Thursday, December 17, 2009

Transition Plan (Part 2)

Tracy had 75 slides. Holy cow! She was very careful to try to cover every situation and it showed.

Okay, what do we suppose is one the barriers to our NSAP and the transition? Yes, it's the VAX. Mr. Kennedy says they are making progress but it's still a problem and yes, they will be using it for assignments (hopefully) one last time. (Sherry really gave them an out by saying, "You'll let us - the Board - know if we bumps into any VAX issues in our questioning." I mean, you could blame the VAX for almost anything. Handy.)

Slide 6 reflects "We are unable to support additional scope (scope creep). Coding is currently underway and changes would result in project failure and our inability to support Open Enrollment."

Slide 8 started the discussion of the Transition Plan and I find it somewhat vague. This is for one year only and there will be subsequent transition steps in years to follow. How they follow depends on the enrollment patterns. They might move faster if people tend to follow their attendance area assignments.

Highlights
  • "All current students and all new students who register early will get an assignment letter at the end of February before Open Enrollment starts." This is pretty big as I didn't think you would get an assignment letter early as well. Open Enrollment has been extended to Jan. 15th.
  • Assignment letters for Open Enrollment assignments will be mailed at the end of May 2010.
  • Waitlists stay active until September 30th and you can apply to attend or change your assignment if available space at that school through then.
  • Assignments for available space are first come, first serve through September 30th and tiebreakers do NOT apply
  • Harium pointed out that the parent survey only asked for sibs for one year and that it seemed shortsighted. (He was listening to us, folks.) Tracy kind of waffled that the logic was that it wouldn't be useful data because people move around. (Really? that's the answer?) So Kay asked if in the future they would do it and Tracy said yes, they would add sib questions to the registration form to capture data and use it.
  • Open Choice seats for High School are starting at 10% for only the 9th grade target enrollment size. DeBell asked if this was a staff recommendation and Tracy said yes, for the first year but not necessarily for full implementation. She said that they would not fill every empty seat, though.
  • They are going to maintain the Barnhart/Waldman amendment for processing this time. That means (and this is important), that for this enrollment year, that if you put down a second choice and don't get your first choice, you will be assigned to that second choice as if you put it first. This amendment allowed parents to take a chance on a school that might be harder to get into without losing a more stable choice. The new plan will be to "process all first choices first, then second choices, etc.".
  • The new plan will have a "keep siblings together" option to have them at the same school. This is only good for Open Enrollment (not after). Now, this doesn't mean you will necessarily get the school you want for both but that they will keep them together somewhere.
  • The new plan will automatically put you on the waitlist for your first choice and no other. However, don't forget, for 2010-2011 enrollment, the Barnhart-Waldman amendment applies so you can pick a different waitlist from your first choice.
  • I was confused over the "students who move" slide #37. Could someone who attended help me out?
Gifts (I'm calling them this because they are a big change from the old system)
  • New students to the district after September 30th are assigned to their attendance area school (or linked school) only. Now this is gift because newcomers to the district normally had to take a seat at whereever there space. Obviously this means that most schools will not be entirely full. Keep that in mind. However, it was clarified that it also means no newcomer to the district after September 30th can apply to an Option school even if there is space. (Tracy says it is a VAX problem and that after it is cleared, they can consider that kind of assignment for a newcomer.)
  • Early entrance to kindergarten applicants will be processed at the same time as any other kindergarten applicant.
  • Spectrum/APP seats. Students can test in fall/winter with results back in time for enrollment. That isn't new. However, newcomers to the district can come in and if they were attending a school with a similar program, the Advanced Learning department can grant them entrance to Spectrum or APP. Naturally, this is fraught with some issues (like can they show they did test into their school's program even if the program itself wasn't similar to Spectrum or APP?) but this is new.
  • No geographic zones for Option schools for 2010-2011. Huge gift. See below.
Tiebreakers for 2010-2011
  • for elementary attendance area - after sibling, it is "lives in attendance area/grandfathering at another school" and then lottery. Same for middle and high school.
  • NO GEOGRAPHIC ZONE FOR OPTION SCHOOLS. This is huge. The reason? They ran out of time and couldn't have them done in time for tours at Option Schools. That means it's a free for all and if you want a certain Option school, now's the time. That also means your other children will now be able to come to that school as well under the sibling tiebreaker (or very likely). They won't be saving on transportation costs here.
  • there are different tiebreakers for Montessori, Spectrum and APP. Refer to the presentation.
Grandfathering

