Madison Metropolitan School District
Madison, Wisconsin

Art Rainwater, Superintendent
BOARD OF EDUCATION
Minutes for Performance and Achievement
October 18, 2004
Leopold Elementary School
2602 Post Road
Library Media Center
Madison, Wisconsin

Performance and Achievement Committee meeting was called to order by Chair Juan José López at 5:05 p.m.

MEMBERS PRESENT: Bill Clingan, Juan José López, Shwaw Vang

MEMBERS ABSENT: None

OTHER BOARD MEMBERS PRESENT: Carol Carstensen, Bill Keys, Ruth Robarts (arrived at 6:38 p.m.), Johnny Winston, Jr.

STUDENT REPRESENTATIVES

PRESENT: Oliver Kiefer, Lena Song (arrived at 6:38 p.m.)

STAFF PRESENT: Sue Abplanalp, Jennie Allen, Jane Belmore, Valencia Douglas, Mary Gulbrandsen, Chris Hodge, Roger Price, Art Rainwater, Ken Syke, Gary Zehrbach, Ann Wilson - Recording Secretary

1. Approval of Minutes

It was moved by Bill Clingan and seconded by Shwaw Vang to approve the Performance and Achievement Committee minutes dated October 4, 2004. Motion unanimously carried.

2. Public Appearances

Dorothy Coniff provided information she felt is significant to the decision to implement a four-year-old program in the district: a) the early childhood system in the city is fragile, dependent on parent fees, is on average 40% licensed, and programs would close if children were pulled away; b) four-years-old is late - the years from birth to four are the years children need help and high quality care. She added that the early education system is needed and urged the district to bring creativity to the process and look for ways to fund it. She noted other people had wanted to attend this meeting but did not have sufficient lead time.

Carol Kernh did not speak but registered her support for the Association proposal for four-year-old kindergarten.

3. Announcements

There were no announcements.

4. Nuestro Mundo Charter School

(Written materials provided: Nuestro Mundo Community School: A Progress Report; Nuestro Mundo Community School: Building Our World, Together. Copies are attached to the original of these minutes.)

Juan José López commended staff, the Board of Education, and the Nuestro Mundo Board for their cooperative spirit in planning and beginning the school. There were introductions and thanks to all who had a part in the process. Allis Principal Chris Hodge and Nuestro Mundo Principal Gary Zehrbach gave a progress report, along with Martin Scanlan (Planner and Nuestro Mundo Board Member), Jane Belmore, and Jennie Allen who was assigned many of the administrative responsibilities for beginning the school. Included in the presentation were ways in which they are looking at strengthening the school - working on retention, focusing on recruitment and transportation, and developing summer opportunities. Staff and the two boards noted their commitment to continue dialoging as important issues arise and to identify and work through all the issues.

DISCUSSION: Commendations for parent involvement. Importance of continuing efforts to recruit new students. Looking at growth and expansion, curriculum and instruction, and transportation.

5. Exploring the Possibility of Establishing a Four-Year-Old Kindergarten Program in the Madison Metropolitan School District.

(Written materials provided: memorandum regarding the administration's reaction to Madison's Accredited Early Educators 4-K Proposal dated 10/13/04. A copy is attached to the original of these minutes.)

In the written materials provided and in his report, Art Rainwater addressed issues related to the Association proposal for four-year-old kindergarten. The major barriers are funding and staffing. He explained DPI rules for funding and counting students (detailed in the written materials). The DPI also requires that a four-year-old program must be universally offered to all students in the district. Mr. Rainwater noted strong support for protecting the interests of the child care system in the city and agreed with the educational benefits of providing services to younger children ages 0 3. The administration will continue to look for grants or other ways the program might be funded. Borrowing from the State Trust Fund would require a referendum in order to borrow the amount needed for the first year ($4 million).

DISCUSSION: Pilot program with Waisman Center. Concern that five-year-olds are not ready for kindergarten. Looking at programs in other districts that could be expanded. Recommendations from Governor's Task Force on Educational Excellence (issue for Legislative Committee discussion). Difficulty with beginning a new program when other programs are being cut and other issues needing referendum.

Continuation of discussion was scheduled for November 8 at 5:00 p.m.

6. Other Business

There was no other business.

7. Adjournment

It was moved by Shwaw Vang and seconded by Bill Clingan to adjourn the meeting at 6:56 p.m. Motion unanimously carried.

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