As part of the Tinsley desegregation lawsuit settlement, Menlo Park takes 24 students every year, usually kindergartners, and guarantees them a place in the district through eighth grade. Children who leave the district or don't show up usually have their spots backfilled. This year, due to the Menlo Park district's enrollment growth and an unusually large number of backfill students, there was some question whether the backfill could be accommodated.
Superintendent Ken Ranella said that due to the combination of a slightly lower than expected number of new kindergartners who registered in February, plus a decrease in the anticipated number of Tinsley backfill students from 14 to 10, the district would be able to accommodate all of the students.
An earlier proposal to temporarily suspend the Tinsley program for all incoming students next year met with criticism from parents who attended last month's Menlo Park school board meeting. Lack of classroom space could have given the district a temporary out from fulfilling the court order, the district's legal counsel said.