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Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Early Enrollment Numbers

The early enrollment numbers are in and posted on the District web site here.

Some highlights:

There are 182 students assigned to the 9th grade at STEM. The District expects about 158 of them to actually appear in the October 1 count. That would be great. Yet for some reason the District says that there are only another 50 seats available. That doesn't add up to the 250 seats they claim are available in the 9th grade at STEM.

There are 125 students assigned to the 9th grade at Rainier Beach High School. The District expects 91 of them to actually appear in the October 1 count. That would be a smaller 9th grade class than this year's. There are 140 seats available - more than are taken. Wait 'til some of those folks learn that there are seats available at Franklin and Chief Sealth.

Garfield has a waitlist of 110 in the 9th grade, Roosevelt has 66, and Ballard has 38.

West Seattle has 40 9th grade seats available, Franklin has 26, Nathan Hale has 22, Chief Sealth has 9.

Ingraham has over 100 seats available in the 9th grade. Tell me again why we are building an addition to that school.

At the middle school level we see a big jump in enrollment at Aki Kurose. There are 9 Spectrum students assigned there for the coming year - six in the 7th grade and three in the eighth grade. No sixth grade Spectrum students at all yet. The District still claims to have a program there, right?

There's a waitlist in every grade at Mercer.

I'm having trouble reading the numbers for Washington because they appear to report that some APP students are waitlisted. I don't get that. Also, while I don't see a waitlist for 6th grade Spectrum, there are 14 students waitlisted for 7th grade Spectrum. Because the District doesn't offer a Spectrum alternative in the Washington Middle School Service Area (as they do in the Eckstein and Whitman areas), these students will either have to leave the service area for Spectrum or forgo Spectrum participation - a decision that only Central Area students must make.

McClure has a Spectrum student on a waitlist; good thing Catherine Blaine offers an ALO.

Sand Point attracted 45 students - 33 in K - and a total of six in grades 3, 4 and 5.

McDonald attracted 63 Kindergarten students and a total of three in grades 3, 4 and 5.

Queen Anne attracted 46, 25 in K and seven in grades 3, 4, and 5.

There are 223 APP students assigned to Thurgood Marshall and 371 assigned to Lowell. That is NOT an equitable split. Where are the District's promises of parity?

14 students are assigned to the new Spectrum program at Arbor Heights, 12 to B.F. Day. One lone Spectrum student, a third grader, is assigned to the new Spectrum program at Hawthorne.

Madrona K-8 has 37 kindergarteners assigned. That's a bit of a small class for Madrona where the 1-5 classes have 43 to 50 students assigned.

Montlake has a waitlist of 9 for K, TOPS K waitlist is 38. Bryant, Wedgwood and View Ridge all have waitlists for K as well.

Beacon Hill International has a waitlist for K, as does JSIS and Concord. So much for equitable access to programs.

83 comments:

seattle said...

Jane Addams has 419 total expected to show. That's less than Summit had. So why did we close Summit?

Eckstein has 21 kids on their 6th grade waitlist this year opposed to over 160 last year. Did families just take their automatic assignments to their neighborhood middle schools and not even try for Eckstein? Same situation at Roosevelt.

And, lastly:

Charlie wrote "Wait 'til some of those [RBHS] folks learn that there are seats available at Franklin and Chief Sealth."

Since there are seats at Franklin and Chief Sealth doesn't that mean that they must have taken all families that applied and still have space? Wouldn't those RBHS families that wanted in to Franklin and Sealth have applied during open registration and got in?

wsnorth said...

It is great for some families to have some certainty, at least! Can anyone interpret those columns - Funded, Target, Assigned, Estimate to Show? They don't make much sense to me - at West Seattle High, for instance, they "targeted" ~70 more students than they "budgeted". I guess "Wait List" and "Seats Available" are the ones that matter!

Lori said...

What are they going to do with the children slotted for 1st thru 5th grades at Sand Point and McDonald? Seriously, are they going to have one multi-grade class of 6 kids with one teacher?

JB said...

Can someone explain the categories in the "program" column? I'm looking at the JSIS information and there are several categories:

BOC
FDK
FDKBI
BILG

but I cannot find any information explaining what those mean?

Thanks!

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

And what is LEV23?

Another interesting tidbit, the West Seattle "North" feeder elementaries - where the district recentlly closed two schools - have a combined wait list of 80 in K - and that's after adding about 50 students in portables! It's like a 3rd world country over here - students in shabby outbuildings with no running water and inadequate heating/ventilation.

TechyMom said...

Do principals still get to decide when to move a wait list? Or is this now decided by the central admin? Lowell has 9 k and one first grader waitlusted, enough to offer 2 full classes at each grade. Without moving the waitlist, we'll have one each k, 1, and k-1 split, with large class sizes.

What hapens if more than expected neighborhood kids show up on the first day? What if 10 extra kindergartener show up? How will they hire a teacher at that point?

Elizabeth W said...

Anyone care to provide an analysis of what happened to the alternative/option school Kindergarten enrollments North of the Ship Canal?

If you look at assignments plus waitlists, and compare to the historical enrollment data published from 2004 to 2008, you see
** AS#1 demand appears to be holding steady.
** Salmon Bay demand is up about 30%
** Thornton Creek demand is up about 60%.

