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theschoolboards
02-01-2011, 10:16 PM
SFUSD tonight presented its latest proposal (http://www.theschoolboards.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=29&d=1296627349) on middle school feeder patterns. In the presentation, SFUSD reviewed:


Buena Vista and Horace Mann merger plan
Middle school language pathways and associated expansions
Middle School Feeder Patterns
Pros and cons for current options

Choice (status quo)
Implement feeder pattern for 2012-2013
Phase in feeder pattern (using feeder pattern as the initial tiebreaker)


Recommendation is to phase in K-8 feeder pattern
Next steps

29

theschoolboards
02-02-2011, 08:44 AM
Thoughts from Rachel Norton (http://rachelnorton.com/2011/02/02/recap-quality-middle-schools-and-transportation-cuts/) about the latest proposal:
Staff and the board’s clear preference was for the third option, which would make feeder patterns more voluntary. There was some discussion over the proposed order of tiebreakers, since tonight’s proposal prioritized feeder patterns over younger siblings — most Board member’s disagreed and thought younger siblings should still be the top preference, followed by feeder-pattern preference, then CTIP, then attendance area.

mommyemmett
02-02-2011, 08:54 AM
It doesn't seem all too much has changed with the middle school feeder pattern other than more thought on the language pathways and the time delay. Somebody suggested in another thread before the original proposal was delayed the idea of 3 MS feeder choices for each ES rather than the current proposed 1 MS per ES. That way, parents at least feel like they have some choice in the process.

http://www.theschoolboards.com/showthread.php/142-Thoughts-on-SFUSD-s-proposed-middle-school-feeder-patterns-and-the-petitions-out-there

chellebellesf
02-02-2011, 10:42 AM
Here is the middle school feeder pattern that was provided last night at the SF BOE meeting:

Aptos: Carver, Feinstein, Starr King, Ortega, Sloat
Denman: Lakeshore, Longfellow, Miraloma, Sheridan, Sunnyside
Everett: Chavez, Fairmount, Marshall, McKinley, Milk, Sanchez
Francisco: CEC, Chin, Garfield, Parker, Tenderloin, Yick Wo
Giannini: Drew, Grattan, Jefferson, Key, Stevenson, Sunset
Hoover: Monroe, Moscone, Serra, Ulloa, West Portal
ISA: Bryant, Webster
King: Hillcrest, Malcolm X, Taylor
Lick: Alvarado, Flynn, Glen Park, Harte, MEC, Muir
Marina: Lau, Montessori, Redding, Sherman, Spring Valley
Presidio: Alamo, Argonne, Clarendon, Lafayette, Parks
Roosevelt: CIS/DeAvila, Cobb, McCoppin, New Traditions, Peabody, Sutro
Vis Valley: CEC, Cleveland, El Dorado, Gaudalupe, Longfellow, Vis Valley ES

Here's the feeder patterns listed alphabetically by elementary school:
http://rpnorton.files.wordpress.com/2011/02/feeder-patterns-by-es.pdf

chellebellesf
02-02-2011, 12:03 PM
As a reference, here's the original proposed middle school feeder pattern (back in August 2010):

Aptos: Feinstein, Glen Park, Lake Shore, Miraloma, Ortega, Sloat, Sunnyside
Denman: Cleveland, Longfellow, Monroe, Serra, Sheridan
Everett: Marshall, McKinley, Milk, Sanchez
Francisco: CEC, Chin, Garfield, Lau
Giannini: Carver, Key, Stevenson, Sunset, Ulloa
Hoover: Clarendon, Grattan, Malcolm X, West Portal, Jefferson
ISA: Flynn, Muir
King: Drew, Harte, Taylor
Lick: Alvarado, Bryant, Fairmount, MEC, Moscone
Mann: Buena Vista, Chavez, King, Webster
Marina: Montessori, Parker, Redding, Sherman, Spring Valley, Yick Wo
Presidio: Alamo, Argonne, Cobb, Lafayette, McCoppin, Peabody, Sutro
Roosevelt: CIS/DeAvila, New Traditions, Parks, Tenderloin
Visitacion Valley: Gaudalupe, Hillcrest, El Dorado, Vis Valley ES

lesliebythebay
02-02-2011, 12:43 PM
It looks like SFUSD shuffled things around so that the feeder pattern made more sense than before: Ortega and Starr King are together with their Mandarin strand, Clarendon and Parks into Presidio with JBBP strand and New Traditions parents are probably happy they're not lumped with Parks and Tenderloin any more. I can't imagine Miraloma parents being happy going into Denman though.

SFUSD can shuffle the lineup all they want, but as long as parents don't have choice in the system, there are bound to be unhappy parents. And now, the assignment system for elementary school plays an even bigger role since it'll determine where a child goes for the next nine years.

hrosemom
02-02-2011, 05:04 PM
Of all the schools we toured, Miraloma was one of those special schools. Now that Miraloma is being fed into Denman instead of Aptos, one of the top middle schools, I'm not sure what to do. Am I supposed to take the leap of faith that the parent community at Miraloma can help turn Denman around? Or do I shoot for citywides and schools on the northside even though my chances aren't as good under the new system? Am I thinking way too far ahead and should just see what happens when the time comes? As if the K process wasn't stressful enough, I need to factor this new proposal into how we rank the schools.

debrasx2
02-02-2011, 07:46 PM
I'm really annoyed that this came out after I submitted our application. Guess you can be "too organized"! Not that I would necessarily change the schools on our list, I certainly would have rearranged the ranking. I can only imagine the parents on the northside grinning while those on the south and southeast grimacing. As much as SFUSD is trying to provide opportunities for the underprivileged, the one thing it's doing for sure is defining real estate values based on the best attendance area schools. In the old system, at least everybody had an equal chance of getting into the school of their choice, however small that may be.

