If the number of comments on the and are any indication, there's a lot of interest in the new charter school being planned for Novato. Of course, that interest isn't necessarily coming from people supporting such a school. I can read the comments as well as the next schlub, and it's easy to discern the clearly drawn battle lines.
With a heavy workload leading up to a simply fabulous vacation — ask me to show you the lava I've stolen from national parks throughout the west — I've been out of touch for more than a month. (Let me beat my critics to the punch and note that I've been out of touch for a very, very long time. Ba-dum-bum.) But I'm back now, just in time to note that those folks behind that new charter have got a deadline of sorts coming up.
According to the North Bay Education Foundation website and email missives, they are now collecting "preliminary intent to enroll forms." At their last community meeting, parents in attendance could fill out the "non-binding" forms if they were interested in having their kids go to the new charter. It states on the website that "the majority of families represented at the meeting completed the forms, providing a good indication of the charter's momentum."
What's the impetus for having folks complete the form? According to NBEF, it allows NBEF "to develop and plan for several aspects of our petition: the budget, size of student body and facilities, etc." On its website, NBEF goes on to note that "the more accurately we can project the number of students who will attend when the doors open, the more likely it is that we can avoid a lottery to determine attendance. Ideally, the school will be able to accommodate all comers on Day One."
I was curious about the information they were requesting and who gets access to it. Is it confidential? Does everyone associated with NBEF know who has submitted the intent to enroll form? Do people outside of NBEF have access to the forms? Or is it reported in the aggregate?
Someone from NBEF responded to my email query, saying, "The personal information collected on the preliminary intent to enroll forms is confidential and only known by the two individuals chairing the admissions committee. Only data collected in aggregate is shared within NBEF, and then only with individuals who need the data for planning purposes, such as the admissions and facilities teams."
The deadline for submitting a form is Monday, July 30. I've uploaded a PDF of the form. The link to the form on NBEF's website is here. If you're of the mind to do so, you can complete it online and send via email or send snail mail. (The email is firstname.lastname@example.org. The snail mail is NBEF, 285 Bel Marin Keys Suite E, Novato, CA 94947.)