Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Unity Plan for Burlington Schools

This Unity Plan was developed by members of the Barnes community, as a proposal for how the Burlington school district can move forward on the issue of elementary schools.

The goals of the Unity Plan are:

* A long-term economically sustainable school district
* A move toward greater socio-economic integration in the Burlington elementary schools without disrupting existing school communities and pitting neighborhood against neighborhood.
* Neighborhood elementary schools that allow families to walk to school and maintain community.

We propose the following:

1. The three existing downtown elementary schools remain as K-5 elementary schools. Two become Magnet Schools:

* Barnes becomes a Sustainable School Magnet
* Wheeler becomes an Arts and Drama Magnet

2. Common registration for new families for the downtown elementary schools. All current families would be allowed to attend their current school. New families would register for the downtown elementary schools and assignments would be based on:

* proximity
* preference
* socio-economic integration

3. In order to keep the district financially sustainable, sell the Ira Allen building. The administration that is currently located there could move to Edmunds. The EEE program that is currently there could move to Wheeler.

4. Invest in the district's current infrastructure to make much needed improvements and make the buildings energy efficient. On-Top and Horizons programs remain at Taft where long overdue improvements will result in significant long term energy savings. At Barnes and Wheeler improvements are needed to make the schools more attractive, better suited to carrying out their roles as Magnets and to achieve long-term savings from energy efficiency. The funding for these improvements could come from:

a. Grants specifically designed for Magnet Schools
b. Grants specifically designed for districts to gain energy efficiency
c. The proceeds from the sale of the Ira Allen building.

No comments: