Thursday, April 2, 2009

Miraloma Welcome Playdates and Events:

Welcome to all new Miraloma kids and families!

Miraloma's Welcome Playdate #1 is coming up this Sunday, April 5, 10 am - 12 pm. We are meeting at the city Miraloma playground right next to the school on Omar Way -- informally called "Sandy Park". (PLEASE NOTE: the date is incorrect on the welcome letter you received when you registered. The letter says it's on April 12, which is Easter. That is a typo. You should have received a postcard in the mail confirming that April 5 is the correct date). The welcome committee will provide bagels and coffee. Come play and meet other Miraloma families!

Other Miraloma welcome playdates and school events as follows:

- Miraloma Spring Festival -- Sunday, April 19, 12 pm -- 3 pm on the schoolyard for fun, games, food and music.

- Miraloma Silent Auction -- Saturday May 16th, 8 pm -- 11 pm at The Harding Park Clubhouse for refreshments, entertainment, mingling and bidding on 100’s of amazing items. (Adults only please.)

- Welcome Playdate #2 -- Sunday, May 17, 1 pm - 3 pm. At Miraloma playground on Omar Way. This is a potluck event -- if you want, bring a snack to share.

- Welcome Playdate #3 -- Sunday, June 14, 1 pm - 3 pm. At Miraloma playground on Omar Way. Potluck -- bring a snack to share.

- Weekly Friday morning singalongs -- join us on any Friday from 8 to 8:30 am in the auditorium.

For more info, please contact Lee Fischer at

Hope to see you at some or all of these events!


  1. I love how this is sitting here mocking all the 0/7's.

  2. i have to confess, i felt this way last year after round I (and beyond). all these events rolling out as if the system was working for most people, folks taking all the spots in aftercare, uniform buying...chapped my hide. need a thread for 0-7 rage...can change it to 0-15 rage as time goes on...and post-10-day-count despair...with nearly 400 applicants for first-grade this year, there's probably a place for multi-year hard cases...

  3. Miraloma's Kindergarten classes were 67% white last year. 10% of SFUSD students are white.

  4. Interestingly, Miraloma's applicant pool changed dramatically this year. It's more diverse than in recent years across all areas.

    Miraloma was very underenrolled for many years - only 245 students when my oldest started six years ago - and last year was at capacity (360) for the first time. As was reflected in the kinder class, this was being 'filled' with parents requesting the school that skewed white. But as the school is getting more popular (and the test scores raising across all subgroups), we are attracting a more diverse applicant pool.

    Additionally, Miraloma enrollment efforts by parents and staff have focused on reaching out to non-English speakers and families in the Bayview.

    Apparently it worked!

    Similar trends happened at Lakeshore and Rooftop in the past.

  5. 9:59
    I know that this is hard, I was 0/5 when we first enrolled in kindergarten and had no where to visit and celebrate a new community.

    But we then took what felt like a giant risk and enrolled in Miraloma seven years ago (only 15 students had applied for 60 spots) and helped build and become a part of what was then a budding community.

    I know all the 0/7s hate to hear it again and again, but it seems to work out for most in the end - although I certainly didn't feel like that at the time.

  6. All -

    I am one of the Miraloma parents who will be at the playdate this Sunday. To those of you who got a spot at Miraloma in Round 1 -- we will be very happy to see you at the playdate! To everyone else -- of course this is not meant to mock those of you who don't have a school placement you're happy with. If it feels that way I apologize. But you have to admit this blog is a good place to communicate with incoming families.

    To everyone else who is 0/7 and feeling frustrated -- I feel your pain. Last year our daughter didn't get a spot at Miraloma until the Friday before school started -- in late August. So from March to August last year we were 0/15 and very frustrated, bitter, sleepless, and angry. Believe me, I know how it feels. I felt that way for 6 months. All over this blog are constructive suggestions for what you can do: talk to PPS, research up-and-coming schools that are off the radar for your Round 2 picks. And if Miraloma is your first choice -- keep it as your waitpool school. Given the current increase in applicants, I don't think we can 100% say that it will all work out in the end -- at least not the way you envision right now. But I do think it's still valid that a lot of movement occurs during the 10-day count. It's also valid that you may end up happy at a school you haven't even considered yet (Kate/Amy, who started this blog, never even looked at Jose Ortega until Round 2 -- and now her daughter is very happy there). I know families who got into Miraloma during the 10-day count, but also even 6 weeks after school started. One family even started kindergarten in January after choosing to home-school Sept - Dec (not a strategy for everyone, I concede, but for them it worked).

