My Child is on the Waitlist, Now What Do I Do? – Part 3

During the first week of February, many Philadelphia families received notice that their top school choice placed their children on the waiting list. Some families received waiting list notifications from their second, third, and even fourth options; this is an all too common occurrence in Philly, as there simply aren’t enough high-quality schools to meet parent demand. However, the inevitability of this moment can mask the real pain this school shortage has on black families.

For this reason, we surveyed black families across Philadelphia to better understand how getting on a waiting list impacts them. We asked them three simple questions:

  1. How do you feel knowing that you will not get to send your child to the school you wanted them to attend?
  2. What will you do if your child doesn’t get accepted to any of your top district or charter choices?
  3. What are you willing to do to fight for your child’s right to a high-quality education?

Over the next two weeks, we will release ten responses to each of these survey questions. Our hope is to begin a dialogue across Philadelphia about the need to open more high-quality schools to serve black families and to prioritize the needs of our community.

Series Links:
Part – 1
Part – 2

On Wednesday parents communicated how limited their backup plans are when their students end up on the waitlist. Many are looking at private schools, which places a significant financial burden on their families. Today, those same parents will express what they are willing to do to fight for their children’s right to a high-quality education.

  • I really don’t know what to do.
  • Become involved with the school where the child is enrolled.
  • I have made several phone calls to PEN and other special education associations. I would like to have an advocate since I seem to be getting nowhere.
  • Whatever it takes!
  • I am willing to take it as far as the Supreme Court.
  • Whatever it takes!
  • Just about anything.
  • I’ve already made connections with people at the school district working with the family liaisons and expressing my concerns to the teachers and principal.

Unfortunately, this is the history of our people in this country.  Every generation must engage in the same struggle. The struggle for equality. The struggle for justice. The struggle to be treated the same as all citizens. However, one thing is true. No matter the odds Black families are up for the fight when it comes to their children. Fair or not, we are prepared to do the extra work necessary to protect our children and ensure that they receive the tools necessary to thrive in America; by any means necessary.

We hope to partner with each of the survey respondents to carry forth the work of creating an equal and just Philadelphia Public School System.Please help us amplify the voices of Black families in Philly by sharing this post with anyone you know who is also struggling to find the perfect school for their child. You can also add your voice to the blog by taking the short survey here.

 

 

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