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School zones, priority schools

July 15, 2014

konjaku: continuing an examination of school district residences and priority schools. This article touches upon “jointly sponsored students” and “memo students,” which will be the subject of upcoming posts.

Beijing: going from pre-school to elementary school, the boundaries of school zones will be made more clear

This year some 175,000 children will enter elementary school in Beijing, an increase from last year of 26,400. This situation is expected to continue until 2017. A conservative estimate is that every year 180,000 to 200,000 children will apply to elementary schools.
As households experience the stress of the transition to elementary school, every year the same problem arises, and a parent poses this question: “Since the national rule states ‘without needing an entrance exam, one can enter a nearby school,’ why is it that my child cannot get into the school that is right next to our house gate?” The answer, from an official in the appropriate department is, every year they recalculate and fine-tune the school zones, as new residential buildings spring up, based on the capacity of each school in the upcoming year. Because of all the new housing construction, and the fact that schools have merged in the past, the elementary schools are strained to the limit.
Homelink (real estate service) is managing 1000 “school district residences.” According to their data, in the Chengliu district in 2012 the difference in price between school district residences and non-school district residences was 6.8%. From the beginning of 2013 up to the present, the price difference has jumped to 11.2% and is steadily increasing.

As the media has reported, the residential complex Shangdi Dongli is a “school district residence” for the Shangdi Shiyan [experimental] elementary school, on a straight track on to the Beijing 101 middle school, a priority school. Because of this, at present the unit price in this complex has passed 60,000 yuan per square meter [9,910 USD]. In 1995 one could buy a 58 square meter residence for 60,000 yuan, today it would cost 3,700,000 yuan [611,149 USD].

According to the local peoples’ education committee vice-director Wen Feng, school district residences are concentrated in Dongcheng, Xicheng, and Haidian, as educational resources are concentrated in these three areas. The well-known elementary schools in these districts have too many applicants because of families choosing to buy residences there for the purpose of entering their children into those schools. Besides students that are in the school zone, these schools admit children who have preferential status:“jointly sponsored students”[children of government officials or employees of state run institutions and businesses], and “memo” students [children who enter a school based on a written memo by a person of authority or influence, usually their own parent]. Those schools, in order to lessen the pool of eligible students, make a requirement that the family must have have their household registry is the school district area for at least three years [eliminating those who have moved there only recently]. Well known schools such as Fuxue, Shijia, Beijing Experimental #2, Huang cheng gen, Zhonggu Youyi, Haidian Experimental, Zhongguancin #1 Elementary, etc., all require between three to five years of household registry for a family in their respective school zones. In years when demand is high, they extend the requirement of residency even further.
On 06-25, 2:30 in the afternoon, at the Shunchengjie Number 1 Elementary School, parents are waiting to take home their children. Mrs. Wang has come to pick up her grandchild, a second grader. Their family lives on Xicheng Zhongli lane, which in the plan is zoned for a different elementary school. But because Shunchengjie Number 1 Elementary School students are eligible for a priority junior middle school, they chose this school, which is also nearby, a 10 minute round trip from their house. Because their house straddles two school zones, they were able to make their choice, while paying a school fee.

That was last year. This year [2013] a Xicheng district Education Commission official said, because of the increasing number of students, schools will no longer be able to admit those from families who straddle school zones, or who manage to move between zones. To the best of their ability, schools in Xicheng will not admit any students not within the appropriate school zone. The district will employ an information gathering system to control the lack of order along the school zone boundaries. Many schools are also publishing clear-cut stipulations as to the number of years of residence in a zone necessary to qualify for admission.

幼升小 pre-school to elementary school
免试就近(入学)without needing an entrance exam, one can enter a nearby school
链家地产 Homelink
城六区Chengliu district
学区房 school district residence
上地东里 Shangdi dongli
上地实验(小学) Shangdi Shiyan experimental elementary school
东城 Dongcheng
西城 Xicheng
海淀 Haidian
府学(小学)Fuxue elementary school
史家小学 Shijia elementary school
北京实验二小 Beijing Experimental #2,
黄城根(小学) Huang cheng gen
中古友谊 (小学) Zhonggu Youyi La Escuela Primaria Amistad China-Cuba, (English) China-Cuba Friendship Primary School
海淀实验(小学) Haidian Experimental Elementary
中关村一小 Zhongguancun #1 Elementary
顺城街第一小学 Shunchengjie Number 1 Elementary School



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