Come join us at Houlihans with Scott Leopold and Stephanie Stuart: TUESDAY, Jan 15, 11:30

Just a reminder that we are meeting tomorrow, Tuesday, Jan 15th at 11:30 at Houlihans. *NOT* Wednesday this week. 🙂

Scott presented some very interesting information at tonight’s board meeting – it was chock full of data and it would be easy to provoke questions. So if you are looking for answers, there is a really good chance you can find them at Houlihans tomorrow. If you are unable to make it, post a question here and I’ll act as a proxy for you. We may even have another special guest to help us talk high school siting.

I have my own questions from tonight’s meeting, not to mention comments and observations. I’ll have a more comprehensive write-up tomorrow (it’s late already), but here are a couple:

  • How does the birth-rate trend in Champaign correlate to the recession?
  • Scott mentioned on a couple occasions the need to annually review the data (as part of the “living” document); who is going to do that? How? What tools will we use?
  • I still want to see the data more palatable, maybe by visualizing it. For example how about a animated population density change year over year, ala Hans Rosling?

7 Responses to “Come join us at Houlihans with Scott Leopold and Stephanie Stuart: TUESDAY, Jan 15, 11:30”

  1. G. David Frye Says:

    I think the thing that struck me was that the increase in Kindergarten enrollments doesn’t look THAT big – it’s not like Champaign has suddenly exploded (or did so 5 years ago and we’re only now feeling the effects). But in the overall school system we need to have enough flexibility to deal with bubbles, and that means some amount of excess capacity. Another implication of his figures is that, even with Champaign’s slow-and-steady growth and factoring out the bubble, we need to be anticipating another 500 high school students 10 years down the road. Finally, I’d note that new construction needs to anticipate more than a 10-year increase. That probably means a modestly larger Central replacement and some kind of expansion of Centennial.

  2. G. David Frye Says:

    Here’s something you can ask Scott on my behalf. He showed us on the birth rate chart where the Kindergarten bubble came from. BUT, the next year looked just as big – doesn’t that mean the bubble is more like a multi-year wave and we’ll need to find yet another classroom somewhere this fall? I know, no one can say for sure until early enrollment, but I hope someone is thinking about it.

  3. charlesdschultz Says:

    Good points, G. David. Since our society is so highstrung on “efficiency” and eliminating waste, it is hard to argue for excess capacity. But I totally agree, if we really want to plan for enough overhead to handle future “bubbles”, there really isn’t much choice. Perhaps the best we can do is plan for tentative ways to utilize the excess when not needed for a classroom. Funny, I never heard of a school that was too big.

    I’ll ask about your multi-year “wave” idea. I can state from my experience at Carrie Busey that we are feeling this particular concept quite acutely, because the current “pod” design was developed with input from the community, thus there is a sense of ownership and pride over the current design, which will be utterly broken by an added strand (to the tune of $5+ million). I have tried to raised this question to Stuart Brodsky (Canon Design, they have won awards based on the design), but so far I am like a speck of dust. 🙂

  4. G. David Frye Says:

    Note that it’s not really an added strand. A strand is one K-5 section, i.e. 6 classrooms. Of course, if the wave turns into a tsunami, then ultimately it becomes a whole strand. The 10-year growth pattern showed the need for something like 4 new strands – although the numbers were hard to read and Scott says he will be putting the slides up on the web site tomorrow, so don’t quote me.

  5. charlesdschultz Says:

    1. The slides are already available on BoardDocs
    2. Carrie Busey already has a freshly built K-1 addition on its freshly built 3-strand footprint; there is talk about adding 2-5 to accommodate all the extra bubbles and students. Besides, even if it is a 3-year “wave” (for the sake of argument), who is going to put 5th graders next to kindergarten students? Building out an expansion just for a bubble doesn’t seem to make a lot of sense.

  6. pattsi Says:

    What is Scott’s answer to G. David’s second post above?

  7. charlesdschultz Says:

    Scott said (in regards to G. David’s question about the ‘bubble’) that the birth rate data past 2009 is not yet available, so they projected a weighted average going forward. Hence everything gets flat and it isn’t really a bubble anymore. He did mention that the tsunami hits at the high school level once you consider the recent additional enrollment and the increased “market share” (Unit 4 pulling more students from the existing population than previously).

    PS – you would think birth rate data would be more recent than 2009. Apparently Dejong decided to go with the Illinois Department of Public Health, and lo and behold, they are behind 3 years. Gotta love Illinois.


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