Monday, February 27, 2006

Ashland School District No. 5, Jackson County, Oregon - The Board of Directors met in a work session Monday, February 27, 2006, at 7:00 p.m. in the Ashland Middle School Library.    Present were: 

 

Heidi Parker                 )            Chair

 

Ruth Alexander            )          

Amy Amrhein               )            Board Members

Mat Marr                     )

Amy Patton                  )

                                                                       

Juli Di Chiro, Superintendent

District Administrators

Media Representative

Jeanne Peterson, Executive Secretary

 

 

I.          Call to Order

 

            The meeting was called to order at 7:06 p.m.

 

II.         Roll Check

 

            A roll of the board was taken and all members were present.

 

III.       Seek Public Input on Long-Range Planning for Elementary Sites

 

      Chair Parker explained that the Board will seek public input to assist the Board in directing the Bond and Facilities Planning Committee. 

 

            Superintendent Di Chiro reviewed maps and informational handouts.

 

            Those present divided into small groups and gave the following input on the following questions.

 

Given the information in the recent demographer’s report, do we have sufficient capacity for elementary programs at three schools?

 

Configuration

·        Long term solutions should be focus; should be conservative with property use

·        K-8 housed at the middle school; alternative to current program (will free up space)

·        Maintain K-5 structure

·        Year round school

·        Maintain flexibility for different grade configurations

·        Consider different grade configurations in conjunction with K-5, not in exchange of

·        Reconfigure (K-4, 5-8)

·        Stop demographics predictions from coming true – create a plan for affordable housing.

·        Physical space okay but not enough space for programs.

Misc.

·        Growth is in south; if that continues may not work for Bellview

·        Fiscal responsible

·        Reasonable guess that more children will come because of expanded K hours

·        Develop a plan to address decline in student #’s in conjunction with city

·        Very few WW students would go to elementary school

·        Quality of education requires more rooms

·        Teacher noted preference for larger classrooms rather than smaller spaces; shared spaces lacking

·        Anticipate increase in student population

·         

Class Size, School Size

·        Class size more consideration than school size

·        Each K class will have it’s own classroom

·        AQEM = 340 max

·        What guideline are we going by?

·        300 Maximum

·        3 full old buildings; (If all 5 were open they would all still be old)

·        Good to have more rooms

·        Music, reading, art/kids lab, science, PE, library, lab; *extra rooms*

·        Special services in one room

·        Capacity for programs vs. bodies; distinction between two

·        What is the class size?

·        There is space for the classrooms – not the programs

Number of Schools, Space

·        With current class size we have enough space now and for 2010; can’t count on interdistrict transfer

·        Schools need more space

·        If 985-921 and class size 20 we still have capacity; NO, not enough classrooms if class size 20

·        In the old model (5 schools) space was not a concern; with 3 we do

·        Make sure we have sufficient capacity at K-5 sites

·        With 2 empty elementary schools why would we want to build?

·        Too tight capacity

·        Low class size and break out rooms

·        We should be able to accommodate 3 schools with the population

·        No: elementary are at AMS; people leaving; not enough extra rooms

·        Because of new K hours, will there be enough room?

·        Do we want 2 schools or 3?

·        3 schools

·        2 schools – use middle school wing for other school

·        Bellview is “building” a music room too crowded

·        Err on the side of extra capacity in the elementary sites.


Should we consider magnet schools as opposed to neighborhood schools for our elementary schools in the future?

 

Neighborhood schools

·        What is definition of neighborhood school? We drive, but feel we have a neighborhood school

·        Could we have both magnet schools and neighborhood schools in/on same site?

·        No to separate magnet schools. Develop magnet components to existing K-5/Middle

·        Magnet schools may drive people away – magnet programs are a better idea

·        All elementaries should be “dripping” with art, music, science…..

