Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Hot topic: First-grade lottery

An SF K Files visitor suggests the following topic:

"I know you posted a first-grade lottery thread a while back, but somehow it feels more of the moment now that the Round I deadline has passed and the lottery nears. I'm dying to know how many 1st grade applicants the district got this year. It's such a valid indicator of how well (poorly) "choice" worked last year (i.e., just because someone got one of their 7 or 15 or whatever, doesn't mean they're content enough to stay put and not try again). Then there's the 0-15s, the no-schools-at-all, the "absconded for private out of fears," and the Flynnarado 23. Anyway, I'm dying to get a read on this. Any thoughts?"

62 comments:

  1. Let's see ...

    there's 500 MORE Kindergarten kids enrolling this year, and SFUSD has not opened one new Kindergarten class.

    What do you THINK is going to happen?

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  2. Where did the 500 figure come from? Is this confirmed?

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  3. Carlos Garcia mentioned it at the BOE meeting last Tuesday ...

    but since no new classes have opened up, and since the budget has been cut way back, they will probably raise Kinder class sizes to 22 or 24.

    Awful.

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  4. Awful? Seems harsh. I'd take 22 in my k class over 32 in a 4th or 5th grade class any day. I'd also take 22 in K if it means keeping a little money for additional programing, counselors, art teachers etc. It's very hard to gauge in the abstract what would have to be cut if we don't bump up the k-3rd. Surely there is a tiping point, I'm guessing around 25, but 1 0r 2 more, I'm not sure that's so awful under the circumstamces.

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  5. In response to 6:40 A.M., I think the original poster is asking about a first grade lottery, not the kindergarten lottery. How many families are trying to get their child into a different school for first grade after having had a year at an SFUSD kindergarten, private kindergarten, and in some cases, no kindergarten at all?

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  6. Wow, 500 more applications?! That's way more than the number of births bump, so I guess that means the campaign to educate people on the merits of public school in SF must be having a serious effect.

    Now I'll go cry over the futility of getting my twins into kindergarten.

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  7. Sorry, I know this is supposed to be about 1st grade, but it is premature to assume that the District is not opening any new kindergarten classes -- unless someone from the District has confirmed that. Last year, the District opened up additional kindergarten classes based on the increased demand but not, if I recall correctly, until spring and summer.

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  8. I suspect the economic downturn also plays a significant part in this increase in applicants.

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  9. Private school applications are up, too, at least based on chatter I've heard. I think people are just being more careful about covering their bases this year and/or there are actually more kids applying.

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  10. 12:50

    it isn't that having 22 is so awful, it's the thought of upper grades going to 42 kids, teachers being laid off, the whole picture is awful.

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  11. Annette, it's the economy, not necessarily the PR. There's even been people asking if they could "buy" a spot in one of the public schools they want for a partial tuiton, because they (boo-hoo) are just not as rich as they used to be and now HAVE TO put their kids in public school.

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  12. For what it's worth, we decided to send our son to SFUSD K next year, even though he has a summer birthday and is therefore eligible for 1st grade and we seriously considered putting him through the 1st grade lottery. So that's at least ONE more spot freed up for the people going through the 1st grade lottery process.

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  13. I have only spoken to two principals and both are opening up new kinder classes at their eastside schools. So I think lots more kinder classes are opening up in schools with room...most very popular schools do not have room.

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  14. we applied to a handful of immersion programs in our neighborhood again as first-grade applicants (our daughter was one of the kids who got kicked out of flynn). so count one back in the mix.

    on another note, we ended up part of an 11th-hour class added at clarendon jbbp. i believe they often add bubble classes in one or the other program in alternating years. i suppose that's a tack the district will or could take at a number of schools that have a room available.

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  15. 500 is a lot more than the increase over births last year. If only half that many more actually enroll, we're looking at more than 2 kids per existing K class, and that's including ALL 112of the programs--bilingual, immersion, everything.

    Fewer people think they can afford private or parochial, and fewer people can sell (or buy) houses in order to move to the suburbs.

    But everyone scoffed at me when I said if we could get enough more middle class kids we could change the overall percentage of low income kids enough to put a 40% per school cap on it. If all of these kids enrolled, we'd be halfway there in just one year.

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  16. Are you certain that all 500 of these new applicants are middle class?

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  17. The data just does not show that having middle class kids in a class helps low income children lessen the achievement gap. Look at the STAR test results, the gap remains even at schools with "middle class kids", onle ONE out of FIVE African American kids are scoring at proficient or above.

    And of course not all the 500 are "middle class".

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  18. She didn't say it helps lower class students. It helps middle class students to have more people like themselves to associate with.

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  19. 9:50

    maybe not in that post, but she has claimed before that the secret to closing the achievement gap is getting more middle class parents into public schools, it just isn't true.

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  20. Why doesn't the district take well-situated, beautiful, beautiful schools like ER Taylor and Hillcrest (where many families were assigned last year but refused to enroll) and change their class offerings from Spanish and Chinese Bilingual to Spanish and Chinese Immersion? Both schools would make good K and first grade lottery choices, with a lot of native speakers to boot!

    (Naturally, this suggestion applies to other SB amd CB programs. I mention these schools as examples, because their location is ideal for many Noe, outer Mission, and Excelsior families who went 0-15 in lottery last year and turned down these assignments while they pursued immersion elsewhere).

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  21. 7:57/10:50

    You're right, I have made that claim because I'm right about it. Social science consistently demonstrates that lower income kids do better with more middle class kids in the classroom as long as the balance is above a certain level. In part, this is attributable to what is called a "peer achievement" effect. I have the cites to prove it, and I've posted them previously here and on the PPS-SF list, and I'm prepared to post them again for anyone who wants them again. The data on this goes back 40 years; it's not really even a controversial proposition. If you think I'm wrong, then give us the evidence to evaluate your assertion. A few STAR test results are not a statistically valid basis for comparison.

    Yes, I've made the assumption that many of those 500 would be middle class, but I think it's a reasonable one. Low income people are already in the public schools at a much higher rate. 500 people who otherwise would have moved away or chosen parochial or independent private school are by definition much more likely to be at least middle class.

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  22. Wow. How smug.

    Look at Lilienthal. Look at Miraloma. Look at Lakeshore. The African American lower income children there score no better than lower income African American children in other schools, with less middle class children.

    You have cited a few articles and an anemic thesis for your arguments.

    So I guess it all depends upon what you mean when you say "do better". Do you mean "act whiter?"

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  23. Hey, I'm totally in agreement to turn those bilingual programs into immersion. Its probably worth a call to Maggie Peterson at SFUSD (she was mentioned on another blog).
    Alas the reason it won't happen in our lifetimes is that there is a perception that immersion only benefits middle class, upper middle class, educated folks and scourge on them for being middle class (and the backbone of society, esp now, that we are trillions of dollars in debt... )

    And the politics, my gosh, the politics of CABE and bilingual educators who profess to be for bilingualism but it really is a code word for a lot of other stuff going on. It doesn't necessarily apply to native born kids (to learn a 2nd language). Regardless of being black, Asian, white, etc.. if you are born here and want to learn another language you are SOL unless your family has money for enrichment or your parents speak another language.

    Too bad. Need to form another lobby for native born monolingual kids, I suppose.

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  24. 5:09 unless you've spent real time in a Miraloma or a Lakeshore, AND a Malcolm X or a John Muir, you are not equipped to make the comparison. There's a lot more to it than test scores and "acting white," a term I find repugnant, by the way. Middle class parents make a huge difference in closing the funding gaps in their schools that exist in ALL schools. They fund enrichment classes, lower class sizes for upper grades, field trips, play therapy, they often provide almost the entire budget for classroom supplies, etc., etc. They have the time to volunteer in classrooms, green schoolyards, and to run PTAs.

    We're talking about school equity, a much bigger issue than comparing a single set of test scores.

    Annette, I hope you will repost your data, apparently it is needed.

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  25. 2:17

    I never wrote that middle class parents do not make a difference at the schools they send their children to, of course they do.

    Yes, they close the "funding gap", but the discussion was about the "achievement gap" which is not even remotely the same thing. Also, in these hard economic times, parents are going to be able to raise much less at fundraisers.

    Of course test scores are not the only measure of success, but the achievement gap refers to a wide gap in those test scores.

    My objection is to the claim that having more than 40% middle class parents at a school closes the achievement gap. It doesn't, there's no real data to show that. Some professor in Wisconsin writes a paper alluding to it? Not a whole lot of urban school districts in Wisconsin, are there?

    Anyway, there are too many low income children in SFUSD to ever have 40% of the children be middle class, unless all of the private school children suddenly swarm to public. It ain't gonna happen.

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  26. This makes no sense: "Middle class parents make a huge difference in closing the funding gaps in their schools that exist in ALL schools. "

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  27. That's what happens when you write things after 2 am, it often is incoherent.

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  28. I think what she was trying to say was that funding gaps exist in all schools and middle class parents help close the funding gaps in the schools they send their kids to.

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  29. 7:26 are you sure your objections aren't more about keeping your middle-class kids away from all those poor kids?

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  30. Research claims aside (and the research on middle-class students and the effects on school performance are mixed), the reality in SFUSD is that an increased population of white, upper-middle class students does not appear to lead to proficiency gains in students of color.

    This comes up in SFUSD budget discussions. Something like half of Unified's African American and Latino students do not attend the STAR schools, and therefore some schools with fairly high middle-class and white populations argue that the STAR school money should be dispersed more widely.

    I was under the impression that the CB strand at ER Taylor was not under-enrolled. So why change it? Also, while bilingual education does appear to have fairly strong achievement results (when done well), it is not at all clear that dual immersion strands lead to successful English language proficiency - and proficiency on state tests - for students who are learning English. Some models seem to do better than others, but 90/10 models seem to be fairly unsuccessful for English Language Learners and quite popular in Unified.

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  31. The reason for the 90/10 model hello, is that the content has to be taught in the target language so the ESL student doesn't miss out. Remember? That's why the bilingual programs were started and then the Prop was passed that said English was the primary language of instruction (but guess what folks, its not always the case, but who cares. I don't if the success rate is high, but if so why do so many Hispanic kids fall into the hole called Achievement Gap?)

    Otherwise, why not throw those ESL kids in gen ed... you know, we don't have bilingual programs for Russian native speakers, Arabic, Japanese, Hindi, ad nauseum.

    Just Spanish. Cantonese. Oh. um, Tagalog.

    Or sure, there's some economies of scale going on here with the Sp. bilingual programs. Don't quite get the need for the Cantonese or Tagalog. Brits use to rule HK and English is widely understood there. We have Mandarin Immersion but not too many native Mandarin kids signing up.

    But why not benefit two groups of students, the native English speakers who want to learn a foreign language and foreigners who want to learn English. Immersion does that.

    Why do we treat our own citizens like 2nd class citizens?

    Please don't say I am racist. I'm not. I just get fed up every time I hear that immersion just benefits middle class kids. So what? Middle class people started poor too. So what. The middle class are the ones that pay the damn taxes in this country and will pay for the trillion dollar fiasco going on right now.

    By the way, bilingual programs aren't all that great -- they isolate groups of children based on ethnicity (because, uh, you don't find too many black or Asian kids who are native Spanish speakers and have to be in ESL. Likewise you dont' find too many black/Hispanic/White/Samoan kids that come from HK and need to be in the Cantonese bilingual program).

    We are a country in decline -- we are poorer. Wake up folks. We need to spend our money more wisely. Look at cost/benefits. We still have political interest groups trying to maintain their little piece of the pie, sometimes using their own people for their own political ends.

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  32. I should clarify my first paragraph -- typos happen with a sticky stuck keyboard...
    Bilingual programs first started out by being able to use the native language to teach the ESL kids... then the Prop passed that said English had to be used. So the teachers had to tweak their model and use English most of the day and just use the native language to "translate". The reality is that many teachers are still using the native language because, well, they can see the ESL student struggling so why not just use the native language. Not a problem, except that the child is supposed to be learning English.
    (Of course this is not the case in all bilingual programs, just that it happens).