Thornton Creek has had a third K class added and still has a huge waitlist.

Also, why does Salmon Bay only have a half class worth of "FDK" (which I assume is their "full day kindergarten" option) and a huge waiting list for same?

Lori said...

I can only guess that demand was up at Thornton Creek because supply in the NE is so limited? Folks who might have been happy assigned to Bryant, Wedgwood or View Ridge in the past now got mandatory assignments to McDonald or Sandpoint. Maybe they thought they'd have a chance at getting into an option school instead of taking a chance on a new school. Maybe it's not true demand for TC but rejection of the new schools?

Shannon said...

Elizabeth,
I heard of a number of families from all over Nth Seattle who are trying for Thornton Creek. Since there is no geographic reference area this year they feel they have a 'good chance' to get in. Not sure if that is true, but what I was told by a friend trying for a higher grade.

And Charlie, could the waitlisted APP kids at Washington be those assigned to Hamilton who hope to go to Washington instead. They will be allowed in if the class has space?

Not sure if that makes sense.

Maureen said...

BOC = Bilingual Orientation Center
FDK = Full Day Kindergarten
FDKBI = FDK Bilingual
BILG = Bilingual

LEV23 ? I don't know--what's the context?

Fremont Mama said...

Elizabeth_W - Salmon Bay's full day kindergarten class is a K-1st grade split, so only about 12 kindergarteners get in each year. They are also one of the few schools that have a designated half day kindergarten class.

Unknown said...

i'd like to see what % of the waitlist numbers are younger siblings drawn out of boundaries. at view ridge for example, I'm guessing there's a K class worth of younger sibs on that wait list, such a shame for those families that are now split. and this is semantics, but sand point did not "attract" any families. they were mandatory assigned, and are probably almost all represented on other schools' waitlists. the district royally screwed up by not putting an attractive program at sand point so that families were willing and excited to move older sibs and K's to the new school together.

so what next? do principals have any say yet, or will the district gods start touring schools with waitlists looking for art rooms, etc to turn into classrooms? is this the district's call, or principals at this point?

Unknown said...

and lori/elizabeth, yes, i agree the increase in TC is parents hedging bets that they could get in there over the other neighborhood schools, vs being assigned to McD or SP. i'm really curious and hope the district will release data showing waitlists and new alt school enrollment cross-refed with the students otherwise assigned neighborhood schools

dan dempsey said...

Guess it is time to go back and review those numbers that Peter Maier gave on 2-3-10 when he voted for the NTN contract that wasn't there.

Seems that by 2015 Cleveland needed to have 82 kids from Ballard showing up at Cleveland etc.

So how did Cleveland do in pulling in kids from North of the Canal?

Did Ballard attendance area send 20 9th graders to Cleveland? How about Roosevelt? etc.

The deadline for filing an appeal of the NTN Contract approval of 4-7-2010 is Friday 5-7-2010. You can review the work product HERE.

Remember that in most NTN schools the 11th grade class was at best about 70% of the 9th grade entering cohort. At New Tech Sacramento the graduates numbered less than 50% of the corresponding 9th grade cohort. 37% one year and 44% the following.

The dream of 1000 students at Cleveland PBL STEM may be colliding with reality.

Charlie was right.... who in the southeast community was clamoring for STEM?

This could be expensive boondoggle #3

A. Gates Small Schools for Cleveland
B. Southeast Education Initiative
C. Cleveland PBL STEM

if you read about the deliverables that were never delivered, it appears there were reasonable checks in place but four directors Sundquist, Carr, Maier, Martin-Morris ignored the undelivered deliverables and made a BOLD MOVE. Unfortunately it was not the right move.

To improve a system requires the intelligent application of relevant data.
-- W. Edwards Deming (1900-1993)

There are four directors that just do NOT get it.

dan dempsey said...

Charlie,

To expand on your peculiar numbers at Cleveland. How many times did I hear 1000 students? 250 students per grade level? It was ringing in my ears.

So how was the target 206 for 9th graders and not 250?

Looking at other NTN schools having 70% of a grade 9 cohort become 11th graders is good. Note NO NTN school requires Calculus except Cleveland as far as I know. Look for that Calculus required to be completely inapposite with a 1000 student Cleveland.

200 at grade 9 becomes 140 at grade 11 and lucky if 100 graduate (Calculus required to graduate... really?)

The spin is never ending in the SPS ... When will more effort be placed on planning than spinning?

DeBell stated on 4-7-2010 that this Cleveland STEM was far too rushed and voted NO.

Betty Patu questioned the speed of the New Student Assignment Plan and its impact on Cleveland. Where was the community input on Cleveland STEM? There was ZERO this was an MG-J edict.

What kind of BONUS will MG-J get for this fiasco?

Note the usual four directors approved this Cleveland NTN fiasco. Plenty of checks were in place. All the needed data was there complete with E.M. Anderson's memo of 1-29-2010 to vote NO.

dan dempsey said...

Dear WSNorth,

Steve Sundquist decided that Cooper needed to vacate for the good of Pathfinder. The over capacity was in the south but Steve decided it would politically be best to shaft Cooper students and families.

This Cooper closing is one of a batch of still pending superior court appeals headed to the WA Supreme Court.