·        School within a school; flexible programs

·        Neighborhood schools

·        Neighborhood schools support community

·        Schools are a resource to neighborhoods not because kids go to school there

·        Stretch to think about magnets in small communities; diverse choice at each school; some opp for language emer

·        Neighborhood very much

·        Neighborhood diversity is essential magnet – more commuting

·        Cheaper to expand what you have than make new building

·        Too small for magnets; diverse choice at each school; lang emersion program

·        Already have magnets – Wilderness Charter, Waldorf inspired; dynamic organic; grass roots programs within schools with approp physical design

·        No can’t imagine magnets at elementary

Magnet schools

·        We should continue to focus our “specialty” at each school

·        Magnet will draw students from outside the district

·        “Flavors” at schools can’t act as magnet w/o open enrollment

·        “Magnet” feeling at some schools

·        Magnetism and choice may exist now

·        Magnets may work better in larger communities

·        All magnets – often fail as a district – maybe 1 magnet

·        Community does not have to be created geographically

·        School – language; K-8

·        Magnet provides choice

·        Yes, to magnet schools, but not at the expense of the current K-5 sites

·        Would only consider magnet school for public school

·        Not in favor of magnet schools – diversity more imp; neighborhood schools

·        Can there be magnet programs within a school?

·        Culture clash a problem with magnet programs; status, problem at elementary

·        Pro magnet schools with more subtle themes – ie, science, arts

Other

·        Schools within a school

·        Create flexibility in enrollment – zone transfer

·        Distinct personalities important – open transfers important

·        Will other districts support transfers?

·        Willow Wind is currently considered a magnet school for some families

·        Transportation a + for neighborhood

·        Couldn’t we have both?

·        Desire for “magnets” may be fueled by need for higher quality curriculum & space

·        Consider a Willow Wind component at current K-5/middle sites

·        One high school; one middle school; Ashland itself is a community

·        What is definition of schools – think each school has their own style

·        Likes the K-8 option

·        Honor a particular neighborhood school, but neighbors should have voice in what happens there

·        Ashland is so small, community formed in other ways

·        For 30 years – have had open enrollment what is most cost efficient way to do this

·        Open enrollment important – encourage personality of school to come out

·        Receive equal education at all schools

·        Waldorf inspired classroom will be part of larger campus with the right amount of separation

·        Expand buildings rather than replicating; more environmentally conscious

·        Start small and allow to grow – allows interest to go

·        About building community

·        Need to be mindful of the cost

 

Are the current three elementary schools located in the right place for the long term?

 

Lincoln

·        Should we look at Lincoln?

·        If there is not enough capacity, should we also use Lincoln (#4)

·        Lincoln site centrally located – would like it to be elementary site

·        Low income families – could open Lincoln

·        If kids are to walk to school can’t re-open Lincoln

·        Consider Lincoln as alternative site (more central) to the current K-5 sites

 

Bellview

·        Growth potential at south end

·        Bellview will grow with available land

·        3 in right place

·        3 in the right location – use bus line to get from Bellview to downtown

·        Current three schools are located in the right places – bike path, Boulevard

·        Yes, as long as those in neighborhood boundaries have priority attendance over transfer students

·        3 well situated areas around Lincoln & Briscoe decreasing in population

·        We have enough capacity at 3 current elementaries

·        Do we want to expand 3 schools or open 4th school

 

Walker

·        Should Walker be rebuilt at the Lincoln site

·        One centrally – rethink Lincoln; Walker traffic a nightmare

·        Prohibitive to upgrade Lincoln & Briscoe; traffic on walker a problem

·        Too much congestion (traffic, etc) with the close proximity of Walker to SOU and the middle school

 

Other

·        Not school board’s job to increase enrollment

·        Import to bring people from out of town in town

·        I think we went through a long process with closure committee that we need to consider

·        Should prioritize K-5 campus locations within walking distance of all students

·        May need more than 3 sites to ensure students are within 1 mile/walking distance of K-5 campus

·        Making Lincoln a “swing” building is a great idea

·        Should we build a new school at Lincoln?

·        Explore decentralized administrative structure to expand # of K-5 sites

·        Do we look for property further south?

·        Isn’t a scientific approach better?  Put schools where kids are located

·        5th grader (Helman) said transition from Briscoe-Helman went well; even with larger class size is working for kids; need a gym

·        Should we be looking at more options than just 3 elementaries? Can we keep school space flexible

·        Maintain 4 small schools; reconstitute Lincoln so not overcrowded

·        3 ideal small school size 200-250; we’re crowded but if we stay with AQEM, we are okay as is

·        Prioritize K-5 campus locations within closest proximity to downtown, library, park, etc.

·        Reconfigure K-4; 5-8

 

If Lincoln is not used as an elementary school, what is its future use, both long and short term?

