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Magnet Lottery Delayed

by Melissa Bailey | Dec 2, 2013 9:13 am

(4) Comments | Commenting has been closed | E-mail the Author

Posted to: Schools

Melissa Bailey Photo The annual scramble to get into New Haven schools of choice will take place in April, not March, as the school district moves forward with a plan to overhaul the school admissions process.

That update came at last week’s school board meeting, in a presentation by Sue Weisselberg, the district’s head of wraparound services, and Ed Linehan, a retired administrator who’s consulting with the district on how to redo the rules by which kids get admitted to schools.

Linehan and a panel of teachers, staff and community activists came out in November 2012 with a report issuing 24 recommendations on how to improve the admissions process: Click here to read the report.

The report left some open questions. Linehan announced the following changes, based on the group’s continued work:

The annual lottery for magnet and charter schools will take place on April 9, one month after its usual date. It will be combined with the lottery for open seats in neighborhood schools, as well as with the kindergarten lottery. Admissions will take place through a new, combined website.

There will be one book, issued Feb. 3, covering admissions to all magnet, charter and neighborhood schools. Applications to all schools, including kindergarten, will be due on March 14.

The redistricting committee is still working on a plan to split the city up into four areas, so that every family is assigned a neighborhood “quadrant” in addition to a neighborhood school. Families who don’t get into their closest school would have a better chance of going to a somewhat nearby school, because they’d be given preference at schools inside their quadrant. Click here to read more about the plan.

Plans also call for increasing the number of neighborhood seats at Roberto Clemente, Benjamin Jepson and Conte/West Hills by creating neighborhood boundaries inside which applicants will get admissions preference. Historically, those schools have treated a kid across town the same as a kid across the street. The school district will take public input before changing any school boundaries, Linehan pledged.

The Redistricting Committee is set to meet on Dec. 10 at 6 p.m. at Metropolitan Business Academy to continue discussing this topic.

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posted by: anonymous on December 2, 2013  11:17am

It will be interesting to see how the projections hold. There seems to be a big increase in the number of toddlers and babies living in Wooster Square, so increasing the number of neighborhood spots at Conte/West Hills is probably a good idea: Also, New Haven should be getting much more funding from the State than it currently does. The number of little kids seems to be plummeting everywhere in CT, except in New Haven.

posted by: JohnTulin on December 2, 2013  1:48pm

New Rule:  If you sign up for NHPS preschool, you must stay through grade 2 (or 3).  This would eliminate a lot of suburban parents from taking free spots from local families or other committed suburbanites then fleeing back to their towns when free K or 1st grade is available.  Those who are applying because the truly want their kids in the NHPS can take their free spot, those who are just doing it (at the expense of the others) for free pre-K, can find other arrangements.

posted by: michaelnogelo on December 2, 2013  5:03pm

John Tulin: How would you enforce that idea?

posted by: JohnTulin on December 3, 2013  4:20pm

Top of my head - anyone who bails early has to pay for the free pre-school services they received (as they would have otherwise).  All laid out in a contract in advance.  It is what you agree to up front.

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