Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Hot topic: First-grade lottery

An SF K Files visitor suggested the following topic:

"There are so many of us out there who didn't get into a public kindergarten last year. Some of us found private schools, some of us moved out of SF, and others kept our kids in preschool one more year. In any event a number of us will be trying for a public school spot in the SF 1st grade lottery. There aren't any clear numbers on which schools tend to have more 1st grade applications than others."

73 comments:

  1. Guess who? Yeah, it's me. kortney. Looking for answers again.

    So, does anyone know how many folks applied for 1st grade spots last year?
    How many will apply this year?

    Which schools are impossible to get into even in 1st grade?

    Thanks.

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  2. I am a mom looking for K this year and I am definitely also interested in this question as my kid could stay in our preschool for another year if need be. - I am also wondering what happens if you call up SFUSD during the school year and ask them if there are any schools which have (by a miracle I guess) any open slots because families moved etc.

    Just fishing for strategies here...

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  3. Getting into "non-transitional" grades is just luck of the draw. Newcomers transferred into my kids' classes regularly throughout K-8 (Lakeshore and Aptos) as classmates moved away or occasionally switched SFUSD schools for one or another reason.

    Here's one example, though at high school level: a student I know was "asked to leave" a private high school midyear, and SFUSD needed to find him an immediate spot. He wanted Balboa, which is increasingly popular but not outrageously oversubscribed in the first lottery round. At that moment there were no openings in his grade at Bal, but there was one at Lincoln. Lincoln is wildly oversubscribed, with many applicants per opening -- in past years, protesters have staged mass demonstrations demanding spots at Lincoln -- yet the luck of the draw gave this kid a spot there when it wasn't even what he wanted.

    Under those circumstances, when being in the EPC's face at the right moment is key, calling early and often would seem wise.

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  4. At any point in time, someone not already enrolled in the SFUSD system has priority over someone who is.

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  5. Caroline,

    That is my worry, and here is my situation.

    There are 4 schools we like/want for 1st grade. If i put down 7, I'm likely to get one--and if it isn't one of the 4 we like, we'll end up in the last cohort on the waiting list.

    However, if we put only 4, like we did last year, we could end up in the 2nd cohort.

    There is no way to guarentee the 1st cohort on the waitlist--and it's even harder in the upper grades.

    Any idea of when schools typically find out about openings in 1st grade, etc.?

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  6. 10:16

    After the 10 day count closes - (last year it was longer than 10 days...don't know about this year) - the waitpool disolves. In other words, you can enroll anywhere there is an opening. For those of us who do not find alternative schools, we keep in close contact with the EPC.

    I hope that answers your question.

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  7. I don't think priority cohort matters that much in grades that arent's transitional (such as first grade). The exception might be for very popular schools like Rooftop. I'm sure there are many people who fill out an application every year for schools like that, but I would guess there are many fewer for the less popular schools. It just comes down to whether or not there are openings and how many there are.

    I think you can get historical demand data for other grades from the SFUSD web site or the EPC. When I wanted to transfer my son to a K-8 for 8th grade a couple of years ago Archie Fokin was very helpful in telling me which school I had the best chance at.

    Elizabeth

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  8. I went down to EPC a few weeks ago to talk to a counselor about this very issue. You know those detailed spreadsheets re K applications over the past five years? Apparently no such data is kept re 1st grade, so it was tough to coax out info on demand. The counselor gave me info re how many kids were currently (about 2 weeks ago) in first grade wait pools for various schools, but of course that info is meaningless w/out the number of people who APPLIED, which the counselor did not have. (I.e., if there is 1 kid in a wait pool, was that the only kid who applied and he never got in? Or did five others get in and he was the only one who didn't? Etc.) The counselor could tell me how many current openings there were at a few west side schools' 1st grade. There was no room in West Portal 1st grade or at Alvarado, but there were 1-2 spots (each) at Dianne Feinstein and Commodore Sloat. Of course, that doesn't mean there will be that many openings at those schools' 1st grade NEXT year, but it was something. It's frustrating there are no spreadsheets re the non-transitional grades.

