Madison Metropolitan School District
Madison, Wisconsin

Art Rainwater, Superintendent
BOARD OF EDUCATION
Minutes for Special Meeting - Open Session
March 26, 2007
  Memorial High School
201 South Gammon Road
Madison, Wisconsin

The Special Meeting of the Board of Education was called to order by President Johnny Winston, Jr. at 5:05 p.m.

MEMBERS PRESENT: Carol Carstensen, Lawrie Kobza, Lucy Mathiak, Ruth Robarts, Arlene Silveira, Shwaw Vang, Johnny Winston, Jr.

MEMBERS ABSENT: None

STUDENT REPRESENTATIVE

PRESENT: None

STAFF PRESENT: Sue Abplanalp, Lisa Black, Mark Evans, Mary Gulbrandsen, Steve Hartley, Pam Nash, Doug Pearson, Roger Price, Art Rainwater, Clarence Sherrod, Ken Syke, Lisa Wachtel, Barbara Lehman-Recording Secretary

1. Approval of Minutes

There were no minutes.

2. Announcements

There were no announcements.

3. Financial Transactions

a. It was moved by Lawrie Kobza and seconded by Arlene Silveira that the bid of $1,723,406 from Daniels Construction for heating, ventilation, air conditioning and electrical upgrades at Allis Elementary School be approved with funding from the 2007-08 General Operating Budget (referendum). Motion unanimously carried.

b. It was moved by Lawrie Kobza and seconded by Shwaw Vang that the proposal of $163,900 from Honeywell Building Solutions for building automation and temperature controls at Allis Elementary School be approved with funding from the 2007-08 General Operating Budget (referendum). Motion unanimously carried.

c. It was moved by Lawrie Kobza and seconded by Shwaw Vang that the bid of $800/week and a total score of 363 points from Strand and Associates for construction quality assurance for the new elementary school at Linden Park be approved with funding from the Linden Park Referendum. Motion unanimously carried.

d. It was moved by Lawrie Kobza and seconded by Shwaw Vang that the bid of $72,000 and a total score of 3,795 points from Plante Moran for consulting services for developing a Wide Area Network (WAN)/Local Area Network (LAN) and Telecommunications Plan-districtwide be approved with funding from the 2006-07 General Operating Budget. Motion unanimously carried.

e. It was moved by Lawrie Kobza and seconded by Shwaw Vang that an award be made to Inacom Information Systems in the amount of $77,588 for a Storage Area Network (SAN) upgrade and associated consulting services with funding from the Technical Services Division 2007-08 budget. Motion unanimously carried.

f. It was moved by Lawrie Kobza and seconded by Shwaw Vang that an award be made to Inacom Information Systems in the amount of $99,984 for Secondary Network Operations Center (NOC) setup and associated consulting services for data disaster recovery with funding from the Technical Services Division 2007-08 budget.

Ms. Kobza asked if the 2007-08 budget was correct and Administration responded that it should have been the 2006-07 budget.

Mover and seconder amended the motion to correct the funding source to the 2006-07 Technical Services Division budget. Motion, as amended, carried unanimously.

4. It was moved by Lawrie Kobza and seconded by Ruth Robarts to table the recommendation that the Joint Swim Team Sponsorship for La Follette High School and Sun Prairie High School be retained for the 2007-08 and 2008-09 swim seasons.

(Packets included a memorandum from the La Follette Athletic Director outlining their request, listing the conditions to be met for the WIAA, and levels of participation (3/14/07) and the application. Copies are attached to the original of these minutes.)

Discussion: Sun Prairie is paying significantly less per student to participate than the MMSD. There was also some confusion with the documents in that there are two teams and Item #5 on the agenda suggests there is only one and there is some private funding. There is a deadline date of April 1.

FOLLOW UP: Administration will contact Sun Prairie and try to be ready for the Wednesday meeting.

Motion unanimously carried.

