Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Work Session on Capacity Management on Wednesday

I did post this previously about this week's meeting but wanted to put it up again due to the interest in the Lowell situation.

Work Session on Capacity Management from 5-6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, the 29th

Here is the agenda with links to the presentations.  It appears that one part will be about creating a system to manage capacity management and the other part is about projections for the future.  (They do have one interesting map showing Boren opening in 2012, Hughes in 2013 and Fairmount Park in 2014 but I don't know who they would putting in those buildings.)

To note, this seems like a mammoth amount to cover so I don't expect them to cover it all.  It is unlikely they will discuss Lowell in specific but anything is possible. 

Also, the meeting is open to the public but you cannot ask questions nor make comments.  There is a meeting previous to it so when you open the door, don't be surprised to see a meeting already in progress. 


Steve said...

I asked this in another thread, but...in the Capacity Management slides I don't see Lowell on the list of elementary schools that show enrollment beyond capacity. Is there a reason why it's not listed? It can't be that it's a "program" school because it's also a neighborhood school.

Jan said...

Lowell doesn't seem to be there, but on the slide that discusses reopening TT Minor, they note that the issue depends upon the APP decision. I think they don't show it as crowded because the only thing they are interested in is the neighborhood school part of it. They will control the APP part however they want (splitting the program, moving it entirely, etc.).

What is interesting is that APP doesn't show up anywhere ELSE either -- it is sort of like it has disappeared from the map. I suspect this is because there is no long term solution -- so they are just ignoring those kids for the present.

dj said...

The presentation is about (per the first few slides) capacity issues 2012-16. Guess what? The Lowell "fix" is coming in a week, so no 2012 problem.

Although I take your broader point, Jan, and cosign pretty much everything you've said today.

joanna said...

The color coding does not match the legend, right?

Bird said...

I see "establish formal program placement leadership position" please tell me they aren't proposing to add staff to central admin -- or to boost someone's pay for added responsibilities.

Bird said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bird said...

Wow. That looks pretty grim there by 2015.

In my own neck of the woods, I see JSIS marked red in a sea of white.

I'll say it again. I'll say it a thousand times -- option program.

JSIS needs to be an option program. Carve up its area amongst the three surrounding schools with available capacity and make a decent sized walk zone to take up the slack.

Seems the obvious solution. It solves problems that extend beyond a lack of capacity, but I rather expect the district will wait until there is serious pain before going for it.

Speechless said...

Those maps can't be right.
Lowell, Wedgwood and View Ridge are not color coded. Are they not considering APP, Spectrum and Special Ed programs in their calculations?
Anyone else notices something different from what they're experiencing at their schools?

Anonymous said...

I definately noticed the lack of color in the NE.

View Ridge has an enrollment of over 600 for the coming year and remains white on the chart?

- A VR Parent

Anonymous said...

Hey View Ridge parent -

Maybe the district is going to send your 4th and 5th graders to another school. It's the perfect way to deal with those nasty, nasty enrollment numbers you have been ignoring.


dw said...

Looks like, according to the slides, Marshall will be reopened as a middle school in 2013.

If the BEX IV timeline is correct (plan in 2012-13), then that's probably the best option if Wilson-Pacific is really a teardown.

Anonymous said...

What about today's "labor negotiations" executive session -- what is the focus?


Dorothy Neville said...

Most likely the labor negotiations executive session (and therefore not open to public) has to do with the fact that legislature budgeted a pay cut for teachers. But we had a CBA with pay scale contracted in it. Therefore, legislature's action automatically reopens negotiations between union and district. The proposed budget (the one that is suppposed to be balanced and approved by the board next week) calls for teachers to accept the cut. However, that has to be bargained, the district cannot approve such a budget without agreement from the union. Therefore, labor negotiations.

SP said...

Over the years the district's functional capacity has changed, sometimes radically. Last year West Seattle Elementary's was lowered so much I thought they had a typo from the year before. No wonder it has suddenly become 140% over capacity when the actuall enrollment hasn't substantially increased!

Does anyone have quick access to this data (the new website is impossible to use- intentionally?). In any case, using functional capacity from several years ago, I think that the district's projections are smoke & mirrors in some cases and do not reflect some of the real problem areas.

