October 9, 2008
Plenty of Room at Albany School for Teachers Kids
By Shelly Meron
Despite an emotional roller-coaster last spring, a representative of Albany teachers told the school board this week they no longer felt it was necessary for the district to revise its inter-district transfer policy and guarantee teachers' children spots at Albany schools.Last year, district officials predicted higher-than-normal enrollment for the 2008-09 school year, in part because new housing units at UC Village opened this fall. It was feared that there would be no room for teachers' children, who are the first category of inter-district transfers to be admitted into Albany schools after district residents are accommodated.
That upset many teachers, who said they were promised a spot for their children by district staff, and didn't want to wait until school started this fall to find out whether there was room for their children.
Luckily, enrollment this fall was lower than projected and teachers' children were accommodated.
"The enrollment we thought we would get did not materialize," said Superintendent Marla Stephenson. "We have absorbed what I consider to be an anomaly, a blip, in our elementary (school) enrollment. I do not feel at this time we will need to guarantee staff enrollment. I see no reason why we couldn't accommodate staff children as they ready themselves for enrollment."
Middle school teacher Deborah Brill told the school board a committee of teachers had met with Stephenson to discuss the issue, and was assured that last year's situation was unlikely to repeat itself.
"We went through what the enrollment looked like, and what the issues were the previous year, and where we are at this point. We all felt really reassured that it was a blip in a projection that never really completely materialized, and that we're back in a situation where there shouldn't be any issues for enrollment," Brill said. "We felt really assured that our kids will be able to enroll in the spring. It didn't seem important any longer with that assurance to discuss a policy change."
Board member Ron Rosenbaum, former principal at Albany High School, said he still supported amending the policy to guarantee teachers' children spots in Albany schools.
"If we can make this assurance, we should make it the policy," he said. "I think it's something teachers and staff deserve."
Staff writer Shelly Meron covers Albany, El Cerrito and Kensington. Reach her at 510-243-3578 or [email protected]
Originally published by Shelly Meron, Staff writer.
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