Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Getting ready for SFUSD Round II

Round II forms are due on Friday. Parents for Public Schools offers a helpful Round II tip sheet.

If you have questions, this is a place for you to post. Also, you can give Parents for Public Schools a call at (415) 861-7077.

And please everyone think lots of good thoughts for those participating in Round II.


  1. Kate, so I assume that this means that you are not participating in Round 2?

  2. should we submit our forms in person?

  3. Hey did anyone ever actually enroll in J. Serra and are planning to send their child? Just wondering. I didn't and wanted to know, after all the tours and 'hidden gem' praise, if anyone is going to go for it.

    Kate, congrats on MCD. Hope you don't feel too badly about the neg comments. I think you not only did you do what you think is best for your child, but you had the balls to admit it and I admire you for that.

  4. Double dog dare ya!

  5. You do have to submit your form in person, from what I know.

    Also, I had heard a rumor that you could change your amended list and wait pool choice once the registration numbers came out in a couple of weeks. According to the folks down at EPC when I dropped off my form this morning, you cannot change your choices after Friday's deadline, and they will not know about registration numbers until next week at the earliest.

    You can change your wait pool choice anytime after Round II is run.

    Good luck, everyone!

  6. if you change your waitlist school, do you lose your waitlist priority?

    since many of us have 0/7 no choice priority from round 1 - do you lose that if you change your WL school later on?

  7. let's leave kate alone... she is still supporting this blog and giving us this venue even though her process is finished. let her just kick back and enjoy the fact that it's over. let her start to get excited about her school and plan a great summer!

  8. Yeah, I agree. Let's leave Kate alone. I am hoping she can fit in another family vacation to Hawaii before the school year starts.

  9. As far as I know, once you are in the priority cohort from Round I, you don't ever move out of that cohort (until your wait pool school is chosen), even if you change your wait pool school or get assigned one of the choices on your amended list etc.

  10. i went to EPC today. they said you CANNOT change your amended choices after 3/28. i had heard the opposite too. so many rumors flying around. they also said you retain your cohort from round 1. and that attendance area preference is maintained in waitpools. i don't know about the diversity index.

    we enrolled in j. serra but we're submitting an amended list and waitpool choice anyway. we are going to hold out for a language immersion program even if we have to wait until september.

  11. but i went to the counseling session at Jose Ortega, and it was the guy from the EPC -- Archie? I can't remember -- who was saying you could change your amended choices after 3/28. At least that's what I and a couple of other parents seemed to gather from his remarks. WTF?

  12. indeed. i was there too and i swore i heard archie say it. but there you go. i asked hans gong, one of the counselors, for confirmation today and he denied it. who to believe? i suppose in this mess of a system, i'll believe the one who promises the least ;- ) .

  13. I thought at Jose Ortega they said you could change your waitpool choice but not your list. List for Round ii is the same as round i you put it in and wait to hear.
    Waitpool is different you can change it as many times as you want or remove yourself from it at any time as long as you have put in an original request by the deadline.

  14. But here is a question: I have submitted my round II application; can I change it before the March 28 deadline?

    I am going to EPC tomorrow to hopefully answer that question in the positive and I will also ask about whether one can change a waitpool choice and/or amended list after March 28 and before the lottery is drawn.

  15. Quick survey: How many people decided to "shoot the moon" as opposed to "shoot for the smaller moon"?

    My husband and I are so torn on this choice.

  16. you can definitely change both your waitlist choice and your amended choices BEFORE the march 28 deadline. hans gong was quite clear about that. but he also said only waitpool choices after that date.

    re: the shoot the moon or smaller moon question: very much struggling with that as well. it's like, even though you can change your waitpool choice at any time, you will have missed that golden opportunity at the first run if you aim too "high" and don't choose a less overenrolled school. maddening!

    ok, have to vent a little now. after this i will return to a state of zenlike calm. promise!

    here are some things about going 0/7 and having no private "backup" that are pissing me off lately.

    1) not only to do you get fucked on your choice of schools, at most places you can pretty much kiss aftercare goodbye too, because the programs are already accepting apps from the families who lucked out in round 1. double whammy! so rotten. i curse you, SFUSD!

    2) people with privates in their back pockets are freed up to take bigger risks in their waitlist choices, which translates to the most popular programs. would be interesting to know how many lucky folks who get into the city's most requested schools in the 11th hour had a private backup, wouldn't it? pox on your soul, SFUSD!

    3) amended forms are due before anyone is willing to tell you how many round 1 offers were accepted at each school. so you're essentially making your choices in an almost complete vacuum. lovely chronology, there. may you rot in a tuburcular pit, SFUSD!

    ok, done. homicidal mania averted for another day.

    on a more amusing note...i asked the counselor at EPC yesterday how often people freak out on him. he said pretty often, and it's always the moms. (image of dad shlumped numbly in straight-backed chair, eyes averted, plotting his second marriage to a younger, more optimistic model as current wife-unit wields nail file under counselor's receding chin....)

    i think i am going to start collecting tales of mom madness on my own blog as a way to cope...feel free to visit and contribute (don't want to compromise kate's positive climate here). how crazy has all this made you? come on, tell. we know you let your dog pee on your neighbor's hydrangeas after their kid got into AFY, dincha? dincha?

    best of luck with your choices, everyone. remember: it's a lottery, so it really doesn't matter how much we put into it, does it? that is relieving, in a certain, i-live-in-the-soviet-union-and-don't-have-access -to-toilet-paper sort of way.

  17. stressful. good luck everyone.

  18. Just to put another slant on the district and this messed up system, I was told this morning that there are 5 spaces available in Miraloma, thats 5 Kindergarten spaces for your children for those who want to waitlist it. I say go for it, we were all led to believe that it is full beyond full, it's not 5 spots. We are way to far away for us to take advantage of 5 spots so for those who wanted Miraloma don't give up. 5 spots.

  19. Not only does Miraloma have 5 open slots the figures from the district about siblings was wrong there was only 17 siblings at Miraloma and not the 31 or 32 that the district have posted. I was told this very morning that there are 5 kindergarten spots so i say to all you who want Miraloma waitlist it today!!! why not sure for a star where there is a little hope!

  20. I don't know for sure, but I believe they leave seats empty during the first round if they are still seeking diversity. So Miraloma is holding out for late, diverse applicants in round 2 -- not more white people.

  21. Oh come, come, white people are people too! I thought the dream of diversity was dropped in the second round. Anyway, in a city where the school population is less than 10% white don't white people add diversity, in their own, pale way.

  22. Anon at 9:35, that's not correct. The EPC does NOT hold spots open for hypothetical "diversity" applicants and turn away other applicants. Think about the logistics of that! (Also, the diversity index doesn't take race into account, just to note.)

    Agreed that the system is a mess, though.

  23. 1. How else could Miraloma possibly have 5 open seats?

    2. How the hell do we know what the EPC does? They don't even seem to know.

    3. Sadly, race statistically maps directly to socio-economics here.

  24. Lots of schools have open places, because lots of people who were allocated schools (even their first choice) have already turned down their spot because they have changed their minds, their circs have changed (moving etc) or they have got a place at their much preferred private school. Often the most sought after schools are the very ones that those with private alternatives drop out from. It's one of the reasons why the well worn tale of everyone ending up with a school they are happy with, at least in years gone by, is really true and another reason why as Kim has so eloquently put it, the system is really messed up.

  25. Kim, loved your vent! Whenever I get frustrated about SF and the crappy support for people with families, I need to remember that the reason I live here is to be around people like you! It doesn't totally make up for the crappy school system, but it helps.

  26. 10:23
    Exactly right. Miraloma ended up with open slots when school started last August for this very reason. Sometimes folks register, get into a private and then don't even have the courtesy to inform the school of the change. So the school does not find out until the first week of instruction and even then the school has to hold those slots until the 10 day count or until they are informed by the parent.

  27. Ironically, in the Soviet system, most people had automatic access to excellent free schools. At least according to my parents, who attended them.

    Sorry to digress but I could not help but respond to Kim's comparison!

  28. Guess lots of people went private despite a good assignment... and those people are way luckier than anyone here: private acceptance and a good assignment on the first round...

  29. But they had to wait in line for jeans!

  30. Oh my word, Kim, I myself am schlumped over from laughing at your image of the scene at EPC with the manic mama and the nail file and the passive dad schlumped in the straight backed chair, dreaming of wife #2.

