Madison Metropolitan School District
Madison, Wisconsin

Art Rainwater, Superintendent
BOARD OF EDUCATION
Minutes for Long Range Planning
December 18, 2006
Doyle Administration Building
545 West Dayton Street
Madison, Wisconsin

Long Range Planning Committee meeting was called to order by Chair Carol Carstensen at 7 p.m.

MEMBERS PRESENT: Carol Carstensen, Lawrie Kobza, Arlene Silveira

MEMBERS ABSENT: None

OTHER BOARD MEMBERS PRESENT: Lucy Mathiak, Ruth Robarts, Johnny Winston, Jr.

STAFF PRESENT: Sue Abplanalp, Mary Gulbrandsen, Pam Nash, Roger Price, Linda Sweeney, Ken Syke, Barbara Lehman-Recording Secretary

1. Approval of Minutes

It was moved by Lawrie Kobza and seconded by Arlene Silveira to approve the minutes of the Long Range Planning Committee meeting dated November 13, 2006 as distributed. Motion unanimously carried.

2. Public Appearances

Steve Marshall, Lake View parent, last year was a representative on the East Task Force. Said that changes at Lake View have pushed them over capacity and they realize something needs to be done. He wanted to work with the Board. He thought it would have been better if they had been given concrete options to begin with instead of starting from scratch. The Northside PTO Coalition wants to hear the district's ideas and those of the Board before they start with all their ideas.

Ms. Carstensen pointed out that the reasons the task force was structured as it was because there was a lot of anger about what was being proposed from the year before. She was willing to put together some options if Mr. Marshall was willing to carry back that these are starting points.

Robert Godfrey, Lake View parent, indicated that their community is just beginning some strategies for Lake View and have contemplated some of them. They looked forward to getting some information from the MMSD Research and Evaluation Department. They preferred to look long term into 2011 when the East Area will be close to or above capacity. That excludes a possible charter school and large-scale development that are currently on the drawing board.

Confirmed that the area around Cherokee Marsh is not in the MMSD. May be a small number of children K 12; almost all Deforest and Waunakee.

Kristen Nelson, Lake View PTO Co-President, has been hearing this year that their school is not fine; it is too overcrowded for the teachers. She asked for as much facilitated consensus as possible for what is best for Lake View and the northeast side schools and for communication with parents.

Kim Besmer, Lake View parent and teacher for 12 years, has seen how the overcrowding is affecting the children and staff. She asked for a long-term solution as well; no quick fixes.

The Superintendent confirmed that there is very little room for additional build-out within the MMSD unless agreements are made with the surrounding districts.

3. Announcements

There were no announcements.

4. Considerations when Redrawing Boundary Lines for Elementary Schools

(Packets included a background memorandum (12/14/06); information on Dealing with Overcrowding at Chavez Considerations for 2007-08; Average Daily Attendance by Student Subgroup and School for 2005-06; Definitions and Purposes of Enrollment Calculations; Revised Step-by-Step Process to Determine an Elementary School Physical Plan Capacity for Enrollment Purposes; Considerations when Redrawing Boundary Lines. Copies are attached to the original of these minutes.)

Consideration when Redrawing Boundary Lines:

DISCUSSION:

School size of two sections per grade level to a maximum of 650 students. Research is all over the board. Having 800-900 in one building probably does not create a great learning environment. Setting the maximum at 650 students for elementary students is better.

Combination schools can be broken down into smaller units.

Having to consider low-income density.

Making smaller schools viable and giving children a choice of teachers while providing enough support services. Ideal school size is about 450 with two sections at each grade level.

Add a statement that student enrollment of 450 provides the most consistent educational programming. Add a reference to the research piece on the document.

DISCUSSION:

Every attempt will be made to avoid creating schools with high concentrations of low-income families.

Not possible to distribute unless there is a huge amount of busing.

Density of low-income should be considered in determining school size.

Density of students is especially concerning in schools that are above 500 or larger schools. Could state that an assistant principal would be assigned at 500 using the 450 as the ideal school size guideline.

These are considerations when making changes; not to re-design.

DISCUSSION:

Efforts will be made to keep geographically and historically defined neighborhoods together and to consider the proximity of students to a school when redrawing boundary lines.

Creating islands in many cases.

Example is Maple Bluff - do not attend the nearest schools.

No issues with assigning students to a school to which they can walk.

Make a statement that the Board prefers to keep children who can walk to school walking.

That the neighborhood stays together does not necessarily mean they stay at the same school.

Separate #7 into #7 and #8. End the first sentence after "together." Start second sentence with "We will consider proximity of students to school when redrawing boundary lines to keep walkers walking."

Eliminate #2 - When redrawing boundary lines, current attendance area islands and optional areas will be reduced wherever possible and new ones will not be created."

Add a sentence at the beginning that these items are not in any priority order.

Process is consistent with #7.

FOLLOW UP: Put Items 5 and 6 back on the agenda for the next meeting.

6. Elementary Schools with Declining Enrollment

Deferred to next meeting.

7. Dealing with Two Elementary Schools that are currently overcrowded and will continue to be overcrowded for the 2007-08 School Year

DISCUSSION:

Chavez:

Projection for next year is 694 and the cap right now is 602. Number of options for 2007-08 and after the new school at Linden Park is built.

Both Leopold and Thoreau will be at their capacities in two years. Most feasible option would take at least four classrooms. Follows the anticipated projection when the school was built.

Outposting can cause three moves in three years.

Could increase class sizes at grades 2 and 3 (SAGE block); certainly has some drawbacks. There are schools that have lower low-income that, at this point, would still have reduced class sizes. Would have to give up the SAGE contract or move it to another school. Provide the fiscal impact for this option. This option will need to be considered for all the schools as the budget comes up (no reduced class sizes for reading and math at grades 2 and 3). Would be one of the last things to be looked at.

Timing of the discussion regarding disparity of low-income in all the schools vs. the Chavez boundary discussion.

LakeView:

Administration needs direction on how to start creating boundary changes; should only Lake View be considered at this time or the whole northeast area? Budget issues could again raise the possibilities of school consolidations. Meeting with parents and community will be scheduled.

It is possible to solve Lake View's issues by just changing their boundaries and those of the schools immediately around them.

Can resurrect the proposals from the past.

Whole area has very high low-income population; very difficult to make substantial impact regardless of boundary changes.

Concern with any proposal that creates a large school with high percentages of low-income students. Issues are extremely complicated.

Consensus that all things need to stay on the table right now for budgetary and educational reasons in working with the East Attendance Area representatives and keeping options from the very narrow to very broad.

West Area issues are going to affect a different set of many schools.

Board will decide the issues about balance.

Timeline is very tight.

Other Board members can participate at the committee level.

Process for naming school:

Administration is following the Board policy. Does not need approval for the process.

FOLLOW UP: Schedule joint Finance and Operations and Long Range Planning Committee meeting for January 22, 2007. Administration will begin the discussion with the community on the proposed options for Chavez and have feedback for the January 22 meeting. Add the start of the naming process to the next available agenda.

8. Other Business

There was no other business.

9. Adjournment

It was moved by Lawrie Kobza and seconded by Arlene Silveira to adjourn the meeting at 8:08 p.m. Motion unanimously carried.

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