Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Hot topic: Last year's lists

An SF K Files visitors hopes that parents who went through the process last year will share their lists:

"I would like for you to bring up the topic of "what was your school list and what school did you get?" My reasoning is this, did parents get choices that were 2nd or 3rd or 7th on their lists? if so , was it to rooftop or other highly over subscribed schools."


  1. I recently looked at the "lists" that folks shared on this blog and here's my startling conclusion:

    Even though folks who did not do well in the lottery would later claim that they made an effort to focus on less popular schools, those that had previously shared their lists in January listed the most in-demand schools (Rooftop, Clarendon, Spanish-immersion, etc) in Round 1.


    That's the link to last year's lists, which seem overly optimistic if you ask me. Too many overly popular schools.

  3. We listed:
    Flynn Spanish
    Flynn GE
    Starr King Mandarin
    Paul Revere

    Perhaps in a slightly different order, we eventually got assigned to Flynn GE, but decided to wait until next year (and oh my, was that the right decision! our daugher would be torturing her kinder teacher this year!) Anyhow, we live in Bernal and were trying to find a school that was in our neighbourhood, offered immersion and would be a match for both our daughter and in a few years, her brother. I hope this year we have better luck, but this year we're also looking at privates for a safety net.

  4. round 1:

    alvarado imms
    flynn imms
    fairmount imms
    alvarado gen ed

    went 0-7, assigned to j. serra, which, by the way, made a good impression on me (we just really hoped for immersion).

    round II:

    waitpool flynn imms


    paul revere imms
    starr king mandarin
    harvey milk
    sf community or flynn gen ed (can't recall)

    got into flynn imms off the waitpool in the round II run. then disenrolled from flynn in august because of flynnarado debacle. then three weeks of hellish negotiation with SFUSD. then reassignment to clarendon jbbp (which we never applied to, obviously).

    keep in mind that some of these schools were not grossly overenrolled in 07-08, so we weren't totally nuts even with our round I list (we really wanted immersion and the strategy was to go for broke and then waitpool).

    certainly, if we hadn't been erroneously assigned to flynn off the waitpool we would be happily ensconced at paul revere right now...

    if i had it to do again, i would have made a conscious decision NOT to risk enduring many months -- years? -- of embattlement and hopelessness, compromised on what we wanted more (which was really just neighborhood/ public transport access and immersion) and put the following schools on our round I list:

    paul revere imms
    flynn gen ed
    sf community
    starr king imms


  5. We put:
    1) Starr King MI
    2) Buena Vista SI
    3) Alvarado SI
    4) Fairmount SI
    5) Jose Ortega MI
    6) SF Community
    7) Harvey Milk

    We got our #1 choice, Starr King MI.

  6. Here's what our list was:
    Claire Lillienthal
    Alvarado SI

    We got our number one choice in Round One (and we have no apparent diversity or unusual circumstances, just got lucky.)

  7. we listed 4 schools and didn't get one. in fact, we're trying again this year cause we never got a school! so definitely broaden your scope and put 7 schools on the list.

  8. We listed popular schools with strong APIs for Round I. Because we have a boy, we specifically looked for schools with high percentages of boys scoring proficient or advanced. Although its API was less strong (though respectable and improving), we listed Grattan very high. Our friends highly recommended it, and we had the erroneous impression that because we don't live in an assignment area and it's the non-alternative school physically closest to us, we had a good shot. Uh, no.

    We were idiots to think, "Somebody has to get into these schools so why not us?" Unfortunately, at the time, our reasoning was, "These are the schools we want so we should go for them."

    Also, we were woefully under-informed about the extent to which kindergartens would fill up with sibling preferences. If I could change any one thing about the lottery right away, I would change it so sibling preferences enroll prior to Round I and have the district publish the real number of K seats available to lottery participants before parents submit their Round I choices. I mean, I was actually so stupid as to think that Clarendon had 40 kindergarten places, not the 13 or whatever it was that were left after sibling preferences.

