Lowell High School Admissions Change for Incoming Class of Fall 2021

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Lowell High School Admissions Change for Incoming Class of Fall 2021

Press Release

San Francisco (October 9, 2020) - In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the San Francisco Board of Education will be holding discussions on and voting to change the admissions criteria of Lowell High School for one year (school year 2021-22).

The existing Lowell High School Admissions Board Policy 5120.1. uses grade point average and Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC) scores from a student’s 7th grade and the first semester of 8th grade to offer admission to Lowell High School. Neither of these data are available for this year’s applicants and the District is unable to implement the Lowell High School Admissions policy without grade point average and standardized test scores required to offer admissions to Lowell High School during the 2021-22 school year.

The Board of Education adopted an alternative grading system for Spring 2020, such that in grades 6 through 12 students were assigned “Credit/No Credit” for each course. The SBAC was not administered in Spring 2020 as directed by California Governor Gavin Newsom’s emergency order suspending administration of the SBAC.

SFUSD Superintendent Dr. Vincent Matthews is presenting a policy to the SF Board of Education to change the 2021-22 school year admissions cycle only. In the proposed policy, students who live in San Francisco and wish to apply to Lowell High School will not be subject to the admissions requirements of Board Policy 5120.1. Instead, SFUSD will use the same application form used for all District comprehensive high schools, and have an opportunity to be assigned to Lowell High School pursuant to Board Policy 5101.

“With Lowell, just as with all our high schools, we’re committed to academic rigor and equitable access,” Superintendent Dr. Vincent Matthews said. “This policy is a response to the pandemic and the recommendation is that we do this for one year given current conditions.” 

“As we have faced this pandemic there are many systems and structures we have had to adjust,” said Board President Mark Sanchez. “This discussion is coming before the Board in time for us to give clear information to 8th graders and their families at the beginning of the fall enrollment cycle.”

The Board of Education is holding a Committee of the Whole meeting on October 13 at 3:00 p.m. and this proposed change to the Lowell assignment policy will be one of the items on the agenda. More information about the meeting on Oct. 13 can be found on the Board of Education website at sfusd.edu.

In order to meet the timeline for the fall enrollment process, the Board of Education plans to vote at the regular board meeting on October 20.


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