Thursday, October 9, 2008

K Files Council: Inter-district transfer

A question for the group from an SF K Files visitor:

I have a question for the group on inter-district transfers. We live in a nearby district, which does not have any after-school care for kindergarten programs, nor any before-school care for any grade. So rather than do a private school, we would much rather transfer into the SF district. I've looked at the rules online, and it says no high demand schools are available and something about a wait list, which I don't understand, Has anyone in the group been successful in transferring into the district? Is there any hope in getting a decent school? An up-and-coming immersion program? As I understand it, 80 percent of the money follows the child, so it's good for everyone. I'd appreciate your input. Thanks!


  1. You should contact the district or Parents for Public Schools with this question. Here's a link to PPS Web site:

  2. It's kind of cool that people are wanting to come to SF for the schools. Things are changing...

  3. SOTA has always accepted out of district students. I think it may be as much as %10 of enrollment. But that is an exception.

    I also know that kids have been booted from district schools for using false addresses -- happened last year at Lowell. It allegedly happens a lot with families that have moved out of Bayview because of safety concerns, but who don't like the schools where they've moved (placed like Richmond). But I don't know how prevalent that is.

    I've also heard anecdotes about DC kids enrolling at Lakeshore. I believe some may have been challenged and evicted quite a few years back. Again, these were cases of falsified addresses.

    My guess, to be taken with a grain of salt, is that you can apply, but you will have the lowest possible priority and will probably only get into a school that has room after all other SF students are placed. If you look at the wait pool data published by the district and here you can get a sense for which schools are in-demand and unlikely to accept transfers.

    To your question, have you spoken with anyone at EPC?

  4. I know an out of district family that has a son at a very popular immersion program. They were originally in SF, but moved out when the child was in first grade (now in 4th). They tell me that they file an inter district request every year and it is easily granted. They fully expect that their second child, who is aapplying to Ks for next year, will easily be able to get in based on sibling preference. Is this true? While I am happy for them, it doesn't seem fair to SF residents...

  5. Sounds very fair, couldn't imagine having to transfer a child to a non imersion out of district, seems like it would be very distruptive to their education. Plus, no one should be in the position of having to split up a family just because they live a few miles away.

  6. So once you get one kid in to a SF school, all siblings have priority at that school regardless of whether or not the family continues to live in SF???

  7. KC is correct -- SOTA was conceived (25+ years ago) as a regional school that would bring in the most talented art students from all over the Bay Area. The maximum percentage of out-of-district students has been cut back from the original 25% to 10%. Some are commuting from shockingly far away, including a couple from Davis.

    When we've discussed the pros and cons of that, my SOTA senior son says it's about ART, not city limits and district boundaries. One of my son's friends/classmates/bandmates is a fine jazz singer, vocalist for the SFJazz High School All-Stars and also in the Oakland Interfaith Gospel Choir -- and he lives in Atherton (!).

    There always were a surprising number of 510 and 650 area codes on our class lists at Lakeshore (before cell phones were so widespread, so the area code really did indicate where people lived). From the ones I knew, I think there was an array of reasons -- including divorced families using the San Francisco parent's address even if the custodial parent lived in a suburb, but also some apparent cheating in some cases. That always did seem like a little piece of marketing fodder for SFUSD.
    "SFUSD: Actually, people lie to get into our schools!"

  8. i wonder if the PTAs are better off where there are a lot of out of district folks? You would think that people risking so much to get into SF would be much, much more involved in assuring their kids get a great eduation

  9. Dear 8:23am: well, we are an SF family in SFUSD who got a school with no aftercare and no before care. So I sincerely hope you are not allowed to partipate in a lottery ahead of those SF residents who also need those critical school features. But knowing SFUSD, you will be allowed to do and will get some great immersion school and those of us who live here will get screwed over and over.

  10. Can someone elaborate on what it means to be a Reading First school? I understand McKinley is one of them.

    Someone told me Reading First is a sound pedagogy for teaching reading, but that it is being pushed on kids who are too young and not ready for it. They said not to worry about it if you happen to have an early reader.

    Does that sound about right? Any educators care to elaborate?

  11. ^^Thanks!!