Ad Hoc Committee for Elementary Enrollment 
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April 25, 2017 Update: Ad Hoc Committee for Elementary Enrollment Identifies Schools Involved in Redistricting and Discusses Creation of Elementary Redistricting Committee


The Ad Hoc Committee for Elementary Enrollment met on April 25,2017 to discuss the parameters for the redistricting framework including the timeline, how the work will be performed and who will be involved in the process. In addition, the Committee discussed parameters to determine which schools should be considered for redistricting, the retention of external advisors and other considerations that are relevant to our school community.  

 

At its previous meeting, the Committee had identified redistricting elementary school students as the current best option to provide a timely and cost-effective solution to address the disparity in building population. This option should allow for uniform delivery of the District's elementary program over the next five years. Redistricting also provides the School Board with flexibility in the event that student enrollment shifts significantly in the future.


At the April 25 meeting, the Committee discussed which schools will be involved in redistricting.The target range for District elementary schools is 450-500 students per school. Due to the fact that Beaumont Elementary School (382 students), Devon Elementary School (606 students) and Hillside Elementary School (421 students) all fall outside of the target range now and in enrollment projections, these three schools' populations will be balanced as part of the redistricting plan. 

The Committee outlined criteria to be considered when balancing the attendance areas of Beaumont, Devon and Hillside Elementary Schools. Considerations include numbers of students in each school; transportation routes; contiguous neighborhoods; proximity to attending schools; and reasonably shaped districts. 

The next phase of the redistricting initiative will be the creation of an Elementary Redistricting Committee in June 2017. The Elementary Redistricting Committee will consist of School Board Members, administrative staff, parents, an external facilitator and consultants (demographer, transportation supervisor, etc.) The Committee discussed the responsibilities of the Elementary Redistricting Committee as well as the collection of community input and the distribution of information and updates to the community.

Finally, the Committee reviewed the timeline for redistricting. The Committee will present the redistricting option to the full School Board at the May 22, 2017 Regular School Board meeting. If the redistricting option is approved by the Board, the District would then solicit parent volunteers to serve on the Elementary Redistricting Committee, which will hold its first meeting in June 2017. Following meetings throughout the fall of 2017, the redistricting plan will be presented to the full School Board in early 2018. If approved by the Board, the administration will implement the transition plan in the spring of 2018 and new attendance boundaries will take effect in August 2018.   

At its next meeting on May 4, 2017 at 6:30 pm at the Tredyffrin/Easttown Administration Offices, the Ad Hoc Committee for Elementary Enrollment will review the next steps in the redistricting process. Click here for the May 4, 2017 meeting presentation.

 
April 4, 2017 Update: Ad Hoc Committee for Elementary Enrollment Identifies Redistricting as Leading Option 
 
The Ad Hoc Committee for Elementary Enrollment met on April 4, 2017 to discuss possible timelines, parameters, best practices and costs to rebalance the student population at the elementary schools in order to meet the goal of uniform delivery of the Elementary Blueprint for Instruction.

The meeting began with a review of existing core classroom spaces and special instruction spaces within the elementary schools. The Committee discussed the option of expanding one or more elementary schools to accommodate the unbalanced distribution of students. While expanding current schools would remove the need to redistrict elementary school students at this time, this option would institutionalize unequal distribution of school populations, promote a different student experience at a larger-sized school, involve a significant cost and would take at least two years to complete.

Next the Committee reviewed the option of redistricting elementary students by adjusting attendance boundaries to balance the distribution of students across T/E’s five elementary schools. Benefits to redistricting include a shorter timeline and the availability of adequate space to provide a uniform student experience across all District elementary schools. The Committee noted redistricting would require some families to move to a new school and could possibly impact the feeder pattern to the middle schools. Finally, District solicitor Ken Roos reviewed the legal requirements and restrictions for the redistricting process.

After discussion and consideration, the Committee identified redistricting elementary school students as the current best option to provide a timely, cost-effective solution to address the disparity in population. This option should allow for uniform delivery of the District’s elementary program over the next five years. Redistricting also provides the School Board with flexibility in the event that student enrollment shifts in the future.

At its next meeting on April 25, 2017 at 6:30 pm at the Tredyffrin/Easttown Administration Offices, the Committee will discuss the parameters for the redistricting framework including the timeline, how the work will be performed and who will be involved in the process. In addition, the Committee will discuss parameters to determine which schools should be considered for redistricting, the retention of external advisors and other considerations that are relevant to our school community.   
 
