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Drawing new attendance boundaries

By Katy Murphy
Friday, November 18th, 2011 at 5:47 pm in elementary schools, enrollment, families, school closures.

This afternoon, the Oakland school district posted maps showing how it might redraw its boundaries for 2012-13, after five elementary schools close.

OUSD Spokesman Troy Flint is double-checking on this, but it appears that the remaining schools’ boundaries would only expand — not shift — under this plan. In other words, that the only residents who’d be redistricted would be those who live in the attendance areas of Lakeview, Lazear, Marshall, Maxwell Park and Santa Fe. I think. If it appears otherwise to you, let us know!

Lakeview and Lazear each have two scenarios for consideration. Marshall and Maxwell Park have three (including one for Maxwell Park that splits the current zone into seven pieces). Santa Fe has just one three. You’ll find more detail below.

WHAT’S NEXT: The district is holding five community meetings, beginning Nov. 29, in each of the areas (see above link for dates and locations). It holds a public hearing Dec. 14, and is scheduled to make a decision on Jan. 11.

Here are the scenarios, with a list of all of the schools that would incorporate part of each existing attendance area:

Lakeview #1: Piedmont Avenue, Crocker Highlands, Cleveland, Lincoln.
Lakeview #2: same schools as above

Lazear #1: International Community School/Think College Now, Garfield, ASCEND
Lazear #2: International Community School/Think College Now, Garfield, (another school – name not visible)

Marshall #1: Grass Valley, Reach Academy
Marshall #2: Grass Valley, Howard
Marshall #3: Grass Valley only

Maxwell Park #1: Allendale, Burckhalter, Horace Mann, Laurel, Learning Without Limits/Global Family, Markham, (another school – name not visible)
Maxwell Park #2: Allendale, Burckhalter, Horace Mann, Laurel
Maxwell Park #3: Allendale, Burckhalter, Horace Mann, Laurel, Markham

Santa Fe #1: Sankofa, Emerson
Santa Fe #2: Sankofa, Emerson, another school (Hoover, I think)
Santa Fe #3: Sankofa, Emerson

What do you think of these scenarios? Do you favor one over another? Are there concerns you feel the school board should consider?

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  • Franky

    It seems like the Peralta boundary has contracted. The area around Sankofa that was formerly in the Peralta boundary is now part of the new Sankofa boundary.

  • Katy Murphy

    Do you mean the streets around Shattuck and Alcatraz? OUSD’s school-finder indicates that the two schools currently share that boundary (It says “Peralta/Sankofa”).

    On the new map, that section has a black, rather than a red, border. Maybe that’s what it signifies – a shared boundary? There must be a key somewhere…

    If anyone wants to look at current boundaries, you can find OUSD’s school-finder maps here: http://mapstacker.ousd.k12.ca.us/

  • Super

    No complaints here. Very pleased.

  • On The Fence

    I’ve looked at both of the proposals to shift the boundaries of Crocker Highland Elementary due to the upcoming closure of Lakeview Elementary and have some questions and concerns. In each scenario, Crocker’s boundary is redrawn to Grand Ave. which looks like it greatly expands this school’s catchment area by at least 30%. It is a contiguous area which would now belong in the Crocker Elementary catchment and so it makes sense in that regards, but I am worried that it is too large and too dense.

    - My question is how many ‘out of neighborhood’ children does Crocker Highland Elementary currently have in its kindergarten, first and second grade classes? I am particularly interested in the lower grades as this school’s popularity has increased in recent years.

    - Also, how many elementary school age children currently reside in the expanded area? I am specifically interested in ALL elementary aged children, rather than just those who may have attended Lakeview as these numbers likely differ greatly.

    - How will the district distinguish between a child who was displaced by Lakeview’s closure vs. a child who decides to transfer into Crocker from a charter or private school if they both live in the expanded area? Perhaps they do not need to differ unless there are not enough spaces to accommodate everyone.

    - How many students in this proposed annexed area actually attend Lakeview currently?

    - How many current Lakeview students reside in the entire existing catchment area vs. attend from out of neighborhood?

