Madison West High School Principal Update, November, 2009

112K PDF from West Principal Ed Holmes:

This update will address some of the concerns that have been raised since the beginning of the year as well as review many of the major initiatives, events and programs at West during the 2009-10 school year.
District Concerns
High school pupil/teacher ratios for allocation purposes have remained static or been reduced. All four high schools struggle with allocation issues and every school but Lafollette has classes above 30.
In a system where we are working with a finite allocation and have to respond to a set number of required courses first, electives may have to be capped so that required courses can be staffed. As a result we guarantee that all students will have access to the required courses needed to graduate within their four-year high school career.
West High School Concerns
The first issue I would like to address is the misinformation reported to the West High School Community regarding our enrollment numbers here at West. I would like to clarify what our enrollment numbers are, and then explain how that mistake was made. The second issue involves our scheduling practices. Concerns related to scheduling were raised by numerous students and parents this Fall, and there were questions and concerns at grade level meetings as well.
I take full responsibility for the manner and content of the information that was shared with the West community regarding enrollment numbers this Fall. This was a human error, not a computer error. Infinite Campus has the ability to generate enrollment numbers in two ways. One screen calculates and displays all students linked to West, including those in alternative programs. For example, a student attending Shabazz is still listed on that screen as a West Student. A second screen does not include all students linked to West; instead, only students physically attending West, and serviced through our site based allocation. Simply put, I relied on information from the incorrect screen generated on Infinite Campus. I apologize for the frustration this mistake regarding enrollment numbers caused.
Each year we closely plan our scheduling procedures and attempt to implement a process that is equally efficient and effective. This Fall particularly, we have heard concerns from a number of students and parents; primarily dissatisfaction with the availability of certain course offerings. Here are some of the challenges and issues related to scheduling,