Tuesday, April 26, 2016

School Fundraisers: DogFest has passed, Taste of Potrero is coming up!

As they learn about different public schools, many San Francisco parents are surprised by the scale of PTA fundraising that goes on. At many schools, the PTA uses those privately-raised funds to support art teachers, music teachers, PE, class size reduction in upper grades, language programs, garden programs, and other valuable enrichment activities. Some news outlets have reported on the scale of fundraising going on in SF and wondered whether it contributes to inequality of opportunity (http://sfpublicpress.org/news/public-schools); commenters have often countered by pointing out that SFUSD generously supports schools with high percentages of low-income children; a lot of that funding goes to fund enrichment activities like art, music, and dance, as well as smaller classes. With private support from foundations, programs like Playworks and Education Outside are also present in many SF schools where the parents are not able to engage in heavy-duty fundraising.

As far as the kids of fundraising going on, I think fundraising events can offer a nice opportunity to build a sense of community and purpose among parents, teachers and students. I do sometimes worry about the kinds of fundraisers schools put on, though. I worry that families who can't shell out for big ticket items at the annual fundraising auction (or even tickets to the auction) will feel like they aren't appreciated, or that children will feel left out if their parents can't afford to bid on items the playdate with a favorite teacher. It's also true that most fundraisers are raising money from within the same group of school families.

Given those concerns, one kind of fundraiser that has really impressed me is when a PTA figures out how to draw on funds from outside the immediate school community. If you have ever been to McKinley Elementary's Dogfest, you know they have very creatively  tapped into the local community of dog lovers in the Castro/Lower Haight/Duboce Park area and they always throw a party that includes everyone! The event just passed for this year and we forgot to mention it but make sure to check it out next year if you've never been -- there are activities for kids, items to bid on, and an always hilarious dog parade, often hosted by the very funny Daniel Handler (aka the famous author Lemony Snicket).

Another event that is reaching out beyond the parents from one school is Taste of Potrero, happening this year on May 12th at Pier 70. Started 6 years ago by a group of Potrero parents to support Daniel Webster Elementary School, the event has grown from a small community fund raiser to a big foodie event. The PTA has gotten over 40 chefs and mixologists to donate their time to raise money for Daniel Webster. This event is pretty significant for the school -- it accounts for more than 65% of the PTA's total fundraising budget. Check it out and let us know your reaction!

We would love to hear other thoughts, concerns and experiences about school fundraising in the comments.

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Advice for a parent whose son is waitlisted at multiple independent schools?

A reader wrote in and asked if anyone had advice for her family. Her son is on the waitlist at three independent schools. Any suggestions for something she could do to help him get a spot? Anything she really shouldn't do? Any insights welcome! The family also entered the SFUSD lottery and they have a spot; they are in Round 2 to try to get a school they want more.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

SFUSD Round 2 Deadline

For families seeking to enter Round 2 for SFUSD, the deadline is April 8. If you have questions, please pose them in the comments below. Best of luck!

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Private School Letters

We hear that today's the day private schools will mail out independent school decisions.  Please share your thoughts, your hopes, your dreams, your fears in the comments, but especially any useful advice you might have for other families.

Friday, March 11, 2016

Round 1 Letters

Round 1 letters should be arriving in mail. Feel free to share your news.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Data: SFUSD Elementary Schools by Race and Ethnicity 2014-15

The 2013 version of this post is here.

Introduction 


I hope this information will be used to help families find schools that are racially diverse and where their child won't be the only one of their race, not to avoid schools with "too many" students of another race.

When I looked at kindergartens several years ago,  I was surprised to find that how few elementary schools reflect SFUSD's racial and ethnic diversity. Over a third of SFUSD elementary schools are racially homogeneous, with over 60% of their enrollment from a single racial or ethnic group.

The reasons for this de facto segregation are complex. They include language pathways, many of which were created to meet federal court decrees from the landmark Lau vs Nichols case.

