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RE: [wccusdtalk] New community data from the census bureau

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  • 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 1 of 4 , Dec 15, 2010
      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 2 of 4 , Dec 15, 2010
        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 3 of 4 , Dec 15, 2010
          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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