Perhaps some of those big dollar donors would care to donate to Attorney Scott Stafne the man attempting to undo some of the wrongs that Steve so often creates.

If so send money HERE.

dan dempsey said...

Looks like Center school grade 9 enrollment is down from past levels.

Is it? and if so is this because of uncertainty caused by Central Admin induced chaos?

dan dempsey said...

Jane Addams has 419 total expected to show. That's less than Summit had. So why did we close Summit?

My guess is because this is more about central admin dictates than enrollment and Alts get squashed.

Charlie Mas said...

In response...

LEV23 is a reference to Special Education students. It means Level 2 or Level 3. I thought that Seattle Public Schools had done away with those designations, but apparently not.

Jane Addams is expected to grow, Summit was not. Now, whether Jane Addams actually grows or not and whether the District has any sort of feedback loop to address low enrollment at Jane Addams is another story.

Likewise, the enrollment at STEM was not expected to be full in the first year. There is an expectation that it would grow over time. Again, we should have a feedback loop to evaluate that assumption and address the issue if it proves incorrect.

Yes, students assigned to Rainier Beach could have chosen Franklin or Sealth during Open Enrollment, but perhaps they were discouraged from doing so. These numbers may encourage them.

As for the meanings of the columns, the only ones that really matters are Assigned, Wait List, and Seats Available. They represent actual students. All of the others are just accounting entries that are subject to change and do not represent anything real.

I, myself am curious as hell about what the District will do about the upper grades at Sand Point and McDonald. Perhaps while both schools are meeting at Lincoln they will combine them. However, as we have discovered, it is impossible to use Everyday Math with a multi-grade class.

The elementaries in the Madison Service Area have, in aggregate, students on the waitlist. This could be because there are not enough seats to meet the local demand. It could also be because there are a lot of out-of-area students seeking seats at those schools. If they are local students, then that fact should appear on the Superintendent's annual capacity management report. If they are from outside the service area, then THAT fact should also appear on the Superintendent's annual capacity management report. I think her response will depend entirely on which of the two it is. If the demand is local, I think she will respond with a demographic projection showing that it is a bump and not a trend. If it is due to outside demand I think she will somehow justify ignoring it.

Whatever she decides, I'm sure that Director Sundquist will agree.

Again, regarding the demand for Option Schools and Language Immersion Schools, I expect to see some mention in the annual Capacity Management Report about them. I fully expect the Superintendent to claim that either nothing needs to be done (for some reason that has no data to support it) or that the matter is already being addressed (by some plan that will take several years to manifest a solution).

It does, however, support the contention that the demand for Option Schools exceeds the Capacity and that, therefore, more Option Schools should be created. Unfortunately, the District is likely to create them outside of the North-end.

I think Shannon is right about the waitlisted APP students. They must be from out-of-area.

seattle said...

I'd like to see school assignments broken down by choice.

Was the assigned school the families 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th choice....

How many families assigned to MacDonald and Sandpoint chose it as their 1st choice?

I know the district tallies those numbers because I remember seeing a document with that info for Jane Addams.

Charlie Mas said...

I wonder to what extent the growth of enrollment at Aki Kurose is a direct result of the discontinuation of yellow bus service to McClure and Hamilton for students living in Southeast Seattle.

seattle said...

How does assignment work in an under enrolled school like Sealth? I know they assigned all of the neighborhood kids that took their default assignment to the school, but that left them with a lot of open seats remaining. Did the school take all of the other kids who applied district wide through open enrollment? Or did they limit out of assignment area students to only the 10% (choice seats) leaving the 100 vacant seats?

Also I'd like to see a geographic student assignment map. Where are students coming from?

Where do the students come from that were assigned to a HS school via the 10% choice seats or due to the school being under enrolled?

Where do the STEM students come from? The Thornton Creek students?

A geographic assignment map would be very telling.

Lori said...

Di wrote "do principals have any say yet, or will the district gods start touring schools with waitlists looking for art rooms, etc to turn into classrooms? is this the district's call, or principals at this point?"

I anticipate that this will be the main topic at various schools' coffee chats with the principal this week. Last month, our school's staff had indicated that they would have more information about enrollment numbers and whether we'd be adding another K class or not by this Friday's coffee chat.

Two years ago, when the district added a 5th K at Bryant, it was the district that decided to convert the science room into another class (or so we were told.) This year, it may be the ELL room that gets converted, assuming that program moves to Sandpoint as expected, or it may be the Art room. And it is worth pointing out that that is just for this one year. Because the school is "only" graduating 75-85 5th graders each year but replacing then with 100+ incoming Kindergartners each year, there will be a need for additional classrooms each year as these bubbles rise up. The 5th graders are vacating 3 rooms, but the rising cohorts need at least 4 at that level. That to me is the larger problem that doesn't seem to be on anyone's radar. The only way to reverse that is to severely restrict the number of incoming Kindergartners in the future, but that will be hard to do with the new "firm" boundaries and guarantee of a space if you live there or move in before September.

Rose M said...

494 is the biggest class I've seen at Eckstein. I wonder how long they can hold those boundaries? There do not appear to be extra seats at Hamilton either.

I have talked to 2 families who moved from the Sandpoint assignment area to the Bryant assignment area in the last 6 weeks.

seattle said...

