Advocate

==PTA Advocacy Call to Action: Please complete by Dec. 5, 2017==advocate image

With lower enrollment, it is very likely that we will lose funding for two of our teachers next year and our kids will unnecessarily go into split classrooms, which puts pressures on teachers and students. You can make a difference in reversing this policy.

Please take a moment to send an email to the school district. You can use the email below and add in your own reasons for why you think more kids should be able to choose McGilvra. Together, all our voices will make a big difference for our school.

Send an email to the following addresses: aedavies(at)seattleschools(dot)org, enrollmentplanning(at)seattleschools(dot)org AND SchoolBoard(at)seattleschools(dot)org.

Email Subject Line: Bring choice back to McGilvra: Change SAP

Dear SPS Enrollment Planning and School Board,

I am a parent of students at McGilvra Elementary School, and I am writing to ask that you change the current wait list policy that severely restricts kids from outside of our attendance boundary to attend McGilvra.

Our school is now being renovated to have 12 classrooms, yet Seattle Public Schools will only fund us for 10 teachers given this policy that suppresses our enrollment. This underfunding is not only unsustainable, it compromises our school community, with the prospect of losing valuable teachers and implementing unnecessary split-grade classrooms.

In addition, the current enrollment and Student Assignment Plan worsens the education gap for students of color living in the Central Area, and increases segregation among students. Very few public school attendees can afford to buy or rent homes in the McGilvra assigned boundary, especially middle income families and families of color. Allowing families to use Choice to attend McGilvra not only increases the diversity of our school, it provides more students living in the Central Area with reliable, excellent education that rivals HCC scores, and surrounds them with a supportive and engaged parent-teacher community.

The McGilvra Staff, PTA Board, and family and student communities are united in the goal of making this school and excellent education more accessible, regardless of a student’s attendance boundary of origin. We are seeking a fair and balanced approach that is efficient and effective, and propose the Real Choices, Real Opportunities Enrollment Plan. Please change the SAP to allow Seattle residents the ability to choose the schools that they want for their families.

Sincerely,

<Your Name>

The ‘Real Choices, Real Opportunities’ Plan:

FOR THE WAIT LIST
~ Allow all Seattle Public Schools to be choice schools, not only Option Schools
~ For every student who leaves their attendance school to attend another Seattle Public School, allow a student off the original school’s wait list into that schools.
~ Students who are McKenty-Vinto, qualify for free and reduced lunch, or qualify for special services would still get priority on the Wait List, but if the Choice School has physical and staff capacity, the next student on the wait list should get in. Tiebreakers should be in the following order:
       ~ Student is a sibling of an existing student at the Wait List School
       ~ Student is within 6 blocks of the Wait List School’s attendance boundary. These students would need to walk to the nearest SPS bus stop if transportation is needed.
       ~ Student’s Attendance Boundary/Neighborhood School is in the same High School Pathway of the Wait List School.

FOR THE “SPACE AVAILABLE” AND “STAFF ALLOCATION” FORMULA
   ~ Change the current definition of “space available” and staff allocation from
       Space availability depends on the seats available given the staffing capacity at the school.  To determine the total number of seats available at a grade level in a school, the district will multiply the target class sizes across each classroom, given the number of teachers at each grade based on the staffing allocated by the Budget Office.”

   to,

~ Space availability depends on the maximum teaching stations in a building, the current enrollment head count, and the building’s capacity to take the wait list population for each grade.  To determine the total number of seats available at a grade level in a school, the district will multiply the current enrollment head count, and wait list head count across each grade, given the number of teaching stations and wait list population at each grade. SPS Staffing allocation should be based on those factors, rather than exclusively on the Budget Office’s projection .

SAP Definitions of “space available” and “staff allocation” must be transparent, clarified, and not rely exclusively or primarily on SPS Budget Office allotment of head count. SPS Enrollment Staff must alert SPS stakeholders (Principals, staff, board, and families) 90 days before open enrollment
   ~  “Space Available” and “Staff Allocation” formulas must include:
           ~ The maximun number of teaching stations in a building
           ~ The wait list of the students waiting to get into the school