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Home Address Verification Begins Again for Families in Albany Schools

This memo went out via email Wednesday afternoon. Address verification begins in April and continues through June. Last names will determine when families can participate. Tell us in the comments what you thought of last year's process.

[Editor's Note: Last year, the began a system requiring parents to verify their address each year to crack down on out-of-district students suspected to be attending Albany schools without a permit. Here's round two. This note went out Wednesday via an Albany schools email list. It has been modified slightly for clarity.]

ATTENTION PARENTS ADDRESS RE-VERIFICATION

Albany residents will be required to re-verify their Albany address beginning April 2, 2012 - June 29, 2012. We encourage parents to follow the schedule by alpha group (by last name) to avoid long lines and waiting.

A-H: April 2-30
I-P: May 1-31
Q-Z: June 1-29

Bring proof of residency to the at 1051 Monroe St., during regular office hours or during extended hours on the fourth Wednesday of each month from April to June. 

1. Print and complete the Declaration of Residency Form (Download here)

2. Parent/Guardian’s Current Government Identification (ID, Driver’s License, or Passport). 

3. A Property Deed (or most recent Property Tax Bill) or a Current Rental Agreement (with the following: Parent/Guardian name, students name(s), name of owner or manager and telephone number - subleases will not be accepted.

4. Two (2) other forms of proof of Albany residence with address imprinted, for example:

Utility document(s) or bill(s) 
W-2 Form
Bank statement 
Paycheck
Public assistance documents

NO APPOINTMENT NECESSARY

Office hours 8:30- 4:30, closed 12-1 pm
Extended hours until 7 pm on April 25, May 23 and June 27

This noticed is posted on the district website here.

