Alameda Unified School District
Pathway to Excellence and Equity
Excellence and Equity Task Forces
At the 9/25 BOE Meeting, the Superintendent presented a planning process to address changing district demographics, enrollment imbalance between schools, inconsistency of high-quality education programs and long-term fiscal solvency. The planning process was further refined at the 10/9 BOE meeting when the Superintendent announced the formation of two task forces: Elementary Facility Capacity Task Force and the Secondary Education Task Force. These task forces will generate initial research and analysis by studying the Demographic Study and Facility Capacity. In addition, potential program options e.g. district-wide charter, magnet schools, etc. will be reviewed.
The Superintendent has designed a system of communication feedback loops that integrates input from AUSD stakeholders, creates a new Community Sounding Board of external community stakeholders, and provides for a series of community forums to share and receive input from the task forces. The continous flow of feedback from stakeholder groups is key to development and refinement of program and facility options. In addition, individuals send their comments to Board members.
Here is a pictoral representation of the communication feedback loops.
In December, the Alameda Journal published a story titled: Schools in search of more classrooms covering a workshop for the elementary task force work to date.
With the Governor's proposed and subsequent identification of a $4,000,000 budget crisis for AUSD, the work of the two task force was suspended. The Superintendent formed a new K-12 Restructuring Task Force charged with developing a fiscal solvent K-12 school system.
After the initial task force meeting, Rob Siltanen new Blog School 94501/94502 posted this entry: Restructuring AUSD?.
Additional Documents2007 Demographic Study with 5 Year Enrollment Projections
December 5, 2007 Community Meeting Handout on Elementary Schools
December 12, 2007 BOE Workshop Handout on Elementary Schools
December 12, 2007 BOE Workshop Powerpoint on Elementary Schools
December 12, 2007 BOE Workshop Minutes
Powerpoint Presentation Update from January 8 BOE Meeting on Elementary Task Force
Powerpoint Presentation Update from January 8 BOE Meeting on Secondary Task Force
Word Document from Secondary Task Force on Ideas Developed to Date - Jan 2008
Mar 20 Meeting Minutes
Mar 20 Chart Paper Recap
K-12 Task Force Revised Problem Statement and Charge Published March 27
Parent February 10, 2008
Parent January 4, 2008
Parent January 4, 2008
Parent January 4, 2008
Parent December 21
Parent December 12
Parent December 12
Educator November 23
Educator October 23
Educator October 10
I was disappointed to see that teacher voices are not included on the elementary task force and specifically that Bay Farm is not represented. There is a lot of history here, policies that have been modified and affect us in a negative way, and we have already lost a student this year to private school because she was diverted. We are in month one and have few seats available for the rest of the year in our school where there is definitely growth. In my neighborhood alone there were over 15 for sale signs just last weekend. We can all do the math. I’m not sure that we can afford the outcome.
Elementary Facility Capacity Task Force
Forecasts show district-wide elementary enrollment will stablize over the next five (5) years. However, two school areas - Ruby Bridges and Edison/Otis - are expected to increase in enrollment over the next five (5) years, while their facilities are currently close to or at capacity.
Charge of the Task Force:
Members of the Elementary Facility Capacity Task Force: An audience of approximately 30 individuals participated in this workshop titled: Report on Options Explored to Date to Balance Elementary Enrollment with Capacity. EDITOR NOTE: The recap represent my recollection of what occurred during the workshop. If there are inaccuracies please contact me. Workshop Summary
An audience of approximately 30 individuals participated in this workshop titled: Report on Options Explored to Date to Balance Elementary Enrollment with Capacity.
EDITOR NOTE: The recap represent my recollection of what occurred during the workshop. If there are inaccuracies please contact me.
Workshop SummaryProblem Statement
Forecasts show district-wide elementary enrollment will stablize over the next five (5) years.
Purpose of Workshop:
To present the options explored to date
Categories of Solutions:
There are four areas that can be explored to address the projected enrollment and school capacity mismatch:
Those options that are selected to examined to be potential recommendations will have additional analysis to determine impact on:
There are 246 rooms that could be used for classrooms in the elementary schools. 193 rooms are currently being used for regular education classrooms, 14 for special education and 39 for miscellaneous purposes. See page 43 of this 85 page report for site specific room data. There are two primary ways to increase capacity:
Divert Overflow Students:
If we were to divert the projected over enrollment, there would be asignificantly increase of students we would be diverting annually. The intent of the enrolment policy is to divert a very limited numbers of students.
Create Magnet Programs:
Our elementary schools charge is to offer sound curriculum and instructional programs that implement differentiated CA standards-based instruction at each grade level providing the foundational and extending skills to meet the needs of all performance levels.
Change Attendance Boundaries:
There are three areas being examined when looking at changing attendance boundaries.
After the presentation, the participants provided additional feedback:Participants Feedback: In prior meetings ther has been reluctance to explore changing boundaries. Why is there a reluctance to change boundaries and what are the issues?
What about returning to AM/PM Kindergarten?
What about running multi-track year around to increase capacity?
What is impact of changing elementary school boundaries on the movement to middle schools?
Board Member Comments:
MCMAHON: At this point, we have 2 months to come to place of creating some type of recommendation. My hope is that focus of the Task Force begins to hone in on what can be done for the 08/09 year, immediately, so that we can dispel/squash/etc. the uncertainty around the 2008/09 year. That’s first and foremost in public’s mind. The recommendation should satisfy the broadest number of people in greatest way with least amount of controvesy, while continuing to work on a long-term solution.
