Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Budget hearing in JP tonight

A reminder to West Zone families -- BPS is holding a budget hearing tonight from 6 to 8 p.m. at the English High School, 144 McBride St., Jamaica Plain. I had planned on attending this, but child care arrangements aren't feasible for me, so I'm eager to hear feedback from people who are able to go.

There will be two more hearings downtown and in Roxbury, and then the School Committee is expectd to vote on the budget on March 25.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Popularity of West Zone schools by parents' lottery choices

I’ve always been curious about what the most chosen schools actually were, beyond what I hear on the playground (or playspace, now that it's winter). In a document presented to the Boston School Committee last week on the proposed five-zone assignment system, BPS also laid out a map showing schools that had the most (and least) families list them as their first or second choices. It’s like everything you wanted to know but were afraid to ask. Here are the West Zone and citywide elementary schools in the top quartile for the 1st and 2nd choices in the first round of the lottery for the 2008-9 school year:

Curley
Haynes EEC
Hernandez
Kilmer
Lyndon
Mission Hill
Young Achievers

The second quartile:
Hennigan
Ohrenberger

Third quartile:
Agazzis
Conley
Haley
Manning
Mozart
Sumner
West Zone ELC (I think this is in the 3rd quartile. It’s difficult to read.)

Fourth quartile:
Bates
Beethoven
Ellis
Hale
Kennedy
Mendell
Philbrick
Trotter

The map actually has the city divided into the proposed five-zone system if you prefer to look at schools that way. I still think in three zones.

There’s definitely a lot of data in here on the proposed vs. existing zones. The last page notes all of the outstanding issues associated with this plan, including grandfathering in existing students.

By the way, the superintendant’s meeting with Roslindale parents on K-8 options was postponed until Thursday, March 12th, 7:00 p.m. due to the snow. Judging by the above document, the five-zone system would increase Zone 5's proportion of K-8 schools over the three-zone system from 31% to 40%. Maybe they're taking the BTU school into account. The proportion of the zone’s middle schools would drop from 8% to 5%.