Wednesday, November 09, 2016

New Info on Work Sessions and Growth Boundaries

Update #2 
I attended the Work Session yesterday.  (I'll do a review of the Data Dashboard portion separately.)

I just want to note that Director Blanford seems increasingly absent at meetings and there is no explanation given.

For staff, there was Ashley Davies, head of Enrollment, and Flip Herndon, head of Facilities.  They stated that they wanted the Board to have as much knowledge as possible around the submitted amendments and their impacts.

There was one hour allotted for this work for 10 amendments, with three of them being brand-new.   However, was this time really used wisely, trying to sort thru what could be agreed on (and therefore set aside for discussion)? Nope, more than 30 minutes was spent on 5A/5B and 6A/6B about Cedar Park.  I hasten to say these are very important amendments but only those amendments and #8-10 were discussed.

Not so helpful if you are trying to track possible changes and how the Board will vote.

As for 5A/5B and 6A/6B, directors Pinkham, Geary and Burke, as sponsors, had most of the discussion (which was what staff said should happen.)

Burke said if they are opening Cedar Park, they need to do right by it.  He also said there has been community outreach by Olympic Hills and 94 families said they would prefer an Option school and no one voted to delay the decision.

Geary said that the children at Olympic Hills and John Rogers are already in very good communities and she is not happy to rip them apart.  She said we can't "make children flow like water."

Herdon raised a good question about those who said they wanted an Option school; was there a question of would these families go to the school (meaning, how many would leave Oly Hills or Rogers for this new Option school?)  Burke said he didn't know.  Geary pointed out it was similar to Hazel Wolf K-8 which did open with a waitlist.  She said it was a matter of equity for that region to have an Option school.

Davies said the timeline was short with enrollment starting in January.  Director Harris made the analogy to the opening of Boren STEM but that got done and the school is thriving.

Staff talked about how, in other cases where communities were to be split, the district had rented a bus and took families to the new building where it could be toured.

Pinkham said it is important for all families to feel welcome but change can be hard on children especially those whose families face challenges.  He said that creating an Option school is a "comfort zone" for change.

Geary, seeming feisty, said that the principals at Laurelhurst, Bryant and Sandpoint worked out how to support their communities when Sandpoint opened.  She said it is "on us" to create these schools and that is the district's challenge, not the families'.

Staff said principals are engaged "behind the scenes" and that they may be speaking on behalf of families who aren't here.

Again Geary pushed back, saying there has been engagement at Cedar Park with many of the minority families speaking out.

There was some discussion of how to pull amendments off the agenda but it seems like at least two - either 5A/5B or 6A/6B - will get withdrawn.

Geary asked about portables and the class size reduction issue and "meeting the letter of the law."

Director Harris asked about seeing what the F/RL and racial data would be on these changes around Cedar Park.  Staff said they didn't have all of it.  Harris said she would not be comfortable voting without knowing that.

Amendments 8,9,10
These are around grandfathering for 4/5th graders and 8th graders at middle schools and were submitted by Peters.

She walked thru the possible outcomes for nearly every middle school.

Meany might not have as many 8th graders but that would only be for one year.
Eagle Staff might have the same issue but that might be good for the first year of their opening.
Hamilton/Washington would probably not get much relief from their overcrowding.
Whitman would see these 8th graders finish at the school they started at and have a more "staggered" drain of kids once the new boundaries come into play.
McClure, she said she thought would be okay and did not mention the other schools.

As for Amendment #10, she said it would not be a geo-split but provide an "optional" path similar to what is done at Ingraham for IBX.

Herndon expressed concern over keeping at double-portable at Hamilton one more year (as it was only allowed for a year) and he would have to go to the Landmarks Commission.

Davies asked Peters who would grandfather for 8th grade, just HCC cohort or all students?  Peters said all students.

There was some discussion around the Decatur building but I could not easily follow it because it almost seemed like they were talking about Decatur and  Thornton Creek as the same thing.

Harris said the Board had received a note from former Board member Sharon Peaslee who reminded them of the path for Pinehurst to Licton Springs for the Native American community.  Patu said she had worked on this and wanted to make sure what was promised is what is being given.  Herndon said they were following thru but wasn't sure how many classrooms.

I was dismayed that not all the amendments were discussed, even briefly.  I cannot tell you how the amendments that were not discussed will go.

