Thursday, January 8, 2009

Round I forms due

Forms for SFUSD Round I are due Friday, January 9. If you have any last-minute questions, contact Parents for Public Schools: Good luck to everyone!


  1. Now you just wait and hope.

  2. Has anyone taken their kids for language assessments at SFUSD for immersion placement?

  3. On this blog and the PPS listserv, I've seen the following schools mentioned as having made various folks' lists:

    1. Alamo
    2. Alice Fong Yu
    3. Alvarado GE
    4. Alvarado SN
    5. Argonne
    6. Buena Vista
    7. Claire Lilienthal GE
    8. Claire Lilienthal K
    9. Clarendon GE
    10. Clarendon JBBP
    11. Commodore Sloat
    12. Daniel Webster SN
    13. Dianne Feinstein
    14. Fairmount
    15. Francis Scott Key
    16. George Peabody
    17. Glen Park
    18. Grattan
    19. Harvey Milk
    20. Jefferson
    21. Jose Ortega GE
    22. Jose Ortega MN
    23. Lafayette
    24. Lakeshore
    25. Lawton
    26. Leonard Flynn GE
    27. Leonard Flynn SN
    28. Marshall
    29. McKinley
    30. Miraloma
    31. Monroe SN
    32. New Traditions
    33. Paul Revere SN
    34. RL Stevenson
    35. Rooftop
    36. Rosa Parks JBBP
    37. SF Community
    38. Sherman
    39. Starr King MN
    40. Sunnyside
    41. Sunset
    42. Sutro
    43. Ulloa
    44. West Portal GE
    45. West Portal CN
    46. Yick Wo

    Did I miss any? Anyone put a school down that is not listed here?

    I think it represents a majority of programs/schools offered, excluding Spanish, Chinese, and Filipino bilingual programs and the newcomer programs.

    I post this because I am floored at how broad this list is now compared to the parental chatter about schools when I first went through this in 2001. I think I heard about maybe fifteen at that time, such as Lawton, Jefferson, Rooftop, Clarendon, CL, Buena Vista, Lakeshore, AFY, and just a few more.

  4. Frank McCoppin in the Richmond & Creative Arts (Charter)

  5. So, a more complete list of schools that people have postively said they are applying is as follows. 48 total. Any others?

    1. Alamo
    2. Alice Fong Yu
    3. Alvarado GE
    4. Alvarado SN
    5. Argonne
    6. Buena Vista
    7. Claire Lilienthal GE
    8. Claire Lilienthal K
    9. Clarendon GE
    10. Clarendon JBBP
    11. Commodore Sloat
    12. Creative Charter SoA
    13. Daniel Webster SN
    14. Dianne Feinstein
    15. Fairmount
    16. Francis Scott Key
    17. Frank McCoppin
    18. George Peabody
    19. Glen Park
    20. Grattan
    21. Harvey Milk
    22. Jefferson
    23. Jose Ortega GE
    24. Jose Ortega MN
    25. Lafayette
    26. Lakeshore
    27. Lawton
    28. Leonard Flynn GE
    29. Leonard Flynn SN
    30. Marshall
    31. McKinley
    32. Miraloma
    33. Monroe SN
    34. New Traditions
    35. Paul Revere SN
    36. RL Stevenson
    37. Rooftop
    38. Rosa Parks JBBP
    39. SF Community
    40. Sherman
    41. Starr King MN
    42. Sunnyside
    43. Sunset
    44. Sutro
    45. Ulloa
    46. West Portal GE
    47. West Portal CN
    48. Yick Wo

  6. Add George Moscone

  7. That's an amazing number.

    In the spirit of exploring schools that aren't attracting mass interest, I wonder about these five, too. I'm not at all familiar with any of them, but I'd be curious if I were searching now. Just listing the names, neighborhoods and APIs:

    Garfield, North Beach -- 867
    Gordon Lau, Chinatown -- 836
    Longfellow, Outer Mission -- 825
    Jean Parker, North Beach -- 846
    Spring Valley, Russian/Nob Hill -- 833

  8. Caroline, geography may be an obstacle for many people on the schools you list. The drive to the Chinatown/North/Beach/Russian Hill schools is pretty bad from most parts of the city and then what do you do with your car all day? Longfellow, unless I missed something, has no bus service at all. The other schools have one bus route or two, with service only from the Mission and, for Gordon Lau, Potrero Hill. These are probably de facto "neighborhood schools" largely for transit reasons.

    There may be some "my kid won't feel comfortable there" or "it's too one-group" thinking going on as well. Garfield and Parker are Asian by a large majority with very small percentages of African-American, Hispanic or European-American students. Gordon Lau is 82% Asian and 13% Hispanic. Spring Valley is 53% Asian and 32% Hispanic.

    All four of these schools serve student populations of whom 80 to 90% are socioeconomically disadvantaged and 60 to 90% are English learners--and still get very strong results. If the location works, these four strong-performing schools could be good options, and present better odds under the diversity index, for families who are NOT socioeconomically disadvantaged and speak English at home. Although it's small, Garfield is the least-requested of the lot.