ralph March 22, 2012 at 07:43 PM
San Francisco also takes steps to make sure homeless students fit into the policy. http://www.sfusd.edu/en/enroll-in-sfusd-schools/enrollment-resources/policy-reference.html Residency Requirements A minor’s residence is presumed to be the legal residence of the parent(s) or guardian(s) who have physical custody of the minor. In order to be enrolled in SFUSD, the student’s parent/legal guardian must continually reside in San Francisco at the time of application and for the entire period of enrollment in SFUSD. This residency policy does not apply to homeless students
ralph March 22, 2012 at 07:47 PM
A homeless family, which includes a family doubling up, will not have the items AUSD says it needs in item 3. Additionally, renters often do not have a lease with a recent date.
Ana March 22, 2012 at 08:13 PM
How many homeless school age children are living in the Albany homeless shelter. AKA Albany Bulb? I don't think that is so much an Albany problem as is the outsiders sneaking in. Or using a friends and or family member address. AUSD is not set up to handle anything outside the norm, of a single family dwelling. So you bring up very important issues. However they are so far and few between that I am sure they will never learn to handle it smoothly and respectfully.
ralph March 22, 2012 at 09:36 PM
My child attends school with children who have lost their apartments in Albany for economic reasons, and double up with other families in Albany apartments. They are legal Albany residents, and entitled to an education. Stigmatizing the poor is wrong, and denying them an education in Albany is illegal. I cannot give you a count of the number of homeless children in Albany, but it is greater than zero.
Ross Stapleton-Gray March 22, 2012 at 09:53 PM
Last year the middle school had a prominent poster with all of the State protections re homelessness and school enrollment noted. So someone was (and perhaps is again) trying to get out that word.
Brian Parsley March 22, 2012 at 09:54 PM
There are no children currently living on the bulb, if there were the City might have to address it versus turning the usual blind eye.
Emilie Raguso March 22, 2012 at 10:26 PM
Here's a link to download the Declaration of Residency form: http://ausdk12.org/ourpages/auto/2012/3/22/46479080/Declaration%20of%20Residency%20Form.pdf
Ana March 22, 2012 at 11:34 PM
The bottom line is that AUSD can't deny an education to any child that live in Albany. AUSD is not good with handling things that fall out side the box they build. (learning style, share housing and so on) . If a child is living in Albany he/she has a right to attend the schools here. It doesn't matter how the child is living or where the child is living. The family can be 'homeless' or choosing to share housing. There are laws that protect the child/family in this situation. If the child is being deny an education start a paper trail. Have the family write to the district explain the situation, Let them know where they are living. If in a shelter all they have to do is get the shelter manager to write that XXXX family is living there . The key for this to work if the family is in a shelter is that the child would had to been a student in Albany or lived in Albany before the family became homeless. 2. If the family is sharing a home/apartment. It does not matter where the child is from ( another school district/ privet school) He/she is living here NOW. A child has 10 days to be enroll in school. If a district refuse to place that kid they can and should sue, & they should name Marla specifically. This really is not that hard. There are lawyers that will assist in the process. It's not uncommon in other school districts. It's just uncommon in the Albany bubble.
Brian Parsley March 22, 2012 at 11:48 PM
To be fair to the district, I believe they are looking for out of district families that are using false addresses(another family member or friend) or have moved out of the district. I don't believe they are targeting homeless families.
Ana March 23, 2012 at 12:39 AM
@Brian I personally don't think there is a 'homeless' problem outside of the Bulb in Albany. I was responding to Ralph however I guess I didn't hit the correct reply button. If there is a family that is effected in the way he explain then by all means I hope they get the help they need. Kids should not be punish because of the situation. I Do think there are a lot of people sneaking in using others address. I think Albany has done very little about it in the pass and I have very little confidence that it's going to change. For example when you drive by AHS at lunch or after school you can't help but notice a lot of blacks. Yet, as long as I have live in Albany I haven't seen that many black families. Are that many adoptions taking place? I don't think so.
Ross Stapleton-Gray March 23, 2012 at 12:50 AM
Ana, according to the statistics published by AUSD, there are some 249 interdistrict transfer students officially enrolled at Albany High for the current school year. Many of them may not look like you. I am sure that the District hopes that this does not alarm you.
Brian Parsley March 23, 2012 at 01:57 AM
ummmmm wow. Ana Albany is a diverse community with people of different races. Growing up in Albany in the 70's and 80's, I was lucky enough to have a African American and Japanese American friends on my block. In fact we were more like family than neighbors, something in my opinion, that is missing in Albany today. I guess the morale of my story is just because your black doesn't mean you have to live in Richmond,Berkeley, or Oakland.
Michael Cabanatuan March 23, 2012 at 04:12 AM
The idea is not to prevent out of district students, it's to control the number of them and establish a fair process to fill those slots.
Michael Cabanatuan March 23, 2012 at 04:21 AM
Brian, My neighborhood is wonderfully diverse. Black, Filipino, Chinese, Mexican, mixed race and white. And not all of the whites are adopted!
Ross Stapleton-Gray March 23, 2012 at 06:15 AM
I get a broken link error for that... I'd guess related to a file name with spaces in it. Has anyone successfully downloaded a Declaration of Residency form from the AUSD site, and, if so, what's the URL for it?
Michael Barnes March 23, 2012 at 06:25 AM
Ross, I created a tinyurl for that link, this should work fine: http://tinyurl.com/83dyo4l BTW, tinyurl.com is a good way to shorten links.
Ross Stapleton-Gray March 23, 2012 at 06:31 AM
And you've actually been able to download the file from the AUSD site? Neither Firefox nor IE is finding that file for me (and tinyurl merely provides a short alias for a longer link... the problem I'm seeing is that the original link goes to... nothing).
Michael Barnes March 23, 2012 at 06:40 AM
Ross, Works for me, but just in case it's an AUSD server problem, I posted the pdf on my Bspace server at UC Berkeley: http://tinyurl.com/7kjhd2s If this doesn't work, it's probably something at your end. Ciao.
Emilie Raguso March 23, 2012 at 06:44 AM
The link works for me, too. Thanks for adding it Michael. It is on the district site if you click "Enrollment" then ADDRESS REVERIFICATION. I will add it to this story as a PDF as well.
Ross Stapleton-Gray March 23, 2012 at 06:54 AM
It's a mystery... my laptop fails, wife's PC works fine. Ah well, next stop: wait until May 29 and jump through assorted hoops...
Colleen O'Neill March 23, 2012 at 05:59 PM
