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New community data from the census bureau

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  • Todd Groves
    The NY Times provides American Community Survey data at this link, http://projects.nytimes.com/census/2010/explorer?hp . The ACS is a wonderful trove of social
    Message 1 of 4 , Dec 15, 2010
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      The NY Times provides American Community Survey data at this link,
      http://projects.nytimes.com/census/2010/explorer?hp . The ACS is a wonderful trove of social data.

      Of interest to this group is enrollment in private schools. The interface only shows enrollment of elementary students in private school, yet it's quite telling. Declining enrollment in the district at large may be attributable to a decline in birth number, but several neighborhoods show dramatic flight from the public elementary system. The Kensington and East Richmond Heights neighborhoods have seen private school enrollment increase by 40% in the last 5 years, with 2/3 of the resident students attending private school. Students attending charters or non-WCCUSD public schools are counted as public school students.

      If we can't retain these affluent students, it speak volumes to quality of our schools, perceived or real. These are parents rejecting the best elementary schools our district offers. It's no accident that the areas with highest private school enrollment also have the highest levels of adult educational attainment. People with high levels of learning find our schools lacking.

      It's time to compete for these families. What do these mobile parents seek? Do our competitors simply brand better? Despite the economic downturn, private schools are getting greater market share. I urge the board and administration to take this more seriously. Don't rely on new buildings to bend the curve. We need a response now.

      Todd Groves
    • Catherine Mercurio
      As a Kensington resident and parent of a child attending Kensington Hilltop, some Kensington/El Cerrito residents start their child s education in the public
      Message 2 of 4 , Dec 15, 2010
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        As a Kensington resident and parent of a child attending Kensington
        Hilltop, some Kensington/El Cerrito residents start their child's
        education in the public elementary school (Kensington Hilltop), but then
        leave before 6th grade to position themselves in a private school. This
        is not a reflection on the local public elementary school, but a
        reflection of the concern about the public middle school (Portola).
        Several years ago, some of my friends started to pull their children
        from Hilltop as early as the third grade to place in private schools.
        They were not pulling their children because of any concern about
        Hilltop school. They were afraid that if they waited too long that the
        private school would not have space for them. Some of these same
        families have expressed to me that they didn't feel that their children
        were getting any better an education in the private elementary schools
        than they would have received at Hilltop.



        In my opinion, retaining these families in the local public elementary
        school is all about strengthening the public middle school and improving
        parents' perception of the middle school. Unfortunately, as long as
        state funding is lacking, one cannot improve upon some of the concerns
        about middle schools such as high class sizes. Private middle schools
        tout class sizes of 18-25 students. Our middle school classrooms are
        crowded. Many of the families that I know who have started at Hilltop
        and moved to private middle schools or K-8 schools for the middle school
        years do move back to El Cerrito High for their high school education;
        however, as state funding continues to decline, I am concerned that some
        of these families will choose to stay in the private school system.



        Catherine Mercurio



        ________________________________

        From: wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com [mailto:wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com] On
        Behalf Of Todd Groves
        Sent: Wednesday, December 15, 2010 9:27 AM
        To: wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com
        Subject: [wccusdtalk] New community data from the census bureau





        The NY Times provides American Community Survey data at this link,
        http://projects.nytimes.com/census/2010/explorer?hp . The ACS is a
        wonderful trove of social data.

        Of interest to this group is enrollment in private schools. The
        interface only shows enrollment of elementary students in private
        school, yet it's quite telling. Declining enrollment in the district at
        large may be attributable to a decline in birth number, but several
        neighborhoods show dramatic flight from the public elementary system.
        The Kensington and East Richmond Heights neighborhoods have seen private
        school enrollment increase by 40% in the last 5 years, with 2/3 of the
        resident students attending private school. Students attending charters
        or non-WCCUSD public schools are counted as public school students.

        If we can't retain these affluent students, it speak volumes to quality
        of our schools, perceived or real. These are parents rejecting the best
        elementary schools our district offers. It's no accident that the areas
        with highest private school enrollment also have the highest levels of
        adult educational attainment. People with high levels of learning find
        our schools lacking.

        It's time to compete for these families. What do these mobile parents
        seek? Do our competitors simply brand better? Despite the economic
        downturn, private schools are getting greater market share. I urge the
        board and administration to take this more seriously. Don't rely on new
        buildings to bend the curve. We need a response now.

