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Re: Yet another levy question--first reply

Thanks for your response Mike, but I am still a little confused.

1)  Currently, West Park and Russell are both K-6 schools.  Does the
reconfiguration to West Park as K-3 and Russell as 4-6 result in the savings
you mentioned in your first reply?  (I.E.: Does the reconfiguration result
in the loss of 4.5 classroom teachers at West Park and Russell?)
Understand, I am having some problems seeing any budgetary savings here.

2)  Reconfiguration will have some added costs.  Ongoing costs like busing
and one time costs such as moving materials and supplies.  If the district
is willing to pay for these costs, where does the funds come from and why?

3 and 4)  The current modified block plan at the high school has one full
time teacher teaching 5 classes out of 6 periods.  It is the main reason for
your statement regarding the high school having probably less room for
consolidation.  A standard plan (JH model used by ninth graders) would have
teachers teaching 6 out of 7 periods.  Theoretically, a HS teacher could
have smaller class sizes and teach more total students with the JH model.
The modified block plan, because of the start and end times of classes,
makes it almost impossible for students wishing to enroll in some UI courses
to do both HS and UI as is provided in state law.  From a budget
prospective, did the district look at changing the block plan and if so, why
did the district decide to keep the block plan?

Part of what I am trying to understand is the reasoning of the admin council
when it made its recommendations.

John Danahy
----- Original Message -----
From: "Mike Curley" <>
To: "Vision2020" <>
Sent: Sunday, April 07, 2002 3:32 PM
Subject: Re: Yet another levy question--first reply

> John:
> >>Q.
>   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
> (18,583).
> >>Q:
> Where do the funds come from to reconfigure the
> elementary program?<<
> A.  I don't understand the question.
> >>Q.:
> 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.
> >>Q:
> 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
> enrolling?<<
> 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.
> Mike

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