85% of new Champaign kindergartners get 1st choice

85% of new Champaign kindergartners get 1st choice

CHAMPAIGN — The Champaign school district is notifying parents of next year's kindergartners which school they'll attend, and officials expect next year's incoming class to be about 800 students.

This year, 85 percent of students received their first-choice schools.

The Champaign school district uses a kindergarten assignment process to determine where students attend.

This year, 94.2 percent students were assigned to one of their top five school choices, according to the school district.

Originally, 42 students were not assigned to a school as a part of that process this spring, but Champaign schools spokeswoman Stephanie Stuart said that number was down to 33 by the time the school district sent letters to parents Friday evening.

"That (number) will continue to change and go down," Stuart said. "We're working individually with those families. We've been able to make some progress."

The school district will add three so-called "bubble" classrooms next fall to accommodate its kindergartners. A bubble classroom adds an extra classroom for one class of students as they proceed through fifth grade.

Next fall, those bubble classrooms will be added to Bottenfield, Barkstall and Carrie Busey elementary schools. Doing so should allow the school district to keep its kindergarten class sizes at 23 students or less.

Sections (2):News, Local
Topics (1):Education

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Mezzopris wrote on April 30, 2013 at 10:04 am

I'm sure I am preaching to the choir here, but the 'lottery' system is broken. It doesn't work. It's ill-conceived.

How in the world can someone NOT get 1 of their top 5 choices?

We need to go back to assigning districts, since we are bussing all over town anyway.



sacrophyte wrote on April 30, 2013 at 1:04 pm

To anyone who wants to try to have a positive impact on the lottery system of next year, there will be a new RFP going out, probably by the end of May. You can inform Stephanie Stuart (stuartst@champaignschools.org) of what you think the RFP should say.


Of course, I would be very interested in hearing your thoughts as well. :)


-- charles schultz

pattsi wrote on April 30, 2013 at 2:04 pm

Is there not a need for a more in depth analysis of the meaning of this statistic? As an example, maybe many families skewed the choices made because of calculations they themselves did thus resulting in getting a #1 choice. You might find the comments posted on two blogs will help get a broader picture of this process.



amf wrote on May 01, 2013 at 8:05 am

"This year, 94.2 percent students were assigned to one of their top five school choices, according to the school district."

While this is technically accurate, it's a misleading claim to make.  The list parents are required to submit is not necessarily a rank ordered list of their top five schools - as in, the five schools they would most like their child to attend.  Rather, it is a carefully crafted list of schools that takes into account the bizarre method for assignment the district currently uses.  For people who were in tune enough to the quirks of the system, their first choice was probably their closest school (since for many families that's likely to be the only school they had a real chance of being able to "choose" to begin with).  From there, it's very likely the rest of their list (if they were smart enough to craft their list in a way that would not result in the dreaded "unassigned") consisted of "the best of the worst" - that is, schools that they could tolerate but perhaps not their "top 5" schools. Families who listed their actual 5 most favored schools, because these tend to be the 5 favored schools of every other family in the district, were most likely to be the ones who ended up with the dreaded "unassigned", because of the way the systems and the "rounds" work.  It's great that the district can say that 85% of families got their first choice - that's good news, for sure, and perhaps is an indicator of the relative success of the system.  No system can be perfect, of course.  But suggesting that 94.2% got a school that was one of their "top 5" is misleading.  It suggests that most parents should be happy with their assignment; after all, they got into their top 5.  The reality is that anyone who got #3-5 on their list is probably feeling like they are now settling.