        Todd Groves





        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • Todd Groves
        ECHS classes are as large or larger than Portola on average. If large class sizes deter parents, then they would shy from ECHS. In fact, my daughter is
        Message 3 of 4 , Dec 15, 2010
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          ECHS classes are as large or larger than Portola on average. If large class sizes deter parents, then they would shy from ECHS. In fact, my daughter is learning more in her grossly over-enrolled ECHS math class than she did in her much smaller Portola math classes. Large classes maybe a nightmare for teachers, but are not necessarily a detriment to student learning. The quality of instruction matters much more.

          Portola's Title I funds are comparable to annual levels raised by the Kensington Education Fund, so money isn't necessarily the problem at Portola. How the money is spent matters much more. How effective are the supports we procure with Title I funds?

          Portola and other middle schools need vision more than anything. We need the most effective, compassionate and patient available. Middle unfortunately ends up as dumping ground for teachers chased from elementary and high school. We get a combination of a trying age with weak instruction and supervision, all to often coupled with ineffective leadership. It creates a perfect storm.

          The community and familial structures that once supported middle schoolers no longer exist. Every day, tiny children walk in front of my house looking for trouble, finding far too much of it. They aren't that hard to engage. They really like adult approval. Our challenge as the adult community is to meet their needs. Stop waiting for Washington or Sacramento to provide. Stop faulting derelict parents. Step up and help however you can.


          Todd Groves




          --- In wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com, "Catherine Mercurio" <catherine@...> wrote:
          >
          > As a Kensington resident and parent of a child attending Kensington
          > Hilltop, some Kensington/El Cerrito residents start their child's
          > education in the public elementary school (Kensington Hilltop), but then
          > leave before 6th grade to position themselves in a private school. This
          > is not a reflection on the local public elementary school, but a
          > reflection of the concern about the public middle school (Portola).
          > Several years ago, some of my friends started to pull their children
          > from Hilltop as early as the third grade to place in private schools.
          > They were not pulling their children because of any concern about
          > Hilltop school. They were afraid that if they waited too long that the
          > private school would not have space for them. Some of these same
          > families have expressed to me that they didn't feel that their children
          > were getting any better an education in the private elementary schools
          > than they would have received at Hilltop.
          >
          >
          >
          > In my opinion, retaining these families in the local public elementary
          > school is all about strengthening the public middle school and improving
          > parents' perception of the middle school. Unfortunately, as long as
          > state funding is lacking, one cannot improve upon some of the concerns
          > about middle schools such as high class sizes. Private middle schools
          > tout class sizes of 18-25 students. Our middle school classrooms are
          > crowded. Many of the families that I know who have started at Hilltop
          > and moved to private middle schools or K-8 schools for the middle school
          > years do move back to El Cerrito High for their high school education;
          > however, as state funding continues to decline, I am concerned that some
          > of these families will choose to stay in the private school system.
          >
          >
          >
          > Catherine Mercurio
          >
          >
          >
          > ________________________________
          >
          > From: wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com [mailto:wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com] On
          > Behalf Of Todd Groves
          > Sent: Wednesday, December 15, 2010 9:27 AM
          > To: wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com
          > Subject: [wccusdtalk] New community data from the census bureau
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          > The NY Times provides American Community Survey data at this link,
          > http://projects.nytimes.com/census/2010/explorer?hp . The ACS is a
          > wonderful trove of social data.
          >
          > Of interest to this group is enrollment in private schools. The
          > interface only shows enrollment of elementary students in private
          > school, yet it's quite telling. Declining enrollment in the district at
          > large may be attributable to a decline in birth number, but several
          > neighborhoods show dramatic flight from the public elementary system.
          > The Kensington and East Richmond Heights neighborhoods have seen private
          > school enrollment increase by 40% in the last 5 years, with 2/3 of the
          > resident students attending private school. Students attending charters
          > or non-WCCUSD public schools are counted as public school students.
          >
          > If we can't retain these affluent students, it speak volumes to quality
          > of our schools, perceived or real. These are parents rejecting the best
          > elementary schools our district offers. It's no accident that the areas
          > with highest private school enrollment also have the highest levels of
          > adult educational attainment. People with high levels of learning find
          > our schools lacking.
          >
          > It's time to compete for these families. What do these mobile parents
          > seek? Do our competitors simply brand better? Despite the economic
          > downturn, private schools are getting greater market share. I urge the
          > board and administration to take this more seriously. Don't rely on new
          > buildings to bend the curve. We need a response now.
          >
          > Todd Groves
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          >
        • Jim Cowen
          We see the same thing at Olinda in El Sobrante.  The drop off in enrollment as the grade level increases is dramatic. And, as was pointed out, the parents who
          Message 4 of 4 , Dec 15, 2010
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            We see the same thing at Olinda in El Sobrante.  The drop off in enrollment as the grade level increases is dramatic.
            And, as was pointed out, the parents who pull their kids are the ones we need MOST in WCCUSD. 
            Simply make a list of all of the PTA presidents and SSC chairman in all of the elementary schools from 5 years ago, and then see where the children of those parents are today. 
             