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  9. In regards to the spreadsheet, I believe it was done by a nice volunteer parent based on the info from the school district web site. This could probably be replicated by an interested party.

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  10. The lack of information and resources is likely due to the fact that applicants to and openings in the non-transitional grades are basically outliers. The entire situation is different from that of grades K, 6 and 9. You're not competing with the thousands of applicants also trying to get into K, 6 or 9 -- just with an unknown number in some kind of specialized circumstances. It has to be really frustrating, but from what I hear it's also more flexible.

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  11. I suspect that there will be a greater number of people applying for first grade spots this year, so that it will seem less like an "outlier" phenomenon.

    I have a neighbor who applied for 1st grade --out of 7 Round I choices, she got nothing, and finally got into her waitpool school in the beginning of the summer. I think that in this case, being in the first cohort certainly helped.

    I am very curious about what 9:28am means by "anyone not enrolled in the district has priority". Are you talking about right now to transfer? or about the 1st grade lottery as well?

    We've kept in touch with many of our friends who went 0/7 last year, and most went to their Round II assignment or another assignment they got in Open Enrollment. Most of the families I've talked to are planning on doing the 1st grade lottery (some just to see if they can get one of their top 3 or 4 choices, some to get a school closer to home, and some because they're truly dissatisfied with the school).

    It would be terrific if the District would somehow take into account that those of us who went 0/7 and enrolled our child in a public school anyway will essentially be in our second year waiting. Wouldn't it be great to know that there would be some kind of priority cohort for us if we don't get any choices Round I this time? I've heard rumors that there will be such a cohort for the Flynnarados next year...

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  12. The way I understand "anyone not yet enrolled in the district will have priority" as

    If you are already enrolled in another public school in SFUSD it will be harder to "switch", because priority will be given to those not enrolled (like transferring in from a private school). Sort of because it is assumed that those actually need a slot vs. wanting something else...

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  13. Where did you get that information? (about those coming from outside the district being given priority?) Is it published somewhere? Did you hear it from someone at the EPC?

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  14. 7:46
    it's true that inner district transfers are discouraged. we took a private place in kinder because of that very reason. that isn't to say you won't get switched, seeing that so many of us went 0/15 last year.

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  15. Kortney and others,

    Have you considered transfering your child into K mid-year as an option? This is certainly not ideal for so many reasons, but if a space were to open up, and those from privates really do benefit offer intra-district transfers, this could be a chance to get into the SFUSD system without the lottery.

    A long shot, I know, but I thought I'd make the suggestion.

    My best,
    Lena

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  16. Lena,

    Actually, yes. We thought about it. In fact, we planned on it. But then our daughter is so happy at her private kinder that we decided to do her a favor and let her stay until the end of the year.

    Appreciate the idea, though.

    Has anyone been to EPC to ask where there are kinder openings?

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  17. I believe you get priority coming from outside the district mid-year, but you are all in the lottery together for slots for 1st grade, 2nd grade, whatever, with no special priority in the lottery for intra-district transfers.

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  18. So, does EPC allow mid-year transfers only for K or also for other grades?

    I hope it won't get to this for my child's sake, but I am just so confused about it all!

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  19. The EPC has to allow midyear incoming students at any grade, of course, if they're coming from out of district (private or elsewhere). It has to scramble to find them spots.

    For interdistrict, what I've seen is that it's totally case by case. If a kid were having a problem for whatever reason, presumably the school administration would be involved and all parties would be in communication about it. That would make it difficult to just make a case because a more attractive school had a spot open.

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  20. Where did you get that information? (about those coming from outside the district being given priority?) Is it published somewhere?

    Yes it is. I don't have time to look it up but I believe it is in the hard copy official enrollment guide that you can download as a pdf.

    And it goes for everything -- mid-year, lottery. They want to find seats for people who don't have them before they let others start moving about the cabin.

