Reminder: the Committee on Student Assignment meets this evening at 7 p.m. in the Board room at 555 Franklin St. Items for discussion include:
- Changes to the assessment, counseling, and language program placement process for English Learners
- Feedback from community conversations — a presentation from the Parent Advisory Council (PAC) and Parents for Public Schools (PPS)
- Process and schedule moving forward
Posted in BOE, issues
Just as a reminder, there is a Committee of the Whole on Student Assignment scheduled for this evening, May 11, at 6 p.m. at James Denman Middle School (241 Oneida Ave.) in the auditorium. Informational items for discussion:
- Status report on the boundary simulations;
- Progress report on the community conversations coordinated by the Parent Advisory Council (PAC);
- Process and schedule moving forward.
Posted in BOE, issues
Last night’s meeting didn’t adjourn till 1 a.m., but less than 12 hours later wild rumors are circling about what we did or did not do. Don’t have time for the full roundup or a fuller discussion of the JROTC issue at the moment but here are the key points:
- The resolution to reinstate JROTC was introduced for first reading and referred to the Curriculum, Budget and Personnel committees. It will be considered at the next meeting of each of those committees and then forwarded back to the full board for second reading and a vote. Don’t hold your breath on this happening before May — the Ex is wrong about it being scheduled for a vote on April 14.
- We did NOT eliminate language immersion at the new DeAvila program. I am not sure where this rumor is coming from, but I’ve already heard it from two separate people. What we did is discuss the fact that there was not an optimal amount of time to discuss, weigh in and evaluate this decision before it was announced and kids were assigned to the program. There are lots of reasons for that, which the Superintendent explained in detail. There are some questions about whether dual-immersion Cantonese is the best model to align with our strategic plan goals and the needs of the students who will ultimately enroll at DeAvila (we’ll know who they are after Round II), but the Board voted to create a Chinese language program at DeAvila and children assigned to that program will receive a language immersion program. The debate is over whether that program, due to varying demand from English/Chinese speakers will offer Cantonese or Mandarin or a combination of both, and whether there will be a dual-immersion strand or a one-way immersion strand. The public and especially the parents who have signed up at DeAvila will be given ample opportunity to discuss and participate in this decision, and Commissioner Fewer has called for a special augmented Curriculum committee meeting sometime in April to discuss and resolve these issues. I will be SURE the time and date of that meeting is publicized to families.
It was pretty late last night when I finished posting and I neglected to list two upcoming student assignment meeting dates:
- Monday, April 13 – Washington HS, 600 32nd Ave., 6 p.m.
- Monday May 11 – Denman MS, 241 Oneida Ave., 6 p.m.
Commissioner Kim announced that she will arrive at both meetings an hour early to talk to parents who may not be comfortable sharing their views during public comment.
In what will probably be a common occurrence, someone has started a petition urging Board of Education members to:
request that in your priorities for a new SFUSD Student Assignment process for 2010, you include at minimum a fallback option for any applicant to attend his/her neighborhood school (with all communities having an assigned school).
So far I’ve received close to 180 300 e-mails. Most of them just cut and paste the wording above, but a number of people included personal comments and opinions and I’m grateful for that since I feel obligated to open every e-mail. It’s much more instructive when people take the time to explain why they’re writing and what their individual views are.
Posted in issues
UPDATE: My friend Teri Olle, who was in the audience at Monday’s meeting, posted her own notes on the PPS/sfschools list. I’m reposting them here.
Mary over on the sfschools list wants to know: “Is the BOE also looking to move towards a system that emphasizes neighborhood schools rather than parental choice?”
Not to speak for my colleagues, but after listening and participating in tonight’s discussion (at the Ad Hoc Committee on Student Assignment) I don’t think the BOE as a body has at all decided where to fall in the choice vs. neighborhood paradigm. The dialogue centered much more on equity, transparency, simplicity, predictability — things like that.
Posted in BOE
Update (Sunday): Jill Wynns and I are essentially tied for last two seats. Updated results here.
Today was the annual SFUSD enrollment fair. It’s a great event – parents, staff and students from every public school come to promote their schools to families looking for a public school. There was amazing energy this year – particularly from the high schools. And though the enrollment process is very nerve-wracking for families, it seemed to me as though there was a bit less angst and a bit more eagerness as families browsed the many good public school choices we have in San Francisco.