    And its fine for teachers to do that (except its against the law), as long as the students are scoring well in English so that if they intend to stay in this country, they can be literate enough to attend a four year college and presumably reap the benefits of whatever a college degree is supposed to do (over a HS educ).

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  33. California does not allow English Language Learners to be "thrown" into General English classes. California teachers are required to have certification that focuses on working with English Language Learners. ELD is mandated (and it doesn't hurt anyone, seeing as how it is focused on developing pragmatic skills, syntactic variety in academic registers, and so on - not just vocabulary).

    You may notice that I stated that well-planned bilingual education works. Poorly designed programs that are fundamentally monolingual don't. However, I think you overestimate the amount of programs and teachers that are secretly anti-English.

    Also, it's fair to ask: do the English-prominent populations of dual immersion classrooms come anywhere near the diversity of SFUSD? Are African American and Pacific Islander children represented in the numbers they are elsewhere in the District?

    The problem is that 90/10 does not appear to lead to robust English language development. Bilingual programs are less than 90% first language, for the record.

    And I have to say: at no time have I called you a racist. That said, I find your tone pretty rude, and I think you are unwilling to consider the impact of dual immersion on all of SFUSD's students.

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  34. Racist? Maybe not. Whiney and full of a smug sense of entitlement? Yup.

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  35. Who the heck is Whitney. And smug yourself.

    No one can question bilingual programs.

    And of course dual immersion doesn't nec reflect the population of Gen Ed. But its better than the bilingual programs.

    In my kids' immersion classes, they have latino, African American, bi-racial white/asian, biracial of other mixes, white, Asian.

    Cantonese bilingual? Spanish Bilingual?

    I'm Chinese by the way. Not that it should make any difference. I'm not into people's color/race because people can't do anything about it. I do like kids to have opportunities -- and yes, lots of time the economics and education of the parents will determine the choices for the kids, but at least dual immersion allows more choices for more kids.

    Who the heck is Whitney? Dumb comment.

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  36. Wow. Someone needs to get some EYE GLASSES. Or sober up.

    WHINEY not WHITNEY.

    Something so funny about you calling people's comments dumb.

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  37. Ahh, I see. Yes, I need glasses. That was poor comment on my part. As to my first post, I was being rather rude because I'm easily annoyed by the constant harping that dual immersion is for middle class families. It may be but it doesn't have to be...

    I'm a firm believer in immersion programs and language acquisition for children at a young age. It could be one way programs but that will never fly with the district and besides OW programs only benefit the non-target language speakers. So yes, it could be a resource drain too when we face scarce resources.

    And the earlier poster is correct, I'm not necessarily convinced of the benefits of dual immersion for the ESL kids, but I do think it is better than bilingual programs that isolate groups of kids. If parents want their children to learn English fast, Gen Ed is the way to go with pull outs -- its tried and true around the world. I know parents in bilingual programs who pulled their kids out because their kids weren't learning English fast enough. Kids doing just fine now. It can be painful first year -- esp if kid is in older grades (such as 3 and above).

    Immersion is not the only way, I also like the FLES programs that expose kids to language at an earlier age. But again, resources.

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  38. GOOD ELD classrooms don't have pullout: they're all day intensive language-building classrooms. (I am hugely biased against pull-out, I admit, but its effects are not terribly strong AND it has the effect of allowing high-seniority, no-CLAD teachers to stay in the classroom, which I am against.)

    EVERYONE - English-prominent/SE dialect first language or not - benefits from good ELD.

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  39. OK, back to the first grade lottery question.

    We put mostly neighborhood choices down for the 1st grade lottery this year. However, I don't have high hopes. Kindergarten classes are full to the brim right now (last month they put a 21st child in my son's class at Rosa Parks, and I think this happened at a number of schools) and Shem at the EPC said he doesn't know if any spots at all will open for the first grade lottery in Round I.

    That leaves us in the same position we were last year: going into the summer with no clear idea of where our son will be going next year, all plans on hold. And trying to strategize where to put him on a waitlist: our true first choice school or the one we (mistakenly or not) think we have the best chance of getting into.

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  40. Why leave Rosa Parks?

