If failure of sibling-preference policy was first, committee insists there be no second
Four families’ kids being kept from the Olá Bilingual Program was the first time in city history sibling preference failed to get seats in a desired program, family members were told by the Family Resource Center and School Committee member Fred Fantini. And a family at the Martin L. King Chinese Immersion program was similarly excluded.
The problem was brought up at the March 18 meeting and raised again in public comment at Tuesday’s committee meeting, bringing a clear call from committee members for the district to address the problem, which took the families’ kids out of spots in the kindergarten lottery of the the two-way Portuguese-English immersion program hosted at The King Open School.
The problem stems from this year’s separation of the kindergarten and junior kindergarten lotteries into two streams. The current year’s full complement of junior kindergarten students is rolled over into the kindergarten spots, leaving no or very few open kindergarten seats, and a new group of junior kindergarten positions are filled before any new kindergarten students are able to be awarded seats. If a student is ineligible for junior kindergarten based on their birthdate, they are effectively shut out of the program.
Committee members were united in asking for a solution to the immediate problem and a re-examination of the policy to avoid repeats. Superintendent Jeffrey Young promised district officials would address the situation at the upcoming committee meeting, Tuesday, if not before.