State College Area School District

Our Mission: To prepare students for lifelong success through excellence in education

5/12/08 Board Work Session Minutes

May 12, 2008
7:30 p.m. Board Room
131 W. Nittany Ave.
State College, PA 16801


Rick Madore, board president, called the work session to order at 7:39 pm.

Board members present: Lou Ann Evans, David Hutchinson, Rick Madore, Ann McGlaughlin, Jim Pawelczyk, Donna Queeney, Gowen Roper, Chris Small, Dorothea Stahl

Board members absent:

Board secretary: Mary Jenn Dorman


Superintendent: Patricia Best

District Personnel: Julie Backstrom, Randy Brown, Pamela Francis, Michael Hardy, Tim Linden, Ed Poprik, Van Swauger, Dennis Younkin

Guests: Robert Crum, Gordon DeYoung, Mary Marino, Dena Pauling, Shelby Stewman

Patricia Best introduced Dr. Shelby Stewman, Stewman Demographics, and announced that Dr. Stewman did a study for the district before and was back to report on a new study he completed for the district for projections of the ten-year period, 2008-2017.

A. Dr. Shelby Stewman
Dr. Stewman had given materials to board members prior to the work session. He gave a clarification for tables 17, 18, 19, 20, and 21. These tables were upgraded due to un-graded children. He explained the analysis would consist of three parts: an overview, the grade specific school district projections for the ten–year period, 2008-2017, and specific student projections for the elementary schools and middle schools. He instructed board members to ask questions or make comments as the presentation was given.

Dr. Stewman’s overview described the five significant demographic and economic processes in the last decade and the effects on the expected number of students: a small increase in the level of births, kindergarten entry and grade 12 exit process per year – reflecting the significance of migration and housing, a substantial decrease in private school enrollments at the elementary level, a shift in the distribution of both births and new housing in the district – but each in different locations, and increase in housing construction (single family dwellings) in prior years and a decrease in the current housing construction with a massive backlog once the market recovers.

He reviewed the strategy for the district in each municipality, the housing, the rate of development and the development plans. Spoke on homes actually built verses the number projected for the development and the years for the development to be complete. Dr. Stewman stressed that the most important housing development for him, was the single family dwelling due to providing the most impact for children. A board member asked why the difference in numbers projected between PDE number (7547) and Dr. Stewman’s number (7157)? PDE continues to increase births; Dr. Stewman does not and, PDE cannot take housing into account.

Dr. Stewman reviewed the various tables provided in his report and the process used for the tables to show how it works out. He discussed the elementary schools and the use of the attendance boundaries. The district does have flexibility to set and/or move boundaries. The pressure does seem to be in the West side.

Dr. Best thanked Dr. Stewman for his thorough report and also introduced Dr. Gordon DeYoung. Dr. DeYoung commented on the report given as very strong, well done, and he was quite satisfied, feeling the 10-year accuracy will be strong. He expanded on the PDE report by saying that they use births and growth ratio. Dr. Stewman incorporated a third, fertility. Dr. DeYoung thinks development delays will be found in State College, maybe not Bellefonte; the analysis on the private schools, charter, and cyber schools is not used by PDE but is very helpful information; and the third plus was the analysis on the housing development. Children go to school, houses don’t.

Further discussion occurred on a census, realtors providing information to school district, the percentage of people moving in and out of the district, projections should not go beyond ten-years, not projecting a generation out, suggestion of time frame to do another analysis, and the district can be flexible about the growth. A copy of Dr. Stewman’s report, with corrected pages, is part of the official minutes.

B. Mr. Robert Crum
Mr. Crum, Director of Centre Region Planning Agency, did not focus on school age children but presented some idea of the growth trends in the area. With a PowerPoint presentation, he reviewed the growth region, most of the future growth would happen within, not outside the region, being smart about land use planning, the growth forecast – parcel by parcel, how much land there was and what type of building and timing of the building, and all based on current zoning, no rezoning assumed. He reviewed aerial photos to show the key “hot spots” in the community, discussed Science Park to Blue Course Drive area, Saybrook, Landings, Halfmoon Acres, Liberty Hall, the Impt planned community, and others.

Mr. Crum spoke of growth county-wide, the effect of I99 for an efficient commute to work, growth outside State College could effect our growth, places effected by lack of sewage and water, losing some key office space with developments, and Work Force Housing – affordable housing for medium income ($150,000 - $225,000 range). A copy of the PowerPoint presentation and other handout materials is part of the official minutes.

No public comment. Dr. Madore thanked those that presented and attended.

The work session adjourned at 10:33 pm. Dr. Madore announced there would be an Executive Session, 6:00 pm, prior to the regular meeting, Monday, May 19.

Submitted by,

Mary Jenn Dorman
Board Secretary