Friday, June 13, 2008

Out of the wait pool

I just removed our name from the wait pool. We decided to stick with Jose Ortega. The counselor at the EPC said there are now 6 people in the wait pool for Mandarin immersion at Jose Ortega.

42 comments:

  1. Good for you Kate! As a fellow public school parent, I am looking forward to the interesting topics and insights that your blog will cover this fall. Discovering one's school "community." Fund raising. PTA priorities. Site council responsibilities. Spring festivals/auction strategies. Test scores. GATE. Field trips. Lunches (yuck). And on and on. Your decision to have your children in public schools will bring rewards and instigate changes that you never imagined.

    I am confident that all discussions will provide ideas and "ah-ha" moments for your readers.

    If I can give one piece of advice to all new K parents, it would be "keep a roll of $10 and $20 bills in your pocket." But it still beats private school tuition! Maybe that can be a topic in August--one piece of advice for new families.

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  2. I don't understand. Why keep the $10 and $20 bills in your pocket? Maybe I'm being dense.

    And by the way, I agree, congrats to Kate on knowing where you will be and choosing what looks to be a great program at an upcoming school. I hope you continue to blog about the issues you face as a new kindergarten parent.

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  3. I don't get the $20 bill comment either.

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  4. I don't know the wait-pool status of Marshall but on Monday I'll attempt to dis-enroll our son which will hopefully free up a spot there immediately. It seems to be a wonderful school and if we weren't moving we think we would have been very happy there. I apologize for not doing it sooner but we just got all the pieces of the puzzle for our move in place today so I held on to the spot till now just in case ....

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  5. LOL - the $ is for the endless stream of requests for contributions throughout the year. All wonderful and meaningful, but nevertheless endless...annual giving campaign, classroom potluck, volunteer appreciation brunch, teacher holiday gift, staff appreciation gift, garden supplies/seedlings/trees, yearbook, logo wear, class room auction project, cookie dough, chocolate bars, wrapping paper, raffle tickets, end-of-year giving...you get the picture.

    So when you bump into a harried parent who is collecting the $ in the hall or parking lot, you can reach into your pocket for a bill and hand it over with a SMILE. Remember: its all for the kids AND it beats private school tuition.

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  6. I especially love when a parent posts that they are giving up their spot in a school AND names the school.

    Thank you! And...
    best of luck with your move.

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  7. kate - which wait pool were you in? i am guessing flynn...?

    the EPC counselor said SK mandarin is full but with no wait pool - FYI to those of you still interested in mandarin.

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  8. Why is Jose Ortega more popular than Starr King? Is it about the location/school population?? Kate, did you put Starr King on either of your lists??

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  9. We signed up for the Jose Ortega Mandarin program before Kate announced that is where Alice was going. At that time it was a good switch for us, because there were no people in the waitpool for our cohort. We thought we would have a good chance of getting JOES since our other waitpool had 7 people in our cohort (we are round 1 7 choices with none offered). People must have switched after Kate's announcement and now we are back in the same boat, with not great odds, and no school. Oh well. On a side, we looked at SK too, but there were 3 people in that waitpool when I switched. So there is a lot of movement going on.

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  10. OMG, are people really such LEMMINGS?
    Why would anyone enroll their kid in a school, simply because someone they never met, who happens to write a blog, enrolled their kid there?
    It is truly scary and herd-like.

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  11. herd-like, so what. it is difficult to have so many choices, all with their positives and negatives. you sit at home and mull over them alone for months. it is helpful and validating to hear that others have the same opinions as you. OMG leave people alone.

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  12. Same opinions, that's fine, but SWITCHING the choice you made because someone else who you don't even know made a different choice, well, that's odd.

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  13. I think that we have seen a lot about Kate so far. One thing that is extremely obvious is that she intends to spend a lot of time assisting the school. PLUS she has great connections AND tons of energy.

    Makes sense to me to want your kid at school with hers!

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  14. (eye roll)
    whatever...

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  15. "Why is Jose Ortega more popular than Starr King? Is it about the location/school population?? Kate, did you put Starr King on either of your lists??"

