Seattle Schools' Enrollment Projections

 Update:  Here's the district waitlist
The high school waitlists are long for 9th grade - Franklin, 88, Garfield, 80, Hale, 68, Roosevelt 87.

JSIS, Pathfinder, Queen Anne, Lafayette, McDonald,  and K-5 STEM at Boren have a big list for K. 

Mercer has 36 for 6th grade (the publicity around their success is getting around) and Salmon Bay has a long waitlist  in nearly every grade and yet the projections have their enrollment down.  TOPS has a waitlist in every grade. 

Again, what's up with South Shore - its building is nowhere near full and yet they have a waitlist in almost every single grade.  Something's not right here.

End of update.

Here are the district's enrollment projections for next year.


High School
Most of the high schools are steady-state with a few exceptions.  Cleveland will be up by the most - 44 students.  And, the closest high school to it, Franklin, may be going down by 35.
Garfield is projected to go down by 40 students and Ingraham up by...39 students.  Looks like the APP program at Ingraham is getting firmly established.
Rainier Beach continues to climb, up by 41 to 448.
Roosevelt continues to climb and will go over the 1700 mark (1728).

Middle School
Hamilton is taking it hard with an increase at 127.  That will pop them over the 1100 mark.
Eckstein is projected to lose 46 but it is still the largest middle school at 1252.  Denny, McClure and Washington will all add about 30+ students.

South Shore, despite free Pre-K and a new building, continues to be underenrolled.  I'm not sure why but that's sure a big, expensive building that isn't filled.
Jane Addams is adding a whopping 167 students and will go from 581 to 748.
Pinehurst continues to drop and is projected at 133 students.
Madrona is also way under its building size at 286.  
Salmon Bay is predicted to drop 11 spaces to 683 which surprises me. 

K-5 STEM at Boren is continuing to grow with a projected add of 59 students.  West Seattle Elementary will be up by another 37 students at 436.  Gatewood will go over 500 students with a projected addition of 42 students.  Schmitz Park continues its growth, up 38 students.
John Rogers, Olympic Hills and Thornton Creek are all projected to grow with 30+ students.  Sand Point continues to grow, adding 46 students.
APP at Lincoln is also growing, adding 70 students.  McDonald will be up an astonishing 91 students.
Most of Queen Anne/Magnolia sees modest growth except for Queen Anne Elementary which is booming up with 58 students.
In the Central area, Lowell stays under 200.  Thurgood Marshall is going up to near 500 with 34 more students. 
Viewlands is the elementary school growing by the most in the district - 69 more students. 


Anonymous said…
I have a hard time buying the salmon bay drop. i'll be curious to see those final numbers.
RosieReader said…
Salmon Bay also has a wait list in every grade. So unless they've been over enrolled this year, something isn't penciling out.
If you look at the Salmon Bay numbers, it looks like they've been slightly over-enrolled in Middle School (they aim for cohorts of 120 per grade, and each of the three MS grades are over for 2012-13). Middle School makes up 9 of the 11 seats lost - accounts for graduating a larger class, small attrition in current 6th and 7th grade cohorts, and projecting the desired 120 for the incoming 6th grade.
Anonymous said…
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RosieReader said…
Resposting so that once the original 11:43 post is deleted for lack of a moniker, the info remains.

Big changes at Ingraham. They have a wait list for the first time -- 65 kids!And they expanded dthe 9th grade class by 40 students. This is a school that had no wait list in the past. Greater appreciation of IB program plus moving APP kids is changing perceptions of this far north end school

4/16/13, 11:43 AM
Po3 said…
"Looks like the APP program at Ingraham is getting firmly established."

And with the long waitlist it looks like APP IBx is pushing out students who want the regular IB program.

This is going to be contentious since there are no other IB programs in the northend.
Benjamin Leis said…
Re: Salmon Bay. My (somewhat anecdotal) understanding was that a large group of the Thornton Creek families decided en masse to go to Jane Addams rather than Salmon Bay as they have decided to do in the past.