Also, with the exception of John Marshall as a MS, these maps only address elementary capacity? What happens when all of these extra kids hit 6th & then 9th grade? Do they actually mean that no middle school or high schools are above capacity currently (much less projections?).

Melissa Westbrook said...

SP, yes, the functional capacity seems to bounce up and down depending on what staff wants to see happen.

I know that there were capacity numbers given out up to about 2015 at all grade levels at a previous Work Session (and I'm sure I wrote it up). Let me try to find them and then I can find a link for it.

Anonymous said...

I find it very strange that APP kids (both Lowell and Hamilton) seem to be left out. Won't the District always have capacity problems if they never account for the APP kids in their planning? Jane

Anonymous said...

I looked at the maps for capacity and the little blue dots with <80% capacity made me laugh out loud for the two schools I know about. Both McDonald and QAE will be full (at building capactiy) in two years, three years max.


joanna said...

Since this is not directly (it could be indirectly) a Lowell issue I decided to post this here. I noticed this post below from Lori on the "Lowell, What to do" section implying that the SBOC move there is permanent. My understanding is that is is a temporary move while Meany is made ready for SBOC. Did I miss something that implied it is permanent?
Lori's quote: "My question is whether or not a group, which I know now to be the SBOC, is really dying to move to Lincoln or could they be served in another location? They already have to move once; does it matter if they move to Lincoln or somewhere else? it."

joanna said...

Remember right now some schools seem overcrowded while they accommodate the grandfathered population and siblings and the assignment area students. This will change as the grandfathered cohorts leave. I think we do really need to look at what it will all look like in each assignment area with the projected assignment area students, with estimates for the number leaving for option schools and other programs.

SP said...

FYI- The link to the Capacity Management report has been removed for now but Demographics has several new documents.

Thanks, Melissa- I was hoping someone else might have been tracking this. All my old links to Capacity Mgm. are inop now (grrrr!).

But, from hard copies as an example, Functional Capacity for West Seattle Elementary was listed at 356 (for 2008-09)
320 (2010-11)
445 (est. 2015)

Planning Capacity was listed at 424 (as of 2009)
Actual enrollment 2010-11 was 332 students, with projected 2015 enrollment at 394.

So how does that rate the highest red alert (140%+) for both current & projections on the map? There is something strange there with the manipulation of the FC numbers. What other schools are also like this?

Anonymous said...

Can you believe this mess? They closed schools and did a student assignment plan and left the Seattle community with this outcome.

-can anyone keep a straight face?

seattle citizen said...

Bird writes,
"I see "establish formal program placement leadership position" please tell me they aren't proposing to add staff to central admin -- or to boost someone's pay for added responsibilities."

I agree that there shouldn't be more money spent on a "program leadership position" but I'm glad they see the need for someone to be working with interested community stakeholders when those stakeholders apply for a new program. If I recall, there have been program placement requests asked for by the community (as per Board Policy.)

June 15th, the Board adopted Policies E0.00 and E04.00, what some might call the charter school policies. Check 'em out (see below). I believe that while they were designed to let a "partner" organization that the district picks run schools (and help select outcomes, and be "held accountable" for results...) these policies would also accomodate community groups naming themselves a potential "lead partner" group and applying to start a program. The language of the Policies supports that.
I'm thinking the APP community could partner with the "Safety Net" community and the Gen Ed community to provide a range of services designed by this Lead Partner group and the district to meet a range of needs. Can you say, "community school without a charter"?
Hmmm, but I guess it WOULD be a "charter," as the Lead Partner would assume the duty of running the school under contract with the District...Charter...Hmmm, again,k are these policies even legal, since Washington doesn't allow charters, and E04.00 basically identifies charter contracting to "leaf partners"? Hmmm
At any rate, here's the two policies, see what you think> Maybe they can used to start a new program, supported by someone identified by Supe as Program Placement lead (but with no more pay! There's work to do, let's buckle down with the staffing we have!)
E03.00 and E04.00 to be posted below, because I believe everyone should read them - they were passed two weeks ago, and could usher in charters or...community-driven learning programs...

seattle citizen said...