I hesitate to write on this as I was gone when this was discussed. It seems clear that on the one hand they want to do right:

"Accommodate non-attendance area K students in older siblings' schools to the greatest reasonable extent."
"Assure families that elementary school siblings will not be required to attend different schools."

There were slides about surge capacity strategies (including putting office space in RV's, no kidding). If these strategies don't work, there are 2 Transition Rules.

Rule #1. It seems they are putting some onus on parents. Slide 49 is about parents needing to make a request to be assigned to the younger sibling's attendance area school. A key word here is "just". It sounds like if you apply for the incoming K student "just" at the older sib's school during Open Enrollment but get assigned to the attendance area school, the older sib will be assigned to the attenance area school of the younger "upon request". "This would be done only if specifically requested by the family after Open Enrollment. The family could choose to exercise this option any time after Open Enrollment through September 30th."

Rule#2. If you apply for several schools during Open Choice and get assigned different ones, staff would (upon request) identify at least one school in the service area where families would be offered space for sibs. You could do this any time AFTER Open Enrollment through September 30th.

That certainly puts a lot of pressure on parents to (1) have this knowledge in mind and (2) remember to follow-thru. I think there should be a parent at every school who can explain this to their PTA/Community group. I wouldn't trust principals to take this all on.

I am not going to go through Transportation as I haven't read through it enough. Could someone who attended help me out here?

A lot to mull and muddle through.

Please read the Budget thread as well as it has implications for the NSAP and our entire district. I know, it's a lot. Read it at your leisure but please read it.

49 comments:

TechyMom said...

Wow. A lot to process. Is Tracy's presentation online? I couldn't find it. I'm particularly interested in this:

"there are different tiebreakers for Montessori, Spectrum and APP. Refer to the presentation. "

Melissa Westbrook said...

I would think it would be posted today.

SPSMom said...

Two comments, first it seems like MGJs biggest contribution to the discussion was to say that principals need to go to PTAs asap to review budgets. That to me sounds like another little jab to the "wealthly" PTAs, because as Melissa points out, some schools don't have PTAs and she knows that.

Second, I am still astonished that it was a parent (Meg Diaz) who shed so much light on how out of wack district staffing is and they still are trying to skirt the issue. The solution is at the John Standford Center, not in our schools. Why no director told Mr. Don Kennedy to get down to Tacoma and find out how they are able to run a district, very similar to ours, with so little admin staff is beyond me. We have the blueprint for a balanced budget less than 50 miles from home.

A 10% cut in staff, that's nickels, when there are dollar bills that could be cut.

I am betting there are a whole lot of staff downtown looking real busy right now...but that's the problem isn't, they really aren't all that busy are they?

Karrie said...

Melissa

As always, thank you for attending, taking great notes, and keeping us all informed.

I need some time to process this all...

SPSMom said...

Question:

Where are the savings from all the school closures?

Seattle said...

The presentation is now posted under the "News and Calendar" section of the Seattle Schools district site.

Here is a link:

http://www.seattleschools.org/area/board/09-10agendas/121609agenda/saptransitionpresentation.pdf

Limes said...

Question: By "first come first served", does that mean those who register on February 1st will have more chance than those on February 15? Or is this in reference to those registering after open enrollment has ended?

Melissa Westbrook said...

