Wednesday, August 6, 2008

A letter from the superintendent

Parents for Public Schools forwarded me the following letter from superintendent Carlos Garcia:


August 6, 2008


Dear families in the SFUSD wait pool:

I have heard and understand your concerns regarding the effect that the district’s recent re-assignment of 23 families from Leonard R. Flynn and Alvarado Elementary may have on the wait pools at other schools. Thank you to all of you who have contacted us and offered suggestions regarding ways to ameliorate this difficult situation.

Based on your requests, we have decided to extend the wait pool runs for kindergarten
families to November 7, 2008. This extension is only for kindergarten families as this is the only group that may be impacted by the district’s re-assignment process of the 23 Flynn and Alvarado families.

The 23 re-assigned families from Flynn and Alvarado will be given until 5:00 p.m. on
Friday, August 8, to accept their new assignment offers. Once we know where these
families are assigned we can assess how wait pools at other schools will be affected, and we will consider whether or not we can minimize the impact. Increasing class sizes to 21 is costly; this decision was made to accommodate the unique hardship our error caused the 23 re-assigned families. In light of the state budget crisis, we are closely monitoring to see if the state may allow more flexibility of increasing class size as an option.

Finally, I am excited to announce that the Spanish Dual Immersion Program at Daniel
Webster will begin this year regardless of whether any of the 23 re-assigned families
select this program. Now more families will have the option to enroll in a Spanish
Immersion program this year. Families who are interested in enrolling their child in this new program can contact the Educational Placement Center at (415) 241-6085.

I thank you for your dedication to our schools, and I look forward to working together
with you to make all our schools worthy of your children.

Sincerely,
Superintendent
Carlos A. Garcia

102 comments:

  1. Any word on whether the bus route to DW will be extended to include Bernal and/or Noe stops?

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  2. not perfect, but good news for the waitlisters.

    how did the meeting go tonight for the F/A 23? i am dying to hear what schools you were assigned! hopefully, for some, they might be very acceptable.

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  3. Nicely written note. Despite the chaos of the EPC and assignment system, which he inherited, I kind of like the guy.

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  4. I'm so glad that Carlos has finally stepped up and said something about this whole ****up, although Nov 7th seems like so far away! don't think that we can wait till then, catholic school here we come! however at this stage i'm very tempted with DW too and i wasn't even interested in Immersion..

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  5. I'm very tempted by Daniel Webster, too.

    In gen'l, they say it is impossible to get an immersion program up-and-running in 3 weeks, but that is assuming you are recruiting and training teachers new to immersion.

    I hear they've found someone who has already taught SI kindergarten before, so there won't be much of a learning curve...

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  6. I don't know if it will sway anyone towards Daniel Webster or not, but in case you haven't watched it, take a look at the video the Potrero Residents Education Fund put together about Webster and their plans for the school. After watching it, I'm sold!

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  7. Here is the list of the Flynnarado 23:
    - 7 took Flynn GE
    - 6 Took Alvarado GE
    - 3 Took Clarendon JB
    - 2 Took Rooftop
    - 1 Took Grattan
    - 1 Took Starr King CN
    - 1 Took Revere SI
    - 1 Did not get a spot
    - I am missing the last one.

    Hope that helps.

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  8. actually, 2 took starr king mandarin, so you've got 'em all.

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  9. For DW, they hired a Spanish teacher with 7 years experience in Spanish Immersion.
    Based on all the info we got through the Flynnarado 23, it sounds like it will be a great school. The enthusiasm of the Principal and the teachers is touching.
    Several Flynnarados were highly interested in it.

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  10. None took Webster? Interesting.

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  11. No one took DW?

    For those who chose Starr King Mandarin immersion, there is a playdate for incoming kindergarteners this Saturday at Jackson playground in Potrero from 11 to 1. Look forward to meeting you there if you can make it.

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  12. How did someone not get a spot after all that? Did they just decide they were finito with the whole mess and take a pass on SFUSD altogether?

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  13. It seems like EPC knew how to buy off the F/A 23. They claimed to have wanted SI, yet chose Rooftop, Clarendon and Alvarado and Flynn(?!) GE after all. Interesting

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  14. It just goes to show you that there are other factors at play here...such as proximity to the school, overall feeling about a particular school, principal, etc.