    Just a word of reassurance about the aftercare programs, though no guarantees, yes I know many get full and everyone says call immediately to get on the list. However, there is frequently movement within them too, just as with the school assignments. I cannot disagree with your argument about the total insanity of this process and especially of going 0/7 at this point (been there). I just hope you are not stressing too much about this too, because aftercare will in all likelihood work out in the end. (And your husband will really need it too, since all the moms will be in the loony bin by September).

  31. "But they had to wait in line for jeans! "

    The price one pays for a good education.

  32. kim, your thoughts are mine exactly about being 0/7 with no private backup. i know this is a free country, blah, blah, blah, but the whole situation just makes me feel like dirt. we are wimping out and shooting for a smaller moon, or in our case a not at all sure it will be a good fit for our child but we felt so burned after round one and don't think we can weather another 5 months of anxiety moon. not that there won't be anxiety about the new moon we have chosen, as it is a nice school but hard to picture my son there. we pictured him at buena vista, rooftop, sf community, harvey milk, fairmount, etc but the EPC gods didn't agree. i have an anxiety disorder, by the way, and this process has definitely had a negative impact on my mental health.

    more taxes, especially for richer people! more money for all schools! how about pta fundraising is spread evenly amongst all publics? hahaha

    wish us luck and hope our little guy is happy in the rigorous and structured program new moon he might not even get into. i applaud those with the guts to wait this thing out until september...

  33. Re: the wait do people know that there are 5 kindergarten spots open at Miraloma? Did the EPC say that, or someone in the Miraloma office? What I'm wondering is, if I call up the EPC, will they tell me what schools currently have openings? Thanks for any insight you can shed...

  34. Hey Anon 12:08 .... Very important question for you: did you list Harvey Milk and not get it? Because we got assigned it after going 0/7. That is not supposed to happen. Please email me if you need some evidence, seems like you should be able to get a spot there.

  35. Seems like important info to have regarding openings (see #2 below).

    Requests in Round Two will be processed in the following order:

    1. All students who applied on-time for Round One and turned in a waiting pool request.

    2. All students who applied on time for Round One, didn’t get one of their choices, and requested a school that had openings.

    3. All students who applied between January 14, 2008 and March 28, 2008.

  36. A previous poster stated that one had to turn in the ammended choice/wait list form by hand at the EPC. Is this true?

    I mailed in my form a week ago. I am prepared to haul my cookies down to 555 Franklin if I need to, but would prefer not to.

    Does anyone know for sure? I can't get through to either the EPC or Parents for Public Schools.

  37. hi. i am a 0/7 parent and work for sfusd. i would absolutely advise handing the form in in person, whether you "have to" or not.

  38. To anon at 1:33 pm - I agree that you should turn it in person. They have you sign one of those data pads (like a credit card processor in a store) when you turn it in and they make notes in the computer while you do so..may not mean anything..but....

    To anon at 12:56 pm - the counselor was looking up school info when I met with him yesterday, but kept qualifying all his information by stating that they didn't have complete data on who has/hasn't enrolled in any given school. He didn't give me any specific numbers. He did say that, after Round 2 closes and final assignments go out, the numbers get more and more accurate over the summer and that you can call any time to get details. Of course, the phone is never answered there as far as I can tell.....

    Generally - I thought that I'd share our waitlist/Round 2 choices and info from EPC 'counselor.' We live in the Sunset and went for FY/WP for langauge immersion as our first 2 choices for Round 1. We then listed Stevenson, Sunset, Lawton, Feinstein, Jefferson (a bit of irony in that Jefferson didn't really do much for us, but we figured we could get in - we had no idea it would be in the top 20 - but then we hadn't seen the demand trends spreadsheet then). We got assigned to a school south of us that is almost geographically impossible for us to get to.
    Anyway, after much scurrying about and visiting schools in the Richmond/Panhandle area, I went to EPC yesterday and met with a 'counselor,' who didn't have much counsel other than to confirm that we have a snowball's chance in hell of getting into any of our 'neighborhood' schools and we should look further afield to less desirable schools. He thought we might have a shot at Sunset or Stevenson as a waitlist choice, but didn't exactly bowl me over with his enthuisasm for that approach.
    In the end, we have waitlisted one and put the other on the Round 2 list, along with 3 from our original list. Then we added NT, Sutro and Ortega Immersion. The counselor said the first two are possible but popular this year, the last is probable. It is also geographically challenging but has the language immersion to make up for it's location. The sad thing is that we couldn't come up with 7 new choices that worked geographically for us, so we kept some of our Round 1 choices to fill out the list, knowing we were wasting space on the page.
    The counselor also confirmed that the diversity 'algorythm' only applies to oversubscribed schools..and that it really goes by the wayside in the waitlist/Round 2 process.

  39. miraloma has spots?

    i turned my form in today w/out knowing.

    pisses me off as i req'd miraloma round 1. makes NO sense.

  40. So nobody ever answers the phone at EPC? which means if i'm having last-minute doubts about the wait-list choice i submitted, i should high-tail it down there tomorrow morning in person? crap.

  41. As I think someone else has said on this blog, part of the reason no one answers the phone at EPC is that SF spends far less on administration than other districts -- which is incredibly frustrating now but does benefit the kids by sending more money to school sites.

  42. Regarding 'spots at Miraloma' - as PPS and other have noted all along, not everyone assigned to a school enrolled in that school by last Friday.

    EPC is only now getting that information in from all the school sites and doesn't have complete information for all schools so is unable to share it. Also, it's spring break and the schools are closed so you can't get the info from the school.

    While the EPC tries to discourage the 'telephone talk' with parents finding out what's going on with registration, etc. at schools, the reality is that parents, teachers and principals all talk and often find out the latest. If you have a friend who knows, you might be able to find out. But PPS' info on past trends is about the best info you're likely to get right now.

    So that said, I, too, understand that there were at least 5 people that did not enroll in kindergarten

  43. I sure hope someone from EPC or PPS is reading this and can help us reach the truth.

    I was told today by the woman at the EPC counter that, yes, we can amend our waitlist choice and amended list between March 28 and when the 2nd round lottery is run. She said, do it before they "pick up the files," or some lingo like that, about a week before April 27.

    Any officials out there who would like to set the record straight?

  44. I delivered my Round II form in person, but did not sign any pad. Not sure whether the woman was doing anything with a computer. She did give me a copy of my form and signed it. Did other people have to sign something?

  45. the pad is an electronic pad where you check a box stating the purpose of your visit. i think they are trying to get a hold of how many people pass through that office and why.

  46. Turned in my round II application today, decided to shoot the moon. I sat there in the office paralyzed by the decision. As someone previously posted, shooting for a smaller moon likely would bring some finality to this process, and allow us to move on and get excited about going to a particular school. Very tempting. Oh, how I agonized with my pen hovering over the application. But what if, I thought, I don't even get my smaller moon. The depth of the despair! At least this way, submitting Alvarado Spanish as my waitpool choice, I know that I have no chance of getting in and I highly doubt I will get any of my smaller moon choices on my list since the spaces will be eaten up by those who wisely listed them as waitpool choices. So, you see, I am already in despair. The genius of my plan is that by the time the round II results come, I will have worked through my grief and arrived at the stage of acceptance.

    One month ago, I was not even capable of conceiving of such a twisted idea, and now it makes perfect sense.

  47. I shot the moon on my Round II because I have a private school in my pocket. But not as big a moon as I shot in my Round I.

    I was 0/7. However, I am one of the few people, I think, who actually will switch to public if I get a spot in either my Round II list, or the 10 day count. I have three kids, and any money I lose on my first kid getting dinged at the private for tuition obligations will more than make up for it, once the other two little ones come up.

    My choices on Round II were Clarendon (waitlist) Rooftop, Flynn, Harvey Milk, McKinley, Yick Wo, and Grattan. Only the first two were on my Round I.

    If Miraloma (I named it on my first round) has spaces, then surely Clarenon and Rooftop do too. Many private school people name those two and nothing else on their round one, then drop out anyway.

    WHAT ARE OTHERS CHOICES?? List them!! Let us in on it!!!

