Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Question about NSAP

Lots to report from the Regional meeting last night but that's for later. Right now, I have a question about the NSAP that I wanted to put out there before I write to Tracy in Enrollment.

I was talking with some parents and was told, by two of them, that they got their child's assignment to Roosevelt just before school started.

They both said they got in on the 10% set-aside seats, not waitlist movement.

I was a bit startled because I would have thought the 10% set-aside lottery happened months ago. Does anyone have anything they know about the NSAP to explain this? Why would the lottery be held in the last few days before school?

13 comments:

Charlie Mas said...

How could the District know how many students to allow in on the 10% set-aside rule until they know how many attendance area students are enrolled?

Take Roosevelt, for example. The District may have believed that 324 attendance area students would enroll as freshmen there. They would, therefore, admit 36 out-of-area students. But for every nine additional attendance area students who appear, the District should admit one additional out-of-area student to keep the commitment of 10% of the class drawn from out-of-area.

Think what this has meant for Garfield! Not only was the District surprised with about 90 more attendance area freshmen enrolling than they were expecting, but they need to enroll another 10 out-of-area students to maintain the 10% mix.

G said...

And for every 10 students admitted to Garfield throughout the school year (kids are enrolling daily, they really are), does one student get a newly created 10% set aside seat?

Just kidding, I hope.

I saw many freshman parents at the Garfield meeting last night who have come back from private schools, excited to be at GHS and attending the neighborhood school and supporting public education in Seattle. Garfield's success is a great opportunity to bring families back from private schools, but I fear the overcrowding situation could send them right back to private.

Jan said...

I would also think that some "choice" seats might have opened up at the end, when children who had applied and gotten them made last minute decisions to go elsewhere. If so -- presumably a "wait list" for choice seats at a given school would move, but move late.

Charlie -- what you write about new choice seats being created makes sense, but is not the ONLY way they could do it. They could, for example, take any of the "other" numbers -- 1. expected enrollment based on Spring (or any later arbritrary date) enrollment forms, 2. enrollment on day 1 of school, 3. enrollment on Oct. 1; 4. Any of the above, but capped at functional capacity (or one of their other "capacity" numbers -- none of which have seemed terribly clear to me).
None of these would be, technically, purely faithful to the 10% choice concept, but I am not sure that fidelity to total implementation of 10% choice seats is their number one priority.

Do we know that, in fact, they are "creating" one new choice seat for every 9 attendance area seats that is filled -- even in overcrowded schools? Or are you just thinking that this would be the logical result of the concept?

Rabbit said...

Did those families get an assignment letter in March with the name of the school their child was assigned to ? What did their letter say?

Charlie Mas said...

Actually I don't think that the District is creating one choice seat for every nine attendance area seats. I seriously doubt that the District is keeping that commitment - particularly at overcrowded schools.

Of course I have no way of knowing. We can't know until we see some enrollment numbers and probably not even then if the reports don't speak to the question.

seattle said...

I believe (and I don't have a link to evidence) that the plan was to open up more choice seats if there was more enrollment at a given school. I don't know that there was a plan for this kind of overcrowding, though.

Rosie said...

I thought the 10% was to be based on functional capacity, though as always, my memory can fail me.

Thus an increase in attendance area registrants shouldn't impact how many out-of-area seats there are, unless the attendance-area registrants didn't fill the school. In that case, then as many out-of-area seats can attend as the school can hold.

Jan said...

My (dim and fuzzy) recollection is the same as Rosie's (not to suggest that hers is dim and fuzzy -- it's just me). I can't recall where now to find some of the information we were all reading last spring that might shed light on this.

Part of the confusion, of course, is that the District would not admit even the suggestion that any of their boundaries/school size predictions/etc. might be wrong to any significant degree. So it would not surprise me if the exact discussion (how to deal with choice seat expansion if the school size is dozens or hundreds more than they predicted) never occurred.

StepJ said...

Here is the link to the 2010-2011 Transition Plan.

Page 12 for HS Open Choice assignments.

wsnorth said...

"Open Choice seats will be 10% of the 9th grade target enrollment."

I asked several times and several people and nobody from the district or board would ever quite define "target enrollment".

Anther "data driven" miracle where 10% really does not mean 10%. I'll just never get this everyday math.

StepJ said...

Melissa,

I imagine you may have already written to Tracy.

As it is explained in the Transition Plan the 10% set aside is for "target" enrollment. Based on that sentence I would 'presume' there are target enrollment numbers for each high school for 9th grade. If there are target numbers (upon which the boundaries would have been drawn) following the logic thread there would be a known number for the 10% set aside.

Following the above logic students admitted via the 10% Open Choice seats would be admitted during Open Enrollment (not at the last moment before school starts) as the target enrollment and thus the 10% would be known prior to Open Enrollment.

I am wondering about rolling - as in last moment change to enrollment forecasts.

A local elementary has a "Functional Capacity" listed in the data books for the NSAP of 520 as of 2015. Yet, their enrollment for this year is already beyond 580 - well beyond listed functional capacity years from now. And no -- seeing the number of pre-school age children in the neighborhood now -- it is not within the realm of reason to think those numbers will drop off suddenly in the next five years. (I know, I know -- just a parent providing information which is to be ignored!)

When the Principal was questioned about this it was stated the functional capacity is actually 575. ???

Are the funtional capacity, and along with them, the target enrollment numbers being altered at the the 11th hour -- just prior to the start of school, and now before the wait lists dissolve -- to make it look like the original forecasts and therefore the Oct. 1 report are not so far out of line?

Is that why there are such late movements on the 10% set aside? I don't know. Only trying to piece together an answer with information the District will provide and contradictory information from the local schools, local neighborhood, local parents, and the Transition Plan.

Melissa, I hope you can find out the truth.

Charlie Mas said...

The transition document is very clear that the 10% set-aside for out-of-area students will be 10% of the target enrollment.

Target enrollment numbers for each school were published. That can be researched.

Functional capacity numbers, however, are more fluid. They are determined through a more nuanced and variable calculation. Among the factors used to derive the functional capacity are the number of classrooms, the number of students in each class, whether the teachers will be allowed to use a classroom for their planning time, how many students might be in a music class or a P.E. class (which could be much larger than an LA or a math class), as well as how many Special Education students are in the school and class maximums for them. Nearly all of these numbers have to be adjusted up or down to reflect or accomodate programmatic changes in the school.

Functional capacity changes from year to year depending on, well, the function of each classroom.

A school's funtional capacity can be increased by re-purposing rooms for use as classrooms, increasing class size, holding classes in rooms during the teacher's planning time, offering more classes with higher numbers of students, and either reducing the number of Special Education students or increasing their class size.

Functional capacity is a moving target, but there is a theoretical maximum functional capacity for a school building. Some schools have come close to it.

While the transition plan may be to enroll 10% of the "target" enrollment from outside the attendance area, the NSAP, when fully implemented is supposed to have up to 10% of the actual student body from outside the area. Schools that are exceeding their target enrollment will come up short if their out-of-area enrollment is only 10% of the target instead of the actual.

StepJ said...

Thanks Charlie -- that clears up the fluctuating functional capacity.