Saturday, February 26, 2011

Capacity Management Updates

Part of the last Operations Committee meeting was devoted to Capacity Planning and Management and there were several documents released. They finally made it to the SPS website (thanks to readers who pointed that out - I lost track in all the financial crisis tangle).

They are:
Unfortunately, there is one missing document which is the 2010 Enrollment Headcount and Projections by School. It has some data not in the Enrollment Projections document that is interesting. I'll try to get this one as well.

The Enrollment Projections is a series of 30 charts (have fun, kids!) projecting enrollment to 2015. The big number here is that they are saying:

Based on the adjusted projections, the 2015 moderate projected enrollment is 53,969 students. That is a difference of 9200 students.

Let that sink in. Can our district handle 9k plus students? (Of course with the current debacle, that number may be lower.) The biggest growth will be in K-5 which means that it will then flow up to middle and high school after 2015.

The growth seems to be mostly spread out but the biggest jumps will be in the Eckstein and Washington service areas. All the high schools show growth but Chief Sealth and Ingraham. Roosevelt is showed rising quite steadily from 1562 in 2010-11 to 1828 in 2015-16. (Reminder: this is NOT the number at the school or the school's functional capacity; it is the number of students they project living in that area.)

Page 3 of Capacity Management Annual Report discusses functional capacity. I urge you to make a copy of this and keep it handy as the district seems to make this a moving target. This has got to get nailed down. They say on page 7:

District staff has received feedback that there may be some inconsistencies in how the model represents space utilization. Enrollment Planning and Facilities Planning staff is current refresing the model by revisitng the Academic Assurances roll out plan with each Program Manager (Special Educaiton, Bilingual, ALO, and other academic enhancements, programs or services). In addition staff is meeting with principals and walking buildings to update space utilization assumptions. It is anticipated this work will be completed later in the spring of 2011.

That page also has the class size chart. It looks like kindergarten has risen since 2008 when the projected size was 24-23. For 2011, the preliminary number is 25/23.

For grades 2-3 for 2011, it's 25/24.
For grade 4, it's 25/26.
For grade 5, it's 25-28.
For 6-12, it's 30/30.

I don't know why they break out grades 4 and 5 separately and lump 6-12 all together.

Another big line to note:

Portables: For the purpose of this calculation, we are including the on-site portables in a school's capacity.

Pages 3-5 also discuss above capacity and below capacity schools and whether it is a short or long-term impacts.

Severely under capacity schools include:

Short Term
South Shore K-8, Jane Addams 6-8, Sand Point, McDonald, Queen Anne,

Long Term
AS#1 K-8, Madrona K-8, Aki Kurose, McClure, Ingraham, RBHS, Cleveland

While I get the short-term issues for the newly opened schools, I am puzzled by South Shore. It is fully K-8 (and has been for a couple of years), gets extra money pumped into it and has a brand new building. Why aren't people filling this building?

No schools are listed as severely overcapacity.

"Watch List Candidates" - schools either 110% or above of functional capacity or 80% and below of functional capacity.

West Seattle Elementary (113%), BF Day (79%), John Stanford Int'l (114%), Gatewood (116%),Hawthorne (76%), Kimball (114%), Gatzert (78%), Lowell (111%), Stevens (111%), Salmon Bay 6-8 (80%), Mercer (78%).

The reasoning for all of these is given as "service area increase."

This is a little confusing as there are schools with lower undercapacity like South Shore, AS#1 (K-5), Jane Addams 6-8.

This work is behind as they pushed it off from Board Work Sessions for budget work. The next workshop on Capacity Management is March 16th.

They will have "criteria for opening, closing, repurposing" by April.

Staff is trying to create a series of documents on a predictable timetable for capacity management.


tlp said...

"I am puzzled by South Shore. It is fully K-8 (and has been for a couple of years), gets extra money pumped into it and has a brand new building. Why aren't people filling this building?"

As a parent of two boys in the service area, it is attractive on many levels - BUT it is one block away from Rainier and Henderson, the never-ending epicenter of gunfire and violence. That takes it off the list.

anonymous said...

Very interesting.

Hale's projected enrollment actually goes down. It goes from 1235 students living in the attendance area in 2010/11 to 1200 students in 2015/16.

Meanwhile Roosevelt's projected enrollment is going up. It goes from 1562 students living in the attendance area in 2010/11 to 1828 students in 2015/16.

Since Hale will be able to accommodate about 1400 students by next year, it would make sense to reduce Roosevelt's service area, and increase Hale's.

But that would upset a lot of people, and go against the districts promise of predictability.

Hale has not been under enrolled since I've been around (although they did voluntarily cap enrollment for awhile). When there is extra space at Hale, students from all over the city happily grab it, and the school fills. That is a good thing, both for diversity in the school, and for families whose choice has been limited with the NSAP especially with the loss of the 10% set aside seats. So maybe having some open seats at Hale is a a positive. Especially since Hale will probably be the only school with any excess capacity north of the ship canal. Roosevelt and Ballard are, and will remain, over crowded. And my guess is once APP moves into Ingraham, like Hamilton, the school will become popular, and fill quickly.

wsnorth said...

