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

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  • 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 1 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".

      --- 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

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