FUHSD proposes solution for uneven enrollment rates

FUHSD+proposes+solution+for+uneven+enrollment+rates

Andrea Schlitt

When the initial proposal of a two part plan to raise enrollment at Lynbrook High School was brought to the school board, it was met with a wide range of opinions.

On one hand, some parents deemed the plan infeasible, pointing to fewer educational opportunities and a lack of long term solutions as major setbacks of the plan. As a result, several petitions have sprung up in an effort to convince FUHSD to reconsider the proposal.

The original decision was to allow open enrollment and area of choice, which assigns an area that allows students to choose which school to attend, to increase enrollment at Lynbrook. With this, students from any high school in the district would be able to choose which school to attend, regardless of where they live. In addition, the John Mise Park area, currently assigned to Cupertino High School, would be open for Lynbrook registration as well.

But according to FUHSD communications coordinator Sue Larson, the board ultimately decided to take a step back and take on a different, one year approach.

“They said that they understand what was proposed and they see the merits and challenges […] and that they’re going a completely different way,” Larson said. “It was a beautiful moment, and in the deliberations, they looked at the whole picture.”

The change applies to the 2016 to 2017 school year, allowing middle school students at Miller to choose between going to their designated high school based on residence within school boundaries, or Lynbrook.

I think it was a bold decision,” Larson said. “They realize how important it is to have community spirit and talking about what makes sense in the long run, and that’s what I see happening.”

After declining attendance at Lynbrook was brought to attention, projections were made for the future school years. The growing gap between Lynbrook and the other FUHSD schools raised concern among board members. According to Larson, teachers work under contracts which stipulate how many students can be in a classroom with one teacher: with a fewer number of students, there are fewer teachers that can teach certain classes and students must then choose between certain classes.

In addition to the Miller enrollment proposal, the board is trying to create a citizens advisory council with community members who will look further into the enrollment gap and find solutions after the expiration of the one year plan. And by around March or April of this year, official scheduling for incoming Lynbrook students will begin.

“The parents want Lynbrook to be great, the district wants Lynbrook to be great, Lynbrook wants Lynbrook to be great,” Larson said. “There may be disagreements about facts or interpretations, but we can all agree that we want Lynbrook to be vibrant and robust and strong.”