I’ll be blogging live from the BOE meeting tonight – newest information on top, older at the bottom (so you can get caught up quickly).
One quick reminder: No matter what happens, I’m keeping in mind that how I react and what I say to my kids has an important role in their response. This is a difficult situation, and I’m going to do my best to make it as positive as it can be – for everyone. Just wanted to share that upfront.
9:16 – And that’s it. The rest of the meeting is just the legislative process of implementing BOE 9.
9:15 – BOE 9 passes.
9:14 – Vote on BOE 9, which moves five polygons out of SJLES.
9:13 – Ms. French calling for a vote on 10 modified. 2 for, 5 against. Motion fails (that’s the one that would have kept SJLES together).
9:12 – Mr. Brown – Still concerned about crowding at Hollifield with modified BOE 10.
9:11 – Dr. Foose: Too soon to look at it.
9:10 – Mr. Meshkin: Move to approve modified BOE 10. Seconded by Ms. Vaillancourt. Mr. Meshkin asks Dr. Foose for her opinion.
9:09 – Mr. Dyer: He’s reassured that Mr. Gallihue will follow the Sup’s goals. He wants to leave her in a strong position to be able to change course. I will vote for BOE 9.
9:08 – Ms. Vaillancourt: We should either do the smallest now, or go back to L-10. It’s a philosophical approach. I’m uncomfortable making a decision based on a promise [that the Board/Sup will fix within 3 years] that Board can’t guarantee.
9:07 – Ms. French: We shouldn’t pass things off.
9:05 – Ms. Vaillancourt saying that the students will be able to be moved in three years. Correct?
9:04 – Ms. French saying that more students need to move out. Multi-purpose room would have to be split into two classrooms. Cafeteria cannot accommodate the long lines of students waiting 15-20 minutes to get their lunch. Each Board member should visit each school to understand how Principal has to ensure the educational program is delivered. Do not think removing 76 students from Phelps Luck is sufficient.
9:03 – Mr. Vaillancourt pointing out that Phelps Luck would still lose students.
9:01 – Mr. Meshkin continues that modified 10 works within the existing process.
8:57 – Mr. Meshkin is addressing the Northfield attendees. If move ahead with modified BOE 10, Northfield goes to 110% instead of 116%. Modified 10 moves fewer students. BOE has established that some of the data about school capacity may be wrong and polygons may be wrong, we’re thinking about making changes that can’t be redone for five years if we move a child. Doing so limits our options. Modified 10 moves fewer kids. Doesn’t change Phelps Luck, just makes some other changes. Gives us the most flexibility. Northfield at 100%. Phelps Luck around 100%. If we go BOE 9, it breaks up SJLES. We can unwind some of the redistricting and give us more flexibility by doing BOE 10 modified.
8:55 – Dr. Siddiqui: As a governing body, we need to look at our policy. We’re opening ES 41, relieving overcrowding at various schools. We have 11 factors that we consider. Trying to balance those is difficult. But we have to come to some sort of resolution. Reading off list of the criteria. Looking at what we have in hand, I think we’re in a good position with 9.
8:53: Dr. Foose continues. We’re 10 plans away from the one I brought you. 9 addresses the three things we started with. Less disruptive than my plan. The flexibility is the same regardless of whether it’s 9 or 10. 10 addresses variables that came together at 10:45 on Tuesday night. They’re still disruptive. I would support Mr. Gallihue’s recommendations. We’re moving the issue from Veterans to Hollifield.
8:51 – Dr. Foose: You’re asking for my plan. I brought it to you several weeks ago. And now you’re asking which of your plans is the best departure from my plan. What philosophy will guide the future of redistricting. Right now we’re responding to island and capacities. I didn’t want this to be as disruptive as it was.
8:50 – Mr. Dyer wants to know which plan gives the most flexibility to Dr. Foose.
8:49 – Ms. French: Both plans show the same weakness of small feeds. Both plans increase small feeds to 21 to elementary school; 6 to middle schools. Of double small feeds, both plans have 4. Therefore, Mr. Dyer needs to find another reason to choose one plan over another.
8:48 – Mr. Gallihue: SJLES would say that they have 100% feed and have some Dunloggin students coming in. Maybe we can do something about that. Putting schools in a position where they’re not overcrowded eliminates a distraction.
8:46 – Mr. Gallihue asking for clarification on how Mr. Dyer is looking at feeds – from the leaving elementary school or the receiving middle school. Mr. Dyer replied 100%. Mr. Gallihue brings out a plan put together as an exercise years ago about redistricting the entire county to create the feeds Mr. Dyer is talking about. Would need to move 4,000+ elementary schools, 2,700+ middle schools to accomplish that. [They’re not doing that!]
