Blogging Bayport Alameda

May 10, 2016

One, two step

Filed under: Alameda — Lauren Do @ 6:00 am

Tonight, the School Board is continuing on its plan to bring some sense to the district’s enrollment policies. I know I’ve neglected writing and covering some of the issues but here are some of the items that have been addressed:

  • allow the children of employees to be enrolled at the employees’ school sites;
  • provide families with earlier notification of potential and actual diversion if their neighborhood school is full;
  • prevent children from being diverted more than once; and
  • allow siblings of diverted students to all attend the same school.

One of the issues to still be resolved is how to streamline enrollment for military families like the Coast Guard families that often don’t know where they will end up and will often miss traditional enrollment deadlines.

According to the staff presentation here are some of the plans:



The issue that I hope is addressed by the School Board is that some schools, like Ruby Bridges, that has a large percentage of Coast Guard families may not have room in the fall to accommodate families given some of the cuts to the number of classrooms that is projected for the fall.

I know there have been some critiques from Coast Guard families at over enrolled schools that the families have difficult getting into their neighborhood school because they aren’t able to enroll early enough.  It’s not clear from just this presentation if that has been addressed by this two step pilot.


  1. Ever since the State of California gave school districts 90 day notice when they implemented smaller class sizes for K-3 in the 1990s, facilities planning has been a significant challenge. That year the district had to drop over 30 portables on elementary schools to accommodate the need for more classrooms. The recent implementation of the Transitional Kindergarten is another nightmare.

    School districts who have attempted to plan ahead still have to find the funds to build extra capacity since the State does not fund the building of extra classrooms. The Governor has been reluctant to pass a statewide bond measure on the ballot so school districts are forced to raise funds locally.

    Finally, the significant swings in K-12 public education funding from the State, force districts like Alameda to squeeze as many students into classrooms by diverting students from neighborhood schools in order to get full enrollment of mandated class sizes.

    Comment by Mike McMahon — May 10, 2016 @ 7:18 am

  2. According to the City of Alameda TDM presentation slide presented last Thursday at the library community meeting, AUSD enrollment has not changed in the past ten years. You’d think AUSD would have the enrollment thing down by now.

    Comment by vigi — May 10, 2016 @ 9:09 am

    • MI identified the challenges facing Alameda Unified. One of the bigger challenges facing AUSD is parents from San Francisco escaping their insane “open enrollment” to move to Alameda. In the 2000 housing boom, the Fernside neighborhood saw a significant bump in kindergarten enrollment where parents would camp out over night to get a slot. AUSD changed the enrollment policy to everyone an equal opportunity to access kindergarten slots rather than those who had the luxury to camp out. On the West End, as homeowners who moved here in the 1970s relocated, there was significant turnover. Our block saw families with 10 kindergarteners move onto our block in just one year.

      Comment by Mike McMahon — May 11, 2016 @ 7:25 am

  3. Oh vigi, when did you get your degree in school administration that makes you the expert at second guessing AUSD? The total population is one big number, but what is behind it is a constantly migrating population, like sand in an hour glass. Every year we have things like new charters, migrations to and from private schools, plus the rolling population bumps (“booms”) at various age levels. Maybe you are right, but sweeping statements like yours don’t reflect much nuance, comprehension of , or even recognition of the endless fine points. If it were really as easy as you seem to imply, AUSD could just hire a consultant to apply an algorithm and hand them a spread sheet every summer.

    Comment by MI — May 10, 2016 @ 10:46 am

    • Mark, I didn’t make the “sweeping statement” about AUSD enrollment not changed. The presenter [a TDM consultant paid by the City of Alameda] did.

      I find it a remarkable statement, because, since I didn’t attend AUSD and I have no children who attended AUSD, I don’t know much about AUSD logistics. But i do know that as a property owner, AUSD asks me for a new parcel tax or some variant thereof, just about every year. Bottom-line statements like the one I paraphrased are about all most voters are going to remember–and care–about AUSD the next time it asks for more money at the ballot box.

      I’m not the one shooting myself in the foot with my argument here. But you might want to point your gun in another direction.

      Comment by vigi — May 11, 2016 @ 12:49 pm

  4. I am wondering what cycle military reassignment may run on. Any? I have no idea, but in terms of inefficient agencies it would not surprise me if they were behind the curve on recognizing the needs of service members with families, as opposed to putting their own bureaucracy first.

    Comment by MI — May 10, 2016 @ 10:53 am

  5. The Coast Guard is a uniformed military service but is formally part of DHS. Perhaps that bureaucracy runs differently than one of the Pentagon based services?

    Comment by dave — May 10, 2016 @ 11:54 am

    • DHS is “Department of Homeland Services” ? Yes I was thinking of how the V.A. is run, but I’m not sure how either are run, just equally suspicious of possible incompetence in the bureaucracy.

      Comment by MI — May 10, 2016 @ 4:44 pm

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