Monday, February 24, 2014

Seattle Schools Open Enrollment Starts Today

Enrollment page.

Page that has EVERY form.

I have to say this all looks very involved so read carefully and good luck.  

 2014–15 School Choice Forms
Enrollment Information Line:  06-252-0410
Transportation Office:  206-252-0900
SPS Service Center and Bilingual Assistance:  206-252-0760






From SPS:

Here's how the Open Enrollment process works:
1. All current students, and all new students for 2014-15 who completed early enrollment by January 31, 2014, will get an assignment letter mid-February  (right before Open Enrollment begins on February 24, 2014).

Assignment letters will confirm continuing assignments or provide notification of new assignments for 2014-15. These are initial assignments, and nothing further is required if the family wishes to keep the initial assignment. These families will know by mid-February where the student will attend school in September 2014.

2. If a student wishes to attend a school other than the school listed in the initial assignment letter, or apply for an optional program such as Montessori, Spectrum, or APP, then they need to submit a choice application during Open Enrollment.  Students may list several choice schools in order of preference.  Students may apply for any combination of attendance area schools and/or option schools.

Open Enrollment is February 24, 2014 - March 07, 2014.  Applications may be submitted at any time during that period, there is no benefit to submitting an application either earlier or later during Open Enrollment.  All applications received during Open Enrollment are processed together after March 07, 2014.

3. Students who submit a choice application during Open Enrollment will receive a new assignment letter around the end of April.  This letter will inform the student of which school they are assigned to for the 2014-15 school year, and which waiting list (if any) they are placed on for the 2014-15 school year.

4. Waiting lists are monitored continually throughout the summer and continuing until September 30.  If space becomes available, then families are contacted to confirm reassignment to the waitlisted school.  All waiting lists are dissolved after September 30. 

41 comments:

Anonymous said...

Is it just me, or are the forms not working if you want to complete on line? I am not able to enter the school choice on the form.

trying

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

To make the school choice selection work, you first have to click on the grey box corresponding to which choice it is (i.e., for your first choice, click on the 1, then the school/program you want, and it should autofill). Worked for me at least.

What's not working for me, however, is next year's grade. On the MS form I can enter a 6, but as soon as I go to the next blank it changes the 6 to a zero. Same thing if I try to print my completed form to fill out that way, since the email button isn't working for me either.

Gosh, would have been nice to release these earlier so the community could do some QA testing, no?

HIMSmom

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

Mac is not an Approved SPS Technology. Sorry, SPS cannot help you. It does not use Mac software nor offer interoperability for Mac users. It does not offer support services for Macs. In fact, it would like your name for being out of compliance. It will be sending out a highly paid administer to document that you are out of compliance.

SPS has also announced it will be starting a new Research Effort funded by Gates Foundation to document whether Families Who Use Macs have students who fail to achieve Adequate Yearly Progress on Common Core Tests. It promises the results in 2015-16, but only if the copiers downtown are working at that time. Because all research results will be produced in paper format only.

(Yes, I am joking - but not too much.)

Techie

Anonymous said...

Must be a Mac issue, as I am on a Mac as well.

trying

Anonymous said...

Strange, I'm on a Mac as well and it worked for me... Maybe a browser issue? I was using Google Chrome when it worked, but just tried via Firefox and it didn't.

HIMSmom

Melissa Westbrook said...

reprinting for Anonymous(no anonymous comments, please):
I downloaded the form and tried to fill it in electronically. Clicking on the school choice to fill in section 4 is not working. I tried multiple browsers and Acrobat Pro. I finally gave up and printed the application, signed, scanned and emailed it. Anyone else having problems?

Anonymous said...

Wait! So these choice forms can be signed, scanned, and emailed? I didn't catch that - could somebody point to where this info is located? I thought this had to be done in person.

commuter

Anonymous said...

commuter: Yes, you can submit it via email to servicecenter@seattleschools.org. I'm a Mac user, and can use Acrobat to fill out the form and sign it, so I just attach that to the email.

I found this form tricky the first time around. To fill in section 4 with your choice(s), you have to click on the numbers next to the fields. Then it jumps you to the schools and you click the box next to the one you want.

makingitwork

Anonymous said...

You can also mail it in. It gives directions for email, mail and in person on the instruction sheet.

applier

Anonymous said...

For those more experienced than me, would you recommend emailing the open enrollment application, or would it be wiser to print it and deliver it to the downtown office?

NE Kindergarten Mom

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

@ NE Kindergarten Mom:

Not only should you deliver it in person, you should MAKE the person behind the counter give you a copy of the top form, which they will timestamp if they deem your documentation "complete". They won't want to do it, but if you insist on it they will.

