Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Hot topic: Moving to be near school

An SF K Files visitor would like to start the following thread:
My husband and I are renters because we can't afford the home prices
in S.F. We're OK with that, and one advantage is that we aren't tied
to any particular neighborhood. We were lucky enough to get Grattan in
our first round (still stunned) and plan to move to Cole Valley next
year to be close to the school. Are there any other S.F. families who
plan to move once they know where their children's school will be?

28 comments:

  1. yes; great plan since rental prices are going down

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  2. Our assigned school is fortunately on our commute path, but our #1 choice isn't.

    We've talked about moving if we manage to upgrade thru the waitlist process, but honestly a big part of that is just to get into a sunnier neighborhood so the kids don't need to get bundled up to go outside and play in the summer.

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  3. If we were renters we'd be moving out of San Francisco. Sorry... I'm disgruntled because we got 0/7 and were assigned to John Muir.

    You are VERY lucky that you were assigned to Grattan (our neighborhood school and #3 on our round 1 list) and that you can move to Cole Valley to be close to the school. It's a great idea, especially because rents are down.

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  4. Quite a few Miraloma families either rented or bought near the school after their kids got in. I would probably make the school suits you before the move though.

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  5. yep! We got our number one choice, Commodore Sloat, and plan on moving to West Portal or thereabouts in the next couple of years.

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  6. We are renters too and looked at schools with an eye to moving if we got into a school which we felt was right for our family. Fortunately we got our number one choice, in our neighborhood...

    We actually felt very fortunate during the touring/ selection process that we could look at schools all over the city, unlike some of our peers who own their homes.

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  7. the benefit of living near school is 10 fold. We are very lucky. We got our #1 (Sherman) and we own in Russian Hill, so we can just walk over. Although the start time will be brutal, we would have probably had to get up and leave the house at the same time for a later-start-time-school if we had to travel across the entire City during morning rush hour. Also, having school nearby makes it easier to get to the school in case of emergency or car trouble.

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  8. i chose schools in the neighborhood i wanted to buy my first house in (richmond). i got peabody, my 1st choice. not ready to buy until summer 2010, though.

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  9. Lots of families get disenchanted with their schools in the middle of 1st grade, and switch schools. I would be careful giving up a rent controlled apartment, or buying something new and paying more property taxes, until you know for sure the school is a good fit.

    And wait until you are sure you are in the school, remember the Flynardo families who moved to be closer to the school, only to find out they weren't *really* enrolled?

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  10. You will LOVE Grattan! AND Cole Valley! Great community and great school!! Welcome!!!!

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  11. We got Grattan too and are just about to sign a lease on a house in the Inner Sunset about 3/4 mile from school, long walk quick bus ride. Right now we're renting in the Richmond. Please email me off list if you'd like to compare notes and get to know each other. Thanks Lorraine. lab1009@gmail.com

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  12. There are many current Grattan families that live in the Inner Sunset. Easy, easy to get to - walkiing is even an option - good for both the child and the parent.

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  13. We are in a similar boat. Our daughter is in Kindergarten in a private school near us, but we'd like a public school. Once we finally get a public school (whether it is in 1st grade this year, or 2nd grade...)
    we will consider moving. We rent, and who knows, maybe by then we could even buy.

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  14. Two words, Rent Control

    I would rather drive across the city than give up my apartment.

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  15. Welcome to Grattan! We live in the inner sunset. The commute by bus and/or foot is a breeze. I'm thrilled you are so committed to coming to our school. Please be sure to sign up for the kinder listserve at www.grattanschool.org and join us at our fun fest and auction on May 16th.
    -Hallie (mom of an incoming kinder and current 2nd grader)

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  16. anybody considering a move b/f next year's round? i'm told the system will change to give neighborhood more priority. My concern is that I've also heard they might change the school attendance areas. I can just see me moving into my dream school attendance area, only to have it changed. when is the new system to be announced?

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  17. I think they are delaying the new enrollment process for another year. I'd check in with the district.

