At the November 2nd school board work session, staff presented the third (and final) draft of the 2015-2016 School Enrollment Proposal.
The proposal affects a total of 2,724 students – 60 percent of whom are eligible to grandfather to stay at their current school.
The third draft incorporates additional parent and community feedback. Senior Director for School Assignment Laura Evans admitted that she was initially apprehensive about taking part in a multi-draft process. But over 2,000 MindMixer comments helped staff accomplish efficiencies beyond the optimization algorithm used to design and tweak the plan. Evans noted that, “It’s been a good process…we have very smart people in our community.”
Parent comments especially helped staff correct more than fifty address locator errors that occurred in the transfer from a node-based to a parcel-based assignment plan.
In short, the human element made this a much better plan. The multi-draft process is a change in how the district has gathered parent and community input. In prior years, emails directly to school board members and student assignment staff were the extent of “online” input. Additional input came at lengthy public hearings and sessions held about the county. Those meetings still occur, but parents now have a specific and direct way to provide input. In addition, numerous school board members, as well as Evans, noted a significant drop in direct emails to them regarding the school enrollment plan.
The MindMixer site is open now and feedback on this third draft is being accepted. School board members, senior leadership, and school assignment staff monitor the site and respond to suggestions.
The timeline for finalizing the plan is:
- November 18th – public hearing before public comment at the regular BOE meeting
- November 25th – board work session on school enrollment proposal
- December 2nd – Board of Education will approve plan at their regularly scheduled meeting