    Maybe the ones who chose GE at Flynn and Alvarado believe they may have another shot at switching to immersion once they are part of the school?

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  15. I think they just want to know which goddamned school their kids are going to, and don't want one that is likely to be taken over by the state.

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  16. And since they have already organized their lives around Alvarado or Flynn, maybe this was the easiest way to go for them.

    How did one person NOT get a spot?

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  17. Increasing class size should not be an option. First by one then by how many? Remember it's about what's best for all the kids. I can't imagine anyone thinking that increasing class size is a step in the right direction.

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  18. "How did one person NOT get a spot?"

    My guess is that they opted out of the system...probably went the parochial route.

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  19. The family who did not get a spot was not present and had only filed two options: Rooftop and Alvarado and did not get either through the lottery.
    They will get the list of remaining opened spots to choose from.

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  20. The Flynnarados 23 did all still want Spanish Immersion, but the only schools with openings were Revere with two spots (which were taken)and DW. No spots at fairmount, alvarado, flynn,... not like there were many options on that level.

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  21. Hey Kim Green-what did you get?

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  22. The question is, would Art Agnos send his grandchildren to Daniel Webster?
    I don't think so.

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  23. Kim got a thirteen-year sentence:)

    with no chance of time-off, for good behavior

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  24. He might in a couple years when the school has turned around.

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  25. Remember: A few years ago Flynn was not exactly considered a "desirable" school.

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  26. What parent is going to want to transfer their kid to another school in November??? What is the point of this?

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  27. True, there were very few immersion options to choose from (in Spanish, as noted, 2 spots at Revere, and the new DW spots). That's it. Speaking for myself only, the whole process forced us to reevaluate our commitment to immersion, mainly because there was great risk in pursuing one of the few immersion spots if you believed others would do the same (then you'd stand the chance of getting one of the less exalted GE options instead, as others will doubtless have placed the most baked programs first). As far as the general attitude about DW, keep in mind that when the district first asked us to consider this option -- in fact, up till a few hours before the meeting, we had been told the program would NOT fly unless 7 of us committed. I'm sure that dissuaded otherwise interested parties from taking it seriously; so much risk to shoulder if other families dropped out. By the time SFUSD changed its tune and fully committed to the program for 08, we had all been stewing over our choices for a week or more. It seemed crazy to suddenly switch gears for a school we may have never seen operational during the school year (and, in our case, is not very accessible).

    I hate even talking about this because of the ongoing despair among 0-15s, but I suppose transparency and being informed go together...I will say that our top choices were Clarendon JBBP, Harvey Milk, Revere IMMS and Rooftop. We got Clarendon JBBP, and feel very lucky. It is not what we originally envisioned, but we'll put our whole heart into the school. I have no idea if any English speakers will get immersion this year off a waitlist at ANY school, but we now have the struggle of deciding whether to finally call it quits on this long process or waitlist at Fairmount to keep the neighborhood immersion dream alive. There is something to be said for counting your blessings in these circumstances and going with the flow (finally).

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  28. I'd totally join a new kinder class with a teacher who has been teaching SI for 7 years.

    That's pretty good.

    I'm surprised none took Webster but thrilled that they are opening up the opportunity to all families in the district.

    Most of the schools that have been "turned around" by parent activism did not have the resources that PREFUND already has in play. (Half a million dollars raised before the SI program even opens!)

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  29. All in all, this Flynnarado 23 reassignment turned out to be fair for the waitpool people: 8 spots were created at Flynn by moving Spanish speaking families from GE to SpImm, 6 spots at Alvarado doing the same and 10 SpImm spots are being created for non Spanish speaking families, so a total of 24 spots for the 23 families were created.

    Hope everyone gets a scholl they'll be happy with. Good luck to the waitpool families.

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  30. PREFUND raised the $ for the preschool

    it takes more than an experienced teacher to turn a school around and maybe some that are "turned around" haven't actually been as successful for all children as people believe

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  31. ^ wow. So negative.

    Yes-parent involvement in a school is also key.
    Next year many of the parents who formed PREFUND will most likely be part of the incoming Kinder families. They are obviously a very hard working bunch.