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  21. As a policy issue, this seems to encourage parents to enroll their child in a private school and hold out for their favorite school, if they have priority over everyone else once the waitpools are dissolved. As a practical matter I can't imagine that many people take advantage of it though.

    My guess is that this policy is designed to assist families who are moving to SF from outside the area, not parents who chose private and change their mind once a seat in a coveted school opens up mid-year. But that is the upshot. It seems like parents already in the district should not have lower priority than these families. I was told that even if a seat at a popular school is vacant, a child from another public SF school cannot have it -- it will be held for the next year's lottery. But if a child from a private school wants it, it's theirs.

    My understanding is that this has no effect on Round 1, Round 2, etc. It only affects mid-year openings.

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  22. it would encourage some parents, but honestly most of us don't want to put our kids through many transfers, or put our wallets thru private school. Not to mention that private schools are WAY more competitive and hard to get into than public.

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  23. Whether public or private school is "harder to get into" depends on how you define "hard." Per Adams' spreadsheet, for fall 08, Clarendon's Second Community kindergarten had almost 1000 requests, 174 of which were first-choice requests, for what turned out to be fewer than 20 available non-sibling places. Just by way of an interesting comparison, Harvard's web site said they had about 27,000 applications and admitted about 2,100 of those applicants to their freshman class. Based on requests per available seat, numerical odds of getting into Harvard are far better than getting into kindergarten at the most-requested San Francisco public school (overall; Alice Fong Eu, Claire Lilienthal GE and RL Stevenson had more first-choice requests). Of course the process is different since Harvard, like private elementary schools, bases admissions decisions on individual merit, as evaluated by their own subjective systems, rather than the SF school lottery with its bizarre "random but only sorta" system. You would not take a SFUSD rejection personally of course, where as you might if a private school rejected your child.

    Families all have different capacities for paying for private school, if at all. There are many excellent arguments against opting out of the public school system, and against creating instability for your child by attempting too many transfers. However, those are different subjects than "hard to get into."

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  24. Marlowe's Mom, you are right that it is hard to get into Clarendon given the competition in the lottery. Maybe even harder than getting into one of the private schools with only 3 girl openings or whatever!

    But Clarendon alone isn't the comparison point, is it? It is certainly still a lot harder to get into any number of private schools that are being talked about on the "private school thread"--ranging from KDB to Town to Cathedral to SFDS to Friends to SFS to CDS to Synergy to Live Oak--than to get into *any* public school in SFUSD....and even to get into a quite decent one, the top half let's say in terms of requests, or the ones that definitely filled up by the end of Round 2. The comparison is privates in general versus publics in general, and getting a decent public, I would argue, is easier than getting into one of those privates. Not to say it's not a harrowing process, but the chances are just better, if you play the lottery right.

    It is also true that the vast majority of parents in SF cannot afford private school. There are not enough scholarships to go around to serve all who would really need them. That may not be so clear in this forum that is dominated by fairly educated, reasonably well-off folks, but that is certainly true when all SF parents are considered.

    And there is psychology. Most of us don't like to play chicken. If we *knew* a spot at our top pick school would open up by December, January, whatever, some of us might consider losing a year's tuition and putting our kid through a transfer mid-year. But with no guarantee that spot will open or that we will get it? Not likely we'd take that chance. I'd take a lesser pick first.

    Therefore, this potential issue of parents who lose out in the lottery flocking to private schools and waiting for those spots to open is just not likely to happen. Maybe a few do this, but most will not.

    All that said, I do know of half-a-dozen families or so that have switched schools through the lottery process in the upper grades. And a couple who have switched mid-year due to particular issues or hardships. Spots do open up.

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  25. um, are we talking about 1st grade lottery here?

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  26. I think the issue being discussed is trying to switch your kid into a favored school after kindergarten has begun, whether that be the first grade lottery (or any other upper grade, non-transitional-year lottery), or the alternative strategy that some have proposed of enrolling in private school and then trying to do an intra-district transfer mid-year (since intra-district gets priority and inter-district mid-year transfers are discouraged).