School enrollment also reflects segregation of San Francisco's neighborhoods, as illustrated by the map below of where school-age children live in SF. Thanks to Nancy Milholland for creating the racial dot map of SF kids  for SF K Files.

Racial dot map of children 5-17 in San Francisco


Update: Schools with major changes in K-2 enrollment by race and ethnicity


Four SFUSD schools and one charter school  had changes of over 15% in K-2 enrollment of one or more racial or ethnic groups.

Garfield is now 46% Asian including Filipino, from 63% in 2011-12, with a corresponding increase in Latino enrollment to 24% from 8%. It is now one of the most diverse schools in the district, with all 4 major racial/ethnic groups represented. This demographic shift corresponds to a change from a Cantonese bilingual/biliteracy program (for native speakers only) to Cantonese immersion several years ago.

Alice Fong Yu's K-2 enrollment is now 62% Asian compared to 77% Asian in 2011-12. This reflects the change in enrollment criteria for AFY to increase spots from applicants who report speaking only English.

Alamo is 47% Asian including Filipino, compared to 64% in 2011-12. It has had slight increases in the percentage of students who are Latino, white, or two or more races.

Peabody is now 63% white, up from 46% in 2011-12.  It is the only SFUSD elementary school to be over 60% white, although Grattan, McKinley and New Traditions are close at 58-59% white. For New Traditions, this is an increase of 12% in white enrollment since 2011, but is not a significant change for Grattan or McKinley.

Creative Arts Chartercriticized by school board commissioners in 2013 for its lack of racial diversity,  reported a 37% decrease in white enrollment, matched by a 37% increase in "Decline to State." In 2011, its enrollment was 55% white/10% "Decline to State"; in 2014 it was 18% white/47% "Decline to State." Creative reporting, anyone?

Overall, SFUSD K-2 enrollment saw a 5% decrease in Asian students and a 3% increase in Latino students from 2011-12 to 2014-15.  The percentage of schools with over 60% of their K-2 students from a single racial or ethnic group dropped to 34%, from 40% in 2011-12.


Tables of SFUSD Elementary Schools by Race and Ethnicity, 2014-15

For the purposes of this post, I grouped the schools based on how many of SF's major racial/ethnic groups are represented at each school, using a threshold of 5% for African American and 10% for all other groups. I only looked at grades K-2 (this year's 1st-3rd graders) because this most closely reflects the students that next year's kindergarteners will see.

There's many ways to slice and dice the data. I chose a threshold of 10% because it averages out to 2 children per classroom. I used a lower threshold for African Americans because SFUSD K-2 enrollment is only 8%, and continues to fall each year. For parents of African American children, a 5% threshold may be too low, since it means your child probably would be the only African American student in the classroom.


Guide to symbols by the school name in the tables below
AUnder 10% Asian including Filipino
BUnder 5% Black or African American. 
L


Under 10% Latino, of any race.
Because of SF's large Asian and Latino populations,  SFUSD has Asian students from Latin America, including monolingual Spanish-speaking Asian students. 
WUnder 10% White

A. All 4 Major Racial/Ethnic Groups Represented 


12 schools in 2014-15 vs  15 schools in 2011-12.

School 2014-15 Hispanic
or Latino of Any Race
Not Hispanic or Latino
Decline
to State
African American Asian  Filipino Pacific Islander White Two or More Races
SFUSD 30% 8% 28% 4% 1% 18% 6% 4%
Clarendon 10% 8% 26% 2% 0% 37% 13% 5%
Garfield 24% 5% 42% 4% 1% 11% 8% 5%
Starr King 18% 13% 26% 2% 6% 17% 11% 4%
Lakeshore 18% 16% 30% 6% 0% 16% 9% 5%
Lilienthal 10% 6% 29% 3% 1% 34% 11% 5%
Ortega 11% 15% 40% 6% 0% 14% 12% 2%
Parks 20% 23% 18% 3% 0% 18% 12% 6%
Redding 32% 8% 21% 3% 1% 20% 4% 8%
Rooftop 18% 12% 10% 2% 1% 36% 14% 7%
SF Community 43% 11% 5% 7% 2% 18% 5% 9%
Sherman 15% 8% 21% 3% 0% 39% 8% 6%
Tenderloin 39% 15% 19% 3% 1% 15% 2% 5%


