Saturday, April 23, 2011

Sci Tech enrollment limits

On another post a parent discussed the lack of space in the Sci Teach school for her son, who is enthusiastic about science and math. It has got to be frustrating to parents when the district offers a program that perfectly matches their child's interests, but limits space so severely.

For just this reason, at the time the sci tech school was proposed many people called for a larger program. With enrollment declining every year, the district needs to offer more of what actually attracts students and families. Instead, the primary consideration seemed to be fitting the school into the former Frick middle school (formerly Frick elementary school). It was pointed out that many students who are interested in science in 9th grade change their minds within a year or so, making it likely that 9th grade 100 student enrollment could shrink considerably by graduation time. The district's webpages shows that there is in fact space at this time for next year's 10th grade class but not next year's 9th grade class.

What can be done? Other locations for the school should be explored, but even within the limits of the Frick building there are options. For example, anticipating attrition the district could enroll more 9th grade students. The eventual graduating class would most likely be much closer to the 100 student goal.


Anonymous said...

Direct coorelation.
They don't care. It is all going charter/private as soon as politically possible.

Anonymous said...

I knew/know a fly on the wall and meeting the best interest of a bright child or *any child was not discussion worthy. *Hesitation due to fear of rasiscm/povertyism.

White/black middle class & up Kids that do well at PPS are passed over and get less support than kids that live in poverty.

Add in IEP for the imbalance of kids with IEP's (special needs) compared to other school districts. Heads up..If you decide to go the crack Mom=disabled kids route, do more fact checking. A lot of families move into the district because PPS has excellent education for kids with special needs. Their non special need kids just happen to attend private schools.

Is that fair? Yes in many ways, they are trying to survive. However, there has to be a voice for all smart kids, white, black, poor & "kinda have" money who attend PPS? They do not gave a voice, if they try it is sadly rascist. Everything is so watered down to the point of not
being ready for university it should make parents wonder why their b student is now at the top of his/her class. It is a bad investment when you think your kid is going to do great, but then fails out of college 12k later. It is not fair to you or your kid.

Anonymous said...

i got another idea lets OUTSOURCE
another section " Sci Tech" just
for the just for the White/black
middle class kids who do well and at that rate everybody be involve
after have to remember folks
no CHILD LEFT BEHIND my point is that PPS is suppose to give every
student in the dist. an opportunity
is that the GOAL or we on another

Questioner said...

Give every student a chance by providing more space, so we don't close the door on potential science talent. Provide more space for grade 9. One solution- move early childhood out of sci tech. An early childhood program cn be in any number of locations, but this is the only location a PPS student can attend a sci tech academy.

Anonymous said...

Just a reminder that so far this is a school that has yet to graduate a student and won't for a couple more years.

ANY school with reasonable funding and a certain amount of leeway away from the curriculum which also ATTRACTS >25% of its students from educated families with "middle class values" about the necessity of education, the value of doing well, etc. is going to succeed.

That's really it -- it's not that their "programming" is somehow revoluntionary, it's that they've followed a formula for setting up a school that's worked before and will work again. And it certainly includes/starts with discipline supported by administrators. From what I hear from both teachers and subs that is true.

Wasn't the fire-setter removed from the school immediately after the incident? That sort of things doesn't happen at all schools, not even at other magnet schools. I'm not even sure it should happen right away, but it surely should be a possibility the kids know is there.

Anonymous said...

The key concept for consideration should be "How can we attract and hold students?" NOT "one size fits all" which has never worked anywhere.

All students, not just those with "educated" families and "middle class values" (whatever that means) have interests, talents, strengths and a need to be successful. What does PPS do to build on these traits, needs and goals?

Schools that structure for success in multiple venues and deter failure with means other than punitive will attract, motivate, and educate students for productive futures.

Questioner said...

The Sci Tech school will not attract anyone to the district if the opportunity to enroll is so uncertain. Maybe it will attract a few families who say they are planning to move and who then do move if accepted. The district needs to offer more of what people are asking for and less of what they are declining.

Anonymous said...

The constant desire to believe that anyone who mentions the need to reach all kids and that districts that have a MIX of income and education levels is a vicious, bigoted, elitist is a little annoying.

Anyway: "educated" families means families in which there is already a belief in the value of further education, and a history of it. It often means parents who have jobs with enough flexibility to allow a parent to be very involved at a school. While those parents can be a time-suck for administrators and aren't always asking for things that can be delivered, I would argue that in general, having those eyes and minds at schools is a benefit to ALL students there.

"Middle class values" was defined in the post and put in quotes to point out that it can have good and bad connotations. Then it was defined so you would know which connotations were meant in this instance.

All kids. ALL kids. Those who come from poverty, who are further behind, who have special needs obviously need more resources. No argument from me about that.

However, to strip a district of everything that keeps highly motivated students motivated and in interested in school is stupid.

It doesn't help anyone, not society at large, not our city, not our schools, and not the kids.

Questioner said...

"All kids" should really mean all kids!

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately, the prevailing inference, innuendo, as well as direct statements assume that those in "poverty" and not from families with "middle class values" are somehow less able to learn at high levels and are "further behind", have "special need" more require " more resources" than the "25%" who come and bring "benefit" with them.

There should be an argument, to this effect: if ALL (of the above mentioned) are provided with equitable educational programming and access to magnets, etc. ALL could be "highly motivated: and "interested in school." That was the point to be taken and hopefully responded to in a very different manner.

Questioner said...

Children living in poverty do tend to be further behind (see the A+ report where scores for students receiving free/reduced lunches are noted). They have the same or in some cases better access to magnets.

Anonymous said...

"are somehow less able to learn at high levels and are "further behind", have "special need" more require " more resources" than the "25%" who come and bring "benefit" with them."

I haven't seen anyone make the claim in bold. That's an entirely different thing than the rest of your claims, right?

Are you arguing that all children come to school with the same skills and knowledge level? If so, why would anyone need different resources? Why would any student ever be farther behind?

Mark Rauterkus said...

Where did I put my de-coder ring?

Anonymous said...

"Where did I put my de-coder ring?

April 24, 2011 9:16 PM"

It is under your tinfoil hat!