CLOVER PARK SCHOOL DISTRICT
Special Meeting/Workshop of the Board
“Joint School Board and City Council Meeting”
City Council Chambers, 6000 Main St SW, Lakewood, WA 98499
January 30, 2017
Present: President Marty Schafer, Vice President Carole Jacobs, Becki Kellcy, Joe Vlaming, Paul Wagemann and Debbie LeBeau
Present: Mayor Don Anderson, Deputy Mayor Jason Whalen, Mary Moss, Michael Brandstetter, Marie Barth, Paul Bocchi, John Simpson and John Caulfield.
6:00 p.m. Mayor Don Anderson opened the meeting and roll call was conducted. All members of the City Council and Board of Directors were present.
FACILITIES ADVISORY COMMITTEE RECOMMENDATION
Administrator for Business Services and Capital Projects Rick Ring provided a summary of the Facilities Advisory Committee (FAC) recommendations that were presented to the Board of Directors on January 23, 2017, during the regular meeting/workshop of the board.
He thanked Assistant City Manager Dave Bugher for his role on the committee. He brought a wealth of knowledge and provided the city’s background information to the FAC. Consultants were also hired to work with the district to physically go into all district facilities to provide an analysis of current conditions.
The City Council was provided a copy of the presentation prior to the joint meeting. Mr. Ring highlighted the FAC charge and purpose, which was to:
- Update the capital facilities master plan;
- Recommend short- and long-term solutions related to the district’s deferred maintenance, educational adequacy of schools, safety and security, future plans and use of district property; and
- Consider a future capital bond proposition.
He shared the FAC was presented with data to study and evaluate the overall condition of the district facilities to identify and prioritize potential facility modifications, replacements, additions and/or closures to best enhance student achievement opportunities and support the ongoing economic development and health community. The data included items such as school capacity, enrollment, the demographic study from 2014, financial data, facility condition assessment, educational standards, and safety and security.
The FAC recommendations are:
- Close Woodbrook Middle School;
- Develop a new middle school (i.e. consolidate Woodbrook and Mann);
- Consolidate elementary schools in lieu of replacing each school;
- Demolish the Little Red School House, but honor the historical features in a future capital project;
- Maintain Lake City property for a future CPSD facility;
- Implement an ongoing Facilities Advisory Committee/Bond Planning Committee;
- Develop a long-term masterplan (with sequential bonds planned); and
- Increase annual funding for major maintenance.
The city council had some follow-up questions regarding the presentation and were interested in learning where the Board sees population trends in the next 10 years as students age. The superintendent remarked that since 2010, the district has seen a growth of approximately 1300 students. The district has been very good at projecting year-to-year growth, but not long-term growth because communities shift over time. Superintendent LeBeau further noted that the district is seeing a trend of more students shifting to community schools and fewer students attending JBLM schools.
She added informationally that the district receives state funding based on a 17:1 student-to-staff ratio for K-2 if we are able to staff at that ratio. The class-size impact is felt more in the elementary schools where there is often a lack of classroom space and teachers. The teacher shortage is state and nationwide.
Councilperson Brandstetter remarked that the city received grant funds for Safe Routes to Schools. Dower is presently being targeted for improvements and based on the recommendation regarding elementary schools he would appreciate a heads up on planned changes for schools being targeted for improvements so they can submit grants for sidewalks, etc., accordingly. The district cannot identify schools that might be impacted until the Board has more time to consider the FAC recommendations. The decision would require much communication and offer an opportunity for public input from affected neighborhoods.
YOUTH COUNCIL UPDATE
Superintendent LeBeau acknowledged that the district became aware of Youth Council concerns regarding the school district when the students made a public report to city council on October 3. There were signs of communication concerns a week prior after an incident at one of the high schools.
The Board and school administrators reached out to students to learn more about the concerns. There were some misconceptions about information as well as real concerns about communication, safety and social emotional issues. The students voiced that they want to know more about how the school district works. The first meeting with student had good turnout, and the second meeting had a smaller number of students in attendance. Our principals are very interested in having students use their voice in leadership positions. The students have valuable insights and as many are seniors this year, we will be asking them where we can improve communication and opportunities for students to be involved. The Board and administrators have learned a lot from students, and expect to learn more.
The city council was interested in how it can assist the district in communicating with students more directly. Invitations to the initial meeting was by mail, which caused delays. The district now has email addresses for students and has worked out a better plan to communicate in a timely manner. The district has also added additional modes of communication to families that include email, phones, texting, social media and paper notices. There is also translation of written materials as appropriate. Councilperson Barth also noted that it has been a delight to watch student share. They provide very good input and are not afraid to add their voice to discussion.
Vice President Jacobs applauded the city council for having broad-based Youth Council participation. In the past, there was only one student for each school and now that number has increased. Mayor Anderson added it has been difficult to draw students from all of the high schools. Some schools participate more than others.
JOINT QUARTERLY CLOVER PARK SCHOOL DISTRICT AND CITY OF LAKEWOOD MEETINGS
The City Council and Board of Directors will continue to hold informal quarterly meetings, rotating members who attend. The non-quorum meetings have been valuable and the informal conversations are beneficial toward strengthening the relationship between the city and school district.
6:51 p.m. The meeting was adjourned.
Dr. Marty Schafer, President
Deborah L. LeBeau, Superintendent