Anonymous said…
Does anyone know what the capacity at Ingraham is? I have heard from an Ingraham parent that the principal won't allow the enrollment to go over a certain level even though the building could support many more students. I was wondering how he managed to do that. I know that Hale is starting to worry about the numbers.

HP, this has always been a question - who controls how many students are in a building? I think generally speaking, principals do get some leverage unless it is a real crisis.

There's irony there about Hale wanting to control their numbers because they used to limit the number of kids because of their program but that ended when the district just plain needed the room.

I suspect Ingraham is in a better place to try to control numbers because of carrying two programs (IB and APP).
Anonymous said…
There is still quite a waiting list for Salmon Bay, so this must be a building or district decision to reduce numbers? I still think those numbers will go up come fall.
@P03: During Q&A at one of their open houses, Floe made it sound like no one who wanted to participate in IBB or IBx would be turned away. If anything, that increase will probably fall hardest on the General Ed. cohort.
Po3 said…
"If anything, that increase will probably fall hardest on the General Ed. cohort."

Doubtful as this cohort would probably be mostly reference area students and would get a set before anybody else. My bets are on out of attendance area students who wanted IB.

Anonymous said…
Do the projections include outside of area students or just neighborhood students and students already enrolled? Could that be way Hale's projections for 9th grade are down but there is a waitlist of 68? I know that they like to keep the 9th grade a certain size because of the academy setup for 9th grade and that this current year's 9th grade was really larger than they wanted. There didn't seem to be the same concern about the higher grades because the classes are set up differently. Currently there are 3 academies in 9th grade which are divided into 2 blocks and each block is divided into 2 classes. If ideal class size is 25, that would limit the 9th grade class to 300.

Anonymous said…
Really curious how Garfield is losing 109 rising juniors? Several other schools have a decrease in 11th grade, though not as large as Garfield. What could this be?

Maureen said…
I would agree with Po3, the losers at IHS are the out of neighborhood/non IBX students. IHS can't distinguish gen ed from pre IB students; they all look the same during enrollment. IBX numbers could in theory be controlled. I'm hoping that 90 were admitted in order to allow 3 classes of 30 each. The current cohort size (49?), from what I understand, allowed for some very small IBX core classes at the same time non IBX core classes were in the mid 40s. I wonder if any of the waitlist is IBX or if it's all Gen Ed/Pre IB?

Backing out the numbers, it looks like something like 13 new APP qualified students were identified and will enroll at IBX. I'm happy about that. I never understood why the APP golden ticket to GHS wasn't available to newly identified kids.

I'm curious as to how well these spring numbers will reflect actual fall enrollment in neighborhood high schools? I guess as long as kids go from SPS 8th grade to SPS 9th grade (and don't move) they are trackable, but now no one is required to pre-enroll, so it seems like these spring numbers can substantially under-state actual fall enrollment. I expect the impact is worse for some schools than others. IHS had about 90 previously unidentified kids show up last fall. They weren't able to hire new teachers until November. I'm sure kids' learning was negatively impacted.
Garfield's not losing 109 rising juniors, they're losing 6. You have to compare this year's sophomores to next years juniors to figure attrition.
ws said…
for STEM would the new students be net new as they don't have students actualy moving on to Middle school? looks like they only want 2 classes per grade level.
RosieReader said…
Curious -- Garfield isn't losing rising juniors. Those 474 juniors in 2012 juniors are found in the 487 seniors in 2013.
RosieReader said…
I've reached out on the AP blog to see if there's a sense that the Ingraham waitlisted folks are AP or not. If anyone on this blog is on the Ingraham waitlist, can you indicate whether your student is AP or not. Maureen is right, as far as I'm aware, that one can't distinguish between general ED that are and are not pre-IB.
5th grade parent said…
Hamilton was designed for a capacity of 900, the stated "functional capacity" is around 975, and they are anticipating 1100 students. Should parents expect changes, such as a June surprise move, as happened to Lowell? Will they increase class sizes (above 32) as a means to deal with the numbers?
Anonymous said…
To respond to some posts above,

