LSH Elementary Configuration Review Task Force
Meeting Summary
October 26, 2006

Task force charge:
To address ongoing challenges and concerns related to elementary classroom sizes at Park and Hilltop, and reflecting the LSH School District’s vision of a “unified focus on high student achievement,” the LSH School Board has commissioned formation of the LSH Elementary Configuration Review Task Force. The charge of this community/staff task force is to identify configuration options and conduct a thorough, systematic and objective comparative study of various elementary grade-level configurations based on maintaining Park and Hilltop elementary schools into the future; and to reach group consensus on a recommended two-community elementary configuration plan for implementation beginning in the fall of 2007. The task force is charged with developing a recommendation that acknowledges the continuing use of our two existing elementary sites.

Present: Maria Aguilar, Jean Berg, Bill Bjorndahl, Kristi Drent, Stefanie Eischens, Henry Endres,
Ginny Huntington, Dave Johnson, Stephanie Laabs, Kathy Leary, Alicia Madson, Deanne McConnell, Monica Meyer-Javens, Anne Murray, Sara O’Brien, Vic Pengilly, Faith Sohns and Rosanne Tesch

Also present: Dr. Jerry Robicheau, Ph.D., and Linda Schroeder

Absent: Megan Schwarz

Old Business: The meeting began at 6:30 PM. The task force OK’d final versions of the expanded list of options and the assumptions list. They agreed to the clarification of the definitions of the terms “community school” and “neighborhood school.” Linda Schroeder briefly introduced the difference between the terms “grade configuration” and “grade span.” Linda also updated the group on the process timeline for the five meetings in November and early December. Finally, Linda provided the preliminary informal “snapshot” results of the 18 individual ratings of the 11 considerations that will guide the group in its comparison of configuration options. It was noted that the responses reflected a starting point for the group and will be revisited by the group in the near future.

Review of educational literature: Jerry Robicheau, Ph.D., Department of Educational Leadership, Minnesota State University Mankato, presented the findings of his review of educational literature related to the impact of various elementary grade span and configuration options on student achievement. He provided background about the study; presented and explained his overall findings; and then discussed in detail a number of the various advantages and disadvantages of each of the nine grade configuration/grade span options related to their impact on student achievement. (To supplement copies of the report distributed to task force members, Linda will pursue the possibility of securing copies of the PowerPoint presentation, including Dr. Robicheau’s findings and concluding remarks, to serve as another reference tool for the task force.)

Discussion: After the presentation, members of the task force asked questions, shared thoughts and perspectives, and discussed the presentation.

At 8:40 PM, the meeting adjourned, with interested task force members taking a tour of Park and hearing a bit about the differences between Park and Hilltop facilities and programs. Eleven individuals participated in the tour.

Thursday, November 16, 6:30 PM, Hilltop Library/Media Center