Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Hot topic: Round II tactics

An SF K Files visitor suggested that I start a thread where people can share tactics for Round II. I also want to encourage people to check in with Parents for Public Schools for tips on how to approach Round II: www.ppssf.org. This organization can give you the facts and the best advice. There are a lot of theories floating around on this blog and not all of them are true. I'd hate for someone to be led astray because of something they read here. That said, let's talk Round II...
Any chance you could start a new thread on how to approach round 2 to increase our chances of actually getting a school plus explain the whole "go down to the office and get a couselor"? There were several helpful comments under the "Round I Letters," (back when there were only 400 comments!) Now there are over 1000 comments, so it's hard to pull out the comments that pertain to how to tackle Round 2 to increase our chances of actually getting a school.

158 comments:

  1. I was a Round I reject last year, but am happy to say was successfully placed in my waitlisted school in Round II. What I didn’t know then, but do now could help you. As it turned out my waitlist school added a new class after Round I. It was not publicized until after the Round II applications were received. It was just by chance that I had chosen that school as my waitlist school. 20 spots opened up over-night, going directly to those who put that school as their waitlist choice. My advice to you is to look for schools that added new K classes this year. I know that several have done so this year to address the influx of new students. These “new” classes are disproportionately low on sibling assignments. It is my impression that non-sibling applicants are much more likely to drop out and make their spots available either immediately or between now and the 10-day count (mostly likely due to private school acceptance).

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  2. I stopped by the enrollment office this morning at 8am (huge line) anyways they had a express line to drop off your amend list/waitlist form so I dropped it off and left. I also picked up information regarding the counseling session.

    Counseling session (K-5)
    Thursday 3/19 6-8pm @ John Muir Elem.
    Saturday 3/21 10-12pm @ sunnyside Elmem.


    Good luck everyone

    Nay (Mom of Curtis-who didnt match any of our 7 choice)

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  3. How can we find out how many siblings were accepted at each school this year?

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  4. Do spots really open up for waitlisted schools. We're at 0/7, assigned to Sheridan, and are really thinking of holding out until our waitlisted school opens up (unless we get into a school of our choice in round 2). Any advice on this would be helpful.

    Thanks.

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  5. Is there any point to listing your favorite school as both a your waitpool selection and #1 on your amended school list?

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  6. 10:17, some of the schools have # of sibling requests listed on the "Highlights of Round 1" doc on the SFUSD site (under Enrollment). I realize that is only partial info, but still....

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  7. 11:23 I went through this process last year - we received our waitpool school right before school began. We did put our waitpool school as our first choice on the ammended list - it didn't hurt. Unless you have 7 other schools to put down on the amended list (and come up with some new ones!) I'd put the waitpool school down as your first choice. EPC staff told me to do that last year. We didn't get in on round 2 becuase our waitpool school was overenrolled!!

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  8. These are good instructions sent out to PPS list:

    I would like to explain the waiting pool/amended choices process as simply as possible. I was a parent who applied to 7 schools and received the disappointing letter in which my child was assigned to a school I didn't want. The good news is I received an acceptable school in the second round and finally got my first choice at the 10-day count. This is how it works.

    You will need to file an Amended Choices/Waiting Pool Request Form. You received this form in your letter. The deadline this year is March 27th.

    On the right hand side at the bottom there is a place to put ONE wait pool choice. It is critical that you understand what this means. You should write here a school that you really want. On the left hand side is a spot for amended school choices. You can put 7 schools here including any you put first round.

    The computer will run these in a specific way. The waiting pools are used in each round and until the 10-day count (10 days after the school year begins). The amended choices are used in round 2 only. Within each there is a system to how they are run. The computer will use the following groups in this priority: (1) approved medical appeals (2) staff requests (3) approved family hardships (4) younger siblings (5) put 7 choices and got none (6) submitted on time and and got nothing (7) submitted on time and got something (8) new applications (attendance area used when applicable). In round 2, it will run the waiting pools first using the priority groups and then run the amended choices using the priority groups.

    Therefore, it is very important how you position yourself. In the second round, there will probably be openings at every school no matter how popular because people will be going to private schools and not accepting those slots. In the third round, people will have gotten a waiting pool choice and there may be more slots available in this shift as well. Then at 10-day count, there will be slots from no-shows (people who moved or were accepted to a private over the summer). Four families including us got into our waiting pool between the end of the summer and the 10-day count.

    Please remember it is a waiting pool, there is no list. It will be run just like the lottery whenever it is run using the above priority groups and attendance area when applicable.

    Remember, if you receive your waiting pool school, you are done. The system views you as satisfied and you are removed from any subsequent runs. However, if you receive an amended appeal school in round 2, you will stay in the system and still have a chance to receive your waiting pool school. This happened to us.

    The amended list is ONLY run in round 2. Then SFUSD uses the waiting pools until the 10-day count.

    It does not hurt you in any way to accept/register at the assigned school in round one or an amended choice school in round 2. The only final blow is if you receive your waiting pool school. Then you are removed from the system. This school will automatically replace your registered school. If you change your mind and decide you want to stay at your registered school, you must contact SFUSD and remove yourself from the waiting pool.

    I would suggest that you use the information available to decide how to fill out your form. Use the information provided by SFUSD on the website to decide which schools to put as your amended appeal choices and as your one waiting pool choice. I suggest you see how many seats the schools have and how popular they were in the first round. Also, you can use the information from friends. Perhaps you know that 2 families from your preschool are turning down spots at a school as they are going private. That may be a school you want to put as your waiting pool school. Just remember the waiting pool school is final if you get it. Make sure it is one you want.

    Fill your amended choice list with schools that you think you would like. You can relist ones you put in the first round. You never know. Also, you may change your waiting pool school in a later round if you change your mind. (For example, you really want to try for Alamo this next round but don't get it. Then you decide that you'd rather go for a less popular school in round 3. You may change your waiting pool choice to a different school.)

    I believe that this is accurate information and I hope helpful (perhaps not as simple as I had hoped when I started this email). It worked out for us after many months. It is not an easy wait. Good luck!

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  9. My husband was down at the EPC last year and requested getting assigned to a counselor. He was told they don't assign. You just have to go in and request to see the same person you spoke to the first time.

    I emailed PPS last night regarding getting an appt with of of their enrollment coaches and still haven't heard back.

    I have no idea what our strategy will be. I'm hoping PPS can guide us.

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  10. Oops, I meant he went down there yesterday (not last year!).

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  11. We *really* want Spanish immersion but will be in the lowest wait-pool cohort because we got our first choice school, Lilienthal.

    Any point in listing Alvarado?

    (We are a Spanish-speaking family).

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  12. 12:50 - Sorry, I hate to ask the obvious question but if you really wanted immersion, why didn't you list it first?

    If you speak spanish, you probably have a better shot than the english speakers (but a very slim shot, of course).

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  13. If you are super-committed to immersion, Revere and DW probably have better odds than Alvarado.

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  14. Can you enter a waitpool without having gone through round 1?

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  15. No diversity index used in round 2 and the waitpool runs?

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  16. at what point in the process does the "new to district" preference kick in?

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  17. How does Round II work for immersion spots?

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  18. My understanding is that the diversity pool does still apply in waitpool and Round 2.

    Still getting mixed messages if you should put your waitpool school on the list or not.

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  19. i don't see what the purpose is in putting your wp choice at the top of your amended list -- it's redundant. your wp choice is your absolute, top, negate-all-others choice. they draw from the wp first and then move on to the amendeds to see if there are openings there. so why waste a slot?

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  20. Do they exhaust all the names in the waitpool before they draw names for the amended list?

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  21. We got our sixth choice - a school that would be fine, but wasn't really what we were going for. It wouldn't be a disaster to go there, but it's not the best fit for us all things considered. That said, this placement was for twins in K, an I have some vague recollection of Gentle Blythe from SFUSD saying that twins don't get any sibling connection in round two (that is, SFUSD does not try or have to try to place them together.) Does this suggest it's foolish to even wait list in round two given that we'd like to keep the kids in the same school?

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  22. so why waste a slot?

