Madison Metropolitan School District
Madison, Wisconsin

Art Rainwater, Superintendent
Minutes for Long Range Planning
September 27, 2004
Doyle Administration Building
545 West Dayton Street, Room 103
Madison, Wisconsin

Long Range Planning Committee meeting was called to order by Chair Ruth Robarts at 6:12 p.m.

MEMBERS PRESENT: Carol Carstensen, Ruth Robarts, Johnny Winston, Jr.


CITIZEN MEMBERS PRESENT: Joan Eggert; Jill Jokela; Oliver Kiefer, Student Representative; Jeff Leverich; Pat Mooney

CITIZEN MEMBERS ABSENT: Hardin Coleman; Dawn Crim; Lucy Mathiak; Lena Song, Student Representative; Jan Sternbach; Dr. Xa Xiong

OTHER BOARD MEMBERS PRESENT: Bill Clingan, Bill Keys, Juan José López, Shwaw Vang

STAFF PRESENT: Sue Abplanalp, Jennie Allen, Jane Belmore, Valencia Douglas, Mary Gulbrandsen, Kurt Kiefer, Roger Price, Joe Quick, Art Rainwater, Barbara Lehman - Recording Secretary

1. Approval of Minutes

It was moved by Carol Carstensen and seconded by Johnny Winston, Jr. to approve the minutes of the Long Range Planning Committee meeting dated September 13, 2004 as distributed. Motion unanimously carried.

2. Public Appearances

Arlene Silveira, representing Leopold Elementary School, talked about the current enrollment situation and options for the future for Leopold. Three years ago the situation was dealt with by changing some boundaries, out posting the third grade for two years, and building an addition onto Leopold. The long-term solution was to build a second school on that campus with K-2 and 3-5 separated and some shared spaces. Leopold is already at capacity at 670 students with a projection of 638. There are two teachers with 30 students sharing the same 700 square feet, Fitchburg continues to grow, and they have gone to full SAGE programming. She stated that the Board made a promise then not to outpost anymore. Boundary changes have never been a good idea for Leopold as they create pockets of low-income students and would remove the neighborhood school which is effective for kids. The land is paid for, keeps the neighborhood school concept, encourages family interactions, and serves the children well. The Leopold parents and staff want to work with the district and the Board and the timing is critical.

Discussion: The first meeting in October would cover the Leopold situation and all documents and plans would be available. A full Board decision would be needed by the end of October to open by January 2007. Should have been done 1 1/2 years ago. Other referenda can be decided later in the year.

FOLLOW UP: Make whatever documentation is possible available on the web site regarding Leopold.

3. Administrative Presentation: Update on School Capacities and Recommendation.

(Packets included updated elementary school maximum physical plant capacity ranges (9/23/04); an elementary school maximum physical plant capacity range worksheet (9/23/04); definition and process for determining elementary school physical plant maximum enrollment capacity; third Friday September 2004 unofficial K-5 enrollment summary by school and grade; elementary school potential maximum physical capacity worksheet (9/23/04); and a step-by-step process to determine an elementary school physical plant capacity for enrollment purposes (9/23/04). Copies are attached to the original of these minutes.)

Mary Gulbrandsen reviewed the packets items and used one school as an example of how the capacity is determined. Each building was mapped out over the summer with every principal and the function of each room was labeled. That information was applied to the worksheet. She commented that every school will use all of its space regardless of the number of students enrolled and that every school uses the rooms differently. Early Childhood and other similar programs could be moved to other spaces if needed.

Discussion: There were some questions about how specific spaces are handled, e.g., when middle and elementary schools are attached, health offices, larger schools, etc. There have been requests from other districts to share how the MMSD looks at space; very few have reduced it to a formula that takes into account all the different spaces. Partitioning allows for more students to be served. There was some discussion about why Spring Harbor Middle School has a 20:1 student/teacher ratio and how the lottery works. Special needs are allocated by number of teachers needed.

Items 4 and 5 were taken up together.

4. Discussion and Questions for District Staff

5. Discussion and Next Steps for Committee

Timeline: October 11 will be dedicated to Leopold. Five-year projections for all 30 schools will be ready by November 4. There are no new construction issues other than Leopold. Ms. Robarts suggested that a public hearing be scheduled on October 18 to hear feedback on the information received on Leopold on October 11. If a referendum is recommended and it passes, Leopold will still be at capacity. One of the issues the committee will take up is what happens at Leopold for the 2005-06 and 2006-07 school years. Some internal things can be done and they can stop accepting any new children for a period of time and bus the incoming kids. Decisions are dependent on the projections. Within the school, as it moves to the 15:1 ratio, there may be sections of classrooms for special education or Title 1. Art and music would probably be on a cart. Unfortunately, politically, a referendum cannot pass when there is space in the building. Nearest schools will be made aware of the possibilities. Students do have the option of staying at the school where they may be out posted.

Reasons for not building further south where the development is going on were that the Leopold land is already owned by the district, land further south is very expensive and hard to find, and schools in the north are very dense in low-income population and there is almost none in the south. The administration did not believe that building further south would need to be done in the future but that a second building on the Leopold site would serve that area. Middle and high school issues will be part of the planning.

Ms. Gulbrandsen corrected column S of the potential maximum physical capacity worksheet to read "Description of Col R." After school programs were not put in because they do not need ventilated space. Hawthorne can be remedied with a boundary change. She noted that the five-year projections would include color-coding that would point to when the district would run into a problem with enrollment. She noted that people would have to be patient about using current data. The Superintendent noted that the district will have to build over the next five years in the far west and Leopold and the far east (district already owns the land and there are seats available). Everything else can be remedied with boundary changes. All the scenarios will play out throughout the whole process between now and the end of next spring. Secondary schools will also be considered but are experiencing declining enrollment; enrollment goes in waves.

Projects can be posted on the web site. Five-year projections will be out on November 4, then the impact of new developments, then "dealing with overcrowded and under crowded schools" will be applied by the end of December. Short-term projects were Leopold and finding solutions to identify problems internally by December. Transportation impact will begin in February. February and March will be review time and to hold public hearings and make decisions.

All the steps involved in getting ready for the referendum were explained. Current boundary maps are located on the web site. There are two and potentially three possible referenda questions that the administration is recommending be taken up on April 5, 2005; Leopold, maintenance, and the operating referendum. It is assumed that new building costs at Leopold will be no less than $11 million (Chavez was $11 million). There was some discussion about not having enough information in April from the state about their budget and the impact it will have on the district. Effort would be made to try and get all three questions together. An operating budget referendum can be held any time but is cheaper to hold when there is another election. The City Clerk's Office needs 40-60 days advance notice to hold a special election. There was some discussion about not being able to predict more than one year out what the building needs will be districtwide. There was a comment made that the referenda would have a better chance of passing if all the schools were affected.

Recap: Ms. Robarts stated that the meeting on the 11th would be informational relative to Leopold followed by a decision meeting on the 25th on a new building on the Leopold site, and she asked for time on the 18th for people to respond on the Leopold information from October 11. There was consensus among the Board members on the public hearing.

6. Announcements

There were no announcements.

7. Other Business

There was no other business

8. Adjournment

It was moved by Johnny Winston, Jr. and seconded by Carol Carstensen to adjourn the meeting at 7:12 p.m. Motion unanimously carried.