No APP students would be on the Gen Ed Ingraham waitlist, they would be on a separate one. This means the district decided to allow everyone who applied to IBX, both current and non-current APP to get in. They probably did this because of the APP increase at Garfield to 120 in 9th grade next year. The question seems to be if the IBX option for APP at Ingraham is an option program with a certain number of slots or is now guaranteed for everyone who wants and is eligible to attend. If that's the case and more people continue to choose IBX, in 2014 we could have upwards of 160 APP 9th Graders at Ingraham.

Any Thoughts?
Anonymous said…
I have a feeling more than 90 applied to IBX at Ingraham. Looking at the numbers, there are 102 current HIMS 8th Graders in APP and 95 WMS 8th Graders in APP. That's 197 potential APP 9th Graders next year. 90 at IBX plus 120 at Garfield is 210, so it seems as if there are 13 newcomers to IBX. We are heading to IBX from WMS and got the sense a lot of others were as well, it seems as if it should be 120 at IBX and 90 at Garfield, based on the comments made this past year. And this is if no current APP students go to another high school.

WMS 8th Grade Family
Charlie Mas said…

Some odd things.

Cleveland STEM has a gen ed waitlist of 12 at ninth grade with a projected enrollment of 225. The enrollment at Cleveland STEM, per the Board action that created the school and the NTN contract, is supposed to have a maximum of 250 per grade level. Not only should the 12 waitlisted students be enrolled, but there should be room for 13 more besides. Students are waitlisted for grade 10 despite a projected enrollment under 250 in that grade as well.

There are 4 APP students waitlisted for APP at Lincoln. They must be from the Thurgood Marshall attendance area.

Arbor Heights has waitlisted 6 Spectrum students in the third grade. The projected Spectrum head count for the third grade at Arbor Heights is 15. That's not a full class. Why isn't there room for the other six students? I presume they don't reside in the Arbor Heights attendance area, but they have no alternative Spectrum site. Why hasn't the District right-sized the program to meet the demand? Why can the Arbor Heights second grade hold 76 students but the third grade cannot hold 71?

Charlie Mas said…
Beacon Hill International School shows a general education waitlist of 23 at K. Is this really general education or is it for the language immersion program? Beacon Hill has the only language immersion program south of the Ship Canal and east of the Duwamish. The new Equitable Access Framework, however, doesn't cover language immersion programs - they are a school's curricular focus and outside District-level control or responsibility.

Broadview-Thomson has a gen ed waitlist at nearly every grade level and one student on the Spectrum waitlist for second grade. This is odd because the District projects zero students for B-T Spectrum in the second grade. So the B-T Spectrum program size was set to zero?

There are waitlists for Bagley Montessori. Normally I would call upon the District to create additional Montessori programs to accommodate the demand for the service, but the new Equitable Access Framework excludes equitable access to Montessori.

There are three students on the waitlist for 6th grade Spectrum at Denny. 15 Spectrum students are expected. That's not a full class. Since students are supposed to be assured of access to Spectrum at their attendance area middle school, these three students must be from outside the Denny attendance area.
5th grade parent, if I had to call it, I'd say there's a June surprise coming. I say that only because Hamilton has nowhere to put a portable so there's not really extra space to be had. (My understanding is that the entire school IS in use.)

Of course, they could go to larger classes but that would be up to the SEA.
Maureen said…
Hamilton shows a separate APP wait list. (WMS and TMarshall don't, implying no one is waiting for APP slots at those schools.) If they are being consistent from school to school, that implies that there are no IBX students on the wait list for Ingraham. (Though it seems odd to me that exactly 90 students want a spot.)
Anonymous said…
I am a super cynic and think this has been their plan all along. No one is currently slated for John Marshall for next year, are they? I get that we all think APP parents are paranoid, but just because you are paranoid doesn't mean they aren't out to get you (to butcher the joke),

Maureen said…
Are there four classrooms available at Lincoln? If I were in charge, I would use Lincoln as an annex to HIMS and locate some 8th grade LA/SS block classes there.

