Between the using income for diversity thread and the assignment plan thread, we certainly have had a lively conversation. We can all see that there are some resentments, misunderstandings and general lack of knowledge/information out there. I think we can all agree that when you are talking about your child's education and access to educational benefits it is a deeply heartfelt and personal conversation. (By the way, by lack of knowledge I don't mean that in a disparaging manner. It is difficult to keep up with everything, no one can possibly know everything about each school and high school can seem far away when your children are in elementary.) Keep in mind; School Board Directors HAVE to take a district view and so their view is wide-ranging and has to keep a sort of "greater good" and fairness emphasis (regional differences are naturally part of the discussion to be sure).
As I said, I think I'll send e-mail to the Board and the Superintendent alerting them to our discussions. I think there is a wide range of concerns from many areas of the city and it might be useful for them to read them when making their considerations. We already know that Brita Butler-Wall reads this blog and I know that Michael de Bell makes an effort to as well.
Someone had suggested that we get to elementary/middle school enrollments since they are the most likely to get changed. I think, in some ways, we can see similar problems from the elementary to middle school path in some areas. Eckstein is always overcrowded and it will be interesting to see, if a neighborhood enrollment plan is selected, what outcome a new Hamilton building will have. Hamilton will already have set-aside seats for John Stanford kids enrolling in the language program, Spectrum seats and, by then, possibly APP seats. I know the building is being built for 900-1000 so I wonder how it will play out in additional seats in the NE.
I note that some discussion has been around the rising enrollments in elementary in the NE. I did try to point out earlier in the year that maybe a couple of elementaries might have been put on the BEX III list (like McGilvra or Laurelhurst or Rodgers) but it didn't happen. Someone mentioned that there might be new elementary buildings in the NE by 2030 (I'd call it about 2017-20) but, as was also said, it may be too late by then if the demographics play out as they have been. That or we go to more portables at more schools. (Some noted that they don't care about portables as long as capacity was there. The problem is that portables become permanentables. Eckstein has had theirs for years (probably decades). They are cold or hot and drafty. Safety (in these times) is a real issue as it is difficult to set up good communications between portables and the main building. Also, the multiple lunch hours are a real problem. Be careful what you wish for.)
So what are the concerns for a neighborhood plan for elementary and middle schools?