    Because I don't believe the SFUSD actually follows any process that's published. I do believe they hold slots open in round 1. I do believe they leave people in the wait pool and move on to round 2. I do believe they use diversity in later rounds. I do believe they use other factors than the diversity index to determine diversity (e.g. zip code). I do believe they make a lot of mistakes. These are the only explanations for the results that people get. List your waitpool school as your #1 round 2 pick.

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  23. This time last year there was a lot of talk about what schools were the "hidden gems". These were schools where seats were presumed available in Round II (usually places were 0/7 families were being assigned). I remember Sunnyside, Flynn and Rosa Parks were talked-up by posters as being schools on the verge of greatness, if only... Are there no more hidden gems, or are people keeping them under wraps, for fear of starting a stampede to the waitlists? Just wondering.

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  24. A stampede is what fuels a hidden gem. You have to play it just right or you'll end up at your secret little school by yourself....

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  25. Need help! We live in Cow Hollow and want a decent school reasonably close (less than 2 miles). Where do we start on Round II? There are not a lot of schools near by, we will likely waitlist Sherman but I need other options. Cobb and Rosa Parks are not a choice for us. We would like a GE, not an immersion program.

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  26. Cow Hollow:

    I read somewhere in the 1000s of posts in the round I letters comments that someone recommended Rosa Parks and Redding. How about Jean Parker, Garfield, Spring Valley? Maybe put on Yick Wo and Sherman and hope for movement? Maybe the huge increase in K applications is partly private school parents just covering their bases in larger #s. There could be more movement than usual after the private school letters come out on Thursday.

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  27. Cow Hollow parent

    Beyond waitpooling Sherman, obviously your local school, you might consider Yick Wo (great school), Jean Parker, Spring Valley, Garfield (beautiful campus in the shadow of Coit Tower), John Yehal Chin. All would require heading East from where you are--some further than others, but not a bad commute compared to some. There are lot of high test scores in this mix. I don't know your ethnicity or comfortability factor with being in one of the smaller minority groups, but these schools are mostly Asian American (Chinese primarily). Don't know how over-enrolled they are, but your income (making an assumption here about Cow Hollow) might provide a diversity "in" to these schools whose kids are lower-income, though again, higher-scoring.

    Personally, I think they are worth a look. I might re-look at Rosa Parks, too; but I don't really know your criteria.

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  28. Is this thinking right...I'm decently ok with my assigned school, but have two others I'd prefer. Is it ok to put down one wait pool choice & only one "amended" choice? (not go thru and list 7). I'm guessing yes, but double checking....my brain is a bit tired and need some second opinions.

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  29. Can anyone tell me if you can just fax your "2009-10 Amended choices/Waiting Pool Request Form" to EPC? There is a fax number on the form but it does not state if they accept it via fax.

    Someone earlier stated there was an express line at EPC, if you just want to drop it off but do they give you some type of receipt?

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  30. 7:45: Yes, you can list your favorite school as waitpool and then list that one plus another one on your amended list. Since you already have school you're okay with, no need to worry about expanding your stated preferences beyond that list.

    7:52: Go down there. I think they don't accept them by fax, but even if they did, would you really want to trust that it would get to the right place? Go down, hit the express line, get the receipt.

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  31. Q: do you just need to drop off the Amended Choice/Waiting Pool Request Form by itself at EPC, or do you need to include any other documentation, such a proof of residence or date of birth?

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  32. We got our 7th choice and although it is passable, we'd like to try to get one of our choices #1-6. Will priority groups still be in effect for waitpools past round II? For example, if someone who went 0/7 in round I gets their second choice on their ammended list in round II, will their priority still be in effect (because they went 0/7 in round I) for subsequent waitpools over the summer? Thanks.

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  33. I could be wrong but my understanding is:

    Yes, priority still applies to waiting pool.

    If someone got one of their choices from round 2, they will no longer have the same priority as in round 1 when they were 0/7.

    When you are assigned to one of your choices (whether it's in round 1 or 2), you are in a lower priority than someone 0/7 by round 1 or 0/14 by round 2. Even after round 2 ends and they only take kids from the waiting pool, the fact that you got a school from your list in either round, means you have lower priority than someone who never was assigned to a school of their choice. Hope this helps.

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  34. I agree with Kim... listing a school as your waitpool school and #1 slot on the amended list is wasting a choice.

    They run the waitpools first, before the amended list. If you don't get selected for your waitpool school when they do that first run, you aren't going to get it when they run the amended lists.

    You may get something from your amended list and you may not. If you do, you register at that school and are guaranteed a kinder spot come Aug 24.

    You continue to remain in the waitpool for your chosen school, however, so if a spot opens up and you are selected, well, good news.

    So, why lessen your chances of getting an acceptable school to register at? Odds are better with 7 than 6. And there's still a chance you'll get that waitpool school in the end.

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  35. 0/7s in the first round will maintain a higher priority in the w/l than someone who got one of their choices in either round. they run round 2 after the waitlists are processed, so if a school still has a waitlist, then round2 won't apply (because not enough spots). so it's probably not worth wasting a R2 choice on a school with a large waitlist. unfortunately some of the epc people on monday were telling people otherwise, helping create confusion

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  36. I believe 10:39 is wrong. If you are 0/7 but you get a choice from your Round 2 list, you are still considered 0/7 and remain in that waitpool with the 0/15 people. The reason for this, I imagine, is that it encourages people to be more conservative with the Round 2 list -- there is no "penalty" for putting a low demand safety school on your Round 2 and getting it, you still remain in the highest priority waitpool cohort (after hardships, siblings, and teachers' kids).

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  37. I pretty much understand the process, but in terms of picking schools to list in Round 2 - what is a simple way of picking them???
    I saw a document listing the most popular schools, but is there a list of the unpopular schools with sibling stats? Does meeting with a counselor increase your chances of getting a better school? I saw a comment about zipcodes - does this mean that if you live in Pac Hts or the Marina you don't get placed in the low performing schools????

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  38. i'm sure PPS can chime in, but here's the deal re: waitpooling and priority cohorts as i understand it.

    your waitpool cohort is determined in round I. special cases like siblings and appeals aside, folks who went 0-7 in round one are the top cohort among "normals." folks who applied to less than 7 schools and got none come next, then folks who got one of their 7 choices. what happens in round II does not impact your waitpool cohort -- you keep whatever status you "earned" in round I.

    does this help?

    and to reiterate: i cannot imagine why EPC counselors would be misinformed on this point -- actually, maybe i can -- but i really think joy is right and it is pointless to waste a slot on your round II app on the same school you designated as your waitpool choice. they run the waitpools first. then they move to your round II list and see if they can accommodate.

    last year, there was the same round and round about the rules governing this wack-a-mole system. PPS chimed in and set us all straight, which was nice. don't count on EPC counselors to give you the straight dope. this is definitely not true of all of them, but i am sorry to say i encountered several along the way who did not know how to operate their own computer or where to place a form.

    and, for goddess' sake, keep a stamped copy of your round II form -- do not throw it away. it is your proof! i would also insist on seeing their copy of the form placed in the appropriate stack. and if you don't have confidence after a few minutes with a counselor, ask for another (there is a wide variance in counselor quality and language skills, i'm afraid). don't fax. try to see the same counselor each time and establish a relationship of sorts.

    2 cents.

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  39. I wonder if there's any pattern with regard to the public/private choice on a school-by-school basis. Private school admissions decisions are mailed tomorrow. My gut says that the most popular SFUSD schools (Clarendon, etc.) wouldn't lose a lot of assigned kids to privates because people assigned there might take it over private. Maybe some of the less-popular but still desirable publics (e.g. McKinley) could see more spots open up. This is just a guess on my part - it would be great if there were a way to actually know. How do others think the private school admissions will play into Round II spots?

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  40. I think the "better" schools are more likely to have openings later due to people going private. Many people interested in private only applied for and will only register at a better school while they make up their minds. (This phenomenon is what makes it seem like private school applicants get better assignments.)

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  41. but i am sorry to say i encountered several along the way who did not know how to operate their own computer or where to place a form.

    That is my point exactly. If you're going to shoot the moon, best to carpet bomb it and make sure your first choice shows up everywhere it possibly can.