  48. wow, you people are brave with your moon shooting. kind of twisted that the quality of our children's education may be related to what type of gamblers their parents are.

    this whole process is just awful awful awful. i have never experienced so much self-doubt, jealousy and anger. i know, i know, it is just kindergarten, but is my kid going to get an education that is good enough for him to compete in the world with those of you who have private options and/or are getting into the better public schools? am i a bad mother for trying to get closure on this process before september? what a choice: months more uncertainty and stress for our family or (as we chose) wait pooling a school that we aren't all that certain about.

  49. "is my kid going to get an education that is good enough for him to compete in the world with those of you who have private options and/or are getting into the better public schools?"

    Almost certainly, yes. With strong parenting, a lot evens out. That's not even counting the fact that the less popular school you kid may end up with is probably actually just fine. Looking ahead, your kid will not look or sound different from his or her peers in college despite not getting Rooftop or MCDS. And if the K experience at whatever school you end up with is really bad and unacceptable, you do have an option to switch--a lot can open up in the first week of school, and a lot more opens up in first grade. And even if that worst case scenario happens, your kid will not be scarred for life, again, as long as there is strong parenting (and that is true with any school).

    All that said, of course this process sucks, so my condolences on not winning the lottery in round 1.

  50. 11:18, thanks for your calming, can someone tell me more about these good parenting skills?

  51. i shot for the moon, but not my original moon.

    wl - flynn SN
    starr king
    paul revere

    i am sure i will have nothing (i was 0/7) until the 10 day count - and who knows what that will be. :(

  52. This comment has been removed by the author.

  53. You can certainly amend your form until the end of today (Friday) and it is debatable whether you can amend it after Friday and before the lottery.

    I know, I know, who has the time ...

  54. 5 spots at Miraloma!!! We were debating between putting Miraloma and Sunset down for our waitpool choice, and after agonizing about it, chose Sunset because: 1. We thought we'd have a better shot at getting it before September 2. Better aftercare options for part-time working moms 3. 8:40 start time.

    I have no idea how many spots there are at Sunset, but it's hard to know at the 11th hour (after we've already turned in our form) that there are 5 spots at Miraloma! Why can't the information in this process be more forthcoming and uniform??????!!!!!! This is so incredibly frustrating!!!!!

  55. One could always call a school secretary and ask how many k spots are many people registered by March 21st. I did. But does it really is a lottery after all. Even if you waitlist Miraloma, so did at least 30 others for 5 spots.

  56. We are at the 11th hour and still debating our Wait Pool School. Like many others on this blog, we too were 0/7. At this point we are deciding between shooting for the moon (Clarendon), shooting for a smaller moon (Miraloma) or going for what may be a safer bet (Lakeshore). One factor we're considering is before and after care. We have heard elsewhere and read some comments on this blog that seem to indicate we may not be able to get into Clarendon's or Miraloma's after care programs. Has anyone else heard that? Also, can anyone comment on the differences in the PE programs at these schools? We would appreciate any information forthcoming. Thank you.

  57. Heard Miraloma is having some controversy with their two aftercare programs. One is free and one cost $, which is creating more division among the parents as the have and the have nots. Prinicpal told paying parents they can either pay for the have not families to attend the program that costs $, or all will have to go to the free program. Some parents are upset.

  58. Kim,
    I must say you make me laugh and I thank you for it.
    2 quotes I want to share:
    From one of the oldest members of my family-"what doesn't kill you makes you stronger"
    from one of the youngest members-"Don't worry Mama, we'll find a school spot somewhere for me"
    Thanks to all for the wealth of information, emotion and support.
    Here we go round the round 2 ....again.

  59. I'll bet Miraloma gets 50 waitlist requests as a result of this blog. Lemmings, lemmings, lemmings.

  60. Can someon explain to me the point in putting high demand schools like Rooftop and Grattan on an amended application? Since all the waitlists would need to be depleted before they get to the amended application choices, what's the point?

  61. i really despise the parents with a "private in their pocket" who are willing (and able) to forgo a year's tuition if they get their dream public -- they are the ones making this process so agonizing. not only are they competing for public spots that should go to families who cannot afford private, but they are stringing along the privates to the detriment of families who are languishing on the waitlist. you should be ashamed.

  62. Clarendon has a great P.E. teacher, I think full-time. He also organizes games etc. at recess and lunch. He knows all the kids by name, and helps out at the school in many ways.

  63. To clarify childcare options at Miraloma currently:

    Kids K-3 can enroll in MEEP, a non-profit afterschool program, that is tuition-based.

    Kids grades 3-5 can enroll in the YMCA afterschool program, which is free (state funded EXCEL program.) The state does not provide funding for K-2, which is why MEEP charges tuition.

    Many would like to see some merger between the two, but since the funding for the Y program is provided by the state, there are strings. So it's complicated, and all the interested parties will be meeting soon to see if there is an equitable solution.

    Also, some kids take the school bus to other off-site childcare centers -- Burnett, Whitney Young, and maybe another one.

    The upshot though is that childcare is available at Miraloma through fifth grade, but there are different programs for different grades.

  64. To Anon at 10:54 am. We included some high demand schools from our Round 1 list. It is sad but we couldn't come up with 7 new choices that worked geographically for us and/or that we could tour (given the inconvenient timing of Spring break and the SFUSD deadline, which I'm so sure was totally accidental, but I digress). So we kept some of our Round 1 choices to fill out the list, knowing we were wasting space on the page....but, hey, we could get a surprise:-)

  65. i will accept nothing less than the school i want even if it means i have to hold out until september.

  66. but anony-mouse, what if you don't get the school you want -- then what?

  67. i will accept nothing less than the school i want even if it means i have to hold out until september.

    you might be waiting until september of 2009 or 2010 with this attitude.

  68. ^I agree -- what a delusional (and immature) thing to say. It's like "Rooftop or Bust!" I think it's telling that she talks in terms of what she wants rather than what is best for her child.

  69. form turned in.

    for the second time.

    after paroxysm of second thoughts.


    for what it's worth.

    i know it's kinda weird when we publicize our choices because it can skew things, but since we're all family now, it's kinda weird not to, right? there are so many factors that at this point i'm not really concerned about lemming syndrome. plus, i have exactly 0.0 confidence that the system even works, so WTF? my 4-year-old will probably be assigned to lowell, and you know what? we'll damn well accept the offer and hire a tutor. 'cause i'm not participating in this clusterfuck again for at least six years...

    ok, here goes.

    a caveat: stay the hell away from the following schools, bitches -- they're miiiiiinnnnnneeeee.

    waitlist: flynn spanish

    1) fairmount (yeah, okay, we're mad as hatters, but it's our neighborhood school and i'm still hoping...seemed like people were getting jittery about karling leaving...maybe they'll blow through the waitpool???)
    2) paul revere (yeah, PV!)
    3) buena vista (ha -- funny enough, didn't even put it on list #1 for vibe reasons, but there you go)
    4) harvey milk
    5) mckinley
    6) sunnyside
    7) sf community

    seriously considered: flynn GE, monroe, rosa parks jbbp, starr king mandarin, marshall, new traditions, ortega mandarin and ruled them out due to geography, generalized inability to summon enthusiasm, exhaustion and the fact that top chef was on in 5 minutes.

    get this: today, the counselor was trying to warn me off of revere, of all places, saying we had "very little" chance of getting in, since it was "so popular." i was like, WHAT THE FUCK DRUGS ARE YOU ON, LADY? GIVE ME SOME NOW! it was just so's like, how can EVERY school except for, like, one superfund site that's clinging to the landfill in bayview be so popular that none of us 0/7 wretches can get it???? FREAKS.

    will now resume muttering to self. am at ritual roasters right now pretending to work if anyone wants to commiserate. (an aside: have daughter with me...enjoying frightened glances of hipsters as we "integrate" said establishment...likely none have actually seen a live human child before...just taxidermied ones over at paxton gate...have ordered nothing after web surfing for an hour, but counter clerk afraid to approach in presence of feral child ...)

    bon chance, mes amis!

  70. Question (that I should have asked before now!). If we did not register at our assigned school and get nothing in round 2 and don't get our waitlist....assume we do NOT get another assignment but have to go and pick a school under open enrollment. So can we do this after the 10 day count? I will call EPC on Monday, no doubt they will be answering the phone then, since it's too late to help anyone.
    Kim, thanks as ever - I wish I had been there to hear the "Revere is so popular" B-S...unbelievable!