  9. i second marlowe's mom's comment about sib spots: there was a baby boom. we're still in it. it affects not only oldest-child K applicant numbers, but also incoming sib numbers. (i recall someone saying district statisticians usually forecast about 30%; at some schools last year, 50% of the spots were taken by sibs.)

    not to paint a picture of gloom and doom, but i just think there is a large slice of SF parents who really would find schools with smaller reps quite palatable -- we certainly did -- and it would behoove them to not only spend more time touring that type, but also put more of them on their round I list. that is, if they don't want to risk waiting all summer and well into fall for an assignment that may or may not happen.

  10. 12:37, it's a good thing you're anon because otherwise someone on here would be hunting you down for bounty ;-)

  11. Our list:

    Alvarado GE
    Alvarado SI
    New Traditions

    Creative Arts Charter (sep lottery)

    We got NT and CACS, so we had a choice.

  12. we went for the moon in the first round too:

    Flynn SP (which we thought we had a good shot at!)
    Clarendon JPPS
    Clarendon 2nd
    Alvarado SP

    Didn't get anything Round 1 and I knew I was at the end of my rope with the whole process so we (THANKFULLY) went waitlisted for a school we had hesitated on in Round 1:

    Starr King Mandarin.

    We got it in Round 2
    We were (and still are THRILLED)

  13. We did:
    West Portal (gen)
    West Portal (ch)
    Diane Fienstein

    Got 0/7, then nothing on wait list. Were called around end of Sept with an open slot for West Portal. We didn't do it - our child is young, so opted to try again this year.

  14. Kim, I'm confused - are you at Clarendon or at Paul Revere? Did you select Paul Revere over Clarendon and not receive it? Couldn't you have wait listed into PR? Just wonderin' Thanks - you're the best!

  15. we are at clarendon jbbp. we had paul revere on our round II list and again on the list for the special flynnarado "lottery" -- which had very different "rules" than the regular one -- but we got clarendon that day (luck of the draw). it is true that after we had our spot at flynn taken away we could have waitpooled revere instead of fairmount, but we didn't because, well, fairmount is 100 yards from our house and they gave us hardship appeal status in the waitpool after that. we thought we had a great chance to get in. wrong-oh. want to know something hilarious? a source tells me fairmount had 2 spots open after they dissolved the wp's. searched high and low and couldn't find a spanish kid to take the spots. can you believe it? and they're hardly out of balance (at least on paper -- apparently a lot of "spanish" kids, uh, don't...).

    the only reason i'm giving these details is that i want people to understand two things: (1) it is possible for a responsible parent to think that a revere and a clarendon are equally good and just possess different strengths; and (2) that last year we all had too many priorities, too many non-negotiables. cut 'em down or get nothing, i say.


  16. round one with twins -

    1. west portal CN
    2. alvarado SN
    3. clarendon JBBP
    4. buena vista SN
    5. miraloma GE
    6. flynn SN
    7. starr king MN

    got assigned to bessie carmichael. didn't take it.

    in round two:

    WL flynn SN
    1. mirlaoma GE
    2. starr king MN
    3. paul revere SN
    4. fairmount SN
    5. monroe SN
    6. marshall SN
    7. BV SN
    (not sure of order of last four...)

    we got nothing.

    we went to EPC and signed up for rosa parks JBBP in open enrollment = lucky!

    about two weeks before school started, we took daniel webster SN over RP JBBP. a toss up... but we really wanted immersion.

    if i had the chance to do it all again...

    MOST IMPORTANTLY... i would have stuck to my gut that i wanted immersion only and would have scratched all GE or FLES programs from my list.

    (people NEED to focus on ONE priority... location, immersion, etc. when you consider too many priorities you end up only choosing the most requested schools!)

    THEN... i would have taken the least popular immersion programs and placed them at the top of my lists - starr king and paul revere. (next year, this will be SK, PR and webster.) the time i spent agonizing and waiting at EPC could have been dedicated to one of these schools.

    i spent 13 months on this process and am at a school i never toured or requested.

    LAST... i would have gone down to EPC and DEMANDED to know the breakdown of english speakers to target-language speakers in all the immersion programs. i wasted months on waitlists that would not move for english speakers - BV, flynn, fairmount. it was as waste of my waitlist opportunity.

    jennifer (daniel webster)

    consider DW for 2009!