5. Recommendation that the Cooperative Sponsorship in Girls Hockey for the school years of 2007-08 and 2008-09 be approved from Madison East, La Follette, Memorial, West, Sun Prairie, Middleton-Cross Plains, Monona Grove, Verona, and Edgewood High Schools.

(Packets included the application. A copy is attached to the original of these minutes.)

Deferred to Wednesday Meeting

6. Proposal to hold a referendum for the purpose of increasing the revenue limits for the MMSD by $ 6 million for the 2007-08 fiscal year, with an additional $5 million increase for the 2008-09 fiscal year and a third additional $6 million increase for the 2009-10 fiscal year.

Ms. Carstensen stated that she wanted the board to consider holding a referendum before the end of the school year that will be for three years as outlined in her memorandum (a copy is attached to the original of these minutes). She wanted to put the proposal before the board, which is Item #6.

It was moved by Carol Carstensen and seconded by Shwaw Vang to hold a referendum for the purpose of increasing the revenue limits for the MMSD by $6 million for the 2007-08 fiscal year, with an additional $5 million increase for the 2008-09 fiscal year and a third additional $6 million increase for the 2009-10 fiscal year.

Discussion:

Proposed cuts for this year extremely negative for a number of things that the board has protected and that are very critical to the continued achievement of students, particularly SAGE. Issue of concern in the community: previous cuts, recommended cuts, equity issues among the schools (e.g., class sizes). Also gives some positive steps toward restoring some programs or expanding some programs that are important. Three years gets the district through the biennial state budget and the first year of the next one, gives the community time to focus on the state level, and should have enough funds in the third year to implement four-year-old kindergarten.

Not sure about when the right time to have a referendum. This spring is too soon. People may feel this is something they just did. Want to plan over the summer; more comfortable with February or April of next year. Need a referendum but not now.

Bypasses important discussions that should lead up to any referendum. Recently met with Dane County delegation--no revenue cap proposal any time soon, no indication. Most that we can get is stop-gap changes. Reminder of the 2003 referendum which came up similarly at the last minute just in time for negotiations and elections and had as one of its impacts, since it did pass, to fund some of these class sizes in schools that would not have qualified for it.

Share concern about the timing of the referendum. Do not disagree with the necessity or the work at the state level.

Would like to see changes in the district around charter schools, virtual campus, and other things to get into the 21st century for MMSD children. Agree with the need to go to referendum next year but want to say that the board is planning to stay a good school district and wants to get even better. Do not want to just maintain. Need time to look and find out what those investments need to be. Look forward to board working on that and preparing for the referendum next year.

We need to give the public this option. Agree that we just passed a referendum and the timing may not be optimal but, given the cuts, the community deserves the option.

Some cuts can be restored easily and some cannot.

Sorry to have this vote tonight. Cannot support it in the next few months. Trying to get through the budget and organize to do a referendum together; one will get short shifted. Wish we would have discussed it in October when we realized the deficit cost of special election. Many parents want it but 70 percent of the voters do not have kids in the schools. Not sure they want to put money into a four year plan. Extremely difficult.

Question was called by Johnny Winston, Jr. Student Representative advisory vote was nay. Motion failed 2-5 with Carol Carstensen and Shwaw Vang voting aye.

7. Referendum for the purpose of Covering the Costs of Budget Cuts related to the MMSD 2007-08 Proposed Budget

Agenda item was provided in case the board wanted to go in some other direction with regard to a referendum.

8. Impact of 2007-08 Proposed Budget on MMSD Long Range Plan regarding Options to Address Overcrowded and Under-enrolled Schools in East Attendance Area and Budget Deficits

(Packets included revised (larger) version of PowerPoint from last Monday night, summary of the five ideas that are still being discussed, variety of supporting documents, responses to questions asked last Monday. An e-mail providing a more detailed analysis of the current Lapham/Marquette routes was delivered at 9:09 a.m. (copies are attached to the original of these minutes.)