Oops I wrote Sealth when I meant Ingraham.

Sorry.

Charlie Mas said...

Jasper, I think you've made a typo. There are only 9 seats available for the 9th grade at Sealth. Of those, only 3 are in the basic ed program. One is in the bilingual program, one in level 2 or 3 of Special Education, and 4 are in some self-contained special education program.

There are 328 students (from all programs) assigned to the 9th grade at Sealth. I guess we can reckon that as many as 33 of them (10%) are from out-of-the-area.

The data, however, is not broken down that way.

The lack of a waitlist leads me to believe that there wasn't anyone from out of the area who named Sealth as their first choice and was denied admission.

It could be that there were not 33 students from out-of-the-area who requested Chief Sealth. That's certainly possible, if unlikely. Chief Sealth is a popular choice for students from both the north half of West Seattle and from Southeast Seattle.

I suppose it could be that there were more than 33 students from outside the area who were accomodated at Chief Sealth because there was space available. I think this is a more likely possibility.

I wonder if the District allowed 328 students to be assigned to the 9th grade at Sealth because they presumed that 48 of them wouldn't show up. What if they are wrong about that?

What does that prediction about no-shows mean for schools with waitlists?

At Ballard, for example, in the Basic Education program there are 341 students assigned and 35 on the waitlist. The District, however, predicts that only 307 of the assigned students will actually show up. If that happens, will 34 of the waitlisted students be invited to take the seats of the no-shows OR were additional students assigned based on the prediction that 34 would no-show and the waitlist won't move until the 35th no-show? Will the waitlist be deferred if new students move into the attendance area and enroll as attendance area students? It's unclear how finely this work was done or what confidence the District is showing in their estimates.

I would take the conservative path and be ready for every student to show up.

One more interesting thing. At Rainier Beach last year there were 17 incoming ninth grade students who named the school as their first choice for assignment and 31 who were assigned there during Open Enrollment. But come September there were about 115assigned to the school. The other 84 were neighborhood kids (and others) who didn't use the Open Enrollment process. This year, Rainier Beach won't get that September bump. Due to the default assignments, the school already got it. The 125 assigned to Rainier Beach should be compared to last year's 115, not the 17 or 31 that came through Open Enrollment. This does not represent an increase over last year, but, if they really have only 91 after the no-shows, a decrease.

seattle said...

"What does that prediction about no-shows mean for schools with waitlists?"

My child was #3 on the Eckstein waitlist last year. We personally knew about 5 families who were assigned to Eckstein but decided not to send their kid there and had advised the school of it. I called the registrar and asked why the waitlist wasn't moving and I was told that the district over enrolls Eckstein by 15% so they have to lose 15% of enrolled students just to break even. After the 15% if the lose any more students then those spots would be offered to waitlisted students. Consequently the 6th grade waitlist of over 150 kids did not move even one spot last year.

wsnorth said...

Charlie, I asked about the (over) "Assignment" at Sealth at one of the NSAP meetings. The explanation I got was if students Assigned to Sealth choose another school as first choice during open enrollment and get assigned that first choice, they "loose" their spot at Sealth. Maybe that explains the difference between "Assigned" and "Expected to Show". Dr. Libros told me a lot of Sealth area students have historically chosen WSH, for instance. This "trade off" might not work so well in other parts of the city.

wsnorth said...

Oh, and thanks for all the other info, above!

Melissa Westbrook said...

I haven't had a good amount of time to ponder this but I would offer these observations:

- we have some small high schools. Really, only Garfield, Roosevelt and Ballard are "large" and that's by Seattle standards.
-clearly STEM wasn't the huge draw they thought. I, too, wonder about this 158 "target" enrollment. Where did that number come from?
-Garfield seems overenrolled to me. I'd have to go back and look at the data but I don't think it was built for even 1700.
- also Chief Sealth and Denny numbers seem low for the co-joined buildings the district is creating
- Charlie is right; Ingraham's numbers are troubling. I would have thought with the new SAP, their numbers would go up.
-Rainier Beach continues to be an issue and I wonder how much longer the district can ignore it. I think some of this laser-focus on Cleveland should have been directed to Rainer Beach.
-That Hale is underenrolled is troubling as well. It's a new building and a decent program.
-Eckstein. Continually overenrolled. What's odd here is I have noticed that the difference between the "assigned total" and the "estmate to show" runs about 30 kids. For Eckstein it's about 83 kids. I think they have a problem if they think 83 kids won't show up. Same at Washington with 92. Maybe I'm missing something?
-I'm a little confused about an APP waitlist at Hamilton. Don't they have to take all the APP kids (or were these kids who should have gone to Washington)?
-naturally we all have data dives we'd like to see and I would add (1) functional capacity at each school (2) current enrollment

Unknown said...

Charlie: Sand Point and McDonald will not share the facilities.

southmom said...

Graham Hill has a wait list of 62, I noticed. Why can't the district replicate other such popular programs?

Unknown said...