  17. fairmount sn
    flynn sn
    monroe sn
    marshall sn
    buena vista
    alvarado sn
    paul revere

    got monroe in r1. waitlisted fairmount, met some monroe parents, pulled our waitlist application, very very happy at monroe.

  18. wow. 8:11. perfect example of how to prioritize.

    we went to the monroe fall carnival and had a great time. i loved monroe but it is a little far for us.

  19. okay. AGONIZED over round one list. finally came up with
    buena vista
    flynn imm
    alvarado imm
    fairmount imm
    sf community

    was just about clinically depressed when we were assigned to starr king general ed. went to check it out and enroll as a backup and was very impressed with the school. didn't want to deal with the lottery agony again, so did not put any of our failed round 1 choices for waitpool.

    round 2 waitpool starr king mandarin

    buena vista
    sf community
    paul revere spanish
    harvey milk
    flynn ge

    got assigned to starr king. still nervous, then heard about spots at webster this summer. considered it but felt like starr king was a more solid school and if mandarin turned out to be too challenging we could switch to starr king gen ed.

    we are pretty happy at starr king so far, although i still can't believe my son is learning to speak and read mandarin!!!

    lots of this is about how much stress you can handle. we had friends who got in our top choice school through the round 2 waitpool but i needed some closure on the process.

  20. We knew we only wanted Fairmount. (we live nearby and wanted a spanish immersion program)
    We listed it as our #1 choice. Then filled the remaining 6 choices with high demand schools- Rooftop, West Portal, Alvarado, Miraloma etc.
    We were assigned Fairmount on the first round. Overall, we are very pleased. The community part has been a bit of a struggle but we love how engaged our son is in the learning process. Their kinder teachers are wonderful.

  21. This comment has been removed by the author.

  22. Our list (all Spanish Immersion):

    Buena Vista
    Paul Revere

    Got Paul Revere (our 2nd choice) in Round 1. I'll admit to having a moment of "Oh shit." Iit was brief. Now, I couldn't be happier.

  23. Our round 1 list was:

    1. Miraloma
    2. Alvarado (Sp. imm.)
    3. Rooftop
    4. Alvarado (Gen.)
    5. West Portal (Gen.)
    6. Clarendon (Second community)
    7. Leonard Flynn (Sp. imm.)

    We (not surprisingly) didn't get any of these in Round 1. We were assigned to Junipero Serra but did not register there.

    In Round 2 we waitpooled for Miraloma, and put down Grattan, McKinley, and Harvey Milk on our list. We did not receive an assigment, and also lost the Junipero Serra spot since we didn't register there. We were not admitted to any of the 3 privates we applied to. So all summer we did not have a placement, and we basically thought that we were going to wait a year and try again. We remained in the Miraloma waitpool throughout the summer.

    On the Friday before school started, we got a call from SFUSD that we had a spot at Miraloma. Our daughter started there and is doing fantastically. We couldn't be happier.

    We picked the list we did in Round 1 because our daughter is young-ish with a September birthday. So we figured if it didn't work out this year, we'd try again next year. If we had really needed a spot this year, we would have tried a more balanced strategy, obviously. We would have dropped Clarendon and West Portal from the list, given the odds -- and also because we always liked Miraloma better than both those schools. We probably would have put some combination of Grattan, Harvey Milk, McKinley, Leonard Flynn (gen), and Paul Revere (immersion) on the list instead. We liked Flynn (gen) and Paul Revere a lot. I'd really encourage those interested in immersion to take a good look at Paul Revere -- the principal there is great. Good luck figuring it all out!

  24. Our first round list:
    1) Clarendon JBBP
    2) Clarendon 2nd Community
    3) West Portal GE
    4) Rooftop
    5) Mira Loma
    6) Alvarado GE
    7) Mc Kinley
    As we badly wanted JBBP, we listed high demand neighborhood schools beside Clarendon. The strategy was to get the highest priority for waitlist school. We left Rosa Parks JBBP for second round as the odds were high. We got 0/7 and assigned to Hillcrest as most of other Noe Valley families.

