Letter to Chad Green and Mark Medford after Redistricting committee meeting:
I attended the attendance zone meeting last night as a non-participating member and was surprised at the updated enrollment projections. Page 4 of the Oct 4 handout shows attendance levels that appear to put the enrollments about 2 years ahead of the December 2016 YCSD facilities master plan.
Additionally, the redistricting consultant work appears to focus on the building sizes rather than the instructional sizes, and also is still unclear as to the goals. For instance, specification number one in the redistricting process is “Realign school attendance zone areas so the distribution of students matches the instructional capacity or the building capacity” — you folks spent a lot of time and effort over the last year or so explaining the need to use instructional capacity rather than the misleading building capacity. To consider reverting to building capacities for the redistricting decisions confuses the issue and uses the inferior metric you spent the last year disparaging.
That the elementary system is already at 93% of instructional capacity guarantees that even if redistricting boundaries and transportation was not a constraint, any redistricting plan will certainly overcrowd schools above the ideal of 85-90% capacity. (If you are thinking that the goal should be 100% of instructional capacity, as implied by the tables in the FMP and consultants presentation, consider that you can’t move surplus 4th graders into under-enrolled kintergarden and 5th grade classes, and that the middle and high school systems are at about 75% instructional capacity.)
The touchstones that I’d test the redistricting plans against is how well it distributes the overcrowding above 90% instructional capacity relative to the facilities, and how the solutions impact the facilities compliance with state standards. This process of rehashing building capacity vs instructional capacity, and K-5 vs pre-K-5 enrollments vs building capacity and instructional capacity looks like rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic.
From what I saw last night, you are being overly optimistic that future enrollment will be lower than expected and that the Marquis school will be an adequate solution to overcrowding over your 6 year planning period.
The fact that YES has substandard facilities, temporary trailers, and overcrowding at the 111% level after the 8+ years of planning for the new elementary school shows that the county has done a poor job of oversight. The fact that the current plans are inadequate to bring the system-wide elementary enrollments to less than 90% of instructional capacity indicates a poor job of planning for the future.
Please, show me I’m wrong.