Thursday, February 19, 2009

School Board Public Input Session – The Plans – The Savings

“At least they are thinking ahead and coming up with a plan,” said Stephanie Hogan, Principle at Stonewall Jackson Middle School. Hogan and others from Jackson were on hand this evening to listen to what parents had to say regarding a school system in crisis. As she sat with 5 others the discussion turned to the admiration they all shared for the School Board members especially for the Chairman, David Carson.
Prior to hearing 15 parents and teachers who signed up to speak, School Board Chairman, David Carson, Courtney Penn (SB member), and Curt Baker, deputy superintendent detailed the two plans that are on the table for a final decision to be made on February 24. According to Suzanne Moore, SB member, it will be held at Fairview at 6:30 PM.
A “draft” of the schools budget needs to be in the City’s hands by March 15. With usage of the stimulus money in question and the General Assembly still grappling with the State budget numbers, firm numbers are hard to pin down. As the City Manager made clear, the RCPS budget figures remain flexible until the City’s budget is completed on April 20. City Council must come to a concensus by this date.
There is enough capacity to close one elementary school, said Carson. There is even more excess capacity in the middle schools that once contained 4,320 students but has dwindled to 2,627 students in 2009. “Its time to devote scarce resources to students and teachers instead of buildings,” exclaimed Carson.
Close Raleigh Court and William Ruffner – both (especially Raleigh Court) require expensive costly maintenance HVAC and roof.
Raleigh Court K-2 would move to Fishburn with grades 3 thru 5 moving to Grandin. Both Fishburn and Grandin have an equal capacity of 480 students. The move would bring Fishburn to 374 students and Grandin to 376 student.
Ruffner Middle School has 354 students and would move to Addison and Breckenridge. Students wanting to take advantage of the International Baccalaureate Middle Years Programme (MYP) at Breckenridge designed for students ages 11 to 16 would have this school option available to them.
Takes all of PLAN I and creates ONE middle school per “quadrant” of the city..

Northwest Quadrant: Ruffner moves to Addison
Northeast Quadrant: Breckenridge
Southeast Quadrant: Stonewall Jackson
Southwest Quadrant: Madison and Woodrow Wilson

Woodrow Wilson would be repurposed to house Fishburn and Raleigh Court elementary schools. Move Monterey to Fairview. Merge 4 Plato Centers. Fishburn and Raleigh into Highland. James Madison would be a middle school with 899 students. Fishburn Park would house 6th grade

ELL (English Language Learners) will be located at Stonewall Jackson.

SAVINGS PLAN I – per Curt Baker

Raleigh Court – $750,000 (personnel) & $400,000 (building)

Ruffner Middle – $1.75 Million (personnel) & $400,000 (building) & $1.2 Million in “cost avoidance”

TOTAL: $3.3 million


All of Plan I plus one (1) more middle school $500,000 to $900,000 in personnel with cost of repurposing Woodrow Wilson as an elementary school estimated at $80,000.

TOTAL: $3.72 to $4.1 million

Posted By Valerie Garner

Categories: Education, Roanoke City Public Schools

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