    For second round we listed Rosa Parks JBBP after Clarendon JBBP. Clarendon JBBP was waitlist school, too. We got Rosa Parks JBBP as we expected.

    Although Clarendon JBBP opened an additional class, we were never informed about that. We found it out when it was too late. We never got it - reading Kim Green's comments, I feel it is not fair that some flynnarado families are offered spots they never asked for, while there are so many families waiting for it.

    Rosa Parks turned out to be a very good school for us, except the early start time! We happily found out that JBBP program is better than Clarendon's. Both of the JBBP and native japanese teachers are great. They put lot's of energy and effort into teaching.
    While Clarendon was our waitlist school even after schools started, I really hoped not to get the offer as I was sure I would be very confused to choose between those two JBBPs: academics vs japanese.

    When we started the process, I was often told that there are many good schools in SF, and most families end up at a school they like. This is true. So just go and visit the schools, never give up. You will sure find a school you will be very happy with. Good luck..

  25. We listed

    1. Alvarado SI
    2. Flynn SI
    3. Rooftop
    4. Alvarado GE
    5. Miraloma
    6. Starr King MI
    7. AFY CI

    Got our first choice and were lucky to keep it, considering we were one of the 5 or 6 non Spanish speaking, non Siblings families who did not get affected by the Flynnarado disaster.

    Here is a good link to see the stats for last year:

    Good luck to you all.

  26. 1. Dianne Feinstein
    2. Lakeshore
    3. George Peabody
    4. Lafayette
    5. Sunset
    6. Argonne
    7. Lawton

    We received our 1st choice in Round 1 (no siblings or any preferences); when people find out we got our 1st choice in R1 they can't believe it -- one person called it an "urban myth" ... anyway, we couldn't be happier with where we landed -- Dianne Feinstein is a growing school with a wonderful, caring, and active community.

    We really only had 6 schools we wanted -- we put Lawton last as we knew we wouldn't get in and that we'd have a higher priority in R2 if we were 0/7 so we didn't want a school in the 7th slot that we might actually get since there wasn't one.

    Dianne Feinstein tours are Wednesdays from 10am-10:45am -- call 415-615-8460 to sign up!

    Good luck to everyone for 2009-2010!

  27. We put:
    1. Sunset
    2. Lafayette
    3. Lakeshore
    4. Peabody
    5. Claire L.
    6. West Portal
    7. Grattan

    We really wanted the 1st four or we would stick with our Catholic school choice... we got Sunset, and so we were obviously thrilled!

  28. Here are our lists-

    Round 1:

    1. Rooftop
    2. Alvarado (SP)
    3. Alvarado (GE)
    4. Grattan
    5. West Portal (GE)
    6. Miraloma
    7. Clarendon (GE)

    We decided to shoot the moon with Rooftop, not really having a clear understanding of how the District runs the lottery, and of how crucial the #1 spot is if you are picking a program that is at all popular.We did not receive any of our choices and were assigned to John Muir, which we declined.

    Proximity to home was one of the most important factors for us - and I will say that we burned out after touring about 10 schools. Harvey Milk, for example, only came onto our radar screen after Round 1 and I loved it, despite the very late start time.

    Round 2:

    WP: Grattan

    1. Harvey Milk
    2. McKinley
    3. New Traditions

    We received nothing in Round 2 but the District granted our hardship appeal. We also stood in line on the first day of open enrollment to get a spot at Junipero Serra just to have somewhere for our daughter to start come August 25th. JS is definitely a school on the rise but is across town for us. It would not have worked for more than 1 year.

    After a long wait that was idirectly impacted by the Flynn/Alvarado situation, we found out 10 days before school began that we had a spot at Grattan.

    It is an amazing school. We feel very lucky to have landed there.

    One piece of advice is to focus on the schools that really speak to you, not because of numbers, reputation, programs, etc, but because you could see your child/family thriving in that community.

  29. I just want to say thank you to all who posted, although I feel very sobered! I have twins and I am afraid we won't stand a chance because we need two spots. I'm looking forward to reading about more parents' experiences! Thanks!

  30. 8:27 what do you mean by the importance of the #1 choice? I've been told the rankings only matter if your kid can be placed at more than one school and then they will give you your highest choice of those options.