Sorry Limes, that is first come, first served AFTER open enrollment until September 30th.

Jane said...

thank you Melissa for your excellent coverage of the meeting and the issues!

Dorothy said...

correction. open enrollment is March.

zb said...

"New non-entry grade students will be assigned to their attendance area (or linked) elementary, middle, or high school."

Does "new student" mean any student not currently enrolled in SPS? (including private school students?)

(this is during the transition plan -- new students are guaranteed their reference area, while those attending an SPS school already, "grandfathered students" are not)

Aurora said...

A subset of siblings doesn't seem to be addressed-- younger siblings of kids "involuntarily" assigned somewhere other than the neighborhood/assignment plan school due to special needs... will these parents have to handle 2 different schools? I submitted a comment to TL on this during a comment period, asking that the younger sibling be allowed to attend the older kid's school as if it were the assingment plan school...

Melissa Westbrook said...

ZB, could you reference where you got that (what slide)? I think this is correct and as I said, there are some "gifts" in this plan and that may be one of them.

Dorothy said...

I know a family in even a more challenging situation than what Aurora says. In this case, the older child starts K next year, but there is a younger child with a disability. So that child, once in the system, will likely be in a linked school. So could the older child possibly be placed there now? Based on hypothetical placement of the younger sibling? Seems problematical, but would certainly be nice for a family in such a situation, to be part of one elementary school community instead of transfering older child or splitting kids unnecessarily.

Keepin'On said...

I am confused. Only kindergarden siblings are grandfathered in? No middle or high schoolers? I can think of a lot of PO'd people right about now who thought "Sibling grandfathering" meant ALL entry grade students, including 6th and 9th graders. Guess they have to hope that they can get one of the 30 or so open choice seats at the high schools, huh. If I read the plan correctly, out of area siblings will now eliminate a large number of open choice seats at the high schools. Which eliminates the concept of open choice. Hmm. Am I wrong? Am I missing something?

And, another question. How in the world are we supposed to be saving money, if the alts still get all city draws with transportation? Huh?

zb said...

Melissa: The "new to SPS" info is from slide #20.

"Keepin on": the all-city draw decreases the transportation savings, but doesn't eliminate them, and seems to have something to do with the earlier start times for TOPS/Salmon bay.

Slides 63-64 say that there will be a 9.4 M "returned to the classroom" over the next 5 years (less at first 'cause of transition costs) because of the new transportation plan.

zb said...

"Only kindergarden siblings are grandfathered in?"

The transition plan document doesn't seem to grandfather K siblings, in the sense of guaranteeing spots for them. They say that they'll try to put them in, but on slide #49,

"If the incoming K student applies just for the older sibling’s school during Open Enrollment and is assigned to the new attendance area school instead, the older sibling will be assigned to the attendance area school upon request . . ."

This implies, to me, that a K/older sibling pair will be guaranteed spots (if you ask) at their attendance area school, but not be "grandfathered" into the older sibs school.

They plan to manage capacity to squeeze in extra kids as needed to accommodate siblings, but the way they're talking, it seems like they'll do this at the attendance area school, not at the older sibs school.

ann said...

"Assignments for available space are first come, first serve through September 30th and tiebreakers do NOT apply"

Is this only for schools that have space. In other words for schools that do not have a waitlist?

Question: What if your child is enrolled in a school and you want to change schools the following year. For instance your child is in 9th grade at HS X, and wants to go to HS Z for 10th grade.

When do you apply? During open enrollment? Early enrollment?

StepJ said...

Sibling Grandfathering:

Parent groups pushed for grandfathering at all entry levels - K, 6, 9. However, the amendment to the NSAP in June limited the grandfathering to only elementary, or K.

Keepin'on

In the draft from the Work Session there is no sibling grandfathering at all, at any grade level.

You actually have a better chance at sibling admittance in high school because of the reserved open seats than any other level.

