School board adopts school choice policy

At the Oct. 20 meeting, the CVUSD board voted unanimously to adopt the revamped school choice policy for the 2021-22 school year. Of the four presented, option one was selected with some slight modifications.

The plan follows a three-tier system. The first tier continues preschool, sibling and employee priority, meaning if the applicant was in attendance at the site’s preschool, has a sibling who is currently attending the school, or a parent who works there, they will have priority. In addition, all on-time kindergarten applicants within the “Proximate Area” to be placed by default. The new boundaries for the Proximate Area surrounding EARTHS Magnet School include both the “Cameo” track, the “Michael Manor” track, as well as a group of houses north of the 101 Freeway on Hillcrest Dr.

In tier two, 15% of the remaining spaces would be for on-time kindergarten applicants who live within the Manzanita boundaries; this is a preexisting area that was used to determine the school’s zone when it was Manzanita Elementary. In addition, all on-time applicants from grades 1-5 who reside within the “Proximate Area” would be placed within the pending space. Tier three consists of any spots left open after placing those within the first two tiers. “All remaining spaces would be allocated accordingly to all on-time applicants,” Luis Lichtl, Assistant Superintendent, said. 

The only other significant change was in regards to the sibling priority policy. With this approach, the older sibling is required to have attended said school in the prior year, removing the requirement for attending in the future year as well. “If the older sibling was a fifth-grader and they had an incoming kindergartener, that would still qualify for sibling priority,” Lichtl explained.