View Full Version : All SF SF BOE rethinking middle school feeder pattern implementation?

05-25-2011, 09:31 AM
Instead of implementing the middle school feeder pattern as school assignment, the board is considering using it as a tiebreaker until 2016-2017. According to Rachel Norton (http://rachelnorton.com/2011/05/25/meeting-recap-tuesday-may-24/) on her blog:
The Board heard for first reading a revised student assignment policy that uses the middle school feeder plan as a tiebreaker until the 2016-17 school year, at which time it would become an initial assignment for every incoming 6th grade student (students would be able to participate in a choice process in subsequent rounds). The Board will hear the plan at the Ad Hoc Committee on Student Assignment now scheduled for 6 pm on May 31, a meeting that will also be televised.

05-25-2011, 12:07 PM
This was the revised middle school feeder pattern proposal included in yesterday's board meeting agenda:

Transition Period
This section of the policy governs the enrollment of students into middle schools for the 2012-2013, 2013-2014, 2014-2015, 2015-2016, and 2016-2017 school years.

The student assignment process will give preference to applicants in the following order:

younger siblings of students who are enrolled in and will be attending the school dUring the year for which the younger sibling requests attendance;
students enrolled in an elementary school that feeds into the requested middle school (middle school feeder tiebreaker);
students who reside in CTIPI census tracts;
all other students.

Fifth grade students who are enrolled in an elementary-to-middle school program pathway will have priority over other students (for example, fifth grade students enrolled in a Newcomer or Biliteracy or Immersion program will have priority over other students who apply for the Secondary Dual Language Immersion Pathway). Assignments will be made by looking to all the possible combinations of preferences outlined above in hierarchical order, and if those preferences do not resolve ties then seats will be allocated by random lottery.

Students who are not assigned to one of their choices will be assigned to their middle school feeder school if it has openings after the choice process; otherwise they will be assigned to the school closest to where they live that has openings.

2017-2018 School Year and Thereafter
Beginning with the assignment of students for the 2017-2018 school year, all elementary schools will feed into a particular middle school. At the beginning of the enrollment process, SFUSD fifth graders will receive an initial assignment to middle school based on the elementary school they attend.

After receiving their initial assignment based on the elementary school they attend and the program pathway they are enrolled in, students will have the opportunity to participate in an optional choice process. Through the choice process, students will be able to apply to another program at their middle school, or any other middle school in the District.

Through the choice process for middle schools, the process will give preference to applicants in the following order:

students who received an initial assignment to attend that school (this middle school feeder tiebreaker will apply when a student is enrolled in the school but not in the desired program at the school);
younger siblings of students who are enrolled in and will be attending the school during the year for which the younger sibling requests attendance;
students who reside in CTIPl census tracts;
all other students.

05-25-2011, 02:32 PM
Even if the feeder pattern is just a tiebreaker for the next few years, what are the chances of getting a good middle school if you're not being fed into that school? Also, doesn't this place extra pressure now on families to figure out their kindergarten placement since the feeder pattern essentially locks a family into a path from K-8, regardless of whether the feeder pattern is a tiebreaker or assignment?

05-25-2011, 08:54 PM
It certainly seems that the board will implement the feeder pattern policy no matter what. It's just a matter of the timing. Hopefully, the board and SFUSD will now focus their energy and resources on the most important issue: improving our middle schools so every family is happy with their assignment, whichever that may be.

05-26-2011, 12:35 PM
This whole middle school feeder pattern policy discussion has been uttery frustrating. Does the BOE even listen to parents or do they just take what SFUSD proposes and rubber stamps it? Do they even care about the middle class parents and all the concerns raised during the community meetings?

The bunch of us who worked so hard to improve Daniel Webster is so distraught over being fed into ISA. They can pretend making the feeder pattern a tiebreaker will soften the opposition but the tiebreaker in reality will not be much different than actual assignment. Sure, a few families will be able to get out of the assignment for another school but it surely won't be the most coveted ones.

Between the middle school feeder pattern and the elementary school SAS, SFUSD and BOE have turned something where everybody has relatively equal chance of getting a good school to a system that benefits the rich and the CTIP1s.

05-27-2011, 05:33 PM
I saw this note that Orla O'Keefe of SFUSD wrote to PPS-SF:

Dear Ruth and Ellie,

Iím wondering if you can help correct a misconception floating around on blogs/online discussion groups. It appears that some parents/community members donít realize that:

the PAC and PPS partnered closely with SFUSD staff to develop and host the community discussions (this year as well as in prior years);
staff met regularly with you to plan and manage the community engagement process and to develop and translate some of the materials shared during the discussions;
staff modified itís presentation during the community engagement process in response to your suggestions and in response to questions raised at the community meetings;
many parents were informed about the meetings through district staff (parent liaisons, auto-dialers, etc.);
staff was present and shared information at every community discussion, and through this experience staff heard first-hand what parents were saying;
staff previewed and discussed your report with you before the formal presentation to the Board; and
staff gave you a preview of the recommendations we were planning to submit to the Board, and shared the thinking behind the recommendations.
Although there is some overlap in our recommendations, for a variety of reasons our recommendations are not the same as your recommendations; listening and agreeing are not always the same and this provides an opportunity for a solid public policy debate that will help the Board make an educationally sound decision when they vote.

While it makes sense that some parents/community members may be upset that we have different recommendations (for example, some parents and community members support aspects of our recommendations while others support aspects of your recommendations), it does not make sense for parents/community members to incorrectly believe that we have not been actively engaged partners throughout the entire community engagement process - this year and in prior years.

You put in many long hours and spent many evenings away from your family to support the community engagement process, as did staff who were with you at every step of the process. The community does not realize this, so it would be great if you could post a message/spread the word making our partnership clear. If the community was aware of how closely you worked with SFUSD staff this year, and in all prior years, it would help focus the community discussions on the merits of the debate instead of community members inaccurately thinking staff is unaware of what parents said at the community discussions or that staff is unaware of the details of your report (ref. note below).

I appreciate your consideration of this request.

Thanks for all your ongoing hard work Ė I appreciate how exhausting it can be. Working together we have accomplished a lot over the years, and Iím excited about all we can continue to accomplish together in the months and years ahead.

- Orla