  31. Thank you all for your posts, I am the one who asked Kate to pose this question.

    I think I will go for the gold and use proximity as my second-seventh choices.

    in case you have opinions on my list.

    West Portal CN
    Clarendon JBBB

    Again, thanks
    I feel like there is hope.

  32. 10:54

    You're dreaming. You'll get 0/7 with that list. Not meaning to be harsh, but all of those schools are high in demand. But go for it, if you're a gambler.

  33. This is Anon 8:27pm from last night -

    My sense of how the lottery works is that the #1 choice is crucial. It really doesn't make sense to put a high-demand school anywhere except #1, because they will run all of the #1 choices first, fill slots that way, then go to #2. We had put a high demand school (Clarendon) as our 7th choice, which I now realize is equivalent to putting nothing down.

    This is probably not the case for less popular schools. PPS has good information on their listserve archive about how the lottery is run so I won't post it here.

    I also agree with Marlowe's Mom about the importance of having access to sibling data. This was a MAJOR constraint last year, will also be one this year, and we should encourage PPS to push the District to post the information on real #'s prior to the submission deadline in January.

  34. That is absolutely NOT how the lottery works.

  35. Each school has its own lottery. Everyone who listed that school in any position goes into the lottery for that school. All together. One hat. Without rank.

    If the district sees that you have won the lottery at more than one school, it assigns you the school you ranked highest. That is rank's only purpose.

  36. 10:54 MIGHT get sunset or jefferson. MIGHT MIGHT MIGHT. my guess is that it is a 0/7 list.

  37. 10:54 PM All the schools on your list are extremely high demand. Odds are not in your favor.

    What about Jose Ortega CN? From your list Starr King would probably not work geographically.

  38. I found a great tool to help with the enrollment chances

    My list shows, based on last years stats, I have 50% chance to get into one of my 7 listed schools.

    I will keep you all posted if my list changes and what happens to us.

    Again, thanks

  39. The Adams spreadsheet's way of calculating is seriously flawed. Don't rely on it.

  40. 9:39 is correct. The purpose of ranked-preference is to give you your higher choice if you are wildly lucky and happen to hit the lottery in more than one school. So if you really, really want Clarendon or Starr King Mandarin or whatever school, by all means put it first, so that some other school doesn't elbow it out if you happen to land more than one.

    It is important to understand that there is no reason why a #7 Clarendon pick is any less likely to "hit" than a #1 Clarendon pick. When they run the lottery for Clarendon JBBP, you will either be a "hit" or not, at either #1 or #7. That is why you will meet families who got very popular schools that they listed fairly low on their lists (#4-#7), whereas others had them at #1 in the same exact run and didn't get so lucky.

  41. Also, they don't call your name, see if you fit, and if not, put you back in the hat. They see what profile would best balance the class at the point of the next draw, and then draw from among the applicants who have that profile.

  42. I agree that Adam's spreadsheet should not be relied upon - the %ages it presents seem far higher than reality, especially when taking into account the real # of open slots based on siblings vs. the total # of K slots.

    For what it is worth, I don't recall hearing anyone get into a high demand school in Round 1 who did not list it as a first choice. Lower demand schools, yes, but even those were rare. people seemed to either get their first choices or nothing at all.

  43. I live between two alternative schools (Clarendon & Rooftop), and EPC told me that the first school on my list (provided it was not an alternative school) would become my neighborhood-assignment school. In that regard, it sounded like the order in which I listed my schools was important.

    I was also given the impression that you should list your neighborhood-assignment school first if you really, really want it and if you want to take advantage of your "neighborhood preference" in the lottery.

    I got my first choice (Miraloma).

    Was anyone else given similar advice?

  44. Yes, 2:09, that is another wrinkle. Putting your neighborhood assignment school first gives you an advantage for that school. If you don't have a NAS, your first non-alternative listed will become your NAS.

    Still, aside from this wrinkle, you have as good a chance of getting any school if you list it number one or number seven. You will get your higher preference if you happen to get lucky and get assignments at more than one school.

