Schools of Choice Assignment Process Update - 2016-2017

Fri, 04/29/2016 - 11:13am

Champaign Unit 4 School District has notified incoming kindergarten families of their school assignments for the 2016-2017 school year and would like to update the community on this year’s Schools of Choice process.

“We are so pleased to be welcoming a new class of kindergarten students into our District,” said Assistant Superintendent Dr. Susan Zola. “The Schools of Choice process gives parents the ability to play an active role in where their child attends school. Not only does this process help in creating diverse, vibrant schools, but we are also able to provide specialized programming and meet the individualized needs of our families in ways we may not be able to otherwise. We believe the growing number of families entering our District speaks to the high quality of our schools and community.”

This year’s initial assignment process resulted in 708 total applicants, up from 697 last year and 681 in 2014-15. Of that number, 683 students (96.5%) were assigned to one of their chosen schools for the 2016-17 school year. Of the 683 assigned students, 91.1% received their first choice (or 87.9% of the total applicant pool). Twenty-five families had assignments still pending after the initial assignment process and have been offered seats at other schools as well as wait list options.

Of the 708 total applicants:

Percent of Families with Assignments Pending After Initial Assignment Run                          3.5%

Percent of Free/Reduced Lunch Applicants                                                                                   56%

Percent of Families Receiving One of Their Top 5 Choices                                                        96.0%

Percent of Families Receiving Their First Choice                                                                         87.9%

Percent of Families Receiving Their Second Choice                                                                   3.7 %

Percent of Families Receiving Their Third Choice                                                                       2.0%

Percent of Families Receiving Their Fourth Choice                                                                    1.8%

Percent of Families Receiving Their Fifth Choice                                                                        0.6%

Once again, the District utilized Schools of Choice software developed by local firm Codagami to assign students based on the Choice policy. After contracting with Codagami during the 2014-2015 school year, the District has been able to save considerably on annual costs to administer assignments while still implementing the Choice program with fidelity.  

The District also continued its communication efforts around Schools of Choice, including the continuation of parent forums, school tours, evening open houses, website, the Choice Liaison position to work with individual families, and the Welcome to Champaign Schools book that explains the Schools of Choice process. Exit surveys were offered to all incoming kindergarten families at the time of registration. Of those who participated, 98% of families stated they felt they received the information about the Schools of Choice process, and 100% indicated they felt greeted and welcomed at the District’s Family Information Center.

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