CarolineSF
02-02-2011, 09:50 PM
With the caveat that I was an SFUSD middle school parent from 2002-2008 and it's that far behind me, here's a perspective.
My son started Aptos Middle School in 2002 when it was considered a "dirty," "dangerous" "ghetto" school. Many of the families of my son's Lakeshore classmates viewed Hoover and Giannini as the only acceptable choices in our part of town. While my son was at Aptos, I and other parents were doing outreach to convince younger families from our elementary schools that Aptos was a good option (it had some great unappreciated assets).


By the time my daughter started in Aptos 2005, Aptos pickup looked like Lakeshore pickup -- same families, same diversity -- and my daughter's one friend from Lakeshore who went to Giannini said she didn't know anybody. I think it was the 08-09 school year when Aptos' API rose above Hoover's. (Even though I don't believe that schools should be pitted against each other, I'm still going "YESSS!")

A couple of basic things to understand: When a school copes with a critical mass of high-need, at-risk students, it becomes overwhelmed and struggles. Those are the schools that are harshly condemned as "failing schools." Schools can cope effectively with a percentage of high-need, at-risk students that falls short of that critical mass.

If you picked up the entire student population of SFUSD's most challenged school and plunked it down in, say, Town School, the achievement of those kids wouldn't change -- and vice versa. It's not about "bad schools" but about the challenges or the advantages that their students bring with them.

That's why increasing Aptos' diversity helped the school become more successful (by conventional measures) with the same staff, resources etc. We've seen that happen with many SFUSD schools over the past decade.

A middle school has only three grades, so a change like that can happen really fast. A change in the incoming 6th grade makes up 1/3 of the school, and this year's entire 6th grade will have moved on in three years.


So, the middle schools you're looking at today may bear no resemblance to the middle schools they are when your kids are ready for middle school.

And by the way -- specifically for Miraloma parents -- if your school, or Lakeshore, had been told back in '02 that you were going to be a feeder school for Aptos, it would have sounded to you exactly the way Denman sounds now. And for that matter, back in '96, if we Miraloma Park residents had
been told that our neighborhood was going to feed into Miraloma Elementary, we would have had the same horrified reaction. That's the way it is with school turnarounds.

Eos de Feminis
02-03-2011, 08:00 AM
I want to offer a similar thought, from a current MS parent perspective with kids at current, and former :) no-no schools. Here is my personal, not scientifically tested, analysis of one of the effects of the proposal:

There are three paradigm shifts that I think we need to accept: One is that immersion will no longer exist in middle school: the different language programs will merge to become bi-lingual pathways. So Everett will get roughly 40 of Marshall's and 60 of Fairmount immersion students and then many of Sanchez's (40) and Cesar Chavez's (80) bi-lingual students to be combined into the dual-pathway program. And newcomers will be added as they arrive. So potentially a base of 200 kids in 6th grade Spanish dual-language program in 2012: More than at any other school in the district and the most dual-language students percentage-wise (76% of total school) in ANY middle school in the city. I'm been told that Everett is currently discussing having different level classes for the Spanish Language arts as well as Social Studies to account for different levels of achievement.

The other paradigm shift is that Everett will not be the school it is now. Currently we have about 350 kids, 55% Latino, 20+% of them African American, 75% low socio-econ. With the feeder schools it will shift, not only in make-up, but also dramatically increasing the size of the school. African-American students will drop from being over 20% now to about 10% and the numbers for socio-econ. disadvantaged will drop to 66% from 75%. The Milk, McKinley kids and those from the other schools that choose English-only will make up the non-language part, creating a 320-kid grade 6. Right now Everett has 350 kids total!! That would mean the school will be at 1000 students 3 years later!!! While currently we are challenged on electives etc. because of our small size, with that mass of students, the school will be able to offer classes equivalent to other middle schools of that size, again making it a different school. At the end of the post is a quick stats look at the 6 feeders and what Everett is now for comparison.

The third paradigm shift is that half of Everett's teaching staff will be new. 14 or our current 28 teachers are transferring at the end of this year, bringing in teachers that no only WANT to be at Everett but also have to bring HIGHER QUALIFICATIONS to teach at the school. There is a special job description for Mission Zone schools that not only asks for the basics every school requires but adds cultural competency, particular to inner-city youths and the Latino population, as a necessary quality.

The Everett of 2012 will not be the Everett it is now or has been in the past. I am personal very enthusiastic that the future is so bright, I should be wearing shades.. ;)

association disclosure: mom of Everett 6th grader Spanish Immersion and Marshall 5th grader, coming to Everett next year into the dual-language path

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chellebellesf
02-03-2011, 01:15 PM
Since New Traditions is our attendance area school, I am happy with how the SFUSD reshuffled the elementary schools feeding into Presidio and Roosevelt to create two more equitable middle schools. Now there's a much better balance of up and comers, more established ones and underperformers among the two. From a selfish POV, I'm happy to know that the SFUSD listened to the issues that some NT parents raised.

daddydrama
02-03-2011, 02:51 PM
Back when the original proposal came out, one of the main sources of frustration was which middle school a particular elementary school was being fed into. I had suggested then that instead of just a single feeder school per area, perhaps there could be two or even three, with either a ranked-order or random lottery system for assignment to the schools. Also, by basing the assignment on a 2 or 3 school lottery, probability should help ensure that the socioeconomic diversity and academic performance are relatively equal across these assigned schools yet still provide some sense of the neighborhood zoning that SFUSD wants to maintain.

It seems that SFUSD has tried to address some of the complaints by changing the lineup of the feeder schools. Not surprisingly, some parents are happier while others more frustrated. As long as there is only one middle school for each elementary school, there will be unhappy parents, no matter what the ultimate feeder pattern looks like. With elementary school assignment using attendance areas as a key tiebreaker, parents feel even more locked in than ever before. If your child is assigned to an underperforming elementary school that feeds into an underperforming middle school, he has little hope of switching out until high school!

The only way to make the process more equitable is to offer some choice. Also, just as the elementary school assignment system offers preference for CTIP1, the middle school assignment system should have something similar. This is what I envision would offer fairness yet preserve the virtual K-8 concept SFUSD is striving for:

1. Younger siblings
2. Test score areas
3. MS feeders (3 choices per elementary school)
4. Attendance area
5. Dense population
6. Other

On a related note, I think it's unfair to have only one school assigned to each attendance area in the elementary school assignment process. There should be a choice as well (maybe 3 schools as I'm proposing here).

mamasgomez
02-03-2011, 11:51 PM
I really don't understand why Buena Vista gets special treatment and merged with Horace Mann to create their own K-8 while Fairmount is now feed into low performing Everett. Most of us were happy with Lick before. I understand what the other poster said about Everett being a different school under the new proposal but there's just too much uncertainty for me to be excited. There's just not enough details on how the district plans on turning around these schools they're forcing us into.

shanjohn16
02-04-2011, 12:37 PM
I crunched some numbers based on the 2010 API test scores to see which middle school benefitted most from the reshuffling. It looks like Roosevelt had the biggest jump while Lick had the biggest drop. Is it coincidental that Roosevelt had the biggest jump when the NT parents were among the most vocal??? At the same time, it would not be surprising to see some of the middle schools with the larger changes develop whole new personality based on their feeder schools.

The numbers next to each middle schools are 2010 API score, avg of the API scores for elementary schools feeding into that MS and then net change from the previous proposal.

- Giannini (874, avg 862, 0): Drew (710), Grattan (873), Jefferson (893), Key (882), Stevenson (923), Sunset (890)

- Presidio (871, avg 872, +10): Alamo (923), Argonne (888), Clarendon (944), Lafayette (891), Parks (713)

- Roosevelt (864, avg 827, +73): CIS/DeAvila, Cobb (718), McCoppin (841), New Traditions (802), Peabody (886), Sutro (886)

- Aptos (832, avg 796, -26): Carver (701), Feinstein (861), Ortega (811), Starr King (724), Sloat (882)

- Hoover (820, avg 815, -68): Monroe (808), Moscone (843), Serra (704), Ulloa (914), West Portal (904)

- Marina (805, avg 854, -13): Lau (835), Montessori, Redding (794), Sherman (941), Spring Valley (846)

- Denman (723, avg 814, +52): Lakeshore (804), Longfellow (808), Miraloma (865), Sheridan (825), Sunnyside (768)

- Lick (729, avg 714, -71): Alvarado (836), Flynn (706), Glen Park (764), Harte (627), MEC, Muir (635)

- Vis Valley (690, avg 730, -25): CEC (564), Cleveland (664), El Dorado (715), Gaudalupe (804), Longfellow (808), Vis Valley ES (826)

- King (712, avg 776, +45): Hillcrest (674), Malcolm X (800), Taylor (855)

- Francisco (707, avg 801, +17): CEC (564), Chin (901), Garfield (835), Parker (859), Tenderloin (748), Yick Wo (897)

- ISA (622, avg 699, +28): Bryant (696), Webster (702)

- Everett (607, avg 753, -14): Chavez (685), Fairmount (765), Marshall (758), McKinley (822), Milk (810), Sanchez (677)

RDmom
02-04-2011, 06:09 PM
I crunched some numbers based on the 2010 API test scores to see which middle school benefitted most from the reshuffling. It looks like Roosevelt had the biggest jump while Lick had the biggest drop. Is it coincidental that Roosevelt had the biggest jump when the NT parents were among the most vocal???"

I think that NT parents being one of the most vocal may have contributed to the change but you need to take into account that both Sutro and McCoppin are Cantonese Biliteracy schools. Having these schools feed into Roosevelt along with CIS/Devila creates a Cantonese language pathway. Peabody already uses Roosevelt's auditorium as well.

The prior feeder pattern between Presidio and Roosevelt was unbalanced with regards to test scores. Now it seems for more fair. Also remember that Roosevelt's A.P.I is only 7 points below Presidio for 2010.

shanjohn16
02-05-2011, 09:47 AM
The prior feeder pattern between Presidio and Roosevelt was unbalanced with regards to test scores. Now it seems for more fair. Also remember that Roosevelt's A.P.I is only 7 points below Presidio for 2010.

