Public-school popularity list – of sorts – goes public

Linked from the P-I education blog this afternoon: A Seattle Public Schools spreadsheet showing how many families listed each school in the district as their “first choice” for next year, and for comparison, the numbers for the previous four years. (Iif you haven’t been through this process before, the “school choice” system in SPS asks you to list and rank the schools you request that your child/ren be admitted to; the process is under review for possible future changes.) Take note that the elementary numbers are for kindergarteners, the middle-school numbers for 6th graders, the high-school numbers for entering 9th graders. West Seattle schools that were listed as “first choice” by more students this year than last, according to this document, are Arbor Heights, Cooper, Gatewood, Lafayette, Roxhill, Schmitz Park, and West Seattle (still listed under its old name, High Point) elementaries; Denny Middle School; and West Seattle High School. (See our Schools page for direct links to all WS schools’ websites.) Among those, the most dramatic jumps were at Denny, with 132 first choices this year, 87 last year; Gatewood, with 61 first choices this year, more than double the 26 from last year; Lafayette at 116, up from 75; and Roxhill, almost doubling, 31 this year after 16 last year. As the P-I also notes, a wide variety of factors play into how parents list choices, so this isn’t a completely clear-cut popularity poll, to be fair. (Here’s the spreadsheet link again; note the third page shows how many kids are currently waitlisted for each school.)

6 Replies to "Public-school popularity list - of sorts - goes public"

  • GenHillOne April 11, 2008 (7:10 pm)

    Great find WSB – really interesting! I do wonder about their data a bit…I clearly remember being on the Madison waitlist at number 51 (but, hey, we eventually moved to number 49!) and the spreadsheet shows a waitlist of 23 that year. Maybe this shows where they were at when school started?

  • Sarah April 11, 2008 (7:37 pm)

    I’m not sure if this tells it or not but West Seattle is in a bind-I don’t know very many people that got their first choice-in fact I don’t know anyone that got into a school that they don’t live close to!!! West Seattle’s schools are FULL with waiting lists-ALL schools, preschool, childcare, public, private, elementary & middle. Now would someone please explain WHY they closed 2 schools and did nothing to improve the ones we have left??? And so we wait for next years new enrollment plan to be revealed! How many schools will we be able to choose from and how are they going to make sure that we want to actually go to them??? You think address cheating was a problem this year? You wait until next year.

  • WSB April 11, 2008 (8:21 pm)

    Sarah, we have thought about that too – without even having exact stats on families with children in WS, etc., we have seen so many people around with babies and toddlers the past couple years, it seemed like growth in school admission was just a few years away, and the closure idea (to save comparatively few dollars) might have been awfully premature.

  • KC April 11, 2008 (8:57 pm)

    Simply because some folks aren’t getting their first choice doesn’t mean we don’t have enough room in our schools for all our kids. Does it? Some schools will always be more in demand but we have to fill all the neighborhood schools. We do have school choice to a degree but supporting your neighborhood schools goes a long way in supporting the community you live in.

  • carraig na splinkeen April 12, 2008 (7:39 am)

    All–we live close to Alki elementary (really) and our son is enrolled in kindergarten there. We are one of the very few families who walk though…

  • Charlie Mas May 5, 2008 (11:39 pm)

    You might have wondered about the waitlist for Denny when the enrollment number clearly wasn’t enough to fill the school. All of the waitlisted students had tried to enroll in the Spectrum program, but the program had a ceiling of 16 students.

    Fortunately, the ceiliing was lifted and the students on the waitlist were enrolled in the school and the program.

    This is really good news for the school and the program. The Denny program was not well regarded due to low enrollment, and had low enrollment because it was not well regarded. With nearly full enrollment for 2008-2009 the Denny Spectrum program may finally gain the respect it needs to recruit more effectively, and, therefore, develop a stronger program and academic opportunity for the students.

Sorry, comment time is over.