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  42. 8:44 - I think you are absolutely right. I also think that popular schools in wealthier neighborhoods (Grattan, Sherman and even Lillianthal) have a lot of movement in the waitpools b/c the neighbors, who have a slightly preference in round 1, are covering their bases and waiting for a private school. Most of my pre-k who live in the sea cliff/pac heights area apply to Sherman and Lillianthal but truthfully, in 6 years I've never seen any one of them actually attend those schools. So I'd say those are good waitlist options - but as others have said, pad your round 2 app with some solid back-ups b/c it could be a long ride before those seats become available.

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  43. Actually, neighborhood preference only kicks in if you add diversity to the school in question. If there a lot of people like you already at your neighborhood school, and a lot of people like you applying to it, you don't get neighborhood preference.

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  44. I think there's a category of parents who will go public only if assigned to the Lilienthal-Clarendon-Rooftop category of schools. IMO even Grattan or Miraloma wouldn't cut it for these parents. So I suspect that round II spots are less likely to open up in those perenially ultra-popular schools once the private school decisions come out.

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  45. For Round II, if you did not tour a school in the fall and now are faced with picking additional choices - can you tour now? Does anyone have a schedule? or do you just have to call up every school you are considering? Specifically, I am looking at adding George Peabody and Sutro to Round II but I have never been to either and I hate to go just by word of mouth.

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  46. We know 4 or 5 families who were assigned Grattan last year and went private.

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  47. We are out 0/7 from round 1 but do have an assignment to a school which we are (slowly) warming to- Rosa Parks JBBP. Would appreciate answers to these questions about round 2 amended choices list-
    1. Once we put in 7 choices there, will round 1 choices be in play as well or just the 7 round 2 choices?
    2. If SFUSD is not able to assign us to one of our Round 2 choices, will they randomly assign us to some other school and we lose our Rosa parks JBBP assignment? In other words, can you end up worse off then you are with doing a round 2 amended list?

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  48. 10:46

    Register at Rosa Parks JBBP by the deadline. This will guarantee that you do no worse (however you define that!) than Rosa Parks JBBP. You will be guaranteed that spot, OR possibly one of your other choices from the waitpool or amended list. No, they will not randomly assign you to another school other than RP JBBP or one of the choices you make for the waitpool/round 2. However, you MUST register in order to hold that spot, or you definitely run the risk of having nothing and looking for a spotin the open enrollment period--the spots that are left over.

    Your round 1 picks are now history. The only ones that will be considered from here on out will be the ones you put on the waitpool/round 2 list.

    Be aware that the waitpool pick is considered to be your highest, best choice. Once you get it, that's it.

    How lucky that you got Rosa Parks JBBP as a 0/7er! I realize it may not feel that way, since you didn't get one from your list, but it really is a sweet school that is on the move. Good principal, passionate parents, lots of interesting programs going on.

    Good luck!

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  49. RE: These are good instructions sent out to PPS list:

    Thank you for the detailed explination. Your gonna kill me but I am still confused on one point!
    Should I list my first choice both in the wait pool list and the ammended list or only once in the wait pool list and then others in the ammended list? Thanks!......

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  50. see:
    11:39 am
    1:44 pm
    3:05 pm
    10:50 pm
    8:28 am
    9:16 am

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  51. hmmmm. regarding 10:46. since RP JBBP is an alternative program i thought one could only get placed there if it were one of the 7 choices. has the district done away with this? anybody know?

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  52. I want to share my waitlist experience because I think PPS really tries to lead you to believe that you will end up with the school you want if you waitlist and hold out for the 10 day count and beyond. I did get one of my choices (Sunset), but it's very far away. It's a 30-40 minute round trip drive twice a day.

    My 1st choice school was Sloat, which is right down the street from me, historically all the other children on our street have gotten into Sloat, except for mine, and presently 2 other children are attending there It would have been a great support system for our families to take turns walking and picking up our kids when emergencies happen.

    Well, I waitlisted through the 10-day count and beyond, paid for childcare at the YMCA to make sure my kid had a slot at the target school (they advised I do this or there might not be childcare available), while I paid for the YMCA at the other school. I did this for 6 weeks and it cost me over $500.

    Well, I DIDN'T get in. And while I'm okay with where I'm out, I just think you need to really be prepared that you may still be disappointed. It really angers me that I am forced to travel, and the community we're not enjoying with my child going to school with the other kids on the street.

    So I think the best way this experience should be described is: You may have to SETTLE, because that's what I feel like we as a family had to do.

    I know that there is talk of going back more to neighborhood schools, but unfortunately, it is too late for me and my family.

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  53. We were 0/7 and were assigned Sheridan. I figure I need to ammend my original list (admittedly all popular schools). Does anyone have a sense if Sunnyside will have been filled up in Round 1? I suppose some people will drop it if they get their waitlist school. Anyone have any input re. Stevenson, Flynn, or Monroe. I didn't tour them before and am wishing I had... Thanks! (Our first choice and waitpool choice will be Miraloma. We live a few blocks away and really would love to walk to school.)

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  54. Is there more movement in Spanish speaking or English speaking spots at immersion schools?

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  55. 2:29, depends on which school.

    2:28, I *think* Sunnyside is going to be a popular choice for a lot of Round 2 lists. Given your proximity, I would still put it on as one of your seven. Just don't assume. But sure, there will be movement as some go private/parochial and some successful waitpool somewhere else. And even though it has moved up in total requests, it is not blotto like Clarendon....more of a bubble school. Worth a shot. Just that I would consider putting some other ones, too!

    Monroe's a nice school; I know folks that teach there and have others that have kids there. Are you thinking SI? That would be harder, obviously; perhaps still worth a shot.

    Flynn GE-good option in many ways, with the IB program coming and school overall improving a lot in the last 3-4 years. Probably similar odds to Sunnyside; others here can say more.

    Have you considered Glen Park? JOES GE? Though the latter is getting more buzz on this list, so who knows, but would be worth putting down.

    Glen Park would be a realistic choice (I think) and some others were assigned there--and it's close to you and to BART. I see it as one that is likely to achieve hidden gem status very soon, like in the next year. There will be leadership turnover soon (historically the principal has a rep for not being into parental input and activity, but that seems to be changing) and the location is prime, attractive building, lots of middle class neighbors to draw from. And it's actually a decent school, just not on the radar of middle class parents until maybe this year it got some nibbles.

    The thing is--given your location--it might be a better option than Sheridan for you, and you could still waitpool at Miraloma knowing you have a secure spot at a school right down the street.

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  56. PS to 2:28--

    remember that even if you get a school like Glen Park, which again, might be a better option for you than Sheridan, you still retain your priority 0/7 status in the waitpools. That priority is set, or "earned" as Kim Green said somewhere today, by going 0/7 in round 1.

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  57. Another idea for 2:28 would be Paul Revere.

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  58. When private school letters go out this week, those parents who applied there will have more data with which to assess their round 2 picks. Thankfully, there is a *little* bit of time between one and the other, looks like.

    I suspect the private situation will be ugly, both in terms of # of acceptances to apps and especially in terms of aid (since current families are requesting more).

    For those many families that don't get a viable pick in the private process, the need to have *any* workable option for public will suddenly jump. Unless they plan to move out of town, which would be a few people, okay, but not many, that means evaluating the round 2 list in terms of realism--putting at least one if not two picks that are more than likely a yes. Like Glen Park. Sunnyside is not a bad option, at ALL, totally worth trying, but is further up the spectrum toward not as realistic. Clarendon, Rooftop, West Portal: yikes, that's dreamland. Waitpool, sure, go for the gold there, but not round 2, unless you have backup you are happy about.

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  59. To be fair, PPS doesn't put it this way -- I think this is parents hearing what they want to hear:

    "PPS really tries to lead you to believe that you will end up with the school you want if you waitlist and hold out for the 10 day count and beyond. I did get one of my choices (Sunset), but it's very far away."

    PPS and others say that almost all families wind up with A school they are satisfied with, as opposed to their original first-choice school. Sometimes it's a school that wasn't even on their first list. PPS and everyone else advising parents are very clear that if your first choice is Rooftop, Clarendon, West Portal, etc., it's a very long shot.

