Data shows schools of choice, wait list : Sutherland for Schools blog
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Data shows schools of choice, wait list

by Ann Sutherland on 02/22/14

Thanks to the curriculum department for providing a spreadsheet with all the schools of choice.  It's available at the data list (right on the top of the list).

4,707 new applications were made for our children to attend schools of choice.  At the present moment, over 2,000 are on the wait list (that's a lot--we had only 1000 last year).  Biggest needs for more space are
350 at Daggett and Como Montessori schools
281 at Alice Carlson Applied Learning Center
A new Applied Learning Center is opening at J.T.Stevens next fall which will help with the demand there, but to my knowledge we have no plans to open additional Montessori schools.  I am told that Daggett Montessori has the highest student performance level of any group at Paschal HS.  Good going!

Parents and children are demanding choice in their educational experience.  We need to provide it.

Comments (11)

1. Billie Skinner said on 2/23/14 - 08:51AM
Where will the students in the J.T. Stevens current attendance zone go next year if they are not accepted into the new program at Stevens?
2. Ann replies said on 2/23/14 - 12:25PM
There are vacancies at J T Stevens right now, since the opening of Hazel Harvey Peace. So we have room for over 200 new students.
3. Parent said on 2/24/14 - 12:29PM
Looks like Tech and Paschal also have big waiting lists. Can those accept more students? My son selected both of those schools and did not get in. What can he do now? he doesn't want to go to our neighborhood school. They say it is a lottery, but shouldn't they look at grades. He has such good grades, but can't get in where the good schools are. kids who have worse grades get in. That doesn't make much sense. what can he do now?
4. Ann Replies said on 2/25/14 - 06:53AM
I don't know how many more students Tech and Paschal can accept; the bond program calls for building a lot of new classrooms at Paschal. I personally agree with you that we need a school like those in New York which take students based on academic ability. I don't know what the rest of the board thinks. We will be discussing this tonight (I put it on the agenda--twice--to get this discussion.)
5. M. Peters said on 2/27/14 - 12:06PM
Ms. Sutherland, did the Board decide to expand the programs at Tech and Paschal on Tuesday?
6. Ann replies said on 2/27/14 - 05:08PM
No changes were made, but the board expressed interest in the large number of children waiting for programs. I believe staff will be working on accommodating many applicants because the demand is evident in the data. I am glad the board is interested in this.
7. Concerned Parent/ Teacher said on 3/15/14 - 08:17AM
Ann, we already have ability-based schools that are allowed to screen for academic ability: TABS, Young Women's Leadership, and Young Men's Leadership. Why won't the Board also allow screening for the tried-and-true Paschal Scholars program rather than depending on chance placement for this one as well? Please remember how hurtful it is to families when the Board states how in a few years they will have more capacity in some of these places. Each student only has ONE freshman year. "In a few years" is too late for our current students.
8. Paschal Parent said on 3/18/14 - 12:31PM
Only very few spots were available after home school kids were placed in the Scholars Program. As it should be. These kids should not be displaced to allow kids from other parts of town to have first choice. The school is already bursting at the seams. There are not enough desks in two of my child's classes. Please do not open this school to more students. I understand having criteria for schools that do not have boundaries, like TABS, YWLA. But it is not right to have criteria for schools that do have boundaries like Paschal. This could mean that kids from schools that Paschal is not a home school to get in either prior to a Paschal home kid or in addition to and just drive the numbers up. Most parents do not want to see that happen. We are interested in keeping numbers as low as possible. My child's freshman class had over 900 students. That is ridiculous!
9. Concerned Parent/ Teacher said on 3/18/14 - 03:47PM
It is my understanding that Paschal neighborhood students automatically have access to the Honors/Pre-AP/AP coursework that is offered in the Scholars program. I don't believe that it is fair to anyone to admit students into that program by chance. This excludes many gifted/talented students who do not have access to these classes on their neighborhood campus, yet gives some spots to students who will flounder in this rigorous curriculum. One reason real estate is so expensive in the Paschal zone is that for decades now, students have come from all parts of the city due to the high-academic program. It is the last stop for many before moving out of District or going to private school. Please understand that for your child, who may be blessed to live in a house in the zone, to have these peers to associate with, many families sacrifice so their children can vie for one of the few openings available. Please be aware that Paschal is low in numbers for a 5A school and that the District plans to make it bigger, regardless of your stated preference: "We are interested in keeping numbers as low as possible." Much of the South Hills attendance zone was carved out of Paschal's zone when it was opened. No one suggested displacing Paschal zone students; they already have the advantage in the process. But please try to put yourself in the shoes of your fellow parents whose children need the academics that only Paschal provides. Our taxes pay for someone's child to receive this education; why shouldn't our children have a chance? While it was by no means perfect, even the years that we camped out for a first-come, first-served place seemed more fair than this new system. There were usually 200 spots open to students outside the zone, only after in-zone students had been accounted for.
10. Paschal parent said on 3/18/14 - 05:24PM
My understanding is that the expansion will be to accommodate this current student body and not to increase the student body. Even with the additions of classrooms, common areas like the auditorium and library will remain the same, Still too small to accommodate the current student body. The old system also received much Criticism. It did not take into account grades etc. And instead created a system where only parents who could afford to take time off of work (Or Could afford to hire someone to camp out for them ) could apply, instead of allowing all students the same opportunity to apply. I think the real solution needs to be to offer all of the classes that Paschal offers at all of the high schools. Is there a list of classes that Paschal offers that no other school offers? Can students be bussed into Paschal just for one or two classes a day to take classes that their home school doesn't offer? Paschal students in the culinary program are bussed to another campus for two periods a day. Is Paschal already assigned the maximum number of counselors, assistant principals, librarians, nurses etc. that the district allows? Increasing the number of students will not increase the number of those individuals assigned to the school. instead it will create further strain to the staff. Let's demand that all of the schools offer rigorous course-work. There are campuses under capacity and others that have room for expansion. Paschal, unfortunately, is not one of them. This is not a solution for most, but there are families who have sold their larger homes to move into the attendance zone. Paschal is smaller than most 5A schools, but the facilities at these other 5A schools can accommodate the larger student body, not so at Paschal.
11. JT Stevens Parent said on 6/23/14 - 12:11PM
My son will be entering Kindergarten in the new Applied Learning Program at JTS. From what I understand, kids in the attendance zone will not be part of the program unless they apply; is this correct? If so, does this mean classes of regular curriculum and Applied Learning curriculum will be separated from one another. Will JTS eventually become a school of only Applied Learning classes where everyone has to apply to attend?

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