This data is based upon a farce.

"At Capacity: Enrollment is 5% above or below the Functional (Design) Capacity"

Functional Capacity and Design capacity should NOT include portables. Design capacity should be the capacity the school was actually designed for, not how many they can cram in like rats.

Basically, a school that is 50% over "design" capacity would be shown "at capacity" as long as every student has a place to sit out of the rain, whether or not there is room in bathroom, gymn, lunchroom, or playground.

Charlie Mas said...

South Shore is temporarily under capacity because the school just moved into a much bigger building.

It had been housed at a smaller version of South Shore and then at Columbia. The renovated South Shore is much larger, so it is temporarily under capacity.

Maureen said...

Melissa, re the 2010 Enrollment Headcount and Projections by School: Do you remember if they count students in self contained special ed classrooms in that headcount? The numbers from the Enrollment Projections you linked to do not include those students (for TOPS at least).

Re South Shore: Charlie, your theory(?) doesn't match the numbers they are posting. If you were right then the 11-12 Projected Enrollment would be significantly higher than the 10-11 numbers, at least at the entry grades. I know SS has wait lists at those grades, so it looks to me like SPS is choosing to keep the building under capacity. The numbers also imply that they are operating with three classes at each grade level with a range of class sizes from 17 in K to 27 in 8th grade. If they ran those classes at the contractual numbers, the enrollment would increase by about 125 students.

We shouldn't be surprised-that is the whole point of South Shore, but it seems to me that should put it in the category of 'long term' undercapacity schools, unless the MOU with the New School Foundation is ending and they are planning to fill those rooms to capacity soon.

(I could be wrong about the number of classes at each grade level, I'm going by the total number of kids and assuming that SS isn't operating with 34 kids in a 3rd grade or 40 in a 6th grade classroom, for example. I'm also assuming that they have the same number of classes at each grade level which is normal for nonmushroom K-8 Option Schools.))

Maureen said...

Melissa, Do you understand what is meant by Service Area Increase in the LikelyTrend Column in the Capacity Report?

I can't figure out if they are attributing the under and over capacity (both?) to a Service Area Increase, or are proposing a Service Area Increase to deal with the under or over capacity (both?). If some of them read "Decrease" it would make more sense either way.

Anonymous said...

Is the K class size number just a parameter for determining if a school is under- or over-capacity? Or do the schools attempt to stay at or under that number? I know Bryant wants to go down to 4 K classes this year from five, and at 114, am I right in thinking that they are planning on having 28-29 kids per class?

Anonymous said...

Sorry, forgot to sign that last comment.

Melissa Westbrook said...

The Headcount document I have doesn't indicate if Special Ed classrooms are counted.

Charlie, I don't agree with your reasoning. I think something is up with South Shore and there's a whole other investigation to start.

Dad of 3, I really don't know the answer to your questions.

Charlie Mas said...

I just read the Capacity Management Report and it totally fails to meet the requirements of the policy. Totally.

This isn't a report. It's a summary of a description of what a report would say.

Anonymous said...

This entire report is meaningless. There is only one thing to learn from this data and that is the glaring fact that not one person on the team that created the report understands the significant of numbers and their relevance in reporting.

I have long had a gripe about these reports for their lack of footnotes. When I was a financial analyst I had to footnote every data assumption on every spreadsheet I ever made. There was never any tolerance in any of the companies that I worked for floating numbers, particularly baseline numbers.

I simply can't understand how any analyst could change functional capacity so randomly without footnotes.

- seattle parent

Patrick said...

I'm also wondering what "Service Area Increase" means. There's been increased student population in the same service area boundaries, and that's why it has increased? The size of the service area has increased? The size of the service area will increase? The population in the same service area will increase?

Throughout the papers there should be methodology. No credit if you don't show your work.

Anonymous said...

During the mid-winter break, they rolled a four classroom portable into Eckstein's parking lot...
It's this the biggest middle school in the state?


Maureen said...

Do portables come from the capital budget or the operating budget? How about the money to wire them and furnish them?

Maureen said...

Can anyone explain Salmon Bay being undercapacity? They have had a wait list forever and have full classes. Do they really have empty classrooms just sitting there? (Highly unlikely) Is it that they would need to have bubble classes and the community resists that? (I.e., some years they would admit two full classes of kids and have them age through, instead of their current 1 1/2 classes at K-5 and then 3 (I think) for 6-8) I can understand that because it must be a pain to rearrange the teaching staff every year, and also bubbles wreak havoc with sibling echos in the years afterward. If they are under capacity, it seems to me they could welcome some self contained program to fill the space (or is that the problem-that they had one and it was lost to ICS?)

Montessori preschool from Ballard HS?!