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School Issues: Update on Clinton Elementary Enrollment

Miriam Bowers Abbott Miriam Bowers Abbott School Issues: Update on Clinton Elementary EnrollmentThe Clintonville Annex, Pre-Demolition — photo by Dan Thress.
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After news broke that Clinton Elementary was turning away neighborhood students due to overcrowding, the district has taken new steps to address the issue.

And while none of those steps involve restoring the annex building that was demolished last year, the district will be adding classrooms.

What follows is a correspondence from district spokesperson Scott Varner:

“Dr. Good and the central administrative team worked closely with all of the schools in that neighborhood to find a community-based, balanced approach to welcome more young new students into our schools and maintain the academic success we’re seeing.

For the 2015-2016 school year, the District will repurpose a classroom at Indianola to add a new kindergarten class. As you may know, our high-achieving informal program at Indianola has made it a high-demand lottery school. In fact, we had originally closed the school to any additional lottery kindergarteners this year because of space.

Half of this new class will be those kindergartens throughout the entire District who are currently on the lottery waitlist for Indianola. Then, to address the Clinton kindergarten surge, the other half of this new class will be any new kindergarteners currently enrolled at Clinton but who applied to instead go to Indianola.

The students moving to Indianola will create open seats that allow us to add the kindergarteners currently on the waitlist for Clinton (15, as of this morning). They will be assigned in the order in which they enrolled.

Any kindergarteners still on the waitlist at Clinton will be offered the opportunity to attend Indianola in the newly-created kindergarten class. In exchange for joining this new kindergarten class at Indianola this year, these students will return to Clinton for First Grade next year in 2016-17.

If families on the Clinton surge waitlist choose not to send their new kindergartner to Indianola, they will go Indian Springs. And any additional new families — those who still haven’t enrolled yet even with less than ten days before the start of school and who live in the Clinton neighborhood — will be assigned to Indian Springs.

We think this community-based solution is the best option, because we avoid placing any undue burdens on the space at Clinton or Indianola — which would negatively impact all students there, both current and new. We’re able to expand our high-achieving, high-demand program at Indianola. And we gain additional time to analyze and refine the catchment boundaries for our schools throughout the entire Clintonville area.

The Central Enrollment team is taking quick action: they started first thing this morning notifying the families who’ll get to take advantage of this community-based plan. We’d like to have these new enrollments in place before the start of school on August 26th.”

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