Growth Management & Planning
Van Buren/Cahoon PreK-8 Conversion, August 2018
Community Outreach Meetings offered by the Division of Outreach and School Improvement (3.6.17) (3.9.17) - Questions Posed By Meeting Attendees
- Is it healthy to have students together (younger and older students) with the bullying potential?
The K-8 model has been a successful configuration to help students succeed. One reason for the re-emergence of the K-8 and K-12 grade span models is the interest parents and communities have in children being in environments that provide quality learning, and that promote feelings of physical and emotional safety (Bushaw & McNee, 2009). By staying in the same educational facility for more grades, students do not have to experience the trauma of going off to a bigger, more impersonal school.
- What will you do to make up for the “re-segregation”?
Because of demographic shifts and school overcrowding, new boundaries are being proposed to balance student enrollment and ensure an adequate environment for learning.
- What will the district do to maintain the diversity that has been the success of magnets?
The new school will be similar diversity to the current Cahoon Elementary School population.
- With many of the current Magnet schools not filled to capacity and not doing the job they were designed to do which is to create diversity; why is the district creating additional means for segregation and not creating environments that promote diversity?
Magnet schools continue to be one of the Choice programs that assists the District in diversifying our student populations. Projected overcrowding in New Tampa has created a need to propose new boundaries and rezone Cahoon to a school (new Pk-8) with an attendance boundary.
- Will current students (3rd, 4th) grade be grandfathered in?
The District will review space availability. If there is space available, the District will allow as many students as possible to attend the new Pk-8.
- How are we going to draw other students to this school?
The Pk-8 will have an attendance boundary with students assigned to the school from the local community. The implementation of innovative and student-centered programs will draw students from other areas, if space is available.
- What will happen to a current magnet student once the school becomes a K-8?
All students will attend either their attendance area school or can apply for a Choice option.
- Will all students ride the same bus (Elementary, Middle and High)?
Elementary and middle school will ride the same bus. High school students will not be assigned to the new Pk-8.
- How will you handle safety with the violence at Van Buren?
The District will continue to promote a positive atmosphere as well as having ancillary supports to assist in promoting a culture of safety. The district’s Security Services and our local law enforcement agencies to provide and maintain a safe and secure learning environment for our students, staff and visitors.
- If not a magnet, will there still be bussing?
There will be transportation for students who live in the attendance area; students who live less than two miles from a school will not be eligible for transportation based on the State Board of Education rule 6A 3.001(3).
- How is security going to be insured?
Security is a top priority at all of our schools. A School Resource Officer will be on staff at the Pk-8 school (2018-2019 school year).
- What type of incentives and what will they be for teachers and staff?
Once the principal is appointed, research-based strategies and conditions for teachers to have an optimal work environment will be assessed.
- What type of support will staff have and what will it look like?
Once the principal is appointed, consultation with administration and staff will occur to determine the supports that foster an optimal learning and work environment.
- Will the success or behavior coaches be brought back?
Once the new principal is appointed they will assess the needs of the new school.
- How can we ensure consistency and it not being a revolving door for teachers and staff?
Research shows that selection of a strong leader has a direct impact on teacher and staff retention.
- Once converted, how will the district meet the needs of the staff and facility in order to handle the increased population of students?
Schools are allotted staff based on the number of students and the facility has ample room to account for projected attendance.
- There is no guarantee for us to have positions next year, so is there an option to open up enrollment to community K students for next year?
The new Pk-8 will have an attendance boundary with students assigned to the school. The District will review space availability; if there is space available, the District will allow as many students as possible to attend the new Pk-8 through the Choice program.
- What is the total budget for Cahoon and Van Buren (everything for one year)?
School 2016: Grand Total 2017: Grand Total Appropriation Expenditure Appropriation Expenditure Cahoon Magnet 3,618,606.89 3,590,933.98 3,318,693.78 2,709,120.01 Van Buren Middle School 5,524,005.89 5,499,065.05 4,843,891.86 3,920,675.55
- What is the transition for teachers?
Teachers will have opportunities to stay and/or seek other teaching positions. The administration/District will follow the Hillsborough Classroom Teachers Association contract and protocols that are outlined in the collective bargaining agreement.
- What do you have in place to make sure Cahoon will be successful in the new “model”? (It seems like you are asking us to make the plan).
The Area Leadership team along with various district divisions are in the developmental stages of ensuring that we have effective teachers, professional development, and resources needed to implement the most engaging and innovative programs for students.
- Van Buren is a failing school, why am I going to trust you in making this change?
This model is an opportunity to serve our communities and students to create an innovative school that meets the needs of our students.
- What will happen to ESE? Will it remain (self-contained unit throughout 8th grade?)
All students will be served according to their Individual Education Plans (IEP).
- Will technology and resources be updated?
Staff is currently assessing the needs of both sites to determine what technology is needed and what updates may need to done to the campus.
- What will happen to the current Principal (Cahoon)?
A new principal will be named to the new Pk-8 school and the current principal has been appointed to another principalship.
- Will it be a full K-8 magnet?
Beginning in the 2018-2019 school year, students will be assigned to the Pk-8 based upon their residential address. The new Pk-8 will not be a magnet program.
- Why aren’t the two schools remaining separate?
Together, the Van Buren and Cahoon campuses (adjacent sites) would provide the District with the needed capacity in the North Tampa area and provide a PK-8 model for educational continuity. Pk-8 school models have increased nationally and are a popular option because the schools promote feelings of physical and emotional safety for students who do not have to experience a bigger, more impersonal school after the elementary years.
