cur-mud-geon: anyone who hates hypocrisy and pretense and has the temerity to say so; anyone with the habit of pointing out unpleasant facts in an engaging and humorous manner
As a follow up to the last question, the question posed to Bruce Warnimont was this:
Question: If the vote on April 1st is against the referendum question, will we see it again?
Response: If a majority of the voters in the Germantown School District vote against the referendum on April 1st, it will come back again in November.
Passage this spring means that the school will be open for the start of the 2009-2010 school year, and the construction costs will be locked in at 2008 rates for materials, labor, etc. Postponing approval until November 2008 or April 2009 will add a year to the completion date, and probably increase the construction costs by 10% or more.
Two years ago, the School Board was able to implement an optional full-day Kindergarten program, on a limited basis, because of moderate shifts in elementary school enrollments. That opportunity will not exist after the coming school year, based on data produced by Applied Population Laboratory. The APL has been extremely accurate thus far, and two major factors weren't included when the study was done: the new addition of water and sewer to the northern most part of the school district, and a new housing boom in Richfield. Absent these developments, APL still projects that elementary school enrollments will top 1,800 in just a few years.
The effect of notoriety as the thirtieth best place to live will have an unexpected effect on migration into the school district.
Since implementing a new class size policy in 2002, Germantown's fourth grade test scores have marched upwards. This past year, we were third best district in southeast Wisconsin when "advanced and proficient" scores were compared. Teachers and children agree that small, controlled class sizes afford the time and attention needed to build the skills of struggling students and enhance the achievements of all. So this becomes a "Catch-22" situation: customers get attracted to our schools due to the proven success of smaller class sizes, then those children raise the class size to the point where less benefits are achieved.
I'd like to take the space that's available in this response to comment on "space". Each grade level at each school, and the size of the classrooms available, has to be examined separately. For example, School A may have 84 children enrolled in second grade and 66 enrolled in fourth grade: that's 150 children, total, and quick math might say "25 per classroom" when in actuality it's 22 in 3 fourth grade classrooms and 28 or 29 in 3 second grade classrooms - where 21 in 4 classrooms for second grade means better chances for high achievement.
Once again, thanks to Bruce Warnimont for taking the time to respond to this question. Please take the time to voice your comments and to pose other questions that come to mind. Those can be done either through e-mails to me or comments posted to this Blog.