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  60. 2:28,


    The new school at De Avila is not that far (by car, mind you... but perhaps they'll have a school bus going over Portola... to Clayton...to Ashbury... to Haight?) if you are at all interested in immersion. I know it seems like it is being thrown together pretty quickly, with little (if any) stakeholder input so far... but if we had a kid entering Kinder and had gone 0/7, that would be my likely choice. (Actually, we might have gotten assigned there, since when we went though the lottery, our top two choices were AFY and WP CI... since that was a little before SK and Ortega came on the scene.) I just think it seems very promising to have three Kinder immersion classes (and two first grade classes)... and I also like that they are planning to squeeze in some Mandarin later. (Probably could also get some conversational Mandarin going in after school enrichment, and the kids will already be learning to read and write the characters through the Cantonese...) I understand the concern about the run-down building, and hopefully that will be remedied by the time school starts... but the neighborhood is fine. (And it is pretty centrally located, so not that far-by car, anyway- from lots of neighborhoods.)

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  61. So, I was looking at last year waitpools and wondering if I should even bother waitpooling Alice Fong Yu. I happened to notice that in last year's round 2 information, that it listed 7"approved" appeals, followed by "2" more "approved" appeals in the next wait pool run. Most schools had 1 or 2. Someone posted how hard it is to get an appeal actually approved and I was wondering how this school had so many. Maybe I am just reading this wrong, but the column says "Approved Appeals". Does anyone have any further information on this?

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  62. Depends how okay you are with your current assignment or any other backup options, versus how very badly you want it. It's a longshot, for sure. DeAvila would be a better bet if the issue is wanting Chinese immersion.

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  63. AFY might have had more appeals overall, and a similar percentage approved than other schools.

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  64. I got 0/7 for round 1, certainly not accepting the school that's assigned to me, plan to go round 2 and wait list.

    does anyone know if the "counseling session" tomorrow at John Muir is absolutely essential for someone in my situation?

    Thanks,

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  65. Unless it's a true hardship for you, this is probably the time to pull out all the stops and attend every possible session and workshop.

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  66. Does changing your waitlist school have any bearing on your priority in that waitlist, or is it always based on the same priority status that you 'earned' in Round 1 no matter when you enter the waitpool list for said school?

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  67. Do you think it's beneficial to attend BOTH counseling sessions, or just one?

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  68. 6:19,
    where can we find last year's wait pool info that you mentioned?

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  69. I have the same questions as 9:47pm and 12:19am (losing sleep like me???), so I hope someone answers them. Thanks.

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  70. Just to add to the fear of going 0/14 after Round 2 despite strategizing our brains out based on people's past experiences and last year's data, I just ran the algorithm at Parents for the Public Schools (based on previous years data) using my round 1 school choices (didn't use the algorithm the first time), and the algorithm showed I had a 93% chance of getting one of my schools in Round 1. Well I went 0/7, so this is not a criticism of the algorithm, but rather an observation and it makes me feel like even if I make my self crazy trying to strategize this whole thing out that I may still end up 0/14 at the end of things.

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  71. 7:45 -- you bring up a very good point. There have been so many howls here about "oh, if you went 0/7 you must have been a complete idiot for 'shooting the moon.'" The fact is that this year's "shoot the moon" list was last year's "cautiously optimistic" list was the "guaranteed a spot" list of 4 years ago. With 406 additional applicants this year on top of the 300 or so additional applicants of last year, a lot of conventional wisdom of the not-so-distant past is out the window. I recommend talking to a PPS counselor, though. The one I talked to was VERY, VERY helpful. And if the one you talk to is anything like mine, s/he won't berate you for the choices you made in Round 1!

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  72. 7:46am, 9:47 last night, et al

    Go to SFUSD.edu
    click on Enrollment
    click on 2009-2010 Enrollment results
    look at the bar on the right, toward the bottom: historical results--click on 2008-09 School Year

    Actually, you can study several years' worth of waitpool lists, at different points in the process.

    It's worth noting how some schools are always jammed up (AFY, for example). This is NOT likely to change.

    It's also worth noting how some schools have moved up a lot. Sunnyside wasn't on the waitpools a few years ago. I expect it will be this time, though not with numbers like Clarendon, Rooftop, etc. You can try (inexact science) to guess which schools have buzz this year. Those are good schools to try for--up-and-coming but hopefully still possible to get in early rounds--but you might want to hedge your bets by putting more than one of these.

    Regarding whether or not to attend TWO counseling sessions--no, not really, unless you want to check out that school site and/or meet up with parent ambassadors that you know will be there, both valid reasons. The SFUSD info should be the same, though.

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  73. re historic waitpool data:

    if you don't see the school on the list, then there was no waitpool for that school, at that point in time. Presumably it was just at capacity or less.

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  74. ROUND 2 REC'S FOR NOE AREA?
    Hi all, 0/7, assigned to Cesar Chavez, live in Noe Valley. Any recommendations for schools we should look at for R2 that aren't across town? We're leaning towards waitlisting Alvarado, because, hey it IS our neighborhood school.

    Other nearby's that we would be interested in are Miraloma (probably filled on waitlist, eh, or worth trying a R2 spot?), Grattan, McKinley, Milk. What else should we be looking at that might be a realistic option for R2?

    We'll be going to the "couseling session" at Sunnyside on Saturday.

    Thanks.

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  75. "Unless it's a true hardship for you, this is probably the time to pull out all the stops and attend every possible session and workshop."

    Really? Is the system really set up so that only parents who can get away from their other responsibilities to attend these sessions have a chance at getting a school they actually want? Considering the many, many hundreds of us who went 0/7 this year, is the EPC really prepared to handle all of us?

    I imagine that information will be provided to the masses at these events, but we can't realistically expect individual counseling, can we? And won't the SFUSD also publish the mass info online? If not, wow. How unbelievably unfair.

    Maybe I just haven't considered the depths of the EPC's lack of transparency until now. Will I actually be jeopardizing our chances at getting a decent school in Round 2 / waitpool if we don't make personal appearances at the EPC and its two events?

    I'm not being sarcastic - I had just been thinking that these events wouldn't actually provide meaningful info or make a difference because, based on other posts on this blog from parents who've been through it, it sounds as though the EPC can tell parents absolutely anything, with no consequences to the EPC.

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  76. We were really disappointed (although not surprised)about not getting into any of the Spanish immersion programs we applied to in Round I. I have heard that usually very few people give up their immersion spots once they have them. I'm struggling with letting go of my immersion goals for my child. Any advice or thoughts on trying for immersion at this point?

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  77. Try for Mandarin or Cantonese instead?

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  78. 1:09: this is our second -- and last -- year trying to get our daughter into a spanish immersion program.

    may i offer some advice based on our experience? let go of some of your other wants (neighborhood, language, program "quality" or reputation, etc.).

    true, our situation is a little atypical, in that i applied to immersion schools in round II last year that would have likely gotten a spot at if we hadn't been offered a spot at flynn off the waitpool. among them: paul revere spanish, starr king mandarin, and a few others.

    my point is that the immersion wp's, especially at the most popular programs, really don't move much.

    so, if i had it to do again, i would consider marshall in spite of its distance from us. i would look at JOES mandarin for the same reason. instead of deluding myself that i could "have it all" (neighborhood and immersion), i would sacrifice one in favor of the other, *especially* for my round II amended list.

    one thing that is hard to grasp at this stage of the process is the inherent morale and confidence boost it gives you and your kid to gain admittance to a school sooner rather than later. instead of marshaling your fortitude for the long haul -- "get down at give me 20! we gotta make it through the 10-day count to get alvarado! -- what if you tried to expand your comfort zone to include schools at greater distances from your home, or programs that aren't as chi-chi (at least according to the gossips)?

    i wish we had gotten into paul revere in round II last year -- it was our second choice and we surely would have if we hadn't gotten into flynn instead. then we could have gotten to know the place all summer even while waitpooling somewhere else.

    2 cents.

