Monday, September 12, 2016

School board agenda for Tuesday, September 13

Some of the items on this week’s board agenda:

1. The board will discuss (and probably resolve) the issue of secondary boundaries, which has been pending since the process was interrupted by the resignation of board member Tom Yates in May. I’m guessing that there will now be a majority for reinstating the previous board’s secondary boundary plan that would send Kirkwood-area students to Liberty and Alexander-area students to Northwest Junior High and West High. (I don’t support that plan, for reasons I wrote about here, here, here, and here.)

2. We’ll consider two busing appeals from parents who argue that their kids should receive a bus to West High because they live just beyond the three-mile mark.

3. We’ll hear an update on the district’s response to the State Department of Education’s audit of our special education practices. Info here.

4. At the work session after the meeting, we’ll discuss our request to our demographer to get updated enrollment projections. Info here.

5. We’ll discuss a proposed process to get community input on possible changes to the district’s facilities master plan. Editorial comment: I have a lot of doubts about the ability of our ThoughtExchange platform to provide a representative sample of community sentiment, and I wish it did not advertise itself in that way. (See this post.) But what I’m most interested in is hearing all the arguments and counterarguments on any proposed changes, and ThoughtExchange is one way of gathering those, as are emails, community comment at board meetings, etc.

6. We’ll discuss our voluntary transfer process and whether we should change it or make any exceptions to it as we transition to new boundaries and the opening of a new high school. Long, boring post on this topic here.

7. We’ll review a proposed timeline for preparing for a bond proposal to appear on the September 2017 school board election ballot, to fund projects in the district’s facilities master plan.

8. We’ll discuss the district’s weighted resource allocation model, under which schools that have higher rates of free-and-reduced-price lunch (FRL) (which is the district’s proxy for low-income status) receive additional resources. The district has already begun phasing in this model—by, for example, trying to tilt teacher allocation toward high-FRL elementary schools. I asked for some further discussion of just how this model would function at the secondary school level.

9. We’ll get a quarterly report on the board’s strategic goal to “annually improve the educational experiences for all children through culturally inclusive and responsive school environments and classroom instruction, as measured by various student assessments including the Biennial Youth Survey, with a focus on equitable outcomes for students in protected classes.”

All that and more. The full agendas are here and here; chime in with a comment about anything that catches your attention.


Anonymous said...

ThoughtExchange is useless to get honest feed back because the results can be manipulated by the central office and misreported by the superintendent.

Anonymous said...

The board needs to ensure that the FMP aligns with the redistricting maps. The current FMP is not aligned with the secondary map that most likely will be adopted tonight. Please take a close look (possibly with updated numbers?) at the FMP to ensure that seats are where seats need to be and that they are available when needed. This may mean expanding/shifting/eliminating additions and adjusting the timing of when they happen.

Also, will there be any discussion of how postponing Grant/developing the school near Cedar Springs will affect the secondary maps?

As part of the WRAM discussion, please consider how it is applied to different sized-schools with similar FRL percentages. Maybe consider sister schools and grade sharing to make it fairer and applied more equally.

Finally - and this isn't on the agenda - please take a look at how the elimination of discretionary busing is faring. Survey the schools that had busing last year but don't now to see if there are any barriers that need to be addressed. Also, take a look at the traffic near schools that lost busing. There are still significant issues, and there has been plenty of time for things to settle down after the first-week rush.

Anonymous said...

I am a North Lincoln parent. So with Grant being relocated possibly to North Liberty, what will happen to our neighborhood? Staying at Lincoln, going to Grant, or Penn, or Wickham, or whatever? I need an answer!