 
March 22, 2017 Ad Hoc Committee for Elementary Enrollment Meeting Update
 
The Ad Hoc Committee for Elementary Enrollment met for the first time on March 22, 2017. The Committee has been tasked with conducting an analysis of the need to rebalance enrollment across all five elementary schools. The meeting began with a presentation by demographer George Sundell of Sundance Associates. He provided an executive summary of the trends and projections contained in the October 2016 Demographic Study of Public School Enrollments for TESD. Mr Sundell noted that while total District enrollment has increased by approximately 10% since 2008, elementary enrollment has decreased over 7% or 172 students. Although projections indicate a slight decrease in K-4 over the next five years, the differences in student populations at individual elementary schools will not naturally balance out over the period.

Dr. Wendy Towle, Director of Curriculum, Instruction, Planning and Staff Development, presented the impact that the disparity in student enrollment at the building level has had on the delivery of the District’s elementary program. The District’s overall educational program is guided by the Strategic Plan, and the foundation for the elementary program is provided by the Elementary Blueprint for Instruction. The Elementary Blueprint for Instruction outlines the structure of the District’s program including the grade level team structure, student grouping, curricular programs and subject area time allocations. The District is already seeing an impact of the enrollment imbalance on the uniform delivery of the Blueprint for Instruction. By way of example, the Blueprint provides for a consistent, uninterrupted block of Language Arts instruction across classes in each grade. This block of instruction allows for integration of reading and writing and provides the structure for reading support classes to occur during the block, as they are intentionally scheduled around reading groups. Currently, special area classes in some grades are scheduled during Language Arts to accommodate additional sections of students. In addition, some special area classes such as physical education and library are scheduled with two classes sharing the space. Also schoolwide and large group experiences have been configured differently at times. Further, the Blueprint for Instruction recommends science instruction that includes two classes in specially-designed laboratory classrooms as well as the regular classroom. In the 2017-2018 school year at Devon Elementary School, it is very possible that more of these lab classes may need to take place in a regular core classroom.

The Committee discussed possible actions to address the disparity in the distribution of student population at the elementary schools: maintain the status quo, build a new school, expand existing elementary school facilities or redistrict elementary school students. The pros and cons of each option were reviewed and discussed. Based on the enrollment projections and the impact on the delivery of the elementary program, the Committee agreed that maintaining the status quo does not address the disparity in elementary school student populations. The Committee will not explore building an additional school at this time. At its next meeting, the Committee will continue to examine expansion of existing school facilities and redistricting in order to meet the goal of uniform delivery of the Blueprint for Instruction.

The Committee will meet next on April 4, 2017 to discuss possible timelines, parameters, best practices and costs to rebalance the student population.
 
 
 
Background Information:
 
As many parents in our District have observed, student enrollment has increased unevenly among the District's five elementary schools.Projected enrollment at the elementary level shows a trend toward continued growth. This projected growth may create strain on our school buildings and may necessitate changes to program delivery as articulated in the Elementary Blueprint for Instruction.
 
On March 8, 2017, the School Board established the Ad Hoc Committee for Elementary Enrollment with the purpose of analyzing enrollment and facilities information and making a recommendation to ensure building capacity and appropriate delivery of the District's educational program in the elementary schools. The Ad Hoc Committee for Elementary Enrollment is charged with a number of tasks.
  • Conduct an analysis of the need to re-balance enrollment across all or a portion of TESD elementary schools.

  • Establish parameters for any potential action such as redistricting, including legal requirements, best practices, costs and other considerations. Outcomes accompanying this review shall include identifying principles for any action and both considerations and the pros and cons of each alternative, including but not limited to redistricting.

  • Determine how the work should be performed, how the proposals will be developed and who will be involved in the process.

  • Provide two or three detailed proposals for Board discussion and action.
The Committee will meet 3-4 times prior to the May School Board Meeting. 


March 22
April 4
April 25
May 4

All meetings will be held from 6:30-8:30 pm in Room 200 at the Tredyffrin/Easttown Administration Offices, 940 West Valley Road, Suite 1700 in Wayne.

Timeline
:
  • May 2017 School Board Meeting - recommend action either to pursue identifying redistricting proposals or alternative solution to ensure equitable delivery of elementary program.

  • January 2018 School Board Meeting - provide the Board with two or three proposals for discussion and Board action.
Committee Members:
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