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    BLT Minutes - March 2, 2017 2:20 – 4:30 p.m.

    Present: Sarah, Nicole Silver, Maria Matamala, Maria Buceta Miller, Stacie Youngblood, Hiromi Pingry, Heidi Wrightsman, Aya Sethi, Erika Bigelow, Alex Okubo, Mandy Levenberg, Naomi Saavedra, Elisabeth Brace, Nani Castor-Peck, Joanne Uhlenkott

    Sarah received the JSIS budget the evening of Tuesday, February 28. Staff was presented with the budget on Wednesday, March 1st. For this meeting, Sarah will present the budget and solicit feedback/suggestions on it from BLT. She will then present the BLT suggestions to staff. Staff votes on final budget but Sarah has final word on configuration of staffing.

    First Slide described goal of meeting:
    -17-18 Budget Projection
    -Restoration Plan priorities (what happens if extra money comes in from PTA/Annual Fund, budget cliff is resolved, etc.)

    Budget numbers are worse than expected. Calculations from the district are based on their formula and show 450 students enrolled. Our current enrollment, along with full enrollment for K and 1 would put us at 463. Based on SPS formulas of 26 students in K-3 and 28 students in 4-5, SPS has projected 318(K-3)/26 = 12.23 teachers and 132(4-5)/28 = 4.71 students which is 16.94 classroom teachers. Our actual numbers (assuming no attrition) are 327 (K-3) and 126 (4-5) which would be 17.42 teachers. We have to go from 19 classroom teachers to 17 teachers.

    SPS will look at enrollment numbers and do balancing of teacher numbers in June and again in October(?).

    Core Staffing and Admin will not change. Principal, administrative secretary and admin assistant are funded. Librarian is funded at .5 and other .5 comes from a different salary pool. Nurse was .3 this year, may bump to .4 if we are over 451 students otherwise remains the same at .3. There is no funding for a .5 counselor.

    Other Staffing, Special Ed goes from 1.0 teacher to .8 with 1.0 assistant (unchanged). ELL teacher goes from .8 to 1.0 with .4 Spanish ELL assistant (and additional 1.0 Japanese ELL assistant). PCP staffing remains same at 1.0 Music, 1.0 P.E. and .5 Librarian. Other changes are Discretionary money goes up from $22,140 to $24,816. This money is used for supplies, etc as well as having been a source of funding for part of the .5 cost of the school counselor. Jill has said we typically spend about 10-15K on supplies every year. There is no carryover this year, so it cannot be a source of money for counselor this year. This year’s money cannot carryover to next year, so need to spend it all – Sarah mentioned buying a few computers. LAP (Learning
    Assistance Program, which is extra reading and math support mainly for K-4) funds have gone from approx. 39K (.4 fte) to 21K (.2 fte) this year. It was discussed using this money to make the Special Ed teacher 1.0 from .8, historically this was how it was used. Free/ reduced lunch (FRL) funds remain at approx. 8K. Could be used to help with staffing. Both LAP and FRL funds are flexible. BLT helps decide how to use FRL money. IAs go from 5.5 down to 3.5 and a .5 certificated ELA teacher. ELA .5 K support teacher could go elsewhere to help with greatest needs once K needs are met.

    Discussion turned to how donated money could be used. If PTA-Annual Fund money is donated to Sarah’s self-help account, Sarah and staff would vote on this and staff would decide where money goes. Money would be identified in a separate line-item as staffing money within the self-help budget.

    Staffing scenarios for 17 (instead of 19) classroom teachers presented. Sarah open to looking at other ways to staff than the 3 scenarios she presented. Because grades 3-5 have the fewest students, the reduction in teacher staffing was shown at these grades. Hiromi had a plan in progress that would reduce the number of teachers in K/1 based on learning 75% in the immersion language. She explained that this would ensure no students experience a split (two grades in a one classroom) at JSIS. She also pointed out that students spending 75% of their day in the immersion language gets those students closer to 90%, which is a program model that is widely considered best for language learning and does not have adverse consequences for English language learning. She is still working on this scenario and hopes to present it to teachers on Monday, March 6th.

    Teachers strongly support teaching only one grade level.

    Scenario A had splits (two grades in a one classroom) in each language in grades 3 -5 and each class would be in that split for BOTH immersion and English. The advantage would be no class larger than 30 students. Two options were given to make fewer splits within this scenario, but this would make class sizes larger in one class of 4th grade Spanish and one class of 5th grade Japanese.

    Scenarios B & C combine English classes per grade band so that there are no splits in English but class size would be 33 in 3rd, 35 in 4th, 31 in 5th for 3 classroom teachers. In B, Spanish and Japanese immersion would get 2 teachers each for 4 classrooms each. This creates one split class in 3/4th Spanish. In C, Spanish would have 2.5 teachers for 5 classrooms and Japanese would have 1.5 teachers for 3 classrooms with 4/5th split in one classroom.

    Teachers and parents at meeting discussed that having an upper grade student be a minority in a class (24-4th graders, 6-5th graders) would seem like a demotion to the 5th graders. Ideally, it would be reversed. Maria M. reiterated how hard Priscilla had to work to teach 31 students in a Spanish split two years ago and she had a qualified intern who was a teacher to teach the 4th grade students in her class. Alex brought up the fact that 35 students in 4th grade English would be tough on kids adjusting to harder work load and one less recess. Discussion about 5th grade Japanese being allowed to be 39 students in a class. District would have to approve. Other concerns are PCP teachers. Equipment for PE is geared towards 30 students max. Classrooms
    would need to be reassigned to allow for 35 students in a class. Nicole brought up that different grades have students who may need more support.

    Consensus was 1) avoid splits 2) bring classroom sizes down 3) add counseling support

    How do we get money for this?

    PTA Annual Fund money can be “donated” to Sarah’s self help account, and that money can be used for anything that the staff votes on. Sarah is willing to do this.

    Must have PTA Annual Fund money up front for a .5 certificated teacher to avoid splits.

    PTA Annual Fund can “grant” to the district for $215K would be for 3.5 IAs for K/1. The .5 ELA teacher for K would be a “donation” to the self-help account and can be tracked. PTA Annual Fund must donate money before person can be hired.

    For IAs, PTA signs promissory notes, but if the money isn’t raised by the PTA Annual Fund Campaign, the IAs would be displaced.

    Any additional money granted by the PTA Annual Fund or by funds restored by district/legislature levy cliff resolution would be used in this order:

    1. Eliminate any split grade classroom
    2. Reduce classroom sizes
    3. Fund school counselor to support all students

    The restoration plan would be formulated by Sarah and teachers to clarify where money would go and help with messaging around Annual Fund.

    Sarah is meeting on 3/6 with PTA and Annual Fund members to have a discussion about how AF can help with next year’s budget issues.

    Sarah and staff will vote on Wednesday, March 8 or Thursday, March 9, to hopefully finalize the budget and restoration plan.

    Sarah needs to submit to the district the finalized staff plan and restoration plan on March 14. The very specific scenarios will be made clear.