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Case Document

Robertson County Schools Agreement - August 2015

Document Type
Settlement/Consent Decree

Robertson County Schools Agreement - August 2015

Agreement Regarding Robertson County Schools
Secondary Student Assignment Plan

Pursuant to Paragraph 7 of the Settlement Agreement entered by the United States and the Robertson County Schools ("District") on February 6, 2015, the parties agree to the following secondary student assignment plan.

1. Beginning in School Year (SY) 2016-17, the District will assign secondary school students according to the attendance zone lines depicted in Attachment A. If the conditions set forth in paragraph 5 below are not met by the timeline specified therein, the District will assign secondary students according to the zone lines in Attachment B.
2. The District will develop and operate a magnet school program at Springfield Middle School. This magnet program will operate beginning the first day of SY 2016-17 and continuing each year thereafter.
a. The District will hire a consultant with expertise in the development and operation of magnet programs to guide the District in developing its magnet program, applying for grants, and ensuring fidelity of implementation. The District will confer with the United States regarding the selection of the magnet consultant and will retain the magnet consultant no later than September 15, 2015, unless the United States objects to the District's proposed consultant. If the United States objects, the parties will have 30 days to reach agreement on another consultant.
b. The magnet program will be a Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) program that builds and improves upon the Springfield Middle School's
existing STEM program.
c. To provide further financial support for its magnet program, the District will apply for a federal Magnet Schools Assistance Program ("MSAP") Grant at the next available application cycle, which is anticipated to be between December 2015 and April2016. The District may seek funding from additional sources, including other grant programs and the Robertson County Commission.
d. At least 90 days prior to applying for the MSAP grant and no later than February 1, 2016, the District will develop a magnet program proposal and submit it to the United States for review. The United States will have 60 days to object to the plan, submit comments, or consent to it as is. This proposal will include:
a. Magnet Program Design
1. Incorporation of community viewpoints and interests from a diversity of stakeholders, including parents, students, teachers, and staff from across the District;
2. Identification of local resources and potential community partnerships that can strengthen the magnet program;
3. A program design that is authentic, including distinctive themes and/or instructional methods and identification of course content to be developed and strengthened;
4. A facilities plan identifying structural components necessary to the successful operation of the magnet program (e.g., STEM labs); and
5. Detailed assessment of how the magnet program design and administration will further (1) school desegregation and (2) quality
of education in the District;
b. Magnet Program Application, Enrollment, and Retention
1. A commitment to reserving at least 60% of the magnet program seats for students who live within the Springfield Middle School zone, to opening the remaining seats to applicant students from all other zones in the District, to enrolling a desegregated student body through the magnet program, and to operating the magnet
program in a manner that furthers the desegregation of Springfield Middle School (e.g., integrating magnet school students with non magnet school students in non-magnet courses, specials, lunch, recess, assemblies, extracurricular activities, and field trips);
2. Recruitment plans and admissions and enrollment policies and procedures designed with a high probability of attracting applicants consistent with desegregation goals;
3. Specific plans for outreach, recruitment, and retention of a desegregated student enrollment in the magnet program;
4. Demonstrated capacity and intent to conduct an admissions and enrollment process that is transparent, fair, flexible, and furthers desegregation goals; and
5. A transportation plan that ensures the magnet program is accessible to all students in the District;
c. Magnet Program Faculty
1. Retention of a magnet coordinator with experience in operating magnet programs who will be responsible for the operation of the Springfield Middle School magnet program;
2. A plan to staff the magnet program with adequate levels of faculty who have experience and professional credentials aligned with the program design; and
3. Strategies for continued recruitment and retention of a diverse and
highly qualified magnet program faculty;
d. Magnet Program Implementation Plan
1. Detailed description of new courses and instructional content to be added to support the Springfield Middle School magnet program;
