At each citywide community meeting, we are working to inform and engage the community in a unique way. We’ve created an interactive community meeting with the goal of informing the public while getting their feedback on the proposal and engaging with them to improve it.
After each meeting, we will publish notes from our team on key areas of discussion. They will not have the context of the speaker or subject, but will, we think help inform the online discussion while being transparent about the feedback we are getting– positive, negative, and beyond.
Our meeting at the Kroc Center began with families sharing their experiences with enrollment. Family members shared that:
- Process was time and energy consuming
- Logistics of assignment process/challenge of navigating 30 schools
- Time consuming
- Used websites to visit schools, breaking it down by region
- Welcome Center did not fulfill my needs
- Want what’s best for student
- Used Website to visit schools – breaking it down by region
- Youngest child with IEP is better served at public school
- Charter Brooke has changed our lives
- Applying to all schools and not getting one
After hearing about the current enrollment systems and the proposed unified enrollment system, members broke into three groups to discuss the “what ifs.”
Group A: Family Communication
What information would be most helpful to families in selecting schools? In what formats?
- Community Census – needs and services for those kids
- In writing – the amount of seats for your schools after each regular cycle – not equal number – what seats access to
- Leadership of School – Principal; site councils; if boar – are parents on board? Parent in leadership? PTA/Parents participation and $ raised
- % of kids are in that walk zone
- School day hours – before/after
- Resources in school (e.g. social worker?)
- Find the feeder schools from kindergarten – pathway option
- Faculties – gym, library, cafeteria, etc.
- Discipline policies – % for sub-populations (e.g. boys, kids of color, etc.)
- How to disseminate? Such early registration
- Other than website: printed materials, pre-school, day cares
- Big disparity between 1st and 2nd round
- Student/Teacher ratio
- Academic achievement/School record graduation, student achievement – qualitative
- Teacher performance
- Understandable language – what is Tier 1 and Tier 2? Past 1 +2 to experience
- Teachers/school culture
- Teacher diversity – gender/representing students
- Neighborhood location
- Diversity of school structure – how widely do they differ? Program, food, recess, lunch time, art, gym, music
- Breakdown of school day/school week/school year
- School options – IEP – which have
- Snapshot of school
- Looking at policy/procedures/contacts for each school – are they different? How would that happen?
- Uniform cost?
- Format – Parents website of schools
Group B: SPED/ELL
How would you want to be informed of school choices for children with specialized needs? What information would you want about particular services available at schools?
- What happens when a student is diagnosed with a disability after entry?
- Will IEP teams have charters on the list? How to ensure appropriate capacity in charters? What about ELD1 and 2s? How can we ensure charters have the programs and services?
- Will parents with kids on IEP be able to transfer?
- Will teachers have the right certification and experiences?
- “Chicken and egg” – critical mass of students <-> programs for students
- Need dual certifications
- Recognize BPS’s strengths in this area
- How do we ensure students get all the services on the IEP?
- Need to be explicit about grandfathering of current students (+siblings)
- Need to be explicit that students with IEPs can move clusters
- Discipline policies in charters – need accountability
- How can all information about schools be clear at the time of selection? (language, IEP, etc. hours, ability to teach in native language, diversity of teachers) How can we provide this info with evidence?
Group C: System Administrator
If you had a question or issue with unified enrollment, who would you want to help you resolve it?
- Principals should have ability to wield flexibility
- Ombudsman – did not have before, now do – should be for both District and Charter
- Multisector contribution to enrollment – specifically funding
- Dearborn – Neighborhood preference – Case Study