East Metro Integration District, ISD 6067 (EMID) member Superintendents’ “WHITE PAPER” Concerning future programs and

services offered by EMID

Draft of October 12, 2011

EMID Vision: EMID’s vision is to create integrated communities in which all learners have knowledge, skills and attitudes necessary for success in an increasing diverse and interdependent world EMID Mission: EMID’s mission is to provide and promote integrated opportunities for students, families, and staff that expand cultural understanding and support academic achievement.
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Introduction
Brief History The first Joint Powers Agreement was approved in 1995. The original member districts were St. Paul, Roseville and North St. Paul/Maplewood. This Joint Powers Agreement was formed to encourage St. Paul and the surrounding districts of Roseville and North St. Paul/Maplewood to partner in desegregating the St Paul schools. This partnership created a movement of students of color to suburban districts which at that time had not experienced any significant demographic changes in their enrollment. The enrollments of the districts surrounding St. Paul were majority Caucasian. With changes in legislation, voluntary districts were encouraged to join with the other three districts. This new membership created the East Metro Integration District. Out of this newly formed collaborative grew a magnet school, Harmabee. A second magnet school, Crosswinds, was built a couple of years later. These magnet schools were built with the purpose ofofferingparents a choice of having their children educated in an integrated learningenvironment. Moreover, they were formed to respond to the mission and vision of EMID as it was formed at that time. Today East Metro Integration District is a ten district collaborative: St. Paul, Roseville, South Washington County, Stillwater, White Bear Lake, Inver Grove Heights, South St. Paul, Spring Lake Park, Forest Lake, and WestSt.Paul/Mendota Heights. Programs and services offered by EMID now include the Office of Equity and Integration with a purpose of offering professional development and student programs, member developed shared services for the member districts, and the two magnet schools. Strategic Planning During the 2008-2011 schools years there was compelling evidence that it was time for a broader, more comprehensive re-evaluation of the mission of EMID. The first evidence of this need was the withdrawal of two member districts; North St. Paul/Maplewood in 2008/09 and Mahtomedi in 2009/10.Also during this period two new districts joined EMID: Forest Lake and Spring Lake Park Lake. The second major change during this time period was in July 2010 when a new superintendent was hired to replace the retiring superintendent. The new superintendent refocused the mission of EMID to concentrate not only on the programs of the two magnet schools serving 880 students, but also to give greater attention to services and programs to the full 120,000 student enrollment of the member districts. In November 2010 the new superintendent initiated a strategic planning process. That process focused on data collection in three areas; a) utilization of outreach services provided to member districts, b) the future of Harmabee and Crosswinds, and c) funding of EMID programs and services. This data collection commenced in January 2011. Stakeholders were interviewed in focus groups, in person, phone interview, or via electronic surveys. Stakeholders included in the data collection were school board members, superintendents, EMID administrators, parents, and teachers. A major initiative of the strategic planning process was to develop ideas of how to increase collaboration among the ten districts, given that a large portion of resources were allocated to fund the two magnet schools. The magnet schools enrolled less than 1% of the students from member districts. (See Attachment A for an overview of the data collected.)

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Recommendations of the Strategic Plan The recommendations from the strategic plan data collection were discussed at meetings of the superintendents and school board. A comprehensive discussion was held July 20, 2011 at a school board, district superintendents, and EMID administration retreat. The recommendations focused on the magnet schools were outlined in 3 options: Option 1: Strengthen schools under current structure: EMID schools have the potential to transform into models of integration and high student achievement; however, it may require additional time and investment. Option 2:Transfer governance of schools to different operator:The nature and environment of the schools seem to be highly valued, though direct student education is a small portion of EMID’s overall purpose and core competency. Therefore, perhaps EMID should refocus its efforts away from operating the schools. Option 3: Merge students back into home district schools: this option is similar to option 2, in terms of reprioritizing EMID’s focus. This also assumes that current EMID students could smoothly integrate back into home district schools The recommendations that focused on the shared services and outreach were outlined in the following: There is an opportunity for EMID to shift from mostly direct service to focus on strengthening and coordinating member district programs. EMID as a coordinator of member district programming has the potential to leverage current offerings to increase overall participation without dramatically increasing costs. EMID as a technical assistant to member districts can deliver its knowledge base of “best practices” to strengthen and develop member district programs. Each of the above recommendations has ramifications on the delivery of programs services to member districts. Regarding the funding for EMID programs and services the data indicated the following: A majority of EMID revenues is spent on the magnet schools, including a significant amount of integration revenue. Budget breakdown for EMID is:
Revenue: Tuition: $5.3 million Integration: $3.8 million Other: $2.9 million TOTAL $12,000,000 Expenditures: A) Magnet Schools $ 8.7 million $2.million from Integration $5.3 million tuition $1.4 other B) District costs: $ 1.4 million C) Shared Services: $720,000 D) OEI: $940,000 E) Federal: $240,000 TOTAL: $12,000,000