I do believe that the majority of the Board wants Cedar Park to be an Option school and will likely vote that way.  I also think that unless staff comes up with a really good reason, the Board will also do some grandfathering.  Question is, where and how much?

end of update

Updates:  
Work Session agenda for Wednesday's meeting.

- the Data Dashboard section of the Work Session has a huge amount of data including academic outcomes, graduation rates, climate surveys.  It's a lot to read and suss out but it's there.

- the Growth Boundaries info starts on page 73 and includes these three new amendments, all from Director Peters:

o Amendment 8 - Approval of this motion would allow for the grandfathering at the elementary school level of all rising 4th and 5th grade students who live within any areas that are changing from one elementary school to another for the 2017-18 school year and do not already have a provision providing grandfathering for rising 4th and 5th graders students within such area. (Director Peters)
o Amendment 9 - Approval of this motion would allow for the grandfathering at the middle school level of all rising 8th grade students who live within any areas that are changing from one middle school to another for the 2017-18 school year and do not already have a provision providing grandfathering for rising 8th graders within such area. (Director Peters)
o Amendment 10 - Approval of this motion would, in the event that a second elementary pathway for north-end Highly Capable Cohort (HCC) students is deemed necessary for reasons of capacity in the 2017-18 Student Assignment Plan (SAP), designate in the SAP this second site as an alternative, optional pathway for HCC students assigned to Cascadia Elementary, instead of requiring a forced geographic split. (Director Peters)

Audit and Finance Committee agenda for Thursday's meeting

38 comments:

Lynn said...

From the minutes of the Audit & Finance Committee October meeting:

BAR: Collective Bargaining Agreement PNW Regional Council of Carpenters (Damas)

Executive Director Labor & Employee Relations Stan Damas spoke about the tentative agreement that had been ratified by the carpenters. Mr. Damas spoke about the specific terms of the tentative agreement that was reached in August and ratified on August 26th. He also stated that the contract was calling for a pay increase to be effective on September 1st for 18 employees. The contract also included some clarifications of some contract provisions that had different interpretations in the past and now were unified. Mr. Damas also mentioned that the pay increase had already shown up on the October 1st warrant and gave further explanation of why it happened. Mr. Damas asked for intro and action at the upcoming Board meeting. Director Harris asked how the money went out the door before the contract was ratified. Mr. Damas stated that there had been a miscommunication between Class & Compensation and his department. Director Harris stated concern for the Board having just passed the TRI resolution the night before. She asked what would be done differently to avoid this in the future. Mr. Damas stated that they plan to clarify communication and to be careful when using shorthand. Mr. Skowyra stated that labor contracts have traditionally gone to Intro and Action at the same time. Director Blanford expressed great concern related to this type of thing happening again less than 24 hours from the TRI Settlement Agreement. Mr. Damas shared other ideas his department plans to implement to avoid this in the future. Mr. Damas raised the question of what would happen to the money that was already paid. After great discussion the Board members decided it would be best not retrieve the money from the employees but instead amend the BAR. It was decided to ratify the payments, we did not take back the September increase, and only gave the 1.8% for October to be very transparent at the next board meeting and bring the BAR for Intro on November 2nd and Action on November 16th. Director Harris stated that the November first paycheck would be without the raise because it will not yet be approved by the board. It would also ratify the previous payment much like what was done with the TRI payment.

Anonymous said...

Can someone clarify for me Amendment 9, Regarding the grandfathering of middle school students rising for 8th grade. I am assuming this would only exclude HCC 8th graders because it is a program? In other words HIMS HCC 8th graders would be the ONLY group of 8th grade students not be grandfathered?
-clarification needed

Anonymous said...

P.S They mention in one paragraph allowing grandfathering for "all" 8th grade students, but in another sentence "opening the school with limited numbers of 8th grade students."
-clarification needed

Anonymous said...

I sought clarification and was told Sue is proposing all rising 8th graders (including HCC) currently at a middle school slated to split to be grandfathered.
-JT

Anonymous said...

Speaking of growth boundaries, the meeting about the high school ed specs for Lincoln is at Ingraham tonight at 7:00, If you are concerned about the high school boundaries and/or have a student who might be split and sent to Lincoln, this is hopefully a good meeting to attend.

- kt

Melissa Westbrook said...

See this thread for updates from yesterday's work session on Growth Boundaries.

I am unable to attend tonight's meeting at Ingraham but I'll put up a thread in case others do and can report back.

kellie said...

Thanks Mel for posting the updates. I also attended the meeting last night.