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  32. I'd love to hear from people who have chosen Webster spots. Anyone?

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  33. Kim - I'm excited for you and am sure that your whole family will love Clarendon.

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  34. Will this November deadline be the same for those in the waitpool for ALL Immersion programs, or just for Spanish Immersion? I am in the wait pool for CL KIP. I would take a slot at the 10-day count, but not sure I would take one if offered in November. Seems my kid would be at quite a disadvantage by that time.

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  35. "Kim - I'm excited for you and am sure that your whole family will love Clarendon."

    But are the snotty parents there ready for KIM?

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  36. Even if it is Rooftop or Clarendon - We are still talking about public school. I know some wonderful families at both Clarendon and Rooftop. Congrats and enjoy. Congrats to all the Flynn/Alvarado 23. I hope this closure helps (my - the drama!)

    I am super-excited about DW. I am on the waitlist for the preschool and hope to send my child there in a few years. I have no doubt it will be another success story and it is also great for the Potrero/Mission/Bernal community, to have another rising star in the neighborhood.

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  37. Yeah, but if you enroll your child in the new SI class at Webster, the bulk of their day will be spent with a wonderful, experienced teacher. Her influence will be the strongest on your child's day-to-day life at school... along with all of the new families who are committing to DW and to Spanish-immersion.

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  38. We are excited about DW too. It is going to be fantastic for the neighborhood which is already a vibrant, wonderful place.

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  39. I'm not being negative, just pointing out that when people come in to "underperforming schools" they put in art programs and gardens but not tutoring for the kids who were there that need it.

    They put in money and programs that their kids would like and certainly that all kids like, but they don't generally put in money into tutoring programs or things that the kids already there might need because they don't see that part of it.

    Maybe these schools are "turned around" for middle class people, but maybe they are the same with more art classes for the kids who were already there and no one wants to talk about that of course and if you do you are labeled as "negative".

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  40. I would think that besides art programs and gardening (which will benefit ALL kids in the school) the funds being raised will address the issues and other needs you mention as well. How could it not?

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  41. I'm basing my assumptions on what has happened at most other schools. Alvardo that pays for sandtray therapy, but most do not pay for tutoring for kids who need it, extra classroom support for kids who need it, etc. The bulk of the money raised goes to paying for arts programs and the like (yes, they are all needed and appreciated to. The kids who are behind academically are not the target of the new influx of money in these schools. It would be a wonderful thing if the group at Webster made that the first priority over arts programs and they would be the first school to do so I think.

    Think for a moment what you mean by "turning a school around" Do you mean that the academics are good for all groups with all getting what they need or do you mean there are lots of programs? You will say both of course, but look at the schools that "turned around" and see if their break down API scores show as much academic achievement for low performing groups.

    I'm not accusing, just pointing out that "turning around" a school maybe needs a second look to make sure it's "turned around" for everyone.

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  42. I'm pretty sure Alvarado raises money for class size reduction in upper grades, too... as do a *lot* of schools.

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  43. ^ I think those are very valid points. Of course the basic needs (academic, etc) of the existing kids at the school need to be met. You are absolutely right.

    This is what's great about this forum. Perhaps, also the PREFUND folks are reading this or are aware of this already.

    I do think that the influx of money and parental involvement can only help a struggling school...even if it starts as just adding extras at first.

    It's also good to be aware that API scores do not tell the whole picture. We visited a school with a really high API where it was obvious that the kids were being drilled. I mean it was REALLY OBVIOUS.

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  44. yes, it helps, I'm just trying to say that "turned around" often means that for a group of kids, but not necessarily for the kids already there. Obviously they benefit from more art, etc. but if the parents put money into tutoring, etc. it would help everyone more and make more of a difference to the kids there that needed that boost that most of the kids with involved parents probably already have.

    The schools pay for classroom reduction with their site money, not the money raised from parents - that almost all goes to classroom supplies for teachers, field trips, arts programs, stuff like that. Yes...all that benefits all kids, but no one prioritizes what these kids could be getting academically with more money - and I doubt anyone will start with that because everyone has some self interest first.