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With these data and feedback as the foundation, the school board engaged in making strategic decisions focused on the future of the collaborative. A primary consideration was to determine the future programming and resources dedicated to the magnet schools. Along with seeking extensive community input, the board charged the member district superintendents with developing a recommendation and rationale regarding their vision of the two magnet schools and the collaborative as a whole. Meetings of the member district superintendents were held to formulate a recommendation for consideration by the school board. Recommendations for the board to consider regarding the 2 magnet schools and EMID programs The following two recommendations are presented for the board’s consideration.These recommendations are listed in order of priority. That is, recommendation number one is the recommendation the superintendents encourage the board to consider. Recommendation 1: At the conclusion of the 2011/12 school year discontinue using Harmabee and Crosswinds as P-10 attendance sites. In order to address the ongoing educational needs of all member districts and create an allocation process where all member district needs are considered, the recommendation is to close Harmbee and Crosswinds at the conclusion of the 2011/12 school year.The rationale for this recommendation is as follows: a) currently EMID allocates a disproportionate amount of its resources to the operation of two magnet school; b) not all member districts have families that choose to send students to the two sites yet all districts allocate a portion of their integration dollars to the schools; c) a more effective means of allocating resources for all members districts could be developed; d) approximately 20% of the students enrolled in the 2 two magnet schools are from non-full member districts. Consequently, the full collaborative provides additional resources to support programs for non -member districts, d) the unique integration needs of the member districts cannot be addressed in the present model, and e) there is a need to consider the fairness of the current structure. Expected outcomes for the collaborative and member districts are: 1. The resources allocated to the two sites can be re-purposed so all members districts are served; 2. Unique needs of member districts can be addressed; 3. There is equity for both the students of the collaborative and the member districts; 4. It increases the capacity to serve more students In a more efficient model, further extending the power of the collaborative to meet the requirements of the rule and current recommendations for best practice. Recommendation 2: Restructure the funding sources for the two magnet schools. Fund the schools with foundation aid only and reduce the integration revenue sent from member districts by 43%. The board may be asked to allocate portions of the fund balance to support the schools and the overall operation of EMID. The integration revenue would be used to support expanded shared services. The recommendation is similar to the funding structure of
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the programs and sites in the West Metro Education Program. (See attachment C)In order to provide additional resources for all collaborative services supporting the students of all members districts, the recommendation is to reduce the per pupil allocations for funding the two EMID magnet schools. This recommendation is supported by the following rationale: a) currently the two EMID magnet schools are allocated a significantly higher per pupil revenue than that of any member district, b) there are compelling educational needs for students throughout the collaborative that are not addressed in the current finance model, c) the member school districts have analyzed the funding model and believe that a fair and appropriate allocation of resources would be to reduce the funding per pupil for Harambee and Crosswinds to a funding level that is comparable to that of the member districts, and d) the reallocated funds could be used by collaborative members to meet the programmatic need ofstudents in all member districts consistent with priorities indentified in the EMID strategic planning process. Expected outcomes for the collaborative and member districts are: 1. It bridges the issue for the two schools while the state determines future funding. 2. Establishes an “equal playing field” regarding funding programs in member districts. 3. There are more resources available to member districts for shared services that will benefit more students. 4. There will be additional integration revenue for member districts to address integration needs in their districts. 5. A broader base of students will be served. Consideration of Option 2. The superintendents agreed there is a need for more discussion regarding any recommendation under Option2 as part of the strategic plan. This option is to transfer operation/governance of the 2 magnet schools. Under this optionthe board may wish to investigate are: charters, transfer to Perpich Center for the Arts, a member district operates the schools, an intermediate school district assume operation of the schools, transfer the operation to another state agency. Ramifications and outcomes of each recommendation Each of the recommendations is focused on the benefits to all member districts. The superintendents are concerned not only with maintaining the collaborative but enhancing the power of the collaborative as well. As leaders of education, the group sees more influence in improving outcomes for students working as a membership of 10. A new recommendation may emerge out of this process. A possible vision statement may be: Optimize student learning and outcomes for all students by operating as collaborative and engaging in a system of delivery that is research based, best practice for students, intended to raise achievement levels for minority students and improve outcomes for all. Some examples and possibilities that could be outcomes of the recommendations are: 1. Expands shared services. This includes districts addressing the achievement gap. 2. Creates a regional approach to integration and the achievement gap.
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3. 4. 5. 6. 7.

Creates a new vision with deeper meaning and richer goals for all students. Creates a new system that address needs in all districts. The return on investment is much greater to all member districts. The benefits to all students and districts is maximized. A new delivery system is created that forms partnerships with higher ed, service cooperatives, intermediate districts, other integration collaborative, MDE, and businesses 8. Expands shared services o Expanded AVID program o 21st Century career goals for 7th and 8th grades in member districts o Advanced placement skills benchmark in PK-12 o Literacy bench marks for 4 year olds o Literacy links to parents o Effective literacy interventions o EMID literacy conference for all member districts o Reading proficiency o Staff development in cultural competency and cultural differential in the classroom o Developing work force skills for immigrants o Increase shared purchasing power for integration program needs o Curriculum management for addressing the achievement gap o Expand early childhood programs o Develop joint efforts on recruiting teacher of color for all schools o Consider unique program needs for districts experiencing increases in diversity o Other shared and member district needs to be considered. Development of transition plans Any new vision/mission and resulting structure will need time to realize the full power of the vision. It will require a comprehensive process of planning over the next 6-8 months. It will require a concentrated effort of the board, superintendents, community, EMID staff and others to complete a strategic planning that is concise and specifically addresses the achievement needs of all students. However, immediate consideration must be given to the following: 1. Information for students and families regarding options for fall 2012 and beyond must be provided. This includes the listing of services in the member districts, charters and other choices available in the collaborative and in those districts that send students to the two magnet schools. 2. Connections should be made between staff and member districts regarding skills and potential positions. 3. A legal opinion needs to be obtained regarding the future “ownership” of the two sites. Other considerations The board will need to consider what recommendations will surface from the “Repurposed Integration Funding Task Force” and what ramifications those recommendations might have on decisions. However, it is the recommendation of the superintendents that the board takes
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action on one of the recommendation and not wait for the task force to complete its work.The school board should consider engaging in the second phase of the strategic planning process.

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