Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Seattle Schools Student Assignment Info for 2011-2012

Here's a link to the SPS webpage.

The automatic enrollment/waitlist number is 252-0410 - you must have student's ID # and birthdate.

(Thanks to all for the updates.)  


Wendy said...

Any other NE parents have info for me? We had Sandpoint ES as our #3 choice, and basically thought we would get it for sure, as our understanding was they were trying to attract students to that new school.
Instead, they gave us our 6th choice, Jane Addams.
We live in Ravenna and would really prefer a closer school.
Anyone? Is Sandpoint full at this point?
sigh. I'm baffled by the system.

peaches said...

Not sure what grade you're looking at, but my guess is Sandpoint is full for K with attendance area kids. When we toured I asked if my non-attendance area child might be able to get in for K, and the principle said maybe, but they might actually be full. (We ended up deciding to go with our attendance school, anyway.)

Lori said...

No info for Wendy, but someone posted on one of the moms' lists that her kids have been split between John Rogers and View Ridge, despite choosing the "linked sibling" option as top priority.

The older kid got a mandatory assignment to JR a few years back; they wanted both kids either there or at VR, their current neighborhood school. Instead, the district split them.

I thought linked sibling option was a guarantee - am I wrong? Was that just for this current school year that your older kid could move back to the neighborhood school if you had an incoming Kindergartner? Should this family have expected a different outcome?

peaches said...

copied this from the online enrollment status page. Hope it helps.

Certain "safety net" assignment rules can impact assignments and/or waiting list status, as follows:

If an incoming K student applied just for the older sibling's school during Open Enrollment and was assigned to the new attendance area school instead, the older sibling will be assigned to the attendance area school upon request (assuming services needed are available at that school).

If the older student is attending a school outside of the attendance area to access special education services not available at the attendance area school, the "safety net" of assigning the older sibling to the attendance area school is not possible. If the incoming K student applied just for the older sibling's school, and if the services the older student needs are not available at the attendance area school, the incoming K student will be assigned to the older sibling's school upon request.

This will be done only if specifically requested by the family after Open Enrollment. A family may choose to exercise this option at any time after Open Enrollment through September 30. Standard transportation eligibility rules apply.

If K-5 siblings apply for several different schools during Open Enrollment and get assigned to different schools, staff will, upon request, identify at least one school in their service area where the family will be offered space for siblings so they will not have to be split. A family may choose to exercise this option at any time after Open Enrollment through September 30.

Bird said...

Maybe John Rogers is not their neighborhood school?

I believe the compromise of the split sibs was that an older sib is guaranteed a seat in the neighborhood school.

Lori said...

thanks Peaches, I'll forward that information.

Bird, VR is their school now; the JR assignment was under the old system when lots of NE families got mandatory assignments there because their desired schools were full. I thought as you did that the older child could move to VR now with the incoming K if both schools were on the form and the linkage option was checked. We'll see how it all turns out. Peaches' information sounds like they have an option to request a change before Sept. 30th.

william said...

We're one of those families bitten by the new rules for siblings. The school district assigned my eldest to Laurelhurst where we are now an established part of the community (over our original choice of Bryant). My son, entering kindergarten next year, has been assigned to Bryant (which is technically our area school) in spite of our request to send him to school with his sister. The 'safety net' option requires us to relocate our daughter, who has been at Laurelhurst for two years, to a brand new school where she knows nobody. We're faced with a 4 yr long logistical nightmare or a traumatic move for our eldest. Great choice.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone have enrollment numbers anywhere? I would love to get a clue about how crowded things are going to be next year in West Seattle.

- WS North Mom

Charlie Mas said...

The District has enrollment projections that they make in February. We have seen those.

The next data comes from the June assignment numbers, but these numbers, the ones immediately following Open Enrollment, are notoriously wildly wrong. That said, the District does have formulas that they use to derive predictions for October enrollment based on those absurdly wrong June numbers.

So the next meaningful numbers are the District's projections for October based on the June numbers.

Again, the raw June numbers are no good, but - when properly adjusted - they can be used to make highly predictive projections of the actual October numbers.