I totally agree the changes have made Presidio and Roosevelt more equitable. The reason I raised the point about New Traditions being vocal is meant more as a positive. I thought they did a great job banding together and presented their issues about the disparity in performance and diversity between the two schools. Consequently, their voices were heard and changes made.

debrasx2
02-06-2011, 03:09 PM
- Giannini (874, avg 862, 0)
- Presidio (871, avg 872, +10)
- Roosevelt (864, avg 827, +73)
- Aptos (832, avg 796, -26)
- Hoover (820, avg 815, -68)
- Marina (805, avg 854, -13)
- Denman (723, avg 814, +52)
- Lick (729, avg 714, -71)
- Vis Valley (690, avg 730, -25)
- King (712, avg 776, +45)
- Francisco (707, avg 801, +17)
- ISA (622, avg 699, +28)
- Everett (607, avg 753, -14)

Wow, wow, wow - if you look at the map of the city, there's a very clear divide along Market/Portola. Schools that are northwest of the divide have API scores 800 or above while those southwest of the divide are at least 70 points below 800 (and as low as 193 points below)! The exceptions are Francisco and Aptos. But even Francisco, with the new proposed feeder patterns, will have an API of over 800 if you take the average of its feeder schools.

I understand SFUSD is really trying to foster diversity in the schools by putting CTIP1 as a higher priority tiebreaker but the middle school feeder pattern proposal seems to be doing the opposite.

anamart24
02-07-2011, 04:18 PM
A bunch of us parents in Potrero Hill have been working so hard to improve Daniel Webster and getting a Spanish immersion program in place to get more interest. We're starting to see the fruits of our labor without much assistance from the district. As much improvement as we have seen (and will see even more as the scores from the SI kids get included), I know that there are parents considering leaving the school and the city all together for the burbs. Feeding DW into ISA will only accelerate that exodus and ruin what we've worked so hard to accomplish for our neighborhood.

lesliebythebay
02-09-2011, 09:20 AM
As I read comments from everywhere, I'm wondering whether SFUSD is messing with something that was working really well already. Didn't they say that many (maybe most?) families get their first choice of middle schools in the old system? If that's the case, why implement the feeder patterns that lock a student into a path from K-8? The idea of attendance area school makes sense more for elementary schools where the children are small, but for middle schools many can take public transportation.

ellenf75
02-09-2011, 08:49 PM
We're not even in a public yet as we're applying this year. Regardless, I can understand why some parents are unhappy with the feeder system. But if you look at the flip side, one of the benefits of a feeder pattern is knowing exactly which middle school your children will be going. Knowing that, wouldn't you be that much more committed to improving that middle school and making it the best experience for your children?

theschoolboards
02-10-2011, 12:06 PM
This from BeyondChron (http://www.beyondchron.org/articles/School_Beat_The_Road_to_Middle_School_8890.html) by Lisa Schiff:
Middle schools have come front and center in the San Francisco Unified School District (SFUSD). Over the last several months proposed feeder patterns from elementary schools to middle schools have been dissected and debated in the community, among administrators at school site and district levels, and among Board of Education (BOE) commissioners.

The variety of issues involved in this task overlay and complicate the achievement of an overarching goal – how to make student assignment at this level both equitable and clear in a City that is increasingly bifurcated in terms of access to and control of resources. That challenge is made all the more difficult by a host of hard realities, including but certainly not limited to the fact that:

• Not all schools in the district offer the same breadth and quality of opportunities in core academics and extra-curricular options;

• Not all communities are equally poised to fill in gaps for their schools, from fundraising to volunteering;

• Not all students can get to any given middle school in the City, which is significant, given that there are far fewer middle schools then elementary schools and school transportation will be reduced in the future.

These issues will not be solved by a new assignment system, but it could be argued that our current choice-based assignment system unintentionally exacerbated and masked them. Assignment is only one piece of this whole puzzle, and though it is one that we as families spend so much time on at key points in our children’s education, it’s important to remember that how kids end up at a school is just one of the issues we need to concern ourselves with.

What happens at all of our schools, no matter where they are and which students are there, has got to be just as much a priority for all of us. Redesigning the assignment system is our starting point right now, but if we are attentive, we can use this process to highlight the many aspects of all of our middle schools that need to be addressed.

read more>> (http://www.beyondchron.org/articles/School_Beat_The_Road_to_Middle_School_8890.html)

mommyemmett
02-10-2011, 02:32 PM
Does anybody know what's going to happen to the electives or extracurricular activites that differentiate some of these schools once the feeder plan proposal is in place? How about the GATE/Honors programs - will there be separate ones for gen ed vs. language pathway or will they combine them somehow?

Harburn
02-10-2011, 10:26 PM
http://sfusd.ggnet.net/cms-assets/documents/15049-837393.mapofk8feederpatterns.pdf

This proposal is DOA. There is no chance it will be implemented. The Board will go back to choice for middle school. Forced assignment will not work. Public will fight back. The press and politicians will have a field day. The courts will not approve it.

