Seattle Public Schools “open enrollment” starts tomorrow

The new Student Assignment Plan for Seattle Public Schools means that starting next school year, thousands of students get default assignments to what the district has designated as their “neighborhood schools.” However, you can still request a different school – and the official period for doing that starts tomorrow. Here’s the info on the SPS site. ADDED 9:58 PM: The district is having several outreach events at which you can get help with the application process; in West Seattle, there’s a session planned 5:30-7 pm March 8 at Delridge Library.

15 Replies to "Seattle Public Schools "open enrollment" starts tomorrow"

  • SpeakLoud February 28, 2010 (6:46 pm)

    I’m surprised it hasn’t been news yet but does everyone know about Pay for K ?

  • Opinionated February 28, 2010 (7:15 pm)

    I am shocked that the district intends to put students in substandard portables at Mercer Middle School as it increases 6th grade enrollment there while leaving 77 empty seats at Madison Middle School which has a state of the art remodeled building built by taxpayers. Is saving money on transportation while shortchanging students the new district motto?

  • knm February 28, 2010 (8:31 pm)

    I am completely stunned and very upset that we are just now finding out we will have to PAY for kindergarten next year. Arbor Heighs is the only Denny-feeder school where families will HAVE to pay $207/mo. for full day kindergarten. All Madison-feeder schools have to pay. Only schools who have 55% of kids qualify for free/reduced lunch will be free to all students. Only students who qualify for free/reduced lunch will be able to attend the afore-mentioned schools for free. No half-day kindergarten will be offered. The site says we can choose to have our kids only attend half day for free but it sounds like the ciriculum will not be based on half day. This sucks.

  • ss February 28, 2010 (8:39 pm)

    How is legal to not offer a 1/2 day curriculum that is the same as the full day? So basically they are saying that if you don’t pay a fee your child will not receive the same education that a child whose parents pay the fee will. Are we back to separate but (not)equal? This time not based on race but on economic status?

  • add February 28, 2010 (8:53 pm)

    I highly recommend you ask your assigned school how they will handle requests for half-day K if there are only full-day options. I know in some schools they intentionally design the curriculum so that the morning focuses on the core subjects and the afternoon is a bit more flexible. I recall hearing/reading somewhere that there was such a minimal demand for 1/2 day K that it didn’t make sense to even offer it anymore (the 1/2 Day programs were way underenrolled). Don’t know if that’s still the case?

    Many schools managed their budgets so that they did NOT have to institute Pay for K (essentially covering the gap by giving up something else) but it is getting harder each year for schools to balance their budgets and they have to find a way somehow.

  • yumpears March 1, 2010 (8:47 am)

    I know at Alki Elementary there is half-day available. I think you really have the option at any school (they don’t require full-day). At Alki the core subjects are taught before lunch so that the ½ day students are not missing any content.

    In addition, I think the district taking over the Pay for K piece and having a standard rate across all schools is probably more equitable since now you are assigned to your neighborhood school. In the past schools’ charged different rates or nothing at all and you chose where to go to school. I think it would be hard to assign one person to a school that charged 150/month and assign another to a school that charged 75/ month – that would have parents screaming about inequitable access.

  • teachermom March 1, 2010 (10:54 am)

    I have a K this year and we pay $225/month for our SPS elementary. I have to admit, paying for K was a shocker especially when my husband and I were looking forward to relief from having to pay for all day child care. Surprise, surprise, $225 for K tuition and $465 for before and after school on-site care, hourly increases for care with early release and PD days, plus additional fees for programs like martial arts and science. We thought public school would save us money- we have saved nothing. Our private preschool tied to a K-8 Catholic school is cheaper (we stayed with public- put our money where our mouth is).

    At least $207 for every family who can “afford” to pay (non-FRL qualifiers) is more fair than some at $225 and others lower.

    And so we find where the education gap begins: Either your family had money and got you access to preschool and fullday K, or your family had little to no money, which grants access to Head Start and full day K for no fee (although, it looks like no one at a Title I school has to pay for K, even if they would “qualify” to pay for K in another school). If your parents have pride and won’t fill out a form which asks for help (read “Dear Hunting with Jesus”) OR your parents make “too much” for help but not enough to pay the tuition or health care or …, you don’t get either or limited access in the very least. This has been the case for much longer than the NSAP.

  • JW March 1, 2010 (12:50 pm)

    I’m not sure I’m reading the comments right, but just so everyone is aware… Pay for K is not new this year. It’s been around for at least the past two years (probably more). And, given the fact that daycare for the other half-day would cost families much more than ~$200/month, it’s a bargain. When most of us were in Kindergarten (waaay back when), our parents either were at home with us the other half day or paid for daycare… so Pay for K isn’t so terrible. And, I’ll add… we have a Kindergartener this year, love the full-day, love the curriculum.

  • knm March 1, 2010 (6:09 pm)

    It IS new for certain schools.

  • Que March 1, 2010 (11:36 pm)

    KNM is correct. Not all schools have had Pay for K. For the most part in West Seattle the South Cluster absorbed the extra cost (either by being a Title 1 school, or out of the building fund) and the North Cluster schools charged from about 170-200 a month. I believe that most schools structured their days so that the core curricula was in the morning so if you chose to only participate in 1/2 day K that you could, but few people have made that decision. FARL qualified students did not have to pay the fee regardless of where they went.

    So yes, this is a big change for some schools in our community.

  • JW March 2, 2010 (12:45 pm)

    I realize that this may be new for some schools, but the CONCEPT is not new. And neither is the fact that if you truly cannot afford it, you won’t have to pay (because you will also qualify for Free/Reduced priced meals… as mentioned above, that gets you in for free, regardless of the school). In a state without a state income tax and other limits on taxation, it shouldn’t be a surprise that additional family resources are needed to extend a typical half-day in kindergarten to a full day. There just isn’t the money out there.

  • star March 2, 2010 (3:40 pm)

    Pay for K is new at Arbor Heights, and they do not structure their day for 1/2 day attendance. I went on a tour this morning and asked that question, and the response was there is no 1/2 program and the full days are not scheduled with 1/2 day in mind. Meaning core curriculum is spread throughout the day. So unless they change this, it means that kids will have unequal access to education based on parents willingness or ability to pay a fee. I stay home and do not need school for childcare, I am fine with a 1/2 day but feel like i have no option but to pay. And yes if you qualify for FRL, you do not have to pay, but that is 40K for a family of four, what if you make 50k or even 60k a year? In this city that doesn’t leave you with $2000/yr laying around. And if there is no viable 1/2 day option where your kid is not missing core subjects where does that leave you?

  • ws March 2, 2010 (9:26 pm)

    Opinionated, can you post the link or provide source where you are getting the “capacity” information? I’ve heard that same kind of information. Pretty outrageous, if true (and I’ll bet it is!). I’m wondering the same about the Elementary schools in WS.

  • Que March 3, 2010 (12:38 am)

    WS, in looking around the SPS website, I found this…

    but it was drafted in January 2009, so the current enrollment numbers are way off, but the functional capacity should probably be pretty close

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