Results 1 to 15 of 152

Thread: Our School "Reconfiguration"

Hybrid View

Previous Post Previous Post   Next Post Next Post
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Posts
    275

    Default Our School "Reconfiguration"

    Recapping the first week of our elementary school reconfiguration:
    • We have overcrowded classes in two very packed elementary schools
    • Long, crowded bus rides that consume fuel that is more than 2x the cost it was last year. How long? One Kindergarten run was 90 minutes last week! How crowded? Kids have been spotted sitting on the bus floor in at least one instance!
    • An incredible environmental impact of cars driving extra routes all over town and idling in front of schools due to poor bus planning
    • Teachers who have lost previously allotted prep time at the 1-5 level because they must now attend to hundreds of students waiting for late busses and kids whose days have increased by up to two hours due to longer commutes to school and the late bus pickups
    • Less than 10-minute lunches for the kids at Happy Hollow who, in many documented cases, are forced to eat part of their lunch at snack or on the bus ride home because they can't eat it all at lunchtime. One student went through the line, bought lunch, and when she sat down, was told her time was up. No lunch that day for her.
    • Bus stops on main roads that have, in many documented cases again, endangered kids waiting at these unsafe areas (West Plain and Parkland, as an example)
    • Highly questionable net savings -- the entire Loker building, for example, is still being used by the town with no outside rental income or utility savings as discussed

    All this, and the bonus of an administration who simply cannot get out of their own way to communicate with parents in an efficient (what about using listserves to e-mail worried parents about late busses, for example?) or entirely truthful (i.e. - "minor bussing issues" as Gary Burton noted in his one communication to parents last week) manner. What a shame!!

    Do you agree? Do you think this is all fine? If you're upset, come to next week's School Committee meeting on 9/15 and share your thoughts.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Posts
    4

    Default My observations: "reconfiguration"

    I agree with Mr. Baron. Thankfully, my daughter can walk or bike to HH with only one street to cross. The two times I have gone to pick drop her off or pick her up, I have observed chaos, and long wait times for kids who are bussed. Schools ends at 2:45, and the busses weren't called until 3:15: that's 30 minutes for the teacher to contain the kids past the end of school. There are 25 kids in the class, with no aide. Plus, there is literally no where to park. With 4 busses at HH now, where are there any savings!

    As a fourteen year resident, when my oldest was a HH, there was one bus, and more kids, and a smoother system.

    I dropped off a friend's kid at Loker, and I bet that kindergarden doesn't get underway until at least 9am. Cars were parked all over the grass, and people were streaming in at 8:45. Plus, an orange cone is partially blocking the drive! Full day kindergarten must be a priority for Wayland, if this configuration stands.

    I say that we must demand that Dr. Burton gave a full accounting of the "savings" and hold a public meeting to address these types of issues.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Posts
    275

    Default

    We will, of course, remember that we did this because of the drop in student enrollment in our elementary schools. Well, Jeff D. said it was to pass the override. I believe him.

    According to the latest figures from the school department, there is a grand total of (drum roll, please) 11 (yes, that's right, eleven) fewer students across the entire K-5 spectrum in Wayland as compared to last year (1213 vs. 1202 -- a reduction of 0.9&#37.

    Was it worth it to jam this "reconfiguration" home with no real analysis or preparation? Well, we got the override passed. But at the cost of the situation we now find ourselves in. All for eleven fewer kids. I'd love to hear someone defend this!
    Last edited by Jeff Baron; 09-11-2008 at 08:10 AM. Reason: Misplaced decimal point...sorry :)

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Posts
    726

    Default

    Jeff, I'm not going to argue that the schools aren't too crowded (they are). But 11/1213 is 0.9%

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Posts
    275

    Default

    You know, I had been thinking about this on the way to work and had realized my decimal point was misplaced. You just beat me to it. I stand corrected on that point. Glad to know that's all we disagreed on

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Posts
    726

    Default

    Nothing else to argue about on that post.

    I am hopeful that the just announced shift in the school day will help restore the bus rides to more normal durations.

    I would love to hear from someone who has a child at Loker on how things are going there, and to hear more about the lunch situation at Happy Hollow. It is hard to tell among the anecdotes being shared how much of the griping is ongoing issues that many people share, and how much is something that happened one time to one person (though I'm not intending to trivialize such events).

    My perspective on Claypit at this point is that the building is too crowded, but that the school days are running generally fine.

    General miscellaneous thoughts:

    • The administration and teachers at the school are doing a remarkable job of maintaining some semblance of order, and keeping things reasonably well-organized. I don't understand the rationale for some of the end-of-day dismissal changes, but I am confident that they are thought out, and things seem to be working.
    • The pickup lines are too long. Hopefully, this will improve when the busing situation improves, as perhaps more parents will let their kids ride the buses. BUT... if the "no playdates on buses" policy continues, MANY parents will need to drive to enable playdates. I hope that policy can be relaxed (particularly if many parents continue to drive their kids home - that policy is exascerbating the pickup problem).
    • Having library take place IN the library (not in a separate classroom) is awkward, particularly for the classrooms that surround the library (this said as a library volunteer who is wondering how she will reshelve books while the librarian is working with the children in the same space).
    • I have heard no complaints, at least from my kids, about lunch (other than food quality :-)
    • Other than the first day, when road construction substantially worsened the bus situation, at least my kids have not been particularly bothered by any of the changes, and have been excited to have some of their "Loker friends" at the school. (It should be noted, however, that we have the major advantage of being the first bus stop on the way home, and the last stop on the way to school, so long bus rides have not been an issue)

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

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Baron View Post
    We will, of course, remember that we did this because of the drop in student enrollment in our elementary schools. Well, Jeff D. said it was to pass the override. I believe him.

    According to the latest figures from the school department, there is a grand total of (drum roll, please) 11 (yes, that's right, eleven) fewer students across the entire K-5 spectrum in Wayland as compared to last year (1213 vs. 1202 -- a reduction of 0.9%).

    Was it worth it to jam this "reconfiguration" home with no real analysis or preparation? Well, we got the override passed. But at the cost of the situation we now find ourselves in. All for eleven fewer kids. I'd love to hear someone defend this!
    A more applicable comparison is between the 1,193 students we had in 3 buildings for the 2007-2008 school year relative to the 1,032 students (as of our 8/25 enrollment report) we have in 2 below capacity buildings for the 2008-2009 school year.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Posts
    275

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Dieffenbach View Post
    A more applicable comparison is between the 1,193 students we had in 3 buildings for the 2007-2008 school year relative to the 1,032 students (as of our 8/25 enrollment report) we have in 2 below capacity buildings for the 2008-2009 school year.
    Explain your numbers. The enrollment numbers I posted were taken directly from a report issues by Gary Burton's office showing enrollment as of 9/8. How is it he shows over 1,200 students both last year and this one, and you are quoting the numbers above?

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

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Baron View Post
    The enrollment numbers I posted were taken directly from a report issues by Gary Burton's office showing enrollment as of 9/8. How is it he shows over 1,200 students both last year and this one, and you are quoting the numbers above?
    Setting aside issues of transportation difficulties, the question of enrollment numbers relates to how crowded the buildings are. As it turns out, enrollment over the last three years (FY07, FY08, and the current FY09) aren't all that dramatically different.

    I didn't look grade by grade, but it may well be that both the FY07 and FY08 grade 1-5 enrollments (the 1,200+ number includes K) could have fit into two buildings without being over capacity based on the class size guidelines.

    FY10 will likely see a large drop, as 230 exiting 5th graders will be "replaced" by roughly 190 entering 1st graders.

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
  •