Drastic Changes at Ridgewood Apartments Don’t Factor into School Board Plans for Leopold School

On Monday, April 25, the Madison School Board will hold a special session to vote on a plan that affects hundreds of west side families and six to eight elementary schools in the event that the May 24 referendum to build a second school on the Leopold site fails.
Options before the Board do not mention the drastic changes taking place in the Ridgewood apartment complex that is near Leopold Elementary School and home to many current Leopold students and their families. While it appears increasingly likely that the large low income community near Leopold will be displaced by changes in ownership of the apartment complex, the Board will be voting on plans that do not take this factor into account. Instead, at the insistence of Board member Carol Carstensen, the Board seems poised to lock into

a plan for 2006-07 that does not recognize the likelihood that the
Leopold School population will not grow as rapidly as current projections suggest and will change in its portion of low income families. Earlier this spring, the board voted not to change the Leopold school boundaries for 2005-06. The options before the Board on April 25 would be implemented for 2006-07.
Carol Carstensen appears to have suggested the options that the administration now recommends. The options first became available on April 21, four days before the final vote. They have not been through the Long Range Planning Committee process nor has the public had the opportunity to analyze the plans and comment at hearings.
While the administration’s previous “fallback” option would move 1137 west side elementary students to different schools, the new recommendations move 168 to 304. The majority of students moved under both options are low income students. The plan to moves 168 students affects students at Chavez, Crestwood, Leopold, Stephens, Thoreau and Van Hise schools. The second plan affects students at Chavez, Crestwood, Falk, Huegel, Leopold, Muir, Stephens and Lincoln schools.
MMSD Boundary Change Page; See Options 3D1 Revised & 3D3 Revised

MMSD Option 3D1 Revised School Changes (School By School Details PDF | Maps – 6 Page PDF)

MMSD Option 3D3 Revised School Changes (School By School Details – PDF | Maps – 4 Page PDF)
For recent developments regarding the Ridgewood apartments, see http://www.madison.com/tct/news/stories/index.php?ntid=37310&ntpid=0