    1. JO wasn't more popular than Starr King in Round 1.

    2. Because JO Mandarin was underenrolled, word got around that there might be slots there.

    3. JO has a stronger Gen Ed than SK. Charisma of principals is about the same, but JO isn't running as many parallel programs as SK (because JO is integrated Special Ed, IIRC). My wife has visited both, dn was a lot more taken with JO than SK.

    4. Kate enrolled her kid there, and that'll give a bump. (I'm surprised it's not more, actually.) [I actually emailed Kate back in March after Round 1re. JO potentially having slots, but don't know if I can claim credit here.]

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  16. "Same opinions, that's fine, but SWITCHING the choice you made because someone else who you don't even know made a different choice, well, that's odd."

    No, what's odd is that SF parents have to go through this stressful, bizarre system to get their children enrolled in a public school. SFUSD gets to pick its factors in placing kids, and, without getting into the pros and cons of the system, I think it's fair to say that the process is not perfect. If parents use this blog as a factor in selecting a school, good for them.

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  17. Kate, any one...what waitlist are you removing your name from? We are still desperate and need to get onto a small waitlist asap.

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  18. We removed our name from the Buena Vista wait pool.

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  19. we also removed our name from Buena Vista but there were 7 others in the first cohort with us.

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  20. "I think that we have seen a lot about Kate so far. One thing that is extremely obvious is that she intends to spend a lot of time assisting the school. PLUS she has great connections AND tons of energy."

    Eye rolling and talk of lemmings aside, one parent is not enough! A struggling "up and coming" school is still that, and requires a certain type of personality (as a parent sending their child there) to tolerate. It is hard work, at times disappointing and demoralizing. Not to say there aren't pay offs, but it was more than I bargained for (though couldn't have known that going in to it) and more than we were willing to live with.

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  21. "No, what's odd is that SF parents have to go through this stressful, bizarre system to get their children enrolled in a public school. SFUSD gets to pick its factors in placing kids,"

    Well, up to a point: it's also constrained by court decisions.

    "and, without getting into the pros and cons of the system, I think it's fair to say that the process is not perfect."

    No system is, but I can't think of a system, aside from a lottery-type system, that gives those with poorer incomes or from more down-at-heel neighbourhoods a fair crack of the whip.

    Plus, there is the upside of having probably the broadest selection of language immersion programs in the state. Kate may have to struggle with JOES' pains as an 'up-and-coming' school, but her kid will exit speaking Mandarin.

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  22. "No, what's odd is that SF parents have to go through this stressful, bizarre system to get their children enrolled in a public school. SFUSD gets to pick its factors in placing kids,"

    Well, up to a point: it's also constrained by court decisions.

    "and, without getting into the pros and cons of the system, I think it's fair to say that the process is not perfect."

    No system is, but I can't think of a system, aside from a lottery-type system, that gives those with poorer incomes or from more down-at-heel neighbourhoods a fair crack of the whip.

    Plus, there is the upside of having probably the broadest selection of language immersion programs in the state. Kate may have to struggle with JOES' pains as an 'up-and-coming' school, but her kid will exit speaking Mandarin.

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  23. Kortney, on Monday we un-enrolled from Marshall (at least the person at EPC said it was effective) and I would strongly recommend checking them out if you are looking for immersion. It is a small and sweet school. There are two (one?) male kindergarten teachers which are hard to come by. Centrally located; the neighborhood is fine, your child will not be wandering the streets. If we weren't leaving SF I think we would have been very happy there.

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  24. Marshall has an active parent group, including a strong core of LGBT families. A small school, great community. They also have the Odyssey of the Mind program and did well last year in regional competition--as well as had fun.

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  25. What is Odyssey of the Mind?

    -Too lazy to Google It

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  26. I'm too lazy to explain it, but here's the link:

    http://www.odysseyofthemind.com/

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  27. thanks ;)

    -Ms. Lazy

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  28. kinderplot - where are you going?

    i agree that marshall is a good choice. sweet school, small, all spanish, and yes, a male kindergarten teacher who was really kind and insightful when he met my kids on tour.

