Background and Overview of Demographic Studies and Long-Range Facilities Planning
A District Space and Enrollment Committee consisting of equal representation from each elementary school zone met throughout the 2016-17 school year. The Committee provided a comprehensive presentation to the Board of education in June 2017. As a result of this work, the District engaged Dr. Paul Seversky, Demographer, to conduct a comprehensive demographic study to include:
- Enrollment Trends and Analysis Study
- Space and Capacity Analysis and Study
- Program Implementation Study
The 2019 Seversky Enrollment study, like the 2016 demographic study, shows decreasing enrollment levels in the coming 5+ year period of time. The 2019 Seversky Program Implementation study presents 8 alternatives for school configurations to serve students given declining enrollment and a surplus of space in schools. The Board of Education, Superintendent of Schools, and administration have been disciplined about refraining from drawing any conclusions or predetermining an outcome. Any decisions and actions based on the demographic study will be driven by a systematic and thoughtful process which engages stakeholders, relies on data and concrete information, and focuses on providing the best educational program for students.
The first alternative beginning on page 58 of the Program Implementation study is called the Benchmark, which is maintaining the status quo model, i.e. maintaining BCSD's current neighborhood K-5 elementary school model, one grade 6-8 middle school, and one 9-12 high school. It should be stressed that this Benchmark alternative shall be considered with as much weight as any other alternative. It should also be noted that the eight alternatives presented in the Seversky study are not exhaustive, i.e. there may be some permutation of these eight alternatives or some different alternative altogether that is ultimately determined.
BCSD crafted a Request for Proposals in the fall of 2018 to engage a consulting firm to assist the District in the development of a Long-Range Facilities Plan. Since January 2019, BCSD has been working with Interactive Inc. to assist the District in facilitating a process to evaluate alternatives and identify a prudent course of action that will serve our school community and students as we move into the future. The school-community feedback phase of the work will begin in the fall of 2019. We look forward to working closely with our community to make wise decisions which support teaching and learning in BCSD, embodies long-range strategic planning, as well as responsible stewardship of our community's education resources.