Re capacity at IHS, I believe I heard the principal say they are set up to run at about 1000, but could squeeze in 1200. They will pass that in three years if the IBx enrollment rolls up at 90 per grade.
Charlie Mas said…
Hamilton has waitlisted Spectrum and APP students. They must be from outside the Hamilton attendance area.

John Muir has waitlisted Spectrum students in grades 1, 2, and 3. Since the Spectrum classes at these grades are not full, we can conclude that the students on the waitlist are from outside the Washington service area, or at least from outside the Muir attendance area. The District needs to right-size this program.

Here's a surprise: Lowell has waitlisted general education students at grades K, 1, and 3. This school is disasterously under-enrolled and they are waitlisting students? Someone care to explain that?

McClure, another horribly under-enrolled school has waitlisted 6 students for the sixth grade and one for the eighth grade. How is that allowed?

You will notice that a number of the alternative schools have long waitlists at nearly every grade, yet the District has no duty (or even interest) in duplicating these successful programs or responding to this demand. Of course, the new policy puts alternative schools outside of the requirement for equitable access to programs and services. Also, the Board never requires the superintendent to provide a capacity management report that complies with the policy and reports demand.

South Shore, as Mel has pointed out, is an under-enrolled school with a waitlist. How is that possible?

The Center School is another under-enrolled school with a waitlist.

Watch Thurgood Marshall. It will follow the same path as Lowell. There are 16 students waitlisted at K and a projected enrollment of 489 in a building designed for 425.

Washington has 14 students on the 6th grade Spectrum waitlist. Add this to the five students on the 6th grade Spectrum waitlist at Mercer and you have your answer for why the District expects only 10 6th grade Spectrum students at Aki Kurose.

Wedgwood has waitlisted Spectrum students. Really? They don't even have Spectrum classrooms. Which is funny because they have enough Spectrum students to form them.

Whittier has waitlisted Spectrum students as well. When will the District right-size this program?
Anonymous said…
If they only roll up 90 student IBX 9th grades at Ingraham the next three years, there will be 188 APP 9th graders at GHS in 2014, 206 in 2015 and 232 in 2016, based on this year's middle school APP enrollment numbers. The 6th grade cohort will likely be even larger. Prior to all this growth, the APP grade level cohort at Garfield stayed constant at about 125, for many years, making up just over a quarter of each grade level. Does GHS have room for APP grade level cohorts that could make up over half the class? It would probably be great for GHS in many ways, but depending on neighborhood demand, maybe a tad overcrowded?

Mark Ahlness said…
Charlie, re: your question about Spectrum at Arbor Heights... the program would look a lot different if SPS had not limited the school's total Spectrum enrollment in 2011-12 to 22 students. Yes, they did that. In the second year of Spectrum at the school.
kellie said…
This report is a little odd in that it has general ed and then spectrum and APP.

It would be a lot easier to use this report if it were simply general education and then from attendance area and NOT from attendance area columns. Only a handful of schools have spectrum and app. However, lots of schools have something unique that would draw folks from out of the attendance area, especially at high school.

It would also make the wait lists much easier to interpret. Clearly the waitlist are from out of the attendance area but there is no way to really know if a school is taking any students from out of the attendance area already.

However, I suspect that the choice seats may just be gone in the re-boundary process. Roosevelt is now projected to have more students than Garfield so something is going to have to give. I would suspect that since the distance tie breaker is back for elementary and middle schools, that it could soon be back for high schools as a way to assist the families that are willing to leave Roosevelt for Hale and Ingraham.
Charlie Mas said…
Remember when the District promised to set-aside 10% of all high school seats for out-of-area students to preserve choice? They broke that promise without so much as twitching.

Remember when all of the candidates for school board said that they supported making language immersion programs option programs with enrollment open to all students? I guess they didn't mean it.