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  41. abby -

    why leave RP? are you unhappy there? we had planned to go to RPJBBP but decided to take spots at Daniel Webster. i am curious as to why you might leave?

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  42. We love Rosa Parks and are very happy there, but it's a huge trek from our house and the aftercare situation isn't good. I'll be very sad to leave (our son loves the Japanese, sings himself to sleep in Japanese every night, he's made good friends, it's truly a lovely community there), but it adds about an hour and a half to 2 hours to our day in the car, everyday (and with 3 small kids, we could really use the time in other ways, not to mention having to wake up at 6:15 every morning!). My mom picks him up 3 days a week, and when she's out of town, one of us has to take an hour and a half to a couple of hours off of work just to get him home (30 minutes work to school, 30 minutes home where someone is waiting with napping toddlers, 30 minutes back to work, you get the idea...)

    Anyway, I certainly wouldn't want to turn anyone off of RP JBBP, it's a great program and a great school. My son's just been telling us all about the great Doll's Day celebration tomorrow (not just for girls anymore!)...

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  43. Very interesting (and depressing) tidbit from Shem. I've heard that a lot of the movement in 1st grade lottery happens after Round 1. Which makes sense. After all -- even if someone is planning to leave the city or SFUSD after K, it's not like the person has incentive to disclose that by January, when applications are due. But no movement in Round 1 at all? Jeez.

    One of the things I also find frustrating about the 1st grade lottery is the fact they don't keep statistics about how many people apply/are accepted/etc. like they do with the detailed spreadsheets that are released for K applications. When I went to the EPC last fall to get some statistics, all they could tell me was the # of people currently in waiting pools, and how many THEN current vacancies there were in various 1st grade classes. But the fact there were 3 people in a wait pool was meaningless without knowing how many people applied and were granted and/or denied spots.

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  44. I left this information in the last first-grade lottery thread, and will do so again here. We tried the first-grade lottery and even went through all the waiting periods. This was two years ago. We had four schools on our list. We got nowhere. I also don't personally know of anyone getting a better school in first grade. I do recall openings in my kids' first grade classes from K to 1, and in both cases kids from outside SFUSD got them (one's family had just moved here; the other was coming from a private.) My sense has been that the better time to transfer is in the later grades -- particularly third and fourth. I know two families that got the school of their choice in those two grades. Of course, the problem is that, at that point, your kid has made friends, etc., and doesn't want to transfer. Which of course explains why, when families move out of town and slots open in those grades, you can actually get in. PS -- Both families that moved their kids in third and fourth grades had major transition issues, but eventually the kids got over it, as they always do. Lessons to be learned: this pick for K is REALLY important, you've got to get it right the first time as, I believe, you are pretty much stuck in that school for at least three years!

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  45. 6:36 PM - thank you for sharing. It is a great story to add to "lessons learned," which hopefully will serve a lot of people well when they get their Round letters and need to rethink their strategy after going 0/7. Yes, stay mindful of your priorities, but also be mindful of the commute!

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  46. yes, commute. seems to matter more to some than to others. we're a case in point, along with abby. for us, it's just a huge lifestyle issue that has only become more problematic as the year has gone on (we're at clarendon because of flynnarado). carpool, school bus, hitching rides...whatever, man. i want to know i can get my kids to school -- and get there to get them! -- on my own two feet. there's even a little weirdo native californian-who's-been-in-more-than-a-few-big-earthquakes thing in it. i just hate being reliant on this giant, wasteful transportation industrial complex to do something so simple as get to fucking school!

    for a variety of reasons, as a family, we are trying hard to leave a car-based lifestyle behind in favor of walking, biking and public transport. when we were enrolled at flynn and planning on attending for K, we'd invested in a bunch of items that would optimize our family time spent getting to and fro school: a buggy board for the stroller so our (very small 4-year-old) kinder could ride along while i walked the kids the 1.1 mile to flynn; a bike seat for the baby on my bike; a trailer bike to attach to mine for our kinder. now, they lie unused because we can't walk or bike to school. i tell ya: no matter how fine clarendon's offerings are, and they are fine indeed, i boil every time i see those bikes. boil!

