Table of Contents
Revenue Purpose Statement (RPS) vote on March 2
Q1 - What is a rps? Why are we voting on it?
- A Revenue Purpose Statement (RPS) is a document that, with voter support, would give the Fort Madison Community School District continued access to state funds for building improvements at no additional cost to taxpayers.
Q2 - How will the rps and save funds help our students?
- The RPS and SAVE funds will help our students by improving learning environments for ALL students of FMCSD, from PK-12.
- These initiatives will also increase staff collaboration and efficiency with groupings of similar-aged students and programs.
Q3 - How do I vote?
- Polling hours are 7:00 AM – 8:00 PM
- Places to vote include: Fort Madison Public Library, Grace Bible Church, and West Point American Legion Hall
Q4 - What work could be completed for PK-12th grade students & teachers?
- Addition of PK-1 specialized learning environments and multi-purpose spaces at the current MS site
- Improved site traffic slow at both the current MS and HS sites
- Addition of outdoor play areas for PK-1 and grades 2-6 at the MS site
- Additions of 7/8 grade specialized learning environments, gymnasium and locker rooms at the HS site
- Remodeled student commons area and kitchen services at the HS site
- New main entry and site circulation for improved safety, security at the HS site
Community Engagement Panels
Additional Information about Funding
Sales Tax Revenue Bonds (SAVE)
- Requires Revenue Purpose Statement (RPS); 50%+1 voter approval
- Authority to spend, no specific project
- Once RPS approved, board does not need voter approval to borrow
- Maximum term of borrowing = 20 to 25 years
Capital Loan Notes – PPEL
- Physical Plant & Equipment Levy; Typically $0.67 to $1.34
- Requires 1 ballot question to implement; 50%+1 voter approval
- Once implemented, the board does not need voter approval to borrow
- Maximum term per ballot is 10 years.
Voted General Obligation (G.O.) Bonds
- Requires 1 ballot question if property tax levy is $2.70 or less
- Requires 2 ballot questions if levy exceeds $2.70
- Requires 60% voter approval for a specified project
- Previously accumulated SAVE or PPEL funds
Q1 - Would moving the elementary students to the bluff road property cause issues with bussing in the near or long term?
Q2 - What would happen to the existing elementary school buildings and their sites?
Q1 - How is this plan any different than the past plans that failed?
The goals of this plan were to identify the highest need as viewed by the ADHOC Committee community group, and identify a master plan solution that would allow for solving that need in a first phase with no additional taxes. This plan focuses on the relocation of the PK-3 students out of Richardson and Lincoln, by utilizing additions and renovations at the High School, and Middle School. This allows for housing of all of our students without the need for a new building. These additions and renovations not only result in a grade realignment of district to PK-6 and 7-12, but also give an opportunity for ALL students/grade levels to benefit from both phase 1 and phase 2 work.
Q2 - If we add more students to the HS site and more to the Bluff Rd. site, won't those two sites be too crowded to function?
In addition to the current issues of congestion and traffic flow, considerations for traffic for additional students has been considered in this plan. Refinements to existing site circulation at the middle school are planned to alleviate current queuing needs, and support of additional student. At the existing High School site circulation for parent, bus, and student parking are all enhanced in the phase 1 scope of work. This solution results in a drastically improved flow of traffic through clear isolation of each traffic flow from the others, as well as enhancements to queuing and access to the site from the surrounding neighborhoods.
Q3 - Does this plan allow for Pre Kindergarten to be housed in district facilities?
Yes. Currently the Pre Kindergarten (Pre-K) program is housed separated from the other primary and elementary programs. In this plan, the Pre-K program will be housed within the existing middle school facility which will serve grades Pre-K thru 6th grades.
Q4 - What are the district functional needs?
While each campus has its specific needs, there are a variety of functional needs, identified by both the planning team, and the administrative teams that must be solved in order to ensure Ft. Madison students are able to receive a future focused learning experience. Common across the district are a lack of student common areas, adequate hands on learning areas, small group and interventional spaces, sufficient gym and cafeteria zones at the elementary, as well as varied issues related to secured entry and administration areas, poor site circulation for both traffic and students. A future focused masterplan as has been developed by the ADHOC group can begin to solve those functional deficiencies and also provide opportunities maximizing opportunities for all students and grade levels.
Q7 - What are the district physical needs?
Q5 - What would happen if these needs are not addressed?
If a comprehensive master plan solution is not implemented, the district will be required to continue to maintain and utilize the existing facilities. With aging systems, and insufficient spaces to sufficiently support future focused learning initiatives, Ft. Madison students will be at a disadvantage relative to the programs and educational experiences which they can enjoy.