Ingraham's numbers would have gone up, but last month in a work session the Board gave a "sweetheart deal" to Roosevelt and Ballard. Both of those schools are overcrowded. Under the SAP as it had been adopted, their incoming 9th grade classes were supposed to take a big step towards reducing that overcrowding. But then, for reasons that have never been explained, the Board insisted that Roosevelt and Ballard be allowed to admit as many 9th graders as were in the 2009 class. Ingraham warned that we were going to be hard hit by this abrupt addition of 90 seats to Ballard. (I don't know how many were added back to Roosevelt.) These numbers demonstrate our prediction was accurate. And this last minute decision will cost the District $750,000 in a year when every penny counts.

The middle class, mostly white schools prevail yet again, while the only north-end school that mirrors the District's diversity, and has over 50% FRL (compared with about 20% at Roosevelt and 25% at Ballard) gets the shaft.

seattle said...

Eckstein has historically had a large number of no shows, but I'm not sure that will happen this year with the guaranteed assignment?

In years past the district consistently over enrolled Eckstein's 6th grade class by 15% because they could count on a 15% no show rate. This year it appears they over enrolled the 6th grade by about 10%. So they've reduced it.

The over crowding and lack of predictibility drove alot of NE families to private school, but because they don't know if they will be accepted into the private school they also apply for Eckstein as a default. Then when they get into their private schools they no show for their spots at Eckstein.

Mercermom said...

Re: "There are 223 APP students assigned to Thurgood Marshall and 371 assigned to Lowell. That is NOT an equitable split. Where are the District's promises of parity?"

Do you expect equal numbers for parity? That's unlikely to happen with a geographic split, especially when Capitol Hill parents lobbied for an expanded walkzone that allowed them to opt out of going to TM. I understand that the small second-grade classes at TM will continue as two small third-grade classes next year. If Lowell parents feel the numbers are inquitable and that they're suffering with large classes, they could request a TM placement. While that might not make sense for kids who want to move with their cohort to Hamilton, it might for those who would go to WMS. Of course, if there is actually a decline in South acceptance to APP because TM is perceived as inferior, that would be a real concern. We don't perceive it, and we don't hear that from our personal acquaintances who are in APP at TM.

wsnorth said...

If a school is not over its functional capacity, it should be able to admit students up to that capacity. That's not "shafting" one school, that is a case of giving students and opportunity and a choice. Some Ballard students that lived mere blocks form Ballard High were facing hour + bus rides? That sounds like the shaft to me!!

Unknown said...

Ballard is way over its functional capacity -- to the point where it has had to send some of its special needs programs to other schools because it doesn't have the room to serve the special needs students who are in its assignment area. The SAP set the incoming 9th class size to return the school to its functional capacity, but some parents apparently got the ear of at least two Board members and that has been "deferred" for yet another year.

Benjamin Leis said...

Do they have the total current enrollment anywhere on the pages? I'm curious how its comparing vs last year.

wsnorth said...

For Ballard the district data shows "functional capacity" at 1550. If the "expected to enroll" is correct, they will let in 363 9th graders. Even if 100% of them continue through to senior year and Ballard keeps that same enrollment rate in the future, that is below capacity at 363 x 4 = 1452. 100 below "functional" capacity. (if you can believe any of these numbers)

Sabine Mecking said...

Also, compare neighboring schools: JSIS has 103 K students assigned (but only has capacity for 2-3 classes/year) whereas neighboring BF Day has only 36 this year (but has lots of building capacity). SPS completely messed up their demographic predictions. And why did they expand the JSIS boundary from Wallingford Ave to Stone Way in the first place even though the international schools where supposed to have smaller geographic areas to let some people from outside the attendance area get in? It is not clear whether the 103 JSIS students even include any of the 8-9 out-of-attendance-area sibs. It is going to get worse in future years as more people move into the area.

Bird said...

JSIS needs to be an option program.

It doesn't make sense for such a specialized program to be a neighborhood school.

Finding good teachers who are capable of providing the immersion instruction is non-trivial. It can't be done well at the last minute to accomodate an unexpected neighborhood surge.

And there will be a surge in the neighborhood. We know several families that are planning to move into the area to get a placement at the school. I'm sure there are many others who will do the same.

If it were an option program it could also have set asides for a few kids in each class to be native speakers which vastly improves the quality of the program. As it stands now, the school draws from a neighborhood with low diversity and relatively few native speakers.

The district really blew it in new SAP when it failed to fix this.

Central Mom said...

And, Bird + SeattleMom...

There was A LOT of input from the community to fix this (eg Option school designation) prior to rolling out the NSAP. There are records of requests re: the Option/Alt designation all over the place going a few years back now. Each year both staff and board have punted. This absolutely needs to be addressed systematically for all language immersion schools before the next 2011-2012 enrollment period.

Because, guess what...a lot of other schools are clamoring to get an immersion program, including possibly McDonald and SandPoint. If the District can't get the designation straight, it cannot manage enrollment boundaries accordingly. Seems a simple "A Before B" issue, but for some veiled reason it has not been.

mary s said...

So - we now have 3 schools scheduled to open next year (QA, McDonald, and Sand Point) with a total expected enrollment of 145 students. Each will have a principal, office staff, and other support. Given the current economic climate, does this make sense? Are there other options? Couldn't McDonald and QA at least share a principal for the first year?

Unknown said...

Unless the waitlists have a lot of school-to-school transfers, the Whitman service area enrollments are FUBAR.

