Madison Metropolitan School District
Madison, Wisconsin

Art Rainwater, Superintendent
BOARD OF EDUCATION
Minutes for Long Range Planning
April 20, 2005
Lake View Elementary School
1802 Tennyson Lane, Gym
Madison, Wisconsin

Long Range Planning Committee meeting was called to order by Chair Ruth Robarts at 6:33 p.m.

MEMBERS PRESENT: Carol Carstensen, Ruth Robarts, Johnny Winston, Jr. (arrived 6:52 p.m.)

MEMBERS ABSENT: None

OTHER BOARD MEMBERS PRESENT: Board Member-Elect Lawrie Kobza

ADVISORY COMMITTEE MEMBERS Jill Jokela, Lucy Mathiak, Pat Mooney

STAFF PRESENT: Sue Abplanalp, Jennie Allen, Jane Belmore, Mary Gulbrandsen, Joe Quick, Art Rainwater, Linda Sweeney, Ann Wilson - Recording Secretary

1. Announcements

There were no announcements.

2. Public Hearing on the Overcrowded Student Population at Lake View Elementary School

(Written materials provided - Administration Recommendations 04/12/2005 - attached to the original of these minutes.)

Rebekah, Lake View student for four years, stated that although many students move, the students here have established friendships, they like the teachers and classes, and all friends are connected.

David Cohen, Northside PTO Coalition, read a letter (attached to the original of these minutes) that reported dialogue at a number of community forums. Proposals developed at the forums were forwarded to Mary Gulbrandsen and the Board for consideration.

Kari Douglas, Lake View PFSO, presented a written statement (attached to the original of these minutes) which states the PFSO's recommendation to not redistrict any neighborhood at this time and the reasons for that recommendation. To make any changes at this time would be premature. She complimented Linda Sweeney for her service to the school and for her cooperation.

Jessica Havens, Lake View student, does not mind having more students in classrooms. It means more friends, more people to communicate with, and more people to have relationships with. Making changes would mean losing friends and students may not do as well in school. Think of Lake View as a big, giant family - the more, the merrier.

Megan Douglas, Lake View student, likes the school just the way it is. She does not want any students to leave. She has learned a lot from these friends. There are only 18 students in her class. When her older sister went to school here, there were 28 in her class. Let's not ruin a good thing.

Lendell Alston, Northside Planning Council member, has been involved with schools for more than twenty years. They have been aware of overcrowding but there is nothing new about the numbers. She supported the North Side PTO Coalition recommendations adding that a history of Lake View was needed in order to understand. It is truly a diverse school. They are concerned about students moving out, even if they remain on the north side; it is not just about the numbers. It is one of the few times he would endorse the status quo.

James Howard, Brentwood parent, agreed with the comments of previous speakers and focused his comments on the nature of five-year projections. Boundary changes are justified in a situation like that at Leopold, but talking about overcrowding at Lake View seems to be a far reach. Projections should never be taken as fact or certainty. Take some time; see if the projections are accurate. Not talking about a situation where the school would be greatly overcrowded. Need to measure benefits of redistricting; what would be gained? He questioned the district's methodology of projections.

Haley Havens, Lake View student, thinks the school is not really overcrowded. During the year, some students go out and some come in, ending up with about the same numbers. Likes this school - the gym, eating lunch on the hill, field trips; students have a lot of fun.

Blanca Cruz, East Bluff neighborhood parent, is in favor of no boundary changes at this time; want the community to stay intact. Her children have friends here - moved before and settled here with Lake View within walking distance. Change will affect her children and all their friends.

Nancy Barry - hate to see losing any of the neighborhoods; losing any would hurt the school. Ethnic representation is incredible - noted International Day. Everyone has worked hard on building school community.

David Meyer, President of Brentwood Neighborhood Association, expressed concern that communication about the proposals was not good and parents were not notified. When asked, a vast majority of the parents did not want to leave. Realities have not been addressed and they wanted the district to slow down and look at all of the schools. People are shocked at how this all came about; can't see things when the process is haphazard.

Robert Godfrey, Lake View parent, supported the comments of other speakers. This is an extraordinary school and the school (community) "pulls it off." He was concerned about fluctuating numbers and assumptions. Could be some other solutions that don't move blocks of people around. An ad hoc committee at the school could give recommendations when the enrollment goes up to a point of concern. Feels sorry for ESL students who are given reading comprehension tests when they are not ready for them.

Marisue Horton, CARES, Crestwood Parent, Fox Landing Resident - Learned so much from going to different schools and different parts of the city. The number of fathers at this meeting is impressive, and the number of parents speaking is highly commendable. Community is not platted very well; it is difficult to keep up with projections. Encouraged visit to CARE table for information about referendum. Thanked everyone for making her feel welcome.

Keith Warmke, parent and former Lake View student, thanked the Committee for taking time to listen to testimony. Urged taking the next steps and continuing to involve parents.

Joyce Craven, parent and teacher at Lake View, for teachers, overcrowding is scary. Numbers do mean a lot and affect the ability to make a child feel welcome, meet needs - it is more stressful, more time consuming, takes more energy. School has a unique diversity and is successful and is managing to be a community. She noted not many parents are present from the neighborhoods affected. Accessing meetings for some parents is very difficult; they care and are worried and stressed. When you weigh the benefits and drawbacks of making changes, looks like it is not a wise thing to do. To what end? Oppose moving any students out.

Jeff Havens, parent and soccer team coach, noted friendships among children over a large geographical area. The school does not seem that overcrowded. Is not sure if statistics are dependable. The school works so well. Is against boundary changes.

Nicole Resnick - the school works as shown by the friendships and diversity. It is a shining example of diversity, but there is a fragile balance. Lake View would suffer if Maple Bluff students went to another school. The school feels less crowded now than it did a few years ago. Principal works to solve problems. Don't make changes that would damage a healthy school. Listen and look at proposal to keep the status quo.

Jim Porter - Take a little time to assess the accuracy of projected numbers. Is pleased with the "return on investment" for his kindergarten student. Don't damage the learning process or emotions of students with a move.

There were 11 written registrations opposing boundary changes at this time.

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 8:14 p.m. Motion unanimously carried.

aw