E03.00 School and Community Partnerships – Adopted June 15, 2011 see also E04.00

It is the policy of the Seattle School Board to create partnerships between Seattle Public Schools and the community. The Board believes it is vital to engage families and community members in the life of the school as a community center of learning. Therefore, the Board is committed to the creation and implementation of effective school-community partnerships that enhance academic outcomes by providing highquality services and instruction before, after and during the school day. Seattle Public Schools seeks to foster partnerships that further the District’s vision, mission, and goals. The Seattle School Board encourages schools to pursue partnerships that increase access to academic and non-academic supports such as: early learning, leadership and citizenry, fiscal literacy, the arts, social and emotional supports, health, collegereadiness, tutoring, mentorship, vocational experiences and other areas that link to school and District goals. Partnerships may incorporate all segments of our community, including: families, social service providers, healthcare providers, institutions of higher education, the arts, civic and faith-based organizations, culturally-specific community based organizations, elected and appointed officials, and businesses, along with District leaders, staff, and students. Services and programs offered in partnership must be accessible and affordable to students, families, and the school community.
• Partnerships must be documented and partners must have the approval of the Principal in the schools in which they serve.
• Partnerships must have measureable outcomes related to the mission of SPS and individual school goals, which will be monitored through an annual reporting process and by sharing data, in accordance with federal and state law, to help improve outcomes for students
• When a school enters into a partnership agreement, it is incumbent on the principal and school staff to follow all District policies relating to partnership, including any policies on building usage and student safety.
• If the partnership is not demonstrating a substantial positive impact, or for other reasons is determined to be unsatisfactory, SPS reserves the right to terminate the partnership.
Partnerships fall into different categories based on things such as the type or scope of programs and services offered by the partner to schools and students; the amount of contact time the partner has with students; the number of schools served; the degree to which the partner accesses district resources; and the type of data shared between the District and the partner. The Superintendent is directed to develop a structure differentiating partners by category, including: a selection and approval process, decision making authority, accountability, and an annual review cycle. (Reference Superintendent Procedures)
In certain instances the Board invites a deeper and more intensive partnership in schools where a Lead Partner is selected to work collaboratively with the principal, staff, community, and other partners in support of school and District goals.

seattle citizen said...

E04.00 Lead Community Partner Policy - Adopted June 15, 2011 see also E03.00

It is the policy of the Seattle School Board to encourage partnerships between Seattle Public Schools and the community. Partnerships fall into different categories, and in certain schools the Board invites a deeper and more intensive partnership with a Lead Partner that is selected to work collaboratively with the principal, staff, community, and other partners in support of school and District goals. The selected Lead Partner may be a community based organization, institution of higher learning, public agency, or other entity that demonstrates its ability to serve in this capacity. The partner must demonstrate the ability to collaborate with, and between, the school community and other partners; set high expectations for all students; embrace diversity; work to connect school and community assets; and share accountability for results.
A Lead Partner is defined as:
An entity selected to serve as the central point of contact between the principal, school community, and other partners. This partner is given the responsibility for doing an annual school needs assessment; identifying gaps in service; convening regular meetings of other partners; engaging the school, students, families, and wider community in determining how to collaboratively meet student and school needs in order to reach school and District goals; and other responsibilities as outlined in a Memorandum of Understanding or contract. It shall be the responsibility of the Lead Partner to develop agreements with other organizations and agencies, with input from the school community and District, and in accordance with Superintendent Procedures. The school and District shall articulate the resources, assets, and qualities desired in a Lead Partner and shall go through an open process to select a partner qualified to fulfill this role. The School Board may have the opportunity to review, approve, or terminate an agreement at a regularly scheduled meeting in instances where:
• The agreement meets or exceeds $250,000
• It is determined that a school, the Superintendent, or the School Board want to select one partner to have a level of autonomy to work with a principal and school to coordinate other partners;
• The agreement is for more than one year.
Lead Partners, along with District and school staff, will determine measureable outcomes related to the mission of Seattle Public Schools and individual school goals, which will be monitored through an annual reporting process. If the partnership is not demonstrating a substantial positive impact, or for other reasons is determined to be unsatisfactory, SPS reserves the right to terminate the partnership. The Superintendent is directed to develop procedures to implement this policy.

aly said...