Not once, not twice, but THREE times having this timestamp has saved the bacon of myself and friends in enrollment disputes.

DO NOT EMAIL OR SUBMIT VIA WEBFORM OR POSTAL MAIL IMPORTANT DOCS TO THIS DISTRICT. Deliver them in person. Get a signature. You have been warned.

DistrictWatcher

Anonymous said...

Hoping someone wiser than myself can shed some light on a specific enrollment question. In short, I have a 5th grader who placed into Spectrum years ago but currently attends a non-Spectirum, ALO elementary. According to the districts enrollment FAQ (http://www.seattleschools.org/modules/cms/pages.phtml?sessionid=&pageid=192382): "5th grade students currently eligible for Spectrum will now automatically be enrolled in Spectrum when they enter middle school."

This does not appear to be the case, however, as my student was assigned not to Spectrum but to general education. A call to the enrollment office produced a claim this was expected, that a spot in Spectrum was indeed guaranteed as long as we now submitted a school choice form.

I know for a fact that at least some of last year's 5th graders were automatically assigned to Spectrum as expected but that at least one other 5th grader this year was, like my student, not.

My question: should I just take them at their word, despite the contradictions, and submit a new school choice form? Or is this a mistake of some kind that can be fixed otherwise?

Thanks for any insight.

- 5th Grade Bryant Parent

Anonymous said...

Yes! Heed the advice of DistrictWatcher.

-StepJ

Anonymous said...

Double yes on DistrictWatcher's advice. Go in person and get a time stamped copy of the submitted form.

Our child was placed at the right school, wrong program, and it took weeks to straighten it, even with the bleeping time stamped form.

Forewarned is forearmed.

-been there

Anonymous said...

Thanks DistrictWatcher and others for the warnings...I realized upon reading those that I hadn't gotten a K enrollment letter after emailing the forms in January. I called and found they had no record of her enrollment despite the automated response I got saying the email was received. Yikes!

Luckily, thanks to a call just now with a helpful enrollment specialist and the timestamping of emails, we are all set. Phew!

makingitwork

Melissa Westbrook said...

I added a link to ALL the forms (but I will gently point out that chiding me over what I do and don't include isn't always appreciated).

5th Grade parent, do not take them at their word. Make sure, in person, it is true.

Maje said...

I'll third the suggestion that you go downtown and get a second form stamped.

We did that with all our of forms and never had a problem. Now we're getting no response asking if they've received the one form that I decided not to drop off downtown. I wont' make that mistake again.

Anonymous said...
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Tonya said...

Question:

Anyone else waiting for APP scores to decide which school to enroll in?

Elizabeth W said...

Tonya, we have also not gotten scores, and don't believe our child was actually tested.

Anonymous said...

Tonya/Elizabeth, I'm confident my K kid was tested, way back on Dec 10th (only because he was thrilled they got candy canes afterwards...), but still have ZERO feedback on how he actually did... Frustrating to say the least. We toured Lincoln several years ago, but opted out of APP for our oldest because he was in a good place ALO-wise. Our current K kid is very different, and I really would have loved the time to mull over a careful decision about what was right for -him- this time... Adding to the stress for us is that he was sibling/grandfathered into a non neighborhood school, so if we leave and then want to come back because Lincoln turns out not to be a good fit, we likely can't get back into his sibling's school... So lots to ponder, and it sucks to not even know what our options -are- this late in the game....

Starting to stress...

Anonymous said...

i've stood in lines at hq with forms, and i've emailed forms. honestly i'd go email now forever more. the fist time i emailed, i think i received a same day confirmation (personal confirmation, not auto-reply) of receipt. the next time, a few days went by and i got concerned. i sent a follow up email requesting receipt confirmation. got a follow up email within a few hours. if emailing, i would def request a confirmation up front with my submittal.

-diane

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

@Elizabeth W - I'm beginning to wonder the same thing. I emailed AL a week and a half ago to confirm that the testing actually happened and a letter is coming, but have yet to hear back.

Anonymous said...

If you're not sure that your kids were tested, does that mean that they were tested as part of the South End testing efforts? Did you submit an advanced learning application by the October deadline? If you didn't submit an application, my understanding is that you wouldn't be able to enroll your child for the 2014-2015 year, even if he/she qualifies. Melissa or others, please correct me if I'm wrong. If this is true, it seems like a ridiculous system, and was obviously not properly communicated to those families.

Either way, someone from Advanced Learning should be replying back to emails/calls from those families to tell them that even if testing occurred, the results don't matter for purposes of 2014-2015 enrollment, unless I'm wrong about that.

-Seattle parent

Lynn said...