    So -- I wish you all well, and I know it's a tough process. All you can do is keep trying to create options for yourself. Take a school you can live with and then waitpool at your favorite. If you have a young child, look into transitional kindergarten options and wait a year. If you have the time/stomach for it, homeschool and waitpool. And though you feel angry and that the entire system is against you, please try not to take it out on those who just happened to be luckier. Some of us have been right where you are now and have survived. Hang in there.

  7. I won't be holding my breath for our John Muir welcome playdate.

  8. 1:28 - Well Miraloma didn't have one when we started either. So we made it happen the next year.

    Seriously, John Muir could be whatever you choose to make it.

    Sorry if I sound a little annoyed, but plenty of people said similarly derogatory comments about Miraloma when we went there. But we went there to change the attitudes about the school and contribute to help make it a great place for all kids.

  9. 1:28 - I've read this a lot on here, how Miraloma used to be just like John Muir until some brave parents took the initiative and turned it around. I really hope that something similar can happen at John Muir, but to put it in perspective - in 1999 Miraloma ranked 1775th out of 4816 schools in CA. Not great, but still in the top 50% of CA schools. John Muir ranks 5295th out of 5335 - that's the bottom 1%. Before you say anything is possible and cite Miraloma as an example, be aware that you are comparing apples and oranges.

    I realize that statewide ranking may not be the fairest metric to use here. I don't have a whole lot more to go on though. Bottom 1% vs. top 50% seems fairly conclusive.

    Sorry to poop on you Miraloma thread. I just get frustrated being told that I can make John Muir into whatever I want it to be. Making it into the top 50% of schools would already be a miracle.


    waitpool info.

    when will we know if they are moving 1st and 2nd grades to 22 students or no?

  11. If you don't think John Muir is a school you can help turn around, then pick another one that you can get behind. How about Glen Park. How's El Dorado doing? I hear the principal at Sheridan rocks. Sanchez is in a beautiful building right in the hart of the Castro, minutes away from Noe Valley. You don't have to choose the lowest-ranked school in the district. Choose a more highly ranked school that's underenrolled. That's what happened at Miraloma.

  12. I don't agree that John Muir and Miraloma of the early 2000's are all that different. I know both communities well.

    Following a test score drop in the early 2000s (it was higher in 1999) Miraloma was a 2 (out of 10) API ranking and 1 in similar schools ranking. It was filled with many of the most distressed kids and families from communities that didn't apply to SFUSD until the first day of school, and was getting more and more unpopular with many of the historically higher performing kids (Chinese immigrant families were pulling out.)

    A new principal, Marcia Parrot, was the turnaround at Miraloma around that time and she invited parents to get involved and drew a line in the sand with the staff to see who really wanted to stay and make a difference. Many left, but some great ones stayed.

    Like Miraloma, Muir is a school that could use a little help from communities that have resources and time to offer. Miraloma got it - it's time John Muir did too (Note: I'm not saying middle class have to come 'turn it around' - really, just build on some good beginnings like Miraloma.) It'll benefit ALL involved and create an even stronger school community.

  13. In any event - we welcome potential and assigned future kinder families to meet and greet our community - we welcome you !

  14. In any event - we welcome potential and assigned future kinder families to meet and greet our community - we welcome you !

  15. "Like Miraloma, Muir is a school that could use a little help from communities that have resources and time to offer. "

    Like Miraloma, John Muir is a school that needs a new principal to help turn that school around. If SFUSd wants parents to "try' John Muir, let SFUSD find a better principal for the school.

  16. 8:08am.... yes!!!!