B. Schools with 3 Racial/Ethnic Groups Represented in K-2 enrollment, with no group >60% of enrollment 


21 schools in 2014-15 vs 16 in 2011-12. Charter schools not included in count.
School
2014-15
Hispanic
or Latino of Any Race
Not Hispanic or Latino
Decline
to State
African American Asian  Filipino Pacific Islander White Two or More Races
SFUSD 30% 8% 28% 4% 1% 18% 6% 4%
AlamoB 11% 1% 45% 2% 1% 23% 13% 5%
ArgonneB 16% 0% 32% 3% 0% 34% 12% 3%
CarmichaelW 27% 13% 9% 30% 1% 5% 7% 8%
CobbW 13% 52% 9% 1% 1% 8% 11% 1%
El DoradoW 41% 29% 6% 9% 8% 2% 4% 2%
FeinsteinB 15% 1% 30% 5% 0% 37% 8% 3%
Glen ParkA 51% 11% 2% 4% 0% 21% 8% 4%
GrattanA 12% 6% 6% 1% 0% 59% 10% 5%
GuadalupeW 57% 5% 17% 10% 1% 3% 0% 7%
HillcrestW 41% 12% 34% 7% 0% 3% 1% 2%
LafayetteB 12% 2% 37% 4% 1% 33% 5% 5%
McKinleyA 12% 9% 7% 1% 1% 58% 11% 2%
MilkA 21% 22% 4% 2% 1% 38% 9% 4%
MiralomaB 14% 3% 15% 1% 0% 54% 8% 4%
New TraditionsA 11% 10% 2% 2% 0% 59% 12% 5%
SF Public MontessoriA 17% 7% 6% 2% 0% 52% 5% 10%
SheridanW 32% 22% 20% 7% 3% 4% 6% 5%
SloatB 12% 4% 37% 2% 0% 33% 6% 6%
SunnysideB 24% 3% 7% 6% 1% 47% 9% 3%
WebsterA 45% 7% 2% 1% 1% 32% 8% 4%
Yick WoB 13% 0% 37% 1% 0% 35% 9% 5%


C. Schools with Two Racial/Ethnic Groups Represented in K-2 enrollment, with no group > 60% of enrollment


12 SFUSD schools vs 10 in 2011-12. Charter schools not included in count.
School
2014-15
Hispanic
or Latino of Any Race
Not Hispanic or Latino
Decline
to State
African American Asian  Filipino Pacific Islander White Two or More Races
SFUSD 30% 8% 28% 4% 1% 18% 6% 4%
AlvaradoAB 41% 4% 2% 3% 0% 41% 4% 5%
CarverAW 16% 51% 1% 0% 17% 0% 9% 7%
Creative Arts CharterAB 16% 4% 5% 1% 0% 18% 7% 47%
HarteAW 40% 33% 3% 1% 13% 1% 6% 4%
JeffersonBL 9% 0% 40% 4% 0% 30% 12% 4%
KeyBL 8% 1% 53% 3% 1% 22% 8% 3%
LongfellowBW 45% 4% 25% 17% 1% 1% 1% 5%
MonroeBW 50% 2% 32% 4% 0% 7% 4% 1%
MosconeBW 57% 1% 35% 1% 0% 3% 1% 3%
MuirAW 54% 30% 4% 1% 0% 4% 2% 4%
Spring ValleyBW 50% 1% 36% 1% 0% 4% 2% 5%
SunsetBL 8% 1% 48% 5% 1% 23% 9% 3%
TaylorBW 31% 4% 54% 3% 0% 2% 3% 2%


