Tuesday, November 03, 2015

Guess What? It's Not the Student Assignment Plan

The Student Assignment Plan BAR on the Board meeting agenda has changed again.

I have just spent about 20 minutes comparing this document to the real SAP (see next paragraph).  I have tried to understand what they are saying and you know what?  I don't believe ANYONE should have to be a detective to figure this out.

This has gone too far and frankly, it's a mess.  The Board needs to say no.

First, the document that staff is using is NOT the Student Assignment Plan.  It's the 2014 Annual Transition plan.

To explain, the Board passed a Student Assignment Plan in 2009.  But there have been Transition plans for the school years since because of the growth of the district and the reopening of schools.  Each of these plans had specific items (like grandfathering - who got it and for how long) and were documents to work towards - I thought - a finalization of the use of the SAP which would now be based on address.

The Oct 21, 2015 BAR said this:

Student Assignment Plan

October 21, 2015

The Student Assignment Plan was approved by the Seattle Public Schools (SPS) Board of Directors in 2009 to provide greater predictability for families while still offering opportunities for school choice. Annual Transition Plans for 2010-11, 2011-12, 2012-13, and 2013-14 guided a phased approach to implementation. The purpose of this document is to provide a single, unified resource that explains student assignment in the Seattle Public Schools district.

But n fact, the newly edited BAR says that this is the:

Redlined Student Assignment Plan which shows the proposed changes from the 2013- 2014 Annual Transition Plan (the current governing document) 
But I'm fairly certain it IS the Transition plan and NOT the real SAP.   The opening pages of the old SAP do not match what the district is now calling the "Student Assignment Plan."  

So, for whatever reason, the district has rewritten a transition plan as the SAP and what - left the real SAP on the shelf?
Also in the updated BAR:
Seats that become available after May 31 will be available for assignments for new students.
However, I cannot find any mention of this in the actual document.


Watching said...

Kyle Stokes did a great story on SAP and I'm inclined to side with Melissa Westbrook on a couple of areas.

Feeder Patterns: I believe APP pathways are at risk. The NSAP was created under MGJ. At the time, there were conversations about Garfield's enrollment growing. There were questions about whether or not APP would stay at that school.

Grandfathering: The new guidelines, if approved, would say "families may elect to stay at their current school, through a grandfathered assignment, if available.” Language needs to be expanded, strengthened and clarified.

Lastly, I would not trust the district with programs because we've seen them shut down Middle College, and attempt to dismantle Creative Approach Schools during collective bargaining talks. At the time, parents had NO idea that there was an attempt to dismantle CAS.


Great to see Melissa referred to as an "influential blogger". I agree!

Anonymous said...

So wait. Does that mean the existing 35 page Student Assignment Plan from 2009 is still in play? Ah confusion, thy name is SPS.

So, does that make this new doc just a new "transition plan" instead of the whole shooting match? Bet that's not what they meant to do. Though I did wonder why there was nothing about Transportation in this new version, because that's covered in the 2009 one pretty clearly....

wheels within wheels within cyclones


Melissa Westbrook said...

The document that is in the BAR - that they have reformed and call "Student Assignment Plan" appears to have started its life as a transition plan. There IS a real Student Assignment Plan that should be the starting basis for any new plan.

Watching said...

"First, the document that staff is using is NOT the Student Assignment Plan. It's the 2014 Annual Transition plan."

Question: The board votes on SAP. Must the board a vote on the distict's "Transition Plan".

Anonymous said...

I heard the SAP action item will be pulled from the agenda for tomorrow.


Anonymous said...

@JvA = Well that would be the sensible thing to do...we can but hope


Anonymous said...

Looks like the SCPTSA agrees that should be removed from Board discussion this time around and points out the issues with SAP vs transition plan as well.

Letter from SCPTSA: Dear Dr. Nyland and School Board Directors


kellie said...

This thread is the entire reason for the huge disconnect and more than enough reason by itself to pull this item in its entirety.

The Student Assignment PLAN is a PLAN. It is based on policy but it is THE PLAN for how families gain access to public services.

IMHO, there really is no such thing as a MINOR revision to the how you access a public service. Students and families are not widgets. Each student family has their own unique set of circumstances. As such, something that is minor to one family, can have a huge impact on another family.

OSPI has pages and pages of rules and regulations regarding access to the rights and benefits that happen via the assignment plan. Why? Because it turns out it is a big deal. Equal access and stuff like that.

While districts have lots of latitude about HOW they do assignment, the simple fact is that a PLAN must be in place.

AND that PLAN needs to be overseen by an elected board.

Anonymous said...

@ Watching

"Question: The board votes on SAP. Must the board a vote on the distict's "Transition Plan"."

Yes, the Board has to approve any annual transition plan, though the document the Board was being asked to approve was being billed as a revision of the New Student Assignment Plan (NSAP), which was approved in 2009.

-North-end Mom

Anonymous said...

Agenda does indeed note that the Supt asked for a delay until Nov 18th.


Anonymous said...

If they do include this phrase in the revised SAP, "Seats that become available after May 31 will be available for assignments for new students." They will need to define what 'new' means.

New to the school, new to a program, new to the district? And if new to the district, those students currently guaranteed a seat at their attendance area school. Is that changing too?


Anonymous said...

Well they should delay until the new board is seated. And unless there are a few hidden-Blandfords Nyland is on lame duck status. In fact, president Peters first action should be to start a local-first search for a new sup. and direct staff to find 5% staff reductions DT.

Clinton then Obama and now 4 reasonable candidates on the SB! I am truly excited for this change and feel that Seattle finally got this issue right. Looking at the early numbers: almost identical number of voters by district and roughly the same number of write-ins. Strange.

-Do it

Lynn said...

President Peters sounds great!