This is from the Board work session on the Student Assignment Plan on Wednesday afternoon, April 8.
The latest proposal for determining access to "Option" schools (what we now call Alternative schools) would be: 1) siblings, 2) geographic zone, 3) lottery.
The Geographic Zone would be a defined area in proximity to the school. So students who live close enough to TOPS to be in the TOPS Geographic Zone would practically be assured of access to the school (presuming there's room left in the class after siblings enroll). It is unclear, or, more precisely, undetermined, how large the geographic zones would be.
First question: what is your reaction to granting students who live nearby preferred access to option schools? It happens now at TOPS and I believe the Center School has or had a distance tie-breaker.
These are the Option schools:
Jane Addams, AS #1, ORCA, Pathfinder, Salmon Bay, South Shore, Thornton Creek, TOPS, The Center School, Cleveland High School, and NOVA.
Yes. You read that right. Cleveland High School would become an Option school. That's the proposal. It would become a STEM school, focusing on Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math. The District intends to duplicate the Ballard Bio-Tech Academy there. There is a belief that this will make Cleveland more attractive to a larger population.
Second question: Would Cleveland be an attractive choice for you if it were a STEM school?
The District calculates that they now have a surplus of about 1,100 seats in the comprehensive high schools. They expect this surplus to grow to about 1,400 next year and to 1,800 in five years. Surely this indicates an excessive surplus that would recommend closing a comprehensive high school, wouldn't it? Yet the recommendation from the staff is to keep all of the comprehensive high schools open.
Third question: If this level of over-capacity would trigger the closure of elementary schools, K-8's or middle schools, shouldn't it also trigger the closure of a high school?