Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Kindergarten Pre Registration

Kindergarten Pre Registration
3/4/2009, 8:00 AM - 3:00 PM
Location: All Elementary Schools

Advance registration for children who live in the Redondo Beach Unified School District boundaries and who plan to enter kindergarten in September will begin on Wednesday, March 4, 2009.

Children may be registered at their neighborhood school during office hours (9:00 am – 3:00 pm).
If you live in Redondo Beach, you can find more registration info at View the school boundary map.

I have no idea how pre registration differs from registration. There appears to be a growing frenzy to sign up for our neighborhood school. I was surprised by the crush of anxious parents last year, during the first day of pre registration. I was even more surprised last Fall when 38 kids showed up in each of the 4th grade classrooms instead of the 31 that the school was expecting. I see myself, slightly, in a quote from this article:
Recently she attended a contentious meeting about overcrowded public schools in her Upper East Side neighborhood. “It was filled with people like me, desperate to get their kids educated,” Ms. Hall said. “And parents whose primary goal is to keep my kid out of their school.”
Where did all those kids come from? Some had previously attended private schools. Some had moved in over the summer. Some had already been living here, but had attended other public schools with higher test scores.

California posts Academic Performance Indices, which some parents obsess over. The number most people remember is the 1-10 number that represents the decile that a school falls into. 1 represents a school in the 0-9 percentile. 10 means the schools' average test scores fall in the 90-99+ percentile. That number largely reflects the income and educational levels of the parents that send the kids to the school.

Mark and I have always cared more about the second number, how does the school compare to other schools with similar demographics? When we bought our home, our neighborhood school scored about a 7 or 8 and a 10 against similar schools. We liked the idea of a peer group that outperformed expectations. It also helped that our neighborhood is about half the price of the school district 3 blocks to the west of us, where the API is 10/7. (The kids underperformed relative to their parent's income and educational attainment.)

Last Spring, the new APIs ranked our neighborhood school 10/10/10 in raw score, similar school rank, and diversity (a new index). The following Fall, the school was swamped with new enrollees. Coincidence? The tanking economy? I don't know. But I do know that the food is amazing at the annual multi-cultural potluck.

Please, please, send your kid to your own neighborhood school. Help spread the wealth and the strain on resources. The carbon load will be much lower if your kid walked to school and their play dates.


  1. My kids did go to our neighborhood school for elementary--and it is on the same block we live on. At that time it was a magnet school with a year-round program and a 16-square block boundary (that is, if you lived inside the boundary you were guaranteed a spot, all other spaces were available to anyone in the district but had to be applied for).

    They closed it as a school and used it for offices about the time my youngest was in middle school, then they used it for special programs for a couple of years. I'm not entirely sure what it is now but I see elementary-aged kids walking to school in the morning, which makes me happy!

  2. This is the week in UK when year 6 (11 year olds) find out which senoir school they will go to. Last October parents filled in a form with 3 preferences ( chosen on previous exam results). So the media is now full of news about how many did not get their first choice. This is of course obvious because each school has a limit so some won't get first or second choice. There are good and bad schools for various reasons, but some become "sink" schools because the lower ability and deprived end up in a couple of schools. Teachers get frustated and leave because the LEA and central gov are on their backs.
    Children travel miles to school cos mummy and daddy want he "best choice" or because they can't get into a local school because "outsiders" have the places. it happens to a lesser degree in primary schools too.

    My daughter works in a school where she has to encourage disaffected 11-16 year olds in a high unemployment area its worth coming and wanting to learn. There is no fight for places at her school but she goes home exhausted every night from the want of trying.

  3. WendyCarol, you've hit the nail right on the head. Teaching at the struggling schools, with kids from struggling families, is so much harder than teaching kids with two educated parents who can afford tutors.

    I agree with Sandra's take on school metrics.


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