    My concern is that OUSD may be setting up a scenario similar to that in the Hillcrest or Redwood Heights neighborhoods, whereby the catchment area is too dense to accommodate all of the neighborhood children into their neighborhood school. In my opinion, this would be a disastrous, contentious problem. Crocker is a desirable school, so many families who did not opt to go to Lakeview may very well opt to attend Crocker Highland if it becomes their neighborhood school. Therefore, annexing this large and family dense area may overwhelm Crocker Highlands.

    As long as all families in the new neighborhood boundary would easily fit into this small elementary school, I see no real issue. However, if there is a lottery for neighborhood families in the near future, then I would staunchly oppose such a change. Katy, how are officials studying this issue? Do you have data or answers to any of my questions listed above? Thanks!

  • AH

    I thought Santa Fe had three options. Check your first link.

    And the Peralta/Sankofa thing is confusing to me too. Don’t they share the same catchment area?

  • Yasmin Anwar

    I agree. How can you have Sankofa and Emerson without including Peralta? Please look into this bizarre boundary redrawing in North Oakland

  • Katy Murphy

    You’re right about Santa Fe! I only saw one posted yesterday afternoon, but I might have just missed it.

  • Super

    On The Fence, if you look at the methodology that OUSD developed to determine redistricting, you will see that eligible school-age children in the expanded area are among the variables. I believe only 70 or so students at Lakeview are from the former district. How many were in the to-be-annexed quarter? Hard to say. In my experience living here, families have not opted to send kids to private school. They have opted to move, so I would be surprised to see an immediate significant impact at Crocker. Over time though, I would expect the numbers to increase. But that’s obvious. Larger area, larger student body. But that’s the direction OUSD is headed. That’s not going to change.

  • Katy Murphy

    In 2010-11, there were a total of 267 OUSD students in grades k-5 who lived within the Lakeview attendance boundary. Of those, 182 were enrolled in OUSD schools besides Lakeview. I imagine the district has more information about how many children live in which section of the boundary, but I don’t have that info yet.

    Here’s a link to a map with more detail: http://web.ousd.k12.ca.us/sarc/Docs/LiveGo%20Map/2010-2011/English/130_LiveGo1011.PDF

    And to other Live-Go maps here.

  • Yasmin Anwar

    I have printed out all three maps for the Santa Fe district boundary options, and the three maps are identical, with red, black and gray lines in the same place. Can someone explain the differences in these three options and what is the proposed boundary change? I am guessing the red lines are the original Santa Fe attendance area. But what is the new boundary, and which schools does it encompass? If we are to meet on Dec. 7 to discuss this, we need to be clear on what the new Santa Fe boundary options are. Thanks so much

  • Luv To Teach In Oakland

    Just curious, if ASCEND and Learning Without Limits become charter schools in the 2012/2013 School Year because, among other things, they want to keep small class sizes, will they have to accept the students from the other schools? Can they choose to accept some and not accept others?

  • Woe Is Me

    Yasmin,
    The red line is the old Santa Fe boundary. The new scenarios are shown by the changing blue, dark orange and light orange spaces. Blue is Sankofa, dark orange is Emerson, and light orange is Peralta. It looks as if most of Santa Fe will be going to Sankofa and the rest to Emerson. Peralta looks to have lost some space to Sankofa.

  • Franky

    I think the shaded areas represent the new boundaries. Blue for Sankofa, tan for Peralta, orange for Emerson. Sankofa and Peralta used to share a boundary; now it appears Sankofa has its own exlusive boundary; Peralta has its own exclusive boundary. Black lines are the outside perimeter of the district; the red lines are the current Santa Fe boundaries.

  • AH

    Yasmin, the differences are subtle, but here’s what I see. Option 2 has the orange area at the bottom bigger (Hoover?), so some Santa Fe kids would go there. Options 1 and 3 do not include Hoover. The difference I see between Options 1 and 3 is the northern part (Alcatraz and Shattuck intersection). In Option 1 it’s Sankofa; in Option 2 it’s Peralta.