  71. So what if we're lemmings? When resources are scarce, there is logic to acting like a lemming. My husband grew up in East Germany and he says that when you saw a line you joined it. You did not need to know what the line was for, you just needed to get in it before whatever it was you were lining up for was gone. Hard times are upon us, my friends.

  72. Good luck, Kim! Thanks for posting your list.

    We thought about making a last minute dash to change our form, but decided to stick to our original choices.

    Wait pool: Sunset
    Amended list ( I no longer remember the order, as I agonized over it so many times): Lafayette, Lakeshore (long, long shot), Sloat, Jefferson (I guess this was a long shot, too), Peabody, F.S. Key, Sunnyside.

    I realize the only 2 we probably have a chance at are FS Key and Sunnyside. Did we screw ourselves by putting them 6th and 7th???

    As an aside, one of the things we only found out about AFTER submitting our Round I application was that it really did matter if you put a school as your first choice or, say, your fifth, as (contrary to everything we'd heard!), schools (or the district?) would choose a first choice applicant, over one that had the school farther down. Can anyone explain this --I thought it was all a blind lottery??????

  73. our list, if anyone is interested

    starr king mandarin (we can walk, liked the vibe a lot, but quite nervous about the mandarin immersion challenge)

    sf community
    harvey milk
    paul revere immersion
    new traditions

    i hope the previous poster was misinformed, and that the order only matters in terms of your preference

    also don't have much faith in the system at this point

    only one of these was on our original list, including our waitpool

  74. I posted this elsewhere last week or early this week, but since this seems to be the place, here's what we did:
    Waitlist Rosa Parks JBBP
    (seemed by far the best place we had a decent shot at getting and we did not want to be in competition with people listing it as #1 on their amended lists for Round II; the JBBP strand seems really promising).
    New Traditions
    Harvey Milk
    George Peabody
    FS Key
    Good luck to all of us.

  75. the order of your list matters as a statement of your preference. that is, if you are accepted by the lottery into more than one school, the computer will give you the higher choice on your list. (this is a good thing, right? it was not always thus, so many of us back in the early 2000's left off "acceptable but not top" choices for fear of getting no shot at the moon at all).

    however, it is entirely possible that someone could get that school as a #6 or #7 choice but someone else doesn't get it as a #1 or #2 choice. clear as mud, eh.

    good luck to all round 2ers!

  76. in the spirit of transparency and sister/brotherhood through this dreadful, dreadful process, i hereby admit that we made the agonizing decision to waitlist at what we hope is a more strategically-safe bet: Starr King Mandarin.

    it was either that or Flynn Spanish , which we'd really prefer. But it sense the odds of getting into Flynn Sp. at this point are low.

    and thanks to everyone for hanging in there on this, with me. it really helps.

  77. to the poster at 4:23 --

    That is how I understood the lottery to work during Round I (that you are in a lottery for each school in your list of 7, and you are assigned to the school that you get that is highest on your list). However, I have since heard from a number of people (including hinted by a member of the school board) that, in fact, it does not work that way.

    What I heard was that if a school lottery turns up someone that has put the school lower on their list, that person will not be given the school, even if it is the highest ranked school they got, the rationale being that schools want families that really want them. I even heard (at some school tours) that unless you put a (very highly desired school) first, you have no chance of getting it.

    I would really like to know if this is true or not, and --if it is-- how come everyone (including PPS) says that the lottery works in the "offical" (fairer) way.

  78. 5:04pm, tempting to believe but it makes no sense, if the school is on your list then you want it - believe me a 0/7. I got told by various people on tours that if it was not your number one you won't get it, when challenged not one (of the many) had a clue about the lottery, the getting your highest choice bit. Most had been through the system when it was different or could not recall how it worked. It's pretty depressing how much urban myth there is out there. Why would it not work exactly as described, 7 separate lotteries for each applicant (insane though that is) does explain how so many people ended up with nothing.

  79. Anecdotally I know of families (despite the many 0/7 folks posting here) who got #s 5-7 of their first round picks, so those seem like counter-examples to what you are passing on here. Not to say that there are not glitches (last year Marshall, this year McKinley), and I can TOTALLY understand the rumors flying out there given how opaque and frankly messed up the EPC counselors can sometimes be, but I really think the alogorithm is as stated, that if you "win" one or more of your #1-7 picks, you will be offered the one that is highest on your list. Ranked choice was something that PPS went to bat for back in, I think, 2003 or 2004.

    The reason so many people went 0/7 is increased applications and appliations that are directed at the same 30 or so higher demand schools (and especially at the top 10).

  80. It is remarkable that we are this far in the process and still hashing out the myths and truths of the system. We know that someone in the district is reading this blog. Why do you just let us hang out to dry?

  81. Marlowe's Mom at 4:12

    Your strategy sounds really good. I can almost bet $ that you'll get either Milk or New Traditions..

    Good luck.

  82. It feels really good to share, now that we can all breathe a collective sigh of "relief" and take a bit of a mental break for the next few weeks.

    We decided to shoot the moon (albeit a different moon from Round 1) and selected Grattan as our wait list school.

    The rest of the schools were a combo of top choices that we'll probably never get and a few new ones:

    Harvey Milk
    New Traditions

    I had heard through the grapevine that Clarendon may be splitting off its JBBP program to a new campus and expanding their Second Community track. I asked an EPC counselor who of course denied any knowledge - although the rumor is it could happen as soon as this fall. Which would mean more seats in the GE kindergarten.

    Does anyone know about this?

    Wishing everyone a good night's rest. Clear as mud just about says it all.

  83. FWIW, I hear the scene in college admissions is hairy and scary this year, with large numbers of applicants applying to many schools, and the schools somewhat confused about how many to accept vs. waitlist due to (some of) new tuition breaks for middle class families. So much more to look forward to down the road! It seems this will be the norm now as education becomes a major gateway between the haves and have-nots in our stratified-income society and more people are leaping for that advantage.

    At least K admission is not determined by IQ test as in the top publics in NYC, or by (to my eyes) various hidden and nebulous categories as in almost all privates from K-16. At least there is fairly equal (if very limited) access here to the better public schools. I hate this process, but can't think how to make it much fairer in that sense.


  84. When I submitted our Round II application today, the counselor was useful (though it's hard to say how useful since they are not the most reliable source of information!).

    One useful tidbit that I did get out of him was that we can call (or go into EPC) next week and check on the waitlist numbers as they compile them. They don't have a clear date when they will post them, but they will be compiling them every day and getting that info should give you some idea as to whether you should change your waitlist school or not.

    Second, he said that schools will not tell us how many students actually registered after Round I assignments, but I just don't believe him. I think if you go to any of the schools next week and ask nice, you can find out how many spots are open at this time.

    Third, the counselor would not confirm that we have a two-week grace period to amend our Round II list, but he did say that we can do it "before they run the lottery." He gave me the impression that we had at least a week to amend it, if not more. If we go in and try and amend it and get any flak, I'm going to remind them of Archie's testimony at the Ortega counseling session and also threatening to sic Kim Green on them!

    In the interest of sharing, here's our amended list:

    WL -- Grattan
    1. Alvarado GE
    2. Miraloma
    3. Flynn SI
    4. Commodore Sloat
    5. McKinley
    6. Harvey Milk
    7. Sunnyside

  85. I posted above about wait listing Alvarado Spanish in a twisted plot to work through my grief by the time the round II notices arrive. Thought I'd post here the rest of my list:

    Alvarado Sp (wait pool)
    Paul Revere
    Starr King
    Jose Ortega
    Rosa Parks JPPB

    Not feeling confident we'll get ANY of these. Only Alvarado and Fairmount were on our original list. Now I understand how in the end everyone gets a school he or she wants. The psychology of scarcity is at work here so that in the end you "want" a school you never dared to send your kids when the process began.

  86. Anybody waitlist Alamo? I hardly here anything about this school on the Blog, but on our tour we really loved it. The halls were warm and the kids looked happy. Great art everywhere and the campus was very lively with kids having fun outside and inside during our tour...

    Any comments about Alamo?

  87. About SFUSD officials reading this Blog... I'm not sure about this one. I have to wonder at either their shear stupidity or the reality that the system being used it totally proof to human intervention.

