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    SF Board of Education Ad Hoc Meeting on Student Assignment February 12, 2014

    Attached is the powerpoint presentation from the ad hoc meeting.

    Below is also Carol Lei's notes on the meeting.

    I arrived a bit late (traffic and parking issues) so missed some of the presentation on 3rd Annual Report on Student Assignment (2013-2014). There’s data by race on the number of applicants and enrollments – mainly exploring whether SFUSD is reversing the trend of racial isolation at schools and does CTIP1 help reverse the trend and provide equitable access. This portion of the presentation was basically updating the committee and getting feedback on what the board wants to see as it’s putting the annual report together. It’s not the final report. I haven’t had a chance to look over the attached presentation data yet – we received a black and white version at the meeting, and I couldn’t read the small print.

    For middle school feeder portion of the evening, the presentation/discussion was around Bryant, Webster, Willie Brown MS, Spanish language pathway. If you look at slide 40 on page 20, you can see what the proposed next steps are. During open public comments, I spoke about concerns around choice, how much choice will there be if students are fed into middle schools, and how middle schools may squelch chances for high school (i.e. no drama elective and someone wanted to go to SOTA in dramatic arts). It was said that the district loses about 5% of the 5th grade population (don’t go onto 6th grade in the district). Will we lose more? Jill Wynns commented that there’s still choice and there’s nothing yet to assume that families will be locked out of choice in 2017. She was pleasantly surprised at the high numbers of families choosing to go to their feeder schools. Emily Murase expressed concerns of 4th graders moving schools so they could go to a feeder middle school they wanted. She requested from the staff to provide numbers on those who don’t go to their feeder MS. 2 other parents spoke during public comments (Daniel Webster and Starr King). Comments also came up about 7 periods at some schools to accommodate language and elective vs language OR elective at other schools with only 6 periods.

    On the Lowell High School presentation, the staff recommended for the 2015-2016 school year student assignment system (for current 7th graders applying for Lowell next year), giving district students interested in Lowell the same test they currently give non-district students, since the STAR test won’t be given this year. EPC normally uses school grades received for 7th and the first semester of 8th grades, along with the CST test, to calculate who gets into Lowell. For other students who don’t take the CST test (i.e. private), they take the Terranova test. So the recommended plan would be for all interested students to take the Terranova.

    The last part was just an update on enrollment process for this fall – nothing shockingly new. Mostly, it was about key dates coming up (i.e. round 2). Though we know that families that don’t register at the offered schools will be dropped and therefore creating seats for others to get in round 2, there will be some seats that will be held so they can work further with the families (i.e. homeless and foster youths, students with IEPs, at-risk students, and students with extenuating circumstances as identified by school staff). I know in past years, there have been students that got their first choice school, but due to family situations (parents/guardians that refuse or unable to physically go to the school to register) that the kids lost out, so I understand the purpose of holding some of the seats, allowing some extra time in following up with the student’s situation.

    For me, the numbers that stuck in my head (for whatever reason),

    · approx. 1800 are potentially eligible to apply to Lowell (anticipated number who will take the Terranova). Currently about 600 take it annually.

    · On Round 1 deadline day, EPC took in 600 applications, 1000 between the last 2 days! And I didn’t hear any complaints of wait time this year…

    · About 20% movement for kindergarten, less in MS and HS, after round 1

    I was able to talk (barely – I lost my voice) with commissioners Matt Haney and Jill Wynns, expressing concerns about quality middle schools. New private schools are popping up ready to take the 5% or more that we’re losing between 5th and 6th grades. Asked if they’ve heard any more about quality middle schools in the past 3 years since the conversations began, and encouraged them to look into where the district is at with quality middle schools – families want to hear/know what is happening.

    And that’s what I got out of last night’s meeting… Next meeting is targeted for April 30 for those who want to save the date on their calendar.
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