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September 1, 2011 at 11:04 pm #600417
So as my other post says our family lives across the street from Alki but have been bussed up to West Seattle Elem. for the last 2 years. Now the new student assignment plan is in place so if someone moves in next door their kid goes to Alki but mine cannot.
I’ve been told we are grandfathered into the old placement system and wonder if anyone else is in the same boat I am? Maybe we can get together and figure something out.September 2, 2011 at 11:42 pm #733559
What a nightmare. I think you should definitely go in person to the enrollment center and have your questions answered.
Sorry I cannot be of any help, my kids used to go to Alki Elementary (not our reference school but since the oldest one got in before the asignment plan the other two were “grandfathered”) and now we rae moving to Wally so they will be attending John Stanford International School.
Good luck!September 3, 2011 at 12:24 am #733560September 3, 2011 at 4:39 pm #733561
We are “in transition” – New school (for my kids), new schools (Cometa Wallingford and Montlake), new schedules (brand new pre k program at West Seattle in the afternoon), house remodeling/hunting, etc. No wonder I have not seen you or anyone else around the neighborhood! I hope you had a good summer. Can you believe it’s over?September 6, 2011 at 1:13 am #733562
Go to Alki and talk to the secretary, ask where you are on the waitlist. Sometimes they know (have written documentation) that kids won’t be attending but because it’s crazy busy the first weeks back they haven’t had a chance to move the waitlist. Ask for his/her email and tell them you’ll email each day to check in. Eye contact will help make you a ‘real’ person, not just a voice on a phone.September 6, 2011 at 11:44 pm #733563
mom2boys, your situation isn’t unique. It is, in fact, very common in certain parts of the city where the schools were over-crowded and students received mandatory assignments.
The consequences are even worse for some families who have a younger child assigned to the neighborhood school but cannot get their older child assigned there.
This situation is yet another example of how the former superintendent bungled the implementation of the New Student Assignment Plan and how the board allowed that bungled implementation.
There are two root causes to your story.
First, the failures of the old student assignment plan that did not allow space for families moving into the city to get their children enrolled in their neighborhood school. This was a common complaint about the old system. You may be pleased to know that the new student assignment now does make space at schools for families who are new to the neighborhood.
Second, the failure of the new student assignment plan to allow space at schools for local students who had been bumped out of the school under the old plan. Some of them were accomodated, but space could not be found for many, such as your son.
At the heart of both of these problems is the simple fact that schools have finite capacity. They can only have a limited number of classes and those classes can have only a limited number of students. Once those maximums are met, there isn’t any room for another student no matter how reasonable that student’s enrollment may be. The District, in their capacity management, made a tragic mistake by targeting 100% capacity use. That’s choosing to have problems. It would have been MUCH more reasonable for them to target 90% or 95% capacity use.
I’m glad that everything worked out for your family and your son, who had been #1 on the waitlist, did gain access to the school.
There actually was a weird solution to your problem. If you could claim to have moved – changed address to another address somewhere in the Alki attendance area (say to the home of a sympathetic neighbor) – the district would have re-assigned your child to Alki. In fact, in that case, your child would not have been allowed “grandfathered” status at West Seattle Elementary.
Think of how that rule affects highly mobile low-income families. Their children are forced to change schools every time they move from one neighborhood to another – even though the stability of remaining at their school might be beneficial for those students.
The New Student Assignment plan has been poorly implemented. The former superintendent is to blame for much of that, but the Board must shoulder their share of the blame as well.
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