School Committee Meeting – Feb 10, 2015

Minutes from School Committee – Feb 10, 2015

1) During announcements Pat Goddard did mention cracked beam in gym. He said last time the repair was $30k, and that they are going to use same method to repair new cracked beam (in different place than 2011) so estimate was 3-4 weeks. He also mentioned at the end of meeting (in context of FY16 capital budget) that he is asking for a bucket truck for a 3rd electrician (who is shared across municipal/schools budget) which would be used for many things including ice dam/leaking repairs such as the ones at Hastings [at least happening in a K classroom]. (As an aside, in Pat’s announcements he also mentioned that at Bridge yesterday the hot water heater broke.)

2) There was much discussion around how Hastings capacity should be stated given reports, the building plan, we aren’t sure when new bldg would be online, etc.

* Dr. Ash stated that he feels capacity should be 420 (and probably a bit less).
* He explained that while 21.6 is a Lexington general class size/capacity (though younger grades are lower and upper grades higher), due to the ILP program at Hastings the appropriate Hastings number is 20.
* Using 21 classrooms and his estimated Hastings classroom capacity of 20 students, 20×21=420.
* They also worked through an MSBA calculation of 300 as Hastings capacity (for when we are using other MSBA equivalent numbers and want to be consistent, and b/c “at some point the modulars will go away as they are past their useful lives”)
* That was determined b/c 8 modular classrooms go away; 23 students = MSBA class size/capacity; 13×23=299

3) There was a lot of good conversation about what additional capacity the big building plan is actually creating, and whether it is going to meet the Enrollment Working Group projections (eg., whether we build capacity for midpoint of estimated growth, and/or estimated growth for 5 years out, which is roughly 12 addit. classrooms, or whether we build out for 10 years, or 18-24 or even 24-26 classrooms, the latter of which is what Dr. Ash is recommending. Fiske and Harrington referenced given they are new schools and too small 5-10 years later. We don’t want to spend over $100 mm to build for 5 year when we should be looking out 10 years. We don’t want to underbuild.

4) In prep for a Summit meeting tonight, there was also meaty conversation about possible redistricting students to Estabrook or Hastings (to answer repeated questions from BoS and Finance Comm’s around being responsible and using that space). The Hastings capacity issues were addressed pretty quickly when Dr. Ash took everyone through the rationale for Hastings class size (referenced in #2 above) for ILP program and need to keep Hastings classrooms smaller. He confirmed that there are indeed NOT 2 extra classrooms (or 46 seats) available at Hastings to use and that in MSBA terms we are severely overcrowded. As for Estabrook, the group arrived at the conclusion that bussing kids from across town to Estabrook isn’t going to allow us to spend less on construction, but will cost us money in operating budget dollars due to bussing costs. SC members mentioned that it would be like “inconveniencing families just as a nice gesture to other Committees” and didn’t make sense right now. But there was conversation about applying the 3 open classrooms at Estabrook when accounting for the “additional” classrooms needed for the next 5-10 years (the 12-24 classroom discussion).

5) With regard to planning for SOI and non-SOI Hastings, Pat. Goddard mentioned that the $800k in funds being asked for at STM in March, it includes studies/schematics in enough detail that they would meet MSBA standards so they would not have to be done again if we received MSBA funding next year.

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