Ravenswood City School District

Superintendent's Message on Leases

Superintendent's Message on Leasestitle

Why is RCSD leasing these two sites?

Why is RCSD leasing these two sites?
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A 2019 report from Education Resouce Strategies (ERS) found that Ravenswood is the only district in San Mateo County that does not have access to a high local tax base (see graph below). Across San Mateo County, 40% of students are considered unduplicated - meaning that they are either English Language Learners, Foster youth, or eligible for reduced price meals. However, in Ravenswood, 94% of students met that criteria; all of our schools have over 85% of students eligible for free or reduced price lunch. Of the other 150+ traditional public schools in the county, there is only one other school with more than 85% free or reduced price lunch. 
 
Before the latest round of stimulus funds, which were largely allocated based on student need, Ravenswood - when accounting for student need - received approximately half the revenue per pupil as other local elementary school districts such as Brisbane, Menlo Park, Las Lomitas,Hillsborough, Portola Valley, and Woodside (see figure below).
ERS Analysis of Expenditures Per Weighted Pupil
This funding inequity is most visible in differences in compensation. For example, in Menlo Park the max teacher salary is $131,664 and in Palo Alto it is $144,239. In Ravenswood, before these leases were contemplated, the top teacher salary was $96,818. This means that veteran teachers in Palo Alto would make 50% than veteran teachers in East Palo Alto. Over the course of their careers, this results in over a million dollars less for our teachers. Historically, this significant disparity has meant that Ravenswood has lost over 40% of our teachers in the first five years of their tenure. 
 
Leasing these two sites will not close these funding inequities - but it will make a sizable dent in it. Absent changes to make funding in the state and county more equitable, these leases are Ravenswood's only path to have similar levels of sustainable expenditures with surrounding districts. On the assumption that these leases will go into effect - with philanthropic support for the first few years - we have reached an agreement with our teachers union that will begin to compensate our teachers at similar levels to neighboring communities. 
Process

Process
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The district has been working on possible uses for both sites since the Flood school closed in 2011. Over time, multiple uses have been contemplated for the former Flood school site including a private school, teacher housing, a park, a reservoir, and countless other ideas. Similarly, with 2120 Euclid there have been various possible uses for the site. 
 
The district has publicly discussed plans for the site at numerous board meetings over the last year. In early May of 2021, the Board approved a resolution to lease both sites, authorizing JLL -- a leading global real estate brokerage firm -- to run an open procurement process for the site. JLL worked on reviewing the site, developing marketing materials, and sharing information with over 50+ possible partners for the site. This culminated in a public RFP that the district issued, with unanimous board approval, on 10/29/21 (links below).
Proposals

Proposals
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The board authorized the district to hire JLL, one of the leading commercial brokerage firms, to conduct an open procurement process. They spoke with over a hundred developers interested in both sites. This culminated in a public procurement process – the RFP you can view on our website or may have seen in a newspaper. Each site received a number of legitimate proposals, and some were invited to interview. The board was involved in reviewing these various proposals and ultimately recommended entering into exclusive negotiations with two proposals, one for the Flood School Site and one for 2120 Euclid.
 
The district is currently working on formalizing an agreement with Alliant Strategic and Madison Capital - more information about each is included in the links below. Together, these leases - along with our existing leases and the continued support of the Ravenswood Education Foundation (REF) -- can help us close the funding inequities in San Mateo. Without these supports, as the graph below shows, Ravenswood would have the lowest amount of per pupil funding in the county. With the leases, we're able to get to the average level of funding of districts in the county. While this doesn't entirely close these funding inequities, it makes a significant dent in them and begins to allow Ravenswood to stand on its own two feet. 

Impact of leases on per pupil funding in San Mateo

*Weighted pupil is the state's funding formula measure for accounting for the level of student need. Students with greater levels of need have greater overall "weights" within their system. While this likely understates the overall level of need across districts, it is a reasonable and standardized proxy for accounting for need between districts.

Community Meetings

Community Meetings
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  • Los Robles Ronald McNair* - Jan 11
  • Costano School - Jan 18 3:30-4:30pm
  • Cesar Chavez Ravenswood Middle School* - Jan 18 4 - 5pm
  • Belle Haven* - Jan 27, 4:30-5:30pm
  • Classified School Employees Association* -
  • Ravenswood Teachers Association* -
  • Community Meeting on 2120 Euclid^ - 
  • Community Meeting on Flood School Site^ - 
*School Community Only
^Open to Public