Remember when they said that they support advanced learning? Ha!
Anonymous said…
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GreyWatch said…
In addition to ibx/app, immersion students from hamilton get an automatic in to ingraham.
Anonymous said…
Is the immersion pathway new this year? For Ingraham, the old projected enrollment document from 2/12 also predicted 301 total 9th Graders then the APP number went from 60 to 90 but the total number did not change. Is this an oversight? APP Spots are separate from everything else except Immersion?

Tami said…
@HP - Every time I have heard Martin Floe talk about Ingraham's capacity in the last 4 years, he's mentioned 1200 students as the "sweet spot," but I don't know when IHS's enrollment was that high. Ingraham 2009-10 enrollment was 1051, 2010-11 was 970, 2011-12 was 949, and this year is 1018. At the 2012 PTSA meeting where capacity was addressed, he was very clear that he was not in control of the numbers of students enrolled, that it was done by enrollment.

@WMS 8th Grade Family - Not all Hamilton APP 8th graders are planning on Ingraham. My student has several friends who kept the Garfield assignment.

@Maureen - I agree it's the non-neighborhood/non IBx students who are being waitlisted. I think there would be a separate IBx waitlist, as there was a separate Ingraham IBx enrollment category.

@GreyWatch - if the immersion pathway was in force, it must be done at Enrollment. There wasn't an Ingraham Immersion enrollment category on the enrollment form.

I was surprised when Principal Watters remarked at the 1st Hamilton PTSA meeting that Advanced Learning was 55% (APP was 42% and Spectrum was 13%) of the 2012-13 enrollment. The current projections put AL at 62% of total 2013-14 Hamilton enrollment. That's a lot of growth for the 2 programs - I think it will be hard to balance all the Hamilton programs when the 2 AL programs are the largest part of the school. With the current assignment program and choices, I think it will have implications for Ingraham as well.
Anonymous said…
These are still "just" the projections from the district, not the actual number of students who enrolled, correct? And doesn't the district have a history of under-projecting? I know the principal at my daughter's school said she doesn't believe for a second that kindergarten enrollment is going to go down but that is what they are projecting (for the second year in a row). A lot of these projections could be wrong.....again. Why can't we just use actual numbers instead of projections this late in the school year?
Anonymous said…
So next year (2014-2015), assuming 90% of HIMS APP 8th Graders migrate to APP/IBx at Ingraham, that's 150 students. Based on the reputation the program has been getting, more could test in. So what happens then? Is APP guaranteed a spot? Ingraham is about to go through the "Hamiltonification", APP and Immersion and IB, it's just happening more gradually this time though and Ingraham thankfully has a lot of room to grow. I guess programs aren't competing for space as at Garfield, as the core classes are separate but this seems to be up in the air.

HIMS 8th Grade Family
Anonymous said…
I'm impressed -for lack of a better word-- by the difference between APP students in WMS and HIMS:
WMS 6th grade = 97
HIMS 6th grade = 225

Anonymous said…
Ingraham doesn't have a very good reputation for gen ed. IB is doing a lot to rehabilitate the school's reputation but I haven't heard of anyone choosing Ingraham for gen ed. If they don't want IB, the go to Ballard, Nathan Hale or Shorewood/Shorecrest. It will be interesting to see if IB helps pull the whole school up.

Anonymous said…

"I'm impressed -for lack of a better word-- by the difference between APP students in WMS and HIMS:
WMS 6th grade = 97
HIMS 6th grade = 225"

Impressed? There should be no surprise here. There are 2 classes of 5th grade at TM and 4 classes of 5th grade at Lincoln.

@HP "It will be interesting to see if IB helps pull the whole school up."