    I personally know several people who got popular schools like Clarendon at pick number four or five. However, I suppose it could be true that if you get lucky at one popular school you are more or less likely to get lucky at several....perhaps due to home language or some other characteristic. The demographic "issues" tend to be same at all the popular schools: intense demand from educated, non-poor, English-speaking families. If you can overcome this competition at one school, you woudl probably overcome it at all these schools. And in that case, you would get your top pick.

  45. If you don't have a NAS, your first non-alternative listed will become your NAS.

    What does this mean? Please elaborate.

  46. According to the spreadsheet, I had a 92% chance of getting into one of our round 1 schools and we went 0/7, so be careful about relying on it. I think it may have been because I listed Starr King Mandarin in Round 1 (though in slot 2 or 3) and the year before it was easier to get into than this year. We got in on 2nd round but know people who didn't and waited out the waiting list.

    The rest of our round 1 list was something like everyone else's:

    West Portal Gen'l
    Clarendon 2nd Community
    Flynn Spanish
    Alvarado Spanish

    Part of my "strategy" was to wind up in the priority 0/7 cohort if we didn't get SKMI in first round. I thought, well, it's a lottery, someone has to win it and maybe we'll win Rooftop. If we don't win Rooftop then we'll likely get Starr King.

    I was really taken with Rooftop but am now convinced that the 7:30 start time would have made my family's life miserable. We have trouble with 8:40.

    In Round 1, we got assigned to Flynn General Ed which is our neighborhood school. We registered there but didn't think we'd end up there though I warmed to the idea of it and was excited to be walking to school. On 2nd round, we waitlisted SKMI and added Jose Ortega Mandarin though getting there would have been a pain. There was a rumour that the MI schools held back half the spots for Mandarin-at-home families and then released those spots at 2nd round.

    We didn't get into the one private school we applied to but did get into Starr King MI and are thrilled there.

    If I had it to do over again I would be more realistic and forget about playing the lottery with my kid's education. I'd also apply to more privates and do the whole networking thing.

    Good luck to those of you going through it now. Some of you must be on the SK tours because I hear they are huge this year. Last year I saw maybe 6 or 8 families but yesterday I think they had over 40!

  47. Most of the city is divided into neighborhood assignment zones. These designations hearken back to the day when you were primarly assigned a school by where you lived. Because of the desegregation consent decree, these zones are not made strictly by neighborhood, meaning there are schools whose assignement zones are far across town, example parts of Visitacion Valley are assigned to Alvarado. Bus routes were set up to reflect these zones.

    You can find these zones on the SFUSD maps that are provided on the website. Look closely and you will see boundaries drawn around most schools, with some notations like "Spring Valley Assignment Zone B" and so forth.

    However, some schools are designated as "alternative," not neighborhood. This a very dated concept with almost no meaning now. These were the schools that yuppie class parents like most of us here clamored to get into back in the 1990's, before the lottery, because most of us hated our assigned schools. There are bus routes from all over the city to these schools, too.

    Although outdated, these designations play a small role today in the lottery, in response to the clamor from folks who live in the nicer neighborhoods that they want to attend their neighborhood schools.

    It is thus: You will have a small advantage in the lottery if you put your neighborhood assigment school (NAS) first on the list. When they run the lottery for that school, if the computer is looking for families that resemble your socio-economic demographic, they will look first in the neighborhood pool of folks of that demographic. So, that is your advantage.

    HOWEVER, some of us do not have a neighborhood assignment school. For example, I live in the old Edison ES assignment area. Edison was an SFUSD school, but is now a state-sponsored charter school. So we have no NAS. So what the lottery does is put my kids into the neighborhood pool for the first (has to be non-alternative) school on our list. Not Clarendon, because it is alternative. But McKinley, and even Alvarado....So when that non-alternative school on my list is run, if they are looking for my kid's demographic, they'll look first in that neighborhood pool.

    It's a small advantage, not worth moving to a neigbhorhood or anything, but it might help to know that, and to list that school first.

    Hope that helps answer the question.

  48. So everyone has a neighborhood advantage, but some people (those without a zone) get to pick their neighborhood.

    But you are saying that neighborhood preference only works on your #1 listed school? If I live in Flynn but place it #2 on my list, I lose my neighborhood preference?

