Madison Metropolitan School District
Madison, Wisconsin

Art Rainwater, Superintendent
Minutes for Long Range Planning
October 11, 2004
Doyle Administration Building
545 West Dayton Street, Room 103
Madison, Wisconsin

Long Range Planning Committee meeting was called to order by Carol Carstensen at 7:06 p.m.

MEMBERS PRESENT: Carol Carstensen, Johnny Winston, Jr.


CITIZEN MEMBERS PRESENT: Dawn Crim; Joan Eggert; Jill Jokela; Oliver Kiefer, Student Representative; Pat Mooney; Lena Song; Jan Sternbach

CITIZEN MEMBERS ABSENT: Hardin Coleman; Jeff Leverich; Lucy Mathiak; Dr. Xa Xiong

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

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

Item 2 was taken up out of order.

2. Public Appearances

Jan Sternbach, Advisory Committee, spoke about holding Long Range Planning meetings on nights other than Monday or at 5 p.m. instead of 6 p.m. in consideration of the citizen members involved. Some people had to leave tonight because the previous meeting went over too long.

Barb Schrank, parent, suggested that if another night does not work and this happens again, if the previous meeting could be stopped or tabled then continued later. Staff replied that this has been done in the past and could be done in the future.

Tracy Bredeson, Co-chair of Leopold PFO, spoke of the continuation of the massive housing developments on the southwest side and how Leopold is enjoying small class sizes but they are feeling the pressure to use every inch of space. They preferred that other solutions be explored first but would support a referendum to add more space.

Joan Eggert, Advisory Committee, appreciated the Committee's unique composition having citizen members, especially if there is going to be a referendum. The Citizen Members would need to help sell it and would need to be educated. She wanted the meeting times to work out better for everyone.

Dawn Crim, Advisory Committee, echoed the sentiments of the other Advisory Members. She suggested that if there is a lot of citizen input that maybe this Committee time be moved to a later time or at 5 p.m. She also agreed that the main reason they were here tonight was to talk about Leopold. The Superintendent stated that they would try to do improve the meeting time situation.

1. Approval of Minutes

It was moved by Johnny Winston, Jr. and seconded by Carol Carstensen to approve the minutes of the Long Range Planning Committee meeting dated September 27, 2004 as distributed. Motion unanimously carried by those present.

3. Announcements

There were no announcements.

4. Constructing a Second Elementary School on the Leopold Elementary School Site

(Packets included the Leopold Elementary space assessment (10/7/04). A copy is attached to the original of these minutes.)

Mary Gulbrandsen noted that the Administration was making a recommendation to build a second building on the Leopold site. Roger Price, who is responsible for all the enrollment projections and who works with the housing developers in Madison, would be giving a short presentation. She added that a rationale would be provided on why the district was interested in building a school rather than doing a boundary change in this area.

Roger Price highlighted the materials giving a brief history, and listing the priorities, recommendations, and a timeline (a copy of the presentation is attached to the original of these minutes). The presentation also covered enrollment history, capacity, Leopold students attending Thoreau and Chavez and the impact of bringing them back to Leopold, and space available with a new building. It was added that Thoreau and Chavez would need seats over the next five years and that the Leopold building itself has smaller classrooms and less storage space. If the building was made into a K-2 school with a 15:1 student/teacher ratio, it becomes a reasonable size.

Discussion: More pressure was put on when Leopold went to full SAGE programming. One of the re-boundary issues is that it would become 50% low-income centered right around the school. The public hearing will focus on the recommendations.

There was some discussion on why the district is not aggressively seeking new land in this area at the present time due to surrounding boundary agreements and the unlikely event of new developments. There were some questions about busing time up and down Fish Hatchery Road, busing children on Ski Lane to Allis as part of the desegregation plan with the OCR, and those children walking who live along the Beltline.

Mr. Price noted that they were trying to create two distinct buildings as two separate entities on one campus for grades K-2 and 3-5. Staffing patterns would be the same as for two separate schools. Demographic changes for every school affected will be part of the process. There are some internal strategies available for dealing with the overcrowding until the new school is built. Cannot pass a referendum until the school is full.

Discussion continued: After the public hearing, next issues are how to convince the public, especially those who do not live in the Leopold area. The idea to get across is that if there is no school built, then the whole district will be impacted. Isthmus has strong support for new schools but the district has to meet their needs where there is some declining enrollment. A new building will be required by Chavez as well within the next five years. There was some discussion about the playground, adjoining city park land, the size of the hill, more stringent rules, and having a bigger plan for traffic flow. Old library space would be brought to the next level to increase usage. It was suggested that a tour be taken by members of the committee of Leopold and other buildings relative to maintenance issues. Members agreed to take individual tours of Leopold when the children are present during the day. Re-boundary process will have to identify alternatives to a failed referendum but the timing for bringing this out is another issue. Issue is being rushed so the Administration can begin a more detailed plan and how it will affect the entire district. Cost is minimal in Madison compared to the operating budget. Adding on in pieces through bonding would have to be paid out of the operating budget and needs referendum authority; pay twice as much for less time. There are limits on borrowing and time.

FOLLOW UP: Talked three years ago about the potential for a second school on the Leopold site to be a middle school if things did not pan out. A middle school will be needed in that area. Administration will talk to the architect about the middle school potential.

5. Other Business

There was no other business

6. Adjournment

The meeting adjourned at 8:20 p.m. by the unanimous consent of those present.