Madison Metropolitan School District
Madison, Wisconsin

Art Rainwater, Superintendent
BOARD OF EDUCATION
Minutes for Long Range Planning
January 28, 2008
Doyle Administration Building
545 West Dayton Street, Auditorium
Madison, Wisconsin

Long Range Planning Committee meeting was called to order by Chair Carol Carstensen at 6:32 p.m.

MEMBERS PRESENT: Carol Carstensen, Lucy Mathiak (arrived 6:34 p.m.), Beth Moss

MEMBERS ABSENT: None

OTHER BOARD MEMBERS PRESENT: Johnny Winston, Jr.

STUDENT REPRESENTATIVES PRESENT: None

STAFF PRESENT: Steve Hartley, Kurt Kiefer, Attorney Dan Mallin, Pam Nash, Tim Potter, Joe Quick, Art Rainwater, Marcia Standiford, Ann Wilson - Recording Secretary

1. Approval of Minutes

It was moved by Beth Moss and seconded by Carol Carstensen to approve the Long Range Planning Committee minutes dated December 17, 2007 as distributed. Motion unanimously carried by those present.

Lucy Mathiak arrived at this point.

Carol Carstensen indicated the rest of the agenda would be reordered so that staff could make a short informational presentation about the plans to address boundaries for the new school and boundary changes in the Memorial Attendance Area.

2. Announcements

There were no announcements.

3. Plans A, B, C, and D to Address Boundaries for the New School on the Far West Side and Boundary Changes to the Memorial Attendance Area

(Written materials provided in advance: Memorandum from Art Rainwater dated 1/24/08 re: Long Range Planning; Proposed Plan A: Middle School, Allied Drive Analysis to One School; Memorandum from Art Rainwater dated 1/24/08 re: Long Range Planning; and Plans B, C, and D - all attached to the original of these minutes.)

Carol Carstensen noted that discussion began this fall with the conceptual plan that represented the best estimates of the boundary study task forces two years ago, along with their recommendation that enrollments needed to be reviewed. It was clear as work was beginning that there needed to be a more balanced distribution of students. A goal of the committee is to leave every school at a viable size. Kurt Kiefer reviewed the Considerations When Redrawing Boundary Lines, noting that it is not possible to always follow all Considerations when making every decision. He reviewed summaries of the new plans presented - B, C, and D and answered clarifying questions.

FOLLOW-UP:

Request for current and projected costs associated with the Plans - e.g., transportation, SAGE and analysis of the special needs populations at schools.

4. Public Appearances

Joe Moulis - Supported Plan B. Valley Ridge resident, parent of autistic child. Opposed Plan A because changing schools would be difficult for special needs children and families. Please avoid making a change that affects special needs children.

Marisue Horton - Commented about the impact of boundary changes on programs and the budget, her failure to see neighborhood schools upheld in the plans, the need to minimize transportation costs, extra resources for non-SAGE schools, and the impact that City of Madison planning has on schools. She could support Plan B and would like to explore a Stephens-Crestwood pair, although she had some concerns.

Jose Santin - Valley Ridge resident, opposed Plan A, parent of visually-impaired child. Difficult for visually-impaired children to change schools. Plan B is the best option; opposed Plans C and D. School pairing is detrimental to all impaired children.

Chuck Ebbs - Falk parent. Falk teachers and staff have the full support of the community. Understand hardships with moving schools and will do everything possible to make all students feel welcome. Extended invitation to visit the school and attend the February 12, 6:30, parent meeting.

J. McLellan - Emotions run high because of unknowns - the school children will attend, relationships, the input parents will have and of what value it will be, the factors that will play out in the decision-making. Asked the Board to review all statements, publish criteria for redrawing boundaries, provide information to reduce the "unknowns" and increase understanding. Identify priorities and their weights.

Sowmya Partha - Valley Ridge resident, Stephens school. Supported only Plan B. Saves neighborhood children from going to different elementary and middle schools. Very important to keep neighborhood children together. Opposed all other plans.

Jungyong Zhu - Valley Ridge resident. Dividing Valley Ridge into two sections would destroy the neighborhood, which has a high concentration of Asian residents. Opposed Plan A.

Karen Deaton - Falk parent. Her daughter's diverse kindergarten class is not an obstacle to learning but, rather, enriches her education. Children learn to show respect regardless of differences. The amazingly skilled teachers and administrators have the determination to meet needs of students in a high poverty school. Angry about public criticism of Falk. Looked forward to welcoming new families.