To move from choice to forced assignment is not realistic. The map of the forced assignment is ridiculous. Individuals no longer have the option to choose the school closest to them. In some cases, parents will have to travel 10 miles in mid-day traffic to pick their child. The proposal is laughable.

chellebellesf
02-11-2011, 09:05 AM
This proposal is DOA. There is no chance it will be implemented. The Board will go back to choice for middle school. Forced assignment will not work. Public will fight back. The press and politicians will have a field day. The courts will not approve it.

To move from choice to forced assignment is not realistic. The map of the forced assignment is ridiculous. Individuals no longer have the option to choose the school closest to them. In some cases, parents will have to travel 10 miles in mid-day traffic to pick their child. The proposal is laughable.
Why do you think the proposal is DOA? It doesn't sound like the BOE is considering scrapping the feeder pattern policy in their latest meeting. While there are opponents, there are also supporters. I've heard complaints but have not seen the public fight back or the press having a field day. Is that how parents at your school feel? I'm just curious how you arrived at your opinion.

fancywu9
02-22-2011, 10:31 AM
I agree with the other mom who made this point on PPS-SF. When we picked an elementary school, we weren't thinking about middle schools at all. Now with this feeder pattern proposal, SFUSD is essentially locking us in. If they want to implement this, they should at least wait until the new K-5 student assignment system students flow into middle school. At least their parents have an idea what they are signing up for. It would also give SFUSD more time to make sure the programs offered at the various middle schools are adequately comparable.

shanjohn16
02-22-2011, 05:54 PM
From PPS-SF:

Quality Middle Schools
Join the conversation about the future of SFUSD Middle Schools & K-8 Pathways


WE WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU to help redesign our middle schools!

Find out about the district’s plans for building quality middle schools and programs across the city
Learn about proposals for K-8 pathways, where students from each elementary school would be assigned to attend a specific middle school
Give your feedback to help shape these plans!


Join the conversation & share your thoughts about:
The district’s vision for K-8 Pathways
Expanding language programs at many middle schools
Improving San Francisco’s middle schools – our curriculum, special education, language programs, arts & enrichment, school safety, and more


Refreshments & interpretation provided (in Spanish & Cantonese)
Free childwatch for kids over age 3
COMMUNITY FORUMS about building quality middle schools and implementing K-8 feeder patterns:

Tuesday, March 1, 5:30pm: Denman MS
Tuesday, March 8, 6:30pm: Aptos MS
Wednesday, March 9, 6pm: Roosevelt MS
Thursday, March 10, 5:30pm: Everett MS
Wednesday, March 16, 6pm: James Lick MS
Thursday, March 17, 6pm: Marina MS
Monday, March 21, 6pm: Giannini & Hoover MS
Tuesday, March 22, 6:30pm Presidio MS
Wednesday, March 23, 5:30pm: ML King MS
Wednesday, April 6, 6pm: Francisco MS
Wednesday, April 13, 5:30pm: Vis Valley MS

International Studies Academy - date to be determined

chellebellesf
03-07-2011, 06:55 PM
Asked by parents and answered by SFUSD staff:

Group #1 Question/Comment addressed in Large Group:
=============================================
Q: Concern about rationale and proximity and the environment. How do you justify having a neighborhood school for elementary and then ask families to criss-cross town for middle school? This group was in favor of choice.
A: Proximity was neck-in-neck with language pathways. Population is not distributed evenly around where middle schools are located. There are a limited numbers of middle schools. Some places have small school population with excess building capacity, and other places have more population than capacity. Some schools that would have fed into Willie Brown have to be reassigned to schools in other parts of town. We also need to reduce racial isolation, consider proximity, and prioritize language pathways. It doesn't always come out pure proximity.

Q: How did the map change from first iteration to the second iteration?
A: There were problems identified with first iteration. The rationale for changing each school was individually identified. They will answer afterwards if people have questions about individual schools. Willie Brown & Bayview neighborhood children need to go somewhere. There is also an academic piece. Changes in terms of dual-immersion from Aptos to Vis. Valley. Team of 12 people from multiple disciplines working this out.

Group #2 Question/Comment addressed in Large Group:
=============================================
Q: Why are we going to a feeder pattern model? According to EDSource community pathways is only one method and not a very significant one to achieve academic outcomes. What data are you using to show that what is being proposed will actually improve academic outcomes. It doesn't feel like this will address making middle schools high quality. How will the feeder plan build quality middle schools?
A: When you look at this demographic bubble, performance sometimes takes a dip in middle school. Transition from elementary to middle and middle to high schools transition is where this dip happens. The transition needs to be more articulated. As the population bubble grows in the coming years, many kids will not get the middle school of their choice. We can either plan for this and make every middle school a high-quality middle school, or just let it happen. That was the thinking behind creating seamless pathways.

Q: What is the plan for making quality middle school?
A: There are Six categories identified in handout (with little school house) – academic and through the eyes of parent. They are 1) Academic Performance, 2) Staff Composition, 3) Program Quality and Range of Programs, 4) Student Support Services, 5) Family Engagement and Supports 6) Safety and School Climate, 7) Physical Environment. The district is now analyzing quality and programs in middle schools. If you're going to reduce choice, this is the investment we need to make to make every quality. Academic performance is improving district wide. What will it really take? Parents need to commit to making middle schools great together.

