Page 6 of 6 FirstFirst 123456
Results 76 to 87 of 87

Thread: (Appropriately) valuing co-curricular activities

  1. #76
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Wayland MA
    Posts
    1,431

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Grasso View Post
    As for the "real world", please stop patronizing. I work in the "real world" with budgets and imperfect information. What we do to compensate for deadlines with imperfect information is NOT to assume the most aggressive scenario. In this case, it would not have been to assume all savings to be recognized with no incremental costs. Not only did the SC assume all of the $400-$450K of savings from the consolidation of Loker but it also added co-curriculars like Middle School athletics back into the budget.
    I apologize. I certainly did not intend to be patronizing.

    I disagree with your characterization of "the most aggressive scenario." Our assumption was $400k (not $450k) in savings resulting from the reconfiguration. We did not include utility savings or rental income, giving us a small cushion. We did not include transportation costs, but had heard from the Administration that the number of buses would not increase (it now appears that our transportation costs will come in *below* the amount that we budgeted). We did not include the $40 in municipal side savings estimated by the Finance Committee. And we did not include the reduction in another section (and approx. $60k) that at most recent count appears to be possible.

    So, we may be closer to $500k now than the "not most aggressive" $400k on which we based our decision. Of course, that amount may change depending on exactly what enrollment materializes.

    I don't follow your "Not only/also added" logic. Yes, we assumed $400k in gross savings and elected to use $100k of that to preserve co-curricular programs of a known cost.

  2. #77
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Wayland MA
    Posts
    1,431

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by John Flaherty View Post
    Let's not forget that the money they cut out of the budget was COMPLETELY VOLUNTARY. No one made the SC do that. They took it upon themselves to make the override more palatable.
    Quite true.

    Quote Originally Posted by John Flaherty View Post
    There was no budget shortfall.
    Not at all true. Not only was the initial $2.6M override evidence of exactly a budget shortfall, that amount wasn't even sufficient to fund the schools at a preservational level; $2.7M would have been required to do that.

  3. #78
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Wayland MA
    Posts
    1,431

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Sheila Carel View Post
    Tracy, I won't even address your comments until Jeff D. gets back to us with the numbers I have asked for. Jeff, being a member of the SC, I certainly hope you have the information I have requested or that you can get it for us.
    As I said earlier, to my knowledge, a new projection of students by grade and building has not yet been put together. I certainly don't have one.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sheila Carel View Post
    The line that keeps coming back is that you have maintained class size. Was that not one of the justifations of this whole thing?
    I don't recall anyone on the School Committee making such a case. Were it true, then the projected section reduction and associated savings wouldn't have made any sense.

    Rather, what I think that we have been saying all along is that the enrollment decline would allow us to reconfigure while staying within the class size policy (see new thread on that topic here). Until we get updated numbers, we won't know whether we'll stay fully within the policy or not. Note that from time to time in recent years, we've had a few sections throughout the district in excess of the policy, almost if not always by a single student. I hope that we don't end up in such a situation this time around, but if we do, it would not be unprecedented.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sheila Carel View Post
    Please share the SC plan with us on this issue.
    As you know, the School Committee can only make such plans in open meeting. We have not yet done so. I suspect that we will address this issue the same way that we have in the past: by considering added sections, added aides, or having some sections slightly above the guideline.

  4. #79
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Wayland MA
    Posts
    1,431

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Stacey Adelman View Post
    The front page of the Crier today has headlined Town Faces Challenges in Growth. What? Enrollment declining? I get that the article talks about economic growth, a plan for Wayland to grow economically. ...
    I'll address this on the "Declining elementary enrollment" thread.

  5. #80
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Posts
    448

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Dieffenbach View Post
    As I said earlier, to my knowledge, a new projection of students by grade and building has not yet been put together. I certainly don't have one.
    But how can this be?
    We've already been told which school we're going to. I assume that wasn't done by pulling names out of a hat.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Dieffenbach View Post
    ...the same way that we have in the past: by considering added sections, added aides, or having some sections slightly above the guideline.
    All of which, through that magical ability to manipulate the time-space continuum, will end up adding even more to our savings, rather than less.
    I think $600,000 is just around the corner!
    John Flaherty

    Any views expressed are NOT mine alone.
    Wayland Transparency - Facts Without Spin
    http://www.waylandtransparency.com/

  6. #81
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Wayland MA
    Posts
    1,431

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Sheila Carel View Post
    Stacey,
    I have heard Dr. Burton say more than once that schools run best at 85% capacity.
    Sheila
    I've posted my reply to this on the "building capacity" thread.

  7. #82
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Wayland MA
    Posts
    1,431

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by John Flaherty View Post
    Originally Posted by Jeff Dieffenbach: As I said earlier, to my knowledge, a new projection of students by grade and building has not yet been put together. I certainly don't have one.

    But how can this be?
    We've already been told which school we're going to. I assume that wasn't done by pulling names out of a hat.
    I should have chosen my words more carefully--I haven't seen the latest projection of students by grade and building. And that projection is still fluid.

    Quote Originally Posted by John Flaherty View Post
    All of which, through that magical ability to manipulate the time-space continuum, will end up adding even more to our savings, rather than less.
    I think $600,000 is just around the corner!
    Your words, not mine. And mock all you like, I've got a thick skin. In fact, I found your nickname for me kind of cute--I'm honored.