    I was sure that no one was stupid enough to let Kate go 0/7. When I started reading the Blog I was certain she would get 1 of her schools, becuase otherwise SFUSD was putting themselves in the situation there in now. The whole Blog bashing them and one of the forums that clearly was a a public school advocate turning sour and having someone like Kate go private.

    I mean if there was anyone reading this blog that had the ability to change the system manually; I would bet Kate would have gotten the nudge.....

    I am confident when I say there were a lot of middle class people on the fence about private or moving and really positive about public until round 1 results and Kate goign private. Now SFUSD is loosing big time money and loosing people who want their tax dollars spent on this type on nonsense....

  88. Are they losing so many to private? Seems like there are a lot of disappointed private school applicants out there too, and next year looks even worse for sibling holds, right? A lot of those who are going private would do that in any case, certainly not based on Kate. I hear a lot of frustration with the process and above all the uncertainty, but I am not sure that the public schools won't end up with more people, including more middle class families, by September.

    Anyway, I guess Kate's experience of 0/7 is at least not a counterexample to the claim that you can't really jimmy the lottery system. TThe odds for some schools may not be great, but we all get our shot.

  89. "the psychology of scarcity"...genius!

    i have to confess a growing skepticism about the assertion that everyone ends up with something they're happy with if they suffer through september.

    cases in point:

    1) case #1

    met a lovely woman wednesday in line at EPC. parent of a 1st grader. hmm. alarm bells go off. isn't 1st grade when you're presumably basking in your joy, not waiting in line at EPC? here's a dramatization of our convo:

    "why are you trying to transfer?" i ask innocently. "didn't you get-something-you-were-ecstatic-with"?

    "wellll...we went 0/7, went through the whole process, never got a school we wanted, and had to take an assignment that isn't even particularly near us. sure, there's nothing really BAD about our school, but nothing GOOD either. there are, like, 5 active parents in the whole school--"

    "did you just say FIVE?" (covert pause to forage for xanax floating around purse bottom.)

    "yep. that's sort of the problem. when they say, 'guess it's up to you to fix a school' they really mean it. we volunteer, but it's hard..."

    "because you have, like, a real job? and a life?"

    mom gives me guilty, grateful glance. queue number called. we wish each other luck. i sip maker's mark discreetly from my camelbak and take a seat in the waiting room.

    2) case #2

    scene: i'm at one those car wash places on south van ness doing our yearly shampoo-spoiled-milk-out-of-mats and scrape-ancient-raisins-off-seats thing. a mom overhears me talking to an EPC counselor (janitor? who else would answer the phone?). a second mom overhears me talking to first mom and chimes in. a dramatization of our convo:

    first mom: "we got assigned to our last choice. we're not very happy."

    me: "you poor things." (thinking: ungrateful byatch. at least your 'lil native english speaker will spend her days learning in a program designated IMMS instead of ESL!)

    second mom: "i couldn't help overhearing you. we went through this last year. my daughter goes to rooftop."

    silence you could crack.

    second mom: "we transferred out of (local struggling school) (LSS) in third grade. it was really hard. i mean, i'm an SF native and i attended LSS. my father attended LSS. i wanted to like it so much. i wanted to keep my daughter there. but she was the only middle-class/caucasion kid in her class/school. she was never included in anything, couldn't make friends...she just got quieter and quieter. it was devastating. finally, i just marched into EPC and demanded a transfer. we got into rooftop the next day."

    car emerges. i slide into my chariot, humbled. the clock ticks. another family waitlists at our school of choice. somewhere, a pigeon lets loose.

  90. If we worry about anything, it should be Kim's liver.

  91. We have good friends who transferred out of Local Struggling School and went private. This was a few years ago -- their kids were going into first and fourth when they transferred and are now in 8th and 11th.

    Even though LSS is in a middle-class, largely white neighborhood, at the time, there were only two middle-class kids in the older one's entire grade. The family are European immigrants and had just arrived in this country when it was time to send the older to K. It was really hard for him to connect with the kids from other cultures in his class. His birthday parties consisted of the one other middle-class boy and my son (same age, friends because we lived on the same block).

    Oh, which was the LSS? A little school called Miraloma Elementary.

    I'm just saying...

  92. But that's cold comfort for the kids currently enduring the feelings of alienation, yeah?

  93. i've never seen young kids care about what class and color other kids are. at least not in pre-K or K. maybe the parents are the ones who are causing the alienation...?

    i have no issue with any kids. i am more worried about being one of those five parents with very little left to give. i feel like i am being forced to choose "the best from the worst" schools left - those no one wants - and it will be a huge project to make sure my kids and their peers get what they need. i am not sure i have the energy. i feel like i have barely made it though this lottery.

  94. You're just saying . . . what exactly? The moral of that particular tale seems to be that even an up-and-coming school may be a bad fit for your particular kid. In which case, you'll probably want to switch schools, and if you're lucky, you'll be able to include privates in your potential school search. Actually, the best thing about having a kid crash and burn at a school, is that at that point you'll have a better idea of what your kid's needs really are. I went into the K search thinking my kid would do well in a lot of different settings. I was wrong. After her first (public) K was clearly not a good fit, I switched her into, yes, a private, where she has thrived since.

    The good news is, it isn't that hard to move around if things don't go well in the school your kid ends up in, either to a different public or to a private.

    Good luck to all in Round 2.

  95. Couple things:

    "I've never seen young kids care about what class and color other kids are. at least not in pre-K or K." ... You have probably not done the birthday party invite thing in a school where no one else shared your culture. There are really different cultural views of this ritual, plus a lot of low-income parents just don't get it together to respond to the invitation, bring the kid, etc.. It was the outside-school birthday parties and playdates, or lack thereof, that were a challenge for those friends. And they felt that that made their child less motivated.

    "You're just saying . . . what exactly? The moral of that particular tale seems to be that even an up-and-coming school may be a bad fit for your particular kid."

    ... Miraloma wasn't up-and-coming yet at the time; it truly had not started rising yet. So I'm just pointing out, once again, how fast that happened.

    The private school this family chose had a specialty program targeted right to the older child's interests, so it worked pretty well. Though overall it's not a great school academically -- and the parents now realize he'd have done better academically in an SFUSD school, except that he was so motivated by the specialty program. (Both kids are now back in SFUSD schools.) Agreed that they were lucky to be able to afford the option, though.

  96. Kim, I'm confused. If the second mom's kid goes to Rooftop, how was it that they "went through this last year?" Did they start out at LSS and transfer to Rooftop mid-year? I heard that never happens. Then they said they have an older kid too? Maybe I'm just not reading closely enough, in which case I apologize.

    Also, Do you have a book out? Link to it here!?


  98. sorry, i misspoke: the woman with the 3rd grader went through the process for K, several years ago. and she did transfer schools midyear (at least, she said she did).

    i always feel a little bad after i vent negative thoughts here, but blogging does function as a therapeutic device, so why not? real-life stories are always interesting, IMHO.

    i, too, have no theoretical problem with sending my children to a school where they are in a minority either ethnically or socioeconomically. whatever the attendant challenges of that, we will deal with them (just like minority families deal with them every day in other milieus). like the earlier poster, i fret much more about being one of only very few -- no? -- active families for several years. it does chap my hide that so many families get to step into an infrastructure of some sort, and for so many others the message is, "whatever your other responsibilities, job or family or whatnot, and whatever your contribution as a taxpayer and volunteer, you have to start from scratch." there's just such a massive disparity in infrastructure and programs, from one school to another (whatever their access to certain funding streams, "poor" or underperforming schools did tend to have drier curricula, from what i saw, i suppose because of the pressure to raise test scores). and the 0/7s are basically being told to shut up and settle. it's so frustrating.

    and, yes, i do have a new book coming out in august. it's called live a little. it's available in all the usual places. (my first book's title is, as you saw, really embarrassing. the publisher picked it. i was too cowed to fight.)

    and the liver's hanging in there. really, except for a couple of G&Ts in the afternoons and the occasional prozacatini, i treat my body like a temple.

  99. The Grattans and Miralomas do not become what they are with out hyper dedicated people. Many of the involved people are working parents, not stay at home moms or dads as many seem to assume.

    Once these schools 'arrive' the rush to get in begins because it's easier to be part of something established than to roll up sleeves and build a foundation.