Q: Will data supporting feeder patterns be made public?
A: Yes, the data will be presented to the BOE, with PPS/PAC feedback and a feasibility study. District staff will make a recommendation to the board with as much information about the feasibility of the idea as possible. We can't have a feeder pattern without considering concerns of parents. The district is now making that connection.

Group #3 Question/Comment addressed in Large Group:
=============================================
In this group there were really mixed feelings about feeder patterns. The common theme was concern about feeders that don't make sense for location and transportation. There must be an opt-out mechanism because students have different needs. Not all of the schools are exactly the same. – ie Honors/Gate, electives, teaching quality, etc. What would be the means to meet needs of individual students, and what are plans for an opt-out mechanism?
Q: Recommend phasing in feeder program, and only use feeder as tie-breaker. Opt out, and students can request. Given capacity issues, will there will be less flexibility to opt out as time goes by?
A: The recommended option right now is for parents to be able to choose. The feeder school is one of the tie-breakers. (See the presentation to the Board of Education from February 1, page 13 http://www.ppssf.org/Issues/San_Francisco.html)

Group #4 Question/Comment addressed in Large Group:
=============================================
Language for all would be great if we could fund a 7th period. Dual language is two languages in the target language. If we can afford 7th period, we should offer language to general ed students. It appears that there are many resources going to expand language pathways. Is the 7th period realistic financially? What will this mean for GE kids? What language options exist for GE kids?

Additional questions:
================
Q: One thing we never hear district talk about is the possibility of parents opting out of SFUSD altogether. Can you really improve school by manipulating assignment system? That can't work alone. We need to have some feeling that schools meet your child's needs.
A: District is not saying that feeder patterns will improve middle school quality by itself. We are aware that parents have choice with private and charter schools. There are multiple ways to improve schools. A collaborative process shifts thinking and we are hearing from parents. We're asking you to trust the process.

Q: Why remove neighborhood priority and why is that not a viable option moving forward?
A: It may be. There may be multiple tie-breakers – siblings, CTIP, neighborhood. Tie breakers may be changed. We are in draft and discussion.

Q: We are hearing a lot about 7th period, what possibility is there with school budgets being the way they are. On a scale of 1 to 10, what is the possibility?
A: If 7th period, board has to make some trade-offs. Partial fundraising from private or foundation sources? If funding is limited, this is a serious issue and will have to look at different options.

theschoolboards
03-10-2011, 08:30 AM
There were about 60 attendees at Roosevelt. The principal and the PTSO president were very welcoming. The SFUSD presentation was the clearest yet.

Below are the notes from the general Q&A (note, there were over 200 attendees at Aptos, so there was no general Q&A). We've also posted the latest SFUSD presentation on the PPS website. Apparently, there will be more revisions tomorrow, so I'll try to keep it updated.

Group Statements: 1) strongly interested in GE students having access to language in MS. 2) General support for the K-8 pathway and current proposed feeders.

Q: We’d like to see a definition of what the language pathway would be in 6,7, 8 and further continuing through K-12. We believe in it. We’ve invested in it. We don’t want to go half way. We want to go all the way. What does it take to make it happen?

Answer by Kevin Chavez, Multilingual Department, SFUSD: We have that information. We have strong models. We are recommending a minimum of 2 target language course. One would be language arts. Second is usually social studies – we recommend doing that and building on that best practices because we can leverage our strengths. We will make this information available to you – as well as bi-literacy pathways and immersion pathways and how they are being phased in for ES and secondary (MS). That’s our focus (we’re also working with preK), but we are committed to K-12.


Q: In the current MS and HS immersion strands, are there just two periods or more?

Answer by Kevin Chavez: There are at least two periods. One site may expand to three. But now, just two.


Q: How can parents influence change if we’re looking for more language?

Answer by Kevin Chavez: We want a baseline to build on. In the next few years, we’ll engage parents in this conversation. WE may add a third area (science). We’ll want your feedback.


Q: How would language work for kids with different learning needs with pre determined feeder pattern?


Q: What about elementary schools with specialized focus – eg arts? How would you take that kind of program to middle school?

A: Answer by Michael Reimer, Roosevelt Principal: Different than ES, MS is structured into departments; not grade level. For example: the English department rather than 4th grade. The advantage of Middle School is that there is more specialization of teachers. As the principal, I would 1) understand what special programs are being offered in the feeding ES. How can we build on that with our staff and dept to strengthen/build on interests of incoming kids? This is something that is easier with the feeder model. I’d like to learn more about your schools, and also learn about the specific programs at the feeder schools to plan transition and articulation.


Q: What’s the trade off for the $6m expense? What’s the impact to the budget?

Answer by Laura Moran, Project Manager: There is a cost to implementing the language pathways -- which is adding a 7th period. We need that period for English language development classes for English learner kids. 7th period would also be positive for dual language students so that they can have electives instead of having to trade off language for an elective. But can’t just have 7th period for language immersion kids. For general Education kids, we have an opportunity for a foreign language option at that time. It’s expensive, but it’s part of a quality robust option for middle school. Music, dance, art are other electives that help with social development and lead to better academics. Costs may be able to be phased in over time.

theschoolboards
03-11-2011, 08:18 AM
While each group identified and submitted their top issue or question, there was no Q&A at the Aptos event. Here are the points/questions raised.

