New story: Catchment or not, Penn Alexander likely to turn lower grade students away for the first time
so what was once a clear $100k+ real estate premium is now a game theory equation that will rely on the Nash equilibrium. fascinating.
I'm not sure it was necessary to create a new thread for this topic, when many several already exist.
I will say, Powel Elementary School would be happy to accept any of the families who cannot get into PAS. I think PAS also offers a valuable lesson for what not to do when looking at University supported urban school models. That isn't to say that PAS is bad, but I don't think many of the organizers of the school anticipated overcapacity being a problem this early.
Poweltonian, what are you thoughts on the article's contention that, "Alternatives for those living in the catchment include Samuel Powel Elementary (301 N. 36th St.), which serves students in grades 1-4. But Powel is even more crowded than Penn Alexander. The district reports that, as of October 2010, 236 students attended the school, which has a capacity of 199." Is that why Powel is over capacity?
Originally Posted by Poweltonian
Powel does not seem like a geographical first choice.
I can't speak to the exact enrollment figures, but I will agree that Powel is at capacity. BUT, the reason it is at capacity is because 85% of the students are coming from outside of the catchment area. Many of the students come from Mantua, others from Cedar Park, and others from as far away as Overbrook. The PVCA charted the addresses of students and it was quite revealing. Because 85% of the students are coming from out of catchment, there is plenty of opportunity for non PAS families to come to Powel.
Originally Posted by annie
I am not a parent at the school, but I am involved with the PVCA. I've met with Principal Ellerbee and am close with the Powel HSA. There seems to be this perception that Powel is a priveleged school like PAS, but it is really quite different. It struggles for the exact same resources that Lea and Wilson vie for. I should also say that I encourage local families to send their children to their catchment schools, which for some cases may be Lea or Wilson.
Powel is special in that it is so small (236 students!). I think that offers a very different experience, and one that should be a consideration for West Philly families.
I know someone that tried to transfer her kid in to Powel for kindergarten in the fall and was not accepted. So while Powel is open to transfers, there are still limits and it's not a sure thing.
In the last few years, PAS kindergarten overflow already took up spaces at Powel's kindergarten, which sucks because they were taking spots from kids who might actually stay on for first grade. But if some PAS overflow kids can't get into first grade at PAS either and stay on for Powel that might be good for everyone. And then they could got to PAS for 5-8. It'll be interesting how all this shakes out.
I live in Powelton Village and my children attend Powel. It is a good school that is well on its way to becoming great due to the fantastic Principal, teachers, parents, the CLI (Children's Literacy Initiative) Grant and the recent and significant commitments by Drexel. While it is a lottery for a significant portion of the school's population, the one way to guarantee a spot at Powel is by living in the boundaries.
I called PAS and was told my kid was for sure in for first grade, I think they pull from the kinder wait list and it's more new transfer kids that might get screwed.
What do you guys think about the Head start kids (from out of the catchment) being grandfathered in for Kinder?
For first grade each class will be capped at 23 (this year it is uncapped and over 30) and with three classes for a total of 69. The news reported 76 parents in line overnight for the kindergarten. That means at least 7 parents who waited overnight in January might not be able to enroll for first grade in 2012. And all the parents who didn't think to line up overnight in January are out.
I can see why people are upset.
Until more organized efforts come together by concerned parents (where is the PAS HSA on all of this?) and catchment homeowners, a barrage of phone calls/emails to starting with the Communications Director, Shana Kemp, and the Associate Superintendant for Schools, Penny Nixon, is probably not a bad idea.
Ms. Kemp's quote in the West Philly Local said that where there is an issue with crowding, the District can (not must) assign students elsewhere. How much pressure would it take for the PSD to reconsider this approach?
Shana Kemp, Deputy of Media Relations, SDP
Penny Nixon, Associate Superintendant of Schools, SDP
Minor quibble, but it should be noted that not all of those who were in line were absolutely committed to PAS. For at least a few, the first choice was a charter school (PAS was back-up). And some (small) number of those kids will end up relocating between now and the beginning of first grade (such is the academic life). There may even be a few who experience kindergarten or first grade and determine that PAS is not for their kid and will seek out private schooling. Getting on the wait list makes sense.
Originally Posted by annie
Sounds like a good opportunity for parents to send their kids to Lea en masse. If there are 70+ families that care enough about their kids to wait in line overnight to get them into PAS, that's easily enough to send a full grade of great students to Lea
Lea Kindergarten Open House
Lea Kindergarten Open House
Monday, May 23rd
4700 Locust Street
Meet and greet with the principal, Dr. Bell-Chiles, at 8:20 a.m. in the library
Kindergarten Open House, 8:45 a.m.- 9:30 a.m. in Rooms 101 and 102
School tour and meeting with Home and School Association President Maurice Jones to follow
Last edited by annie; 05-12-2011 at 02:18 PM.
Reason: Huge picture was huge. Sorry!
Exactly. All it takes is a handful of dedicated parents to help turn Lea around. There are already lots of involved parents sending their kids to Lea, and my guess is that the overspill from PAS will be to Lea's advantage in the coming 5 years.
Originally Posted by thoth
Their yield will probably be less than 100%, meaning that not everyone who got in will enroll. Most parents look at multiple options for their children - it would only be reasonable to do so. I would expect that some parents of kids who were admitted will decide to send their kids elsewhere, because they find that as they go through the process they realize that those schools are better fits for their children.
Originally Posted by annie
I was speaking with some Meredith parents on Friday, and they told me that these primary schools really drop off in enrollment in the later grades, due to kids transferring out to (magnet) middle schools and other options. If that's a predictable situation, and if PAS has tremendous space availability in the upper grades, then logic would dictate that the school should change its mix by alloting a greater percentage of the space in the school to the lower grades, where the overcrowding problem now lies. Why are they so sure that the present cohort will work its way through the school and fill up the classrooms? What is the attrition rate for students at that school?
Originally Posted by ignutzz
Having attended SRC meetings where district officials whined about decreasing enrollment, it's indeed strange to have a school turn away students, knowing very well that many might not stay within the system.
However, schools are constrained by the budgets they are given. If the budget does not allow the school to hire additional teachers (and for next year most schools are being forced to have FEWER teachers), they are unable to accommodate all the children who may want to attend. Giving the schools "control" over their budgets seems like a great idea but when the budget given is inadequate to meet the needs of the school and fund the programs the school considers important, the individual school appears to be the culprit, rather than the SRC. Neat trick.
Lea Kindergarten Open House Schedule
8:20 - 8:40 a.m Meet and Greet with Dr. B-C in the library
8:45 - 9:30 a.m. Kindergarten Open House, Rooms 101 and 102
9:35 - 10:00 a.m. Lea School Tour lead by Maurice Jones and Mr. Brown
10:05 - 10:20 a.m. Ms. Mykytiuch will be free to talk to parents, Room 101
10:25 - 10:45 a.m. Meeting with Lea HSA President Maurice Jones plus others back in the library
10:50 - 11:05 a.m. Ms. McCloskey will be free to talk to parents, Room 102
Understanding that the early start may be difficult for parents with young children, we have added meeting times with the kindergarten teachers and the HSA president after the tour with late arriving parents in mind. We're trying to get a basic headcount so if you plan on coming, please respond to this poll: Doodle: Lea Kingergarten Open House
The poll is private so you're not making your commitment to attend public so no pressure in case you can't make it for some reason. This will help me and the teachers guesstimate how many handouts to make. Thanks!
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