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  45. Having been the treasurer from one of the school that “turned around” I will say that we did hire tutors for the underperforming kids that were in the upper grades (those being there before the turn around). Then the school was able to get a grant for an academically based afterschool program that including tutoring those same preexisting children. The bulk of the reserves went to pay for an extra teacher for the upper grades. Definitely, funds were used for gardens and art and music. Thinking of this, the non-academic spending has attracted a different demographic to the school. The new parents’ contribution to the school has been able to fund the tutoring and the smaller class size. My opinion is if they can work hand in hand, then possible there can be multiple winners.

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  46. 12:22 that is great to hear - which school? most have not done this that I know of!

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  47. 12:20 - Are you in a school where this is actually happening? Our turnaround school puts serious PTA money into academic help for upper grade kids who are behind. PTA spending priorites are very heavily influenced by the staff priorities. One reading consultant or class-size reduction teacher costs more than all the other stuff put together (art, poetry, dance, ...etc) so just because you see a laundry list of things the PTA does with its money, it doesn't mean that the one line-item for academic help is a small portion of the budget.

    Also, I think paying for tutors or an extra teacher can be complicated when using PTA funds so if there is enough site money for extra staff then it makes the most sense to use site money for that and let the PTA cover all the other stuff. I'm sure there are others on this list that know a lot more about the ins & outs of site council money vs PTA money.

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  48. I am at a school that does this and hear from others I know at other turnaround schools that it is the same situation. I am glad to hear some schools are not doing this. I dont' think our PTA puts any money into academic help. I stand corrected (and gladly so!)

    I will bring this up to our PTA that other schools mainly do this so why don't we?

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  49. 12:22

    I would prefer not to say the school due my general conservative nature when it comes to talking about the parent’s money. It is complicated to fund academic programs and they are more expensive than other programs. It would be much better if the state would adequately fund the classroom. That being said, a good working relationship between the principal, the site council and the PTA can come up with a means to work with the district administration to fund these programs.

    I will say, in the case of the funding used for an additional teacher for the upper grades, the bulk of the parents who voted for this at the PTA meeting did so with no direct benefit to their kids, since most of their children were in the lower grades. And I believe the vote was unanimous to spend those hard earned reserves in this way.

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  50. In the PreFund video I watched this morning, funding tutors was mentioned twice as a priority - once by the principal.

    My impression is that the PreFund people over there seem to be sharp and organized and looking to serve the needs of all.

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  51. I didn't write the comment at 12:22 but the school being described is Grattan. I agree fully with that comment and the subsequent comment that our PTA funding is strongly influenced by the priorities set by staff and the site council, which inevitably include academic achievement and equity.

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  52. Anonymous 10:46 mentioned that a lot of spaces were opened up for Flynnarado so the impact wasn't that bad for the waitlist folks.

    I would add that DW needs to fill the other half of its immersion class, so that's another 10 seats to fill. While they will be Spanish Speaking kids, so not the same in the diversity index with many reading this blog, it will still shake up the overall pool of seats in the district. And the trickle down could lead to YOU!

    I think the addition of DW is a good thing.

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  53. According to the PREFund video, they've written a grant for tutoring underperforming kids. And the PTO at our "hidden jewel" funds a Reading Recovery teacher who works primarily with the ESL kids.

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  54. The 'drama' may be over for 'the 23' but the fact remains that there are still a lot of us 0/15 people - some like me who haven't even enrolled anywhere yet because NOT ONE school meets our needs in terms of aftercare, convenience or diversity. School is two weeks away. I have no idea what I'm going to do with my child come 8/25, and I wish to hell we had a voucher system or that I'd taken out a loan as I would surely do private in a heartbeat.

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  55. I'm exhausted from this whole process and just feel like checking out... in so many ways. I live in SF and don't know too many people here so i can't even vent to anyone (other than here. My husband doesn't want to hear about it anymore which is difficult as he blames me for my daughter not getting a school in the very first place, he believes i picked schools that were too difficult to get into, i'm devastated at this point from all angles. all i want is a decent school.

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  56. anonymous at 2:47, hang in there. If you, or anyone for that matter, wants to get together for a coffee/vodka support session, let me know.

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  57. Don't idealize private school... unless by "diversity" you mean you are looking for a lily white student body (compared to SF at large)...