I'm not an expert at alts, or now termed Options -- but I think the only two remaining schools with all city draws (old plan) are Salmon Bay and TOPS. The proposal for grandfathered transportation is only for currently enrolled students, and only for five years at their current school. So as the years roll on the "city-wide" portion will decline to zero.

Even if you apply in 2010-2011 and get in - you won't have grandfathered transportation per the old plan. You will only have transportation as defined under the NSAP.

In the transportation presentation they are running approx. 68 more busses for elementary (Tier 2) than they are on Tier 1 (MS and HS.) I guess TOPS and Salmon Bay combined have 23 busses in Tier 2 - so if they can move them to Tier 1 it evens out the bus demand so that one bus and one driver can manage both a Tier 1 and Tier 2 morning and afternoon vs. just one Tier 2 in the morning and afternoon.

When students move to the next level of school or outside of the five years the transportation costs will decrease.

Ann:

For the period from Open Enrollment to Sept. 30 - first will be the wait list. If the wait list clears and then there is still space available it will be on a first come, first serve basis.

So if the wait list clears and there are still five spots available, the first five people to apply prior to Sept. 30 get the spots.

If you want to switch schools you would apply during Open Enrollment. However, if the school you want clears their wait list after Open Enrollment and still has seats avail. before Sept. 30 you could switch then too. Best odds though are to apply during Open Enrollment and either get in - or get on the wait list.

ann said...

Thank you StepJ.

One more question. Did I read correctly (on slide #20) that all new NON ENTRY GRADE students get assigned to their attendance area school?

If I read and interpreted that correctly this is new. I thought assignment was only guaranteed for K/6/9 students.

And, what does "new" mean? Is it only kids moving into the district? Or is it kids currently living in Seattle who are attending private schools or out of district schools?

Melissa Westbrook said...

Ann, you would apply to change high schools during open enrollment. Also,I'd check with Enrollment but all schools will generally carry a waitlist whether there is space at the time or not. There is a lot of movement in the first 3 weeks so space sometimes does become available. I always tell people to not give up because it is amazing how fast people give up and the waitlist will move.

And new means new to the district - you can be coming from private, moved from Bellevue or Boston.

Keepin'On said...

Thank you Step J. Very clear explanation of the district edu-speak.
So, it looks like no grandfathering of anyone, but that they will try to accomodate out of area siblings if possible, or they will assign both kids to the attendance area school.

Keepin'On said...

Oops - Thank you ZB too!

zb said...

But, this is all a "working plan", right? There's still room for change, and the board actually has to vote on the plan.

I think they're hoping that the technical issues of sibling grandfathering will be resolved, by managing capacity, people moving themselves around, . . . . But, underlying their logic is the neighborhood school idea -- they're listening about grandfathreing, because they accept the argument that elementary school kids need to be together (because of community/childcare/transportation). But, they're not supporting the use of sibling grandfathering in order to gain access to a "better" school (i.e. more popular).

I thought of another scenario -- now, a child can be grandfathered into a school, so that when they move, they are still guaranteed that school. If their sibling joins them at the school, but then, the family moves, would one sibling be "grandfathered" but the other have to operate under the NSAP? I think so, reading the working document.

dan dempsey said...

So where is the part in any of this that turns "Every School" into a quality school?

That is the "Transition" that apparently is omitted.

I thought that "Every school a quality school was the basis for this Student Assignment Plan. Seems that the cart is in front of the horse and given priorities in this district will remain so.

When it comes to deliverables, that one will not be delivered. The board is going to spend money and resources on Cleveland STEM to turn it into a different school.

I fail to see how current spending and planning is in any way aimed at making every school a quality school. Raising the number of coaches and RIFing more teachers is likely to reduce the quality of most schools.

Has transportation figured in busing from the AYP judged inadequate schools?

Charlie Mas said...

The "Every School a Quality School" is supposed to come from the curricular alignment. When all of the teachers are teaching the curriculum and thereby setting and maintaining the same high standards all across the district then every school will be a quality school.

