Enrollment Highlights: Notes from Board of Education Enrollment Committee, October 19

posted Oct 21, 2015, 6:13 PM by Robin Dutton-Cookston   [ updated Oct 22, 2015, 11:47 AM ]
Our #BoardWatch team attended the latest Enrollment Committee meeting on October 19, 2015 to hear reports from the Educational Placement Center (EPC).

By the Numbers
  • 613 children applied for TK (transitional kindergarten). 384 enrolled this fall.
  • 5,159 applied for regular kindergarten. 4,040 are now enrolled in an SFUSD school.
  • 3,734 applied for 6th grade. 3,199 are now enrolled.*
  • 4,473 applied for high school. 3,375 are now enrolled.
  • 900 students qualified to enroll in Lowell High School. 640 actually enrolled
*Commissioner Rachel Norton noted that the high rate of middle school enrollment suggests that the perceived flight from public middle schools may actually be untrue.

Other Points of Interest
  • Commissioner Jill Wynn asked how the start of school went at the EPC offices. The EPC staff said that it was less busy and had less traffic than in other years, but that there was more business over the summer before school started. One reason that there was more activity at EPC over the summer was due to families being in transition due to evictions, living in shelters, or having to leave the city. 
  • The middle school feeder system has created less middle school movement. Fewer people request new schools and most middle schools are full. Families who do not list their feeder school for middle school often get placed at a school not on their list. 
  • For next academic year (2016-17)
    • There will be three new TK sites added
    • Cantonese dual language programs will be added to Marina and MLK Middle Schools.
    • Spanish dual language program will be added to Visitacion Valley Middle School.
  • The online enrollment application for next year is on pause at this time. There are concerns about data storage and privacy. For example, the template tool they have built will only let families list three schools. This does not work with the current process. The goal is to build a digital application that can integrate with the current system. 
    • Commissioner Sandra Fewer noted that online applications are geared toward the middle class and that systems need to be created to help parents without access to computers. 
    • Commissioner Matt Haney suggested that the Boston public school online application looks like a great model for SFUSD.
  • Beginning in 2017, the middle school enrollment process will shift into automatic enrollment at the feeder school. There was a clear acknowledgement that soon there will not be enough spots for all the students who feed into the middle schools. EPC acknowledged that that is something being addressed.
Future Topics
  • Families leaving SFUSD before graduation, and how to implement an exit survey.
  • Creating robust, diverse enrollment in under-enrolled schools.
  • Addressing the changing needs and outreach of Ruth Asawa School of the Arts High School.