THERE IS NO DATA ANYWHERE THAT SUPPORTS THIS. THE ‘WORST CASE’SCENARI O BASED ON THE DATA ASSUMING 75% OF STUDENTS ENROLL ATLMHS AND 25% ENROLL AT HHS PUTS LMHS AT 1658 STUDENTS ANDHARRITON AT 1561 STUDENTS.
Clearly this is untenable logistically and educationally, not to mention that it circumventsthe stated community priority for two equal- sized high schools. If the district-wideenrollment projections are incorrect and growth is less than anticipated, then Harritonrisks losing programming when its enrollments slip below 1000 students, all the whileLMHS enrollments could still be well over capacity.
UNDER EXACTLY NO MODELS DOES HARRITON EVER DROP BELOW 1000STUDENTS. IT’S LOWEST ENROLLMENT MODEL BASED ON PRE 2006 PATTERNSHAS IT AT 1561 STUDENTS VS 1658 AT LMHS.
3. A rushed vote, and rushed action, are unnecessary and unwise. Harriton is notexpected to exceed capacity until 2018-19, six years from now, yet the Board proposesimplementing expanded choice in 2014-15. Under the plan, enrollments at LMHS couldreach 1700-1800 students within two years of implementation, however theadministration has yet to develop thoughtful educational or logistical (e.g., overcrowdedlibraries, cafeteria, and counseling services; traffic; security, etc.) plans to accommodatethis number of students and ensure no degradation in the quality of education at LMHS.Rather than rush, the Board should see if the projections bear out over the next few yearsand use the time to plan carefully before taking such a drastic—and potentiallyunnecessary-- course of action. Even if the Board wants to phase in a redistricting planslowly, via choice, such a plan could be successfully implemented in 2016-17 or 2017-18.
NOTHING HAS BEEN ‘RUSHED’ HERE – THESE NUMBERS HAVE BEENPUBLICLY AVAILABLE, PRESENTED AND ROBUSTLY COVERED BY THE LOCALMEDIA FOR TEN MONTHS. THESE PLANS HAVE BEEN QUESTIONED BY THEPUBLIC BOTH AT BOARD MEETINGS AND AT CIVIC/COMMUNITY MEETINGS. THE DATA IS FOR ENROLLED STUDENTS, AND IS VALID.FURTHER, WE HAVE HEAVILY CRITICIZED LMSD FOR FAILING TO BEPROACTIVE. NOW THAT THEYA RE, WE ARE CRITIIZING THEM FOR NOTWAITING UNTIL ENROLLMENT IS BEYOND CAPACITY. WHY?
4. The Board seems driven by a desired outcome and not a desire to responsibly solvea potential problem. The Board has failed to investigate alternatives-- e.g., addingclassroom space at Harriton-- under the excuse that use of the DAO is “fiscallyresponsible.” This may prove true, but the Board certainly can’t know that answer if ithasn’t reviewed complete cost estimates for both alternatives and evaluated those costestimates in the context of the potential educational impacts under the alternatives. Priorto Friday, April 9, the Board did not know (and apparently had not asked to receive) costestimates for adding classroom space at Harriton or cost estimates to build a secure