I say that despite the fact that no one from the District has said that. Despite all of the talk about "quality" schools, no one has yet defined "quality" in a school, let alone quantified it or benchmarked it. It's the same problem as the "quality" teacher talk. Without quantifying it, assessing it, or benchmarking it, anyone who talks about this is just talking smack.

My definition of a quality school is one in which all students are taught at the frontier of their knowledge and skills and every student gets - at a minimum - the core curriculum of knowlege and skills that students need at that grade level. That definition can be met if the curricular alignment is achieved - complete with the differentiation for high performing students and the interventions and acceleration for low-performing students.

The District needs to prioritize their work and the their budget on this.

seattle citizen said...

Yes, the instruments we have seen come up lately (MAP, Alignment, RtI, and a focus on differentiation) all could combine to support the "quality" system Charlie describes, where students have certain standards to learn at each level, are assessed as to their current level, and are given developmental, at-level, or advanced lessons/materials/etc to meet their level where they are at. If they are below level, developmental work would hopefully be accelerated so they in fact catch up a level or two; if advanced, one would hope that that material would address deeper applications, etc of the "at level" standards rather than move up through the standards (so they are not merely getting 11th grade standards in their 10th grade class, that would be redundant when they enter llth grade)

The systems are mainly in place - MAP, IF it is used with other data, would serve to see where students are regarding various standards; alignment would provide the standards structure; RtL would hopefully address both behavioral standards AND ensure academic levels are addressed; differentiation would provide the tools for meeting student need.

The pieces that need strengthening are:
assessment - MAP needs correlatives, and what are they?

differentiation - the comonly understood differentiation usually address culture and style, not so much level. Tools for helping levels would be helpful.

Finally, as Charlie points out, as long as students are learning the expected standards, it shouldn't matter too much how those are reached. Alignment should focus on standards (curriculum: knowledge and skills) rather than strategies and pedagogy. But common strategies can help, too, where they serve to help students become familiar with commonly used strategies that help them, for instance some reading strategies etc might be "common" horizontally and vertically, and even used in Math or science.

If these are all in place, then ther would be a way to address some basic standards at different levels and assess where students are at in them.

Chris said...

Dumb question. When did "SAP" become "NSAP" and what does the N stand for?

SeattleMom said...

This transition plan just sounds so wishy washy that families still won't know whether siblings will be able to attend their current school until after open enrollment and perhaps the wait list process is over. Why even bother having a transition plan for siblings if SPS is not willing to commit to have *all* younger siblings attend the older siblings schools for the next 1, 2, or 3 years?

zb said...

"Why even bother having a transition plan for siblings if SPS is not willing to commit to have *all* younger siblings attend the older siblings schools for the next 1, 2, or 3 years?"

So that elementary school siblings can be placed in the same school. The transition plan does "guarantee" that elementary sibs will be able to attend the same school: In slide #49 they seem to guarantee that the older sib will be accommodated in the K-sibs attendance area school, which is a sib guarantee (remember that non-sibs in older grades do not have a right to attend their attendance area school). It just isn't the one that allows the new sib to join the older sib in their current school. They also state that this option will be available if the K-sib applies for the older-sibs current school, and does not garner space.

zb said...

I think the N in NSAP stands for "New" but I'm not sure. I can't cite to a slide.

SeattleMom said...

ZB,
What I meant by wishy washy is that they are keeping the back door open to put sibs into neither the older siblings nor the attendance area school, but into some other school that has open spaces for both. At least that's how I interpret the sentence under rule 2: "staff would (upon request) identify at least one school in the service area where families would be offered space for sibs". This in some ways sounds worse than what was originally written into the SAP before they took out and postponed the sibling grandfathering issue in June (at that time the language said that older kids were guaranteed to be able to move to younger sibs new attendance area school) and is probably little helpful to most families. But perhaps I am misunderstanding what is meant by rule #2 since it refers to Open Choice earlier on!?

