I think a lot of people have the same problem, so here goes:
Wait listing: Shoot for the moon or . . . a smaller moon?
Our family lives in upper Noe Valley and hoped to get into an immersion program, but we went 0/7 in Round 1. The school we listed as No. 1 on our list, Alvarado, was massively overenrolled. We also liked two other immersion programs, Fairmount and Flynn, which were also overenrolled but not to the same extent. (In spite of its early start time, Alvarado had the edge for us due to its arts program; our kid is really into art.) Last year's wait pool data indicates that only three people out of 26 in the wait pool received a spot at Alvarado by September. The odds at Flynn and Fairmount were a little better. But Fairmount and Flynn received threefold increases in applicants this year, so perhaps last year's data is irrelevant. Overall, we noted that few families who receive offers to immersion programs in Round 1 give them up. The question is, do we wait list for one of the schools that had a much smaller wait pool last year—and may or may not this year—or do we hold out for the fourth most overenrolled school in the city? We really liked all three programs almost equally, but for different reasons.