    (tack that $$$ onto the 100$$ spent on unused school uniforms. thanks, SFUSD!)

    of course, i understand that this view is made possible by my bourgeois attitudes and entitlement. obviously, if i was poor and hungrier for equal educational opportunities for my kids, i would lug my fat ass on three buses to get them. i just wish SFUSD didn't rub my nose in it every five seconds. my folks worked hard so that i could be, well, complacent and lazy. is that so wrong?

    i guess the point is, different things matter to different families, but what's the point of calling our enrollment system choice-based if it, well, really isn't?

    okay, there's a teeny tiny little bit of choice in there for those who offer no "diversity." just don't make the same mistake as a lot of last year's crop and think you can have, say, two things you want (e.g., immersion and neighborhood). you can't. you can maybe, just maybe, have one (neighborhood, immersion, test scores, afterschool program, whatever).

    the enrollment gods will let you hope for one. two? that's just greedy.

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  47. Anne

    I would also guess that the middle class kids come with middle class parents who are able to contribute resources to the school, be it cash or time. That helps all kids, including the lower income kids.

    I was a lower income kid in a middle class school in LA. My personal experience is that it pulled me UP.

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  48. Kim. LOL. So good to see you contributing to the blog.

    CAN WE PLEASE GET BACK TO THE 1st GRADE LOTTERY Q?

    We are also in the 1st grade lottery this year.

    A word:
    But for maybe the flynnarado families, if you already have a public school, you are lower priority for a transfer. You actually have to have a compelling reason to transfer, no?

    We did not enroll in a public school last year. Instead, our daughter attended Katherine Michiels. It's the most affordable private school except for catholic, and offers a month to month payment plan/financial aid/free hot lunch for all regardless. The location and time works for us, too.

    We get a little edge in the lottery I suppose, over transfers, but our hopes are still dim. I don't expect to get placed in the 1st round.

    We'll keep her at KMS for 1st grade if we fail again this year, but location is key for us so we'll try one more year. If 2nd grade is a bust, we're moving. Period. As long as we both find paying jobs by then. Oy.

    ANYONE ELSE HAVE 1st GRADE LOTTERY NEWS?

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  49. I don't think newly enrolled students get a break in the lottery process. As I understand it, all applicants are treated the same way--whether they are transfers or new students. Midyear transfers by already-enrolled students are discouraged, however, while students new to the district can get any open seat.

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  50. About the do students new to the district have an edge question: They do, but I got two different answers on the extent of this.

    There are two extra diversity index factors for first grade and up. If your school has an API of 4 or under, you get a diversity point (this replaces the "did your child attend preschool" point), and if your child scores lower than a certain percentile on standardized testing, you get a diversity point. So, how do they score children coming from private school?

    Apparently, they do not give children from private school a point for low scores (unless they have been tested and got a low score), but they do give some or all applicants from private schools a point for coming from a school with an API of less than 4 (in other words, as if they come from a low-performing school with a disadvantaged population). Hmmmm. PPS pressed the district for an answer to this question and they told them that EVERY child from a private school is given this "diversity" point. Shem at the EPC told me that they randomly assign half of the private school applicants to either a "1" or "0" for this point.

    About the Flynnarado 23: I also heard that the district may give them preference over everyone else in the 1st grade lottery. Maybe Kim will get her choice and then we will actually have albeit an astronomically small chance of getting into the Clarendon JBBP program (our true first choice, as it is close to us and our son would be able to continue his beloved Japanese--but we listed it 3rd because we didn't want to risk giving our 1st choice spot --again!-- to a school we had no chance of getting).

    About the commute: in certain neighborhoods, it may be impossible to get a close school without a commute. All of our 7 choices in Round I were within a 7 minute drive and we got nothing. In Round II we listed many more and also got nothing... and by Open Enrollment the only things left were far away... This year we put the two schools within walking distance to us as our first and second choices. Although we're not absolutely in love with them, they are popular schools, and I don't think we have much of a chance. And then after Round II, we'll have to pick whichever one of them we think we have a better chance of getting into for our waitpool choice and kiss our chances of getting into our true first choices goodbye again...

