Monday, November 3, 2008

SFUSD enrollment fair

Mark your calendars: The SFUSD enrollment fair is this Saturday, November 8
9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
Concourse Exhibition Center, East Hall
620 Seventh St.

Each fall, SFUSD creates a one-stop-shopping event for families who are looking to enroll their child. The Public School Enrollment Fair is where parents, caring adults, and students can meet principals and teachers to learn what each school can offer their child. Families can also attend workshops including: how to fill out an application, how to enroll students in Special Education, the transition to Kindergarten, and Language program options. This annual gathering is a chance for families to explore all their options for public schools. Last year approximately 10,000 families attended.

Will you be attending? What do you hope to get out of the event? Anyone want to give incoming parents tips on navigating the fair/


  1. These are the abbreviations from a representative "school profile" on the SFUSD website under the chart for "Student Ethnic Representation." Does anyone know what each of these letters stands for? I think I can figure out some of them, but others I'm not sure. I couldn't find a "key" anywhere on the website. Thanks.


  2. Ethnic Abbrevations

    AI American Indian
    AA Afro American
    C Chinese
    F Filipino
    IC Indo-Chinese
    J Japanese
    K Korean
    ONW Other Non-White
    OW Other White
    L Latino
    DS Declines to State
    SA Samoan

  3. Last year, the best enrollment odds went to Samoans.

    So just say you are Samoan.

  4. Latino
    Other White
    African American
    American Indian
    Other Non-White
    Declines to State


  6. I'll be going on my own as my spouse will be out of town. Wondering any advice for how to tackle the enrollment fair without being totally overwhelmed. I plan to hit the place as soon as the doors open.

  7. I had posted this question on another thread but got no answer. I think my question fits better here. I see in the brochure that Argonne is now going to have a Russian language program -- the brochure says it is K through 2nd grade. Does anyone know whether this means they are just starting next year with those grades and then slowly building up the Russian program through fifth grade as the kids advance or does that mean that only K through 2nd will get Russian?

  8. I posted on another thread in response to someone's question re Russian immersion program -- my understanding is that Argonne started a Russian enrichment program, not immersion. I met a boy earlier this year who went to Argonne (and whose mother is actually Russian) and he told me he had the option to take the Russian class or some other class, like chess or along those lines.
    He said not all the kids had to take it.
    However, he was in an older grade.
    Why don't you just call over to the school?
    Also - on Thurs, Nov 6th, Karling himself will be at Daniel Webster to talk about immersion programs.
    If this is a new program, he should be able to speak about it.

    If it is enrichment/extra, it could just be in the lower grades, because the older grades may already have other type of enrichment classes and no room to squeeze in Russian.

    Sounds like a great option for language exposure. Russian is so different than English.

  9. putting your race, Samoan or otherwise, has no impact on what school you get.

  10. "Last year, the best enrollment odds went to Samoans. So just say you are Samoan."

    Years ago, when race was taken into consideration in enrollment, I heard a probably apocryphal story about a white middle-schooler who was called up at a school assembly and recognized as an accomplished African American student. He had no idea that his parents had listed him that way years earlier.

  11. The racial component was still in effect when my older started school (yes, we listed him accurately as "OW," aka white). Occasionally I saw one of the official school lists showing racial designation. There were definitely kids listed as "other nonwhite" who were as white as he is. One I know was Jewish -- as my kids are -- so I wondered if the parents decided that warranted calling him ONW. And the ethnic designations broke out different Asian subgroups. One Chinese family was listed as Korean, and others as ONW. So it might not be apocryphal about the supposed African-American student. And there was an African-American honor roll -- perhaps more than one year, but definitely widely publicized one particular year.

  12. The Enrollment Fair is your best chance to interact with teachers. On school tours, the teachers are busy teaching. So, come prepared with your list of teacher questions.

    It is also a great opportunity to prioritize your long list of schools to a much shorter list. Then you can tour just those that made the cut.

  13. I heard that this would be a good time to get answers on before/aftercare for those schools you're considering.

    My strategy will be to hit the schools we are thinking of touring but have been wishy washy because it just takes so much time to do multiple tours. The before and aftercare for me is a big issue. I lead a weekly Monday a.m. meeting at 8:30 so need the option of a before care program that starts no later than 7:30. I'm sure that narrows the field considerably.

  14. After many years of attending/working at this event, my best advice to those looking at elementary schools is to GET THERE EARLY! The booths the schools set up are very close together, and crowds develop around most of them, making it a frustrating experience to try to get to talk to anyone staffing the booth. I recommend getting there right when the doors open and hitting all of the most popular schools on your list first, before they get mobbed.

  15. Prodigal, many early-start (7:50am) schools open the gates and provide yard supervision starting at 7:30am. Not the same as before-care, but most kids who arrive at that time spend the 20 minutes before morning circle either eating the school breakfast or playing/conversing with friends on the yard. Works fine.

  16. I understand that the Enrollment Fair is a good place to pick up a copy of the enrollment form (listing our top choices) that we'll need to submit to the EPC, but I may not be able to make it to the Fair. Where else can I get the enrollment form?

  17. You can print out the enrollment form from the website:; click on "enrollment" in the sidebar and follow the prompts from there to find a pdf of the enrollment form.

    You can also pick up pre-printed forms at the central office of SFUSD at 555 Franklin Street. This is also where you will turn in your form in January for Round 1.

    Remember too, when you submit the application in January, that if you are just joining the district you will need to provide proof of child's age and proof of residence (birth certificate, recent utility bill). Best to make sure you can locate these now rather than run around the house on January 9th in a panic. If your child already attends a district school then those are not necessary.

  18. If you are providing proof of residence for the first time in January, don't bring in a copy of your October utility bill. They will want a copy of the most recent one.

  19. Right. Locate your child's birth certificate now, and be sure to save your December utitity bill for proof of residence.

  20. ^^Thanks!!