    Most families won't do this though, because of these reasons stated by several posters: prohibitive cost of enrolling in private for most families, stress of transferring mid-year, small chance of openings, and wanting to settle somewhere for the long haul. That's not to say that Kortney or others couldn't be calling now or throughout this year to be finding out about openings--though I believe she has stated she doesn't want to do a mid-year switch for her kid's sake.

    Certainly there are plenty folks who try the lottery in the upper grades, for lots of reasons, and some are successful. It doesn't hurt to try and it's free, no app fees and such.

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  27. Actually, I posted the question not necessarily for incoming Kindergarteners, but for those of us with upper grades kids.

    I'm hoping to gain insight about which schools I have the best chance of finding an open spot for 1st grade this year.

    Does anyone know people in Commodore Sloat?

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  28. What if you went on their school tour this year and hook up with some of the parents -- they may be able to tell you if kids dropped out or moved, etc.

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  29. We did the lottery this past year for first grade. We put only our top choices (I think 5) and we got our second choice, which was Miraloma. In the end we decided to go private - but got a much better choice than when we did the lottery for K the year before.

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  30. Different Mama, you got Miraloma...and decided to go private after all?

    Gee. You are indeed a different mama that I would have been.

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  31. I know someone at Sloat (who went 0/7 and got in off the waitpool in September). I can put you in contact with her if you'd like --just email me at iamabby@comcast.net

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  32. Does anyone know anything about the different factors taken into consideration in the first grade lottery (how well your child did on standardized testing and your current school's ranking)? Is the test the Brigance? If your school ranks below a "4" are you likely to have an advantage in the lottery? or are they still going to put applicants from private schools in front of you?

    Ah, the lack of transparency in this process continues...

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  33. I don't know the answer to the question about how they count tests and the school you are coming from in upper-grade lotteries, but at least I can tell you that you go into the same lottery pool as all the intra-district transfers (private, parochial, other districts, homeschoolers, those currently not in school). Their "advantage" only applies to mid-year transfers. That is, mid-year transfers are for folks who are moving into the district (transferring in from Oklahoma, say) and need a school in February. They get their pick of whatever is available--basically, Open Enrollment. That could mean a spot at Clarendon that just happens to be available. Or, more likely, a spot at one of the schools that was under-subscribed in Open Enrollment for all of us. Luck of the draw at that moment. But if they go into the lottery for the fall, they are in there with anyone else, district or non-district. Same rules apply: Round 1 gets priority over later rounds, etc.

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  34. But if they go into the lottery for the fall, they are in there with anyone else, district or non-district.

    I don't believe this is correct -- out-of-district always has priority. Where did you get this info?

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  35. Look at the Enrollment materials on the sfusd.edu website or the big handout workbook:

    The lottery does not prioritize or sort based on whether or not a child already attends another school in the district. At any grade level, the lottery is run based on the usual factors--looking at attendance area kids first, the computer tries to balance the class for diversity based on poverty, test scores, etc. There is no sorting in the lottery based on whether the kid is coming from private or another city versus another school in SFUSD.

    However, mid-year transfers are a different story. Transfers from another sfusd school are discouraged (as disruptive) unless there is a strong reason like a family move across town, discipline issues, or safety concerns. It requires you to make the argument, whereas kids from outside the district are automatically supposed to be assigned somewhere (where, exactly, depends on luck of the openings at that moment in time).

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  36. This issue of transferring keeps coming up on this blog, and, every time, Caroline tells us how often kids transferred into her kids' schools over the years. But I have been trying to transfer my two kids to a better elementary now for three years running and have gotten nowhere. I've gone down to the District HQ and they tell me that there are really very few openings in the lower grades -- 1st in particular. It appears that there are more openings in the better schools in later grades -- like fourth and fifth grades. That having been said, I'm a little dumb-founded at the person on this list who got their kid into Miraloma for 1st grade (geez, and then said no!). I put in for a transfer to Miraloma THIS YEAR for first grade and got nowhere -- and I stayed through the waiting pools to the bitter end! So I guess I'm just going to throw my hands up and say, once again, it all depends on how lucky you are.

