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Waiting for Jeff Knoth

Submitted by on 1, February 13, 2009 – 7:45 amNo Comment

Today, I was supposed to be able to tell you whether four local elementary schools would be facing lotteries for kindergarten slots. But after a week of phone calls and e-mails, I’ve got nothing.

The district’s kindergarten “roundup” – the two weeks every year in which parents are supposed to apply for kindergarten spots – ended on February 3. Bay Farm, Edison, Franklin and Otis schools all got more applications than they have slots. But it’s still not clear if the schools will be adding classes to accommodate the additional kids or if the district is holding lotteries to decide who’s in and who’s looking for another place to go to school.

We’ve been calling and e-mailing student services chief Jeff Knoth for nearly a week now to try to get the information for you, to no avail. We were told he’d be calling us Thursday with the information, but have heard nothing.

So far, the only school we have definitive information about is Edison. That school will likely add a fourth kindergarten, according to its website, but will still hold a lottery, at 11 a.m. Tuesday, February 17, in the event that its numbers decline to the point that it doesn’t have enough students come next fall to support that.

Edison and Franklin schools held lotteries last year, the first year the district implemented the lottery program. Prior to that, the district’s program was first-come, first-served, which led to parents camping out on the sidewalk outside some schools hours before the first day of enrollment.

Conversely, Bay Farm ended up shutting down a kindergarten class this year when it got 15 students fewer than expected.

I’ll update with information if I can get it (and if you know anything, please post a comment below). In the meantime, fellowblogger John Knox White has been writing about this situation out in the East End, and his latest is right here.

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