Right now, every elementary school has a waitlist. Whittier and Bagley have waitlists of 47 and 54, respectively. Only 3 schools (Broadview-Thomson, North Beach, and Northgate) have any "basic" spaces open. And every school is significantly overenrolled right now because they expect a lower number to actually show up.

This should be fun.

Sabine Mecking said...

Well, now that they really messed up the international school issue under the NSAP, they at least cannot deny (by the sheer number of entering K kids) that there is a problem anymore. One would think. Hopefully, the international school boundaries (JSIS particularly) will be subject of tonight's board work session on international education immediately.

Chris S. said...

Wow, it is seeming like the potential positive aspects of the NSAP have been diluted by politics. If only the negative ones were as well...

Unknown said...

Can we get similar data from previous years? I'm trying to be reassured that the sky is not in fact falling. Because the numbers from the Whitman area sure seem to show that.Every school is currently assigned 20-30 students more than the target. Even if we shuffle some kids around, there are about 200 more kids to send to private school or shoehorn in somewhere.

That also doesn't count impacts on places like Loyal Heights, where grades K and 1 have an average of 71 students and 2-5 have an average of 61. The school's full, but we'll have to find space for two more classes in a couple of years.

Bird said...

Couldn't McDonald and QA at least share a principal for the first year?

Ooo, that would have been a good idea. QA and McDonald are sharing facilities in Lincoln for the next two years anyway.

Patrick said...

Jasper said: Jane Addams has 419 total expected to show. That's less than Summit had. So why did we close Summit?

That's about 100 kids more than Jane Addams has this year. That means Jane Addams is growing at a healthy rate.

It's foolish to expect it to be instantly filled, in a neighborhood with other schools with good reputations.

seattle said...

I didn't say I expected Jane Addams to be full.

I said why did we close Summit due to being under enrolled and replace it with Jane Addams if both schools have roughly the same number of kids?

Why destroy an established school community and replace it with another with no gain?

Chris S. said...

Oooh year, I forgot to rebut the claim that Summit was "not expected to grow." All they had to do to "grow" it was stop threatening it with closure every year.

Charlie Mas said...

First, closing Summit was unquestionably a mistake. Instead, the school should have been moved to a more central site. A number of locations were and are available, including Lincoln, J. Marshall and Meany.

The thinking was that Summit's enrollment had reached a plateau while Jane Addams K-8, although starting smaller, would grow to be fuller within a few years. That still appears to be a viable hypothesis.

The way that demand for Option Schools exceeds the capacity, particularly in the Northeast, is ample evidence that the District should not have closed Summit.

I will be VERY interested to see if the Superintendent's annual report on Capacity Management notes the need for greater alternative education capacity and if it responds to that demand. I seriously doubt that it will. I don't know what story it will invent to cover the gap between the supply and the demand, but I'm very sure that it will.

Similarly, I seriously doubt that the Superintendent's report will acknowledge the need for more language immersion programs or the need to make them Option Schools. Instead it will tout the current plan to add a few schools each year for the next few years. It will make no reference to the idea of making them Option schools. It will not acknowledge the inequitiable access to these programs that is inherent in their placement in attendance area schools.

Charlie Mas said...

Go to this page to see comparable numbers from previous years. These numbers compare to the September numbers.

hschinske said...

Jane Addams has 419 total expected to show. That's less than Summit had. So why did we close Summit?

How many did Summit have in K-8, though? That seems like it would be a more reasonable number to compare (and I'm not asking rhetorically; I don't actually remember). Seems like it wasn't a whole lot more than 419, though.

Helen Schinske

Josh Hayes said...

Charlie writes:

"I will be VERY interested to see if the Superintendent's annual report on Capacity Management notes the need for greater alternative education capacity and if it responds to that demand. I seriously doubt that it will. I don't know what story it will invent to cover the gap between the supply and the demand, but I'm very sure that it will."

I'd point out that AS1, in the NE, technically, continues to have anemic enrollment numbers, darnit.

It's also an interesting thing to go to the "schools" page at SPS (http://www.seattleschools.org/area/m_schools/index.dxml), and use the dropdown menu to find an alternative school -- see who's there.

AS1? Nope. Salmon Bay? TOPS? Nope. Thornton Creek? YES! What is UP with this listing? It's so bizarre.

Patrick said...

Jasper, the question implies that JA is a failure because it isn't bigger than Summit was during its first or second year. That's a foolish criteria for success. It should have several years to prove itself to be attractive.

Summit, on the other hand, did have several years to prove itself to be attractive.

Also, Summit had four more grades enrolled than JA does. So each grade at Summit was smaller and arguably using its teachers less efficiently.

Unknown said...

The historical information that Charlie linked to is fascinating. I chose October 2009. The very last page contains the District-wide summary. I've heard talk of the next "baby bubble," but to see it playing out so starkly was amazing. There were 3037 8th graders in the District as of 10/1/09, and 4239 kindergartners (I combined K1/K2). And I've heard that the 2010 incoming kindergarten class is supposed to be even larger.

It gives me a whole lot of sympathy for anyone trying to do space/facilities planning with these kind of numbers swings.

Bird said...

Oooh year, I forgot to rebut the claim that Summit was "not expected to grow." All they had to do to "grow" it was stop threatening it with closure every year.

Hasn't JA suffered with the same public perception (ie. rumors that it will be converted to a middle school)?