Dorothy said...

At the presentation, I noticed that Tracy was clear to say that in the old system, the sibling "guarantee" was really a virtual guarantee and not really a guarantee. Just a side effect of the tiebreaker rules.

So y'all just thought it was a guarantee. It wasn't. So now, they are guaranteeing your kids can go to elementary school together. They just aren't promising where.

emeraldkity said...

that would certainly be convenient for the district.

Because they would just be fullfilling the parents " wishes" to not schelp to different neighborhoods for PTA meetings, et al.

Since all the schools " are aligned and equally excellent" ( cough-cough), shouldn't matter which one.

( I used to believe in Santa too)

zb said...

"At least that's how I interpret the sentence under rule 2: "staff would (upon request) identify at least one school in the service area where families would be offered space for sibs"."

I think this sounds wishy washy, too, except that I also thought that the other rule (slide #49) guaranteed an older sib their attendance area school (if the K-sib was attending it, and didn't get into the older sibs school).

But, this rule doesn't affect me. I think it would be good to get clarification, and I think that there's enough wishy washiness in the plan (i.e. a bunch of options seem "available upon request") that people who are trying to navigate the sib issue probably need to be actively managing/questioning their options.

Eastlake said...

So I just spent the last six months explaining to neighbors than the GeoZones will be an excellent solution to Eastlake's long-standing student displacement problem. Now GeoZones are dead while the old 20% distance-based placement at TOPS @ Seward has expired. We return to the days of Eastlake kids being bussed out of the neighborhood so kids from everywhere else can be bussed into Eastlake's school. We return to a District Assignment plan which de-populates Eastlake of students. Can anyone explain why Eastlake shouldn't feel like it just got flushed?

e_bethboram said...

My son is entering kindergarten next year and I was very disappointed to see the change to no geographic boundaries for option schools next year. Melissa what do you mean when you say "If you want a certain option school, now is the time, it is a free for all." Don't we have to wait until open enrollment to pick an option school? Do you have any advice for someone in my position - We want the option school and live very close by, clearly within what will be the geographic boundary.

Jaybird said...

Regarding geographic zones, it's not as if the district wouldn't want to enact them next year. It's just that with all of the other things they're doing, they simply are not able to draw the boundaries and get them approved by the Board, etc. by March open enrollment. I agree it's not right, but I don't see how the district can actually accomplish this in such a short time frame.

I can't see how the district is going through with the new student assignment plan without a new computer system, too. Unbelievable that so much of the transition plan depends on the capabilities of the VAX.

These new schools, too, are kind of a last minute addition and now the whole plan depends on them opening.

The whole process is a shambles, and has been mismanaged from the start.

Will families use the absence of a geographic zone around option schools next year to their advantage? Absolutely! I think SPS knows this, too, but they are unable to do anything about it; it's just another casualty in the push towards a NSAP.

Maureen said...

I don't really understand why the absence of Geographic Zones would be a "huge" deal (except for the very few people who live very close to the Option schools that carry long wait lists). They have been described as being 'very small' and 'very close' to the schools--at one point Tracy used 'the shadow of the school' as a description. It seems to me that some people are placing too large an emphasis (or hope) on Geographic Zones.

I do think that the Eastlake people should lobby to retain their 20% set aside for '09-'10--it seems like the bias this year is to retain things that were already in place (since they are stuck with the Vax). In any event, they all have a guaranteed seat at Montlake for next year, yes they will have to be offered busing, but so will many other kids throughout the city.

Melissa Westbrook said...

Eastlake, you and your neighbors should campaign to keep your kindergarten seats at TOPS. If they can't have the geographic zone up and running, it's the least they can do.

E-Beth, what I meant by "now" is this year is a great year to be enrolling because of the lack of geographic zones. Even if they are quite small when they are enacted, the lack of them means an even better chance to get into a option school. And once in, your child's sibs will get in as well.