 

High School:

·        Partner w/RCC in Professional/Technical school

·        HS students in Lincoln when building new HS buildings

·        Lincoln would work better for older kids because of 2nd story and lack of clustered classes

·        Serve district as all suggested – swing, district, technical prof

·        Students housed there during construction

·        AHS/SOU/RCC/Voc/Tech School

·        Middle school using Lincoln for partnership with HS

·        Use Lincoln now in a way that will preserve its potential as a future site

·        Use Lincoln as temporary space while AHS is rebuilt

·        Use Lincoln as “swing” site while building is going on

 

Revenue:

·        Generate revenue

·        Focus on a way to make it a revenue generator

·        Revenue – maximum security prison

·        Don’t sell Lincoln – keep for swing options collaborative – Central office/HS use

·        What about Lithia Springs school?  Montessori?

·        Pre K/K-1 in conjunction with Montessori at Lincoln

·        Demographics – can’t keep properties; Lincoln endowment could be formed from proceeds

·        Build “attainable” housing on “strip” of Lincoln

·        Explore possibility of using parts of Lincoln’s campus for teacher housing

·        Need revenue source from Lincoln – use middle school for swing space

·        Mixed use – compatible mixed use

 

Elementary Program:

·        Move/place K-8 to Lincoln

·        Reconstruct Bellview first because of greater need

·        Maintain flexibility around Lincoln campus; change as needs arise

·        K-8; Continue Ed; Alternative programs for HS; Technical Ed

·        Build new elementary for Walker/Lincoln

·        Magnet school

·        Want to see Lincoln at ELEMENTARY long term

 

Other:

·        Updating downtown plan may lead to an increase in student population in this area (downtown)

·        After school programs by community

·        Not Sold

·        Community center activities

·        Park – field for neighborhood park

·        Need to think of long term

·        Use Lincoln as a TAG program/site for elementary schools

·        Preserve Lincoln site as a district site and maintained so it could be used as a future site

·        Keep Lincoln physically intact; historical value

 

Should the Board consider the sale of district property to fund needed facility improvements and/or district programs?

 

NO:

·        Don’t sell unless you have to

·        Wait until we know demographics

·        Don’t sell any property – consider alternative uses (ie teacher housing)

·        Will need an additional housing for all/future teachers

·        Revenue critical now – hang onto sites

·        No – assure any adoptive use plan includes District rights to retain property

·        May need land & facilities – came from place that sold schools and needed them later

·        Don’t consider sale of property; consensus

·        Wrong to sell for any reason – 50 years may need for future generations

·        Don’t sell to spend on bricks & mortar; manage appropriately

·        Be extremely cautious before selling – have Ashland change Salem’s mind

·        Short term – better solutions than selling

·        Long term for Lincoln: professional, technical school; join with SOU/RCC

 

YES:

·        Should we sell Briscoe?  Briscoe park is important

·        Consider selling some

·        Consider when is best time to sell

·        Yes – sell – but use as an endowment – tax ourselves for improvement

·        Hoarding things we don’t need – should sell properties

·        Financial burden need revenue to support

·        If you are sure it is surplus, then consider sale.

 

???:

·        Make best use of land that the district has

·        When teachers live in the community it helps maintain the community

·        Should the district consider work force housing?  Condos out of Briscoe

·        When owned – reluctant to sell – lease for revenue

·        Evaluate unique aspects of each property – what does each offer?

·        Long term decisions

·        Use work force housing as performance incentive?

·        Don’t need to – District is sought after

·        Concern – what kind of money do we put into maintaining them?

 

What is the relationship between Willow Wind Community Learning Center and the other elementary school?

 

Willow Wind Property:

·        Utilize the property more

·        Over the creek = great place for environ ed for community

·        Use WW/Bird sanctuary as resource; Do organic gardening for schools

·        WW is beautiful space for magnet programs

·        WW is maxed out but would like elementaries to use facilities particularly outdoor facilities

·        Use land behind WW to build workforce housing while District maintains ownership

·        Workforce housing cutting into school properties should be our last option

·        If we want teachers in town we must offer options? District should review options consensus

·        Affordable housing is a CITY-WIDE issue possibly in partnership

·        Long conversation about WW – this helped to educate community

 

Willow Wind Program:

