Thursday, April 11, 2013

Seattle Schools Enrollment Predicted to Top 51,000 Next Year

From the Audit & Finance Committee meeting today comes news of the first Open Enrollment Data.

As stated in the headline, SPS enrollment looks to go over 50,000 for the first time in decades, to just over 51,000.

That is based on an increase of 1300 students for next year.  Interestingly, it is NOT at kindergarten where projections show a lower number, just under 300 students.  The real increase is at 6th grade at about 160 students. 

Oddly (and I mean I don't get statistically how this happened), they got all the high school numbers right on target.  The highest projected change for high school is at the sophomore level with more than 100 students.

Tracy Libros, head of Enrollment, said she thought the enormous growth line of birth-to-K may be stabilizing. 

Director Carr noted the change in 6th grade.  Dr. Libros said that Jane Addams is doubling the number of 6th grades classes and adding one 7th grade class.  They attracted many Spectrum-eligible students.  That surge at JA didn't necessarily help Eckstein but Eckstein will not be any larger next year than it is this year.    Dr. Libros classified Hamilton as "heavy."

Rainier Beach HS is up and projected at about 450 students.  Ingraham will have a third class of APP/IB students.

It was the briefest of outlines but more information is coming soon.

(P.S.  To any real journalists reading this, could you give credit where it's due.  This information is available nowhere else but here.  Professional courtesy is a great thing.


mirmac1 said...

I wonder how the Birth-K steep growth to, um, not so much, may affect the planned BEX IV investments. Here's the preliminary enrollment data.

BTW, talk about another cryptic "gap" analysis: seems all our problems are gone, I think...?

Anonymous said...

Were there specific numbers for Hamilton? Or, do we just get "heavy".


mirmac1 said...

No. But I read nothing into Carr's characterization but that status remains about the same, as is the case with Eckstein. From Libros' comments, it sounds like JA's new 6th grade classrooms kept Eckstein stable. JA drew 80 from Eckstein, with 80 to Eckstein from elsewhere.

Carr made an equally cryptic comment about McDonald, citing "numerous emails". Well, what do you expect when everyone in a specific neighborhood expects to get what others have (or not).

Melissa Westbrook said...

"He ain't heavy, he's my brother." But I digress (sorry, a little punchy.)

No real numbers for Hamilton but I'll try to see if there are any forthcoming.

Anonymous said...

I was curious if any documents with the enrollment statements were presented, related to the "hefty" Hamilton situation, the third APP/IB class at Ingraham, and if there would be a change to the spectrum model at JA next year. Could anyone elaborate on the statements made concerning these items.

Thank you. Curious Middle School Parent.

Anonymous said...

Rumor has it that a large swath of Broadview parents are opting for Shoreline schools for K.


Melissa Westbrook said...

Curious, there was one basic document but nothing specific to any one school. All the references to schools was verbal. There is likely to be more specifics soon.

mirmac1 said...

How much of a Broadview exodus is driven by $312/mo Full-day K costs?

joanna said...

Thank you for covering this. I am still frustrated that both this and Operations seem to meet at the same time. Today I could not make either.

Melissa Westbrook said...

I was quite startled when, during the monthly financial review, to see that the number of people using half-day kindergarten is larger than those utilizing full-day K.

In the past, I had heard several principals push back on half-day K, saying that they didn't have very many parents.

Maybe half-day is concentrated in certain schools but I have to believe, Mirmac1 points out, that some parents cannot afford full-day K. And, those may be the students who might need that extra time in the classroom.

McCleary can't come fast enough.

Po3 said...

Any word on when families will receive assigment letters or be able to look online?

Anonymous said...


This was on the Advanced Learning page of the SPS website (I am assuming it would apply to all families, not to just those of advanced learners...feel free to correct me if I am wrong about that.):


Information on assignments and waitlist status will be available to families beginning at Noon on Monday, April 15th from Enrollment Services. You will be able to access this information on-line or by calling the automated phone line, 206-252-0212.
Individual letters will be mailed the week of April 22nd to anyone who submitted an Open Enrollment application.

-North End Mom

Anonymous said...


Do FRL families have to pay for K? If not, then perhaps a portion of the "half-day K" numbers are FRL kids who are in kindergarten for the full day, but who get a waiver from paying for the full day?

Has there been an analysis done on the affect of increased half-day kindergarten (due to families who can't afford full day K)on transportation costs? Those who qualify receive mid-day bus service, correct? I wonder if raising the cost of full-day K is worth it, when transportation costs are factored in?

-North End Mom

K 2012 said...

For K for 2012-2013, we were sent a list of schools where you DO pay for full-day K and a list of schools where you don't pay. My understanding is that for schools with a certain percentage of FRL kids, no families at those schools pay for full-day K. The rate this year has been $272/month.

Anonymous said...

I'm not surprised at the high rate of parents not affording/paying for full day K. It is an all-or-nothing rate, not progressively scaled so a family just barely above the F&RL rate (even with income $10/year over the limit) pays 100% full price.

SPS might get more "buy-in" (and kids getting a more equal start to their education), if a rate was i.e. $100/mo for those closest to the cut-off, then $150/mo for those with a bit higher income, then $200/mo, etc.

For those families just a tad over the limit, even taking a second part-time job to improve their family's income might actually cost them more in losing the K subsidy. It's a Catch-22 again for those caught in the lower-middle!


Melissa Westbrook said...

NE Mom, no, FRL kids don't have to pay. I suspect, though, that many of the half-day students are in families that may not be F/RL but would struggle if they had to pay for full-day K. I agree about the transportation costs.

Agreed, TK.

Sabine Mecking said...

I wished they just go rid of the pay-for-K. The price tag has gone from up from $1700 in 2008-2009 to >$3000 for 2012-2013. With let's say 25 kids per class that's >$75,000 per class that the school district is collecting (if everyone is paying) which is probably at least double of what the staffing of an extra half-day K class room is. Hence, SPS must be redistributing that money somehow, presumably by using the extra money for FRL students who don't pay for full-day K. I find it completely unreasonable and unfair that parents who are just above the cut-off for FRL are asked to subsidize pay-for-K in this way. In fact, I don't think any parent should be asked/forced to pay this subsidy, but it should be coming from the state (i.e. through taxes) instead.

Sabine Mecking said...

Oops, I meant to say ">$3000 for 2013-2014".

mirmac1 said...


RU kidding?! Pay for K is one of the "gap solutions"!

Yeah, I know. Counter-intuitive to the whole Birth to K plank on the ed reform platform...

Melissa Westbrook said...

Seattle Mom, please go tell your legislators this. They need to hear it...over and over.

dj said...

When my oldest was in SPS kindergarten, she attended a mostly-FRL school, and none of the kids (including us, and we are not FRL) had to pay. That's not why we sent her, and I do not know if that is still how it works, but that is a possible solution if you are not FRL and are really strapped.

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