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  18. From www.sfusd.edu

    Timeline
    SFUSD hoped to have a new policy in place in time to prepare for the 2010-2011 enrollment process but, given the complex nature of this policy decision, it is unlikely that it will be possible to meet the necessary deadlines for a new district wide system in time for next fall’s enrollment cycle.

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  19. even if we did have plain old neighborhood attendance areas....

    which, btw, I don't see happening but rather maybe some kind of zones that balance demographics (and parents fighting the same old fight trying to get into the perceived good schools within their zones)....

    but even if we did have neighborhood schools as such, we could end up like oakland, where they have to re-draw and tighten attendance areas for overcrowded, popular schools. people paid a pretty penny to buy themselves a spot in such and such school, and found themselves sent elsewhere. how would that not feel actually worse than the current system in some ways? talk about bait and switch.

    in situations where you have such a range of demographics and a scarcity of so-called good spots, there will always be gnashing of teeth. the current system has its problems, no doubt about that, and for those who don't get lucky it can seem capricious and miserable. but one huge advantage of it is the way it has slowly moved the more advantaged families away from the idea that only a few schools in certain neighborhoods are any good. i know, it's a cliche to say that and mention the rise of miraloma, flynn et al but it's also true.

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  20. ---Lots of families get disenchanted with their schools in the middle of 1st grade, and switch schools. ----

    "Lots"? This sounds quite anecdotal - I've never seen any data that supports this.

    In fact, once people enroll, enrollment data shows they tend to stay (with the exception of certain subgroups that have prevailing circumstances for moving, leaving.)

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  21. Yes. We've been living in a 600 sq ft condo in SOMA with two kids, and are putting it on the market now that the school issue is settled. If we'd gone 0-7 we would have considered leaving town.

    Our top schools were Jefferson and Flynn. We have lived in both the Inner Sunset and the Mission in the past, and would have gladly moved back to either.

    We got Jefferson, so the Sunset it is. OT-- I loved Grattan too, but the start time would have killed us. Really an awesome, awesome little oasis of a school.

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  22. see...i'm not the only one avoiding early start schools.

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  23. We live ten steps from Grattan, and it was our first choice, but we went 0/7 for the second year in a row. Hopefully we will get into Grattan through the wait list process. Cole Valley is a great neighborhood -- lots of nice families, generally sunny, good transportation options. I would make the move. I think I saw a 2 bedroom for rent on Clayton and Parnassus or Frederick just this week. Good luck!

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  24. 3:16
    Of course it is anecdotal, where is your actual "enrollment data" that people stay put? The enrollment data I've seen doesn't show who has left, only that classes are full. That just means people transferred into the schools in first and second grade, as other families fled. We call it "white flight"; it starts to happen at the end of first grade through third grade.

    You'll see. Kindergarten is lovely, everyone's happy. By the middle of first grade you are looking around the school, at the awful behaviors of the other children in your kids' classrooms, at the pathetically easy work your kid is given every day, and you become disenchanted.

    San Francisco is so small, geographically, I really wouldn't move next to a school you have been assigned to until you have been at that school a few years and are sure you like it.

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  25. There's a 2BR for rent on Clayton and Carl.

    I know a family leaving Grattan whose child would have been in 1st grade next year. Things do shift around!

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  26. First grade teacher here, four years teaching at an up-and-coming public: very few middle class families leave our school. Poor immigrant families often leave (for economic reasons).

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  27. We are out 0/7 in Round I for kindergarten and are expanding our horizons for Round II. We found a lot of high performing schools in the NE corner of the city- Spring Valley, Jean Parker, Garfield, Gordon Lau, etc but little online about them from parent reviews or information about PTA etc. When we drove by there, yes its filled with tourists but maybe something worth knowing more about since the schools are good. Main concern is how family friendly these areas are?
    Can this be a hot topic? I would like to know more about these schools, who goes there, where do those families live in and if anyone is thinking of these schools? Luckily we rent now and can move to be closer to a school, but are concerned these areas may not be very family friendly.

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  28. for those following this thread--note that Kate posted a separate thread on the topic raised about the schools in the NE section of the city (Parker, SV, Lau, Yick Wo, etc.) and there are responses to this question there.

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