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  58. (eye roll)
    haven't we been down this path already ?!?
    (Public vs. private)

    Do you REALLY want to start it up again? It's a pointless debate.

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  59. 2:47 PM

    Hang in there! We are here and are pulling for you. So sorry that you feel a little isolated. It's hardly your fault that you don't yet have a school - this is an insane process! I hope you will hook-up with some of the others from the list. Take care! :) (sending moral support vibes to you through my computer...)

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  60. I agree, 2:47, don't give up. I really do think that things will work out, albeit maybe a few weeks into the school year. In the end your daugther will be fine and you will look back on this time as a difficult and uncertain period. If you need to vent maybe a trip down to EPC or (for a more sympathetic ear) PPS might help.

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  61. I dont want lily white at all - I want *some* white though, along with some of the other colors! I only want private school so I have a sense of 'backup' vs 'take what they want you to get.'

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  62. hmmm..might not be that easy to get into a private school at this late date.

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  63. Yeah let me clarify - I am not trying for a private school at this late date. I was merely saying i *wished* I had a backup so I didn't feel so overwhelmed and desperate and just a tad hysterical about school starting in two weeks and my kid being on a waitpool 23 people deep. that's all.

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  64. 3:18 PM - You are a racist. What is wrong with lily white people? You must be a charming, delightful example for your children.

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  65. Private schools are awful! Who would want their child to get a good education? What if they get into a good college? Or wear their pants over their underpants? I'd much rather my kids learn how to fight, swear, and talk like Ali G.

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  66. Ignore the trolls. They only do it for attention.

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  67. Not all private schools offer convenience, diversity or affordable after school care...

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  68. Jessica b, What is your backup plan if your child doesn't get into your backup school? 23 on the WL is a lot.

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  69. Remember K is not mandatory in California. There is always the option of the PreK or K class offered by pre-schools that go thru age 6.

    The district is keeping the waitpool open until Nov, so there is always the chance that something may open up by then (lots of time, people go to a school and end up liking it and forget about their WL choice)

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  70. Also, people move out of the city sometimes...

    You folks that are still in wait pools must have nerves of steel.

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  71. Hello everyone,

    I just put together a survey meant to evaluate the experience of those of us who participated in the San Francisco public school lottery this year, to get a sense of what aspects of the enrollment process need to be changed, and to poll people about their preference for some sort of neighborhood component to the assignment process.

    Here is a link to the survey:
    http://www.surveymonkey.com/s.aspx?sm=I5MUhfoq_2bchh4XyVGeg64w_3d_3d

    The survey is an informal one, and by no means comprehensive. It is
    not official in any way. It's meant mostly to get a pulse of what
    people are thinking about the process, and to point a way to some
    possible changes for the future. Responses are anonymous. We will
    share the results with the District and with as many families in the community as are interested. Please forward it to as many people as you can! The more responses we get, the more reliable the data we collect will be!

    Thanks!

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  72. My backup plan right now is a pre-K program. Not ideal, as she just completed two years of a kick ass preschool. I'll also visit the EPC every day during the 10 day count and hope that something opens up that fits my work schedule, commute and after care needs. I saved up my vacation days just for this wonderful time.

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  73. Jessica: Another year of play never hurt anyone. Finnish kids don't start academics until they are 7 and they kick the ass of every other developed nation in both language arts and math. Plus, it is in a play-based curriculum that kids learn the emotional intelligence skills that can really make a difference in their lives. THey also learn to be self-directed by coming up with their own activities, projects and scenarios -- which a lot of our overly scheduled, overly academic kids are lacking these days. Perhaps this is a blessing in disguise?

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  74. 9:03pm. I am feeling that way as well; it is looking like our daughter will be attending a preK program as well. i do still get angry about the general inequity that exists, as i'm well aware that we're blessed that we can choose to give our child this extra year of play, while others cannot. i wish our country would revert back to old school kindergarten days. i know a lot of children are ready for more academics at that age, but i think they're the exception and not the rule. And with California not funding many public preK programs, the children who in fact probably most need this kind of socialization and emotional development dont' get it.

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  75. ps. if anyone is thinking they might hold their child back this year and do transitional kindergarten, I think Phoebe Hearst Learning Center might have a spot still in their TK class. I toured it, and it seems like a great program.

