Big Step Forward update

The school board voted 10-1 last Thursday night,March 11, 2010, to move forward with the BSF proposal and the new/third high school. This was essentially the second of three critical votes/decisions.

* The first step was back in December 2008. This was the vote to study/consider the BSF idea of moving to three schools. 

* Thursday night’s vote was the second step. The board has essentially decided “yes, let’s do this” (but without final details as to location, funding, cost, etc. of new/third school). 

* The third and final critical decision will likely come about a year from now.  At that time, with all of the details in place (particularly funding commitments), the school board, city council, and a joint building committee will make the final call – yes or no. 

 If we secure approval at this final stage (likely winter or early spring of the 2010-11 school year), it would set us up to open the new/third high school in 2012-13 (as originally proposed/planned). Enrollment at the new school would then roll out gradually over four years – at about 100 students per year – until it reached capacity of 400-plus in 2015-16.

* This means Spaulding enrollment would be down about 100 students (all from the 9th grade) in 2012-13. 

* Then, in 2013-14, enrollment would be down a total of about 200 students (from the 9th & 10th grades).  

* In 2014-15, Spaulding would be down about 300 students (from the 9th, 10th, and 11th grades). 

* Finally, in 2015-16, Spaulding would  be down about 400 students (from all four grades) and will have reached its new size of about 1000 students. 

It would be over these four years (2012-13 through 2015-16) that the size of the Spaulding faculty and administration would also be reduced. Specifically, staffing implications for the subsequent year would be sorted out in the spring of 2012, spring 2013, spring 2014, and spring 2015. 

Mr. John Shea has agreed to spearhead the efforts to get the new/third high school up and running.  

Mr. Shea will continue to serve as Spaulding’s principal through the end of this school year. 

Mike Hopkins will be organizing the selection process and search committee for the new Spaulding principal and posting the opening as soon as possible. The anticipated start date would be July 1. 

 The superintendent’s and the school board’s commitment to the multi-year school improvement goals and strategies that are currently in place here at our high school will not change with a new principal. The work that we’ve done, are doing, and still have in front of us related to competencies and assessment will not change. Finishing up the schedule review process with a decision about future direction will remain a priority into next year. Further development of the homeroom advisory program will continue. Improving our NECAP scores, our SINI plans, and the Focused Monitoring initiative will remain priorities. And sorting out the best approach to the critical ninth grade year  – especially in light of the enrollment and facilities implications of a prospectively smaller student body – will be an elevated priority in the coming years. 

Please remember that the first goal of the BSF proposal, from the beginning, has been to continue working to make Spaulding – especially a smaller 1000-student Spaulding – one of the best comprehensive public high schools in the state. And establishing BCA as one of the best small alternative schools in the region has always been the second goal. Though much of the discussion of late has been focused (not surprisingly) on the proposed new/third high school, it is the direction of our whole secondary education system here in Rochester that is so exciting.

One thought on “Big Step Forward update

  1. It’s good that you mention the other goals of BSF because I think the focus on Spaulding and the BCA (as part of the BSF) were kind of lost…it seemed most people (especially those opposed to a 3 HS) only talked about a potential new 3rd HS…