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  37. I have no idea how many families have tried to transfer and have NOT succeeded, but all I can tell you is that I have known many who did transfer, both into AND out of my kids' schools. I'm not saying it's easy, just that it happens.

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  38. 2:12, it would be helpful to others to find out what the district HAS told you -- have they said they have openings in other schools but not the one you want? Or that there's an opening for one kid but not both? Anything at all helpful? Or do they just say no, no, no, with no further comment at all?

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  39. I'm not 2:12, but I did transfer two kids from private to public. The issue when you transfer two kids is that there has to be space for BOTH kids at the same school. There were spaces at some great schools for fourth graders, and some great schools for second graders. But, there were very few options for both.

    I applied during open enrollment, and they would not assign one kid, and then hope that a space would open up for the second. It was all or nothing.

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  40. Thinking back on the transfers I've seen, I can't remember one involving two (or more) sibs, except when they were coming from out of district, or the younger sib wasn't in school yet.

    I know one family whose child had attended three SFUSD schools by 5th grade -- two of them about the most high-demand schools in the district -- because the parents requested the transfers, but they had only the one kid.

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  41. I'm 2:12 again -- No, I told the District that I was willing to take a transfer just one of my kids, so I didn't demand that both get in. And, for two of those years, I was just trying to get one kid transferred, as the other hadn't started school yet. Indeed, I had to put in two separate forms (once they were both in school), and the district treated each separately. And I put down three schools for each. Funny thing is that you get back a form for each kid saying your kid has been assigned to ___ [my kid's current school], making it sound like I got something I wanted when I all I got was the school they were already in. When I went down to HQ, the counselors at EPC just told me that it is very difficult to transfer at the younger ages and that I should be happy with what I have. Admittedly, this conversation happened right after the first announcements went out and thus there were LOTS of very angry parents there. But the feeling I got was that, you know, you are in an OK school and you should just be happy you are there. The only people I know who have transferred did it for 3rd and 4th grades. I was going to try again this year, but I'm kind of beaten down at this point.

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  42. One thing to keep in mind is that most schools have a number of kids who repeat kindergarten, and this opens up spots for 1st grade transfers. (OTOH it reduces the number of K spots.) Also, there are schools like our that are now quite popular but didn't used to be that way. Consequently, although it is difficult to get a K opening, the upper elementary grades are typically slightly under-enrolled and have multiple openings.

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  43. I think it helps to ask someone at the schools you are interested what the different grades look like. For instance, my child is in 2nd grade at Grattan. His class has never been full, not K, not 1st and still as 2nd. I do not believe that is the case for K, 1 or 3 though. And when I say not full, I mean 17 or 18 each year.

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  44. It doesn't appear this is what happened to you, 2:12, but here's what happened to a friend of mine who had been homeschooling but wanted to enroll her child in school -- she was aiming for third grade at Lakeshore. She kept getting responses from SFUSD along the lines of "your request to homeschool has been approved!" or whatever their standard letter would be. They had screwed up and miscoded or whatever.

    Being a homeschooler, she wasn't in touch enough with the workings of the district to know about PPS, or the Office of Parent Relations, so she had NO idea where to turn when she couldn't get through the EPC's thick skull that they were not understanding what she had applied for. I just knew her slightly at the time, but she called me knowing I was a Lakeshore parent, and I put her in touch with PPS, and it all worked out rapidly.

    I'm not saying it's normally that easy, unfortunately. As a general comment, though, it IS worth double-checking whether they got your request right. I assume that if this happened several years in a row they did. It IS bizarre that you'd get a letter "assigning" your child to a school you were already in.

    Now that your child is older, how does he/she feel about possibly switching schools? I think the reason it happens less in older grades is that most children have put down roots by then.