The District will have those revised projections in about a month or so.

Anonymous said...

I was told my kids' school just got enrollment numbers today. So I know the principals have these numbers now.


Lori said...

william, what is your wait list number for Laurelhurst? Last year, wait lists were moving as late as the night before school started, and I know families who got in "at the last minute" to their desired NE school where their older kids were. It's terrible to have to wait thru the summer and wonder, but hopefully you can get them at Laurelhurst together.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...


we feel for you, as our family is identically situated. Also, am I right in saying that due to the new transportation rules, the district has just pulled your elder child's transportation to Laurelhurst, and would not offer it now to your younger even if there were a space available?

Now you know how the district created the bogus yet devastating NSAP "capacity" problem. During planning, they were asked to allow attendance area children with younger preschool siblings to switch immediately to their new attendance area schools. Tracy Libros, enrollment manager, said no, because their would be no space. Mathematically, this makes no sense, since for every older sibling who opted into their neighborhood school, a corresponding space would also be freed up for another older sibling to join the grandfathered school. This is like shutting off a backflow valve and then complaining of a flood.

Instead, the district's ridiculous plan was to herd all younger siblings into the consequently crowded schools of their older siblings who were being denied any guaranteed space in their own attendance area schools! Your 2009-10 kindergarten daughter was "grandfathered" into her new school, from which the district has now pulled transportation and split your siblings despite all promises to the contrary.

The so-called NSAP capacity issue was always bogus and was entirely the product of the Seattle School District's inability to comprehend everyday math.

Your only consolation is that Laurelhurst and Bryant are both excellent schools -- neighborhood teaching excellence, central administrative mess.

Split siblings 2

wsnorth said...

In the "North" part of West Seattle they were moving portables in all summer, so I'm sure the elementaries will be standing room only.

Chief Sealth has a large waiting list, due to the gerrymandering of the borders - hopefully some of it will clear.

Anonymous said...

At Bagley those of us with incoming K sibs had to choose between the Contemporary and Montessori programs and "guess" which one was more likely to have space (since the death of the Barnhart-Waldman algorithm, never thought I'd miss an algorithm so profoundly). The district advised us to choose Contemporary if we wanted our kids in. Hmmm, so far haven't heard of a single family who chose the Contemporary program who got in, meaning there will be non-AA, non-sib families at Bagley in the Montessori program who got in ahead of sib families told to choose Contemporary. What a hot mess.

As for us, we chose Montessori and not only were we not assigned to Bagley, we weren't waitlisted either. According to enrollment, "there is a note on your records that since your child receives special education services she is not eligible for this program." !!! This is incredibly absurd--half the kids in the inclusion program are in Montessori, including her older sister. So now I have two small children with IEPs assigned to schools 2 miles apart, starting at the same time. I don't know how this will end, but the stress is killing me.

Anonymous said...

Our younger child was initially waitlisted at John Hay last summer (the school our older child attends). He eventually made it in off the waitlist. One thing our school did which was very helpful was they contacted all the families assigned to John Hay for kindergarten to verify if they would actually be attending. They then passed that info on to the Enrollment Office so that kids could be moved off the waitlist earlier (rather than waiting for the first day of school to see who shows up). I would contact the Laurelhurst principal to see if they would make the same effort. There were 18 John Hay families with younger siblings on the waitlist and eventually all 18 got in. Our principal did a great job communicating with us regularly on how the numbers were moving (i.e. spots opening up).

John Hay parent.

BFDayMom said...

My younger son was able to be assigned to his brother's school which is not our attendance area school. Phew! I had heard there were upwards of 600 families looking for sibling placements and wonder how many they were able to accommodate. Last year they were able to work out all but 3% of sibling placements (at least according to their information) but they made no promises this year.

For those who have to decide what to do now that their children are in two separate schools, I feel for you.

I simply can't understand how the district thought this new plan with no transition period for sibling grandfathering was a good thing to do. It either causes families to be split up or uproot children who have already integrated into their current schools.

CrankyParent said...