  8. #83
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Wayland MA
    Posts
    1,431

  9. #84
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Wayland MA
    Posts
    1,431

    Default

    Two other observations about athletics, one mentioned before, the other not.

    1. As fees increase, some students will choose not to participate for financial reasons. Yes, some parents can afford fees, or afford private programs, but that doesn't take away from the certain result of less public funding of co-curricular programs: lower overall public and private participation.

    2. I suspect that I'm not alone in having encountered several Wayland athletic teams raising funds today in neighborhoods, outside stores, and at the landfill. While there are certainly benefits to these activities, they do take away from time that our students might otherwise be spending on studying, practicing, or just plain relaxing.

  10. #85
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Wayland MA
    Posts
    1,431

    Default

    I did a bit of digging into research looking at positive non-athletic outcomes correlated with athletic participation. I found the following from a September 1, 2004 issue of the Journal of Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance.

    "Marsh and Kleitman (2003) examined the effects of athletic participation on growth and change during high school by using data from the National Education Longitudinal Study database (National Center for Educational Statistics [NCES], 1996). The total number of participants in the study was 12,084, collected over six years throughout the nation. Students in grade eight (before high school), grade 10 (during high school), grade 12 (end of high school), and postsecondary settings (two years after high school) were asked for information regarding athletic participation in school. The questions covered individual and team sports, extramural and intramural activities, and students' backgrounds and schooling outcomes. The well-executed study used proper methodology for controlling background information and parallel outcomes in the analysis.

    The data covered standardized test scores, academic grades, Carnegie units, homework, television watching, attendance, locus of control, general self-esteem, parental expectations, educational aspirations, occupational aspirations, staying out of trouble, and school preparation among other topics. The questions for postsecondary students were related only to the number of months unemployed, university enrollment, number of months in the university, educational aspirations, occupational aspirations, and the highest education level attained. Marsh and Kleitman (2003) indicated that school athletic participation benefited 20 out of the 21 schooling outcomes--represented by grade 12 and postsecondary outcomes--including academic grades, coursework selection, homework, educational and parental aspirations, self-esteem, number of university applications, subsequent college enrollment, educational and occupational aspirations, and highest educational level attained. Standardized test scores were the only outcome that did not benefit from athletic participation. This was consistent for the participants throughout their high school years.

    School athletic participation enhanced identity with the school and commitment to school-related activities. This finding supported the Identification/Commitment Model (Marsh, 1993). The researchers also investigated the effects of different types of sport participation. They found that extramural sports produced more school identification and commitment than intramural sports and therefore benefited students to a greater degree.

    Marsh and Kleitman (2003) suggested that sport participation promotes the identification with one's school and commitment to school-related values, which benefit both academic and nonacademic outcomes, including academic grades, coursework selection, homework, educational aspirations, number of university applications, subsequent university enrollment, and the highest educational level attained. Although many schools are facing financial problems and budget cuts, the researchers strongly recommended that schools retain athletic programs, particularly extramural and team sports, and even develop more exciting athletic programs."

  11. #86
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Posts
    448

    Default

    There is a wonderful irony to Jeff resurrecting this particular thread because of this post I made back in June:

    Quote Originally Posted by John Flaherty View Post
    All of which, through that magical ability to manipulate the time-space continuum, will end up adding even more to our savings, rather than less.
    I think $600,000 is just around the corner!
    Back then, of course, I was joking. The alleged $300,000 savings to be realized from the "reconfiguration" or as I prefer to call it "closure of the #2 elementary school in the state for no good reason" had climbed to $400 and then even to $500,000.

    My throwing out $600,000 was pure sarcasm, and yet, here we are!
    They now claim we'll be saving $614,000! I say let's round it up and call it an even million. It's all a shell game, anyway - move this over here, that over there, and presto! You've got your million dollar savings!

    Lest I be accused of hijacking this thread about Ultimate Frisbee vs. Chinese, the discussion about the alleged savings of the school closing can be found here.
    John Flaherty

    Any views expressed are NOT mine alone.
    Wayland Transparency - Facts Without Spin
    http://www.waylandtransparency.com/

  12. #87
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Wayland MA
    Posts
    1,431

    Default

    I'm responding here to a post made by John in another thread.

    Quote Originally Posted by John Flaherty View Post
    It seems to me that some of the things you've listed here, Jeff - project performance, critical thinking, problem-solving, creativity, professionalism, work ethic, communication, teamwork, health and wellness - would be far more valuable as part of the curriculum than golf or Ultimate Frisbee.
    While there's of course room for continual improvement, the items that I've listed already are part of our educational program. (As it turns out, Ultimate Frisbee is a bit of a red herring here, as we aren't to my knowledge funding it with any public monies.)

    Quote Originally Posted by John Flaherty View Post
    The schools' responsibility is to provide a good, well-rounded education that will prepare our children for what lies ahead. To pass up some important programs that they won't get anywhere else in favor of other programs that they could and would get on their own, is short-sighted and is short-changing our kids.
    Apparently, you think that spending 2% of our budget on athletics is too much for a well-rounded education (notwithstanding the research that I cited above showing the academic benefit correlated with athletic participation). I am curious to know what percentage you *would* spend on athletics (which takes place after the school day and therefore isn't competing for classroom time), and how you would apportion that spend.

    Also, it's not clear to me with whom our newly "liberated" and now-individual students in your world would compete. Perhaps a few of our sports "stand alone," but most don't--football, soccer, field hockey, ...

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •