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I am a parent at X School. I have read the red-lined version of the Student Assignment Plan and here's why you should NOT vote for this plan:
1) There has been little public notification about it.
The meetings earlier in the fall were advertised as "Growth Boundaries Community Meetings" and not assignment plan meetings. The notice talked about boundary changes in West Seattle and nowhere else.
Three community meetings are scheduled in October to discuss the changes to school boundaries and the student assignment plan for the 2016-17 year.
It does NOT say "changes TO the student assignment plan." What it said was:
Additionally, the district is proposing minor revisions to the Student Assignment Plan to streamline and clarify questions that have been raised over the past several years. Revisions include elimination of the distance tiebreaker and other conflicting statements.
These are NOT minor revisions.
2) Not enough time to read and disseminate the red-lined version. This version was not available the week after the October 21 Board meeting. In fact, it did not come on-line for the public until Friday, October 30th sometime between 4:15-4:55 pm. That's not enough time for public review and comment on an issue as huge as this one.
1) Waitlist dissolution - Changing the date may be needed but there is NO plan on what happens at schools that DO have space and what parents who want to access that space should do.
2) Program Pathways - This is HUGE and yet downplayed by staff. You cannot take what has been fundamentally understood for at least 15 years - the pathways for programs - and just dump it without fully explaining what happens next and why. That's APP, that's Spectrum, that's international schools, etc.
In addition, approving this section means the Board ceding more power over the student assignment plan to the Superintendent. A big red flag.
3) Grandfathering. Staff admits that there will be coming boundary changes with enrollment growth and new buildings coming online. And yet, they strictly curtail any grandfathering with two little words - "if available." Any principal could decide that they want to keep their size down and use programming and/or new students who move to the area as a way to not allow in students. There is NO explanation of how grandfathering will work.
This is an equity issue that will disproportionally hurt poor students or those who parents do not understand/speak English well.
1) Choice seats. Ms. Davies, not once but twice, referenced these in her dialog with you but if you take the red-lined document and look for the word "choice," you find it red-lined everywhere but under "siblings." There are effectively NO choice seats to be had and again, that's an equity issue. We have many specialty programs in high school and to cut them off to students outside that region is wrong.
2) I find Ms. Davies concern for parents getting information after the vote to be disingenuous. Why isn't the concern to get this info out to parent communities before it is voted on?
3) Page 8 of the red-lined version - It would appear that families will no longer get a letter about their continuing assignments or new assignments.
Also, K-8 NO longer have an assignment to their attendance area middle school.
4) How you get on a waitlist.
If there are multiple students added to the same school/grade/program
waiting waitlist on the same day, those students only will only be sequenced by lottery. (They will not move ahead of students already on the waiting list from Open Enrollment or from a previous day.)
5) Appendix A of Attendance Areas and Feeder Patterns - All feeder patterns appear to be gone.
This is a massive overhaul and school communities deserved the chance to read about it, ponder it and give you input. They did not.
Please consider a NO vote on this plan.