My big takeaway is that I haven't attended a meeting with that much cognitive dissonance since the closures and I had the same pit in my stomach that I did for so many of the meetings during that era.

The big distinction is that during the closures the dissonance was between the parents on one side and the board and staff on the other. This time the dissonance was between the board, who is truly representing the parent voices and staff, who want to stick to the 2013 Growth Boundaries plan, simply because it is the plan.

I have posted before that during the vote for the 2013 Growth Boundaries Plan, the 2013 board keep repeating that it wasn't a Plan as much as it was a Framework. I truly wish they had changed the title of the document to 2013 Growth Boundaries Framework so that staff felt that they has more flexibility to make changes that fit the current reality.



kellie said...

What I heard during the meeting was board members accurately representing the many concerns they have heard from the community, describing the many ways that the 2013 "plan" does not accurately represent the 2016 reality on the ground.

BEX IV was in development for over two years and there was extensive community engagement and involvement in the schools that were ultimately placed on the BEX IV list for adding capacity district wide. As such, the intention of the growth boundaries plan was to create a model for how that new capacity would be added to the system.

Cedar Park was NOT part of the BEX planning and therefore did not receive the same level of scrutiny as the other projects. The boundaries for Cedar Park was added in the last few weeks of the plan, that last minute change has created havoc in the north end.

This is simply because the highest poverty census track in all of Seattle is the track along Lake City Way. At the moment, that high poverty area is divided amongst four schools, and all four of those schools are doing exemplary work at closing the achievement gap. The Cedar Park plan removes student from those four schools and concentrates them in one school, and removes them from the successful supports that have been built.

That is the source of the amendments. This board actually believes that schools that are doing the hard work of closing the achievement gap should be allowed to continue to do this work.

it seems painfully obvious that this is a good thing. However, staff's comments all centered around the notion that the amendments were really about placing vocal and upset parents and that there are ways to calm these upset parents.



Anonymous said...

So frustrating to just "accept" Hamilton not getting overcrowding relief and Whitman being underenrolled. Come on.

-sleeper

kellie said...

The other huge disconnect in the room was about middle school. This is where we all are feeling the tremendous loss of long time enrollment head, Traci Libros. Without Traci's institutional memory, the "known problems" in the Growth Boundaries Plan have become "genuine surprises."

Staff seems genuinely confused about what the board was trying to accomplish with middle school amendments. I can understand why staff would be confused. As the 2013 board had already approved these feeder patterns, it is very reasonable on the part of staff to think that they are following the plan.

However, the simple fact is that there were "known problems" in the feeder pattern plan and there was a presumption on the part of the 2013 board that the future board members and future staff members would deal with these "known problems" as they arose.

The number 1 known problem was that the placement of Licton Springs at Eagle Staff meant that the feeder patterns would need to be adjusted. Eagle Staff and Hamilton are over committed with too many feeder schools. While Whitman is under-committed.

Sue Peters amendment softens the problem. However, it doesn't fix the fundamental problem that all of the north end middle school feeder patterns are just broken and not balanced for capacity.

Anonymous said...

"So frustrating to just "accept" Hamilton not getting overcrowding relief and Whitman being underenrolled. Come on."
Sleeper-- Sue is proposing 8th graders be grandfathered. Like Kelly stated it will soften the problem. If this happens Whitman will retain more students and have more than 485 for next year. HIMS will likely be same enrollment as this year, as they will also lose students to Eaglestaff. It is not ideal, but they have made it work. Portables will stay for one more year.Personally I feel it it is far far preferable than a child being ripped out of their middle school for their last year. I am not sure how other amendments will also help fix the issue.
- a HIMS parent

Anonymous said...

I think this is separate from the grandfathering issue. The boundaries are not being drawn to have equitably sized cohorts. More HIMS kids should be drawn into Eaglestaff and Whitman, whether or not there is grandfathering for this year's 7th graders.

-sleeper

wildcat said...

I agree with sleeper and I am floored that Whitman hasn't been addressed. There hasn't even been an explanation as to why it's not an oversight. Meaning, they should say something like projections show it will be at capacity in 2018-2019. In the interim, SPS needs to commit to funding a full offering at Whitman. Plus, the other problem right now is the elimination of Honors classes at Whitman next year as heard at math night. Many folks we know are applying to HCC and planning on private testing if they don't get in. We aren't in that camp yet, but there needs to be a plan communicated ASAP.