·        Impt that WW program stay

·        Keep WW as WW – don’t develop it

·        “Incubator” for magnet programs

·        Willow Wind provides a sense of community for home schooling families

·        Use WW as a model for elementary schools to provide a core academic curriculum with options/choice on afternoon programming

·        Families moved here specifically for WW

·        Flow between WW & public schools AHS benefits

·        Moved to WW from private school = very happy

·        Keep Waldorf program there; add building so could be more utilized by elementaries

·        Willow Wind has undermined some of the family support for home schoolers (eliminated family networking)

·        Willow Wind has lost some home schooling families as it has developed into a more magnet like program

·        Benefits schools by offering environmental programs on site

Other:

·        Concern that WW students use AMS services

·        Some elementary students and middle school families have left district schools to attend Willow Wind

·        Revenue source

·        Prioritize district funding for TAG or TAG like programs for all students

·        Consider relocating WW in a more centralized location using of the existing K-5 campuses

·        Don’t consider moving WW campus to one of the existing K-5 campuses because of the natural assets of campus

·        Go back to being home school support program – just a few classes rather than full-time

·        Some people have left because it is more of an alternative program rather than home school support.

·        Elementary school should take what is good about WW and incorporate into elementaries; core in morning; electives afternoon

·        Lots of misconceptions about WW; it is seen as a negative rather than as an asset to the district.

·        Need to education the public about WW; talk about the good things we know about WW.

 

 

IV.            Adjournment

             

              There being no further business, the meeting adjourned at 9:15 p.m.

             

Jeanne Peterson, Executive Secretary

 

list 1.0in; mso-list: l28 level1 lfo34" align=left>·        If you are sure it is surplus, then consider sale.

 

???:

·        Make best use of land that the district has

·        When teachers live in the community it helps maintain the community

·        Should the district consider work force housing?  Condos out of Briscoe

·        When owned – reluctant to sell – lease for revenue

·        Evaluate unique aspects of each property – what does each offer?

·        Long term decisions

·        Use work force housing as performance incentive?

·        Don’t need to – District is sought after

·        Concern – what kind of money do we put into maintaining them?

 

What is the relationship between Willow Wind Community Learning Center and the other elementary school?

 

Willow Wind Property:

·        Utilize the property more

·        Over the creek = great place for environ ed for community

·        Use WW/Bird sanctuary as resource; Do organic gardening for schools

·        WW is beautiful space for magnet programs

·        WW is maxed out but would like elementaries to use facilities particularly outdoor facilities

·        Use land behind WW to build workforce housing while District maintains ownership

·        Workforce housing cutting into school properties should be our last option

·        If we want teachers in town we must offer options? District should review options consensus

·        Affordable housing is a CITY-WIDE issue possibly in partnership

·        Long conversation about WW – this helped to educate community

 

Willow Wind Program:

·        Impt that WW program stay

·        Keep WW as WW – don’t develop it

·        “Incubator” for magnet programs

·        Willow Wind provides a sense of community for home schooling families

·        Use WW as a model for elementary schools to provide a core academic curriculum with options/choice on afternoon programming

·        Families moved here specifically for WW

·        Flow between WW & public schools AHS benefits

·        Moved to WW from private school = very happy

·        Keep Waldorf program there; add building so could be more utilized by elementaries

·        Willow Wind has undermined some of the family support for home schoolers (eliminated family networking)

·        Willow Wind has lost some home schooling families as it has developed into a more magnet like program

·        Benefits schools by offering environmental programs on site

Other:

·        Concern that WW students use AMS services

·        Some elementary students and middle school families have left district schools to attend Willow Wind

·        Revenue source

·        Prioritize district funding for TAG or TAG like programs for all students

·        Consider relocating WW in a more centralized location using of the existing K-5 campuses

·        Don’t consider moving WW campus to one of the existing K-5 campuses because of the natural assets of campus

·        Go back to being home school support program – just a few classes rather than full-time

·        Some people have left because it is more of an alternative program rather than home school support.

·        Elementary school should take what is good about WW and incorporate into elementaries; core in morning; electives afternoon

·        Lots of misconceptions about WW; it is seen as a negative rather than as an asset to the district.

·        Need to education the public about WW; talk about the good things we know about WW.

 

 

IV.            Adjournment

             

              There being no further business, the meeting adjourned at 9:15 p.m.

             

Jeanne Peterson, Executive Secretary

 



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