  • Jim Mordecai

    Luv To Teach In Oakland:

    Here is what is posted on the District webpage regarding ASCEND’s adminission policy:

    All students who are interested in enrolling at the school are required to complete an application
    for admission. Applicants must meet the minimum age for public school admission.

    No specialized admission tests are required; however, after admission, tests may be administered to determine the proper placement of students. All students who wish to enroll in the school are enrolled unless the number of applications exceeds the number of seats available. An open enrollment period is held to determine the amount of applications for
    enrollment. The School’s enrollment policy, priorities, and procedures will be based on both
    EFC’s policies and any agreements made between EFC and the District, and thus may be subject to change.
    By October 1 of each year, ASCEND will notify the District in writing of the application deadline
    and proposed lottery date. ASCEND will ensure that all application materials will reference these dates as well as provide complete information regarding application procedures, key dates, and admissions preferences and requirements consistent with approved charter.

    If the number of admission applications exceeds the enrollment capacity by an enrollment deadline established by the EFC Board, a public random drawing is held. Existing students of ASCEND have an automatic right to continued enrollment in the school should they wish to do so and shall not need to be included in the public random drawing. If there are additional
    spaces, EFC will hold a weighted lottery to comply with the terms of the Public Charter School
    Grant Program. If the number of student applicants exceeds the School’s capacity, attendance,
    except for existing pupils shall be determined by a public random drawing.
    2 Existing students who are re-enrolling are exempted from the drawing. After all spots have been filled through the drawing, a wait list will be created in the order in which names are drawn. As openings
    become available, opportunities to enroll will be given to those in order of the wait list. Greater weight in the public random drawing will be given as follows:
    1. Siblings of current students within the school3
    2. Residents of the Attendance Area
    3. Residents of the District
    4. Children of employees4
    5. All other students in the State of California.

    Any applications not accepted through this public random drawing due to capacity limitations are used to develop a wait list pool of applicants should space become available, in the order in which they were drawn. Additional applications are accepted on an ongoing basis.

    2During any period of Public Charter Schools Grant Program funding, the public random drawing will be held as one single weighted lottery in accordance with the terms of the State Board of Education approved Request for Applications (“RFJ\”).
    3 During any period of Public Charter Schools Grant Program funding, this preference will be considered an “exemption” to the public random drawing in accordance with the terms of the State Board of Educa tion approved Request for Applications (“RFJ\”).
    4 During any period of Public Charter Schools Grant Program funding, this preference will be limited to “children of teachers” and will not to exceed 10 percent of total enrollment in accordance with the terms of the State Board of Education approved Request for Applications (“RFA”).

  • http://PetervonEhrenkrook Peter von Ehrenkrook

    Hey Yasmin,

    I printed out all three maps too, and it looks like a concerted effort to shift Santa Fe into Sankofa & Emerson in Options 1 & 3, with a small southern section below Macarthur going to Hoover in Option 2. This does not match the goal set by the Restructuring Committee of having the displaced schools go only to those schools with higher API. Emerson and Hoover are both currently below Santa Fe.

    Geographically, it seems ludicrous to have Sankofa servicing such a large area to the west. Santa Fe is much more centrally located. When you note how close Sankofa is to Peralta, it also seems bizarre how much energy was spent in saving Sankofa, AND putting 8.8 million dollars into its renovation.

    One might also note the stark contrast in scores for the two schools (Sankofa & Peralta) mere blocks apart. It smells of segregation at its worst.

    Once again, Yasmin, I hope you consider running for school board at the next available opportunity.

  • Britt Tnaner

    If Sankofa is being made into a regular school, and is no longer a charter school, I think this need to be made much more apparent! I’ve emailed the school district for clarification and will post more info if I get it. It appears that Peralta’s catchment is shrinking, contrary to what Troy Flint says. My son, now two, would have gone to Peralta (currently a 10 on Great Schools) but would now go to Santa Fe (currently a 4 on Great schools) under this plan. I know test scores aren’t everything, but we bought our house where we did because we heard so many good things about Peralta.

