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Re: Yet another levy question--first reply


  Assuming passage of the levy, what kind of savings will 
begenerated from the K-3/4-6 elementary model over 
current configuration? How and why?<<

A.  The elementary configuration was actually proposed 
after the district had arrived at a plan for operating 
WITHOUT a levy next year--which involved turning West 
Park into a kindergarten center and making the other 
elementaries grade 1-6 schools.  However, I believe I can 
fairly say that the savings over this year's operating 
expenses for elementaries will be approximately 
$241,575, calulated at position reductions of 4.5 classroom 
teachers ($167,243), .5 music teacher (18,583); .5 PE 
teacher (18,583);  .5 counselor (18,583);  .5 g/t teacher 

Where do the funds come from to reconfigure the 
elementary program?<<
A.  I don't understand the question.  

Why did the district decide to keep staffing levels at the
high school? ( Your earlier response shows no loss of staff
at the HS).<<

A.  My previous answer said the high school would lose 4-5 
sections instead of 25.  That means approximately .75 to 
1.0 FTE reduction at the high school.  However, there will 
be approx. 4.25 FTE reductions at the Jr. Hi. and I believe 
some of those reductions can be attributed to 9th graders 
(who, of course, are high school students for curriculum 
and graduation requirement purposes).  Total teacher 
reductions without the levy equal about 30.5 FTE.  With 
the levy, the reductions total about 12 to 14.  
	The high school probably has less room to consolidate 
classes than either the jr. hi. or the elementary schools.  At 
the elementary level we just flat need to consolidate 
some classes (even in this year's configuration) because 
the sizes are much smaller than others throughout the 
district.  (Unfortunately, that means moving some children 
to another school almost always)  That doesn't eliminate 
any program or offering in any way (the drawback being 
moving children).  At the junior high team teaching can be 
eliminated at some savings without affecting offerings--it 
does affect the quality of the offerings of course.  At the 
high school there are fewer (or no) areas that can be 
trimmed without a more immediate impact on 
programming and class offerings.

Why did the district decide to keep the (IMHO a failed)
modified block plan when reverting to a seven period day
should result in significant savings and help coordinate
with the UI so students would have an easier time dual

A.  I don't think anyone saw dual enrollment as a possible 
solution to budget problems.  And I would have to say that 
making another major program change without more 
time to study, obtain input, coordinate with UI (if indeed it 
would help dual enrollment and if indeed more dual 
enrollment is a good thing), plan, and implement would 
likely have been a disaster.  Exactly ONE person seriously 
raised the dual enrollment question before March 1, 2002 
and that was not in the context of helping the budget 
problems.  [yes, I'm aware that others have asked about 
dual enrollment in the past.  It's a question that deserves a 
better answer than I can give right now or than I have 
been given to date.  I will follow up on it until I have a 
satisfactory answer.  As with most issues, we may come 
to different conclusions from the relevant information, but 
we should all have the same relevant information so that 
we can discuss it intelligently.  And expanded dual 
enrollment is much less likely to be happening if the levy 
does not pass April 23]
Likewise, no one has raised the block scheduling (at the 
HS) in any context. For those who don't know, the HS runs 
on 71 minute class periods during the day.  Classes thus 
meet 4 times per week, for total contact of 284 minutes v. 
the traditional 50 minute class period 5 times a week for 
250 minutes of contact.  I'm not aware of any other (than 
the purported benefits to dual enrollment, which I'm not 
yet sure are there either) benefit changing the schedule 
would create.  I'm sure this is a philosophical battle that 
has been fought several times before between and 
among various individuals and groups in the district and 
community.  I'd be also pretty sure there is no perfect 
program.  I'll get some more information about it though 
and pass it along.  John, maybe you can explain what your 
plan or suggestion would be, how it would work, why it 
would work better than the current plan, and what the 
budget implications would be, if any.


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