How could it? Gen ed students have no access to these programs, unlike Garfield, where a critical mass of advanced learners really does result in broader choices of Honors and AP course offerings that any qualified student could take. IB and IBx are great programs, but they are specific tracks rather than a menu from which a motivated student could choose.

open ears
Open Ears, you are mistaken about IB. ANY student can take an IB class. This is one of the good things about it and I know this from talking to Mr. Floe. I think they prefer that students enroll in the system but my understanding is that IB is open to all.
Tami said…
@open ears - IB at Ingraham is not like IB at private schools is Europe where the only option is the IB diploma program. I know quite a few Ingraham students who are taking from 1 to 6 IB classes, who plan on taking the exam(s), but aren't doing the whole diploma. For them, IB functions much like AP classes do.

I do think that it would be helpful for Ingraham to figure out a way to emphasize the very good options available to students who might not want to do the IB diploma, but do want to take IB classes.

Maureen said…
I think HP andf open ears are unclear as to how IB works at Ingraham. Many kids take some IB classes and don't do the full diploma. In that way, it works the same as AP classes at Garfield and other HSs.

IBx is an exception to some extent because the APP students take 9th grade core classes as a cohort-but after that they take virtually all of their classes with upperclassmen, some of them are doing the diploma, others are just taking the IB classes that interest them (like IB Business, or Psychology).

It's true that IB draws students from outside the assignment area, in the same way BioTech or drama drtaws kids to BHS and RHS, but IB is less exclusionary than those programs (no application or auditions). I expect that quite a few kids who are drawn to IHS by IB don't end up doing the full diploma-but appreciate all that IHS offers.
Maureen said…
cross posted with Melissa and Tami! :)
Anonymous said…
IHS students unfortunately have had the reputation of being hoodlums but that is changing with the addition of IB at Ingraham. I do think it would be in IHS interest to advertise that you can take IB classes without doing the whole IB program.

All high schools have reputations, whether deserved or not. Hale had a bad reputation as a drug school and has turned that around (Nathan Inhale was the nickname). I think Ingraham is in the middle of the same type of turnaround and that it will continue to attract more and more neighborhood kids.

HP, yes, reputations (as we all recall from high school) are hard to change. But I believe that all of our high schools are on the rise and the proof is in the enrollments.
Anonymous said…
@ Open ears: How many students are there in each 5th grade class at TM and L-APP?
L-APP = 106
TM = 66

The increase in the APP population is HUGE, particularly for HIMS. The trend is particularly scary as has been pointed out already. Hope the district has their ears and eyes wide open too.

Anonymous said…
There is a jump at middle school because some elementary APP qualified students choose to stay at their neighborhood school or Spectrum rather than switch to APP in elementary. An equivalent of two classes joined APP@HIMS in 6th grade this year and last. Also, the split between north and south APP enrollment doesn't typically work out to be 50-50.

The jump does seem to correlate with the use of MAP scores in AL identification.

Anonymous said…
Open Ears is incorrect. Thurgood Marshall has 3 classes this year of 5th grade.

TM Parent
Anonymous said…
Absolutely, Melissa, absolutely.

Tsailon said…
Anyone know how likely it is to get a choice assignment off the waitlist? Or how successful the transfer appeals process typically is? We moved from one attendance area to another recently, so kid is assigned to different school for senior year of high school, which to me seems really unfair (no mechanism to grandfather in kids for senior year if they move). We applied for choice spot at current high school so kid can stay there and are #2 on a waiting list of 2. Assigned high school also has a waiting list of 2 and similar waitlist numbers at all grades as current high school. I am panicking.
Tsailon, call the principal and explain the situation. If there are truly only two students on the waitlist, I would expect it to move. But really, I think you have an excellent case to appeal.
Anonymous said…
Do they really reassign for high school if you move? It seems like once you are in, you are in unless you wish to switch. How awful.

