Demand goes up for open enrollment in Sac City Unified | Education
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SACRAMENTO - It's down to the wire for families in the Sac City Unified School District.
Parents have one more day to complete the open enrollment process for the 2013-2014 school year. It's typical to see long waiting lists at the most desired schools across the capitol city, but this spring, the numbers are even higher. Applications have gone up nearly 40 percent compared to two years ago.
The higher demand could be connected to the impending closure of seven elementary schools across Sacramento, as more parents weigh the option of going elsewhere. Open enrollment allows students to attend a school that isn't their assigned neighborhood campus, but only if space is available.
Sac City Unified officials have cited under-enrollment as the main factor in shutting down the seven schools, with trustee approval, effecting nearly 2,300 students throughout the district.
Parents at Mark Hopkins, one of the schools slated for closure, have been volunteering their time to explain the open enrollment process to their peers.
"A lot of parents (here) don't know how to use a computer," says Gabriela Aguilar, parent volunteer.
One of their major concerns is what will happen to the adjacent Rosa Parks Middle School campus. Trustees are looking at converting it to a K-8 school, but the final decision won't be made until after the open enrollment deadline. If that were to happen, Rosa Parks would become the assigned school for students currently enrolled at Mark Hopkins. Parent have mixed opinions on the proposal.
"We just got settled in," says Ashanti Dotson, whose family just moved into the neighborhood from Elk Grove. "Everything is up in the air, we don't know what school they're going to go to, we're at a 'I don't know' stage."
Patricia Gentle, Mark Hopkins parent liaison, says it's now more important than ever to get more parents involved in the classroom.
"The more you come to our parent meetings, the more you can be engaged and become empowered to help your child, " said Gentle.
District leaders tell News10 that students displaced by the school closures will have first priority when going through the open enrollment process, but expect the majority of families to go to their newly assigned campus this fall.
As of Tuesday morning, approximately 1,600 applications had been submitted to the district's enrollment office.
The deadline to submit an application has been extended to Wednesday, March 20 at 5pm, to give families more time to explore all of their options.
By Chris Nguyen, News10.net