Education Townhall Forum

Blocks Together, November 23, 2013

Ryerson’s Story
• • • • • • • • • • • It was a Level 2 School according to CPS, not on probation Serviced high poverty students in a high violent community Level 1 for past three years Had 6-8th grade single sex class First school to pilot Longer School Day before the Emmanuel administration Had a neighborhood clinic occupy one of the classrooms Chicago Bulls Health and Fitness Center State of the Art Library and Media Center Recess rooms and community rooms Computer labs Had 398 students in the beginning of the year with a student capacity of 690

CPS Utilization Formula
Total Classes - Ancillary Classes = Total Homeroom Classes Divide current enrollment/30 students= The amount of classes that should be occupied Take the number of classes being divided by/ How many classes should be occupied and this percentage is then the utilization rate. -----------------------------------------------------------------------------20 total classes-5 ancillary classes=15 Classes 300 students/30=10 Classes should be used

10/15 classes=66% Utilization

Example of Utilization Formula:
Ryerson Elementary School
Total Classrooms= 31

Total homerooms= 19
Special ed classrooms= 4
(Over 50 Special Ed students)

Total program rooms= 10
Program rooms includes:
2 -Classrooms converted for a Library 1- Classroom used for a Health Clinic 2 -Classrooms used for Recess and community partners 1 -Classroom used as a fitness center for students, parents, and staff 2 -Classrooms used for Computer lab/ Reading Lab 1 -Classroom used for Science lab 1 -Classroom for Art classroom 1- Parent room

Example of Utilization Formula:
Ryerson Elementary School Utilization Rate is not 58%
Total Classrooms= 31

Total homerooms= 19
Special ed classrooms= 4
(Over 50 Special Ed students)

Total program rooms= 10
Program rooms includes:
2 -Classrooms converted for a Library 1- Classroom used for a Health Clinic 2 -Classrooms used for Recess and community partners 1 -Classroom used as a fitness center for students, parents, and staff 2 -Classrooms used for Computer lab/ Reading Lab 1 -Classroom used for Science lab 1 -Classroom for Art classroom 1- Parent room

19 Homerooms + 4 special education rooms + 10 program rooms= 24 classrooms utilized/ 31 classrooms =

Utilization is 77% Efficiently Used

Class size and classroom count
Classroom Number Use (Name type of room - either homeroom or what the room is used for) Does the room Fit 30 Students?

Total Classrooms

Total Classrooms

Total Students

Receiving (future facility highlighted) Receiving School Mollison Earle Ward L. Sumner Hughes C. Chopin Dulles Harvard Jenner Haley Sherwood Otis Mays Brennemann Mt Vernon Curtis Wells Prep Bass Faraday Johnson Nicholson Wentworth Enrollment

Closing (future Future Facility Facility Utilization facility highlighted) Closing Enroll- Expected 30 per home- 25 per Utilization, Utilization, 25 School ment Enrollment room class home-room CPS standards student class standard Overton Goodlow Ryerson Ericson Henson Lafayette Ross Yale Manierre West Pullman Parkman Peabody Banneker Stewart Garvey M. Songhai Mayo Woods Garfield Park Pope Bontemps Altgeld 431 378 399 510 252 470 344 186 351 301 231 266 337 256 315 317 408 371 154 184 314 443 668 736 797 885 538 737 872 627 668 830 543 737 644 576 620 791 606 707 338 586 783 776 540 630 690 780 510 720 870 630 690 870 570 780 690 630 690 900 690 810 390 690 930 930 450 525 575 650 425 600 725 525 575 725 475 650 575 525 575 750 575 675 325 575 775 775 124% 117% 116% 113% 105% 102% 100% 100% 97% 95% 95% 94% 93% 91% 90% 88% 88% 87% 87% 85% 84% 83% 148% 140% 139% 136% 127% 123% 120% 119% 116% 114% 114% 113% 112% 110% 108% 105% 105% 105% 104% 102% 101% 100%

237 358 398 375 286 267 528 441 317 529 312 471 307 320 305 474 198 336 184 402 469 333

Data retrieved from Chicago Teachers Union 2013

Problems with Utilization Formulas
• The discussion around utilization alienates the concept of school based community development. This policy circumvents democratic participation in the development of a school as a space for learning and building community hence ignoring the cultural and social backgrounds of those impacted by the usage of this formula. Using 30 children as the number of students per classroom, while the recommended class size for low income students is 20-22 (Caref,C. 2012). The reality for school buildings (particularly older ones) is that 25% allotment for ancillary space in not enough to meet the needs of the students, and the total classroom calculation has been proven to be wrong for many schools. Ignores the effect of new schools -such as charters- which take away from the student population. Issues of housing from the foreclosure crisis are not taken into consideration around declining enrollment and they overlook the larger implications of the impact of using such a formula to decide whether a school will be closed or not. Census loss from 2010 for school aged children, but population projections are left undiscussed.

The utilization debate takes away from a more wholistic conversation of what schools and communities need in their schools to serve their students and larger community. This analysis can allow us to see, as with the examples above, how a school can create programs and outcomes that develop human capacity and take into consideration the lived socio-economic realities of the students who attend these schools.

Schools as Community Anchors
“…A community development strategy that integrates school reform and neighborhood development will be more successful than a strategy that focuses only on the neighborhood regeneration or only on school reform. The objective is to find creative and innovative ways to connect schools to the neighborhood development process, so that an interactive, two-way street is developed between school reform and neighborhood development”. (National Taskforce on Anchor Institutions, 2009). Schools can be centers of community in either two ways: They more effectively integrate with the community as a center of the community, or they extend the learning environment to use the community’s full range of resources, through the school facility itself or the programming within the building. (Schools as Centers of Community, 2010).

Resources to Use
21st Century School Fund and Center for Cities & Schools (March 2010). Joint Use of Public Schools: A Framework for a New Social Contract. Washington, DC: 21st Century School Fund. Building Educational Success Together, Council of Educational Facility Planners, International Coalition for Community Schools, Knowledge Foundation, National Clearing House for Educational Facilities (2003). Schools as Centers of Community: A Citizen’s Guide for Planning and Design. Washington, DC: 21st Century School Fund. Building Educational Success Together, National Trust Historic Preservation (2005).Recommended Policies for Public School Facilities. 21st Century Fund. Washington, D.C. Filardo, Mary. (2004) For Generations to Come: A Leadership Guide to Renewing School Building. 21st Century Fund. Washington, D.C. Model Policies in Support of High Performance School Building for all Children (2006). Washington, DC: 21st Century School Fund. Pk-12 Public Educational Facilities Master Plan Evaluation Guide. Washington, DC: 21st Century School Fund. Vincent, Jeffrey (2010). Partnerships for Joint Use: Expanding the Use of Public School Infrastructure to Benefit Students and Communities. Center for Cities and Schools: University of California, Berkeley.

What can we do?
Understand the factors in utilization, analyze utilization formulas Look at trends as a system, overcrowded and underutilized schools Attendance boundaries, recent changes or potential changes in population change (gentrification) as warning signs. Access to community schools or to choice as a narrative for justifying the closure of schools Educational Program design- How does the district determine enough what are facility and programming standards? Who gets to decide? What is the schools districts overall vision? Alternative uses of schools- Joint policies (agreements with community organizations, clinics, service providers that can meet the needs of the community it serves) -Narrative about school district’s capacity -Who is funding curriculum change- Workforce development, Community engagement Connection to Civil Rights law. Disproportionate impact on African American students. CTU funding a Civil Rights law suit. Self-determination-Democratic process and bypassing the local governance and voice of communities of color

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