Tsailon said…
Melissa - yes, I can appeal the decision and I must get the principal on board to do that, but they won't even look at appeals until June. I was hoping a spot would open up before then. They said most wait list issues aren't resolved until July/August! The individual schools have no idea about the wait list (numbers or who is on it) - all of that info is kept at the district level in the enrollment services office.
Tsailon said…
Anonymous - yes, they do make you change schools if you move out of an attendance area - they won't make you change during the school year but you are reassigned for the following year. Since the school board came up with this policy I contacted school board members of the assignment areas in question, Harium M-M and Sharon Peaslee, to ask them about it - why seniors weren't grandfathered in, if there had been any discussion about this, if it was an unintended consequence of the policy, etc. Both members completely blew me off and didn't even respond. They just forwarded my email to Tracy Libros, who did respond in a thoughtful and prompt manner. She basically confirmed the policy and what I needed to do (apply for open choice seat, then appeal if necessary) but she couldn't answer any of the questions related to how/why the policy was written that way, because of course the school board came up with the policy, SPS just enforces it.
Anonymous said…

The only way I am familiar with having a wait list move sooner is to do some neighborhood networking to find out who is on the wait list at your spot and above for both schools.

It sounds like you were enrolled at Roosevelt and moved into the Hale area or vice-versa.

Just to stick with that example - find out who is #1 on the Hale list, and who is #1 and 2 on the Roosevelt list.

If a swap can be done -- for example both #1 and #2 on the Roosevelt wait list are enrolled at Hale, and #1 and #2 on the Hale list are enrolled at Roosevelt -- then contact Tracy Libros and let her know such a swap can be had and she will do that. They won't jump locations on the list but will do a #1 for a #1 swap if that is how it is. Sometimes, even just knowing the information for the wait list at the school for which you are on the wait list and then sharing the information with Tracy will be enough for her to do a swap analysis. The term, swap, is my term and nothing techinical from enrollment.

You could try the NE Seattle Moms forum on Yahoo as a sleauthing starting point.

I have gone through wait list anxiety with all three of my children so wish you the best.

Anonymous said…
I'll also add that normally there is one individual in enrollment who works the wait lists manually, alphabetically by school, per region.

They don't have a handy dandy program to do analysis for them. So if you can do some of the foot work you can help speed up the process.

Tracy actually is the person that crafts the Enrollment Plans vs. the School Board. She takes input from the Superintendent as to what is desired at the moment and also input from School Board members, and then comes up with a plan that will best work based on the criteria she is given. True - the School Board does vote to approve her plan, but they do not craft the original plan. Also true that once the rules are approved, these are the rules by which Enrollment Services and Planning abide.

The current plan was devised under the rule of MGJ if that sheds any light as to some of the harsh edges that are in place.

Anonymous said…
So, it looks like the only people with choice in high school anymore are APP students. They have their choice of 3 comprehensive high schools, with guaranteed admission, and 3 alt schools. Nice.

Charlie Mas said…
The rule for students who move is an element of policy - set by the school board. It is one of several that are in direct opposition to the original Framework for the New Student Assignment Plan which was supposed to allow students to remain at their school despite moving.

My daughter got an out-of-area assignment to her school but, if we were to move, she would have to get a new one. That's how crazy the rules are.
Anonymous said…
That's insane. Once a kid starts at a school they should be allowed to finish all the grades at that school. At the very least, this should be true for middle schools and high schools.

kellie said…
There is a reason for this policy, albeit one that folks either love or hate depending on how it impacts their family and their student.

Essentially school facilities are not infinite and therefore, the district as a matter of policy needs to have a way to say "enough" for a particular building. Now some buildings are so crowded it doesn't look like it but the attendance area boundaries are the way that capacity is no controlled.

Under the choice system, you got an assignment either based on lottery number or distance to a school and you either got your choice or you didn't and that was the end of the story. 75% of people got their choice but that meant 25% did not get a choice school. Those numbers are just for on-time, choice window applications. If you applied after the window, you could only get what was left over.

Since enrollment could be controlled with a wait list, if students moved they could keep their seats or via the choice process see if you could get a different seat. This was great if you wanted to keep your seat and not so great if you wanted to move to your new neighborhood school. In most cases, it was highly improbable that you would get your new local school because most schools were "full."

