Board of Ed hears presentation on redistricting process

Nov. 13, 2012
Abbe Smith
NHPS Director of Communications
Redistricting committee delivers recommendations to board at meeting Tuesday
The Board of Education on Tuesday heard a presentation about ways to improve and simplify the registration and enrollment process for neighborhood and magnet schools in the district. The presentation was the result of a six-month-long review of the current system conducted by a committee of parents, teachers, principals, administrators, Board of Education members and New Haven aldermen tasked with studying attendance zones for neighborhood schools and enrollment issues.
The presentation Tuesday was the latest step in a transparent process that has involved regular public meetings and a formal public hearing on Sept. 28. There will be more opportunities for public input in the coming months as the board considers what action to take on the recommendations by the committee.
In addition to studying zones and enrollment, the committee set out to find ways to streamline the registration process for parents and make our school enrollment process easier to navigate.
“As we make progress toward our School Change goals, it is important that we review our registration and enrollment systems to make sure they are efficient, fair and transparent,” said Superintendent of Schools Dr. Reginald Mayo. “I thank the committee for their hard work in reviewing the system and for making recommendations about where it can be improved.”
One of the main recommendations from the committee is to divide the school district into four quadrants that each contain a number of K-8 attendance zone (neighborhood) schools and “choice” schools. Families living in a defined quadrant would have the highest priority for available seats in their specific neighborhood school. Those families would also have priority for the magnet schools in their quadrant.
Other recommendations seek to create a registration system that is efficient, transparent and equitable for all NHPS families so that all students are afforded the best education possible. Those recommendations include:
·         Create a unified registration and school assignment process for ALL schools with a common timeline that is more user-friendly for families.
·         Make school capacity and seat availability information available to parents in a more timely fashion.
·         Establish a special task force to examine the current sibling enrollment polices and to submit recommendations for possible changes.
·         Expand and relocate the school registration center to one or two locations that have easy public transportation access and parking.
·         Expand Internet based information services and other “online” services to increase efficiency and enhance parental convenience.
·         Direct the Magnet School Office to reexamine the school choice lottery protocols to determine if any changes could increase the number of students placed in a school requested by their parents.
Additional recommendations focus on building capacity, particularly in different quadrants of the city and in the ways that classroom spaces are used. The committee refers work to the Citywide School Building Committee.
For more information, visit the redistricting committee’s website, There will also be a presentation of the redistricting report to the Board of Aldermen’s Education Committee at 6 p.m. on Nov. 27 at City Hall.