FORBES: Looking at numbers, current and 5 years, we don’t need to jump to the 5 year solutions right now in February, but we do need to address some immediate issues. Long-term, at elementary level, we neeed to investigate some different options that address the desire for charter/private schools. While not a short-term issue, I would like a commitment by February, to see what programs community would support, along with dollars attached. This could serve as valuable input into a future parcel tax.
GIBSON: I’d like to see work on every solution that would allow the Edison and Otis (potential overflow) not to occur for next year and be able to stay in home school. A number of items mentioned that would be part of that solution. Look for those in short-term. Long-term, we do have to be creative and offer choices in our district. We had them in the past (Paden and BayFarm); think we have to offer that, not as a charter school, but as a district school. We need to excite people about attending Alameda schools.
February 4 Community Workshop
An audience of approximately 30 individuals participated in abbreviated workshop where the Elemenaty Task Force presented their short term recommendations that were forwarding to the Superintendent. The workshop was shortened when a Special BOE meeting on Fiscal Impact of Governor's Budget was conducted an hour after the workshop.
RECOMMENDATIONS TO THE SUPERINTENDENT
In the short-term (i.e., within two years), the Elementary Capacity Task Force recommends options that can be implemented with minimal disruption to our students and staff.
Staff reported that 65 completed packets were received at Edison, 71 completed packets at Otis and 48 completed packets at Franklin. If the Board approves increasing capacity at Edison and Otis, the lottery will needed at Franklin.
Secondary Education Task Force
AUSD operates middle and high schools with severe enrollment imbalances, which do not maximize our resources to support equity and excellence across our secondary education programs.
Charge of the Task Force:
Members of the Seconday Education Task Force:
Community Sounding Board Members
As of December, 2007
K-12 Restructuring Task Force
Problem Statement (March, 2008):
AUSD operates K-12 schools with severe enrollment imbalances that are not fiscally solvent, and which do not maximize our resources to support equity and excellence across our education programs.
Task Force Charge (March, 2008)
Revised problem statement and charge published March 27, 2008.
Membership will consist of District employees and the criteria for serving on this voluntary task force are:
K-12 Restructurinng Task Force
As of March, 2008
Meetings Schedule, proposed March 4, 2008
March 20 Meeting
The first meeting of the task force was March 20th. Superintendent Dailey attended and led the “setting the stage” for this important work. The 25-member task force grounded themselves by examining the problem statement and charge for the task force and held grade span-alike group discussions to revise and/or expand these for better clarity. The Superintendent and Assistant Superintendent will revise the problem statement and charge based on feedback from the task force. Regardless of the parcel tax, we made it clear that this work is essential in sustaining the “health” of the District and that we could not live within our means without restructuring for the long term. The next meeting is Wednesday, April 2nd.
Due to length of time spent on refining the problem statement and charge, the task force did not have to review the handout from the Secondary Task Force on ideas for restructuring the District. Items on the list with asteriks were cost saving items.
April 17 Meeting
The third meeting of the task force was April 17th. Superintendent Dailey presented a revised problem statement and task force charge based on input from the Board of Education at the April 8th BOE meeting.
In the absence of consistent and adequate funding, coupled with severe enrollment imbalances, AUSD is no longer able to support excellence and equity without restructuring our K-12 educational programs.
Task Force Charge
The task force spent the rest of the meeting examining facility capacity studies and examining the core academic programs offered across the District.
Schools in search of more classrooms
Projected enrollment increase leaves officials scrambling to find a solution
By Peter Hegarty, Alameda Journal, December 21, 2007
With elementary school enrollment set to climb during the next five years, district leaders are looking at ways to find more classroom space while not undercutting instruction.
What makes finding a solution difficult, however, is that the schools likely to face the crunch -- Ruby Bridges, Otis and Edison -- already are about full.
Among the ideas being floated to address the issue are installing portables at some campuses, shifting students to other schools and changing attendance boundaries.
The school board will vote on a recommendation in February.
"Enrollment is probably the biggest issue facing the district right now," Superintendent Ardella Dailey said. "It plays into how much money we have, the quality of education we can provide, everything."
None of the possible solutions is ideal: Sending children away from their neighborhood school is never popular with parents, while the cost of installing portables at some campuses still must be worked out.
A district task force -- comprising Chief Financial Officer Luz Cazares, Otis Principal Jeff Knoth and others -- met this month for a workshop to outline options and gather feedback.
Currently, there are 246 rooms that could be used as elementary school classrooms, according to Cazares.
Of those rooms not being used as classrooms, six house computer labs, 11 are used for day care and 22 are used for after-school and other programs.
The remaining 14 rooms are used for special education. One idea that emerged during the workshop was using portables for the day care programs -- freeing up the classroom space -- along with reducing the number of students attending Alameda elementary schools who don't live in the district. (Currently, there are about 149.)
Families moving into the city's new housing, such as the Bayport development near College of Alameda, are among the reasons cited for the enrollment jump.
About 10,000 students currently attend Alameda schools.
Ironically, the projected increase comes in the wake of district leaders deciding last year to close three elementary schools in the city's West End because of declining enrollment.
Some of the students from Longfellow, Miller and Woodstock were shifted to Ruby Bridges, one of the campuses now at capacity.
The former schools currently are being used for other district programs and are not likely to reopen. But the organizers behind the Nea Community Learning Center -- a proposed charter school -- are still hoping to open at one of the sites.
Trustee Mike McMahon noted that officials need to move quickly to find at least a short-term solution to put parents at ease for the upcoming school year.
"We need to develop a policy for how we handle a situation where two or three kids cannot get into a school," Dailey said. "And we need to look at demographic trends and what classroom space is available."
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