I have seen the district put "NSAP" and mean new student assignment plan. It might be good to get some clarification so I'll ask at some point.

Andrew Siegel said...

Let me get this right: the folks who live in Eastlake have a guaranteed seat at an excellent elementary school (Montlake) and are complaining because they don't also have a guaranteed seat at a second excellent elementary school (TOPS). In a system that has enough good elementary schools for less than half its students, I call that being a piggy.

dj said...

Eastlake, you shouldn't feel like you just got flushed because your neighborhood is guaranteed assignment to an excellent elementary, middle, and high school path. Would that all Seattle families were so "flushed."

You can look at the maps for Stevens and Lowell and see that there are a lot of elementary kids in the central area who do not have an elementary school that they can walk to. Eastlake kids are hardly on their own little island with respect to this.

reader said...

I can see Eastlake's point. Why should a whole bunch of people... trying to escape their neighborhood, have the option to push out people living in the Eastlake neighborhood? TOPs isn't all that alternative, it's simply an escape hatch for people who don't like the kids in their own neighborhoods. You hear it all the time... I don't like Muir, Leschi, Hawthorne, Madrona, xxx (fill in the blank)... hopefully I can get into TOPs. This pushes out Eastlakers. Notably, you do NOT hear "TOPs is such an alternative to Stevens, I think I'll apply."

Melissa Westbrook said...

In Eastlake's defense, every other elementary has kids who CAN walk to it. In their neighborhood's case, no one can walk to Montlake (well, it's possible but you try it). They are asking for what ALL parents were discussing about this plan, namely, the ability for some to be able to walk to school. No one in their neighborhood can go to their closest school except by lottery. I'd have to study the maps but I'm going out on a limb and saying there are likely few other neighborhoods where no neighborhood kids can walk to their closest school.

Montlake is a fine school but again, it's small and unlikely to be rebuilt. Something will have to give at some point.

TechyMom said...

My child can't attend the only school in walking distance of my house either, and can't even get in on lottery, because it was closed in 2006.

The Eastlake neighborhood did get "flushed" in the old assignment plan because they were too far away to reliably get seats at Montlake. That's not true in the new plan. All the kids in the neighborhood get to go to school together at a good school, which is a reasonable distance away by bus or car. Lots of other families are in the same situation, except that not all of them have such a good attendance area school.

Dorothy said...

Hawthorne Hills. We were in a geographic sweet spot before the baby boom. Less than a mile and a decent walk to three regular schools and an option school. Now assigned to a school further away than all but the option school - which was still a nice residential walk. Yes, further than Three attendance area schools. The new school, the only walk route crosses and then goes along the state highway.

Some of my neighbors are feeling like they got flushed. But someone on the other side of SR513 had to be assigned to Sand Point.

dj said...

Really, Reader? Because the 2008-09 attendance figures for TOPS show that the third-highest number of kids at TOPS come from . . . the Stevens reference area.

http://www.seattleschools.org/area/newassign/maps/08-09/attend/TOPS_ES.pdf

And Melissa, you are describing the plight of a lot of kids in Central thanks to school closures. The kids in the neighborhood around T.T. Minor can't walk to school, nor can the kids in Madison Valley.

reader said...

Really DJ. Just because you're in the "reference area" doesn't mean you'll get in to anything. Reference area is practically meaningless in the current assignment scheme. In fact, most people know whose getting in, and who isn't based on capacity, programs, and siblings. That's why we have this whole SAP... predictability based on address.

lizge said...

Hi Melissa, thanks for posting this useful info. I'm wondering if this is (still?) true about enrollment for the '10-'11 school year...? I haven't seen this anywhere else...

"They are going to maintain the Barnhart/Waldman amendment for processing this time. That means (and this is important), that for this enrollment year, that if you put down a second choice and don't get your first choice, you will be assigned to that second choice as if you put it first."