Madison Metropolitan School District
Madison, Wisconsin

Art Rainwater, Superintendent
Minutes for Long Range Planning
October 18, 2004
Leopold Elementary School
2602 Post Road
Madison, Wisconsin

Long Range Planning Committee meeting was called to order by Chair Ruth Robarts at 7:07 p.m.

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


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

ADVISORY COMMITTEE MEMBERS PRESENT: Dawn Crim, Oliver Kiefer (Student Representative), Jeff Leverich, Lena Song (Alternate Student Representative), Jan Sternbach


MEMBERS ABSENT: Hardin Coleman, Joan Eggert, Jill Jokela, Lucy Mathiak, Pat Mooney, Dr. Xa Xiong

STAFF PRESENT: Jane Belmore, Valencia Douglas, Mary Gulbrandsen, Doug Pearson, Roger Price, Art Rainwater, Ken Syke, Ann Wilson - Recording Secretary

1. Public Hearing Relative to Constructing a Second School on the Leopold Site

(Written materials provided: memorandum regarding Leopold Elementary Space Assessment (10/7/04; three Administrative recommendations for constructing a second school on the current Leopold Elementary school site (10/14/04). Copies are attached to the original of these minutes.)

Beth Zurbuchen - Move forward with the decisions for part three begun three years ago. Going to referendum will be a challenge - the Board must communicate diversity, challenge. Need to keep our school strong and healthy. Our job is to make sure schools in Madison are, if not world class, "up to class."

Michelle Heitzinger - Live in this neighborhood because of the neighborhood school. Feeling crunch now but it will get worse; need to plan for long-term growth. Clients (to her professional relocation firm) are surprised that you don't "need" to attend private schools in Madison; have excellent public schools.

Raquel Shoemaker-Allen - Moved from Minnesota for quality of life and schools - appreciate small class size. Support a second building, oppose out-posting. Provide leeway for changing needs and growth. This is not extra space, but space needed now.

Peggy Eis - Spoke of experience living in San Diego. Have diverse environment and good quality education here - need to preserve those. Chose Madison - serving full spectrum, phenomenal teachers. Excited about additional school as a great solution to space needs.

Dawn Crim - Met teachers and students at Leopold in her job as coordinator of UW volunteer services. Experienced wonderful things, want that for her children. Wants her children to see that diversity.

Chris Thomas-Cramer - Committed to public education and diversity. Concerned about out posting possibility. Can't fight demographics; have to deal with the reality. Need to remind the public that public education benefits everyone; it is to the benefit of all to fund public education. Support the addition and a referendum.

Ed Blume - Caution to take time and think beyond going to referendum - identify possible consequences. Consider tax and referendum concerns - a backup plan in case the referendum fails, look at possibility of annual referenda, impact on middle schools and high schools. Have more public hearings to tap into general feeling of the public; citizens in broader community are experts - take time to tap into their knowledge. The more input you get, the better the product. (Submitted written statement.)

Fern Murdoch - Think about finances long term. Demographics are exploding - school is diverse/great mix because of the neighborhood. Bring back the community that was bused away. Support second school as an economically feasible plan.

Natalie Callander - Moved from San Antonio. Leopold has an overcrowding issue - classes are too large, not conducive to learning. Teachers trying hard to work with what they have. Need more positive public relations about what a great school Leopold is. Need emphasis on appreciation for need of TAG students. Appreciated Spanish class.

Gail Lucas - Moved from Fitchburg so child could walk to school. Very pleased with his education at Leopold - a big school works. There are opportunities in the neighborhood - first time buyers can afford homes here. Diversity is a great asset.

Jen Hylbert - Discourage "out posting." Do not re-boundary to break up diversity. Need another school.

Dalia Salazar - Like the school, the staff, and the bilingual classes. Supports the plan for building another school so she and other Latino families can come to Leopold. Have staff at the school to meet all of their needs.

Elizabeth Wingert - Representing Leopold teachers. Need a new building - community is growing at a rapid rate, some teachers do not have classrooms, support teachers do not have offices. Not a professional environment to work in, and not good for students.

There were 10 written registrations in support of building another school at the Leopold site.

Ruth Robarts commented that the full Board of Education will vote on this issue on October 25 and shared a general timeline for construction. She noted the need to present the needs of Leopold as part of a 3-5 year plan for the whole district, supporting growth in all parts of the city including at the middle and high school levels. Those committee members and advisory committee members who wished to do so shared ending thoughts.

2. Adjournment

It was moved by Carol Carstensen and seconded by Johnny Winston, Jr. to adjourn the meeting at 8:30 p.m. Motion unanimously carried.