    Still, I'm not sure where strategy would come into play here. Always list the one you want the mostest the firstest...

  49. I also find no rhyme or reason here. Parents for Public Schools came to talk at our preschool a month ago and said the lottery gives no neighborhood preference whatsoever...

  50. In theory, the neighborhood preference should come into play, but if everyone from the neighborhood has the same demographic and adds nothing to the pool after siblings are accounted for, then yes you are right, the neighborhood angle has no benefit.
    Again, though, if you happen to be of a different socio-economic demographic than your neighbors....
    well, then you have a good chance to get in.

  51. So, we don't fit the socio-economic picture of where we live (Silver Terrace). We are white upper, middler class and Europen-bilingual. Would that then put us more "at risk" for getting into our neighborhood school, which, if I read the map correctly would be exactly where we don't want to be...?

  52. well, if you didn't list the school as one of your choices, then I would think not.
    When it comes to getting assigned to a school because you are 0/7 or 0/15 or whatever, then you would get assigned to your neighborhood school if openings (which in this case sounds like there might be), or to another school of close proximity or along a school bus route.
    I'm kind of wondering where Silver Terrace is. Is your neigh. school Hillcrest or somewhere over there?

  53. 8:46, try Monroe, SF Community, Sunnyside, Paul Revere. No guarantees of getting, but these are better odds than Clarendon & Rooftop, all interesting schools in different ways, and all relatively accessible to Silver Terrace.

  54. Did anyone get into AFY, Rooftop, CL? Please let us know if you did

  55. There is neighborhood preference in this way: If at the time of the current draw they need a kid with, say, a 2,4 profile to balance the class, first they look for kids of that profile that live in the neighborhood. If they can't find one they move on to kids out of the neighborhood.

    But I'm not sure what the previous poster means about that only working with your #1 ranked school. If you list your neighborhood school anywhere #1-#7, you will get neighborhood preference if it applies (ie your profile is the one they are looking for).

    I DO get the part about if you don't have a neighborhood school you get to declare one. By all means pick the neighborhood of your choice and list its school at #1. It can only help you with that school, without harming your odds for anything listed #2-#7.

  56. That's right, you get the small neighborhood advantage if you list your neighborhood assignment school at any point in your picks. Those without a neighborhood assignment school will get neighborhood preference at the first non-alternative school they list.

  57. For the parents applying this year, this conversation is a good example with lots of "opinions" and few "facts." Before you turn in your list of seven schools, I recommend that you ask EPC if order is important for things other than a tie breaker when you are assigned twice,, where to indicate (list) neighborhood preference (if that placement on the list is important), etc. Don't rely on hearsay.

    The computer software is **very** old, and it is hard to imagine that it was expertly crafted to deal with all these "what ifs," many of which did not exist several years ago. The software cannot even deal with twins, for Pete's sake (something that Garcia should fix before the next lottery--but will he?).

    The district always lists how many times a school was listed first and how many times that it was listed overall. Providing those statistics implies that being listed first is important. No?

    If anyone asks EPC if order is important, esp. for the first spot, please share the answer(s) with us. It is particularly amusing when you get different answers when you speak with different councilors ; >)

  58. I believe the computer software has to be more sophisticated, at least needs to deal with the order of the schools in the list. It has to give some kind of weight to the order, or just run the pool only among those who listed x school as their top choice. If it can not fill the school, then run it again among the remainders who are not assigned to their top choice school and listed x school second in their list. And so on.. Writing such a software shouldn't be a big deal..
    When I heard about the software I thought it was running like that, how disappointed I was when I heard that the order is only important when you are assigned to more than one schools..

  59. From EPC last year.
    Each school runs a separate lottery. If your name comes up for a school you are put on the list. If your name comes up for multiple schools then you are placed at the school higher on your list. BUT if you are not what that school needs in terms of diversity at that time you "pop out" in the lottery you will be put back in to the big pool. There is also the neighborhood preference factor. So there is no need to try and game the system with putting less or more popular schools in certain positions on your list and yes, people have been known to get rooftop in position 7 on their list.

    Of course I may have been told this incorrectly!!!