Bird said...

So what's the deal with AS#1? Why such low enrollment?

I know the district threatened to close it, so that can't have a salutary effect on their enrollment numbers, but is that the only problem?

Bird said...

The historical information that Charlie linked to is fascinating. I chose October 2009. The very last page contains the District-wide summary. I've heard talk of the next "baby bubble," but to see it playing out so starkly was amazing. There were 3037 8th graders in the District as of 10/1/09, and 4239 kindergartners (I combined K1/K2). And I've heard that the 2010 incoming kindergarten class is supposed to be even larger.

It'll be interesting to see how this plays out when these kids get to middle school. Anyone have any numbers on what percentage of kids flee the diestrict for middle school?

Lori said...

It gives me a whole lot of sympathy for anyone trying to do space/facilities planning with these kind of numbers swings.

A competent demographer should be able to handle the situation. The baby boom in the NE started around 2002; everyone around here saw it coming, but the school district didn't. They've been scrambling ever since those kids started entering Kindergarten in 2007 to accommodate them.

And then in the midst of this so-called bubble, they decide to change the assignment plan, which results in split siblings! It's almost hard to believe that they are this disconnected from what's going on in the communities.

John said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
TechyMom said...

The 2008/9 6th grade class was about 12% smaller than the 2007/8 5th grade class, the same cohort. I only looked at the one year, but it was pretty easy to calculate from the historical docs in Charlie's link.

That would still give an extra 700 kids when last year's kindergartener's hit middle school.

John said...

After a couple of tries breaking out Summit K-8 enrollment I finally came up with:
October 2008: 346
June 2009: 303

Total Summit K-12 enrollment:
October 2008: 532
June 2009: 463

Jet City mom said...

wonder how the enrollment @ Jane Addams would grow if the district publicly discussed closing the school every year as it did re: Summit K-12.

According to district info in 2005, there were 663 students- 48% minority and 40 % low income.

Rumors that don't trickle out to parents throughout the city and are not reinforced by op-eds in the Times are not comparable to the emphasis in SPS which has greatly increased since the arrival of G-J to dismantle alternative schools and disregard the needs of the students that attend.

Charlie Mas said...

Pathfinder has a waitlist and there are no other alternative schools in either the Madison or Denny service areas.

Southshore has a waitlist and there are no other alternative schools in the Aki Kurose service area.

ORCA has a waitlist and there are no other alternative schools in the Mercer service area.

TOPS has a waitlist and there are no other alternative schools in the Washington service area.

Salmon Bay has a waitlist and there are no other alternative schools in the Whitman service area.

Thornton Creek has a waitlist which far exceeds the available space at AS1 and Jane Addams. There are no other alternative schools in the Eckstein service area.

Other than nine in kindergarten, AS1 has only one or two available seats at each grade level. It's hardly "under-subscribed" just because it isn't filled to bursting.

There are no more than four or five seats available at any grade at Jane Addams. It, too, is hardly "undersubscribed".

So, in short, there is a shortage of K-5 alternative education seats in every part of the district except the McClure service area, home of the District's only new K-5 alternative elementary school.

This is an undeniable fact, yet I have every confidence that our superintendent can find a way to either deny it or simply neglect it.

By the way, here is the policy on how to create a new program.

After deducting the buildings that will be leased after the Board approves the leases, available spaces include Van Asselt in the south/southeast, Denny, Fairmount Park and Genessee Hill in West Seattle, ML King in Central Seattle, and Viewlands in Northwest Seattle. There is also space available at Lincoln, Wilson-Pacific, and John Marshall, although those spaces would be shared.

The District will complain about the expense or say it can't be done, but they just did it. And they did it faster and cheaper than they claimed it would be when they were telling community members that McDonald and Sand Point couldn't be re-opened. They put portables at Hale for less than they told community members portables would cost. Things suddenly cost less when they want to do them and suddenly cost more when they don't.

Sue said...

This is fascinating. I am curious about how to read the wait list info. Do you base it from # of students actually assigned vs target enrollment or what?

I would assume (hope) that these wait lists would move before the end of the year. Example - if you know you are not going to go to a school - and you let them know now - they can move the waitlist right?

Unknown said...

Salmon Bay elementary has its normal significant wait list. I was pretty surprised to see that there's no wait list at 6th grade. My guess is that it's the result of the change in transportation options, but we'll have to wait until the geographic assignment maps come out (if they come out) to see if that's true.

SkritchD said...

Charlie, in the Early Enrollment Numbers post you stated: "There are 223 APP students assigned to Thurgood Marshall and 371 assigned to Lowell. That is NOT an equitable split. Where are the District's promises of parity?"

What do you mean by promises of parity? It seems like you are alluding to an equal number of APP students in each school. I am not sure how that is achieved since schools draw from different areas of the city unless the APP locations are re-drawn each year. What would be your expectation?

spedParent said...

Charlie says: I thought that Seattle Public Schools had done away with those designations, but apparently not.


The only thing SPS has done with level designation is remove level 4B inclusion programs. That's it. And they only did it for K-1. Soooo, everything else is exactly the same as it always was. Same old self-contained programs (level 2,3,4). Same old resource room. Same old "rotation". Get it?