8:45 – Mr. Dyer talking about wanting to keep feeder patterns together.
8:44 – Mr. Roey – Mr. Gallihue is executing your [the Board’s] policy.
8:42 – Mr. Dyer – Not sure sometimes whether you’re stating the Sup’s position or the previous plan’s. I’d like to ask the Sup which plan she wants to see. I’m concerned about what’s going to be the best educational result. When I hear you [Mr. Gallihue] talk, I hear what’s the best way to use all the seats we have.
8:39 – Ms. Giles – we need to assess program capacity issues. Need to change how we count capacity to deliver programs. Seemed to be a tacit understanding across the Board about overcrowding Phelps Luck. For right now, acknowledgments that some schools can handle the numbers better. Nuances at individual schools that aren’t reflected in the numbers.
8:37 – Mr. Aquino talking about his kids at Ilchester. Community said they’d bear with the overcapacity to stay together. Started to hear from parents that they didn’t like being in an overcrowded school. “I’m hypersensitive to pushing those envelopes.”
8:36 – Ms. Vaillancourt pointing out that if the capacity numbers are wrong, then we’re about to make a big decision that may be based on wrong numbers. We have a situation where the numbers aren’t where they need to be. Her preference to limit the numbers as much as possible. 200 fewer students, but have to decide about Phelps Luck.
8:35 – Mr. Gallihue explaining that they went to Phelps Luck and looked at how rooms were actually being used to know how much actual capacity they have for educational programs.
8:33 – Ms. Vaillancourt saying 10 modified moves about 1,200 students. If we are saying the target at Phelps Luck is 570 instead of 640, when did the number change happen [I may have those numbers wrong.]
8:32 – Mr. Gallihue pointing out that, if you ultimately want to put a program at Hollifield, 10 wouldn’t give you the flexibility. Redistricting is a necessary evil.
8:31 – Mr. Gallihue is saying the effort to try other scenarios will be helpful if we get an appeal.
8:30 – Mr. Gallihue making the point that 10 just moves the overcrowding from Veterans to Northfield. Yes, other schools are involved, “I acknowledge that.” The capacity is at Waverly.
8:28 – Phelps Luck goes to 102% to 109.1%, then come back down. FARMS increases at Phelps Luck. That’s what Mr. Gallihue considers part of the weakness.
8:26 – Mr. Meshkin trying to see what happens if some of the redistricting through Northfield, Thunderhill, and Phelps Luck was undone. The concern is leaving Phelps Luck too high for the special programs they have there.
8:25 – Ms. Vaillancourt asking to look at the tweaks to see if they can keep Phelps Luck within a good capacity.
8:24 – Dr. French asking if there’s a desire among the Board to start drawing more maps at this late hour? Late in the process to start drawing stuff.
8:21 – Reiterating that Dr. Foose put forward a plan with less movement. Advocating that we don’t break anything now that we can’t fix later. Folks have had little time to react to BOE 10. Can we look at a way to bring Northfield down to a manageable range. Undo some of the redistricting into Northfield so they’re not overcrowded?
8:20 – Brian Meshkin disagrees with Mr. Gallihue’s preference with BOE 9. 10 was trying to address a choice between the lesser of two evils: breaking up a school or having an island. 10 was a way to put those island neighborhoods at schools near them.
8:16 – Joel going through the reasons why it’s not a good idea to overcrowd Northfield. Better to use capacity at Waverly rather than Northfield.
8:15 – Joel giving numbers. Not catching all of them, you can see the details on the Board’s website where all the reports are.
8:14 – Mr. Aquino is asking Joel to discuss the crowding under 10 at both Hollifield and Northfield.
8:13 – Says that Hollifield is the wrong school to crowd (which BOE #10 does). Strongly recommends BOE #9.
8:12 – Mr. Gallihue says that BOE #9 is better because it reduces the SJLES movement from 1/2 to 1/4. Doesn’t solve all of what the community wanted, but it’s reduced.
8:10 – Chairman French has asked the staff to give their opinion on the plans. Joel Gallihue is addressing them and saying that BOE #9 is the better improvement on the Sup’s plan.
8:09 – On to redistricting.
8:03 – Here we go. Three agenda items come before the redistricting discussion.
8:00 – Taking their seats.
7:56 – Some of the members are starting to file back into the room.
7:20 – They just broke for dinner and said they would start again around 8:00p.m.