  60. Sorry, but I would not rely on what the EPC says. Also it is my understanding that you don't "pop out." The computer knows what profile it needs and goes and finds a kid with that one.

  61. So, in other words, following this discussion, let's just list the schools that we want, priority 1 in slot #1 and so forth. There seem way too many variables, nobody has neither insight or control over. Honestly, personally I don't understand why the computer/school has to look for THE kid it needs and why we don't just all have the same luck of the draw. I do understand that people in hardship w/o transportation can't travel accross town to school their kid, but other than that, I feel all should have an equal chance regardless of culture, language etc. I went to public in Europe and granted that it was a more homogenous society, but it wasn't such a disaster. My sister is an elementary school teacher in Europe and while the society has been getting much more diverse, they still don't have a situation like this.

  62. For the Silver Terrace poster: You might want to look at E.R. Taylor School. It's great.

  63. I agree about ER Taylor

  64. 10:22 am -- the whole goal of the lottery is to increase the diversity in each school and achieve desegregation of the schools.

    However, the lottery system has not accomplished this as well as one would think, as I believe the District ran a straight lottery and found that the "diversity" at schools overall was only a few percentage points less.

    Naturally one would expect this if only families of certain demographics apply for certain schools. So if not many non preschool ELL lower income/free lunch kids apply for Clarendon, well, then of course Clarendon won't have that many of those type of kids there. (Just an example, substitute other school nea

    So I suppose the work for the District is to attract the desired demographic families to the right schools. Marketing or whatever. Does the school district send anyone to the heavily populated Latino, Chinese, etc ELL communities to inform them of the Clarendon's? And whats to say that Chinese, Latinos are not happier in schools that are heavily Chinese, Latino respectively. Of course they are. In general, one feels more comfortable around people of the same culture. Doesn't matter what culture one is from. Its human nature. If only some of these do-gooders in this city with their well intentioned ideas can understand that. I am for diversity in schools but to me, that should not be the overriding number one priority over all else. But I'll get off that soapbox.

  65. For what it's worth, our list was (we went 0/7):

    Clarendon GE
    W. Portal GE
    Dianne Feinstein

    We later heard of many people getting Round I choices for Sunset, Feinstein and Lafayette, but ALL listed them as #1 choices (despite this NOT supposed to matter). The only people we know who got Clarendon or Rooftop in Round I or II spoke other languages at home or had "hardship" appeals.

  66. By the way, to answer the comments about last year's lists being too popular: there were many schools that last year seemed like good bets based on the year before, that ended up being quite popular. So a list last year that included, say, Miraloma, Grattan, Peabody, Lafayette, Sunset, and/or some of the less popular immersion programs might have been considered a good bet the year before.

    This is important because, you never know, someone next year could say your list that includes schools like: Sunnyside, New Traditions, Daniel Webster SI, Jose Ortega etc. was "too optimistic" or full of popular schools. Though my guess is that some or all of those schools are probably good bets.

    It all depends on who is applying to what schools this year. And this is harder to predict...

  67. For 8:10 who responded to my post, I agree with everything you say. Of, course I understand that the lottery is supposed to help increase diversity and I too am all for it. However, I think rather than giving some people a better chance to get into any particular school, more effort should be made to make all schools better. If that was the case, then yes, maybe some would still feel uncomfortable in their neighborhood school due to cultural issues, but having gone to school in a place where free and good education for all children is a reality, I'm convinced that would be the route to take. In the meantime, I will be hope for a few more months and then for many probably $ to give our child a solid education. It's concerning!

  68. We are not within a neighborhood assignment area. We too believed we would have some kind of preference for the first non-alternative school we put on our list. The first non-alternative school on our list was Grattan, which is also the non-alternative school physically closest to us. If you list a relatively unpopular neighborhood school and you live outside a neighborhood assignment area, you might get it, but don't count on getting a popular neighborhood school just because you don't live in an assignment area.

  69. 8:10 here -- 10:10pm -- yes I agree with you 100%.

  70. Clarendon
    W Portal
    Commodore Sloat

    We got none.

    Forget the Clarendons and Rooftops. Go for your neighborhood school first!