Group Questions Addressed To District (Submitted but not answered)

Group #1
Question: How do you create equity across campuses? Can the district make a ruling that all schools have a 7th period, or will that decision be made on the site level? Do schools have that right?

Are you going to be drawing new middle school attendance boundaries or are you keeping those as elementary school boundaries?

Group #2
Why should a family be forced into a struggling school?
Special education is not being addressed. We need teachers, resources. There is not a lot of talking about special education.
Like feeder pathways but should be through high school. Small feeder elementary programs should go into larger middle school program.

Group #3
Concern about how the district proposes to create quality district program. Will offerings be standardized across schools?
Where is the funding coming from? Why do the numbers keep changing on how much 7th period would cost?

Group #4
Question: Is this a done deal? Is the district really listening?
There are a lot of different perspectives on feeders v. no feeders, immersion, and language. But general concern about how expanding immersion and language programs would work. How would ensure existing programs not disrupted by new feeders and language expansion?

theschoolboards
03-16-2011, 12:47 PM
Update from Everett Middle School Forum on Thursday, Mar 10. This was our smallest group yet, between 40-50 attendees. We had two English speaking break out sessions and one Spanish speaking break out sessions. Guadalupe Guerrero, Assistant Superintendent of the Mission Zone and Jennifer Fong, English Language Support Services Secondary Schools Supervisor presented the K-8 feeder pathways and answered questions.

Group 1

Question: Where is the plan to increase quality middle schools? We need to see a five year plan for GATE, language pathways, all programs. We need to see something specific with $ and resources. Right now there's nothing specific. We don't believe that feeders are addressing the real issues of building quality middle Schools.

Response: More community education needs to happen around language pathways and other terms. I can speak specifically about an improvement plan for my middle schools (in the Superintendent Zone); I am very specific around programming etc. with a robust plan. Resources high for this zone, Horace Mann and Everett have over 1 mil to implement. We are planning for deep professional development. In support of the pathways it is helpful to know which cohort of students we will serve so we can plan to meet those needs.
Addressing confusion around language pathway terminology: Elementary schools are in a single class room , middle school has a mixture of coring meaning you have one teacher twice, some not. Language will be cored, other classes will be mixed with other students. This will mean that it is very easy to integrate at middle school levels due to this. I acknowledge a need to reduce terminology that is being used. We need to put out an FAQ about the language pathway.

Plans for SIG (School Improvement Grant) schools are available to the public. They will be on the website Calls for additional teachers, additional after-school etc.

The Website page will have a Spanish version as well, like currently.
Additional comment: A substantial number of people (though not all) want choice. Schools are different and kids are different. Don't really buy into the pathway concept


Group Two

We have two comments more than questions:
1) If you're going to have inclusion in all middle schools, you need to provide more teacher support. One-on-one support should be done using paraprofessionals.

2) My group would also want more language programs starting in the K-5 schools with more FLES programs.
Response:

Concerning Inclusion, I agree we will need to have additional support for students as well as teachers.

Concerning Language programs, part of the challenge is to be clear around dual-language seats, but for the majority of school days students are integrated. I'm not encouraging program segregation.


Group Three (Spanish speakers)

Comment: We want quality education with supervision; its not fair that there are good programs in some areas and not others. We want access to college information, discipline, psychological support…..

Response: All parents in each neighborhood want the same, good teachers, curriculum, and we believe all parents are looking for a good school. That is our work to provide academic and non-academic support so that all students are college ready.

Comment: It's very important for kids who are English learners; we should have computer based programs; the goal is to learn the language in many different ways so they can perform well on the CELT test. We want access to college information, discipline, psychological support

Response: Lots of academic software is being used at Everett to integrate different learning styles; behavior support is available for a range of students and families; instilling a college going culture; building positive relationships between students and teachers.

theschoolboards
03-23-2011, 03:21 PM
Date: March 22, 2011

Moderator: Ruth Grabowski
Who answered questions: Jeannie Pon
Transcriber: Ruth Grabowski

Group 1 - Questions:

• How are you going to fund the 7th period?
• I think some of the ideas for tie-breakers were interesting - can consider different factors for the tie-breakers?
• Why aren't we spending the money to fix the schools instead of on changing the student assignment system - since our goal should be building quality middle schools.

Answers:

The Board is going to have to make the funding decision - during the mid-to-late 90s all the middle schools had a 7th period day. The Board's going to have to make some difficult decisions.

About the tie-breakers - we'll definitely bring that back to staff as a suggestion.

For the third question - Working to build quality schools is an ongoing initiative - we're always working on this, it's not a new thing.

Group 2 - Questions:

• How can we maintain the high quality VAPA program - bringing in the language program will dismantle our arts program?
• What kind of opt-out will parents have?
• Right in conjunction with the first group - what is the reality of funding the 7th period? We're concerned about losing electives and a having long day for kids - there should be an option for general ed kids to have 6 periods instead of 7.

Answers:

In terms of language - I see it as value-added - it's not to replace arts. As a city and a district we obviously support art - with Prop H. This concern is part of the urban myths we're hearing with these forums - the language program is in addition to what the school currently has. Earlier the principal did a great job describing the wonderful programs here at Presidio - we don't want to dismantle them, we want them to be more robust.

Our recommendation to the Board was to have choice and phase-in the feeders, so you would definitely have an opt out.

