Friday, June 06, 2014

Again, Tell Parent You Know to Enroll in SPS NOW

There was a request to open another thread about the connections between school budgets and "underenrollment."  I am hearing from several schools that the district is saying their school is below the enrollment forecast and will be funded that way (even as many have had waitlists in the past and the district continues to grow).

I suspect the district is playing chicken, hoping that there will be even growth that would not throw any one school's budget off.  They want to pinch those pennies and force principals to make the hard decisions and/or have to beg PTAs for help. 

If you know parents who have school-aged children they want to enroll in Seattle schools, beg them to do it before this school year ends. 

No one wants to come to school in the fall and have an unpleasant surprise about the level of support at their school.

9 comments:

mirmac1 said...

This sounds like the hiring freeze they used to do that left schools understaffed on the first day. BS! Then they wait four weeks until the October count to "right-size". Meanwhile our kids are in overcrowded rooms, have incomplete schedule, and are working with subs. Academic achievement my rear!

Anonymous said...

Right, and then the pool of qualified applicants is smaller, as other, better organized districts hire the most qualified folks in May & June.

-not satisfied

Anonymous said...

They are trying to cut positions at Nathan Hale even though there is a waitlist of about 40 kids wanting in. The 40 kids would put enrollment over their underenrollment number. Plus, if Hale is so under enrolled, why are they sticking an unwanted portable there?

HP

Anonymous said...

This issue of not enrolling until 'later', sometimes a couple of weeks after school starts, is critical in the South and Southeast of Seattle for elementary schools.

It is best for all students and all buildings for families to register their kids as soon as possible, preferably during the early spring open enrollment, even for attendance area school (where your placement is guaranteed, so perhaps parents/guardians don't see the need).

Whatever outreach is possible on the part of parents, communities, and even possibly the SCPTSA, to augment SPS's outreach (registration at public libraries, etc), would be really meaningful for schools!

(The October enrollment-driven budget-adjustments are in fact intended to accommodate schools who historically have families who don't register by the fourth day of school -- the lateness is actually intended to not disproportionately penalize schools with later enrollment patterns.)

Get Registered

Anonymous said...

Enrollment projections from SPS 1146 for Nathan Hale but Hale is being told to cut because they won't have over 1100? There are also 46 kids on the waitlist for 9th grade. Something seems mighty fishy about the numbers game.

HP

Joe Wolf said...

Reply to HP on Hale double (two classroom) portable:

The double portable going from Eckstein to Hale this summer isn't to support projected enrollment growth. It's to provide GenEd classroom space for classes currently being held in the black box theater and other non-classroom spaces.

As always, email me with any follow-up questions/concerns.

Josh Hayes said...

I have a question about how wait lists work; maybe someone can describe the solution to this thought experiment.

A sensible wait-list algorithm would look for "swaps" to reduce wait-lists. That is, if you have a kid in the Roosevelt catchment who wants to go to Hale, and a kid in the Hale area who wants to go to Roosevelt, both of those kids will be waitlisted because both schools fill up with within-area kids. Surely the wait-list is smart enough to simply swap those two kids? That way they each get what they want, each school's waitlist is decremented by one, and there is no net change in enrollment numbers at either school.

See what I mean? These are "free" reductions in waitlists, and I happen to know of a number of families in this situation; the fact that some from Hale who want into RHS and some from RHS who want into Hale do not, EITHER OF THEM, move down the list, suggests to me that this completely bloody obvious algorithm is not in use. Can anyone confirm or deny this?

Anonymous said...

@Get Registered - Do you know why the South and Southeast have the issue of "later" enrollment? Is there something driving that parental choice?

tami

Anonymous said...

Don't know. Just know head of enrollment specifically wouldn't allow budget adjustments in September in order to specifically protect the budgets of artificially under enrolled elementaries in the S/SE from inappropriates cuts. Whether or not a September recalibration would actually disproportionately hurt those schools, don't know. But she was unwilling to take the chance. Which is a good thing, as it errs on the side of caution, to minize disruption for the schools with the highest F&RL student bodies.

I had suggested that on a regional basis, certain regions with historically full enrollment on day 1 of school could and should have their budget adjusts done then, and not wait to either loose or gain a teacher at the end of October, because that is far too disruptive, and their situation is not going to change by waiting another month with another data point collected. But, that would take nuance and sophistication and flexibility and responsiveness and this is SPS, afterall...

Get registered