Regarding grandfathering, does that mean REMS essentially opens as a 6-7? How does that impact offerings? There are no good answers to that issue. Geo-splitting is not fair to kids and it borders on cruel, but moving only this year's 6th graders and not having an 8th grade at REMS next year isn't right, either.

I don't think the Board is doing enough. What else can we do? Not one of my 3 e-mails has been answered.

Melissa Westbrook said...

Go to the Saturday directors meetings and ask for full explanations. Note whether they say they have full information and, if they say they don't, then tell them they should vote no.

My impression from the Work Session is that staff doles out information as asked/necessary. I have a feeling if Geary had not asked about class size reduction, they would have said nothing and then, later on down the line, used it as an excuse to do something else they want to do.

Carol Simmons said...

Dear Melissa, Thank you for your post.

I am eager to read your review of the Data Dashboard portion of the meeting.

It was so disappointing that finally when we had a tiny amount of data to examine, that part of the meeting was cut short to give more time to the presentation and discussion of Boundaries.

In the 2015-16 80 page District Document, the Agenda for the meeting stated the District Scorecard Presentation would take 15 minutes and would include the Overview and a Closer look at select indicators and opportunity gaps. Following this presentation, there would be 15-20 minutes allocated to Q and A.

If this was not done, was there any mention of making up this time?

Was the published data in the Document in Part 2 "Commitment to Equity" discussed?

Was the data on Disproportionality in Discipline, Academic Achievement and placement in Special programs discussed?

Thank you,


Carol

Anonymous said...

Wildcat--I disagree and think the 6th and 7th grade opening is best. The proposal gave an explanation about why she is proposing grandfathering 8th graders and how poor JAMS went for their rationale. It is also very hard on kids who have been moved in the past to move again for their last year of middle school. These kids may then be moved again to populate Lincoln. It also keeps more kids in Whitman for another year and helps that school's enrollment. It may also give them more time to fix the feeder school issues.
-a HIMS parent

Anonymous said...

Wildcat-- Also, many parents of current 7th graders will have their kids ripped again out of high school with opening of Lincoln in their 10th grade year. The younger kids are not in this same place. Many of those same 7th grade parents of HCC students also had their kids moved multiple times by the district in elementary. I completely support the grandfathering for 8th grade and it will not affect a school to open with 6th and 7th plus Licton Springs. Eaglestaff was projected to have too many students otherwise as well next year. This puts more students into Whitman next year, provides stability for kids who have been moved multiple times and will be moved in high school etc. They do need to fix the feeder pattern, but that is separate from the grandfathering for next year.
-a HIMS parent.

Lynn said...

The presence of Licton Springs students will not increase staffing or the ability to offer a wider range of elective classes at REMS. Licton Springs is a separate school with its own staff.

Why isn't Whitman offering honors classes next year?

Carol Simmons said...

Thank you to Director Harris for mentioning Former Director Peaslee's memo reminding the Board of the path for for Pinehurst to Licton Springs for the Native Community and for Director Patu's comments around this promise.

Additionally, thank you to Director Harris for inquiring about data for F/RL and racial data around Cedar Park. The Board should not vote until they have this data.

Anonymous said...

I am curious how likely the board will support amendment #10. I think it's a great option, as many families will chose to go to Decatur out of proximity to their homes and this will also allow a cap in enrollment at that site. It allows capacity relief for Cascadia, while providing a neighborhood HCC option for families in the NE.

Support #10

Anonymous said...

I really appreciate this blog but wondered about your use of the word 'feisty' (used to refer to female Director Geary above). It seems that word is never used to describe men.

https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2014/sep/01/feisty-flounce-bossy-words-put-women-down

BT

Anonymous said...

Whitman may not need to eliminate honors classes if 8th graders are grandfathered next year. More amendments regarding middle school & feeder patterns may be addressed via amendment this week. Keep in mind the grandfathering for 8th is being proposed for 1 year only. It is far preferable to most parents who had their child moved in elementary, would again for last year of middle, then again for 10th grade when Lincoln opens. The younger kids are not in the same position.
-a HIMS parent.

Melissa Westbrook said...

I like the word "feisty" and I like when it gets applied to me, woman or not.

Geary was also tenacious, persistent and bold.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
kellie said...

I was the only member of the public at the high school ed spec meeting at Ingraham last night. It was a very interesting meeting because the ed specs greatly informs the process of creating Lincoln High School.

Clearly the 300 people who attended Director Burke's meeting at Lincoln made an impression. Superintendent Nyland, Flip Herdon, Director Burke, Richard Best, Sherri Kokx were also in attendance in addition to the outside companies working on the ed specs.

