Wednesday, March 19, 2008

K Files Council: Sunnyside?

Here’s my dilemma:

We were assigned to Sunnyside Elementary and went ahead and registered after our school tour there. We were pleasantly surprised by the school and are hoping that other like-minded parents have an interest in coming to this school and making it the next shiny gem. I haven’t heard much on the blog about the experiences people have been having on their tours. Are people excited about this school? Is there some interest in enrolling/putting it on your amended list of choices? What are people thinking? Maybe folks aren’t comfortable posting anything out of concern that the competition will become more intense (which I completely understand). I would love to keep the momentum going on this school. Any thoughts, opinions, ideas on the school would be appreciated. There’s something exciting about this school and I’d love to connect with others who feel the same way.

13 comments:

  1. we liked sunnyside and we agree that it needs an infusion of energetic families and fundraising.

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  2. We weren't assigned there, but we will put it on our waitlist. The teachers seemed strong, but the classes a bit more wiggly (needing a bit more discipline) than others we put on our Round I list. I liked the principal and it felt like a school with a lot of potential --I had the feeling if we went there and had a great idea for a program and raised money for it, it could easily be embraced by the community.

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  3. Actually, I meant, on our amended list, not waitlist!

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  4. I toured there yesterday and fell in love with the principle. She's a dream! I will be putting it on my amended list.

    I thought the classes were hit and miss. Like, if my child got into one of the 'good' classes with the 'good' teachers, I'd be okay. If my child got one of the 'wiggly' classes, as one post mentioned, I wouldn't want to attend.

    The principle said she allowed lots of parent involvement in requesting certain teachers.

    I am on a waitlist for a private school, and if I get that, I'd chose it over Sunnyside. Sunnyside ain't Miraloma, it ain't Clarendon, it ain't one of the trendy submersion schools... ;-)

    But I would be happy to send my child to Sunnyside. I've met several great families who have registered, and if they show up with their kids next Fall, it's going to look a whole lot different than it does now.

    I really feel that the SFUSD is getting better and better, because the interest amongst families, staying in SF, is improving.

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  5. We did this process last year and if we had chosen more non-immersion schools we would have put Sunnyside on our list. I liked it, and feel it has great potential. (Our list was Flynn SPI, BV, Fairmount, Rooftop, Harvey Milk, Alvarado SPI, Monroe SPI.)

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  6. We will also add it to our ammended list, and reservations continue. During our tour, I was surprised by the number of kids arriving late. I saw at least 12 straggle in, which was not something I had witnessed on visits to other schools. I wondered if it had to do with the closeness of time between the first bell and the tour, yet that does not seem entirely the reason as other tours also started early. And, it was not a rainy day.

    Did I witness an anomaly at Sunnyside? Does Sunnyside struggle more with this than some other schools? Or does it happen everywhere and I just didn't witness it at the other 14 tours?

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  7. Sunnyside has huge potential to become the next Miraloma. It has a great principal, safe neighborhood, and impressive facilities. It just needs more enthusiastic parents that can drive it to the next level.

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  8. Re: Lateness, I am a parent at Alvarado and see plenty of kids straggling in after the bell, not to mention morning assembly. Factors, we are an early-start school, and frankly I think people's lives are too scheduled with work and activities and none of us get enough sleep anymore. The early bedtimes of my childhood are hard to manage these days. We are not late a lot, but sometimes we have overslept, just plain overslept.

    Tardiness seemed to pick up after the recent time change that sent us back to semi-dark mornings, and seems better this week. Another thing, the tardy kids are not as far as I can tell mostly disadvantaged kids, many of whom take the bus and also rely on the free breakfast program and are therefore on time.

    Not that tardiness is not an issue--believe me, the school posts signs and sends letters home about it, often to good effect before people get lax again--but I would not judge by that factor alone.

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  9. Tardiness also happens rather frequently at Miraloma, an early school. It's not unique to any school and no reason to shun a particular school.

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  10. I would also caution parents not to try to make any school into the "next Miraloma," the "next Clarendon," or anything else.

    Make Sunnyside into the "next Sunnyside!" Embrace the school for what it is. It sounds like it has a firm base, a good principal, a growing body of active parents, and many children would thrive there.

    I get that this expression is just shorthand for an "up and coming school," but comparisons can lead to inferiority complexes on one hand, or one-up-manship on the other.

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  11. Thanks to all for the replies back on tardiness! The tiny view we obtain during a tour, while important, it just a slice. So I am thankful that others take the time to share their experiences and round out the perspective.

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  12. We enrolled at Sunnyside, which we were assigned to after going 0/7. While it's not as shiny and well-funded as Clarendon, Alvarado, and Miraloma, it feels like a close-knit, happy school. I like that the principal knows every child by name and that they have very few discipline problems. Their scores rate right up there with Miraloma, too. Moreover, the kids buddy up with the two "severely impaired" classes, and I was told that it goes a long way in their developing empathy and tolerance, something not often emphasized in any curriculum. So, while some schools may have more developed art/music/gardening programs, I would say that empathy and tolerance are more critical resources that will serve them well for the rest of their lives.

    Just my $.02. Hope to see you there at Sunnyside.

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  13. We are enrolled in Sunnyside, it was on our first round list. We were very impressed with the school, the principal was especially impressive. We also liked the small size, the neighborhood, and there are enrichment opportunities, such as the symphony, poetry, and music - plus a PE teacher, which is really great for our active 5 year old boy. Overall, we are enthusiastic about the school and plan to be active parents.

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