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  29. We're moving to Mountain View. The reasons we're going are many, some days some are more important than others. Mom lives there; a German school there (husband is German); ability for kid to ride bike around flat block; warmer weather; less grit; a Japanese soba/udon shop within 5 blocks. We'll be close to downtown Mountain View so can still get around on foot. There is a good mix of races though not so many African Americans as Asians and Latinos. We are still not sure we'll be happy in the burbs so we're renting out our place in the city. The program at the German school does not teach reading and writing to the 5-6 year olds so if the city beckons us back we can do this lovely kindergarten process again next year. A bonus, though, is that there is a public school in Mountain View with Spanish immersion. Maybe we really can have it all.

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  30. I am interested in this term "up and coming" school. When referring to these schools please be respectful of the staff and STUDENTS who were there before it was identified "up and coming" (based on what criteria, I'm not sure).

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  31. What they mean by "up and coming" on this blog:

    "when we white people lower ourselves to come to your school and make it a much better school because of our mere presence there"

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  32. kinderplot -

    if you're looking to rent your place for a year, we are looking for a rental for a year. email me if you are!

    jirvine@ccsf.edu

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  33. 10:08 - first real laugh after a long day...no, week.

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  34. 10:08 here.

    Thanks, Kim :)

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  35. we also have two spots at jbbp but are holding out for a wait pool choice mainly b/c of schedule and the aftercare situation. you finally find a school waaaaaay late in the game and the aftercare is full.

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  36. i approached a parent at our preschool who reportedly has a spot at a popular public school (kinder) but is sending her kid to private. I asked her if they had decided where to send her kid (in a friendly tone, i thought) and she basically asked who wanted to know and if it was any of my business.

    Her attitude was both rude and defensive...and she never answered my question. so the thing is...

    I feel better!!
    I feel better because now I know there are lots of parents holding multiple spots--and therefore the 10 day count may open up some spaces!!

    - Still un assigned.

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  37. I had a similar experience, funny enough. I spoke with a family that I'm friendly with at preschool and, even though they neglected to discuss their reasons behind holding two spots, they seemed unmoved by my situation (no school yet)--I do believe they have a right to play the system the way they want to.

    I wish folks would think of me before they think of taking every advantage, but hey, this isn't planet kortney anymore.

    I like your attitude that the seemingly 'selfish' people with multiple school options is actual proof that there are plenty of spots out there for us!

    I'm not sure I have the stomach for it, though.

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  38. We just moved here from New York and am trying to get a handle on what we have in store for us in the fall (our daughter is 4). Sorry for the novice question but -How can a person hold two spots?

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  39. To 8:32, you can only hold one public/charter school spot. However, you can hold as many private school spots as you are willing to put down a deposit for.

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  40. To June 28th at 8:32 am -- the transplanted New Yorker. PLEASE, please, don't take everything you read on this blog as the truth! Please note that this blog only talks about certain schools and leaves out tons of really good schools. In fact, if anything, the blog tends to overtrumpet what is perceived as "up and coming" schools (a narrow bunch of failing public schools that some parents are trying to turn around) at the expense of the truly great public schools with good test scores and low disciplinary problems. Don't ask me why this is as doing so will only inflame the "politically correct" crowd on this site to flame me, but it is. Look at this blog, but also look at sites like GreatSchools.net that have lots of info on test scores and other specifics about the particular schools.

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  41. I don't know if I am "politically correct" or not, but I have been a part of working to turn around two schools (elementary and middle) on the east side of town where scores don't tend to be as high, but where I also live....and I have no problem touting the many benefits of being part of the turn-around process. Certainly, I would encourage you to check out the east side schools!

    However, the previous poster is correct that the chatter on this blog tends to focus on a small set of schools, and there are many great ones that go unmentioned--ones in Chinatown and in the Sunset and Richmond Districts. We all have different stories/needs, and I would encourage you to check out greatschools.net as well, and look at geographic area, and go to the Enrollment Fair, and so forth.

    No need to be exclusive in either direction.

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  42. Yeah, 3:37: Let's get the transplanted New Yorker to apply to the same 5 public schools that everyone else has for the last decade so she can come up empty-handed for kindergarten.

    GREAT advice. Super helpful...NOT!

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