You might want to try contacting the Washington state Education Ombudsman, they might be able to help you improve this situation.

Anonymous said...

My youngest is entering Kindergarten next year in an overcrowded school due to SPS boundaries. Pretty strong rumors of a 5th K class, preschool being moved out to make more room in addition to a new portable. She has several friends who are siblings at the school who are wait listed. A couple of those friends are now going private because the parents are so upset with the sibling splitting, uncertainty, and overcrowding. It makes me so sad to see what is happening/seeing how the school I haves raved about over the years has changed just in the last couple years. In this economy, I'm trying to have faith and count on the great community and teachers to get us through.


Floor Pie said...

Thanks for posting that. I've been on the edge of my seat for weeks, even though I unofficially found out last week. It's good to know for sure.

My son is in special ed and we were trying to move him from his option school to somewhere with a stronger service model. We had to ammend his IEP to require the services, then just wait and see where the district decided to stick us.

Weirdly enough, we ended up at our neighborhood school. Turns out they have an inclusion program that can accomodate him. Still kind of waiting for the other shoe to drop, but right now it seems like a good fit. As long as the inclusion program doesn't get phased out, of course...

StepJ said...

The wording on the Sibling Linkage form just guarantees placement of all siblings at the same school if there is space at one of the schools listed. If there is not space at one of the schools listed then current assignments will be maintained.

You are offered the option of contacting Enrollment Services and they will find a school within your Service Area that will have space for all of the siblings.

There is a Safety Net offered for entry level out of area siblings. You may list only the school that the older sibling attends on your Open Enrollment application. If the entry level child does not get into the olders school you can then request to move the older kids to the Attendance Area school of the youngest.

The mom with kids split between John Rogers and View Ridge *voided* her Safety Net by listing three schools on her application. If she had only listed John Rogers she could have requested the oldest be moved to View Ridge, but not now.

Rufus X said...

Twins, 1 APP, 1 Spectrum. Assigned to different schools: 1 APP (3rd choice on application), 1 gen ed at neighborhood school(no choices granted, reverted back to assigned school), both waitlisted for APP/Spectrum programs at 1st choice school, different spots on differnt wait lists. All of this after we were assured their applications would be processed together and confirmed (twice now) that the linked form was not applicable. The suggested solutions? 1) Enroll both in gen ed at the neighborhood school, wait list them for Spectrum, give up the 1 APP assignment and both of the current wait list spots at 1st choice school; 2) Continue with the current assignments splitting them between schools (including the drop in academics from Honors to gen ed) and hope your wait list spots come through.

Sounds like a choice from a South Park episode - The one when the kids were voting between a turd sandwich and a giant douche for a school mascot.

Lori said...

Thanks, StepJ, I knew you'd know the scoop. But I think you forgot to add that you have to turn in your form on the first Monday after the first full moon of the month while tapping your heels together and chanting "There's no place like home."

Good grief, all the rules, and exceptions to the rules make the whole system incomprehensible. It's almost a wonder that anyone gets their desired school anymore.

Anonymous said...

CrankyParent--thanks--that's a great suggestion. SpecEd says they had nothing to do with it, Tracy Libros is looking into it, if nothing happens in the next week or so I'll be calling the ombudsman for help with the appeals process.

Anonymous said...

Question on the "3rd choice" APP assignment? I'm confused, thought that was based on address?

How can they wait list people for any assignment other than geographic when all programs are pretty full (and overflowing) at all locations? Don't count on that.

-Adding to the confusion

Rufus X said...

To Adding to the Confusion:

Sorry 'bout that, I seem to be adding to the confusion my own bad self: The school Thing 1 was assigned to was the 3rd choice on the application. 1st choice: APP at School X (non pathway); 2nd choice, Spectrum at School X; 3rd choice, APP at school Y (pathway). The assignment was to the 3rd choice on the list, the APP school closest to us geographically. Thing 2 listed School Y Spectrum 3rd choice; did not get into any program in the choices, assignment reverted back to neighborhood general ed, no Spectrum.

The problem is multi-faceted and rare, but not unique. Silly me for hoping there might be some assistance besides "Just go to your neighborhood school, and let your kids work 1-2 grade levels down."