    Longfellow serves about equal numbers of Asian, Filipino and Hispanic students with 59% socioeconomically disadvantaged and 38% English learners. Although the diversity index won't play as large a role, the relatively low number of requests could also give good odds of getting in.

    Parker, Gordon Lau and Spring Valley all have a decent number of requests in their general ed strands), about 5 requests per spot, though apparently not from people on this blog. Garfield's combination of difficult location, few openings, 7:50 start time and very limited bus service may account for lack of interest from families on this blog, but it's surprising that nearby families don't' request it more than are shown on Adams' spreadsheet. I can't account for Longfellow's relative lack of popularity.

    Of the five schools you mentioned I've only seen Spring Valley and it felt gloomy to me. I have seen other, more positive, posts about it.

  9. We did the language assessment earlier this week.

    If your kid is fluent in Spanish, it is an *easy* test. They had to listen to a story and then repeat it in their own words. Super-easy for a child that speaks the language, not-so-easy for a kid who has been taught a handful of words and songs only.

  10. I toured Garfield as we're in Cow Hollow and it would be much more convenient than others I was touring. I really liked it. It had a comfortable feel and an amazing building. The kids seemed happy and the layout of the rooms was informal - more like hanging out in someone's house than a school. My issue was the principal - she couldn't have seemed less interested or enthusiastic. She led us around like we were annoying her and kind of mumbled about each room and grade. After meeting so many inspiring principals I just couldn't get over that. She steers the ship you know. I was left feeling like I didn't want to leave my kids in her hands after meeting the people at George Peabody, Sutro, Sherman etc.

  11. Good points, Marlowe's Mom. I arrived at that list by looking for schools in reasonably thriving, non-scary neighborhoods with APIs over 800, but I didn't look at bus service or other factors.

    And now I have realized that by my own criteria I overlooked John Yehall Chin, also in North Beach, API 869.

    If I were a parent looking to find schools that might work and that my kid had a reasonable chance of getting into, I'd at least add those to the non-short list. If it were my own family I'd then cross all but Longfellow off as geographically undesirable, but of course that's not everyone's situation. Yick Wo, at Jones and Lombard, is on the hot list, for example.

  12. A follow-up question on the language assessment post:

    Can the child repeat the story in either Spanish or English, or does it have to be summarized in Spanish?

  13. to 5:24, 1/12,

    Garfield has had the same principal for many years, and I recall she was very distant 8 years ago when I toured. However, she does get results, judging by the growing API scores. However, I am walking distance from the school, and confess that I chose not to apply for reasons similar to those you and Marlowe's Mom mentioned.

  14. John Yehall Chin sounds like a great school but has the same location and transit issues as Garfield, Parker, Lau and Spring Valley: it's in North Beach and only one bus route from the Tenderloin. It's student population is similar to Garfield, Parker and Lau (almost 90% Asian, very high percentages of socioeconomically disadvantaged kids and English learners) so better diversity index odds for English-speaking families who are not socioeconomically disadvantaged. Like Parker, Lau and Spring Valley, it's reasonably popular with five requests per seat but there are only 20 places in the General Ed strand.

    It would be great if people familiar with these schools (Lau, Spring Valley, Garfield, Parker, Chin and Longfellow) would post information on here for those for whom the geography works.

  15. RE: language assessment.

    They are looking for children who are fluent in Spanish so they can serve as language role models to those who are not.

    So yes, they have to be able to repeat the story in Spanish.

    Having receptive skills will help the child learn to speak Spanish more quickly. BEing able to understand a language is a very important skill! But you can't serve as a language role model unless you can speak a language.

    That's my understanding, anyway. I'm not 100 percent certain.

  16. I just gave birth and missed the deadline. I feel so horrible. I realized when I read the Chron Friday at 10PM, six hours too late. I even had the forms filled out. I brought the form down to EPC on Monday morning and was told there was no way to get in Round I. Now I have to wait until May to find out how screwed my son will be.

    Now where will my son end up?

  17. 1:53

    oh dear....i'm sorry.

    beyond all the concern and fear expressed here, there will likely be fine spots in round 2 and open enrollment. last year there were slots at rosa parks jbbp, for example. you will probably have to compromise on location and start time and not count on getting your most-favored spot. but check out the list above (and also some of the schools mentioned by caroline and others as well). there are over 50 programs listed here. all of these have something going for them, so when it is time for round 2, list at least a few that were not so popular; and do be sure to be first in line at open enrollment!

    your kid will be okay, really. a lot of this is hype and the over-parenting of our generation. most schools here are way better than the one i attended back in the 70's, and my sibs and friends and i survived and thrived.

    good luck, and try to get some sleep--we all remember those early days with a baby, i'm sure.

  18. Wise words, 11:58. I agree with you wholeheartedly on schools being much better than they were back in my childhood (sounds like we're in the same generation!).

    1:53, I am so sorry. I'm wishing for the best for you in the school search. In the meantime, congratulations and enjoy your new baby!