RCTA PUBLIC FORUM ON BSF
August 17, 2009
Vision/idea (five years out)
* Spaulding High School – approx. 1000 students – one of the best comprehensive public high
schools in the state.
* Bud Carlson Academy – approx. 100-150 students – one of the best small alternative schools in
* new high school designed for the 21st Century – approx. 400-450 students – one of the best high
schools in the country.
Critical indicators (problems/needs – and longer-term goals)
1. average daily attendance
3. drop-out rate
4. percentage of graduates going on to post secondary education, 4-year colleges, successful 1-2
5. standardized test scores (PSAT, SAT, NECAP, NWEA, ACT, AP, etc.)
* past 5-6 months (forums, discussions, preliminary research, prospective partnerships/funders,
site exploration, etc.)
* now through December (nine more public forums – and preparation/completion of full proposal)
* full proposal/report to school board (December/January)
* approval/disapproval process (school board, city council, etc.) – December through spring.
If approved, the new school would likely open to 100-200 students in the fall of 2012 – and rollout to full capacity (400-450 students) over the following three years – as SHS downsizes to approximately 1000 students.
New school design elements
1 – integrated curriculum organized around questions/problems.
2 – real/adult world immersion.
3 – more direct, simple, and useful assessment systems.
4 – graduation/diploma when earned (elimination of the 4-year assumption/default).
5 – adaptive, proactive, entrepreneurial organizational structure.
At the same operating budget (per student) as Spaulding – which is below the state average.
Start-up costs – estimated at $5 to $10 million – with an emphasis on state/federal assistance, foundation support, private contributions.
Four important convictions
* We absolutely have to do better for our high school students.
* Importance of school size.
* The need for a new approach/model.
* Benefits/value of school choice – three options rather than one or two.