Mary Gulbrandsen distributed a chart of approximate cost savings and expenditures as a result of consolidation or closing of school(s) and a PowerPoint addressing facility planning (copies are attached to the original of these minutes).

Discussion:

v Currently have three bus routes for Lapham and one for Marquette. With this change no busses would be needed--all those students can walk (Lapham). Issue is with dangerous streets.

v Budget due to printing by Friday. Next week administration can start doing requested analyses.

v District has to take the approach that the city council would not help fund. Administration will talk to traffic engineering. Already paying $1 million to city for transportation.

v Transportation issues have been raised by a number of families from Lindbergh whose children walk to Gompers. Dangerous area in terms of traffic. There are a number of students who are within the 1.5 mile range.

v Decision points -- focus on economic efficiency, i.e., eliminating smaller schools and moving up to the district average of 450 per elementary school; importance of small schools as a means to deal with high poverty; retaining successful schools at whatever size they are; maintaining community support of schools (difficult to regain).

v Some of the alternative possibilities: Graph showing MMSD schools based on low income numbers and size did not help much. Could add a third dimension to this later showing enrollment, low income percentages, achievement, and size.

v Still struggling with equity policy and concentrations of poverty.

v Add to the analysis the long-range issues of what is developing in particular areas. That is also a factor in terms of needs 10-15 years out.

v Staffing small schools--end up with lot of part-time people, particularly support people. Other than that they are staffed by ratio. Needs to be two sections of each grade to be viable.

v Emotional affects vs. educational benefits of bigger schools.

v Revisit how we think about pairing; keep schools as they are but look at staffing differently, e.g., Lapham K-5 all between Emerson, Lapham, and Marquette. District does these things now; do not have very many part-time people but part-time at the schools.

v ESL and low-income percentages at Lindbergh. More of the numbers come from Kennedy Heights. Hmong families would like an opportunity to talk more in-depth. Can the board meet with Hispanic and Hmong families with a translator just for them at Lindbergh or at the Kennedy Heights Community Center? Could administration go out and explain Plan G to them? Have the Bilingual Resource Specialty coordinate.

v Would love to se something done about our alternative programs. Information in the community is fake.

v Projected growth on the borderline with La Follette developments (Roger Price showed them).

FOLLOW UP: Common Council/BOE Liaison Committee meets on Wednesday; add the transportation issues to that agenda. Send further ideas to Mary Gulbrandsen. Set up a meeting at the Kennedy Heights Community Center regarding Plan G targeted toward Hispanic and Hmong families.

9. MMSD's Virtual Campus

(Packets included a PowerPoint presentation. A copy is attached to the original of these minutes.)

Steve Hartley made some introductory remarks about a new way of thinking, new set of possibilities, skills that all students need flexibility of instruction and time, asset on student transcripts, customized learning, digital equipment, etc. Research indicates that there is no significant difference with the classroom courses. They are just as effective and very sophisticated.

Highlights: Staff has been working on this for about five years - $1 million in grants. Working with other school districts to develop this. Curriculum, professional learning, digital tool services; student interaction with other students; functional units supporting on-line student learning; looking at high school for next year as an add-on or as they go along; placement team; best practices; earning credits. There are lots of options. TAG and special education can still gain access through other processes. He also briefly addressed the current status of the Student Support System.

Lisa Wachtel addressed:

Opportunities for supporting teachers to use technology in their classrooms.

Opportunities to learn professional development on-line as well.

Working with a variety of other departments throughout the district to co-support the classrooms.

Discussion:

Bringing students in mid-quarter.

Trying to push hard not to structure within a normal school structure; need to have more flexibility in meeting students' needs.

For students with learning disabilities - tremendous amount of on-line supplemental materials. Doing a lot already but can now take the next step.

Course evaluation is key.

10. Other Business

There was no other business.

11. Adjournment

It was moved by Ruth Robarts and seconded by Arlene Silveira to adjourn the meeting at 6:47 p.m. Motion unanimously carried.


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