Madison Metropolitan School District
Madison, Wisconsin

Art Rainwater, Superintendent
BOARD OF EDUCATION
Minutes for Long Range Planning
April 6, 2005
Hawthorne Elementary School
3344 Concord Avenue, Gymnasium
Madison, Wisconsin

Long Range Planning Committee meeting was called to order by Chair Ruth Robarts at 6:41 p.m.

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

MEMBERS ABSENT: None

OTHER BOARD MEMBERS PRESENT: Bill Keys, Board Member-Elect Lawrie Kobza

ADVISORY COMMITTEE MEMBERS Joan Eggert, Lucy Mathiak, Pat Mooney, Student Representatives Oliver Kiefer and Lena Song

STAFF PRESENT: Jennie Allen, Jane Belmore, Sheila Briggs, Mary Gulbrandsen, Cathy McMillan, Joe Quick, Art Rainwater, Ann Wilson - Recording Secretary

1. Announcements

There were no announcements.

2. Public Hearing Regarding Overcrowding of Students at Hawthorne Elementary School

(Written materials provided - Module 1 Packet, Module 1 Administration Recommendation to Board of 2/14/05, both attached to the original of these minutes.)

Committee members were introduced. Ruth Robarts reviewed the schedule of hearings and meetings for the Long Range Planning Committee. She noted the committee will make decisions about Hawthorne, Lake View and an interim plan for Leopold before new chairs are selected for Board committees at the end of the month.

Mary Gulbrandsen explained the modules currently under consideration to address overcrowding at Hawthorne.

Carolyn Clow, Hawthorne PTO President, thanked the committee for coming to Hawthorne. She listed several concerns. Is there a plan for ESL students? - Hawthorne has a program, but Schenk does not. Concerned about accuracy of capacity numbers and projections. Concern about communication and service for 5th graders who are grandfathered - busing. Concern about how changes will affect middle and high school students.

Janine Smith, lives in the area designated to go to Schenk. Would like decision made as soon as possible so families can make a smooth transition. Feel pushed off by the Board - should have made a decision earlier.

Unidentified person - Opposed outposting. Has been a long lull in time. Committee did not take the issue seriously, but it is a big issue. Feel overcrowding will come up again as a problem in a few years. Feel frustration when the Board talks about a problem and then drops it.

Marisue Horton - Speaking because she wanted the Hawthorne community to know that people on the west side care about situations on the east side. Hope Board members listen to individual communities. Speaking on behalf of her co-workers, who recommend 1B. If a move is to be made, do it right, and send students to schools where there are existing services. In general, keep our children in mind; need to work together across the city as communities. Thanked the committee for meeting in schools.

Unidentified Person - The process used to predict enrollments was bad. Just to know people are working on a problem would have turned a hostile group around. We love Hawthorne school, will miss it.

Unidentified Person - We know we have to move - need to make that decision and work on transition for kids and families. May need to increase some services to help with the transition - lost after school program.

Carolyn Clow - It should have been the responsibility of the Board to make a decision and tell the Hawthorne school and community what would be done. Instead, you were asking us what to do. The Hawthorne community did not get the help it needed from Board or administration. We did it - no one helped us. We made sacrifices here. We needed you, and you weren't there. You dropped the ball. Make the decision - just do it. The Board should have a process that does not allow an overcrowding situation to happen.

Unidentified Person - We had endless space, then there was no room. We want the situation to be watched. We think the projections are very low. Has been a rough school year, and we want it to end. Want to make sure it doesn't happen again. Outposting in January was too late. Lack of timely attention was a huge factor.

Unidentified Person - The enrollment issue was here a year ago - why was it not dealt with then? If you're watching the situation at a school, deal with it early.

Unidentified Persons - There are more Hawthorne persons here (as opposed to Schenk families) because there is a concern that the numbers are wrong. Is Autumn Lake going to Sun Prairie; not getting that picture.

Unidentified Person - This meeting opened my eyes - should have been more involved. Talked with son about this - who sees only overcrowding, not getting attention. Son does not want to leave. Agree there needs to be more planning for the long term.

Unidentified Person - School worked very hard on improving student grades; all got put aside because of this issue. Tribute to staff for keeping grades up in spite of obstacles.

3. Other Business

There was no other business.

4. Adjournment

It was moved by Johnny Winston, Jr. and seconded by Carol Carstensen to adjourn the meeting at 8:03 p.m. Motion unanimously carried.

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