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  79. In response to 1:03:

    "Is the system really set up so that only parents who can get away from their other responsibilities to attend these sessions have a chance at getting a school they actually want?"

    No, in the past parents who couldn't attend those sessions have wound up getting schools they want. It's not the only way. But it MAY give you information that makes it happen faster or more easily, so it's worth it if you can manage it. Voluntarily blowing off any opportunity to get information, network and so forth seems like a mistake.

    "Considering the many, many hundreds of us who went 0/7 this year, is the EPC really prepared to handle all of us?"

    It will have to, one way or the other. There has been craziness in other years too -- it settles down in the end.

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  80. Can anyone explain the headers on the SFUSD spreadsheet "April 28 2008 DRAFT Waiting Pool List"?

    Specifically, what do these things mean:

    Round 1 7 requests No Choice
    Round 1 No Choice
    Round 1 Choice

    ? Thanks.

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  81. I'm 0/7 with Rosa Parks GE, we're planning to register there.

    Still, trying to figure out what to wait list, and what to put as R2 top pick. Still debating between Lafayette and McKinley. Better to go for the school we can walk to, but feels too suburban to us, or go for the school that fits our "family culture" but is a 20 min drive away? Argh!

    Is either of these schools "more difficult" to get into, or are they about the same? I would go for the one that I KNOW we can get in Round 2.

    Does anyone have a crystal ball?

    Apologize for repeating myself, just looking for a way to make a freakin' decision.

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  82. I went down to the EPC today. Not many people, but still a long wait to talk to a counselor. I spoke to one and really, the only advice was the same as these boards.

    Find the schools that are less popular and put those down as your round II schools. Keep your waitlist pool as your #1 choice. No reason to put waitlist pool also in your Round II list.

    Unfortunately for me, all the schools in my area (which is my #1 priority) are high demand schools.

    The ones the counselor recommended are as far as the one we are assigned.

    He did pass me the medical and hardship appeal and told me to think long and hard about what my story was. I thought that was funny.

    I would go to a crappy school if there was one in my neighborhood. I toured for 2 years and imho the difference between so called 'great' schools and bad schools is not that marked.

    I believe most learning (esp in elementary) happens in the home anyway.

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  83. Re: Greed 3:08
    Round 1 7 requests No Choice: those who requested 7 schools in R1 and got none - 0/7.
    Round 1 No Choice: those who made less than 7 requests in R1 and got none - 0/x.
    Round 1 Choice: those who got one of their R1 choices.

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  84. Greed - Both Lafayette and McKinley sound like good schools. If it were me, I'd waitlist for the school that's closer (as long as you're ok with it if you're placed there.) Put the "20 min away school" as # 1 on the Amended List.

    I'd choose a closer school because it'll be more convenient in the next 6 years, in every way - wake up later / walkable / easier to attend mtgs / more likely to be involved since you're minutes away vs driving "all this way for a 15 min event"... you get the idea.

    Since there's really no sure way of knowing which school you'll get, even though statistically you "should've gotten this and that," I wouldn't spend the next 7 days debating over something (in my opinion) that's illogical / confusing / frustrating and most importantly, beyond your control.

    Good Luck!!

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  85. After reading all of the posts, I'm still confused:

    1. Do diversity factors play into either round 2 or the waitlist? Or just the sibling/0 for 7, etc.? Round 1 seemed to go to people who had a second language at home. Do we need to teach our preschooler French this week? Does our neighborhood priority (which did us no good in round 1) still apply?

    2. Is the waitlist rerun a number of times? In other words, random numbers get picked each time? How many times is this done? Or are you assigned a number just once and then stay on the list, moving up hopefully as others are accepted or people drop out?

    3. If we get a school in round two, are we still in the “0 for 7” category on the waitlist?

    4. People seem to recommend putting lesser known schools for round 2. Is this just because the waitlist is run first? Without the waitlist process, I’d think it might be the opposite – we could put the popular schools, since we’d no longer be penalized for being in the same diversity factor (kid goes to preschool, isn’t on food stamps, parents went to college, etc.) as many families who seem to all be applying to the same schools. Unless the diversity factors are still being used in round 2 (see #1)? Of course, I guess more people would stick with the popular schools? Or yet again, maybe not, as lots of them would be going to private schools? And at this point you’re less willing to chance not getting anything... But maybe still try two or three popular ones, since it’s just purely a lottery without diversity factors (it is, right?) Are there people who just put down the exact same schools again and get into one? Considering everyone is on waitlists, does anyone get into a round 2 school that has any kind of reputation at all? You can tell I’m confused about round 2…

    5. What are the counseling sessions for (at John Muir and Sunnyside)? I’ve heard you need to go to one of them to keep your assignment while still doing round 2 and waitlist? Is that true? How is being given a presentation live going to be different from being given the presentation on the website? Are they going to be able to answer hundreds of questions?

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  86. 1. Don't know
    2. Waitlists are run at various times. Deadline for Round 2 waitpool run is 3/27. Looks like there's another deadline 5/15 (from the SFUSD website). Then I think there are other runs during the summer and after school starts. You will never get a number and won't have a designated place on the list. It's really a pool, not a list. But you will know which cohort you are in. (There are priority cohorts, like siblings, children of teachers, and hardship appeals. After that, the first priority cohort is those who went 0/7 in Round 1.)
    3. Yes, if you get something off your Round 2 list, you will still be considered 0/7. But if you get your waitlist school, you will be done.
    4. It is because the waitlists are run first. So it is highly unlikely there will be any remaining spots at various popular schools after the waitlists are done, by the time Round 2 takes place.
    5. No, they're not mandatory, but sounds like you have a lot of questions. And I think there will be people there from various schools you may want to consider. To keep your spot at the school where you were assigned, you need to go to the school and register before the deadline.
    3.

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  87. Kim Green, I don't understand...why did you not take Flynn if you were looking for immersion????

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  88. oh, we took flynn -- they just decided not to take us! (there was a minor brouhaha last year in which the district involuntarily disenrolled 23 english-speaking kids from alvarado and flynn at the 11th hour. and then played with us like a cat with a half-dead mouse for three weeks.)

    what i meant was, if they had not made a mistake and overenrolled flynn with english speakers, we would surely have been assigned to paul revere imms in round II, as it had openings at that point and was our #2 choice on our amended list. then, we would have waitpooled fairmount. so things might have been different for us, but the takeaways in terms of round II tactics are the same.

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  89. March 18 12:23 - I know two families who did not put Rosa Parks JBBP on their list, but got it anyway.

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  90. Question, on the sfusd.edu site it gives a technical description of the assignment process. It says "If the applicant with is offered more than one school of her or his choice the Lottery will
    select the school choice that was ranked highest on his or her application form as the school to offer the student at the end of the lottery."
    Tentative Assignment Results
    Choice 1 Sch XXX Assigned
    Choice 2 SchYYY Not Assigned
    Choice 3 Sch BBB Assigned
    Choice 4 Sch CCC Not Assigned
    Choice 5 Sch LLL Assigned
    Choice 6 Blank
    Choice 7 Blank

    So this hypothetical kid lucked out and got assigned thru the lottery choices 1, 3 and 5. SFUSD would give him choice 1. What does that do to the spots in choices 3 and 5. Does that mean they are open for round 2? It seems to be yes. The system wouldn't know the kid got chosen for three schools until the very end, then it gives the kid choice 1, and the other spots are just empty. I mean the lotter is over at that point until Round 2? Yes? This gives me a little hope. . .

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  91. I went to tonight's info session at John Muir. It was definitely worthwhile. I learned that the waitpool order is random (diversity factors are only considered if it's for an immersion spot). I also learned that if a twin sibling gets a spot, the other twin is automatically moved into the sibling priority column and gets the next available spot.

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  92. At the counseling session they said not to bother waitpooling Spanish immersion programs because there is rarely movement.

    Might there be *some* movement for Spanish-speakers? Or should we give up all hope?