Charlie Mas said...

Rufus X, these kids are in middle school?

Rufus X said...

@Charlie - 6th graders for 2011-2012. Both current Spectrum, Thing 1 new to APP for this next school year.

Anonymous said...

Rufux X:

Couldn't you have applied to your geographic APP location as your first choice and get sibling preference into Spectrum?

I'm also a mother of twins - and that would be much more preferred to me than splitting up the kids or opting for no services...

May be a moot point now - and you may be out of luck.

-The joy (and pain) of twins

StepJ said...

Rufus X,

I don't know if this will help, but there is a Twins/Multiples Assignment guarantee to be at the same school (not program, school only.)

Both twins can be assigned to the school of the twin with the lowest Student ID #.

If Thing One has the lowest ID number you can request to have both twins attend Thing One's school.

Rufus X said...

@StepJ - Thank you for the tip, I was not aware there was a multiples assignment guarantee. Unfortunately Thing 1 has the higher of the two student ID #s. So in this case Thing 2's # would guarantee them both assignment to the neighborhood school (the one they were assigned to back in March that we were trying to get away from through open enrollment), and now there's only room in general ed.

It'll get squared away, hopefully sooner than later. It would be helpful if enrollment relied on a little bit of common sense and heart over whatever janky version of Watson they have running the algorithms over on Lander.

Jan said...

Rufus X: I assume StepJ is correct (he/she usually is). But, even if Thing 1 does NOT have the lowest id number, since Thing 1's placement is to APP, which is a required placement (if a kid tests into it and wants it), I think I would "kick my little feet against the winders" with Tracy Libros and demand/strongly exhort the District to do the right thing and AT LEAST place Thing 2 in gen ed at Thing 1's assigned APP school. The ID thing is totally random -- whereas APP placement is NOT, and neither is sibling placement with twins. If and when you can attain sacred entrance to within the walls of the school, you can start trying to figure out how to make sure that Thing 2 gets access to appropriately challenging classes, Spectrum or otherwise.

Rufus X said...

@Jan (And StepJ) - thank you for all of the info. I was a little flabbergasted that the twin thing seemed to not make much difference at all. But then I thought, well shoot, they don't seem to mind splitting older/younger siblings, why WOULD they care if they split twins? To SPS, they're just siblings after all.

Thanks for the insight, Round 3 begins tomorrow. I wish good luck to any and all parents whose open enrollment outcomes were not the ones intended or desired.

Charlie Mas said...

Rufus X's situation raises a critical issue for me:

Why isn't the Spectrum capacity for the school big enough to accomodate all of the Spectrum-eligible students in the school?

It has nothing to do with the school's capacity - the kid is already in the building - it is just an arbitrary ceiling placed on Spectrum enrollment.

Jan said...

Ah, Charlie! The old "we provide Spectrum (or not) at our whim" problem.

I agree that of course they should provide enough Spectrum classes for all Spectrum eligible kids. I guess that was why I was hoping, for Rufus, that he can get Thing 2 past the Watchers at the Gates. Once in the school, perhaps he can engineer a switch into Spectrum, or at least find the most Spectrum-ish solution possible.

Charlie Mas said...

Spectrum capacity is completely arbitrary. The school - not the District - sets a limit by pulling a number out of... thin air and then rigidly enforces that number as the upper limit of Spectrum enrollment.

It makes no sense at all. It is completely undefendable.

They can say things like "We can't form complete classes" if the Spectrum students don't come in convenient sets of 30, but that's bullshit because we all know that the vast majority of Spectrum schools don't have students in classroom size sets. If the school has 46 students then they should form two classes with 23 District-identified Spectrum students and 7 school-identified students in each.

"Oh but then we won't have many high performing students in our general education classes" they whine. Tough. Lots of schools don't have many high performing students in their general education classes. They don't whine about it.

Anonymous said...

It completely baffles me why the District and the schools limit Spectrum capacity. I honestly do not understand why the Distrct doesn't want all students performing to their highest ability. Jane

BFDayMom said...