    Working families put in extra hours after work coordinating fundraisers, building communication tools (email lists, websites, newsletters), writing afterschool contracts for various providers, finding, then writing grants,etc.

    The schools need engineers, scientists, lawyers, and others with specialized skill sets to contribute.

    That isn't to say the stay at home folks don't matter. They do!! They do tons of work during the day,volunteering in the classrooms, fieldtrips, etc. While the work outside the home people usually pitch in with the things which can be done off site.

    It's an awful system, our public schools are broken across the country. We shouldn't have to do this, but we do.

    And once you all find your schools, please please please don't treat the volunteers as paid employees and expect services from the PTA. I can't tell you how many times people complain to the PTA as if it was that persons full time job.

    If you find holes in your school,work together as a team to fix it. For example, if you think the PTA needs a weekly newsletter, offer to create it, or help whoever is doing it. Your talents are needed no matter your profession.

    It takes everyone working together (sometimes like a dog) to create the next Miraloma.

  100. I would say it's overly negative to call public education an "awful system" (well, I would apply that to the enrollment process, at least this year, but not the schools in general) and "broken."

    We expect far more from our schools than previous generations did, and oddly, at the same time our society has chosen to starve them of funding (in favor of letting the wealthy keep more of their goodies). We also expect far more from our schools than many other nations do of theirs, it appears to me.

    Once you get into it, you can see the flaws in the system, but in weird ways they aren't what you might think beforehand -- at least that's my experience. For example, I expected insufficient enrichments and field trips, but that didn't turn out to be an issue. A glaring insufficiency to me is lack or intervention and support for messed-up kids with problems who disrupt other kids' learning, though.

    Do I ever agree about the demands on the PTA, though! A lot of parents come in assuming that the school PTA has some kind of paid staff, for one thing, and that the silent auction coordinator or the newsletter editor is an employee. And then there are the parents who say "the PTA should..." (fill in the blank with some extremely ambitious, labor-intensive project) -- or blast the volunteers for not performing a task exactly the way the critic would like them to.

  101. 8:33 am here. I think it's awful we have to invest what we do in order to keep the schools afloat. Public School is not what it was when I was a kid. (Kindergarten in 1969) Parents didn't have to dedicate the time we do now to keep afloat.

    That said, I LOVE my public school and am not sorry we are where we are. However I think it's a broken system when we have to march in the streets against budget cuts and worry about providing just the essentials with fundraising.

    It creates inequity.

  102. I'm going to repost the same comment I just posted on the Sandra Tsing Loh thread because I think it's apropros here as well:

    "I think these posts start to get to a point that not a lot of people put into so many words - that it's a lot more work to have your kid in public school than in private school. Last year I had one child in each school and, while they were both getting great experiences and enjoyed their learning thoroughly, it definitely took a lot more effort on the parents' part to make that happen in public school (one of the "trophy" publics). There is a lot of parent involvement in private school too, but if it didn't happen your kid would still be getting things like music, afterschool classes, more than one adult per classroom, library time, etc., whereas the public schools are completely dependent on such things for that to happen.

    Is it good for parents to be heavily involved in their childrens' education and schools? Yes. But it's also a wearing and frustrating as a parent, and at the same time very gratifying, to know that without your efforts your kids would not be getting these things.

    I think this is an issue that Sandra Tsing Loh completely glosses over. It's why it's so important for the less privileged kids in public schools that there are parents with the time and resources to make things happen. It's also something that turns people with time and resources off from public schools. In my opinion this is a very difficult Catch-22 to resolve."

  103. I agree that there is a burdensome need for parents to devote time and energy to public schools. Of course, not all parents have time and energy to devote, and those who do are doing it as a contribution to the community. So it's not that you can't send your child to public school if YOU can't contribute the time and effort, but you do have to recognize and appreciate that others are.

    I also agree that the system where parents' time, energy and donations benefit certain schools more than others creates inequity. BUT... we have never had an educational system that didn't have inequity between schools serving low-income students and schools serving privileged students. That was true even when the schools had all the funding they needed. It's not a good thing, but I'm just saying that that's not a new problem.

    And again, we do expect more from our public schools than we did in the past. It used to be the norm and a given that most poor kids and many working-class kids would drop out before finishing high school, for example -- not an issue, not a concern, not a blip. Now it's viewed as an outrage.

    I agree with that concern, but here's another one: There are many high-profile voices insisting that all students should go to college. Well, in that case, either those folks are completely clueless or they are deliberately, maliciously doing this as a way to attack public education for political reasons. Let's be clear: No, not all students are meant to go to college!

    In comparing my kids' public education to mine (Mill Valley schools 1959-1971), the one area where I see a true gap is foreign language. SFUSD is way too all-or-nothing -- with a very few exceptions, either immersion or zilch, until high school.

    My kids still got music and other arts -- somewhat less in terms of hours and specifics, until middle school (and at that point they had to make a choice between music, visual arts and other electives). But at Lakeshore, the enrichment program also provided extras that we didn't have in my school days. My kids had African dance, calligraphy, architecture and gardening, for example. Plus the motor skills program at Lakeshore is far, far, far cooler than anything at Park School in Mill Valley in my day, and the drama enrichment program is much better too. Thanks to Mimi Sarkisian for both of those!! Not to mention the SSC and the PTA.

  104. There used to be vocational high schools for the kids who were not on the college track. Those schools seem to have fallen by the wayside.

  105. Hi guys
    Since I was in charge of our Welcome Meeting for new parents, and actually had my mitts on the list of registered kids on Friday, the 21st at 1:30pm, I will tell you that at that moment in time, a couple hours before the deadline to register, 35 kids were registered for SPI and 35 for registered for our General program.

    Good luck, all.

  106. Okay. Actually I'll be one to chime in and say that any parent who makes her daughter commute an hour or more each way to a school--that's about 10 hours per week for the kid and 20 hours for the adult doing two round trips--can't possibly have the best interests of her kid at heart. It sounds CRUEL to me.

    It's like those fools who live in Fairfield or Martinez or wherever who spend an extra 15 hours in their cars each week commuting, in order to be a home owner, when in fact, their lives would be richer living in the city, staying renters, or settling for a smaller home, and spending that time and money in a more useful, less stressful way. Like leaving their house and going to a park, a cultural event, something! It's what the rest of the world does.

    You can accomplish a lot in 10 or 15 hours. As a parent, as human, as a student.

    Kate should move to Marin if she wants MCDS. But if she does move to Marin, the public schools there are phenomenal. And she wouldn't have any excuses for not sending her kid to a public.

    I'm just saying.

  107. anon at 11:57

    You bore me

  108. Re Flynn update -- I happen to have a printout of the demand comparison spreadsheet, which shows 40 openings in each program at Flynn.

  109. If I want to change my wait-list choice this week, do I need to bring the copy of the Round II form with me, or can I just walk in and give them my daughter's name? I ask because I'm sitting here at work having a minor panic attack, wondering if I made the wrong call and should take the bus over there this afternoon. (either that or I'll sneak out and have a martini; i'm taking Bart home so it shouldn't be too big a problem ...)

    ps. So if Kathy B. posted that 35 people registered in each program at Flynn, but Caroline's post says there are 40 spots each, does that mean there are possibly five spots in each up for grabs? (asks the person who wishes math came more easily to her ...)

  110. Hi Caroline - I don't know exactly what that list is that you refer to. We do have 40 slots for each program but we no longer have 40 slots available! (I mean, I hope the district doesn't think no one registered over here!) As of the 21st (at 1:30pm), 70 families had registered with Martha in the office...and we have 5 left for each program going into Round II.

  111. It's this list posted on the PPS website -- yes, I meant 40 TOTAL slots for each program, not 40 currently open slots.

  112. anon at 2:21, school is closed today for Cesar Chavez Day, so I assume the district offices are too. I could be wrong...

  113. so... that implies that 5 people who listed Flynn Spanish and got assigned to it did not register, either because they moved out of SF, opted for private school, or forgot. Seems a little fishy to me.

  114. Anyone have figures for Alvarado Spanish? I know there is no hope but my human psychology can't seem to stop that hope from sneaking back into my mind now and then. Some dismal hard figures might help to extinguish it completely.

  115. Anon at 4:13

    It also happens regularly that a parent whose child has sibling preference, and is on the fence about sending them in January when the form is due, has decided definitely "not ready" by end of March. Or sometimes they register, and still decide not to send them come end of summer. There's always movement.