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  76. 2:47: Don't despair. It isn't your fault. The system is seriously screwed up. No one in their right mind should have to endure this type of torture and stress.

    We had a backup plan too and it involved moving out of the city...

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  77. Just because a child is ready for academics, doesn't mean they woudln't get even *more* out of a play-based program.

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  78. I'm wondering about the integrity of waitpools at this point. If we have to go down to district to change a waitpool choice, wouldn't it seem likely that there are plenty of folks who may have opted out of the system or have chosen private and who just dont feel like going down to EPC to pull themselves out? Does anyone have any experience with this as the school year approaches? I mentioned this to Archie who said it was an issue.

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  79. yes, if anyone out there has a child enrolled at a school they don't want, Archie said they can just email him and say "my child won't be attending X school." i think he's trying to fill as many slots as possible soon, so it would be a big help to get non-attendees off the rosters. his email is FokinA@sfusd.edu.

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  80. Is his email address really "Fokin A"?

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  81. Yes,

    fokina@sfusd.edu

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  82. It's too good to be true!

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  83. Kim, thanks so much for posting. Can I ask, what were your considerations in choosing Clarendon JBBP over Paul Revere Spanish K-8? Was it primarily the "baked" nature of it?

    I'm sure you will be happy at Clarendon, or at Fairmount if you do decide to waitlist. Any school that has you is very lucky! Thanks for being so honest about this process. You have been a huge resource through this mess.

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  84. Jessica and others in the wait pool -- now is when you need to be calling the EPC daily. I know they say you don't need to and not to do it. But you do. Be polite and be relentless.

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  85. caroline -

    and say what? i keep going in, but no one will tell me anything. it is very frustrating after waiting 2-3 hours to talk to someone.

    should we just be asking for spots? or the shortest waitpool? or the schools that already have too many english speakers and won't take more no matter where you are on the waitlist?

    these are the questions i have been asking with no success.

    while we do have an assignment, it is nearly impossible to make it work for us - far, no after care and doesn't work at all with my work schedule. we simply MUST get some other assignment between now and november.

    tactics? i'd like to know specifically what might work. i hate to saound stupid, but clearly what i have been doing has gotten me no where.

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  86. You call daily to say politely that you're still interested and ready to accept the spot immediately.

    Think about it from the EPC staff's perspective. They know that when they do the waitpool run, they're likely to call the name that comes up and get an answering machine ... no response ... a busy signal ... a disconnect. How long do they wait for the person to call back before they call the next name? If they do eventually reach someone, it's likely that the person will inform them that they moved or went private or whatever.

    But on the other hand, they know you're calling daily and waiting for that spot. It's far, far, far less work for the EPC staff to give it to you. What would you do if you were them? No guarantee, but I'm just saying...

    (I have experience with what a waiting list is like just from being on the board of parent-run co-op preschool.)

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  87. fokina@sfusd.edu

    Are you fokin kidding me?

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  88. I want to jump off a cliff to hear that if I am constantly in the face of the EPC for a spot that I'm likely to get one more than if I do what they are asking me to do and wait in my waitpool like a good parent. I am a single mom who works full time (currently have pawned off my child to my sister while on a business trip) - and if I personally hear of anyone getting a spot that way...I am in danger of just...melting...down....

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  89. it's complete insanity....

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  90. Longtime readers of this blog (with good memories) know that I've posted this advice ever since the blog began.

    It used to be that the ENTIRE process was dependent upon your empowered, in-your-face assertiveness. The appeals process was basically a contest to see who had the most chutzpah and could really convince the EPC that they wouldn't give up and go away until they got what they wanted. (Or I should say "we.")

    Well, the entire process has definitely been equalized since then -- it's no longer designed around rewarding the assertive and empowered. BUT, as I've noted, the waitpool situation is the point where you do want to be in their faces. I mean, it's just human nature, right? Many names in the waitpool are really no longer in the waitpool -- so if you let them know that you very definitely are (and are easy to reach rapidly, for an immediate answer), doesn't human nature dictate that they'll go for a sure thing rather than a lengthier, labor-intensive process for an uncertain outcome? Again, there's no guarantee, but I sure would be acting on that assumption, unless they actually threatened to get a restraining order!