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  93. 10:00

    Sorry to be the bearer of bad tidings, but those spots were "released" once the assignment got locked in for that hypothetical child for his/her higher-ranked assigned school. Other than the issue with the Mandarin progams (spots being held for Mandarin speakers who are not numerous), the popular schools are filled up to their 22 kids/classroom. Movement will happen if some assigned students do not register for whatever reason. They will again fill up in the waitpool run--and for sure at the most popular schools, there will be large waitpools to fill them. Thus, the best Round 2 strategy (different from waitpool strategy) is to list less-popular schools that might not fill up in the waitpool run.

    Greed, more bad news (sorry), but I do not think you can know at all that Lafayette or McKinley would be an in for Round 2. Waitpool, maybe yeah. I bet they fill up in the waitpool run, though, which is run first.

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  94. Anyone know if there is a District-wide policy re: twins?

    If both kids get into the same school, will they be forcibly separated into different classrooms or kept together? Is there a policy in place or is there flexibility there depending on the parents? Or is it a school-by-school decision?

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  95. My son has former classmates from his K-5 alma mater, twins whose parents specifically chose the school (going through the previous, equally onerous process) because the principal was flexible about allowing twins to be in the same class. Their neighborhood school of assignment, back when, refused to allow twins to be in the same class. So apparently it's a school-by-school decision.

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  96. Sorry if this has been asked and answered, but here goes:
    We went 0/7. If we do round 2 amended list + waitlist, do we also have to register at the assigned school? If we do not register at the school, do we lose the assigned slot? Lastly, if we do register AND do round 2 + waitlist, can we submit all the paperwork at Franklin st? thx in advance for the help.

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  97. I heard that NOT registering for your R1 assignment helps in waitlist and R II you b/c the district needs to maximize the students for revenue reimbursement from the state. If you are not registered, the district won't get paid for your child. The theory is that this then helps you in R II and waitpool (at least bumps you to the top of your priority pool, that is.) Any truth to this? Anecdotal or otherwise?

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  98. Is there a way to find out what schools cleared their waitlists last year? This information would be very helpful in selecting a waitlist school and then determining whether we wait it out through the 10 day count.

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  99. 9:44 and 9:49

    * You do not have to register in order to participate in waitpool and/or round 2.

    * If you do not register on time, you will lose your spot at that school--that is how spots open up for the waitpools and round 2, right?

    * Sorry, but you will need to register at the school site and turn in your waitpool/round 2 paperwork to the EPC at 555 Franklin. Yes, that means two trips.

    * You will not get higher priority status in the waitpool if you do not register at your assigned school. Not at all. That is just so false. Your priority status in the waitpool is determined by a number of factors--this is listed very clearly on the sfusd waitpool page, by the way. Going 0/7 in round 1 gives you higher priority than if you got one of your choices, etc. This priority status is fixed and stays with you regardless of whether you register or not, or get one of your round 2 choices.

    Anyway, the school's per cap income from the state is determined at the 10-day count, not at this point in the process.

    Unless you are certain of a backup plan, or you are 100% certain you will not send your child to your assigned school, you should probably register to at least have a spot. If you go 0/15 as some (many?) will, that spot may look a lot more attractive than what is on offer in open enrollment. I'm not kidding about this.

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  100. I dunno, this is our child's education we're talking about. It shouldn't be that much of a game. If the one we've been assigned actually might be a good school after all (good teachers, principal, kids -- just not the reputation, etc.), then sure, I'd sign up to hold a spot. If it's really not something I want (even if I'm not 100% sure), then the possibility of it or an open enrollment choice (bad or worse) is not a choice that I accept. At that point, I'd be looking to move out of the city. Walk into the top rated neighborhood public school and sign up. Sounds refreshing, no?

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  101. Okay, so it looks like diversity factors don't apply in the waitpool. What about in Round 2?

    Also, does anyone know a family that got a Round 2 choice in a previous year? Any that got one they really wanted? I just know people who got in during the waitpool. I'd be curious to find out how many families get a Round 2 pick, considering how many people will be in the waitpools. Wouldn't it have to be a school without a waitpool (or a tiny one)?

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  102. Okay... anyone know what was on offer at open enrollment last year?

    Yeah, I'm the mom that missed the deadline and my child's future is now flapping in the wind as I sit and read everything I can about every school. A Backup? How can I plan for a backup when I have no idea what the public school system will be? All backups I know of want us to sign up well befor I'll find out which leftover school my son may go to in May.

    All you panic parents: be happy you're not in my situation!

    I'm going to the meeting tomorrow at Sunnyside (since that is now my shoot-the-moon school) but I really need to stop reading these comments or I'll get a ulcer.

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  103. "Worst Mom" (coulda been any of us... well, me at least) are you in touch with Parents for Public Schools? You definitely can use that support and information. www.ppssf.org

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  104. Odysseus, only you can know where the line is for you in terms of "this school isn't my dream school but it's good enough" versus "I'm moving out of the city."

    All I can say is, it's worth it to take a look at the school you got assigned in the next week before the registration deadline. Or at least talk to a parent ambassador. I am not saying that you should consider any school to be acceptable (and I do not know what you got). But at least, consider it. Reputation does not always equal reality. There are schools in between the rock star and the worst, and some of them may be on the right side of that line for you.

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  105. We were assigned John Muir. We have friends that were assigned Rosa Parks, and from what I've read it sounds like something that we might have at least looked into if offered. Maybe John Muir is actually a wonderful school, and maybe if it isn't it will be turned around soon. I totally understand the idea of taking a look first. I guess what I'm saying is that I don't want to have to pick a school that is on the "right side of that line" for our child. I want a school that is great for our child (regardless of the reputation).

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  106. Odysseus-
    Re. 1- We speak another language in the home and went 0/7. However, I did not put that my daughter speaks the language because frankly she only speaks a few words. Now I wish I had. I doubt anyone in the district could have properly tested her Arabic! (-: (I did put that she had a "secondary" nationality as middle eastern. I was annoyed to have to put one parent's ethnicity as primary... How is that possible? Anyone take Biology 101? Anyway, they say that section of the application is not used for decision-making anyway, but who knows!)
    Re. 5- I thought the Thursday night presentation was almost a total waste of time, since I have been reading all this stuff for days like you have. The presentation by the head of EPC was terrible, and the two SFUSD people I talked to were not particularly helpful. That said, they gave out a useful waitpool 08 doc that you can also now find on their website. Found out my first choice only took 8 people out of the 44 on last years wait pool- ug! Also I talked to a PPS person who WAS helpful. So hang on the edges and ask the PPS reps and school reps questions. Nobody took down our name, it is not a requirement.
    OH, one more thing! They said that this year they will release the wait pool info on April 1st and people have until April 10 to change their waitpool school before the first running. One more time to lose sleep and second guess ourselves, great!
    Good luck!

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  107. Yeah, we know someone who got our first choice. We were in the neighborhood. They had the second language. They trumped. Then again, we have friends who also have the second language (the kid is truly bilingual, albeit probably not the languages SFUSD is thinking about) and didn't get anything. I can't imagine they didn't put it down. The whole thing is nuts and causes more worry than anything else. And as has been mentioned, if it worked, wouldn't the schools all have a pretty even amount of ethnicities, free lunch students, etc.? Since it doesn't work, why do we have to wish we had spoken French to our kids from birth (aside from its obvious benefits. Yes, ma femme, I should have been speaking French all along. Tu as raison.)

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  108. "I am not saying that you should consider any school to be acceptable (and I do not know what you got). But at least, consider it."

    That's true. You never know what people think is acceptable. A couple of years ago a white parent told me she'd never consider sending her kid to West Portal because she was afraid he'd be the only blond child on the playground! I know people who would have cut off their arm to get into West Portal.

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  109. Considering our child is of mixed heritage, that's not really the problem, although we might feel out of place in a school with all one other heritage, including blond. We just want her in a school where the kids of whatever heritage are excited to learn, and the teachers get a chance to teach rather than discipline. Good principal, extra curriculars, some sunlight, yada yada. All low test scores, students that are "hard to manage" etc. gives us pause. Otherwise, if they're all just as good, let's all just go to the neighborhood school (which we would have liked). But we're getting off topic.

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  110. Last year there was little movement in round 2 (except for SI) because all those people who took private school spots NEVER RELEASED their public school spots. I"m still seething. I sure hope folks are more considerate this year.