- What does a K-8 look like? How is the program, lunchroom, media center going to be addressed? Will they eat lunch together, same bell schedule, separate cafeteria, media centers?
The Area Leadership team along with various district division are in the developmental stages of laying the foundation for the new administration. The principal will then determine school procedures and programmatic.
- Will the school be” labeled” as an ESE center?
This is a new Pk-8 school not an Exceptional Student Education (ESE) Center.
- How will the 25M that has been allocated for infrastructure be used for resources?
Actually, $3 million dollars have been allocated to capital (facility) improvements for the conversion.
- What about this model will ensure greater success, what kind of resources will ensure that the K-8 model with the same features/similarity worked? Do we have evidence?
The Area Leadership team along with various district division are in the developmental stages of ensuring that we have effective teachers, professional development, and resources needed to implement the most engaging and innovative programs for students. Once the principal is appointed, research-based strategies and conditions for teachers to have an optimal work environment will be assessed.
- Have you done studies/literature to vet and support a K-8 program? (A variety of departments have been involved)
The District is engaged in ongoing inquiries relative to programming of K-8 School in urban areas. research includes: site visits to similar school showing academic gains, collaboration with academic institutions, technical assistance from federal/state agencies, review of professional journals/articles, data analysis, etc.
- How will we get the answers to the questions posed tonight?
The answers to these questions will be posted to the District website.
- When is “this” going to the board for voting?
The proposal will be presented at the School Board meeting on May 16, 2017.
- How are you going to help families with multiple students in multiple grade levels?
This model will assist families with multiple children in different grade levels because they can attend both elementary and middle school at one site.
- Why is Van Buren at 41% capacity? Why are people not choosing Van Buren?
There are several factors that have led to several middle schools being under capacity: (1) families exercising choice options; (2) high mobility of families; and (3) personal preference.
- What is the evidence that this will be successful?
Much time and thought is being given to research during this planning year (2017-2018) as well as collaboration internally and externally to ensure success. The District and school administration will continually monitor the implementation and programming at the new PK-8, beginning in August 2018.
- Why weren’t parents surveyed?
Parents and community members were invited to attend the March community meeting and have been encouraged to continue to collaborate with District during this planning year. In addition, parents have been attending Board meetings to provide input.
- Is Van Buren currently a “D” school?
Van Buren received a “D” grade in the 2015-16 school year.
- Why is the district consolidating these schools?
The K-8 model has been a successful configuration to help students succeed. By combining the two schools, the District can maximize seats and defray costs of school conversion.
- What is the true rationale for creating segregated schools? Is it to decrease the budget on the backs of our children by decreasing the transportation cost?
There are several factors that are influencing this proposal: (1) With the growth of the proposed almost 1,500 new homes in the New Tampa area, classroom space for students is needed requiring the reassignment of students from New Tampa to the University area which will be closer to their residence. (2) Currently, Van Buren Middle School is only at 41 percent of its capacity. Once converted to a PreK-8 school, the Van Buren and Cahoon campuses (currently next to each other), will provide the District with the needed space to serve the students who have returned to their residential communities in the University Area and provide a PreK-8 model for continuity. (3) Additionally, in preparation for the relocation of MOSI to downtown Tampa, students currently assigned to and/or enrolled in MOSI must be relocated to nearby schools. If the boundary changes are approved by the School Board, families should experience shorter and timelier bus rides.
- When will we know about boundary changes?
The proposal will be presented at the School Board meeting on May 16, 2017.
- Please tell us the reason why. Is it transportation; is it New Tampa not wanting our kids in their school?
Boundary changes to attendance areas are occasionally needed within Hillsborough County Public Schools to prevent or reduce overcrowding and to maximize capacity, so that the use of available classroom space is maximized.
- Can we have a timeline, as parents, so we can make decisions?
The proposal and timeline will be discussed at the School Board meeting on May 16, 2017 for the 2018-2019 school year.
- Many parents have relationships with the Cahoon staff, how will you ensure that this will continue in the shift?
Each year our teachers welcome new students and their families to their classrooms. A positive parent-teacher relationship is vital to student success and is encouraged. This will continue at the new Pk-8.
- Is this worth upsetting the balance of Cahoon to fill seats at Van Buren?
This proposed move is being made out of need for space to accommodate students returning to attend a school within their residential community.
- Is it already “set in stone” that this change is going to happen?
Is it “proposed” or a done deal? This a proposal that will be presented to the School Board May 16, 2017.
- I would like to see ALL of the demographics.
The chart below represents the demographics for all K-8 schools in the District and shared at the community meeting.
- What about the 80/20 law?
To ensure that we have effective teachers at Van Buren, according to the Florida Differentiated Accountability Program, the administration at Van Buren will work with their Human Resource Partner to ensure that there are effective and highly effective teachers at the school site.
- What is the impact of the Every Student Success Act with this new re-boundary plan (Re-boundary – ESSA)? Will it impact Title 1/money?
Schools that earn Title I funds are based on a formula allocation that would be applied to the new Pk-8 school. As States receive guidance in regards to very Every Student Success Act (ESSA), the District will be able to see how it impacts our current process.
- Will the Van Buren/Cahoon PreK-8 Conversion teachers be assigned pursuant to Florida Statute 1012.2315 (2)(a) since Van Buren is a Graded “D” school?
When school grades are released by the state a plan of action will be determined on how best to meet the needs of the school.