  116. yes, i too would love some cold hard facts about Alvarado, to wake me up as well. also, can someone pls direct me to the page on SFUSD that listed the number of sibling spots available in the top 20 (i think that was the number)? I found it at one point, I thought via this blog, but now can't find it or the post referencing it. thanks so much (apologies if i've posted about this twice; i thought i published something earlier, but don't see it anywhere.)

  117. I could be wrong, but I think that a few spots are held open for the second round for appeals....hardship cases, but I could be wrong...

  118. I don't think spots are held open -- actually, reports are that SFUSD overassigns, knowing that a percentage of assigned students won't take the spot.


    for future reference, click on "enrollment," "round 1 results" then scroll to the bottom of the page and click on "highlights"

  120. Good Caroline - yes I was just talking about how many had actually registered, which then left 5 spaces open in each program going into Round II. (Caveat again - I got the list at 1:30 so someone else could have gone to register after I left campus!)

    I am not sure how this works, but Flynn Immersion was only assigned 38 kids for immersion in the first round, and that may have been to leave some wiggle room (decided by whom and for what, not sure). Our general had more than forty kids assigned so I am assuming that was because last year at this same time Flynn had many fewer register for GE. (And before our numbers in both programs took significant jumps in first round choices.) Of the Spanish immersion families who did not register for immersion, two of them were Spanish speaking, and one child was English speaking. (The list states these things and I did all the reminder calls...)

    Counting Kim Green, I personally know parents of 5 kids who are waitlisted for Flynn.

    Cate - I hope you still put Flynn on your ammended list. Seems to me with it being your neighborhood school you will still have priority in Round II.

    Someone in here wrote that Blogger wouldn't permit them to name themselves so they wouldn't be anonymous anymore. But it is so nice to be able to tell all you anonymouses apart for the sake of the discussion. For those of you who want to, and don't know how to choose a real or fake alias, here is how to do it:

    Choose the Name/URL option. As soon as you do, you have the ability to type in a name of your choosing in the higlighted yellow box.

    Hoping to see more DIVERSITY in here!

  122. annonymous 8:18pm -- thank you!

  123. More fuel for the fire. My visit with the EPC counselor surfaced that many schools are overenrolled on purpose. So, for a school like Alvarado (Sp), 3+ people have to not enroll for there to even be one space available for a waitlister in Round II. Then, factor in the fact that 50% of the slots went to siblings, and you'll see why some of the schools have so few kids added from the waitlist during may-june, and even into September. Kim's list is almost my list..all of which were originally overenrolled.

    As for Sunnyside - I was told that they are opening a 4th kindergarthen classroom, so 20 more spots will be made available. How about that late breaking non-official news?

  124. Miraloma - can anyone confirm the number of siblings at Miraloma? We absolutely factored the high number of siblings into our decision process..and of course we are second guessing now. Or, I should say, I'm second guessing. My husband thought that we would take a break from this obessions as of last Thursday when I turned in the form. Hah! LOL!

  125. there are 19 siblings for miraloma this year.

  126. Well, it sounds like there may be a little less competition for Round II. I was talking to a friend last night and she said that several families at her daughter's Montessori got assigned to John Muir, and every one of those families is moving out of SF as a result. They're not even trying for Round II. Admittedly they're probably still of the "top 5 or bust" mentality but still. I have to admit, when we got our assignment and looked at the data on the school, it felt like the SFUSD was begging us to stay private or move away. What the heck did they think we, with two graduate school-educated parents and our prospective public school kindergartener already attending a private kindergarten, would want with a school with the second-lowest API in town and downward-trending scores? I calmed down and toured the school and found a willing principal. I and one other parent posted on this blog trying to connect with other families assigned to John Muir to see if maybe there was enough critical mass to make it work, but we only connected with each other. 2 families, 4 parents working full time, no response to an e-mail I sent to the PTA president, and a parent liaison without kids in the school. We could not bring ourselves to take it on. Sad for John Muir and the kids who go there, sad for the city. I can't help wondering if they were trying to do a bit of social engineering by assigning a number of families who appeared to have more economic and educational resources at home, but there was not a sufficient mechanism for those families to connect. I wonder how Miraloma's transformation came about. How did it happen that enough people said, "OK, we'll try this, and this is the year?"

    I don't know if anybody is listening or there are resources to even do this, but one of the things I had hoped to find at the Round I counseling session was people tabling from the assigned school. I discovered Rosa Parks JBBP for Round II because they made that effort at the counseling session. There were a few PPS parents from other schools there, but they were standing around rather than sitting at tables where you could line up, you had to walk up real close and peer at their name tag to see what school they were from, and they seemed to be always tied up with other people. A more organized approach at the counseling session would be such a great way for schools that may not be as high on the radar to connect with potential new parents and say, "Hey, we've got a lot of great stuff going on at our school" and for assigned parents to get together and say, "You know, there are a lot of committed families here and we can do a lot with this school if we band together." I would think there'd be some mechanisms already in place that could be carried over from the fall enrollment fair and if the city is committed to keeping families, they could make some resources and a big enough facility available (e.g., Bill Graham) to enable it to happen. The MP room at Jose Ortega was simply not big enough and the school's location was about as perversely non-central as you could get.

  127. I think the district was just plain blindsided by the number of applicants this year as 300 plus more kids amounts to another 15 kindergarten classrooms. 15 more! That's a lot and I don't think anyone could have foreseen it. There has been so much hostility about the system and SFUSD in these posts, but it seems to me an unavoidable situation given that no one could have known the numbers would take such a jump. (Someone can set me straight here. Perhaps incremental increases over the last few years have suggested this would happen right now?) Or this may have been the tipping point year for SFUSD with the work of PPS and this blog and word of mouth galvanizing people to go for public.

    But maybe next year will have a different problem: since so many people are upset this year, and badmouthing the system and the district, SFUSD could plan for more classromms for 2009 only to have fewer people will apply...

    Maybe PPS can weigh in - how can SFUSD keep its finger on the pulse of interest to avoid what happened this year?

  128. Miraloma's turn-around did not come from a group of parents deciding to take it on -- it came from the closure of the high-performing Diamond Heights Elementary School. All those families were transfered to Miraloma. The change in population changed the expectations for the school (then the principal and teachers changed in response).

  129. Silent K, thanks for telling what happened at Miraloma, that makes sense, and appears to be what's going on at Rosa Parks. From what I've seen (and I visited 3 times), since JBBP West merged into Rosa Parks, the combination of committed JBBP parents and a new principal this year is creating some really great energy and action at Rosa Parks. The new principal at Rosa Parks took one of the worst-performing schools in Providence, RI and brought it into the 50th percentile so she's got the experience and the parents seem 100% behind her. I hope we get it for Round II.

  130. so what happened at miraloma is an anomaly?

  131. We live around the corner from Miraloma Elementary. I don't know anything about Diamond Heights Elementary School, but that can't be accurate. Diamond Heights Elementary wasn't around when we were first looking at schools in 1995 (for K 1996); it was presumably long gone. And Miraloma was very, very, very definitely NOT in turnaround mode at that time. Almost no neighborhood kids went there, the neighbors almost universally viewed it as a hopeless disaster, and it had a very unimpressive principal.

    We chose another school, Lakeshore. But since I live so close to Miraloma Elementary, and since the influx of families that helped it turn around came largely from our close-knit former co-op preschool (Miraloma Co-op), I followed it pretty closely. The uninspired principal retired and was replaced by a highly regarded veteran, and an influx of involved, activist families began. I'm not aware of any schools closing that would have diverted an influx of students to Miraloma Elementary at the time that the turnaround started.

  132. I spoke before looking and then easily found the date Diamond Heights Elementary closed -- June 1989. The turnaround didn't happen until, I would say, '99 or 2000. It was NOT impressive in '95-'96 when we looked.

    Re the John Muir account, Marlowe's Mom, it's true that some schools just don't have all the pieces in place to start rising upward. It's not social engineering that middle-class families are assigned to those schools -- it's just that they're the ones that have few requests and lots of openings. I mean, it theoretically amounts to the same thing, but it's not for that reason. (BTW, parent liaisons aren't necessarily likely to have kids in that school, though -- it's a hired position. It might occasionally happen that they did, but it's not the intent or the norm. If the PTA president doesn't have kids in the school, that's more of a red flag.)