Q6 - Why is retiring the two elementary schools, Lincoln and Richardson, so important?
21st century learning is dramatically hindered with the conditions of the current elementaries including but not limited to: size and condition of learning spaces, lack of proper gym and cafeteria spaces, and failing internal systems – including heating and cooling systems at the end of life. In addition to efforts to mitigate these system failures through “band aid” solutions, and the limitations of the functionality as outlined above, by having he elementary students separated K-3, the teachers are unable to fully collaborate with other grade level teachers, or create a more consistent elementary experience for all learners in the Ft. Madison schools. This results in limitations to program offerings to these grade levels and major inefficiencies for specials programs that require hours of teacher travel, limiting the ability for scheduling and more exposure to current and future specials programs such as art, music, and STEM.
Q7 - With the FMHS site becoming a 7-12 site, would the JH students be separated from the HS students?
Yes, one of the advantages of the existing high school site serving the 7-12 population is the way in which it will provide opportunities for facility and program efficiencies, otherwise duplicated if these student groups were separated. The intention of the solution is to maximize shared use resources, however, this will all be done with a clear goal of keeping the junior high students separate from the high school students. Classroom spaces, administrative offices, locker rooms, etc. would be separate and have no shared aspects other than a shared roof. Spaces such as gymnasiums, fine arts, hands on learning areas, kitchen, etc. will allow controlled access by both groups, maximizing the use of those spaces to as many periods as possible, resulting in operational savings for the district.
Q8- Will this plan require more taxes?
Implementation of phase 1 of this masterplan will not require additional taxes.
Q9 - Would this plan end up with more, less or the same square footage per student across the district?
Overall, there would be approximately 2,000sf more across the district as a whole. However, it must be noted that the current square footage of the district is not sufficient to support programs and student needs. The Elementary school gyms and cafeterias are quite undersized, administration areas are separated from main entry point at the high school, and programs like STEM, or even the Pre Kindergarten programs are not properly supported in the district’s current square footage. While there may be spaces in various buildings that are unused, this plan aims to locate spaces where they are needed, maximizing program support, and minimizing the building area required to accomplish that.
Q10 - What educational improvements are students going to experience?
A key to this plan is that all aged students, Pre Kindergarten – 12th grade, will experience improvements. All elementary students will get the advantage of no longer being in the district’s worst two facilities. This will provide them better learning environments, better commons areas, proper physical education areas, and much more robust outdoor learning opportunities. Middle school students will get better access to resources currently only available to the HS students as well as updated 21st century learning environments. In addition to the shared use of enhanced spaces added at the high school to serve the middle school students, including new middle school gym, high school students will get an updated safe and secure campus through better traffic flow, and an updated secured entry/admin area, and additional support for special education programs.
Q14 - What does drop off and pick up look like at the two campuses?
NEEDED see question 4 as well
Q15 - How will district transportation work?
NEEDED see question 1 as well
Q11 - Will this plan improve teachers' abilities to deliver high quality education?
Yes. In addition to elementary specials (art, music, STEM) teachers no longer needing to travel between buildings, grade level classroom teachers will also have the opportunity to plan, and collaborate with all other grade level teachers. This will allow for a more equitable delivery to all elementary students, and allow for more program opportunities to be realized today and into the future.
Q12 - Will the community vote on this plan?
Q13 - Operational efficiencies
Janitorial, kitchen, etc.- This will decrease staff and increase individual productivity within the district in the short term.
Q14 - How does this affect teachers who travel?
The goal is to minimize, if not totally eliminate the need for teachers to travel between buildings.
Q15 - Why has the district changed the original plan of building a new PK-3 building?
After the failure of the previous referendum plans, and the feedback received, the district felt it important to go back to the drawing board and take a deeper look at the facility needs across the district. Completed QLEO analysis, completed some board led work, and ultimately formed a community ADHOC committee to study the qleo results and provide feedback and direction as to what the best plan would be. Ultimately this group determined that a two building masterplan solution that retired the two elementary school’s as soon as possible, moving those students to the other two buildings with additions was the best solution for the district as a whole.
Q16 - What is the timeline for making these changes?
If the ADHOC committee recommended plan is adopted at the regular BOE meeting on 3/15/21 – design work for phase 1 would begin in Spring of 2021 with release of documents for bidding to occur late 2021 or early 2022. Ultimately the goal is to have the addition and renovation work completed to allow for students to be relocated into the new PK-6 / 7-12 alignment by the fall of 2023. Phase 2, which would involve the completion of additional additions and renovations to support district needs beyond the most urgent need of vacating the existing elementary schools would require further action by the district and the BOE to secure additional funding at that time likely by a bond referendum.
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