Q: What about AWC (Advanced Work Class) programs? What if my new zone doesn’t have a school with such a program?A: The BPS Advanced Work Class program offers an accelerated academic curriculum to students in grades 4, 5 and 6. Student participation is by invitation only and is based on a student’s scores on an eligibility test. Only certain schools offer an AWC program, so BPS allows students to change schools to access the program if they are eligible. Under the proposed models, BPS would do two things to ensure any qualified student can continue to access an AWC program. First, BPS would work to place more AWC programs in schools and zones that already have students who are eligible for the program; and second, BPS would allow students to transfer schools so they could access an AWC program even if that school is outside a student’s home zone. For example, if a student lives in a zone with no AWC programming but qualifies for the program, then that student could transfer to a school outside his or her zone and BPS would provide transportation.
From: Burrell, Jerry
To: Karen Kast-McBride
Jan 24, 2012
If I find that demand exceeds supply in any assignment zone and in any AWC grade, we will arrange to open an additional class to meet the demand. There have been one or two instances in the 14 years that I have been responsible for student assignment where I have added another AWC class.
From: Karen Kast-McBride
Sent: Tuesday, January 24, 2012 10:16 AM
To: Burrell, Jerry
Subject: Fwd: ConnectED Call to parents affected by registration form glitch
One of the other Irving Advisory Group (IAG) members asked me to forward the below question to you. I happen to know discussions between parents are going on about this very question, so if you can let me know what to share with them I will pass it on to the IAG as well as others.
---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Mon, Jan 23, 2012 at 4:45 PM
Subject: Re: ConnectED Call to parents affected by registration form glitch
To: Karen Kast-McBride
Does Jerry's email also mean that should demand for 4th grade AWC seats exceed supply, they are willing to expand that program in the West Zone too? That would be reassuring to know. Thanks,
Another example: of the Roslindale Pathway elementary schools, only one - the Bates - has AWC for 4th & 5th grades (one class per grade, 25 seats per class). Of course, this means that children assigned to the Bates in 3rd grade who are eligible for an AWC seat get first chance to fill those AWC seats for 4th grade, which leaves very few open to our other Roslindale Pathway & West Zone students who may be eligible and want to go to the Bates. This year I believe there were 7 seats available in the 4th grade AWC class. I am not sure if there were any 5th grade seats available at all since, of course, first priority went to those children either already in the 4th grade AWC class, then to the other 4th graders who qualified at the Bates. I am sure the same was true at the Curley, King and Ohrenberger. This means children within our Roslindale school pathway have to go outside the pathway to access AWC, which defeats the purpose of the pathway for those children.
- At the Irving, we have the space to expand, but the Bates elementary school does not so they could not add any 4th and 5th grade seats for AWC there. There really are no available classrooms waiting for a class to be assigned to them in many of our BPS schools. As with my points regarding Kindergarten seats promised by different plans, most schools can not remodel and do not have space for modular classrooms - not in Roslindale or other sections of the city which are densely populated.
- So, how will this need for additional seats be addressed with the promised additional classrooms opened at current schools and not just the usual SOP of sending children to schools with AWC seats which parents do not want their children to attend?
- How is this different from the current policy already in place?
- Will the current standard operating procedure regarding AWC seats change and allow new seats to be placed in the schools parents WANT their children to attend?
- If yes, please elaborate on HOW these seats/classes will be added especially in our smaller schools.
- Also if yes, can we please have that with details of how it will be accomplished and in writing?