  133. i admit too to be being scared of being one of the "lone 5" parents assigned to a LSS. i would gladly form part of the herd (baa, moo) at a school with an influx of new parent energy. i've been hearing rumors that several parents from Miraloma Coop got assigned to Sunnyside and were planning to go for it, and that several others from Glenridge Coop were assigned to Junipero Serra and were going to make a go at that school. Anyone know if there is any truth to it? We were assigned JS, and while I registered our daughter there -- i was impressed with the principal, teachers i met, thought the stuff on the walls looked just fine, and its proximity to our house -- i still have my reservations (about the Reading First curriculum, for instance). But I have to admit -- chicken/hypocrite/whatever that I am -- I would feel much more comfortable sending our daughter there if I knew there would be some organized coop-type parents with kids there too.

  134. This post of mine was confusing. I meant the MIRALOMA turnaround didn't happen till '99 or '00.

    **I spoke before looking and then easily found the date Diamond Heights Elementary closed -- June 1989. The turnaround didn't happen until, I would say, '99 or 2000. It was NOT impressive in '95-'96 when we looked.**

  135. Before I blow out my candle of hope, I just want to confirm what was said above. Anon at 12:32 said that the counselor at EPC said certain schools are purposely over enrolled ...

    "So, for a school like Alvarado (Sp), 3+ people have to not enroll for there to even be one space available for a waitlister in Round II."

    Ok, I just want to know if that was a hypothetical example or if that was a figure you actually received for Alvarado Sp. Not that I'm DESPERATE or anything ...

  136. Grattan is another example of a school which benefits from a dynamic principal, teachers, and an involved community.

    A few years ago people took a spot reluctantly. Now people cheer when they get in.

  137. We just called our waitpool school (Sunset elementary), which we didn't get in Round I, but also know isn't a super popular school. The school secretary told me that it was completely enrolled. No space at all for Round II.

    Of course, this may change before September, but it's left us in a bit of a tizzy. We also called a couple of other, much more popular schools we were considering and they have more openings. I don't know what to do. We'd really like Sunset, but I think since it's less on the radar, there are less folks who put it down to fill out their list in case they don't get into private, and so less folks who drop out.

    Any advice?????

  138. Parkside Girl

    Isn't it still possible to get Sunset in Round II if some of those who enrolled get their Wait Pool Schools? Also, you can switch after Round II to another school that looks more promising.

    Have you spoken to an EPC counselor?

    Out of curiosity, what other schools did you call that have spots? I think we should have had this information available to us before we had to make a decision on our one shot wait pools school. A lot of people would have made different decisions with more information . . . .

  139. Nice post, Marlowe's Mom. It does seem like the SFUSD is a little clueless or not paying attention, shooting itself in the foot. Some thoughtful planning and networking after Round I, as you outlined would make so much sense.

  140. "Grattan is another example of a school which benefits from a dynamic principal, teachers, and an involved community.

    A few years ago people took a spot reluctantly. Now people cheer when they get in."

    I just have to say that I have lived within 2-4 blocks of Grattan on and off since 1994. I have walked by it for years and always thought it seemed like a charming, quaint place I'd love to send my children if I ever had any. How ironic that 2 years in a row I have not been able to get in to that school (and I still live 4 blocks away - OK in a different apartment, but still). It is just very frustrating.

    This is my 2nd year participating in the school search. I will say that we had MUCH better luck this time, but it is frustrating that the system is so convoluted.

  141. Re: increase in SFUSD applicants.
    Shouldn't the census be able to predict an increase in children of certain ages?? It just seems weird that it was such a surprise - and I don't think it is just public schools that got so many applicants.

  142. Re Andrea and Parkside - my understanding from round II and beyond is that it gets a bit messy to really have up-to-the-minute info on available slots, and why it makes sence to hang on through the summer if your nerves can take it. Yes, some of the people enrolled at Sunset might get pulled for their waitlist school. However, I don't think that it will immediately "unenroll" them from Sunset. Although official wording from EPC says the previous assignment is "cancelled", it is clear that EPC does not have realtime electronic linkage to enrollment info at each school. A friend of mine kept receiving school correspondence from 2 schools throughout summer and into fall despite having officially informed both that she was enrolling her daughter in a private school.

    I applaud the thoughts on how to improve the system beyond Round I. Perhaps this could be the next effort from PPS? If the censensus figures indicate an ongoing increase in applicants, then systemically improving the subsequent rounds is going to be increasingly important as the # of families who go 0/7 will also increase.

  143. Census or no, I think the SFUSD has been bashed for decades (and still, like the story of the realtor that someone in here posted, essentially regurgitating- "SF Schools, What? Never?") and the upsurge is probably as much of a news flash for them as for anyone. But budgets being the way they are, and the district being this huge creaky machine, it's not like they are in a position to create extra classrooms and hire teachers unless they actually KNOW there are kids. They - like any big business or organization - base their predictions on the past and on trends the best they can. And they are probably not very optimistic.

    Probably PPS can help them get a handle on this if they keep track of how many people attend their informational meetings and request School Ambassadors etc.

  144. 9:54 pm : Are you waitlisting Grattan? Many times after the 10 day count in September spots open up.

    Grattan's demographic has changed a lot in the last 5 years. And it's getting harder and harder to get in. This year it was the 10th most requested K program:

    I agree, the assignment process leaves a lot to be desired.

  145. 4:40, my kid is at Alvarado and I heard from the secretary that the slots all got filled, that is, people did register to fill them. Something to consider. OTOH I have also known of families every year who got in off the waitlist up through the 10-day count, but that does require hanging in there, potentially to the very end. Question is, do you prefer certainty sooner or the best shot, a possibility, at this particular school. By the time of the 10-day count, there will be fewer folks on the list, and there is quite often movement at that point; so the chance is not nil. White knuckle time though, unless you have a backup you are happy with.

  146. Yeah we wait listed Grattan last year. We were in the THIRD priority group b/c we had put down 7 schools and got one of our 7. You could argue that it was great we got one of our 7 (which certainly was better than getting John Muir), which is where we ultimately went - but it was annoying to feel like I did everything "right" (IE put down 7 choices) and then still not be able to get our neighborhood school (there were 15 people prioritized ahead of us). Really sucked.

  147. Q. about Alvarado.

    We were assigned to Alvarado, but not the Spanish-immersion program which we really wanted. I'm hoping we'll get a spot in the immersion program, even if we have to wait until the 10 day count.
    We should have a good shot at it, no?

  148. Re: Alvarado Q @ 11:00.

    You have a shot, but no guarantee by any means; I don't think you have an advantage in the waitlist over anyone else for being at Alvarado already, so it all depends on where you are on the list. Your problem will be that you did not get 0/7 and thus will have lower priority compared to the 0/7s. But you never know; there can be a lot of movement over the summer and in the first days of school.

    I assume you registered for the GE slot? There are some wonderful teachers in the GE program (Ms. Pickens is fabulous) and it is a wonderful school. Remember that all the kids get the art education, the science, the computer lab, etc. I hope you do get your dream of SI, and since your child will be on site anyway it will be very easy for you to hang in there to the end (and if you do get it, a slot opens up in GE for someone else).

    You can also try to get into SI at the first grade level; I have seen kids do this.

    Good luck!

  149. To anon 11:00am-
    When you say you were 'assigned' to Alvarado General Ed, do you mean you put it as one of your 7 choices? Or were you given that assignment without having requested it? If it's the latter, then once again, here's an example of major 'glitch' in the computer system.

  150. I took her comment to mean that they got Alvarado GE as one of their choices, but not SI which was their top choice. So they are waitlisting SI.

  151. ^which would put her in a low priority position on the waitlist.

  152. ^Yep, which is what 12:07 pointed out too. Still, if she got one of her choices, and a solid choice like Alvarado GE at that, it's an enviable position. And even given that good fortune, there is no reason not to waitlist the Alvarado Spanish "just in case." Maybe there will be an earthquake in July and lots of families will leave town in August. (j/k, I hope)

  153. Hi Nice Blog .A employee time attendance that tracks both direct labor and indirect labor activity, including the employee, activity, machine, part, operation, project, date, time, and hours. This module is fully integrated with the Timeclock screens provided by Time and Attendance System

  154. ^^Thanks!!