Work Session on Capacity Management Transition Plan
Prior to last week's Board meeting, there was a Board Work Session on the 2012-2013 Student Assignment Plan (vis a vis capacity management).
- they will be trying to link schools with fewer ELL services to those with more to provide more access to students who need those services
- they will be starting the new "World School" for SBOC at Meany. I'm not sure exactly what this entails
- for Special Ed, they are going to try to do the same linking idea as for ELL students.
- for Advanced Learning, they want to try to figure out what is a "real" ALO and what guidelines are given for schools that want ALOs. Good question but you'd think AL would be able to answer that one right now. Kay said she wants to see consistency in ALOs. Tracy said the IB process at RBHS is moving along well.
- for International Education, they have feeder patterns set up except for needed two more elementaries for Denny. The Superintendent said these would be made in the context of budget considerations. She said they knew these were popular but had to be picked in context of buy-in from adm. and staff. Kay said if we are opening new schools that placing them at those schools might eliminate that issue. The Superintendent also said something interesting about some parents wanting some neighborhood schools to be choice schools (international education) and some don't. No kidding. If you have a popular program in your neighborhood school, I'm sure you wouldn't to see it change to a choice school.
- A somewhat silly discussion ensued over the high school Open Choice seats. The point was being made that the NSAP number of 10% was just there as an example. That is NOT how I remember it OR how I reported it. But I guess that's the new district revisionist history. Michael said it was just a "target" number. There is a fairly complicated formula to figure out how many seats there will be in any given year but they continue to say this is an easy-to-understand student assignment plan.
- Sharon brought up an interesting point on the NSAP. She said she had heard from a number of parents unhappy over not having the school closest to their home be their neighborhood school. She asked if proximity couldn't be a tie-breaker. Michael explained how proximity used to be a driver in the old pland and is in direct conflict with a guaranteed assignment. Sharon wasn't dissuaded and asked if proximity couldn't come before lottery. Michael said it would be a significant "complication." Sherry said, "Predictibility was important but also a process that was fairly transparent and straightforward." I think that day is a ways off until all the kinks in the transition years get worked out.
- Sherry asked about Montessori assignments. Tracy said that a student needed to get into the general ed program but ALSO must apply for the Montessori program.
- However, for Spectrum it has been decided that if your child is in a Spectrum program in 5th grade, they only need apply to their middle school (and not also to Spectrum). Meaning, if you are in Spectrum in 5th grade, you will roll into your middle school Spectrum school. However, you MUST enroll in both your middle school AND middle school Spectrum program if you are only Spectrum eligible and have not been in the program in elementary.
- Interesting data on economic diversity. The question was whether we need a tiebreaker in this category. Looking at the data, it looks like we get more F/RL students through Open Choice seats than just regular enrollment at the high schools with the lowest FR/L (Hale, Ballard and Roosevelt). It was pointed out that they currently have two years of students enrolled under the NSAP and two years under the old so the data is tentative.
- Changes for parents of twins and multiples (or people who have children entering the same grade) - if your family lists the same schools in the same order for both children, their application will be processed that way and assigned that way (even if they are entering the schools with different programs). They will be waitlisted one directly after another.
- They are likely to change the boundaries for John Stanford which would impact B.F. Day and McDonald. This would not affect students currently assigned at Stanford but, of course, it would affect incoming siblings. I absolutely understand the unhappiness for parents in that area but I can only point out that (1) this is a transition plan and there is no more surge capacity and (2) you have a hugely popular program. Marty seemed concerned that sibs would be split but Tracy said they could not keep kids together who are assigned under two different boundary plans. Michael was trying to figure out walkzones and requested a walkzone overlay for the maps.
- Sharon again pressed on the proximity issue as a tiebreaker. Rachel said it wouldn't be hard to do from a logistics standpoint but it was a philosophical question. Tracy said she wasn't sure of the impact. Michael said it was too late for this year but could be on the agenda next year.
- For geozones, there are no changes recommended for Salmon Bay K-8. It may be possible in the future for South Shore K-8 but because they have an entering grade of Pre-K, it is harder to model. Thorton Creek's geozone may be revised to take pressure off Wedgwood and View Ridge. Kay asked if there were any school discussions about this and Tracy said no. One idea here from Harium is a bus stop at the NE library for Salmon Bay students. Michael asked that there is an examination of the geozone around Queen Anne Elementary because of crowding at John Hay. Betty said there were concerns about Cleveland's geozone but Tracy said she hadn't heard from them. (I was a little mystified how Michael's request was an easy yes but not Betty's.)