Sunday, December 02, 2012

Seattle Schools This Week

Monday, December 3rd
Community Meeting with Director McLaren from 6-8 p.m. at High Point Center,
6400 Sylvan Way SW

Wednesday, December 5th
Board Work Session On Capacity Management and NSAP/Transition from 4:00 -5:30 p.m.  No agenda yet available.

I will note a few items related to these issues that may come up at the Work  Session that were discussed at the Operations Ctm meeting on November 15th.
  • Tracy Libros noted that there may be potential impacts from "scheduled/approved sunsetting of transportation if students return to attendance area schools.  There are about 1800 students this could affect.  Hard to know if this would be a major impact as many parents might not choose to change schools for their student once they are established.  However, with the capacity crunch the district has, almost any number in the wrong place could be a problem.  One key spot is West Seattle Elementary where 109 students at other schools could possibly chose to go back there as their attendance school when they lose their transportation to other schools.  
  • Another item likely to be discussed is what Ms. Libros says is the LAST transition plan.  She also had the tiebreakers for all categories (I don't have a link to the document but I'll try to get it.). 
 The differences I see in comparing to what is at the district website:
  1. for attendance areas elementaries, distance will now be number two (sandwiched between number one, sibling, and number three, lottery.
  2. for attendance area middle schools, distance is now nmber three after sibling, feeder school and before lottery.
  3. attendance area high schools remain the same (sibling and lottery) EXCEPT for West Seattle and Chief Sealth which follower a feeder pattern like middle schools.
  4. Option schools - same tiebreakers - sibling, geographic zone and lottery
  5. Montessori tiebreakers would now be attendance area, sibling, distance, lottery (last year it was attendance area, sibling and lottery).  
  6. Spectrum tiebreakers would be service area, sibling, distance and lottery.  This is for elementary/K-8.  For middle schools, it is sibling, feeder school, distance and lottery.
  7. APP tiebreakers would be sibling, distance and lottery for elementary.  Middle School would be sibling, feeder school, distance and lottery.  High school would be sibling and lottery.
NOTE: the above is ONLY for 2013-14. 

The tiebreakers will then, according to the current info at the district website and starting with 2014-2015, change into their permanent status.  

In comparing this Transition Plan for 2013-2014 to what the website says will be permanent tiebreakers, distance will go away.  For Montessori, the sibling and distance tiebreakers would go away.   For Spectrum, service area would go away.  For APP, sibling/distance, and feeder school would go away.  The sole tiebreaker for APP would be lottery.

I will do a full report out on the Operations Ctm meeting but one interesting item that was stated by Pegi McEvoy in response to a query by Director Peaslee about overcrowding at Eckstein is that Eckstein doesn't need additional homerooms for next year.  Also, that they didn't end up needing all the portables they put in at Eckstein.  (I suspect the overcrowding at Eckstein isn't, of course, about homerooms but lack of gym, lunchroom, bathroom and library space as is the case at most overcrowded schools.) 

Thursday, December 6th
Superintendent meeting with Asian and Pacific Islander communities from 6-8 p.m. at the Filipino Community Center of Seattle, 5740 Martin Luther King Jr Way S.

Saturday, December 8th
Community meeting with Director Carr from 8:30-10:00 am, Bethany Community Church, 8023 Green Lake Dr. N. (entrance off playground).

11 comments:

TraceyS said...

Tiebreaker for APP? I thought APP was guaranteed admission?

Melissa Westbrook said...

I think that is to be used to determine not if you get in but which school you will be attending.

TraceyS said...

Ah, of course. Thanks Melissa.

dw said...

I hope (assume!) this is applied AFTER the default north/south geographic boundary split. Can you imagine the trouble if that line fluctuated every year based on the number of students at each school?

Sounds ridiculous, but I know of other districts where similar stuff has happened.

(stupid captcha, more problems posting, I may just give up)

Jan said...

Melissa: I can't believe I don't know this -- I have read reams of stuff about NSAP over the years. But I am having trouble visualizing how the distance and lottery tiebreakers work. For example, your list states:

1. for attendance areas elementaries, distance will now be number two (sandwiched between number one, sibling, and number three, lottery.

By definition, the only folks who care about this are kids who aren't already in the attendance district. So, let's assume I am a third grader. I want to go to John Stanford. I do not have a sibling there, so #1 doesn't help me. If distance from the school is the next tiebreaker, doesn't that trump the lottery completely? Wouldn't the school just plot the distance each non-attendance/non-sibling applicant lived from the school -- and fill the class (and rank the wait list) accordingly? Where would the lottery come in if distance trumps it?

Charlie Mas said...

Distance should not return as a tiebreaker. That is an extraordinarily bad idea.

One of the best elements of the NSAP was the removal of distance as a tie-breaker. It was an important element of how the District was going to provide more equitable access to schools and programs.

Melissa Westbrook said...

Jan, I don't know. I think it gets put in as a "just in case."

Charlie, have a chat with Tracy about why this is coming back. I never liked distance either.

Jan said...

Besides not being able to figure out how it works, I also agree with Charlie. It is a bad idea. It is the policy that caused so much trouble in the old system -- because kids who lived a great distance from anywhere were consistently at a detriment.

Boy -- have we ever come a long way from 10% option seats at every school!

BL said...

I think the distance tiebreaker stinks, and I'm very curious to find out what the anticipated problem is that the distance tiebreaker (for one year) would solve.

BL said...

Jan,
With a distance tiebreaker, if enrollment services is down to it's last open space for a particular grade, and there are two (or more) students who live the exact same distance from the school and have applied for that space, lottery gets used.
Remember the twins who got assigned to different schools for kindergarten a few years ago?

Anonymous said...

I am sure transportation 'costs' are the sole driver for the distance tiebreaker.

My kids are 'lucky' recipients of the 2012/13 school time change, all in the name of money. What they didn't tell the parents is the buses would consistently run late as we're the third route on an unrealistic driver schedule.

Disgruntled in the NE