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  45. 2:12 again -- Caroline, you are exactly right. My third grader now has a cohort of friends, as does my first grader. It is putting me in a terrible predicament now as I know I will get a lot of blowback if we succeed in getting a transfer. As far as whether EPC messed up my request, however, I don't think so because I remember questioning them about the letter. They said that, if you don't get your transfer, you get a letter saying your kid gets to go to their current school. I told them that such a letter is a bit confusing -- I mean, am I supposed to re-register them at the current school (because that's the way the language reads -- it is the same letter as people who get assignments get)? Anyway, I heard back that their system was designed to generate a response of giving you your old school.

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  46. 2:12: We had a family last year that finally got the K-8 school of their dreams at the 10-day count in second grade, only to return again this year. The school was not all they had hoped for apparently. The child missed his friends and was dying to come back. The books and curriculum are fairly standard district-wide so a lot of the difference in schools have to do with their bells and whistles. In the end the trophy school just wasn't enough better (or any better, really) to justify the move. I think they originally thought a K-8 would solve all their problems, and it turns out it would have solved some, but created others.

    Anyway, my philosophy is if it ain't broke don't fix it. If your kids seem happy and are learning at the pace you expect them to, I would definitely keep them where they are. Obviously you have reasons you want to move them, otherwise you wouldn't be putting yourself through this.

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  47. That wouldn't be the first time the district has created a form letter that's confusing or misleading.

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  48. And also, it's true that by some certain age, it's a whole lot harder to make a switch like that without the child's buy-in. By middle school, let alone high school, it would be almost guaranteed disaster to force a child to attend a school against his/her will.

    The ex-homeschooler family I mentioned did have to deal with the fact that their daughter (going from exclusive homeschooling to 3rd grade at Lakeshore) was terrified of the idea of school, but I think they basically told her they didn't really have a choice (due to economics) and made a huge effort, enlisting a lot of help, to make her comfortable. The "we have no choice" issue was the key, though.

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  49. Our kindergartener has also already put down roots in his school, and it will be quite difficult to move him. But the school just doesn't work out for us logistically, now and definitely not for the 9 or so years that our kids would be there. The thing is that last year during the whole 300-more-unplanned-for-applicants debacle, we were told again and again to just take the school for one year and then enter the lottery , as if it would be an easy thing to do (easy to get a better school later, easy to uproot him). But of course we were also told that if we waited until Round II, until open enrollment, until the 10 day count... that eventually we'd be satisfied... all it takes is patience... except that it doesn't.

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  50. 2:12 pm again -- to the 9:32 pm comment -- you are exactly describing our thoughts. We thought this school would just be a one-year thing -- and now we've been there four years! That's why I felt obligated to comment about my situation. I don't think I'm the only one who has been trying to transfer for some time without luck. Yes, some people do manage to transfer, but a lot of folks don't and end up stuck in a not-terribly-great situation. To be honest, I sometimes convince myself that my school is not so bad -- and then I meet a parent of a kid at one of the better schools, and realize that my kids are missing out on a much better overall experience. I appreciate the comment about a lot of the extras being "bells and whistles" -- but I think there are real differences and they do matter.

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  51. We are looking for two spots for 1st grade lottery and I have the same fear - it will NEVER happen.

    I swear they drop twins into the last priority/to deal with later box.

    2:12pm - What school are you at now?

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  52. A new student started first grade at Miraloma last week.

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  53. To 10:10 AM. How did someone get transfer to Trophy K-8 AND transfer back again, when people are waiting years for these same spots?

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  54. Grass roots movement: can parents list the # of open seats for K and first grade at their school? We need this information!

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  55. 10:10 here. Transfer to K-8 took years (preschool, K, 1, and 2 lotteries before successful.) If you look at EPC data though, lots of schools have openings in third grade, so I don't think returning was hard.

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  56. I don't know about any current openings for first grade for the upcoming year at Grattan, but I know that last year there were at least 4 first grade spots due to families moving after the K year.

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  57. looks like things are so packed right now in every school. i bet 1st grade lottery people will be waiting for news until the 10 day count in 2009.

    i have been in contact with all the immersion schools and there is no space. some have 21 kids in a room. all are full except webster.

