with those students getting priority at either).
M-M - being in northern part of city, we are pretty challenged, can we absorb that number of students?
Libros - we can't absorb what we have already. Could have capacity at JA K-8.
Peaslee reading her amendment.
Staff analysis: Lincoln versus John Marshall. Tolley says APP BLT at Lincoln didn't have community meeting and want to maintain utilization of space. And continued growth of APP Hamilton and Lincoln could be a satellite for that growth.
Peaslee - Addressing points raised. Capacity at Lincoln is 2,000 and South wing is 300 students. Pinehurst is about 150 students. She believes logistics can be resolved and that it is excuse to close it and it serves disadvantaged students.