Seattle Parent,

You are correct that the second grade testing in the Southeast Region does not qualify children for advanced learning. They were not given the full CogAT - but a shorter (less expensive) screening test that is meant to find students who are likely to do well on the CogAT.

Universal screening of all first or second grade students is something many districts do as a first step in the identification process. SPS isn't considering doing it - the point of the exercise this year was to find out if the students in underrepresented groups who are likely to do well on the CogAT are being nominated by parents or teachers for testing. (Considering that achievement scores are necessary for qualification, I don't know why they didn't just review MAP test scores in those schools.)

Anonymous said...

Thanks, Lynn!

I think it's great to try to identify kids who could qualify for advanced learning but aren't being nominated by parents or teachers. However, as you mentioned, spring MAP test scores could also be used for this purpose, and letters could be sent to parents to encourage them to submit applications in the fall. I think that already happens, since we've received such letters. With that process, the kids could possibly qualify to enroll for the following year.

The way the current program has been implemented, the kids are being tested but can't qualify by virtue of the results, and have to wait until the following year to apply/test again. Also, it sounds like some parents may not have been alerted to the testing (based on comments on other posts in the late fall), and/or may be under the understandable assumption that qualifying test scores would enable their kids to enroll in a Spectrum or APP program for 2014-2015 (again, based on some comments on this post and others).

-Seattle parent

Elizabeth W said...

Seattle parent --

My child's application went in on time. We were given an initial weekend testing date (with a very small number of days' notice) that conflicted with existing plans. When we notified the department that he would not be able to attend, we were told we would get a makeup date, likely to happen at school.

Tonya said...

We also had our application in on time. My daughter goes to a school in Central Seattle. After hearing that north end students had taken he test months ago - I called the district multiple times - finally they tested her in January, notifying me via email the day of that someone was taking her out of class to be tested. Our daughter told us about it, so I know it happened. I just want to know - I haven't toured any of the APP schools yet. I guess I can do that anyway and if she didn't meet the requirements there's no loss there - but it would mean I need to take off work on the assumption - and it's really hard to do that. Anyway, I'd like to know the percentage of those that have been notified.

Anonymous said...

I would also love to know the percentage, since they had sent out at least a third of the letters two weeks ago.... One of their earliest messages talked about 'conferencing' to determine eligibility and I just don't understand what that means at this stage. Sure, discuss away on appeals. But the initial decision is suppose to be numbers based. What the hell is there to discuss? You have my kid's MAP scores, score the damn CogAt and check the rank. Either he made the cut or he didn't. How can it possibly take longer to score a test than it took a 6 year old to take it?!?

Beyond Frustrated

Unknown said...


hi there

We're moving to Seattle and potentially buying a house in Salmon bay's "neighborhood area" (or whatever they call it for priority). However we won't be able to close until after the March deadline. Does anyone know if applying after the march deadline we still would fall into the neighborhood priority? Do we go to the bottom of the list? We'll have a K and a 3rd grader so hopefully they would have openings at the higher grades?

Does Salmon bay usually have huge waiting lists? how far down do they go during the summer?

Anonymous said...

I have a question about what happens if you apply to several schools.

I want my incoming kindergartener to go to a school other than our reference school. If she is accepted to our 3rd choice, will she still be on the waiting list for our 1st choice?

Any insight would be helpful!

Anonymous said...

Unknown: We moved to Seattle in August, but did not actually close on a house until mid-September. Our signed purchase contract was enough to let us enroll in SPS in August so I would suggest that.

LH Mom

Anonymous said...

Unknown,

If you apply to Salmon Bay after Open enrollment has ended you will go to the end of the wait list for Salmon Bay and be enrolled in your attendance area elementary.

Anonymous,

You will be wait listed at the school you list as first choice - even if you get into another school listed lower on your choice form.

-StepJ

Unknown said...

Does anyone know if the rules have changed for when you move into a school's attendance area boundary? For instance, if we move into the boundaries for Roosevelt before September, are we still guaranteed a spot at Roosevelt no matter what?

Anonymous said...

For those on Macs trying to submit the choice form on-line: I downloaded and installed Adobe Reader, and filled out/emailed the form using Reader (instead of Preview or the Chrome browser). It worked fine.

Also, if you haven't received info about APP qualification, you can submit your choice form choosing the APP program, and if your child ends up not qualifying they will automatically remove that from your choice.

aha

Anonymous said...

I have one more note about emailing in open enrollment forms. I used the one listed on the form (servicecenter@seattleschools.org) and never received a reply - even an automated one. Then I went to the site and found another address (enrollservices@seattleschools.org) - I sent it there and received an automated reply shortly thereafter.

I'll still be calling in to verify the form was received - but if you email be sure to look for a confirmation and use the other address if needed.

- makingitwork