The presentation will be given one more time, next Tuesday at Lincoln and I hope that meeting gets some more advertising.

I was able to get clear direct information on the how they are making the guiding decision on the Lincoln redesign. On the really excellent news side, the plan for 10 science rooms at Lincoln is a real bonus for that school. The other comprehensive high schools have six science rooms. As the overbooked science rooms has been a major problem, they have incorporated that information and the new standard for rebuilds will be 10 science labs.

Clearly there was substantial work done to evaluate what is working at our current high schools and recreate success and improve wherever they can.

One concern that was daylighted is that the new plan is based on greater flexibility around homerooms and teacher planning. The plan is that homerooms will not be assigned to teachers but rather having a common space for teacher planning. This concerns me because there are some really important things that happen, when a classroom is the teacher's room. The ability of a teacher to own a room and create a special learning space, creates a lot of connect with students and that may be lost in this plan. My student has one room at high school that is her favorite and where she spends lunch with many other students. That connection that the one teacher created is really the foundation of her high school connection. All because the teacher has a microwave ...

On the practical side, as a capacity person, I am always concerned about any plan that starts with full utilization and does not leave room for "surge capacity." If your baseline plan is for all homerooms being used all day, what happens when you need more flexibility.

kellie said...

I had also requested that field space / gym space be added to the ed spec in some way.

The lack of any field space at Lincoln is a real concern. The current plan is converting the large gym into 13 homerooms. If field space was in the ed spec, then they could convert that space into an indoor field. This would create greater parity with the schools and an indoor field could even be considered to be an advantage with our rainy weather.

This change would like reduce the capacity at Lincoln from 1600 to 1400. However, as 500 seats are being added to Ingraham also in 2019, that would work out well for capacity. For a variety of reasons, high school has been growing significantly more slowly that elementary and middle school. The addition at Ingraham will be very well received as Ingraham has had a significant wait list at all grades. That creates an opportunity to build Lincoln in a manner that balance the shortcomings of the small site, rather than maximizing capacity as was the original plan.

kellie said...

I also agree with Mel's characterization of feisty. We have a board that is absolutely passionate about student outcomes. Frankly in the 14 years that I have been following these issues, I have never seen a board that is so crystal clear in their conviction that students and student outcomes is the priority of the work.

The matter being discussed was about geo-splitting 850 elementary school students, for the purpose of optimizing building utilization and minimizing the purchase of new portables. That decision was going to have a direct impact on the education of not just those students but also the learning communities of a dozen schools.

This was done without any irony to the fact that the prior work session was focused on the 8 schools that are closing the achievement gap. And this plan to geosplit students, directly impacted many of those same schools.

IMHO, feisty is an appropriate response. As a side note, I also like being called feisty. It is an infinitely better word, than the ones most often used to describe my advocacy.

Melissa Westbrook said...

Reposting for Anonymous (no anonymous posts - give yourself a name):

"While it's great that the District recognizes the need to grandfather rising 8th graders, in regards to Whitman, Amendment 9 is not enough. For years, the District promised Whitman families that ALL STUDENTS WOULD BE GRANDFATHERED. This fall, that promise was rescinded, even in the face of very low enrollment numbers. At the very least, Whitman rising 7th graders should have grandfathering restored. An even better fix--the district needs to re-examine the boundaries and re-assign some feeder patterns."

Yes, Kellie, I have heard many other words as well for my advocacy.

Green Lake Parent said...

I really hope that someone from Whitman will give public testimony at the Board meeting on Wednesday. At the last two Board meetings, and the various Director's community meetings that I've attended recently, there has been no one present to speak about the boundary change impacts on Whitman. I know some have posted here that they've sent emails and that's good (even if you don't hear back, the Board is reading everything), but the in person conversations with Directors, and the in person public testimony make a big impression.

-Green Lake Parent

P.S. Sign-ups for public testimony start Monday at 8 AM. I'd recommend sending an email right at 8 AM. Here's the info:
https://www.seattleschools.org/cms/one.aspx?pageId=15655

Anonymous said...

Hamilton needs immediate relief for next year, and it might be nice for next year's 8th graders to be in a new school that isn't so overcrowded. Sue Peters idea of keeping Hamilton at beyond capacity seems ridiculous.

Helen

Lynn said...

Maybe 8th graders should have the option of transferring. Then we'd see if they'd prefer being in a new school that's not overcrowded to remaining with their friends and classmates for the final year of middle school.

