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Thursday, October 28, 2010

From the Board Work Session on NSAP

I was unable to attend yesterday's Work Session but several parents did. Thank you to all who put in links. I haven't looked at these documents myself but wanted to get them up so you can see them. There are three on various graduation issues and one on capacity management.

14 comments:

ParentofThree said...

So much for predicitability:

Action needed to manage capacity

Adding, relocating or removing programs

Adjusting school boundaries

Adjusting geographic zones for options schools

Adding or removing portables

Adding or renovating buildings

Opening, reconstituting or closing buildings

cascade said...

Heard secondhand that Harium and staff were discussing bringing back the public-rejected D average to graduate proposal from last year. C'mon. Seriously?

ttln said...

Again, how do building budgets fit into the assignment decision making timeline?

I am particularly interested in the capacity slides. If a building's physical capacity is larger than its "functional capacity" can the school allow students to opt in up to their physical cap?

I also appreciate the West Seattle issue is on their agenda.

Melissa Westbrook said...

Parent of Three, agreed but under the new Board policy referenced on slide 17, they are supposed to review these. It is a little worrisome that they listed everything to be review instead of just saying "Board policy has an annual review of capacity." That they called them all out seems worrisome.

And slide 21 under future topics "purpose: why do capacity management?" Do you have to ask? Also under future topics, there is not one reference to asking parents/school staff about any of these topics.

Interesting - Slide 23 has new terms like "alternate school scheduling" for schools with non-typical hours, "domino adjustment" for changes in boundaries between multiple schools.

Slide 25 sure explains a lot about BEX. Seattle's square foot per student is higher than the national average but it's 25% in elementary, 13% in middle and 14% more in high school. Wow. (But yes, I have been in Montlake and other tiny buildings; not everyone has this footage).

The staff seems to be going in circles, over and over, about what "capacity" is going to mean. I think they are flummoxed because they want to be able to change it when they want to but are slowing being boxed in a corner to give a firm definition. See Slide 28/29.

Slide 35 says that the district, as of the Oct. 1 headcount, is up 1,064 students most of it in grades 1-5.

Slide 44 is interesting. It has possible topics for the Transition plan like high school open choice seats, international schools, West Seattle feeder patterns and newly reopened schools.

And OMG, Slide 48 references our old friend, the VAX. (We should have a big bonfire of that thing when they finally get this done.)

Melissa Westbrook said...

And just a quick word on the graduation presentations - this is like a tsunami of information and are we to believe ALL of it can/should be done? It would take a lot to figure out how to mesh what SPS says versus the state versus national trends. It's almost baffling in information overload.

One of you out there should make this a pet project and tell us all what to make of it.

ttln said...

I am curious about which building were used in the calculation of space/student. Did they only include populated buildings or all properties? (suppose it says on a slide, but I read too quickly).

With the graduation requirement "project", I hope someone let's us know soon. Our students are trying to make HS plans and decisions about program options (stay with assignment or opt into other schools). Knowing what they are in for might be a good place to start for them.

StepJ said...

The clumping of the District as a whole, in regards to capacity management, is really bothersome.

In slides they show comparisons of our District with others - but we don't know that the methodology is the same in producing the numbers.

For our District I would rather that they evaluate capacity on a region by region basis. Perhaps by Ed. Director Region, or by MS Service Area.

Otherwise, you can have a High School such as RBHS with low enrollment and hundreds of available seats to completely throw off the District wide average.

With the NSAP our city is divided into smaller regions for enrollment. Do the analysis area by area to determine when/where capacity should be added.

Doing an analysis on the District as a whole is misleading and does not address capacity excess or lack in the specific areas needed.

SP said...

re: graduation requirements (a la CORE 24)
Basically it sounds as if the Board is recommending a district wide 22 credit graduation requirement for the interim, until (when/if) the WA State Board's 24 credit recommendation is funded by the Legislature (with 4-6 years phase-in period). Ha- I won't hold my breath for that one.

Currently the vast majority of WA districts require 22 credits. The State's CORE 24 final decisions are yet to come and have been several years in the making. On the other hand, our C&I Committee decided on a final recommendation to present to the Board after just 45 minutes discussion!