            God bless the current PTA and SSC leaders in the high schools. The ones that are left to do the job have a task that is too massive for their numbers.
             
            Part of the problem is that the district views those who left as "people we no longer need to deal with".
             
            Jim

            --- On Wed, 12/15/10, Catherine Mercurio <catherine@...> wrote:


            From: Catherine Mercurio <catherine@...>
            Subject: RE: [wccusdtalk] New community data from the census bureau
            To: wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com
            Date: Wednesday, December 15, 2010, 10:22 AM


             



            As a Kensington resident and parent of a child attending Kensington
            Hilltop, some Kensington/El Cerrito residents start their child's
            education in the public elementary school (Kensington Hilltop), but then
            leave before 6th grade to position themselves in a private school. This
            is not a reflection on the local public elementary school, but a
            reflection of the concern about the public middle school (Portola).
            Several years ago, some of my friends started to pull their children
            from Hilltop as early as the third grade to place in private schools.
            They were not pulling their children because of any concern about
            Hilltop school. They were afraid that if they waited too long that the
            private school would not have space for them. Some of these same
            families have expressed to me that they didn't feel that their children
            were getting any better an education in the private elementary schools
            than they would have received at Hilltop.

            In my opinion, retaining these families in the local public elementary
            school is all about strengthening the public middle school and improving
            parents' perception of the middle school. Unfortunately, as long as
            state funding is lacking, one cannot improve upon some of the concerns
            about middle schools such as high class sizes. Private middle schools
            tout class sizes of 18-25 students. Our middle school classrooms are
            crowded. Many of the families that I know who have started at Hilltop
            and moved to private middle schools or K-8 schools for the middle school
            years do move back to El Cerrito High for their high school education;
            however, as state funding continues to decline, I am concerned that some
            of these families will choose to stay in the private school system.

            Catherine Mercurio

            ________________________________

            From: wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com [mailto:wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com] On
            Behalf Of Todd Groves
            Sent: Wednesday, December 15, 2010 9:27 AM
            To: wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com
            Subject: [wccusdtalk] New community data from the census bureau

            The NY Times provides American Community Survey data at this link,
            http://projects.nytimes.com/census/2010/explorer?hp . The ACS is a
            wonderful trove of social data.

            Of interest to this group is enrollment in private schools. The
            interface only shows enrollment of elementary students in private
            school, yet it's quite telling. Declining enrollment in the district at
            large may be attributable to a decline in birth number, but several
            neighborhoods show dramatic flight from the public elementary system.
            The Kensington and East Richmond Heights neighborhoods have seen private
            school enrollment increase by 40% in the last 5 years, with 2/3 of the
            resident students attending private school. Students attending charters
            or non-WCCUSD public schools are counted as public school students.

            If we can't retain these affluent students, it speak volumes to quality
            of our schools, perceived or real. These are parents rejecting the best
            elementary schools our district offers. It's no accident that the areas
            with highest private school enrollment also have the highest levels of
            adult educational attainment. People with high levels of learning find
            our schools lacking.

            It's time to compete for these families. What do these mobile parents
            seek? Do our competitors simply brand better? Despite the economic
            downturn, private schools are getting greater market share. I urge the
            board and administration to take this more seriously. Don't rely on new
            buildings to bend the curve. We need a response now.

            Todd Groves

            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]











            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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