Madison Metropolitan School District
Madison, Wisconsin

Art Rainwater, Superintendent
BOARD OF EDUCATION
Minutes for Long Range Planning
February 20, 2008
Memorial High School
201 S. Gammon Rd.
Madison, Wisconsin

The meeting was called to order by Chair Carol Carstensen at 7:01 p.m.

MEMBERS PRESENT: Carol Carstensen, Lucy Mathiak, Beth Moss

MEMBERS ABSENT: None

OTHER BOARD MEMBERS PRESENT: Maya Cole, Arlene Silveira

STUDENT REPRESENTATIVE PRESENT: None

STAFF PRESENT: Sue Abplanalp, Jennie Allen, Lisa Black, Sheila Briggs, Steve Hartley, Kurt Kiefer, Tim Potter, Lynn Winn, Barbara Lehman-Recording Secretary

1. Public Forum regarding Proposed Plan to Change School Attendance Boundaries for the Memorial Attendance Area

(Packets were made available at the meeting including "Considerations when Redrawing Boundary Lines," maps and statistics associated with Plans E and F, middle school projections associated with Plans E and F, a SAGE analysis for current year and Plans E and F, DPI SAGE requirements when a contract is moved from one school to another, a research study on the effect of the concentration of poverty at a school on individual student achievement as measured by the Grade 4 WKCE reading test, West and La Follette attendance areas planning document, and a feedback form. Copies are attached to the original of these minutes.)

The Assistant Superintendent for Elementary Schools and the Director/Chief Information Officer for Information Services, presented proposed Plans E and F and the accompanying middle school options. The purpose of the forum was to share information and provide an opportunity for discussion regarding boundaries for the Memorial area to accommodate capacity issues for the next five years (Plans E and F), the assignment of middle schools for Plans E and F, and to let people know that Plans A, B, C, and D were removed from consideration (a copy of the presentation is attached to the original of these minutes).

Presentation Highlights: criteria and considerations for facility usage, a timeline, planning assumptions, maps and narrative summaries of the Plans, middle school considerations.

Questions raised after the presentation and prior to the small group discussions:

o Number of schools that are affected by the plans.

o Channel 3 area concerns have already been moved more than once, not aware of the plans until just recently.

o How income is calculated (total enrollments are projected, not income).

o Falk concerns over increase in low-income percentage and what it means for the future.

o Development information from City Planning.

o Percentage of low-income at both Jefferson and Toki with no changes today.

o More than enough capacity at the middle schools for growth on the far west side.

o Plans leave as many children as possible at their existing elementary school.

o Guidelines say not to move a student no more than once during their elementary years but families will be affected (may be split up).

o Prior plans.

o No cost difference between the plans.

o Making sure low-income families at Falk have their voice heard.

o How children with disabilities are considered.

o Internal transfer vs. open enrollment (including or excluding transportation by the district and deadline dates).

o Board decides grandfathering options.

o Middle school assignments always a part of the long-term considerations.

o SAGE contracts will be worked out (issue with moving contracts in the middle of the school year).

Small groups were formed in the cafeteria at 8:13 p.m. Each of the small groups reported out what they had discussed beginning at 8:40 p.m. (A copy of the topics is attached to the original of these minutes.) Some of the themes from the small group discussions were: communication, the short timelines, the small number of children projected to go to the new school, the number of changes for the Channel 3 area, moving areas that have not been moved before, giving priority to existing assignments vs. new developments, exposure to behavior problems.

Each of the small groups also gave feedback on the middle school options. Themes were: balance, capacity, difficulty projecting out income, "white flight," trying to keep siblings at the same school, moving least number of families, more consistency, distance for Falk, transportation, and lack of safe pathways.

Communication efforts included backpack mail, electronic communication with neighborhood associations, televised meetings since October 2007, parent groups, accessibility of the Board members, backpack mail.

Next steps: All the feedback would be typed and put up on the web site and will be included in backpack mail. Board will meet two more times. March 3 would be another opportunity for input. Board decisions will include SAGE and grandfathering. The Long Range Planning committee, and other board members, will discuss on Monday (February 25) in a workshop and make a recommendation that will move to the full Board.

FOLLOW UP: Parents requested that the plans be reorganized and include the middle school analysis for each plan.

2. Adjournment

The meeting adjourned at 9 p.m. by unanimous consent.

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