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  91. Some of the bloggers here might just BE angry enough for the EPC to need a restraining order....er...or maybe the EPC is used to dealing with angry, frustrated, fed up parents?

    gawd...why do we live here again? Is it worth it? (I ask myself this on a daily basis)

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  92. We ain't fokin around, are we?

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  93. Remember one of the goals of the waitpool is to fill any empty seats in the classes - so its not an exact science and from the district standpoint, sorry to sound crass, one child is just as good as any other.
    So -- seems to be that its important to be at the right place at the right time (and not just lucky). Sort of make your own opportunity.
    Of course, can't be too blatant...

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  94. are you fokin kidding me?

    sorry, i just had to.

    so, why clarendon and not revere? well, it wasn't that simple. it was a lottery, you know? we knew how many spots were available at each school in advance and shared some thoughts with some of the other families, but it was impossible to know what the others would ultimately choose. quite simply, clarendon was among the two or so schools with the most spots (i know that is not what some of you want to hear, but, hey, it's the truth). my husband and i dithered madly and ended up with our top four choices being (for wildly different reasons):

    clarendon
    milk
    revere
    rooftop

    but at the end of the day, we got what we got. i believe in transparency, so i will say that we have waitlisted at fairmount, but i daresay it will be a cold day in hell before an english speaker gets into a spanish immersion program besides DW this season...

    p.s. we did almost change our choice to revere at the last minute during the short grace period they gave us (assuming they still had a spot available), but we decided we could not put ourselves or, more importantly, our kid, through any more change. she's been assigned to three schools already. it's not like you can keep it a secret from them. it seemed simpler to just feel lucky about our assignment, commit to it with our minds if not our hearts and waitlist at our neighborhood school, which happens to have immersion and was at the top of both our round I and round II lists....does that clarify anything?

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  95. Hmm, even the lottery sounds stressful. I'm glad you got a school you wanted. And it seems that most of the families came out ok too.
    Hope this does not impact those on the waitlist too much, ie, that the district will still go ahead and fill the open slots as if these 23 did not occur.

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  96. "...seems to be that its important to be at the right place at the right time (and not just lucky). Sort of make your own opportunity."

    Exactly. And for those who think that's insane or corrupt -- what would YOU do if you were an EPC employee with yourself (the desperate parent) on the other end of the phone, and the uncertainty and delays inherent in the waitpool process as your option for filling an open seat?

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  97. For those who want to withdraw... its not actually that simple.

    Although someone posted that Archie said "just phone", well I've phone 3 times and sent two faxes, and as of Wed they STILL had my daughter listed for Flynn GE, although we keep telling them she's not going!

    So there's likely still some movement in the lists since EPC doesn't seem to be able to even withdraw children in a timely manner... I've been at this since early July and at this point fully expect them to have a cubby and a desk with her name on them in her classroom.
    Good luck everyone, I sure hope next year goes smoother.

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  98. MCL - did you send a fax to the school? at this point, its hard to say how well the communication is between the school and EPC. And from a stakeholder standpoint, the school would probably appreciate the information more.

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  99. I'm looking for a job, and EPC clearly needs leadership. Hmmm...ya'll willing to write me a letter of recommendation?

    It takes the air out of my sails to think that my counselor at EPC keeps telling me i haven't a cold days chance in hell because we're in the 2nd cohort. Is it possible to be pulled from the second cohort, over 1st cohort families for a spot in a school with a medium/long waitlist?

    It also kills me to know that I wanted that Flynn GE seat, and this one lovely parent has been TRYING to take her name off the list...but now it's impossible cause 7 Flynn SI parents took the open spots before i got in.

    Who said this was working out for everyone? I just got screwed. Again.

    Who needs a bitch/therapy session? lets do it next week at EPC! We'll meet in the waiting room, clutching our numbers, and i'll bring a 6 pack.

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  100. I think you'll need more than a 6-pack!

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  101. A friend called EPC last week and her counselor said "we may keep the waitlist open for a month, vs. just 10 days"--

    Previously I thought it was going to be kept open thru October?? Does anyone have clarification? PPS?

    I'll try to find out via my EPC counselor today if I can sit quietly, soberly, waiting...

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