Two Wallingford families have put out a “Call To Action” asking folks to join them in a protest/sit-in on the John Stanford Center grounds (not the school but Seattle Public Schools’ downtown administrative offices, 2445 3rd Ave S ) on Thursday, August 8 from 1:00pm to 4:00pm. The protest is in response to their incoming Kindergartners being denied assignment to their older siblings’ school, John Stanford International School (JSIS).
In a letter to the community, Parnel Lettunich writes:
Both the Lettunich and Cisero families submitted registration paperwork in a timely manner during Open Enrollment which would have secured their sibling priority for their choice school, John Stanford International School. The Enrollment Office lost the forms and now Nico and Isabella are assigned to a different school than their older siblings,which offers no language immersion. They will be the only children not acknowledged as siblings and offered admission to JSIS in the school’s history.
The families, who live just outside the boundary for immediate enrollment, claim the families followed the Open Enrollment instructions and submitted on time. When their younger children were assigned to another school, they followed the appeals process, and contacted the District Ombudsman, who, Lettunich writes, “did not listen to our story in full and said there was nothing he could do for us.” She also adds that “although the appeals process states that resolution with your Principal is the first step of the process, her letter was not acknowledged. We have endured misinformation given to us by upper Enrollment management. Repeatedly.” Former Principal of JSIS, Jesely Alvarez, even wrote a letter on their behalf, stating that the likelihood of these families not submitting on time is very low.
Despite the SPS policy of keeping siblings together “whenever possible” Lettunich writes, “we do not feel that the actions taken by the Enrollment Office are in line with this claim, nor are they in keeping the Superintendent’s promise to do what is best for families. We have sought help from every source available to us as parents and have gotten no assistance or resolution.”
An email to KIRO News from Teresa Wippel at Seattle Public Schools states, “Our records show that the applications were not received on time for either family. When the families appealed, we investigated and determined that the appropriate process was followed.”