Fewer Kindergartners Than Expected

We like to think of our Montclair elementary schools as top performers that are in demand.  So it’s puzzling to see a drop between admitted and registered kindergartners in some schools next fall:

  • Thornhill:   80 admitted – 68 registered
  • Montclair:   96 admitted – 89 registered
  • Joaquin Miller:   61 admitted – 63 registered

Sure, the hills schools are coveted.  Six of ten wait-listed students have taken up some Thornhill slack.  Nearby Oakland parents are bound to pursue spots at Thornhill or Montclair, if they are permitted to make their cases outside the normal assignments process.

Thornhill Kindergartners

Katy Murphy, who covers the Tribune’s education beat, attributed the gaps to people who “may have just been hedging by applying to their local public school.”  But there are all kinds of reasons for tucking tails.

Yes, it’s possible that some Montclarions registered their kids in case and later decided on private schools.  Maybe they felt less pinched generally.  Or became more skeptical about Oakland schools and city finances.  Or even moved away, who knows?

Well the schools will be operational for the 2009-2010 school year.  Oakland Unified School District settled on a $602 million budget today, along with Uncle Sam’s help in closing an $18 million gap.  So we can push problems out for another year, sigh.