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  111. If I get my waitpool choice in round 2 and accept it, I understand that I'm out of that waitpool completely. However, after I accepted my waitpool school, can I re-list another waitpool school for future consideration?

    Thanks

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  112. 11:07--No. If you get your waitpool choice at any time, then you are taken out of the process. It is considered to be your highest choice.

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  113. Neighborhood school would only solve this problem if everyone enrolled their child in their neighborhood school, no matter what its ethnic makeup and test scores and the quality of its principal and teachers. Otherwise, there would be the same kind of flight to private schools and gaming the system that exists now. You can't force anyone to enroll their child in a school they don't want.

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  114. This process makes me ill. You spend 40 plus hours touring 10 schools to pick 7, you get none. Now you get to wait to see if you get something you can live with. Not to mention more time going down to EDD, trying to look at other schools, etc. I read these posts and people complaining about people who only picked the 7 top or popular schools and what did they expect. They expect the best for their child and were trying to get it. Did they have time to spend 2 weeks of the year to tour 14 different schools? no. Did they rely on word of mouth and test scores? yes. Did they expect to be assigned to a school at the bottom of the achievement pool? or where you fear for their safety? no. One of the most frustrating parts of the process is the time commitment it demands of the parents (many who cannot afford it). For thousands the time meant nothing. Families need to plan ahead and there should be more transparency and certainty in the process. Those of us left with "what do we now" are not happy and may never be. Those who are cheerleaders of the public schools - I don't see their kids going to under performing schools. Kindergarten at these schools may be fine...it is really the end product, those in 5th grade beyond that I am focused on. If they did not go through the process this year or last year, those parents also did not face the record number of applicants. You can tell by all those trying to get in the 1st grade lottery that things can turn out very bad. Not everyone wants to or can be a pioneer. We just want to give our kids a decent shot at an education that does not require a 45 min trip across town. No wonder folks move, they know what to expect based on where they live. Why do you think people rent in Orinda? By choice, to send their kids to school there. Here, there is no "choice", its pure luck and I am starting to resent the "spin" placed on the process.

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  115. If you're going to rely on word of mouth and test scores, why bother touring the schools? If you want to request the most sought-after schools, go for it. Then you can spend your time touring schools you've never heard of. You might be surprised.

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  116. Has everyone seen this post from Rachel Norton regarding traditionally undersubscribed schools that are seriously oversubscribed this year? I have a feeling this year is going to be ugly.

    http://rachelnorton.com/2009/03/19/tidbits-from-round-i-data/

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  117. Interesting that she notes more than half of K applicants don't list seven schools (I think she said 17% list only one school). Keep that in mind when you think about the % who receive one of their choices. Stats can prove any point I guess.

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  118. Also, what would the district do if all the 116 or so assigned to the underperforming school (Muir?) actually enroll there? Would they add more K classes (3 or 4 more?)? Would they be forced to disenroll a la Flynn and Alvarado last year, and then give those disenrollees super priority in waitpools? Seems like there could be power in numbers if you all agree to at least enroll. Couldn't hurt.

    Not to say that it wouldn't be great to actually see an under enrolled school turn around with an influx of committed parents.

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  119. I think 2:50 p.m. misinterprets a preivous post as they indicated they spent 40 plus hours touring schools, which is what we did. After the time spent researching the schools, I feel I might as well just put the top choices by popularity because it did be no good to put "hidden gems" on my list as they apparently are not so hidden.

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  120. I noticed that there was some discussion about the chance of getting Spanish Immersion if you put down an SI school as your waitpool school.

    I want SI and am not going to put down Alvarado or Flynn as my waitpool school because they are in such high demand. Do I stand a chance of getting an SI school? My kid is not a Spanish speaker. Does this mean that I can only get a spot if another English speaking kid vacates a spot and not if the spot is vacated by a Spanish speaking kid? I asked two people at ETC and each one gave me a different answer. Any info or insight would be much appreciated.

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  121. well....it might depend on the school, CoopHill. Some schools enforce the 50-50 Engl/Esp balance more rigorously than others. And EPC itself has seesaw'd a bit. I believe Fairmount was not letting in English dominant speakers last year when spot for Spanish speakers were open.

    SI schools that are much more likely for you to get in waitpool/round 2: Daniel Webster, Paul Revere, Marshall, Monroe. Bad odds: Alvarado especially.

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  122. this is my understanding as we fumbled through the spanish vs english speaker numbers at daniel webster this year.

    the model for two way immersion can be seen as 50-50 or 33-33-33. this gives the district some room to be flexible. for example, in one of our K classes, we had a 50-50 split. in the other, there were very few english families that speak english at home, say 4 our of 18. this issue was brought up and the district came to talk to us about the make-up of this class, saying that yes, while it is unbalanced as far as home language, it is balanced in that many of the spanish-dominant children are proficient enough in english to pass it off as 33-33-33.

    since multilingual programs is not claiming that their two way programs are ALL 50-50 or 33-33-33, it gives them some cushion.

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  123. If you were accepted to a charter school, are you still considered 0 for 7?

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  124. i will say this: in the current political climate, SFUSD's multilingual dept and the other powers that be will use the 33/33/33 and 50/50 quotas at their discretion -- and their discretion will not be in service to english-speaking children. that is to say, 33/33/33 will be deemed acceptable to justify a classroom's imbalance in favor of spanish speakers, but the opposite is not the case. (if that were so, then flynn would arguably not had to kick out 8 kids last year, or perhaps any at all.)

    so if you are thinking that just because a school currently has a minority of english speakers you will get in off the waitpool...be wary. you would probably stand a better chance theoretically, but you can't know what will happen. EPC, under extreme pressure from multilingual, is quite capricious in drawing from the pools into immersion (spanish, mainly). in my experience, at least.

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  125. 4:15,

    yes, charters have a separate enrollment process, so you can still get the same benefit (sic) of being a 0/07.

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  126. Hello SF K filers,
    One (hopefully last!) question about round 2 algorithm and strategy.
    Does the alogorithm try to match everyone's first choice first, then everyone's second choicee and so on OR once it picks up one person randomly then go down their list and then move onto the next person and so on?
    The reason for this question is that this will alter our strategy and if it is the first, then we are better off listing a safety school (one with better chances) first and if it is the latter then it should not matter where we put our safety school and we may be better off listing our favourite school (one with slimmer chances) first?
    Thanks in advance for your help

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  127. 9:44

    Caveat emptor, I do not have access to the algorithm. However, we do know this:

    1) in round 1, one of the far-down-the-list tie-breakers (probably matters most for "bubble" schools that fill their spots, but are not wildly oversubbed) is a random lottery amongst those who listed the school first. After that, those who ranked it lower down are randomly picked. This is all after they have already tried to balance for diversity.

    2) We have been told they will not be considering diversity factors in round 2.

    My conclusion from this is to assume (though I could be wrong) that some priority will be given to those who list a school as their #1 choice in round 2, and that this tie-breaker will be even more important given that diversity factors won't count at all. Given that probably all of the "acceptable, up-and-coming" schools will be bubble schools in this round, if not totally over-subbed in fact, I would think you should put your more likely, "safety" school waaaay up at the top, because even that may be a crapshoot at this point. especially after the waitpools are run first.

    Try to get a spot you find acceptable! That should be your priority in this round, unless you have another backup plan somewhere. After that, hang out in the waitpool for your most desired school.

    Sorry to be blunt, but it sucks to go 0/15 because at that point you will likely be waiting until August or September and that is so not fun.

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  128. Thanks 10.35, you raise another good point- I did not realise that they run the waitpools first. Wonder if we should just stick our safety into our waitpool.
    As a side note, since we have a lousy assignment, suddenly safety schools are looking waaay more attractive.

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  129. Maybe a nitwit question, but what paperwork do we need to submit with the round 2/waitlist form? Copy of round one? Birth cert?

    Thx for the help!

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  130. 3:23 - It's quite likely that the families who only list one school are parents with a sibling enrolled elsewhere already, so they know they will get their top choice.