If AUSD contracts for x number of students & those numbers are based on out of District students - than the staff must work to ensure that those students attend. Period. Or we have a 'shortfall'. The programs that will be cut or taxes required to pay for this should be put on the table for all of us to see. To spend the money on address verification without acknowledging these facts seems to be working at cross purposes. The staff did lots of overtime last year. Tons of evening hours! I'd really like to know what the cost was. What is the projection for this year? Who said we didn't want out of district kids at the schools? Do we want less hours and less classes? In the over 20 years I've been here there's ALWAYS been out of District kids. To pay the bills. Does your employer guess what he's going to pay you & than tell you sorry it's less than I thought? Good luck with that.
Kelly Reed March 23, 2012 at 10:06 PM
Kids tranferring in legally should not be the issue at all. The school gets money for those that follow the rules. The people who are using fake addresses are the target.
Holly McCroskey March 26, 2012 at 07:28 PM
Yes, I'm aware that last year's belated and incomplete communications about this new procedure indicated that it would become an annual fire drill. I thought it was insane then and I think it's even more insane now that we've been through it once and found out just how unproductive, inconvenient and wasteful it was. But instead of learning anything from the process, the District -- in its usual high-handed way -- has not reconsidered, has not made any explanation or apology, has not bothered to tell anyone (possibly because it hasn't bothered to find out) just how much the extra cost of this was and what the benefit was, and has not bothered to think about possible methods of reducing the burden on families while still accomplishing their monitoring purposes (for example, allowing the documentation to be submitted by mail or dropped off at any school office, instead of by appointment at the District office). No, we did NOT ask for this. I personally don't know anyone who's very concerned about out-of-district students, and in last year's discussions even those in favor of some sort of "crackdown" on "illegal" out-of-district students acknowledged that this particular process was sure to be far more detrimental than beneficial.
Ross Stapleton-Gray March 26, 2012 at 07:38 PM
To minorly correct, it looks like you don't need to schedule an appointment, but still need to drop off the documentation, within a four-week window (for I-P, between April 30 and May 25).
ralph March 26, 2012 at 08:41 PM
The school gets money for all students, even those who don't "follow the rules". The state pays the school district based on the number of kids who attend school. According to the school district report here. http://www.ausdk12.org/ourpages/auto/2011/9/13/62385769/Enrollment_Update_1_12_12-2-1_1_.pdf then 73 students were forced out by the process. The school district would have given up the income from the state for 73 students, which I would guess is more than $350,000 per year. Unless the district magically managed to achieve corresponding savings, than that money would have more than covered the recently announced 112,000 deficit http://albany.patch.com/articles/school-district-budget-could-face-challenges-ahead.
Jon Meyers March 26, 2012 at 09:31 PM
If we're going to do this, especially if it's every year, I agree that some sensible simplifications are mandatory. For example, there should be no reason to submit the same property deed year after year - doesn't it just stay the same? Also, given that it's 2012 and plenty of folks would just be printing documents from some online bill or account anyway, why not have electronic submission? Seems to me these kinds of things make it easier on the family and the district staff as well.
Caryl O'Keefe March 27, 2012 at 01:24 AM
How about simplification with random sampling of online certifications? For instance, AUSD specifies on the Aeries online student registration form that the form serves as a formal certification of residency, spelling out Albany residency requirements. From an all-schools compilation of that file AUSD could pull random samples of students to contact (parents) for residency certification documentation. Samples do not need to be big, just random. Only a comparatively small number of parents would have to find/copy/submit docs. AUSD would not have to gather, label, file, and maintain docs from everyone every year, just from sampled families. While this process probably would not find every student whose parents are claiming residency falsely, it's not clear if we know that the current, burdensome process does either.
Ira Sharenow April 21, 2012 at 09:46 PM
I noticed that there has been a drop in coverage of school issues as there seems to be fewer freelance articles. Is Patch in trouble? The answer seems to be “yes” according to numerous reports. I did a Google search: AOL Patch “The company has ramped up the number of unpaid bloggers and slashed freelance budgets amid rising media criticism of the venture for its impact on AOL's bottom line.” From Forbes: “Patch Editor In Chief Brian Farnham Is Leaving AOL” From Forbes: “I asked an AOL spokeswoman to clarify whether Patch, which lost approximately $160 million last year, is still part of HPMG but haven’t received a response.” Business Insider: “EXCLUSIVE: Now We Know AOL's Patch Revenue – And It's Tiny” CNN Money : “just 12 of the 863 Patch sites were actually profitable during that time.” Reuters: “AOL hires chief content officer for troubled Patch” Screenweek: “Days Numbered for AOL Patch?” --- From Tuesday's board meeting, it appears as though the district is actively attempting to max out on enrollment because it thinks it is profitable. The board seems to have forgotten about construction costs and the various numbers are very iffy/puzzling/contradictory. The hearing is on video. No citizens spoke on the inter-D issue.
Emilie Raguso April 21, 2012 at 10:18 PM
Heya Ira: I would appreciate it if you could avoid the speculation. There's no indication (to me anyway) that Patch is troubled. We continue to grow in traffic and engagement, blogging, deepening our coverage in all areas, etc. Patch started almost all of its sites less than two years ago, and the idea that any of them would be able to be "profitable" from the get-go has never really made sense to me. Any business needs time to grow and make back its start-up costs. At least, that's my understanding of how most businesses work. There are various reasons why there has been somewhat less coverage of the schools this year, but the main reason is that there haven't been a lot of issues that have been generating a lot of community concern. In the past month, here are some of our headlines: "School District Budget Could Face Challenges Ahead" "10 School Buildings Need Seismic Review" "Teachers Speak Out Against Possible Benefits Cuts" "Home Address Verification Begins Again for Families in Albany Schools" "AHS Chemistry Teacher Carlock on Leave Until June Retirement" "School Address Reverification Reopens Old Wounds" "Column: "Spring Fling" on Friday to be Feast for the Ears" ** I feel good about the number and type of stories we've had on the site. Are there more stories to be done? Definitely! But that's always the case.
Emilie Raguso September 24, 2012 at 02:42 PM
Albany Patch is preparing a list of questions from readers for school board candidates. We've scheduled, in conjunction with St. Alban's, candidate forums in October. (BOE: Oct. 10; CC: Oct. 17) Details here: http://patch.com/A-ybgT Please comment back ASAP to let us know your questions for school board candidates, or email me at albany@patch.com.

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