  • Parent stuck in OUSD

    There’s something fishy about expanding Sankofa to include middle school when it will serve the same area as Claremont. Claremont is under-enrolled, was initially on the closure list (but was saved by Jody London whose child attends) and has members of Peralta and Chabot’s PTA on it’s PTA. There’s clearly a push from the two very successful Rockridge elementary schools to boost Claremont, so why would Jody London, who works hard at bettering her children’s schools, be so supportive of another middle school in the same catchment area? Is there an ulterior motive in boosting a new middle school with an afro-centric curriculum close to the troubled middle school that has always had a large AA population?

  • Parent stuck in OUSD

    @ #17 I don’t believe Sankofa was ever a charter school (though it either should be charter or at least an alternative school). And I wonder what kind of choice parents will have when Sankofa is there neighborhood school but teaches a non-traditional curriculum? I don’t see how this isn’t going to cause a big cluster*($^^#@!! for the district. If I lived in Peralta’s district and suddenly got re-drawn to a much lower-performing school that taught to one culture, I think I’d gather my neighbors and sue.

  • AH

    Britt (#17),
    Your two-yo won’t be going to Santa Fe, because it’s closing. Did you mean to say Sankofa?

    So is there an area that was formerly Peralta that is now Sankofa?

  • Yasmin Anwar

    I just looked up the 2011 API scores for Santa Fe, Sankofa and Emerson:
    Santa Fe’s 2011 API is 723, up from 712 in 2010
    Sankofa Academy API is 750, up from 717 in 2010
    Emerson’s is 714, down from 737 in 2010

  • DebbieB

    We live in the northernmost tip of Oakland, west of Shattuck and bought our house, in part, because we were in the Peralta boundary. Two of the 3 options put forward take us out of Peralta and into Sankofa.
    I’m not sure how to proceed.

  • AH

    DebbieB, is your child already enrolled at Peralta? If so, you have no worries. If not, then I guess it’s time to voice your concerns to the district and attend the meeting about Santa Fe redistricting (check Katy’s link above for dates). It does seem pretty shady that OUSD might try to sneak in a little boundary change between Sankofa and Peralta–those families affected wouldn’t even be aware of it because it’s so tightly wound up in the Santa Fe redistricting!

  • http://PetervonEhrenkrook Peter von Ehrenkrook

    @21 – Hoover went from 703 in 2010 to 705 in 2011.

  • http://PetervonEhrenkrook Peter von Ehrenkrook

    @21 – Santa Fe actually went from 667 to 723.

  • Katy Murphy

    Troy Flint has just confirmed that none of the schools’ catchment areas — including Peralta’s — will shrink or shift under any of these scenarios. He said the district is posting new maps for Santa Fe tomorrow that will reflect the same shared boundaries between Sankofa and Peralta that exist today.

  • Katy Murphy

    That’s right. You can find a link to Santa Fe’s API report here.

    and Hoover’s here.

    And a list of all OUSD schools (and 2010 and 2011 scores) here.

  • DebbieB

    thank you Troy!

  • Yasmin Anwar

    @25. Wow that’s quite a jump. Santa Fe student performance has really been improving

  • Nextset

    Yasmin: Are you sure the jump in scores is of the same demographic as the previous year? Are you merely assuming the two scores are of the same student body? Maybe they are – maybe not. Anybody looked at the demographics to see if the test body appears unchanged?

  • On the Fence

    Super: Thanks for your response in #8. I’m glad that OUSD has a known methodology when deciding how to redraw the district lines, but what exactly does “eligible school aged children” mean, if you know? Do they have a figure for how many school aged children live in the specific area that will be annexed to the current Crocker district?

    Again, I am very concerned that OUSD WILL underestimate the number of families and children who will opt in to Crocker. The more the merrier, in my opinion, but only if they can be accommodated into the school. Once you create a situation with more children than seats, you have created another Hillcrest fiasco where children in the original catchment area can be denied a spot.

