Madison Metropolitan School District
Madison, Wisconsin

Art Rainwater, Superintendent
Minutes for Performance and Achievement
July 23, 2007
Doyle Administration Building
545 West Dayton Street, Auditorium
Madison, Wisconsin

Performance and Achievement Committee meeting was called to order by Chair Lawrie Kobza at 6:20 p.m.

MEMBERS PRESENT: Maya Cole, Lawrie Kobza, Johnny Winston, Jr.




STAFF PRESENT: Sue Abplanalp, Steve Hartley, Jack Jorgensen, Pam Nash, Art Rainwater, Marcia Standiford, Ken Syke, Lisa Wachtel, Ann Wilson - Recording Secretary

1. Approval of Minutes

It was moved by Johnny Winston, Jr. and seconded by Maya Cole to approve the Performance and Achievement Committee minutes dated March 5, 2007 as distributed. Motion unanimously carried.

2. Public Appearances

Jeff Henriques provided written information entitled, "Continued reluctance of West High School to meet the needs of high ability students" and provided an update on accelerated biology at West (a copy is attached to the original of these minutes).

3. Announcements

There were no announcements.

4. Four-Year-Old Kindergarten

(Packets included a report entitled, "MMSD History of Four Year Old Kindergarten Planning" dated July 23, 2007 (including a copy of a PowerPoint presentation) - attached to the original copy of these minutes.)

Art Rainwater noted the MMSD has been working to develop a model for four-year-old kindergarten for many years and the update/report presented at this meeting provided the history, a look at the issues, and the current status of that planning. Sue Abplanalp presented a summary of the information also provided in written form.


Potential impact, if any, that the additional number of students would have on overall revenue limits. Enrollment growth needs to be appropriately balanced in order to generate enough revenue to cover the cost of the program. In any event, it would still be taxpayer funded and it is the right thing to do educationally.

To institute the program, taxpayers would have to pay or it could be funded through a donation. Community funding was explored in the early planning stage but was not successful. There has been discussion about a possible referendum and about borrowing.

Not sufficient space for all potential students; would have to work cooperatively with the child care community in their locations.

Models in other school districts - researched in the early years of the planning. Used LaCrosse model to build potential MMSD model.

Special education students - are already served. Would not be much difference financially; advantages to attending school with same-age peers.

Current services to children - United Way Born Learning project, district programs such as Launching Into Literacy and Play and Learn, Cuna Mutual's Kinder Ready. There are many early childhood partnerships between the district and community. Head Start has separate funding and was involved throughout the planning discussions.

Cost/benefit of children being prepared for kindergarten. No question about the value - data clearly supports the program. Issue is initial funding, or what would need to be cut to provide that funding.

Major issues remain before the program could be implemented - the model, teacher contract negotiations, curriculum.

Earlier estimate of the number of children affected was 1800 (2100) and that 1400 would enroll. Those who would not enroll would probably not be low income.

Transportation would sometimes be provided and is included in planning estimates.


Information about the Milwaukee model which may serve children in child care facilities.

Update on City direction, status of work with providers.

Lawrie Kobza summarized the discussion by noting that there clearly are issues and the largest of them may be whether the community wants to invest in four-year-old kindergarten in light of the current budget situation. She indicated interest in discussion earlier this evening in the Communications Committee meeting about deliberative polling as a method for gathering community input and asked committee members about their interest in looking at a community input process as a next step.


Would like to receive input from the community and suggest contacting the city and agencies to see if it could be a cooperative effort. Need current data.

Would like community input. Caution because of challenges. Time may be better spent strengthening partnerships; there are other models.


Lawrie Kobza asked that the Administration come back to the Committee in a month with ideas about how information could be gathered from the community, including deliberative polling as one method; the cost, and potential sources for funding. She also requested information about district programs and partnerships that help children prepare for kindergarten. Communications Committee chair Beth Moss indicated she would be interested in working together to plan for receiving community input.

5. Other Business

There was no other business.

6. Adjournment

It was moved by Johnny Winston, Jr. and seconded by Maya Cole to adjourn the meeting at 7:38 p.m. Motion unanimously carried.