PAC Meeting Minutes – February 27, 2018

2 orders of business

  • Spending requests – Friends of Arlington Public Library – every year the library has a high school study night during AP testing. The PAC has contributed to in previous years.  They are asking for $125 this year (versus $100 in previous years).
  • Scholarship – gives out one-year scholarships to seniors who have expressed an interest in being a teacher. They draw money from many different sources.  They are asking for any amount.  David suggests we donate $150 to this cause.  We have never given to the scholarship fund before.  We currently have $1,400 in our account.  We don’t normally get additional requests which we could expect for the remainder of the school year.  If we didn’t spend money on these things now, the money would roll over to next year.

Casey’s Report

  • Talent Show was today. It was incredibly powerful and one of the best assemblies we have ever had at HB.  It was a really powerful day.  We had about 500 students who came.
  • Walk outs – a group of our students gathered out front and decided to walk to the White House. We encouraged middle school students in particular to get in touch with their parents, sign out, etc.  Murphy sent a letter out today outlining the plans moving forward.
  • There have been a number of letters about the building and the relationship we have with the Stratford Program. People who were a part of the BLPC realize how difficult the new site is in terms of creating a space.  Both programs operate as distinct programs with distinct offices, administrators, etc.  However, it is a reminder of how we can always do better and look for ways to integrate the programs.  Karen, the principal of Stratford, and Casey are going to look if there are ways for how we could provide more integration between the programs, but we are not going to be redesigning the building.
  • Transition – We have a wall committee to discuss what we are going to do about the walls of the current building. A group of students might make a book to commemorate the walls and the history of HB.

Jeff Chambers, a Director of Facilities who is oversees new projects and Jennifer Zu, who is the project manager for the new school at the Wilson property:

  • Space Program Summary – graph showing use of space for the new building
  • Field is not being built right away, instead there will be a temporary firehouse.
  • Students will be able to come into 4 different entrances for the building.
  • There will be 2 administrative areas where parents can enter.
  • We are trying to bring daylight into the classrooms and have outdoor courtyards.
  • Main entrance is off of Wilson. Parents can drop off students on Quinn.
  • Once the fire station is removed, there will be a parking garage with a guaranteed100 spaces for staff. We need 144.  The additional spaces will be acquired in other locations.  There is a possibility of a parking garage under the field, but it has not been determined if that will actually be built.
  • Chambers went through the highlights of each floor’s layout.
  • The outdoor terraces on each level are going to be thoughtfully designed to create spaces the students will want to use versus hanging out on the sidewalk on Wilson Blvd.
  • He reviewed funding and the construction schedule.
  • There will be a field space of 120×150 until the temporary fire station is removed. The new permanent fire station should be completed 1.5-2 years after the building is opened and then the full field should be restored.  APS will look to find nearby parks for P.E. time.
  • Parking is going to be a significant challenge. Our goal is going to be to have one set of spaces in a nearby garage.  We are also going to need our elected officials to negotiate with the county to create short term parking on the surrounding streets, especially for our Stratford students.  There is no consideration for student parking.   It is .6 from Courthouse and .5 from Rosslyn.
  • Casey – we are definitely considering if we can have 8:20 classes going forward, partially because there will be no parking for students on site. We don’t need to have 8:20 because students can take their full load and still make sports practices at their home school.  It is a holdover from the 80’s and 90’s when high schools got out of school at 2:20 each day, but now you can take a full schedule and make it to the high school for sports.
  • When will the field at the current HB be taken up by the construction – impacting the amount of field space. We will be losing ½ of the existing fields in April or May.  The Stratford Park will be completed soon, but it will be a softball field operated by Parks and Rec.
  • The Stratford Program is moving at the end of June to Reed for one year until we are reunited in fall of 2019. The four trailers will be removed and some other classrooms will not be able to be used due to construction, but those teachers will move into Stratford classrooms.

Reid Goldstein, Vice Chair for the School Board and HB’s liaison to the School Board

  • He attended a budget work session earlier tonight. First hour – listening to concerns of employees.  Then talked with the Department of Teaching and Learning to get a better idea of their budget plans. We are facing a $16 million dollar deficit this year – what our projected growth is going to cost versus what the county can provide. It was tough last year, it was really tough this year, and next year is a nightmare.
  • In the middle of an elementary boundary process, which should be complete in the fall.
  • Acceptable use policy – part 2 – how we should be using technology. A parent would like to know how this conversation is playing into the budget conversation.  Work session on March 15th and Department of Teaching and Learning will be present.  The acceptable use policy is not going to cover use.  It is not going to cover what is going on in the classroom.  Not sure exactly what it is going to cover.  A parent asked if Reid has a stance on this.  He believes we need to look at some basic questions about the practice versus the policy. A parent asks about internet safety and privacy.  Reid believes those topics are going to be in the two-pronged acceptable use policy.
  • Budget question – TDM (transportation demand management) was cut entirely from the budget. Teachers were going to be given incentives to not drive, but to metro, etc., but if it is not in the budget, what does that mean?
  • Budget implications for HB: increase in class size by .5 at the high school level, which reduces the total number of high school teachers, middle school by .75, and .5 clerical position.  Total is 2 teachers for HB.  Hoping to do this with retirements.
  • The county has been telling the school board since summer that they are facing a really tough budget season. This year the county said they don’t know if they can help with our school deficit.
  • Ended at 9:10 pm