    BTW, my anecdotal experience is the complete opposite of yours. The area that OUSD proposes to annex to Crocker (formerly a part of Lakeview’s catchment) is FULL of families who have opted for private schools. I know many. I personally know families in that area who had gone private, but later got into Crocker via lottery and switched, some who tried but did not get in to Crocker via lottery and are still private, and those who sent first born to private but sent second to Crocker via lottery.

    Katy, I’d love to hear from the district about their plan to avoid that scenario, and how they would deal with overcrowding. I’m also still wondering about the number of spaces that were available for outside of neighborhood kids in Crocker’s lower grades. I seem to be the lone voice on this, but I have a feeling this is going to be a mess…

  • Adams Point Mama

    I agree with On The Fence — I know several families between Grand and Lakeshore who send thier kids to private school after losing out on the options process. If they had gotten Crocker, they would have gone there. I don’t know yet whether they’ll try to transfer their 1st and 3rd graders to Crocker but one child will be a kindergartner next year so she’s probably going to go to Crocker now.

    We’re in the region that could either go to Lincoln or Piedmont Avenue. Lincoln has amazing test scores, but I worry that it’s not diverse. Can anyone tell me about the culture and curriculum at Lincoln? Would a non-Chinese student feel out-of-place?

    The alternative of Piedmont Aveune is no alternative — if that scenario happens, we will move.

  • livegreen

    Re. Crocker, is it under capacity, at capacity, or over capacity? OUSD & the Principal knows this, so the info is out there (rather than making assumptions).

    Re. Lincoln & demographics, these are also available on the API Chart Katy links to above. Though I caution this because it’s in %’s (not #’s) and is always behind the current year. A tour of the school is good.

    Finally, hopefully the school & teachers will be open & caring to all students no matter their demographic. So will most students. Those that aren’t need to be addressed & such problems can be found at any school, no matter their demographic.

    And any school with a decent or rising score is often (though not always) being successful with many of their students, regardless of race.

  • Nextset

    Livegreen: That last paragraph – no, I don’t think you can always say that.

    Demographis is destiny – it’s also a changing API score. You cannot rest that blacks (for example) are well served just because the API is rising (because blacks are leaving?).

    While it’s always possible your black, brown or whatever child may fit in or be well handled in a rising API school or even a higher API school you cannot count on this or anything else without considering the particular child in question and checking out the operation and atmosphere of the proposed school.

    Perhaps the issue is not as acute at a primary school as it is a UC Berkeley – but the issues remain nonetheless. You have to satisfy yourself in the individual situation. You can’t rest on the numbers for all your kids.

  • Nextset

    typo Demographics

    Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

  • livegreen

    Nextet, There are several elementary schools whose API’s are rising for all their students. Even if AfAm scores are lower, they are still rising. (Since API’s sometimes flatline for one year, it’s important to look at multiple years).

    The children I know who cause challenges are not just AfAm. The stereotypes are often (not always) just that.

    I’m just saying many of the schools cannot be assumed to be bad or mediocre because they’re in Oakland, because neighborhood kids are few, or because most of the students are of one minority or another. You just might find many of the schools are better than you think, &/or good for most of the kids of any racial or socioeconomic background…

    I agree that you have to satisfy yourself in the individual situation.

  • Nextset

    Livegreen: My point is that when deal with large numbers of people the changes in API are actually changes in demographics. Secondarily when dealing with smaller numbers, changes in relatively few children demographically can also produce a distinct change in the group API.

    While it’s always possible a school may decide to actually teach in year two or three where they refused to teach in year one and this is the primary reason behind a jump in API, I don’t think that’s common.

    Scoring reflects the presense of good students as much or more than good teachers. This is the major problem with paying teachers based on the student scores and/or changes in the scores.

    When good parents are doing their homework for placement of little Johnny they have issues of not placing the kid where he can’t keep up, as well as placing him where he won’t be bored and idle. These suitability and placement problems become more acute after puberty and of course with higher education placement.

