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Saturday, May 08, 2010

Did you use Open Enrollment?

If the school you named as your first choice for Open Enrollment does not have a waitlist, then you are in. That's confirmed.

My daughter and her friend named Chief Sealth as their first choice for assignment. Chief Sealth doesn't have a waitlist, so they know for sure that they will be assigned there even though they don't yet have their assignment letters.

You can check your school of choice from this web page to see if the school has a waitlist.

25 comments:

zb said...

Fascinating numbers.

SE Mom said...

Charlie:

Were your daughter and friend able to start registering for classes or where you told you need to wait for the official enrollment letter?

GreyWatch said...

We did open enrollment for both our middle schoolers (6 & 7) for Spectrum at Hamilton. Looks like all middle schools north of the ship canal have spectrum wait lists for most grades, which means no option to get in at another school in the area.

I have to think there is something seriously wrong with the way kids are identified for this program based on the very low numbers of spectrum kids in south end schools. Aren't these tests supposed to capture what you are capable of learning, not what you know?

Eckstein has more incoming 6th graders in spectrum than Aki, Madison, Mercer, or Denny combined. I find this disparity troubling.

Maybe Eckstein kids are better test takers for dozens of reasons. Maybe they are just taking the test in greater numbers in the north end.

I know very little about the test (or the program), but would love hear more, and to see some numbers about who is taking the test.

I'm on the fence with the separate track concept, anyway. Can see both pros and cons for those in and out. Just wondering if the playing field is fair for getting in.

Maureen said...

Aren't these tests supposed to capture what you are capable of learning, not what you know?


Actually, I think you have to score above a certain range on academic tests (WASL, and now MAP?) as well as cognitive, so if you weren't identified in 1st or 2nd grade and have been warehoused in a school that teaches well below grade level, then you might find it difficult to test in to Spectrum or APP for middle school.

GreyWatch said...

forgot about that wasl part. makes complete sense now.

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

I should say that it makes sense in that I now understand the source of the disparity. The system itself doesn't make much sense, however.

Lori said...

I have to be honest. I'm still anxious about the process until I have that letter in my hand. We turned in our form in person to enroll our child in APP. I had forgotten to take 2 copies, but I had the person sign and date his business card as "proof." Sadly, I've seen so many people get "surprise" assignments in the past, that I am sitting here still worried that something went wrong and they didn't process our form! So, yeah, I know that she is guaranteed a spot, and there is no wait list, but I'm still tense and looking forward to getting my May 14th letter.

SolvayGirl said...

GreyWatch
It may also be that MANY of the SE/SW Spectrum kids go elsewhere as none of the 4 schools you mentioned are known for having rigorous Spectrum programs (at least they did not the last few years—and this could just be people's perceptions, but perceptions are part of what make people choose schools).
Here in the SE, if a Spectrum kid couldn't get into Washington, they opted for private if they could (and in the past, Hamilton or McClure).

Hippy Goodwife said...

We did. And out first and only choice has a long waitlist, so no news for us.

jp70 said...

I did not apply, but I am very curious about the many friends at my kids' school who have siblings and whether those siblings got in given the 30 kid waitlist for Kindergarten.

wsnorth said...

Charlie, looks like we will see you at Sealth! My daughter and several friends were also happy to see the lack of a wait list at Sealth. It looks like the district allowed about 40 more students than they budgeted in to West Seattle, so that must have helped. Oddly, though, West Seattle + Sealth overall seem to be down about 60 9th graders compared to last year. I wonder where they went (or didn't come from)?

Maureen said...

wsnorth, is that 60 fewer than the final (Oct '09) headcount or 60 lower than applied during Open Enrollment? I'm waiting to see how many, previously uncounted, people walk through the doors in Sept to take their guaranteed seats. (Though HS won't be as big a deal as K, since most of those kids are in 8th grade somewhere--it will mainly be people who have moved or come from private.)

Unknown said...

There are about 1000 fewer 8th graders this year than last. I think that probably accounts for at least some of the low numbers at some schools. Per the District's demographics, this year's 8th grade class is the smallest, and then the curve picks up again.

Anonymous said...

I heard that there were about 60 openings at the STEM school and no openings at Garfield to the point where students who live in the Garfield community are not able to attend.

Charlie Mas said...

The only way that incoming ninth graders living in the Garfield attendance area would be unable to gain access to Garfield would be if the students had waived that right by accepting enrollment at another school or if they received an assignment to a Service school.

Bird said...

I heard that there were about 60 openings at the STEM school and no openings at Garfield to the point where students who live in the Garfield community are not able to attend.

That sounds unlikely as it violates the basic rules of the SAP. Who did you hear it from?

TechyMom said...

Dora,
I wonder if perhaps that was for 10th-12th graders? Attendance area kids at non-entry grades aren't guaranteed a spot this year.

ParentofThree said...

Garfield has the biggest wait list of all the schools. Are there really over 100 out of area students wanting a seat in the school?

SE Mom said...

Just noticed that the Math Pathways Course Placement Contract is now on-line. It is meant to be completed by families and returned to the district by June 4th.

Families have to initial four bullet points in the contract. The first one states "We are selecting a course and pathway not recommended by district data and teacher recommendation."

I find that odd, because it is my understanding that 8th grade teachers did not have any input for the district generated Math Pathways course selection for 9th grade.

In our case, the 8th grade math teacher does recommend selecting a course other than the district placement.

The tone of the whole thing is rather punitive as if a student or family is attempting to do something wrong by asking for a different math course.

wsnorth said...

Maureen, the numbers I noticed were 60 fewer 9th graders this year in Sealth + WSH than there were 9th graders last year at both combined. Rosie's comment is interesting - 1000 fewer 9th graders for 2011!

JB said...

Will we ever know how many kids were accepted at reference area schools b/c they live in the reference area vs. they are siblings vs. lottery? Do they publish that info?

Charlie Mas said...

The exact data that JB asked about isn't published. However, the District does publish the number and percent of students enrolled who are from the attendance area. With a few assumptions it is possible to derive good approximations of most of the numbers that JB wants.

The sibling number has not been available historically, but the District says that they will provide it this year among the full data from Open Enrollment.

Generally speaking, Dr. Libros is pretty open with her numbers as they almost never can be used to identify individual students. It can't hurt to ask.

steve in west seattle said...

Doesn't Spectrum use a special test (similar to an IQ test) for entry at all grades?

from the district's website:

Spectrum
Students tested during grades 2 through 7
Students served grades 3 - 8
Cognitive ability (in two out of three areas) and academic achievement in both reading and mathematics with a threshold of the 87th percentile are considered along with teacher input.


Actually, I think you have to score above a certain range on academic tests (WASL, and now MAP?) as well as cognitive, so if you weren't identified in 1st or 2nd grade and have been warehoused in a school that teaches well below grade level, then you might find it difficult to test in to Spectrum or APP for middle school.

JB said...

Thank you Charlie! Do you know where/when they publish this attendance area data?