The district says it's mainstreaming, but instead it's getting rid of inclusion programs.

seattle said...

"There are no more than four or five seats available at any grade at Jane Addams. It, too, is hardly "undersubscribed".

Why would there be no more than 4 or 5 seats available at any grade at Jane Addams, when there are only 419 students assigned to the school which is housed in a building thats functional capacity is about 900?

JA may not "technically" be considered undersubscribed, but there is no disputing that the building is being underutilized. A building by the way that sits in a cluster that has a severe shortage of capacity and almost every other school has a waitlist.

Patrick said...

Charlie, it sounded as if you were listing Jane Addams as an alternative school. It's not.

wsnorth said...

That is a good question. What is Jane Addams all about? Is TOPS really an alternative school? We toured TOPS, but nobody could tell me what it's "alternative" approach was.

seattle said...

How about NOVA?

The chart shows 37 9th graders expected to show, and 96 10th graders expected to show.

Why is the 9th grade class only half the size of the 10th grade class?

GreyWatch said...

Can someone explain the school policy on spectrum and app waitlists?

I assumed with the new SAP that if you were eligible for the program and lived in the area, you'd get in. Looks like there are waitlisted spectrum kids in all middle school grades in the north end MS's.

Aren't schools obligated to provide the spot if you live in the area and meet the criteria? Or is this why letters haven't gone out yet?

GreyWatch said...

Can someone explain the school policy on spectrum and app waitlists?

I assumed with the new SAP that if you were eligible for the program and lived in the area, you'd get in. Looks like there are waitlisted spectrum kids in all middle school grades in the north end MS's.

Aren't schools obligated to provide the spot if you live in the area and meet the criteria? Or is this why letters haven't gone out yet?

seattle said...

Greywatch, maybe the students on the Spectrum waitlist are out of the reference area kids? For instance maybe they are Spectrum qualified and live in the Aki service area but applied for a Spectrum seat at Eckstein. If there were no excess spectrum space at Eckstein I'd think the student would be assigned a spectrum spot at Aki, their reference school, and then placed on the Spectrum waitlist at Eckstein??

GreyWatch said...

Thanks jasper. Your explanation makes sense. We'll see soon enough if that is what is up.

Lori said...

There is no guarantee for a Spectrum seat once qualified, and some families wait years to finally get a seat. Others on this blog with older kids and more knowledge can chime in, but my understanding is that some schools cap Spectrum seats to fit class size expectations; supply trumps demand. I have never understood how they can get away with this. Every qualified child should have instruction appropriate to his level.

APP on the other hand, guarantees a spot at the elementary level if you turn in your enrollment form on time.

Charlie Mas said...

Lori has it right. Just because your child is Spectrum-eligible doesn't mean that your child is assured of access to a Spectrum program. The programs do not expand to meet the demand. And once they are full that's it. The Spectrum waitlists are students who lost the lottery for the seats in those programs. In many cases there is another Spectrum program in their service area. In some cases there is not.

All APP students who apply on time are assured of access to the program. The waitlist for APP can only be students from the south-end applying for Lowell or Hamilton or students from the north-end applying for Washington.

I didn't mean to list Jane Addams as an "alternative" school, just as an Option School.

Jasper asks an excellent question. Why are the target enrollments and functional capacity for Jane Addams so low? I can't say.

Believe it or not, SkritchD, at the time of the APP split, the District promised that the two programs would be of approximately equal size. There was a lot of concern about parity and a big part of that concern was around program size and how program size mean program strength. Yet another promise that the District did not keep.

Honestly, I don't know why the NOVA 9th grade numbers are as low as they are. It could be competition from STEM. It could be just fewer people shopping. I don't know. It is a bit of a relief after this year's huge 9th grade class. Historically NOVA has attracted about 60 new 9th graders each year. Last year was too many, this year is too few. Go figure.

Also, I got the list of available buildings wrong. Van Asselt is being leased. It doesn't appear that there are any available buildings for new programs in the Southeast or South part of the district. That said, an alternative program could be just what the District needs at Hawthorne.

Charlie Mas said...

Yesterday, at the Board Work Session on International Education, the Board took a bold step towards increasing access to language immersion programs.

They agreed in principle to have a discussion about revising the timetable for making a plan.

I'm not kidding. That's true.

As you read that you will notice that each verb actually took them further away from taking any real action.

Anonymous said...

I just got our enrollment letter and our kindergartener is assigned to Loyal Heights and on the wait list for Salmon Bay, which we much preferred.

I hope I got an incorrect impression of the curriculum at Loyal Heights, but I was in tears after we toured there. The curriculum seemed designed (1) to push skills well beyond the childrens' developmental capacity, (2) offer as little physical stimulation as could be gotten away with and,(3) suck every ounce of joy out of childhood and learning.

Salmon Bay seemed to have a much better understanding of what a child's learning environment should look like.

I'm devastated. I don't know what we are going to do. We can't afford any private schools I've seen (though my husband is ready to put us in hock to send my son to one if we have to), and I don't see how home schooling will fit my child's need for socialization. But if Loyal Heights makes our son as sad as we think it will, anything will be better than sending him to that concentration camp.

What will it take to get more alternative school seats? Do we have to move to have a decent shot at an alternative school? We'll move if that's what it takes.