Madison Metropolitan School District
Madison, Wisconsin

Art Rainwater, Superintendent
Minutes for Long Range Planning
February 14, 2005
Doyle Administration Building
545 West Dayton Street, McDaniels Auditorium
Madison, Wisconsin

Long Range Planning Committee meeting was called to order by Chair Ruth Robarts at 6:02 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 Hardin Coleman, Dawn Crim, Joan Eggert, Jill Jokela, Jeff Leverich,

PRESENT: Lucy Mathiak, Pat Mooney, Jan Sternbach, Student Board Members Oliver Kiefer and Lena Song

STAFF PRESENT: Sue Abplanalp, Jennie Allen, Jane Belmore, Valencia Douglas, Mary Gulbrandsen, Kurt Kiefer, Tim Potter, Roger Price, Joe Quick, Art Rainwater, Marcia Standiford, 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 January 10, January 19, and January 24, 2005 as distributed. Motion unanimously carried.

Item 4 was taken up out of order.

4. Boundary Change Options for MMSD Elementary and Middle Schools

(Packets included binders of the boundary change options for elementary schools for 2005-06. A copy is attached to the original of these minutes.)

A summary of the boundary change options was distributed (a copy is attached to the original of these minutes).

Mary Gulbrandsen gave a presentation on the proposed changes (a copy of the presentation is attached to the original of these minutes). Highlights: Why this is being done, the three modules, options within modules 2 and 3, Board of Education considerations, approaches, how to read the documents, appendices, public input, recommendations, no district-wide solution, and summaries of the options. Middle and high school re-assignments were distributed (a copy is attached to the original of these minutes). Recommendations to remove some options and keep other open to consideration were distributed and reviewed (a copy is attached to the original of these minutes).

Discussion: Poverty impacts by moving Allied Drive would not be major in the West and Memorial areas. Poverty rates for Midvale/Lincoln and Glendale difficult to reduce because of housing patterns. The United Way convened a task force to look at housing just today. Bus rides are kept under 45 minutes. ELL is adjusted every year. ELL students at Mendota would be kept in that district but go to Lindbergh. There will be some "tweaking" of small numbers of students. The Administration sifted these plans down from about 75 different scenarios. Emerson was a declining enrollment decision but could be used for alternative programs that need to be on bus lines, it is close in proximity to East High School and has the things that a school would allow. Number of available seats and budget cuts were part of the decision to close Emerson. One scenario was given for Hawthorne because it was the most viable out of the ten that were considered. Paring schools was considered and some ideas may spring forward. There are some downsides to pairing but the city housing patterns are so segregated; difficult to achieve a balance. The only way to achieve balance would take massive busing and millions of dollars.

It was suggested that study committees be formed for each module but there would not be enough staff to assign. Ideas were welcomed that could be processed by the Administration.

Discussion: Closing schools v. cutting more from the operating budget. The number of transfer students at Allied Drive is not unusual and many ELL students start in a particular school and choose to stay there. Have to stay on board with the needs of the operating budget. Moving MSCR out of Hoyt would not help because that building is not in a good location and transportation is dismal; other seats in the Memorial area will accommodate changes much better. MSCR could be moved and the building could be leased. There will be negative impact building a school when there are empty seats. The city is geographically two different school districts. Trying to mobilize people to pass the referendum.

FOLLOW UP: Provide information about the amortization of the remodeling done at the Brearly Street location.

2. Public Appearances

Arlene Silveira, Leopold parent, talked about Leopold's history and what was planned for the future. They support the Board's recommendation to build a new school on the Leopold site and going to referendum as the only choice that meets the needs of their diverse community.

Kristen Barge was concerned after reviewing the boundary change proposals as a parent of a special education and regular education child what consideration has been given to those with special needs who have a more difficult time making transitions and creating relationships.

Lisa Wiese, Northside PTO Coalition, spoke about the value of neighborhood schools and parent involvement. They did not support closing any schools and asked the Board to commit to not disrupting the education of the most vulnerable children in the district. The PTA Coalition will be organizing those schools and will be inviting board members and members of the Administration to consider better options.

Tracy Bredeson, Leopold PFO, stated that they would be waiting and watching things progress. They have been grateful for the support Leopold has enjoyed in its representation of a number of diverse neighborhoods. They are concerned about public comments pitting neighborhoods against each other.

Brian Benford as an alder for the city is aware of the fiscal realities of today and difficulties faced by the school district. He added that closing schools take the heart out of a community.

There were two written registrations in opposition to closing schools.

3. Announcements

There were no announcements.

5. Dates and Times of Future Long Range Planning Committee Meetings and Future Agenda Items for Long Range Planning Committee Meetings

Ms. Robarts distributed a written draft of proposed agenda items and a timeline for meetings over the months of February, March, and April (a copy is attached to the original of these minutes). She explained that the committee would meet regarding Leopold first, then about Lake View and Hawthorne because they have longer time frames. She was open to other options.

Ms. Gulbrandsen noted that the committee would be talking about public hearings. Any PTO that has made a request for the administration to come out has been honored. Feedback forms are everywhere. Neighborhood centers have access to computers. The Administration is committed to doing whatever it takes to get public input. The superintendent explained the situation about having to inform the board members and the press simultaneously about district business.

There was some discussion about asking Board members who are not on the committee to hold their questions/comments to another meeting time. Oliver Kiefer yielded his time to Mr. López. Other Board members also commented at the end of the meeting.

Ms. Robarts noted that people could respond on the web site but that the committee needed to focus on Leopold first. She wanted to make sure there is a process for getting input, getting analyses done, and getting them out to the public. She asked the committee and advisory member to respond to her or Mary Gulbrandsen as soon as possible about the rest of the agendas. The dates of the public hearings will be worked out for Mondays or Wednesdays. Ms. Carstensen noted that the Board would also be dealing with the budget issues and that the Long Range Planning Advisory members would need to be given the opportunity to weigh in on the referendum issues.

6. Other Business

There was no other business.

7. Adjournment

It was moved by Johnny Winston, Jr. and seconded by Carol Carstensen to adjourn the meeting at 8:04 p.m. Motion unanimously carried.