Because the vast majority of the district’s students are economically disadvantaged according to the Free and Reduced Price Lunch measure, we needed a more nuanced way to think about poverty in order to better serve both them and our schools. SAISD has taken steps to understand poverty on a more sophisticated level by taking a detailed look at our city and mapping out factors like average family income, single-parent households, and home ownership. Since the 2017-18 school year, we have calculated and utilized Socioeconomic Blocks to help us better understand the socioeconomic status of our students.
The district’s Choice Schools and Programs utilize an open enrollment lottery process. The lottery is a blind, randomized, computerized process conducted at the district level that follows a Controlled Choice framework to ensure equity and access for economically disadvantaged students. Families are placed into appropriate categories, then the online platform conducts the lottery according to programmed lottery parameters.
The district annually conducts an Equity Audit to ensure an enrollment balance of at least 50% of economically disadvantaged students is maintained within Choice Schools and Magnet Programs, with at least 25% of the economically disadvantaged students coming from the lowest socioeconomic status communities (Block 3 and Block 4).
Learn more about Socioeconomic Blocks:
- Methodology for Calculating Socioeconomic Tiers
- SAISD Plans to Tackle Poverty One School at a Time (Rivard Report, 2017)
- How an SAISD System Helped Transform the Way the State Views Poverty in Schools (Rivard Report, 2019)