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  51. EPC has promised to place any of the flynnarado 23 who wished to apply to spanish immersion programs again in 1st grade english vacancies only. they would place us ahead of other 1st grade applicants except for siblings and...oh, there were some others. can't remember. i don't know how many of the 23 chose to apply again, or for what programs. there is still little chance any of us will get a spot, especially in round I. ironically, we'd stand the best chance at flynn and alvarado (because they kicked us out and were "balanced") or marshall and revere (where they allowed a gross imbalance in favor of spanish speakers but didn't kick anyone out). in those schools, only 1 english-speaker would have to leave, whereas at places like fairmount or buena vista that were left with a few more english speakers last year -- because those schools chose not to disenroll anyone -- there would have to be a mass exodus to free up a spot, either for a flynnarado applicant or for anyone.

    in typical freak fashion, i am now scared that we will be transferred and my daughter will not be as happy as she is now.

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  52. I personally know a family that transferred into Grattan for 1st grade last year (07-08) from another SFUSD school and I know one other who was offered a 1st grade spot this past fall, but turned it down. So, it can happen. Keep the hope alive.

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  53. Why does SFUSD even bother to have a first day of school, when so many of us are told that mid year transfers are all fine and good.

    I"m pissed. I don't want to wait thru a 10 day count AGAIN, get no school near us that we like, and have to make a sudden move. I think, regardless of how flexible kids are, it sucks for them.

    Life happens. Why does school have to be in the shit category?

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  54. is it true that jbbp clarendon will be getting its own stand alone site this coming year? or next? and if so, does that mean they will be adding more K classes?

    any clarendon folks out there know anything?

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  55. my daughter is in K at clarendon jbbp. there's been an exploratory committee for many years looking at the possibility of shifting to a new site. certainly, the jump in applications last year and this year -- and, possibly, enrollees -- may have lit a fire for reopening a school site. my understanding from reading the meeting notes from the last district/jbbp meeting is that the process has sort of gone to the next level (whatever that is called), but nothing is for sure yet. they are looking at de avila campus, but there are a couple of other programs that may be looking at it too. one factor is that SFUSD wants all schools to have a language component, so that is a mark in clarendon jbbp's favor, i suppose. bottom line is this move requires teacher, parent and district buy-in so who can really say what will happen or when?

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  56. OK. One week before Round I letters are mailed out, we finally get offered a spot at the afterschool program we've been on the waitlist for since last spring! This was a major reason (lack of good aftercare options) why we participated in the 1st grade lottery, but not the only one! We were told in September that spots almost never open up and that we would probably be shut our for our child's whole K-5 years. All but two of the schools on our Round I list do not bus to this aftercare...Life is strange, sometimes!

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  57. RE: Marshall. The reason they didn't disenroll Spanish speakers to balance the classroom is that they would have had to disenroll siblings. Or so I heard from a Spanish-speaking parent there.

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  58. So... English-speakers can still enter Spanish-immersion in 1st grade assuming they won't disrupt the 50/50 balance?

    What about second grade?

    At what point do they only allow Spanish-speakers to enroll?

    Is it possible for a Spanish speaking kid to get a spot in 2nd or 3rd grade?

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  59. Fluent Spanish speakers can enroll all the way through an SI program, all the way up through 8th grade (highest grade we currently have). English speakers can enroll as late as the 1st grade.

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  60. I'm counting down until we get out letters, even though I cannot imagine that 1st grade lottery will have any information for us at all. How can schools know who is actually coming back for 1st grade? I feel a 10 day count coming on...

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  61. ha! i feel it too, kort, except it's more like a 365-day count (which, having experienced, i can't really recommend).

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  62. Exactly.

    We're actually loving Katherine Michiels School. It gets better and better. The community is so close knit, warm, and teaches the kids in creative ways.

    If anyone wants to talk about it, feel free to email me. kortneyeichenberger@gmail. It is the most affordable private in SF (except for catholic schools.)

    It will be a fine back up for us if public fails us again.

    In fact, I'd keep her there for sure if we were both employed.

    Oy.

    -kortney

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