Green Lake Parent said...

Well, grandfathering does give you the choice of staying at your current school vs moving to your newly assigned school. That's what Sue Peters amendment would do for 8th graders. I suspect most would stay, although whether or not they provide transportation to grandfathered students would likely have an impact.

-Green Lake Parent

kellie said...

The entire problem is that the "plan" was developed based on 2012 enrollment data. A lot has changed in the last 4 years and nothing in the plan for middle school is relevant to our current situation.

Everyone is trying to make a nice patch to hold the plan together, when the simple answer is that the plan is beyond patching.

The plan to grandfather 8th graders softens some of the most troubling parts of the plan. But it doesn't solve the underlying problem that Hamilton is just way too overfull and needs to have substantial relief. The portables were only permitted for one year and the city gave a waiver based on the opening of Eagle Staff in 2017. It is unlikely that waiver would be extended once Eagle Staff opens.

Eagle Staff is opening because Hamilton is over-crowded. Yet the plan is moving mostly students from Whitman, which is not crowded at all. Until that aspect is addressed, nothing gets fixed.

kellie said...

Many folks have remarked that this entire process is eerily reminiscent of the closures.

During the closures one school (learning community) was closed and the students were then scattered across multiple schools. Each receiving school needed to take in a few more students but the disruption was primarily felt by the students and families and teachers in the closed learning community.

This plan is even more disruptive than the closures because the entire learning community of both the departing and receiving schools are being severely and potentially irrevocably disrupted.

In order to open Cedar Park with a "full cohort" to maximize the building utilization, eight learning communities need to disrupt a substantial number of students and teachers and many of these school don't need capacity relief. This plan is designed to fill Cedar Park, not balance capacity.

In order to open Eagle Staff with "full cohort" (that is likely to be too full), Whitman is being sliced in half and Hamilton only gets modest relief from extreme overcrowding. The plan is designed to fill Eagle Staff. The plan is not designed to fix the capacity issues.

I think learning communities would be very willing to handle some disruption, if this plan provided real capacity relieve. Nobody was happy about being geo-split to JAMS, but the clarity that it provided a real solution created significant buy in. There is no buy in to this plan.

I am great heartened that this board is actively working to reduce this disruption to learning communities.

Anonymous said...

Just to clarify the Cedar Park and north-end boundary change amendments...

Amendment 5A (option school at Cedar Park) is paired with Amendment 6A (no boundary changes for north-end schools). This combo has received strong community report, because it keeps existing school communities intact, avoids opening Cedar Park as a high poverty-high needs school, avoids geo-spliting hundreds of kids, and keeps diversity at John Rogers, Sacajawea, Olympic View, etc...

Amendment 5B (attendance area school at Cedar Park for 2017-18, then it is supposed to become an option school for 2018-19) is paired with Amendment 6B (grandfathering at north-end schools). This combo is problematic, because once boundaries are drawn for Cedar Park, they would have to approve getting rid of them next fall, but then Olympic Hills will be taking on kids from the former Sacajawea and Olympic View attendance areas and would probably not be able to take back the area that had been assigned to Cedar Park the previous year...so the option school at Cedar Park would probably not happen. This combo of amendments does not address the segregation issues associated with the boundary changes. Also, if grandfathered transportation is not offered, most kids in the change areas will have to change schools.

I'm hoping they will pass 5A and 6A.

-North-end Mom

Anonymous said...

Helen-- There was a problem with 8th graders and matriculation issues when they opened up JAMS. JAMS parents had mentioned this to a school board member at one of the Saturday meetings. The JAMS parents I spoke with stated that in hindsight they realized JAMS could have opened just fine without the 8th graders. HIMS will remain full for one additional year, but remember would lose incoming some 6th and some 7th graders. Not ideal, but far far preferable to the alternative and many other challenges these kids are facing. Many of next year's 8th graders will also have to move second year in high school in 10th.
-another perspective

lms said...

Kellie-- More information has come in and circumstances have changed. My husband works in this capacity (approving portables, landmark etc,) for another city. He feels the waiver could be approved for one more year.
- middle school parent

Melissa Westbrook said...

I will note that the election outcome seems to have had a tremendous effect on students, especially high school students (and maybe students of color who have heard Trump's words about minorities and women.)

Upending a lot of different communities now via boundary changes may not be a good idea and I suspect the Board may be thinking about the stability of communities when they vote.