Arlington County

The following were among actions taken at the June 7 meeting of the Arlington School Board. For more information, call 358-6000.

ALTERNATIVE SCHOOLS ADMISSION -- The School Board changed the admission procedure, on a two-year trial basis, at one of the school system's three alternative schools from first-come, first-served to a lottery to make admission more equitable for applicants.

Starting in fall of 1991, new students at Page Traditional School will be randomly selected from the pool of applicants. Siblings of students already enrolled, however, will be automatically admitted. Admission to Drew Model Elementary School and to H-B Woodlawn, a secondary school, will continue on a first-come, first-served basis, with no preference for siblings.

To ensure an ethnically diverse student body at Page, a representative percentage of the openings would be given to black, Asian and Hispanic students. About 17 percent of students countywide are black, about 11 percent are Asian and about 22 percent are Hispanic.

The School Board decided in February to experiment with ending the first-come, first-served admissions procedure after some parents complained that it discriminates against parents who cannot take the time to wait in line outside school buildings for several days before enrollment begins to ensure places in school for their children.

At a hearing before the vote, several parents urged the board to keep the current admissions policy because, they argued, it seems to favor those parents who are most committed to sending their children to an alternative school. School officials countered that some parents, such as single working parents, may have difficulty arranging for long waits in line.

The alternative schools offer approaches to education different from that of the county's 24 other elementary and secondary schools.

Page emphasizes traditional teaching and demands high standards of behavior from pupils in kindergarten through seventh grade. Homework is required at least four nights a week. At Drew, teams of teachers instruct first- through sixth-grade students in multi-grade classrooms. Woodlawn offers seventh- through 12th-graders more flexible course scheduling than at other county secondary schools, enabling students to pursue independent study of some subject areas or take courses at local colleges.

Page annually accepts 25 new students. Drew takes about 45 new students and H-B Woodlawn takes about 60 new students.

Admission for fall of 1991 will take place in December for Page, and in October for Drew and H-B Woodlawn.