  17. Okay, then pick a school with a principal you like. How about Sheridan? It already has high test scores.

  18. There's a difference between a principal who isn't particularly likable and one whose incompetence harms the school.

    John Muir's problem is the latter.

  19. What is the rationale for organizing these kinds of playdates so early?

    So many families are still hoping for a better result in Round 2, etc.

    Also: Do kindergarteners really need to know where they are going to school this many months in advance? We were hoping to tell ours about her new school in July or August, not APRIL!

    We want her focused on her current, wonderful preschool experience at least until the Summer.

    Five months is a looooooong time for a five-year old.

    Don't get the rationale...

  20. Hi all -

    Thanks to everyone who came to the Miraloma playdate! We had a nice turnout, and it seems like many of the new families got to meet each other. We will follow up with an email (to those of you who provided us with your emails) offering to set up a Yahoo Group for Miraloma K class of 2009-2010, so you can communicate with each other.

    In answer to the previous poster's question, some of the rationale for having the playdates early is:

    - For the parents to meet current school parents and get answers to any questions they might have.

    - If the parents are evaluating any options they might have (public vs private, waitpooling for another school, or whatever), it certainly helps them to meet the school community and other families whose kids will be in the same class/grade as theirs.

    - For the incoming kids to meet each other. If the families want, once they've met they can organize playdates over the summmer, so their kids can make friends. This can help ease the transition into kindergarten at a new school. It's always nice to see a familiar face or two in a new situation.

    - For the school PTA to be able to meet new parents and tell them how they can get involved in the school.

    It's hard for me to see why you wouldn't want to participate in these playdates. Our daughter didn't get a spot at Miraloma until the Friday before school started. When we went to school on Monday, I personally felt a little lost and disconnected -- and I'm sure my daughter was feeling uneasy too in a big new school with so many new faces. I think both she and I would have loved to meet other kids/families and hang out with them on informal playdates over the summer. But, if you have a child that you feel will be too sensitive to think about a new school so far ahead, the answer is simple: just don't participate until you feel the time is right!

  21. Still doesn't make sense to do it so far in advance.

    It is too late to submit a waitpool choice for Round 2 and private school contracts and deposits were due last month.

    Yes, it is cool to be able to organize playdates over the Summer, but Summer is still months away.

    It really would make more sense to wait until the end of May or early June... but whatever...

  22. At least waiting until the end of R2 would have been "nicer"....and that goes for the other ES's

  23. I think that is very useful feedback for next year, or for other schools.

  24. Geez - people. There will be plenty more social events for all schools. Most schools do several.

    I swear, you're damned if you do or don't on this list.

    Get over it.

  25. What I meant by the previous post: Let people have their welcoming events and don't make them feel bad for trying to WELCOME people for heavens sake!

    Thanks to 12:29 for helping to organize the event.

  26. Hi all -

    12:39 again. I understand the frustration, but seriously -- these events are just trying to help people feel part of the Miraloma (or whatever school) community. If you don't like the early timing, don't come! As the previous poster notes, there are plenty of social events ongoing at any school.

    Re: waiting until Round 2 is over, I'd like to point out that Miraloma has 2 more playdates planned -- for May 17 and June 14 (both 1-3 pm at the same "Sandy Park" next to the school). We timed these to come after Round 2 and Open Enrollment, to include families who are assigned to Miraloma during those times. At the end of the summer (just before school starts), there will be an Open House at the school for new families -- where you and your child can see their classroom and meet their teacher.

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  28. We were at teh Miraloma playdate but didn't see any sign-in sheets to provide email addresses for a Yahoo group...

  29. Thanks to Miraloma parents for doing all they can to welcome families currently assigned and those assigned in subsequent rounds! You rock!

  30. 12:44:

    I'm sorry you didn't see the email sign-up sheets! I hope that you were able to connect with some new and current parents at the playdate though.

    If you want to be included in the Yahoo Group, send your email address to Lee Fischer at, and she will add you to the group.

    (Any other incoming Miralomans that we missed should do the same.)


  31. To the Miraloma Organizers, kudos for your hard work. I know all of you have busy lives, be it work away from home or work at home.

    Thank You.