I really appreciate your being here tonight, choosing to be here - I know there's been a lot of mistrust between the community and the district. The Board is going to have to make the decision about moving forward - we just heard that the governor said the tax extension will go on the ballot in November - which is not good news for us. Again, these are just proposals. We hear you - you're going to just have to trust that we're hearing you.

Questions from the audience:

Parent: We're hearing people being concerned that middle schools are not equal - is that a function of the students, the schools, the programs? I don't think it's about the population of the school - it's that not all the schools are created equal. Can you talk about that?

JP: I'll try - as I said, we're doing an inventory of the seven areas for quality schools - and look at what might not be in place at all the schools. If we're going to say that quality schools are what we want, we have to put our money where our mouth is. A few years ago we had to close four MS because enrollment had dropped. Now the pendulum has swung - we might even need to open a school - we try to do our best to do these projections. I'm glad to see the MS population is growing

Parent In talking re: enrollment pendulum: do you not fear the enrollment will drop if you do this feeder pattern?

JP: I wouldn't say "fear" but we recognize that parents have other options - they have those options now.

theschoolboards
03-24-2011, 06:46 PM
Transcript of Large Group Q & A Session at Giannini MS

Date: March 21, 2011

Moderator: Ruth G.
Who answered questions: Richard Carranza
Transcriber: Ruth G.

Group 1 questions/statements Nancy's group

• Slow down. Given how resource restricted the district is right now implementing new programs for Inclusion, 7th period, and feeder patterns seems like too much. Why not make the 7th period more operable before the feeder patterns are implemented.

• We would like more consideration given to geography rather than where you attend elementary school. Some of the schools are hard to get to from where parents live. For example, Ulloa to Hoover when Giannini is so close, D. Feinstein to Aptos were cited. But even further and more difficult is Lakeshore to Denman and Monroe to Aptos. Not even sure how our kids will get there. Parents from Monroe were particularly concerned because they have younger children and don't know how they would pick up their kids or how their kids would get home. It would take 3 buses for them to get to Hoover.

• Spanish speaking families need material, translation, and services in Spanish. Even the material tonight is all in English.

Response:

Absolutely - the issue of resources is being taken into consideration. The Board of Education will take this into consideration and might slow the process down.

You're right - we've heard from the community that geographic concerns are significant and we're taking that into consideration.

In terms of the information - the materials were still being revised and are in translation right now. They'll be on the district's website by the end of the week.

Group 2 questions/statements

• Where's the money to pay for all this?

• High academic standards are so important - what's the plan for getting to that?

• Choice – parents want it.

Response:

The policy decision-making rests in the board's hands. The Board has to say, based on feedback from the community, how to do this. We don't have the money to do all of this – but the plan we're giving the Board will be academically sound, and then they have to decide what to do.

Re: academic standards – the district is currently rewriting the core curriculum. We have to look at these key questions: What are students learning? How do we know that they've learned it? What do you we do if they're not learning? And what do you do if students have already mastered it? We know that in three years the state of CA is going to change its standards to match national standards, and we're doing this with an eye on those standards – so we're ahead of the curve.

Group 3 questions/statements Carol's group:

• Not all middle schools are the same. Parents should have choice to provide for the individual needs for their children – GATE, special ed., languages, etc. May consider GATE as a tie-breaker to get into schools that provide an honors track. Until all middle schools are the same, do not use the feeder plan.

• Proximity to home or ES is also really important

• Third thing – another way to assign schools is through a cohort – so up to six families could pool together as a cohort, and you apply to a school together – that builds the community part

Response:

That's the challenge - we want to give schools individuality - and that's why it's a quality schools initiative - because they should all have rigorous academic quality.

As I said previously, the issue of proximity is being taken into consideration.

In terms of the idea for assignment - that's the type of creative thinking and suggestions we want to capture from these discussions.

Group 4 questions/statements

• Our group thinks the Lau plan should take care of all students – so the resources should be allocated according to the different locations where students are.

• Also, we want to have better communication between the district, schools and parents.

Response:

We know there are student with needs we are trying to address. The other concern is how can we use resources more effectively to support all students? The big question is what do we stop paying for in order to fund these things?

In terms of communication, we know this is really important. We're looking to expand our translation department to make sure we can support communication with families.

I sat in one of the breakout sessions and I want to thank you for the very thoughtful conversations people were having. On behalf of PPS and the PAC and SFUSD, we want to thank you for coming out this evening.

theschoolboards
03-24-2011, 06:48 PM
Transcript of Large Group Q & A Session Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. MS

Date: March 23, 2011

Moderator: Ellie Rossiter
Who answered questions: Jeannie Pon
Transcriber: Annie Bauccio

Note: There were about a dozen people so we stayed together for the discussion. District staff were in the room and addressed the main questions at the end.

Questions/statements

• Kids really want a school that feels like right fit for their kid - and as I heard here tonight they're willing to travel for them

• How will this work? The devils are in the details - what would the plan look like in individual school, for each family or student

• What about choice and opportunity? Middle schools should give kids chance to succeed and prep for individualized high school. What about magnet schools?

Response:

I really appreciate everybody thinking out of the box and we are talking about the same things, we don't know how it will work yet, that's why gathering feedback, and board will give us direction of where to go. I really appreciate your candor in sharing your ideas.