I was told that Spectrum is treated as an educational "option" not a necessity for a student. They are not required to provide space or school assignments for students who qualify for Spectrum. APP on the other hand is guaranteed, if the student qualifies for APP, they will be given a spot. Nice.

whittier07 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
whittier07 said...

Just curious ... did BF Day fill their Spectrum program this year? I'm wondering how many families will choose that option not being guaranteed that younger siblings could follow in later years.

Anonymous said...

How often do MS Spectrum seats come available? Are there kids who really go "unserved" for years?
-curious mom

WV: reeppent and be saved.

Jan said...

curious mom: I only know about WMS, where empty Spectrum seats are as rare as hens' teeth. It is entirely possible for a MS-aged child, who tests into Spectrum but does not attend SPS in fifth grade, to go "unserved" for his entire middle school years -- because it happened to my child. Ours was assigned to gen ed at Meany instead. We went private, and reentered at high school, where he was able to select honors and AP classes along with everyone else. It was not a perfect solution (and cost a ton). But I suspect it is a dilemma played out every year in many parts of the city.

nacmom said...

Anyone else still not get their letter? I looked it up, but still... If mailed on the 31st...?

Anonymous said...

We still haven't received the letters for Kid 1 and Kid 2, but received a letter from Kid 1's new school inviting us to a school event.

Fremont Mama said...

Us too. Still no official letter from SPS, but a letter from her new school today iviting us to a new student ice cream social!


Anonymous said...

Anybody know if the schools are overbooked before taking waitlist into consideration (a la airplane flight reservations)? In other words, if a student decides to go elsewhere, do they go immediately to waitlist #1? Or, did they take too many kids to begin with under the assumption that a certain percentage would go elsewhere (based on historical data), so they don't hit the waitlist until a larger number leave?

- Waiting

StepJ said...

In past years they overbooked based on the show rate for the school.

Last year (first year of the NSAP) they overbooked as per past practice. However, how the wait lists moved varied. If an Option School they let the class sizes drop to the desired levels then moved the wait list.

At Attendance Area schools they let the class sizes drop but did not move the wait list until late summer/Sept. as they were holding back seats for any Attendance Area kids that might show up in Sept.

Floor Pie said...

@nacmom: It's Friday evening and we still don't have our letter yet.

Anonymous said...

I just got our letter today, so they are on the way.


Anonymous said...

We have a letter now for Kid 1 (arrived yesterday) but not Kid 2 (not even in today's mail).

--Parent of Kid 1 & 2

StepJ said...


Rufus X - I was wrong. In the case of twins/multiples it is assignment to the school of the child with the HIGHEST ID # - not the lowest.

Hope this helps.

Stu said...

This is a second-generation-once-removed question . . .

We were talking with friends last night and, as usual, the conversation got around to SPS. They were telling us about a girl who's on the wait-list for Roosevelt . . in the top 20 on the list. Her assignment school is Nathan Hale, though she's geographically right in the middle of the two schools, but she's an accomplished string player and, as we've talked about before, Nathan Hale doesn't really have an orchestra. (At one point this year it was 6 people. The standard response about this concern is always "we're building the program and in 4-5 years it'll be flourishing." Of course, that doesn't help those entering now, does it?)

Does anyone here have experience with the Roosevelt wait list and how many people actually move off the list each year? Is there a place to search for that information?


Jan said...

stu: the District should be able to give you the waitlist information from past years. The only one that will be very helpful, I guess, is last fall's, since prior years were not NSAP years.
I think it may depend a LOT on what year she is. Sometimes, movement at the 9th grade can be very different from movement at, say, the 11th grade.

Anonymous said...

There are 74 folks on the 9th grade wait list for Roosevelt. Last year they really didn't move the list until closer to Sept because they were saving places for folks that moved over the summer and there were a lot of folks that did move for schools. So I would say that they won't hear anything until the end of August

Historically, folks in lake city that wanted specialized programs like orchestra but couldn't get into to Roosevelt went to Shorecrest in Shoreline where they have an orchestra.

- lake city mom

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