D.  Schools with over 60% of K-2 Enrollment From a Single Racial/Ethnic Group 


25 schools in 2014-15 vs 29 schools in 2011-12.Charter schools not included.
School
2014-15
Hispanic
or Latino of Any Race
Not Hispanic or Latino
Decline
to State
African American Asian  Filipino Pacific Islander White Two or More Races
SFUSD 30% 8% 28% 4% 1% 18% 6% 4%
BryantABW 85% 2% 1% 2% 0% 6% 1% 2%
Buena VistaAB 77% 2% 1% 0% 0% 15% 1% 4%
ChavezABW 87% 1% 1% 1% 1% 3% 1% 4%
ChinBLW 1% 1% 89% 2% 2% 2% 2% 2%
CIS DeAvilaBL 4% 1% 66% 1% 0% 12% 15% 2%
ClevelandABW 86% 3% 1% 3% 1% 3% 1% 3%
DrewAW 13% 68% 2% 1% 4% 1% 8% 3%
Edison CharterAW 81% 6% 2% 1% 2% 6% 1% 1%
FairmountA 75% 5% 1% 1% 0% 13% 1% 5%
FlynnA 67% 7% 0% 1% 0% 14% 2% 7%
LauBLW 5% 0% 89% 0% 1% 1% 1% 2%
LawtonBLW 8% 4% 70% 2% 2% 9% 5% 1%
Malcolm XAW 13% 67% 0% 2% 2% 0% 9% 4%
MarshallAB 80% 1% 1% 1% 0% 10% 3% 4%
McCoppinL 12% 4% 62% 3% 1% 13% 3% 3%
Mission PreparatoryAW 81% 5% 4% 5% 1% 3% 0% 1%
ParkerW 10% 6% 76% 1% 0% 4% 2% 2%
PeabodyB 10% 2% 14% 0% 0% 63% 8% 3%
RevereW 63% 10% 3% 7% 2% 5% 5% 3%
SanchezABW 77% 3% 7% 1% 0% 6% 1% 6%
SerraAW 71% 6% 5% 3% 3% 6% 4% 3%
StevensonBLW 3% 1% 81% 4% 0% 4% 4% 2%
SutroBLW 5% 0% 72% 2% 2% 9% 5% 5%
UlloaBLW 5% 1% 79% 2% 2% 6% 3% 3%
Vis ValleyW 12% 12% 54% 8% 6% 0% 3% 4%
West PortalBL 7% 0% 58% 3% 1% 18% 9% 3%
YuLW 7% 9% 58% 4% 1% 4% 10% 6%

Six schools are no longer racially homogeneous, compared to 2011-12. This simply may reflect the decrease in Asian and African American enrollment in SFUSD. Except for Moscone, all schools that were over 60% Latino in 2011-12 remained so. For comparison, TECA and Mission Prep, both charter schools, are over 80% Latino.
  • Alamo (64->47% Asian including Filipino)
  • Carver (65->51% African American)
  • Garfield (63%->46% Asian)
  • Key(67%->56% Asian)
  • Moscone (66->57% Latino)
  • Taylor (65->57% Asian)
Only two schools had increasing racial homogeneity since 2011-12. Interestingly, they are in close geographic proximity.
  • McCoppin (57%->65% Asian)
  • Peabody (46%->63% White)

Source: Data file of enrollment by school downloaded from the California Department of Education at http://www.cde.ca.gov/ds/sd/sd/fsenr.asp.
Schools can also be looked up individually at http://dq.cde.ca.gov/dataquest/

NB:  Do not use data on SFUSD enrollment by race/ethnicity from 2012-13 or 2013-14.
 The 2012-13 data is wildly inaccurate for both the district and individual schools.  For example, SFUSD reported just 208 Asian kindergarteners in 2012-13.  Pacific Islander kindergarten enrollment reportedly increased 7-fold,  and "Not reported/Decline to state" jumped to 2769 kindergarteners from 52 the year before. The data was only partly corrected from 2013-14. The 2014-15 enrollment data is more reliable.