Search This Blog

Monday, March 25, 2013

CCS Open School of Choice Discussion Information

Here is the district's justification for Open School of Choice per the board packet for the 3/25/13 CCS school board meeting:

Please read this over and if you have any concerns, please come to the school board meeting on Monday, 3/25/13 at 7 PM and voice those concerns.  The meetings are held at the Clarkston Community Schools Administration Building, 6389 Clarkston Road, Clarkston, MI.   

To offset the loss of Clarkston Community Schools student enrollment, along with the associated reductions in CCS programming for 2013-14 school year and beyond

Proposal of limited schools of choice option for
2013-14 school year
• Kindergarten, 1st and 2nd grades only
• 100 students maximum (no more than 50 students at any one grade level)
• Section 105 (within Oakland County only)

• Need to reduce total of $3-$3.5 million for 2013-14 budget
• Goal to achieve through reductions, employee concessions and revenue enhancements
• Each student loss = loss of $7,082
• 2012-13 loss of students = $509,904 (72 fewer students x $7,082)
• Limited enrollment option offers opportunity to bring in current out-of-district Early Childhood Center students
• Viable option for neighboring families who wish to attend CCS
• Those who come in early adapt well and will stay as Clarkston students
• Not at capacity throughout district; can accommodate numbers across all K-2 classrooms
• All 28 districts in Oakland County are participating in or considering some form of open enrollment/schools of choice
• Oakland County is a very competitive environment
• Overall number of school-aged children in county is decreasing (SEMCOG data)
• Plan to annually review enrollment trends, actual numbers and additional data to analyze overall SOC option and viability for future
• Each School of Choice (SOC) student = $7,082 (or amount of resident district allocation if less than Clarkston)
• 100 SOC students = approximately $700,000
• Addition to aggressive Shared Services Partnership Program
• CCS programs suffer with loss of students

SOC Rules:
Propose to accept up to 100 students, Kindergarten - 2nd grade
• No more than 50 students per any grade level
• Can specify availability per grade level and building
• Priority:
   o In-district school of choice & employees' children (already allowed SOC students, not a new group of students)
   o Out-of-district school of choice - sibling already enrolled in current SOC program
   o All other out-of-district school of choice
• Applications accepted minimum of 15 days and maximum of 30 days
Accept all applicants if numbers do not exceed available spots (including students that have been suspended or expelled in the last two years????)
• Random draw and waiting list if applicants exceed available spots
District MAY refuse enrollment based on suspensions (past 2 years) or expulsions (MAY?)
Continuous enrollment through graduation (this means that as soon as the students are enrolled, they are enrolled until they graduate or they leave the district of their own volition, so there is no going back to the way it is now)
• Enrollment must take place by end of first week of school
• Transportation not required - with exception of SOC students who may become homeless
• Foundation Allowance received = lesser of CCS and resident district

March 25: Presentation to Board
March 26 - April 7: Collect feedback/questions/concern (Easter break is March 29th to April 7th SURPRISE!  The district will "collect feedback/questions/concern" while they are not working and the public cannot reach administration???  That leaves three days for feedback - March 26th to March 28th, but no likely way to communicate this to the public and get feedback in that timeframe).
April 8-22: Board "retreat" w/administrator and community input re: SOC and other options  (Since the Board retreats are not filmed or broadcasted on Comcast or the district's UStream account, this conveniently results in the public not knowing what is discussed unless they were able to attend the meeting)
TBD: Board Vote on SOC Proposal
Pending SOC Approval: Communication/marketing plan re: SOC options (print, media, etc.)
TBD: Staffing and placement determinations
August 1: Final staffing placement
TBD: Advertisement of SOC openings, application deadline, final notifications
• Student loss trends
• Competitive county environment
• Community reaction
• August (or earlier) deadlines
• Potential staff increases
• Placement hierarchy
• Priority of placement
• Special education needs (historically, students with special needs/behavioral issues have been highly represented in the students who request SOC placement, increasing the costs to support those students in the "new" school district, potentially overwhelming the new school's special education staff, resulting in lowered MEAP scores, and more behavioral issues in the "new" school) 
• Lower class sizes/fewer reductions
• Communication plan; alignment with requirements & timelines


  1. When teacher contracts are negotiated administrations throughout the county report that salaries and benefits are 70-80% of the budget, so how many student will be required to make up the deficit after paying salaries and benefits.

    When is a community school district not a community school district -- I guess the Dr. Rock has the answer.

    Why did the school bond re-fi fail. Could it be that the state saw where clarkston is heading??

    Go to Brandon and other school districts and ask them their experiences and if they are not having any budget problems. It is a short sighted approach to solve a long term problem. It will create more problems than answers.

    Remember,Clarkston is not Dr. Rock's community.

  2. SOC - you are drinking the Kool Aid.

    Come out, come out wherever you are!! A total absence of leadership by Michigan’s supposed “Educational Leaders” exists at the local and county level. It is very obvious in Michigan that School Boards and other centers of traditional leadership have become superfluous given the existing climate in Michigan. They exert minimal influence on funding, curriculum, testing, and school structure. Into this vacuum of leadership, decisions and policy are now determined by the state legislature and are subject to the whims of the political party currently in power.

    How many parents/taxpayers do you know that are advocating that that their tax dollars should be spent on Charter Schools, Schools of Choice, and initiatives that offer education anywhere, anytime, anyplace, by anyone -- to the detriment of their children and neighborhood schools. The money that is being used to change K-12 education in Michigan into for-profit business ventures is coming from their tax dollars. State universities and several ISD’s are willing accomplices in this effort.

    Real leadership would be organizing parents to get school funding back under their control (with all the same property tax restrictions). SOC pits one school district against another and is part of the overall plan to radically change local school districts into profit centers for big business.

    Look back over the past twenty years and look at what has happened and then look forward with current bills in the state legislature and tell me that we are not heading in a direction where more and more of your tax dollars are not going public school districts

  3. Anon,

    Not sure if you are saying "I" am drinking the Kool-Aid, but no Kool-Aid passes by THESE lips...

    That action (the drinking of Kool-Aid) is being done by Dr. Rod Rock. When he started working here (can't say "came here" because he never moved here to Clarkston) he said he wanted to provide full, open SOC.

    I don't think that many residents of the CCS school district want open schools of choice, but Dr. Rock has never had an open forum on it, sent or published an email or Clarkston News article on it, nor has he had a survey of the public on it. He can have dozens of broadcast emails go out about the lost and found at Clarkston Elementary, but something as important as SOC begets silence from Rock.

    1. You are not drinking the KOOL AID, keep up the good work.

      Continue to examine the budget, the deficit, and the lack of operational experience because these issues are driving this effort.

      People are counting on you to stand up for them.

    2. Ahh, thanks for the clarification and support!

  4. In his latest Clarkston News Article Dr. Rock states that the only way to increase revenue is to increase the number of students. He also state the new budget reflects an increase in revenue of 1.3 million.

    In his previous SOC statement, the maximum number of students was limited to 100. How can 100 new students raise that much revenue?? It seems that the number would be closer to 200 students.

    Using his own numbers and assuming 50% of the revenue would be used for salaries, it would require 2.6 million dollars and approximately 400 students to get 1.3 million in revenue because any new revenue would be offset by increased costs.

    Is this another example of fuzzy math? Where are we headed??

  5. 4/8/13 Anon,

    Dr. Rock ALWAYS uses fuzzy math, but I think he has more up his sleeves.