Do our capacity/enrollment numbers for Armatage and Kenny match the district's? What are they for 2009-10?
Yes. Armatage Community is staffed for 253 and there is currently 251 enrolled; Armatage Montessori is staffed for 283 and 304 enrolled and Kenny is staffed for 277 and there is 278 enrolled.
What is the predicted enrollment at both schools given this move in 2010-11?
Based on the model we used to estimate individual school enrollment for the 2010-11, we estimated Armatage Montessori to be 414 not including special education and non Minneapolis residents. This assumes all current Montessori students would remain. We also assumed families that live closer to Armatage than Kenny would likely choose to attend Armatage Montessori. We thought roughly 80% percent of close-to-home families would apply to Armatage Montessori and the remainder would choose Kenny or other programs.
In regards to Kenny, we estimated 252 students would be the enrollment for 2010/11 if the majority of current Armatage Community families choose to remain at the Montessori program. However, Kenny has the capacity to accommodate about 450 students including special education. The bottom line is we will be able to accommodate Armatage Community families at either school.
(Is this predicted number of transferees and people moving out of district taken from our Armatage surveys and/or affected by our surveys?) We did not include results from any surveys in our enrollment predictions. We will however, once decision is final, conduct official enrollment requests and place students based on placement criteria.
What are the academic and financial objectives of this move?
The Changing School Options plan is making a number of changes that in aggregate will generate approximately $8.2 million in savings each year. In reducing "zone-only" magnets to 3 per zone, we sought to provide large enough programs in each zone (i.e., providing more Montessori seats for the SW/W Zone 3, making Bancroft the K-5 IB magnet in Zone 2 rather than the smaller Northrop site).
What is the current waiting list for Armatage Montessori? Is it a long list?
There are currently 21 K-5 students on the waiting list for the Montessori program.
If Armatage Community parents don't choose to switch programs and stay in the building as predicted, OR if they don't choose to move to Kenny as predicted, what is the plan B for them and the district?
The plan is to allow the families that choose to either stay at Montessori or if all families choose to attend Kenny, there is enough capacity at both buildings to accommodate the demand. There will continue to be other choices that families will make outside of Kenny and/or Armatage Montessori ie, other magnets, and out of attendance area choices.
What additional resources will come to us as a magnet—and do we have discretion over how these resources are spent?
Currently, we do not plan to provide additional set allocations to magnet schools. Instead, we have identified a portion of the integration revenue to be used to strengthen magnet fidelity and support increasing diversity of our magnet student population. Schools will be able to apply for investments they seek to make. The specific parameters and/or criteria and allowable expenses for use of those funds has not yet been finalized.
Specifically: full day kindergarten is a need for fully implementing Montessori, can we expect this for all kindergarten classrooms?
Currently all schools that have at least 50% of higher free/reduced lunch will receive all full day kindergarten sessions. However, as a magnet program, Armatage could apply for the additional resources made available for magnets to assist in funding full day allocation if that was the highest priority.
In addition, Armatage Montessori could choose to offer a fee-based extended day kindergarten plus option.
Teacher Montessori training paid for by the district—all teachers still need to be trained if this facility is to retain its integrity. Will the District pay for this? Will current Armatage Community teachers get the option to expand their skills in this way in order to remain in their school community?
As the school's enrollment grows, Armatage has several ways to expand its trained teacher corps, including hiring trained Montessori teachers from Park View Montessori, seeking teachers in other schools with Montessori background and training non-Montessori-trained teachers. As mentioned above, the parameters for the special additional magnet funds have not yet been defined, so we are unable to answer whether teacher training is an eligible expense at this time.
Will the community school be transitioned out or removed completely in 2010?
The Administration’s recommendation is to close Armatage Community effective June 2010.
If you are expecting to remove it completely, how do we assure that we do not operate in a ½ empty building? We do not want the building half empty or to lose our specialists.
We will address the issue of specialists once we see what the enrollment will be.
How fast do you anticipate the program growing?
It will depend upon what the Community families choose to do and choices made by other SW/W zone families. The enrollment in the SW/W quadrant of the city has been steadily increasing, providing new students each year. We also have the opportunity to introduce Armatage Montessori to students living in the area between 94 north and 42nd street, Chicago and 35W, who will now be a part of Zone 3.
Will we have a guaranteed walk-zone around the school (3-6 blocks)to assure that we do not run into a future problem with the school being full and people who live close not being able to attend?
We do not currently have guaranteed attendance areas immediately around magnet school buildings. Depending upon the particular magnet school location and housing stock around it, such an area could unfairly advantage the highest income students living in the area.
What will happen to the CLASS program? How do we assure this population can have their needs met in a magnet/ Montessori school?
All of the Special Education programming is in the redesign phase just as the regular education programming. Decisions on where special education programs will be placed will be dependant upon demographic needs, program pathways, transportation and space. Armatage is being considered to house the Pre-school autism program currently located at Longfellow, based on the concentration of special needs of the students and where they live. No final decisions have yet been made regarding where the special education sites will be for 2010-11 school year. We begin to formalize decisions once recommendation has been approved by the Board of Education on September 22.
Is the District considering a Montessori Middle School—they should know this is not supported by Montessori families in the Armatage building and these ‘plans’ should not be made without a planning team of Montessori parents.
This is not currently under consideration.
Given that there will only be three separate middle schools in the district, is the long term plan to make Armatage Montessori a K-8 program? If so, when and how?
At this point no decision has been made to grow Armatage Montessori to a K-8 program. However, if the demand is there among families and a strong K-5 program has matured and a credible middle school Montessori model designed, it could be considered in the future.
Would Kenny/Armatage community be considered a merger or a closing/excised program? (Aren't those the terms that affect whether Armatage teachers would get first priority at Kenny?) The recommendation is to close Armatage Community. However, the CSO Implementation Team will strongly encourage and craft procedures that encourage principals to build upon current student/teacher relationships from closing programs.
Explain to us why Kenny was chosen to be the community school, Armatage the magnet, and not vice versa.
The primary reason is that the Armatage site is a bigger building and therefore could accommodate the magnet program as demand continues to grow while accommodating special education programs. Kenny is more centrally located for serving students who choose not to attend Armatage or Windom.
Can Community school students be guaranteed access in the Armatage building within a zone or by switching programs?
The current Montessori students can choose to remain in the building and for this transition year, there is enough room to accommodate all of the community students to also remain. However moving forward, families that live near the Montessori program would have to apply and participate in the lottery just as all magnet school applicants do for district magnet programs (if over-subscribed). Families that live in close proximity to magnet schools do not receive preference to attend that magnet school.
Will community program move as a school to Kenny and can they retain their teachers? See previous answer above.
If they are phasing out the program at Armatage, how will that occur?
The program is not being "phased" out.
Can community teachers receive Montessori training and then stay with the building?See previous answer above.