I also would like to know why Education First Consulting is involved with researching this issue for the district (see their Power Point from the workshop- "it works" in San Jose and "tanked" in Chicago- what does that tell us?) when the State Board of Ed has had committees doing CORE 24 research for the past two years. Did the district pay those consultants for the same job?

Yes, Melissa there is indeed a tsunami of hand picked data that can support any point of view for this issue, and I am once again amazed that the District would consider taking on such a huge change without more time to weigh the pros and cons and build the support systems needed to require more credits- not only for the struggling students but also for the facilities, textbooks, etc. Last year a district employee told the C&I committee that it would cost $1 million for each extra credit that the district added on. Where is this money going to come from suddenly? Doesn't even the State Board of Ed promise, "No unfunded mandates"?

StepJ said...

From the slide presentation on the NSAP it seems like there will be no boundary changes this year?

It seems like Kathy Johnson will be in charge of Boundary Changes and program movement -- is that true? I hope not -- it is hard to imagine anything scarier.

From the slides it appears that any evaluation of boundaries and programs will occur in April and beyond -- after Open Enrollment is over.

If that is the case will the boundary changes go into effect after Open Enrollment?

Will program changes go into effect following Open Enrollment?

You think you are enrolling in a school with a Spectrum program during Open Enrollment -- and then after --poof Spectrum is gone?

You think you enrolling your child in your Attendance Area school during Open or Early Enrollment-- and then poof the boundaries change, and you have a younger sib. yet to come?

What a terrible tangled mess if the process is actually as outlined in the PowerPoint.

ttln said...

stepj
our building (madison) suspects and expects the same chaos. our program redesign committee is already trying to plan a schedule that will morph as the circumstances evolve/devolve. we resent the instability caused by the uncertainty of these possible decisions.

Melissa Westbrook said...

"Doing an analysis on the District as a whole is misleading and does not address capacity excess or lack in the specific areas needed."

Excellent point. I'm going to write the Board about that.

kellie said...

I attended the meeting. The board pushed back pretty hard about the May report. They strongly clarified that they expected a full report in Nov so that they can make decisions about any needed changes in a January vote as part of the ongoing annual transition plans for enrollment.

Staff clarified that the later report was for the budget but that distinction is really unclear from the slides.

What was pretty clear is that they are going to batch issues into short term problems and long term problems. They are unlikely to address anything that they are classifying as a short term problem with the hope that they may resolve themselves as grandfathering issues resolve.

The issues that are identified as long term problems as the ones where the "solutions" listed on the slides would be applied. The usual suspects were in this group - Garfield, WSN elementary and NE middle school capacity. No solutions were proposed at this meeting but from the timelines that were outlined, it is clear that staff does have preliminary recommendations that are being considered.

kellie said...

I also agree with StepJ that the way that number are reported are just ... odd. In particular, the part where "Trends in growth and decline have varied significantly in past 12 years" on page 12.

That is just not true but you can tell from how they simply fail to disaggregate their data that it is possible one could believe that there was some "significant variation" if you only looked at aggregate data. There has been significant growth at the entry grades for 7 years now. It is only because those grades were combined with some of the smallest cohorts ever that you could see the growth.

The slides on page 37 were the ones that most alarmed me. Aside from any overall growth just the percentage of growth at the entry level grades is staggering. 1/13 of enrollment should be 7.69% K for this year alone is 10% of the population. That number by itself should have gotten someone's attention.

It gets even crazier when you look at the batched elementary numbers. 5 grades our of 13 should be 38.46% and the enrollment for 1-5 is 42%. From just these numbers alone, there should be some serious concern about where these students will go as they roll up.

It is also clear that if staff had simply presented a pie chart like this clearly broken out by year rather than aggregated by elementary, middle and high school bands, it would have been very easy to see that there has been growth for 7 years and there was never a real need for all the rounds of closure.

kid not like the others said...

glad to see wsn problems have been labeled as "long term" instead of cured by time. in truth, time will be the killer if the feeder school problems are left unchecked.