Disqus

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Special Meeting This Thursday for Interim Plan Vote

From President Smith-Blum:

SCHOOL BOARD TO VOTE ON CAPACITY MANAGEMENT PLAN AT

JANUARY 31st SPECIAL MEETING

The School Board is expected to vote on the Short Term Capacity Management Plan during a special meeting at 5 p.m. on Thursday, January 31st at the auditorium of the John Stanford Center for Educational Excellence.

On January 23rd, the Board decided to delay the vote by a week to review 2013-14 enrollment projections, which are expected the week of January 28th. District staff will review the options to address our growing enrollment for next year with this additional data.

Enrollment is projected to grow by 7,000 students over the next 10 years. The Capacity Management Plan addresses immediate capacity needs. If approved by voters on Feb. 12, renewal of the Building Excellence IV (BEX IV) Capital Levy would provide capital funding for long-term growth.
Even though public testimony was heard on the Short Term Capacity Management Plan on January 9th and 23rd, ten public testimony slots, two minutes each, will be available at the January 31st meeting.

People who wish to provide testimony at the Board meeting should follow the standard sign-up procedure by calling 206-252-0040 or emailing the School Board office at boardagenda@seattleschools.org starting at 8 a.m. on Monday, January 28th. People should give their legal name, telephone number and email address when requesting to speak. Since there is only one item on the agenda, speakers must address capacity management.

Any updated information on the Short Term Capacity Management Plan will be posted online Wednesday late afternoon at www.seattleschools.org/schoolboard.

More information on capacity management is available here. Families can continue to voice their opinions at schoolboard@seattleschools.org and capacity@seattleschools.org.

                                                                                   ***

While I am glad for this delay, it certainly gives little time for assessing the new enrollment data.  At last week's Board meeting there was considerable discussion over when parents and community could see these new numbers with enough time to make a general assessment.  Late Wednesday is pretty late but if you can crunch numbers and find a flaw in either idea, then you may sway someone on the Board.  I think hard, cold numbers could change minds in either direction.

(I am assuming that the 6th grade academy idea is out and it's either co-locate the new middle school with JA K-8 or steady state with planning for one more year.)

This is, of course, all in the belief that the Directors ARE willing to look at and consider new data BEFORE they make a decision for their own vote.  I hope each of them are willing to do that because otherwise this will be an exercise in window-dressing for the public and extra work for staff.

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

One thing I find odd about this whole mess that hasn't really been discussed. Jane Addams is full by any "reasonable measure." It is just that Jane Addams isn't full by the now-normal "unreasonable" measures. JA doesn't have a portable farm (yet) like most other schools. Whitman has at least 10 portables and Eckstein has about 20. Hamilton can't take portables but they have converted all of their flex spaces and there is clearly many, many more students in the building that the hallways were designed to hold.

That is just the north end, Washington is also getting more portables each year and I don't know if anyone can even count the portables at Schmitz Park.

So the plan to co-locate at Jane Addams is clearly dependent on adding a portable farm to Jane Addams. One of Sherry Carr's amendments has 16 portables at Jane Addams in order to make everyone fit. I have no idea if this is the right thing to do or not but it sure seems like maybe if portable farms at all the schools is the new normal, then maybe we need to start having a city wide conversation about portable farms.

It sure seems like the issue at Eckstein is how many portables can you place at a school before the core facilities just collapse. In an academic sort of way, it is interesting that the plan to right size Eckstein is to make the same problem at Jane Addams but this time with elementary students in the building as well as middle schoolers.

I am just really confused by all of this and wonder if anyone has information that I am just missing.

- old school rodeo

Anonymous said...

@old school rodeo

You summed it up pretty well, except I believe Eckstein currently has 15 portables, not twenty-something. I'm not saying 15 portables is acceptable, but I believe that is the current portable count.

The JA building actually smaller than Eckstein, in terms of square footage, so to add 16 portables to the Jane Addams building would result in more strain on the core structure than what is currently the case for Eckstein.

I can't imagine how Option B could be considered a viable solution. Perhaps they are counting on Shoreline out-migration for capacity management at Jane Addams?