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  131. Just found out that our friend with the second language at home didn't put it down on the form (and thus went 0/7). Apparently an EPC counselor told him not to put it down, as it wouldn't help. So it seems the counselor was either really misinformed or lying. So whom do we trust to help us in this process? PPS maybe? Other equally confused parents? Anyone know of a document that answers whether diversity factors are used in Round 2 or the waitpools?

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  132. Odysseus, those who went to the counseling sessions are reporting that Archie Fokin said the diversity factors are not used in the waitpools and second round.

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  133. If it helps anyone....for round two, we where told our school "always clears its waitlist through the 10-day count". This is Sherman we're talking about (as in, one-of-the-top-10-popularity-schools). Don't dispare, there is a light at the end of this long, dark tunnel.

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  134. Please fill me in about Sheridan...I toured there thinking I would probably not find it acceptable, but actually thought that it would be a good option for us. Wanting to hear both good and bad things, just to put it all into perspective in R II...have been on a touring frenzy this week and am quickly becoming overwhelmed....Sheridan, any thoughts?

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  135. Odysseus,

    It was explained to me that the diversity factors don't impact the later rounds as much because the pool of people is smaller. So, it is used, but there is so little impact as to be negligible. That may be why the person you spoke with said it didn't matter.

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  136. 11:59-

    Sheridan is a functional school (compared to some that 0/7 folks got assigned to that are not.) Not a lot of white kids, which probably explains why it is off the radar of folks here, but they do a very good job of teaching an otherwise diverse set of kids....in this sense it is comparable to George Moscone....not a failing school, at all, but one that is beating the odds.

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  137. 1:16 Thanks for the thoughts on Sheridan. After touring more schools today I still can't quite get Sheridan off my mind. There's something about it, maybe the principal whom I found to be refreshingly candid. Open about challenges and excited about her students. She was very warm and I felt truly welcomed and not rushed through the process. She let me stay in her K classrooms without being their, and I got to spend 5 min. per class before recess and I must say that it was in so many way really wonderful that even the neighbourhood became less an issue for me (proximity to home etc).

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  138. wow, I must be tired, so many spelling errors, ugh

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  139. In fact I am so tired that I've been asking about Sheridan, when actually I've meant Redding....I am beside myself, sorry...Redding ES is what I can't get off my mind. OK, enough, maybe some time away from here will help ease this ridiculous confusion...

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  140. We have picked our waitpool school but are still deliberating what to put for our Round II list. We live in the Sunset and despite the advice to add lesser known schools to our list, there are just not many that are convenient for work and home. Among the Sunset schools, it seems like FS Key and RL Stevenson are the less known schools (though both still oversubscribed). Can anyone comment on these schools? How would they compare to Jefferson or Sunset, both of which I did tour?

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  141. Oh, Redding! Lots of nice stuff going on there. Did you check out the 2nd floor? Art, field trips, experienced teachers, principal on the ball. Off the radar of parents here because there are few white kids though it is diverse, plus the neighborhood is not, you know, Miraloma :-). Test scores pretty good, esp considering the ELL population. A sweet place.

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  142. 10:18 - You DON'T want to put down Jefferson or Robert Louis Stevenson (wink wink, I'm just trying to lower the competition).

    You and I are probably neighbors. We are looking at all the schools in the sunset as that is where we live and need a close school for commute and getting other child to/from daycare.

    We toured Robert Louis Stevenson and really liked it. The scores are comparable with Jefferson, but a little lower in reading.

    The principal is nice and we got a good community vibe from the school.

    Francis Scott Key/Ulloa/Sunset are a bit out of our range so I don't anything about them.

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  143. Has anyone out there ever heard of someone getting a school off of their round 11 list of seven?

    It seems almost impossible to do unless you put down schools that noone put as their waitpool school - aka not very good ones.

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  144. does anyone have any advice for me for round 2 for 1st grade?

    i loved clarendon JBBP, but of course, that's pie in the sky....i'm just thinking with that extra classroom last year, maybe it's not the worst choice for 10 day count b/c maybe there's some families in there who will leave SF due to the economy (heck, we're thinking about it.) doesn't seem like the district has any info on who's returning for the upper grades.

    also, what about rooftop, is that worse on a shot at 10 day count b/c it goes through middle school?

    we may have to move out of the city if we don't get something this year for our oldest, b/c we have twins who we will need to find a spot for next year, we ideally want them all together, and we can't afford THREE private tuitions.

    also, we got nothing in the 1st round. is there any point at all listing the same choices for round 2 as round 1?

    is there ever any movement at places like grattan, mckinley, etc. between rounds 1 and 2? or, are there any choices on the southwest side of the city that we might have a chance at getting a spot at in round 2?

    i am really pressed for time and haven't been able to get in to the district for counselling....

    thanks for any opinions!

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  145. oops, i'm 9:19 and i forgot to include that we live in bernal and, ideally, wouldn't drive to the OTHER side of town for school, though travelling to anything from west portal to grattan would be doable (since we work downtown...)

    again, thanks for any ideas!

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  146. @8:27 - thanks for the scoop. Yes, probably neighbors and hope we both do well in Round 2...

    CoopHill, yes, it seems to me also like you really can't get anything in Round 2 that has a significant wait pool ie. the Miralomas, Grattans, Clarendons etc. Good luck finding that needle in the haystack.

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  147. To 10:57
    Last year we put a second language and even a third language, but got 0/7. Waitlist school was Clarendon JBBP, we didn't get it although they opened a new class and we were among those 5 with highest priority!

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  148. Greed,

    See, this is what I'm talking about. Many people say there are no diversity factors in round 2 and waitpools. But now you're saying there are, although they don't play as much of a role (which I don't get -- if diversity factors are used, and if the waitpool for, say, Clarendon has lots of preschool-educated kids not on foodstamps with no second language, then a kid with a second language or who didn't go to preschool would get bumped to the top, right? After appeals/siblings. Or to the top of whatever category he/she is in [0/7, didn't apply first round, etc.]) I can't find anything on any SFUSD website clarifying this. Anyone care to point out primary source material?

    Regarding the misinformed/lying EPC counselor -- it was a friend, not us, that spoke with him. And it was regarding round ONE, not round TWO. In round 1, diversity factors very much do make a HUGE difference. Had our friend put down the second language, he would invariably have gotten into one of his seven, and possibly his top choice.

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  149. What about over-enrollment?

    I heard that some schools are over-enrolled by up to 200%!

    Does anyone know how many offers were given out at impacted schools versus "un-impacted" schools?

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  150. I know the district has added a few new kindergartens to address next fall’s demands. What schools have these added classes? I imagine that the odds of getting into one of these schools are far better than most other popular schools.

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  151. Does anyone know where to find a master list for the school codes? I can't seem to find on the SFUSD website.

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  152. 11:57, on the enrollment page for 2009-2010, look at the pdf for the original, round 1 application. codes are there.

    good luck

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  153. Re: Sherman waitlist
    On the SFUSD page for last year's wait pool numbers, Sherman shows "Total placed by Sept 30" = 5, and "Wait Pool remaining Sept 30" = 10. That doesn't look like they cleared the wait pool

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  154. Sherman and Rosa Parks JBBP are the two kindergartens EPC told me they added for 2009-10

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  155. Sorry, NOT Sherman, SHERIDAN and Rosa Parks JBBP are the two additional kindergartens. I keep mixing up those two names.

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  156. Do you mean added before Round I, or they're adding for Round II? I checked the SFUSD website and couldn't find anything about it. Why add at Sheridan? Nothing against the school, but I got the sense it was undersubscribed after Round I given the 0/7 people assigned there.

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  157. 7:22, they may have physical space to do so. There are issues with that because fire codes mean that the younger kids can't be put on a second floor at some schools.

    Bet you anything the SF public schools will be full up by mid-September. If they need the space and Sheridan has room, it makes sense. Not everyone turns up their noses at a reasonable, free education the way people on this blog seem to do.

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  158. That makes sense, 4:43. I didn't mean to sound as if I was "turning up my nose at a reasonable, free education," just wondering why space was being added to an undersubscribed school. I thought perhaps yet another person had gotten it confused w/ Sherman, which is in a part of town where many of the schools filled up after Round I.

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