Under a geographic assignment system, everyone gets their assignment school. This means that the only way the district can say "enough" is via the attendance area boundaries. So this version is not so great if you want to keep your school. However, it is wonderful if you want to attend new local school.

It is simply not possible to "guarantee" both seats for every student. Geographic assignment plans are based on the concept of "swirl." This concept is that the amount of housing in an attendance area is either fixed or changes relatively slowly. So in theory for every student that leaves an area there is a student that enters the area.

Under the choice plan, families "could" move near a school during the choice window and secure their seat at their preferred school. They could then move anywhere and keep that seat. If that same guarantee were in place, there would be no mechanism in place for "attrition" to be paired with natural in migration to an area.

Using Garfield as an example. Garfield has been a very popular choice school for a long time. Garfield is currently just barely able to keep up with attendance area enrollment. If families could go to Garfield for one month and then move and be guaranteed Garfield, well ... we can all guess what enrollment would look like.

Anonymous said…
Speaking of Garfield, if the proposed 120 APP students arrive in 9th Grade next year, there is still a decrease from current 9th grade numbers, which will bring APP to 30% of Garfield's 9th Grade. Are there really that many less neighborhood children or are open choice seats being reallocated to APP. My understanding is that APP at Garfield is not a program, so unlike Ingraham, the seats are interchangeable.

kellie said…
There really aren't any open choice seats. This is the official policy.

The number of Open Choice seats for 9th
– 12th grade students from outside of the attendance area is calculated as follows:

Set target enrollments for each grade based on 25% of each school’s program capacity. But, if projected enrollment at any grade is more than 25% of program capacity, reduce targets in all grades accordingly.

If the grade or school’s projected enrollment is:

90% or less of the grade’s target enrollment, the minimum number of Open Choice seats will be 10%. – There will be more Open Choice seats added (above the minimum) if attendance area enrollment is less than 90% of target enrollment.

91% -100% of the grade’s target enrollment, the minimum number of Open Choice seats will be less than 10%.

More than 100% of the grade’s target enrollment, there are no Open Choice seats.
Anonymous said…
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Anonymous said…
Anon at 10:16,
I just happended to open this post and saw your comment about Spectrum. Spectrum at Wedgwood is terrible (outside of 4th and 5th) there is no evidence of cluster grouping or special instruction. We applied and got into self-contained Spectrum at Whitter, but hopefully the advanced learning department sees this problem soon, as "cluster-grouped spectrum" is no more than a ALO which is practically Gen Ed.

Spectrum is almost gone.
Anonymous said…
Kellie, that's why APP is so great. There's still choice, lots of it, just like there used to be. Want IB? Got it. Want AP? (or even just Garfield for some other reason) Got it. Want your neighborhood school? Got that too. Want one of 3 alt schools? Got that too. Nice policy. Cool!

kellie said…
@ Parent

I have said this a lot of different ways but I will try again. APP is not the capacity problem. APP choice is not the capacity problem. In fact, the limited amount of choice there has been at high school has been because of the APP cohort.

Because enough APP students do leave their neighborhood school to be part of the cohorts at either Garfield or Ingraham, that creates the few open spaces that other students do get during open enrollment.

The 10% choice seats don't exist, as such. However, the "swirl" of some students leaving a spot that opens a spot is still happening a bit and mostly because of the APP cohort.

There is an opinion that somehow APP is getting something special regarding choice. However, in my opinion, I think the APP cohort pays a very steep price for that illusion of choice. Every year APP is on the "let's move them here. No, wait. Let's move them there. No, wait." program.

That's not some magic choice option.

There are no groups that are left untouched by the capacity challenges. The High School capacity issues are only now beginning to get on people's radar. 7 of the 9 comprehensive high schools and are effectively full, with Roosevelt and Garfield crazy full. There is truly only space at RB and WSHS. WSHS has space because their boundaries are way too small.

The bottom line is that you can try to send APP back to all of their attendance area schools so that even the illusion of choice is gone and the only thing that will happen is that there is zero flexibility at high school.

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