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  58. "Grass roots movement: can parents list the # of open seats for K and first grade at their school? We need this information!"

    This information isn't that easy to come by, for kindergarten anyway. Parents, teachers, and administrators may or may not be aware of which students have younger siblings, but they certainly don't know which ones are kindergarten-age. For subsequent grades it's a little easier to say whether the grade is full. Individual schools and the district as a whole do not have a huge data-gathering capacity. It's hard enough for them to keep track of current contact information.

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  59. When I was on a tour of Rooftop today, someone asked a question about openings in grades other than K. The principal said that there are only definitely 4 openings in 4th grade as they move from 3 classes of 20 to 2 of 32.

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  60. Grass roots here: sorry for confusion. I should have been more clear. I didn't mean openings for next year (who could possibly know that?). I meant openings in K and 1st right now, in December, that people who want to transfer from private or another public could hound EPC to get now or before end of school year, thus avoiding lottery.

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  61. Couldn't you just call the school you are interested in? Is that protected information? I would think the school would want a full class (each student represents x dollars), so why wouldn't they tell the truth to a prospective parent?

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  62. Has anyone else heard the rumor that the JBBP program may be leaving Clarendon next year? Is there any truth to it?

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  63. I'd be shocked if there aren't first grade openings in at least some of the immersion programs for next year. All you need is for 1-2 families to move over the Summer.

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  64. But the school -- and district -- may not know about those openings until the Summer (or even Fall).

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  65. The JBBP has been rumored to be leaving Clarendon for about 3 years now. It would make a lot of sense, but the Clarendon parents are savy enough to continue to prevent this from happening.

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  66. I thought it was the JBBP parents who wanted to move 3 years ago, and form a K-8, but the teachers were not in support. Who is behind the idea this time?

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  67. One problem facing schools/the district/and prospective parents:

    A family may not tell the school they are leaving. Often times folks just up and leave, and until the 10 day count, nobody knows if they are coming back.

    Lesson? Talk to your friends in schools and urge them to let the district and school know their intentions.

    This is true for incoming parents, too. If you get into a private school you like, or will likely move, let the district know that you want to give up your public school seat, so that they call fill it off the waitpool.

    Often time people just wait, and the rest of us suffer!!

    My 2c

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  68. How many people on this blog are applying for 1st grade?

    Care to share your list?

    We're going for neighborhood schools this time (Bernal.)

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  69. We're applying for first grade but we'll stay private if we don't get what we want in Round 1. Too much stress for me.

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  70. We will trying the lottery again for 1st grade for our twins. As previous poster said, twins get a majorly bad deal in the lottery to begin with so we have no hope. We are mostly trying again for a school closer to home and with some aftercare. We have learned to appreciate Marshall (and I would encourage all you folks out there wanting Sp Imm to look at it) but not having aftercare is a huge problem,

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  71. Ellen & Nicole: FYI There will be at least 2 spots opening up in SF Community next year for 1st grade. We know a K family that is moving out of SF....

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  72. Do they take first graders who don't speak Spanish in Spanish-immersion programs? Would they give preference to a Spanish-speaking child entering the program? Or does it not matter in first grade lottery? Second grade? Anyone know?

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  73. I posted this in another related topic ... but since my response came late in the thread, thought I would re-post it here for possible feedback:

    ---------------
    My daughters and I will be moving to the Inner Richmond/Laurel Heights area this June. My ex-H, lives in SF (South Beach area) and we went with his addy in anticipation of our move.

    We submitted the dream list, because truthfully, figured that we would not get any. Our back-up is St. Anne in the Sunset for both Grammar and preschool.

    We are shooting for entrance into 4th grade, have no idea of the chances at this level ...

    1. Alamo (know teachers & family that have attended)
    2. Argonne
    3. Lawton
    4. Lafayette (thought this might be a good chance school)
    5. Robert Stevenson
    6. Sunset
    7. Ulloa

    I'm now a tad more hopeful based on reading a few posts in this thread about the chances of upper grades having slots available.

    I'll keep you posted as to the outcome.

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