Madison Metropolitan School District
Madison, Wisconsin

Art Rainwater, Superintendent
BOARD OF EDUCATION
Minutes for Long Range Planning
April 11, 2005
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 p.m.

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

MEMBERS ABSENT: None

OTHER BOARD MEMBERS PRESENT: Bill Keys, Juan José López, and Student Representative Oliver Kiefer (arrived 6:33 p.m.)

ADVISORY COMMITTEE MEMBERS

PRESENT: Dawn Crim, Joan Eggert, Jill Jokela, Jeff Leverich, Lucy Mathiak, Pat Mooney, Jan Sternbach

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 meetings dated February 21, March 2, March 7, March 10, and March 14, 2005 as distributed. Motion unanimously carried.

2. Public Appearances

Lawrence Winkler criticized the district's budget process and timeline stating that it does not allow the board or public to have reasonable access. He would not support any of the referenda unless the process is fixed. He suggested that the budget needed to come out on April 22 before any staff contracts or agreements are decided in order to have reasoned and tempered debate.

Nancy Booth, Thoreau Elementary teachers, opposed moving Allied Drive students from Thoreau where they do well. The school is on the bus line and close to the neighborhood.

FOLLOW UP: Revisions of existing plans will be included in the next board packet.

There was some discussion about taking up the issue of the interim plans at Leopold, the school assignment process for Allied Drive, and continuing the citizen memberships through the end of the academic year.

Emily Roebuck, bilingual third grade teacher at Lincoln, stated that the BRS/ESL teachers were asking for support for their crucial role in the schools. Stated that compared to California, this district is excellent with race and equity issues. One-hundred percent of her kids are minorities and receive free and reduced lunch. She asked the committee to consider race and equity when considering cuts for next year.

Erin McGrath, ESL/Bilingual teachers at Lincoln, also asked the board to support them and asked who else would be able to teach her survival English classes to newcomers. A copy of her statement outlined her work in the classrooms and is attached to the original of these minutes.

It was suggested that Jack Jorgensen and Amy Christianson be invited to come and talk to the board as part of the budget process. Administration was proposing less Bilingual Resource Teachers; no change to the Bilingual Resource Specialists. Allocations at Thoreau assumed Allied students would be there.

Tracy Bredeson, co-chair of the Leopold PFO, talked about the interim plans for Leopold and supported keeping everyone in the building for the next two years even though it would be very tight quarters. The district's proposal is best and supported by the parents.

Keemie Vann, fourth grader at Thoreau and there since kindergarten, would feel terrible if she had to leave. Her school is great. She did not want the Allied kids to leave because they are her friends and she likes to see people that look like her.

Kelly McCann, kindergarten teacher at Thoreau, talked about her experience. She has been educated by the children and families from Allied Drive. She conducted research and collected data about the families that will be affected by the change as part of her thesis. She surveyed 113 families and received many back. She added that Thoreau has been working on relationships with Allied families for ten years. During her personal interviews, it was found that the biggest obstacle to school success was mobility; people do not have a car. The second was trust; it is very important to them that their children stay in school. These families care even though they do not come out to meetings. She distributed a copy of her thesis which will be attached to the original of these minutes.

It was suggested that leaving the Allied families intact be placed on a future agenda.

Oliver Kiefer arrived at 6:33 p.m.

Beth Zurbuchen, Leopold parent, experienced the outposting years and did not want to go through that again. The administration's proposal keeps them together as a community. They did not support outposting or pull-outs or pulling back on SAGE. Picking up the four classrooms will get them what they need until the new school is built. She had difficulty hearing the word racism and Leopold together. She hoped the committee would support the plan.

Bridget Nolan, kindergarten teacher at Thoreau, values the presence of Allied Drive children in their school and in the community. Everyone has grown from knowing them. Thoreau is the closest school to the Allied Neighborhood and relationships have formed.

It was suggested that the committee go out to that neighborhood and talk to the families.

There was one written registration supporting plans 3A2 and 3D3 which keep the "attendance islands" as they are and preserving the Crestwood, Muir, and Stephens districts.

3. Announcements

There were no announcements.

Item 5 was taken up out of order.

5. Options to Address the Overcrowded Student Population Problem at Hawthorne Elementary School

(Packets included a summary and details of Modules 1 and 1B. Copies are attached to the original of these minutes.)

At the hearing last week, it was apparent that the parents and PTO members favored Module 1B which redistricts some of the students to Schenk. They want certainty and decisions and closure. Fifth grade would be grandfathered in. Special education and ESL delivery would depend on the IEP of each child. Bussing would also be grandfathered in. ELL will be handled by that department.

It was moved by Johnny Winston, Jr. and seconded by Carol Carstensen to accept the administration's recommendation to move 128 students from Hawthorne to Schenk, Module 1B.

The advisors agreed.

Discussion: ELL would have to be looked at very specifically. A critical mass of students is needed in order to provide ELL services keeping in mind the financial situation. There was some discussion about transition planning that has already taken place.

Motion unanimously carried.

4. Proposed Plans to Address the Overcrowded Student Population Problem at Leopold Elementary School for the 2005-06 and 2006-07 School Years

(Packets included a memorandum outlining the plan to accommodate overcrowding at Leopold in view of the results of the upcoming referendum (4/7/05). A copy is attached to the original of these minutes.)

Discussion: Ms. Robarts asked the committee if they needed to think about the plans anymore. She wanted to know if they should discuss it now or in two weeks. It would be financed out of the operating budget. The plan would stay the same if the referendum passes. There would need to be a review of the existing plans that address the issues if the referendum fails. It was confirmed that bus runs cost about $50,000 each. If the referendum fails there will be boundary changes. The last choice would be to modify the implementation of SAGE. If the referendum passes, this will be a two-year plan; if it fails, it will be a one-year plan. Boundary changes cannot be made early enough for the fall. The funding would come from the referendum if it passes, otherwise the money will be borrowed from the state trust fund. There was some discussion about what has been heard from the Leopold community and the broader community.

It was moved by Johnny Winston, Jr. and seconded by Carol Carstensen to accept the option that would create four additional classrooms at Leopold Elementary School. Motion unanimously carried. The student representative's advisory vote was aye. The advisory committee members also agreed.

One of the advisory members suggested having another meeting about this process after the work is done. It was also suggested that there be some discussion about keeping the advisory members on the committee.

FOLLOW UP: Consider a wireless lab in the Library Media Center for the plans at Leopold (weigh the results of the pilot running at Cherokee).

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 7:19 p.m. Motion unanimously carried.

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