-North-End Mom

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know if the meeting will be broadcast like the regular Board meetings?

-StepJ

Anonymous said...

I am curious about the feelings about a 6th grade academy. Everyone hates that idea. When parents say it is the worst option, are they saying that it is worse than the option that affects them the most? Or are they saying it is worse than an option that affects them the least?

So for APP parents is the 6th grade academy worse than keeping APP 6th graders with the elementary school? For Eckstein parents is a 6th grade academy worse than continuing the crowding at Eckstein? For Jane Addams parents, is 6th grade academy worse than adding another middle school in your building? For Sacajawea, Olympic Hills & John Rogers, is a 6th grade academy worse than a start up middle school at Jane Addams?

-Just curious

Anonymous said...

"Had It Up to Here on the Monday of Capacity Decision Week" thinks...

The district can't win. In fact the poor messengers they send to those Eckstein-Hamilton-Jane Addams meetings should get time-and-a-half salary for dealing with it all. And this is before the families get new boundary assignments in the coming years. The level of whiny self-entitlement is at epic levels.

There is no solution in the northeast because the parents won't support one that impacts their own kids as well as other kids. So---the district should leave every population in a building, in its building. End of story.

In return, every middle school property should get a portable farm and that if the farms take over playfield space, too bad. Let the kids go play after school. Bring in portable kitchen and bathrooms if more infrastructure is needed.

When money comes in and new middle schools are built, perhaps parents will be a whole lot more pleased to either A) move from their traditional enrollment pattern to a new school or B) be grateful that their current school is finally less crowded.

PS: Parents think their northeast environments are 'unsafe'? Try a walkthrough of some West Seattle properties. Go home, lick an ice cream cone. Celebrate. Get over yourselves.

Anonymous said...

"Had It Up to Here on the Monday of Capacity Decision Week" thinks...

The district can't win. In fact the poor messengers they send to those Eckstein-Hamilton-Jane Addams meetings should get time-and-a-half salary for dealing with it all. And this is before the families get new boundary assignments in the coming years. The level of whiny self-entitlement is at epic levels.

There is no solution in the northeast because the parents won't support one that impacts their own kids as well as other kids. So---the district should leave every population in a building, in its building. End of story.

In return, every middle school property should get a portable farm and that if the farms take over playfield space, too bad. Let the kids go play after school. Bring in portable kitchen and bathrooms if more infrastructure is needed.

When money comes in and new middle schools are built, perhaps parents will be a whole lot more pleased to either A) move from their traditional enrollment pattern to a new school or B) be grateful that their current school is finally less crowded.

PS: Parents think their northeast environments are 'unsafe'? Try a walkthrough of some West Seattle properties. Go home, lick an ice cream cone. Celebrate. Get over yourselves.

Anonymous said...

Just curious,

Students with disabilities can not be accommodated in the Marshall building without considerable cost. Every special education program in the NE would need replication in the 6th grade academy. Students with disabilites are entitled to education with non disabled peers to the maximum extent possible, all of whom would be in the academy. Many of these programs are small and specialized. Eg. Dear/Hard of Hearing, Medically fragile, etc. Would we really want a bunch of dedicated programs with specific teacher ratio's, running with only 1 or 2 or 3 6th grade students? All programs running at a fraction of capacity? Additionally, the building would need considerable modification to be made wheelchair accessible, eg. lifts, accessible fire escapes, stairway accessibility. Given all that, the 6th grade academy is an expensive non-starter. And that doesn't even factor in any human costs - maximizing school transitions for students that don't transition easily. It ain't happening.

sped momma

Anonymous said...

Unless district staff releases entirely new recommendations (always a possibility I suppose) alongside the updated enrollment projections, we are not looking a 6th grade academy. JAMS is going to roll-up into the JA building, co-housed, with JA K-8. The only item being debated now is when. District staff has been recommending 2014, Sherry Carr and a few other board members have been saying 2013. Nothing else is on the table.
My $.02: District staff have a better handle on all the issues in play than do Sherry Carr and her allies. No boundary changes in 2013/JAMS in 2014 is the way to go. I hope 4 Directors agree.
- Gramps