Has the District considered using the elementary alternative schools as capacity overflow schools for elementary schools that are at capacity? For instance, the District could guarantee attendance area students enrollment in their elementary neighborhood school during open enrollment, but then "close" guaranteed enrollment after open enrollment ends. Students on the waitlist who are out of area sibilings of enrolled students could then be allowed into the school if there is room and the District would not have to worry about maintaining open seats in case additional students move into the attendance area. Students who move into the attendance area of a full school would be sent to their reference alternative school, such as TOPS or Salmon Bay. I guess one drawback could be that the displaced student could reapply to their neighborhood school during the following year's Open Enrollment, and would have to be allowed in. The District could "hold" open seats in the alternative schools during open enrollment.

Bird said...


What's the benefit of this change? Are you just proposing it as a way to get more siblings into the schools?

I do think that the district sees the option schools as a way of managing capacity, though not through the exact means you outline.

I think that using option schools in this way is detrimental to them, as many were built to be schools with a particular focus or interest, and the more that you use them schools as a sop for your enrollment problems, the more you dilute that focus.

They lose their alternative identity and just become the school for the kids who were unfortunate to move at the wrong time of year.

aly said...


yes a benefit would be to get sibs into school with their older sibs - I think keeping families together is critical - but it would also address overcrowding issues in elementary schools that simply can't continue to grow because there are not enough available classrooms and upwards of 28 kids per class. With this approach, the District could guarantee slots at the alternative school for the displaced student. Alternatively the student could choose to go to another elementary school in the middle school area with room. I appreciate your concern about dimishing the integrity of the alternative school programs. though I don't know how much flexibility alternative schools have to add/subtract classes based on enrollment. My hope would be that the District would still enroll alternative school classes during open enrollment. I guess its a question to Enrollment as to how many students per middle school area generally end up in this situation.

seattle citizen said...

aly, if you look at Board Policy C54.00 (which emerged from the alternative community, passed through a district/community committee, and resulted in a "checklist" that helps identify alternative schools, you'll note one aspect of the checklist: Everyone chooses to be there, to be in an alternative school environment (specifically the particular alt school the student registers for.)
The point is that as the district and the alternative community struggled to come up with a workable "definitin" of alt schools, generally, they agreed that it's a choice: Some students want an alt, some don't.
To just use them as an overflow catch basin for overfull neighborhood schools would be damaging to the alt communities, and wouldn't necessarily serve the "tradiational school" student who was assigned to the alt as a fallback.

Jan said...

Bird and aly -- I think you both have good points. Somehow, I think the District may need to come up with some sort of management device that speaks to the situation of overcrowding beyond some percentage. It's just common sense. And having a mechanism that sends kids to some other school would seem to be the solution -- but while it could be an "option" school, it shouldn't be an "alt" school -- for the reasons that Bird brings up. Alt schools only work well when students pick them because they like and are willing to sign on to the alt philosophy behind the school. Moreover, I suspect that any "overflow" solution would be one where at least a portion of the students there would be selecting out -- to the overly full school they originally wanted -- as soon as it could accomodate them -- which would result in less stability than many schools have.

Still -- I think aly is on to something. Schools that are looking at over 120% of capacity need to have some relief valve. They will need less relief if and when the District deals with academic quality issues. And they would need fewer of these if they would make LI and Montessori schools option schools (or programs) so that availability was more fair and access could be controlled -- but there may always be a need for some sort of safety valve.

uxolo said...

The new policies that Seattle Citizen shares here were passed just in time for the changeover of the New School to the hands of the League of Education Voters. The New School funding expires this year. Which other schools are they targeting to take over?

Anonymous said...

Why does the capacity management presentation not show Stevens as over capacity? There will be classes crammed into closets at Stevens next year! And could schools like Bailey Gatzert & Hawthorne really end up over capacity? Currently those are low-performing schools that a lot of families avoid. Something definitely seems strange about the numbers in this presentation.

Stevens Parent