2. Detailed plans for providing new and ongoing professional development aligned with the magnet theme to program faculty;
3. Financial plan to support the professional development, facilities, and content needs of the program; and
4. Facilities plan identifying, with implementation timeframes, necessary structural repairs and enhancements, a detailed supplies and equipment checklist, and necessary material supports.
3. Beginning in the spring of2016 and each spring thereafter, the District will allow students from all attendance zones within the District to apply for the magnet program, and if selected, to enroll at Springfield Middle School in SY 2016-17 and thereafter.
a. Beginning in SY 2016-2017, the District will make available at least 100 seats for students in the Springfield Middle School magnet program and will aim to expand the magnet program to at least 220 students by SY 2018-2019. The District will reserve at least 60% of magnet program seats for students who live within the Springfield Middle School attendance zone.
b. The District will set the following minimum targets for recruiting students from outside the Springfield Middle School attendance zone to attend the magnet program: 20 students in SY 2016-17; 50 students in SY 2017 -18; and 70 students in SY 2018-19 and in each year thereafter.
c. If the number of applicants for the magnet program exceeds the capacity of Springfield Middle School, the District will use a computerized weighted and
random lottery selection process to select applicants and achieve a desegregated enrollment at Springfield Middle School, and will ensure that the lottery process is conducted with fairness and integrity.
d. The District will allow students who enroll in the Springfield Middle School magnet program to enroll at Springfield High School. The District will identify a progression plan for magnet students to continue STEM education at Springfield High School, which may consist of a comprehensive high school magnet
program. Footnote 1
4. In the spring of 2016 and each spring thereafter, the District will implement a marketing and recruitment strategy at least 90 days before the application deadline for the Springfield Middle School magnet program including:
a. Development of a web page, accessible through the District's website providing detailed information about the magnet program, application procedures, and application and acceptance dates;
b. Activities designed to reach and recruit diverse populations within the District, such as advertisements through local media and outreach through community organizations, open houses, and parent information nights at each elementary school in the District;
c. The District will provide transportation to students residing outside of the Springfield Middle School zone who are accepted into the magnet program from designated pick-up points that are not burdensome on students and do not negatively affect their willingness to apply to the magnet program; and
d. The District will continue its efforts to hire and/or assign diverse faculty who are well qualified and experienced in areas relevant to the magnet program to staff the magnet program.
5. If the District does not achieve a desegregated enrollment in the magnet program at Springfield Middle School that draws at least 70 students or 25% of its enrollees, whichever is greater, from outside the Springfield Middle School zone by the acceptance deadline for SY 2017-18 or 90 students or 30% of its enrollees, whichever is greater, from outside this zone by the acceptance deadline for SY 2018-19, the District will revise its attendance zones to further desegregation at Springfield Middle School as provided in Attachment B. The District also will implement a fully funded plan to improve Springfield Middle School's and Springfield High School's facilities and course offerings (including but not lin1ited to expanding courses that prepare students for college and careers, such as Advanced Placement courses) and these schools' student performance outcomes (including but not limited to expanding instructional activities, within or outside of school hours, to assist struggling students meet grade-level standards).

For the United States of America:

Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General
EVE L. HILL Deputy Assistant Attorney General
SARAH HINGER, Trial Attorney
Civil Rights Division
Educational Opportunities Section
601 D Street, N.W., Suite 4300
Washington, DC 20530
Phone: (202) 514-0969

For the Robertson County Schools:
Director of Schools James M. Davis
Chairman, Robertson County Board of Education
Charles W. Cagle, Esq., Counsel to Robertson County Schools
Lewis, Thomason, King, Krieg & Waldrop, P.C.
424 Church Street, Suite 2500
Nashville, TN 37219
Phone: (615) 259-1366

Footnote 1: For example, under Paragraph 2.c above, the District may apply for an MSAP grant to support a STEM magnet program at Springfield High School in addition to Springfield Middle School.

robertsonagree2.pdf (10.97 MB)

Updated April 18, 2023