Shashank Partha - Valley Ridge resident. Explained how various plans would affect their family. Need to learn the lesson of good communication. Pairing would be a nightmare, coordinating school and after-school activities. Need continuity for children or they lose their sense of belonging and enthusiasm. Rejected Plans C and D. Supported only Plan B.

Beth Kaplan - Favored Plan B which keeps Valley Ridge together. Keeps Stephens at their neighborhood school. Avoid fixing what is not broken. Concern for students with special needs; consider grandfathering so those students would not have to change schools.

Anurag Sandireddy - Second grader at Stephens - Wants to continue to go to school with his friends.

Venu Sandireddy - Supported Plan B. Plan A represents an injustice to the Valley Ridge neighborhood by dividing it into two pieces. Plans C and D create many logistical challenges, including bus routes and increased traffic.

Guining Li - Valley Ridge resident. Plan B is first choice. Commented in opposition to "reverse busing."

Malani Trine - Supported Plan B and opposed all others because fewest number of students are moved. Pairing involves two schools; cannot be considered as one. Does not favor dividing the Valley Ridge neighborhood. Noted concerns about other plan. Pairing represents a logistical nightmare and opposed a large school with many grade-level sections.

Dirk Todd - Valley Ridge resident. Should make minimal number of changes to Stephens because of high special needs population. Stephens is a model, very diverse school. Supported Plan B.

Dana Dobbins - Opposed Plans C and D. Ridiculous to bus a child who can walk. Experimentation needs to be rejected. Plans should be built around the neighborhood school.

Cris Carusi - Community equity is important. Environmental issues need to be considered - busing, fuel use, carbon emissions. Children already need more unstructured time; bussing takes away from that time. Supported Plan B - will cause least disruption to families and neighborhoods and represents the best environmental solution.

Leyuan Shi - UW-Madison faculty, system design expertise. Appreciate difficulty of making decisions. Plan A has fundamental problem in that it is assumed a community can be divided; not optimum. Need cost information for Plans B, C and D. Offered free of charge consultant services and services of students to provide scientific evidence that can be used to make decisions. Supported Plan B.

Denise Clearwood - Falk and Crestwood schools are an ingrained part of the neighborhood. Pairing makes no sense. Crestwood is the school that needs more students, but everything else could stay the same. Are other plans being developed just so that the number of low-income students can be reduced? The process is going too fast. Work should instead be focused on a long-range plan.

Laura Franzen-Elmer - Valley Ridge resident. Heard no comments in meeting about dislike for Falk school. Are also feeling hurt because of negative comments made because they dared to protest the splitting of their neighborhood. Opposed Plan A. Stephens is one of the most-bused schools. Have built a sense of community they do not wish to lose. Supported Plan B.

Zoey Franzen - Supported Plan B. Valley Ridge resident, 4th grader at Stephens. Keep their neighborhood together so that she can continue to go to school with her friends.

Diana Dask - Crestwood parent. Pairing represents a change, and splitting a neighborhood is not a good idea. Crestwood is losing 100 students in the spring. There is no time to prepare for a pairing option. Need neighborhood schools; wants her children to play with children who live near them. Many disadvantages to pairing - child care problems, discourages parental involvement and volunteerism.

Celeste Luzzio - Valley Ridge resident. Concerned about safety in the school environment. Has done research to see if Falk and Toki are safe schools. There has not been much discussion of changes at the middle school level. Opposed Plan A. Plan B is more favorable. Will there be boundary changes again in five years? Not sure of the middle schools for Plans C and D.

Diana Whayland - What has become of pairing as a viable alternative as discussed by the boundary task forces; represents wasted hours for them. Pairing moves children; must be considered a move. Disruption is not less for low-income children because they would be going to a paired school. Students with special needs will need to move if there is a paired school. Please give the situation the consideration it deserves. Feels like she has been fighting every year.

Joel Despain - Crestwood parent. Loved his neighborhood School (sang the Randall school song). Important to keep neighborhood schools. Supported Plan B.

Written Registrations:

10 - support Plan B

26 - oppose Plan A

2 - oppose Plans C and D

1 - oppose pairing Crestwood with other schools

1 - support for Falk Elementary School

1 - oppose removal of any students from Crestwood and oppose busing

DISCUSSION:

Limit development of new plans, make sure they address problem that needs to be solved, include parent input, include cost of transportation for all plans.

Step back to identify priorities, get bigger picture for a long term plan. Understand concerns of families with special needs children; need a solution that is best for all children.

5. Other Business

There was no other business.

6. Adjournment

It was moved by Lucy Mathiak and seconded by Beth Moss to adjourn the meeting at 7:58 p.m. Motion unanimously carried.

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