    Suitability testing and placement is the norm in Europe and other parts of the world where there are no illusions that all are created equal. Here we will place students where they can’t keep up and then try to water down standards to force them to fit (i.e. the terrible “no-flunk” policies common to US urban public education).

    Minorities can be bright or dull, but the percentages are different than other groups. Here in Oakland we have specific (cognitive) issues with black students (and thier averages)- elsewhere it may be with some other group. These problems have been/are going to get worse with diseugenics. The added (by OUSD) damage I see now that was avoided generations ago, is caused by the school district refusing to deal with any of it head on and by use of social promotion and teaching of indiscipline to damage the black students generally and the entire district to a degree never seen in the 1960s.

    This thread is on drawing attendance boundries. Of course the plan with this urban district is that all students bright and dull are to attend the same schools and the same classes. Good luck with that. It would be far preferable to have large district boundries but separate distinct schools within each boundry for the brights and dulls without regard to race. Enrollment would be through suitablity and testing with the default enrollment the bonehead schools. Doing so would allow the cognitively higher students to feel safe using the OUSD and allow the district to prosper in total enrollment and reputation of the schools. Continuing down the path the district is on will mean shrinking enrollment until the district only functions as a continuation school and the Charters have all the good students – regardless of race.

    Brave New World.

  • Livegreen

    Or it could b the opposite: the teachers were always good and it was their students who weren’t as good (or their parents weren’t). Or a mix of both. Simply very hard to know…

    BTW, some schools DO have efforts to try to target & assist students who r behind (some based on grades regardless of socio-economic, some based on socio-economic).. Could b those r working too…

  • Wishful Thinking

    After reading these posts last fall and sharing the same concerns as On The Fence, we were trying to stay optimistic about the Crocker boundary extensions given that our oldest is due to enter K in the fall. The OUSD seemed to reassure everyone that they had it “under control” even though we had already heard stories last year of neighborhood families having to appeal to get in. (Maybe they’ll have to have to add another K class, maybe there won’t be as many families applying, etc. etc.) Well, letters went out this week and although we were accepted into Crocker for kindergarten, there are two families we are aware of, who live in the ORIGINAL Crocker catchment area, who were not accepted. I’m sure there are more that may have been displaced. This is completely unfair given that residents of Crocker Highlands pay a premium in home prices and property taxes to live in the neighborhood BECAUSE OF THE SCHOOL, whether people want to acknowledge it or not. It is outrageous that these families were not accepted and unconscionable that OUSD would allow it to happen.

  • frustrated Crocker mom

    I am 100% with Wishful Thinking. We are one of 18 NEIGHBORHOOD FAMILIES that were turned away from Crocker (incidentally we live in the original boundaries 2 blocks from the school and moved here 6 years ago before our future kindergartener was conceived – because of the school).

    I am now raising awareness. Per OUSD personnel – 90 students were offered spots for 3 kindergarten classes. 24 were siblings (neighborhood and not). The remaining spot went to neighborhood families. That means 21% of the non-sibling neighborhood families were turned away – I’m sure everyone can agree that is an outrageous statistic. And even if we all get in via appeal the school is going to be EXTREMELY crowded.

    All 18 families were put into Cleveland (and not other choices on their options form), another of the schools impacted by the Lakeview closure. It seems quite clear to me that ALL FACTORS WERE NOT CONSIDERED as voiced above and that OUSD has made a very, very serious mistake. A lot of angry people are about to make a lot of noise. I hope you will show your support.

  • OUSDMom

    Regarding the total number of spots offered. I believe it is on average about 20% of the people offered spots that don’t end up enrolling for one reason or another. Of course there is no guarantee that that will happen, but that is what they are hoping when they decide how many spots to offer. This brings the three classes down to 24 +/- kids. Unfortunately, this wouldn’t help the families who have not been offered spots since they are now hoping to get down to a more ideal number and when one person gives up there spot, it will not be filled by another kid.

    The thing that is really bothering me is that somehow Hillcrest families continue to receive special treatment, not only keeping their k-8 program, but also guaranteeing that the neighborhood kids who get turned away get into Thornhill, another really good scho.