A place for parents educating their kids in San Francisco
No letter. No letter means we haven't gotten off the waitpool, right?
We got our waitpool school in Round III. Round I went 0/7 and allocated John Muir (we did not enroll). Round II went 0/8 - changing our waitpool school from Grattan, which we could walk to, to McKinley. After seeing the waitpool figures for May 1, I changed our waitpool again to Peabody - and got it. I'd have been happy with ANY of the schools we listed (both times!), but I'm thrilled to have got a spot at Peabody. The moral of the story? Be flexible, be determined and don't set your heart on one school. I really did see 15 schools my son would thrive at, and no, I didn't tour Clarendon, Rooftop etc etc etc.
Congratulations 3:37! Peabody is a wonderful school!
Yes, congratulations!! How wonderful to have things settled before June. I have a dear friend with two kids at Peabody, and she LOVES it (the kids do, too!). Fabulous principal, nice to be in a small school, and from what she has told me, parental involvement has really taken off in the past few years. Time to celebrate!! And good luck to everyone else.
No letter here either. According to the woman I spoke with on Thursday at the SFUSD, no letter means you didn't get in. 3:37, I'm glad the system worked for you. It's soul crushing to be doing "all the right things" and still be in limbo.
We didn't get any mail today. I thought they won't run the waitpool until June (though it doesn't say when in June.) I understand that they won't send out a letter if you didn't get an assignment. In the previous rounds, has anyone one received letters after Saturday?
RI, we went 0/7, got Muir, and enrolled. We live next door to Alvarado (literally) and blocks from Rooftop, but took both of those schools off our list in RII. We really wanted Immersion (we are a non-spanish speaking house) so kept Fairmont, and added Monroe, Marshall and Paul Revere, with Revere as our waitpool (awesome principal, K-8 and a surprisingly small waitpool.) We went 0/8 in R2, took our names off the Muir enrollment, and kept Revere SI as waitpool. The letter came today that we got Revere. We are so pleased and echo 3:37 that being flexible and looking beyond the 'popular' schools seems to be key to success. We too had probably 12+ schools we would have been happy with after our research.What a mess of a process, though and good luck to everyone still in limbo.
Yes, but I would caution (and echo 7:32) that you can be doing all of the right things and STILL not get anything (we were the only ones in our 0/7 cohort in our waitpool, for example, and still... nothing).
9:04, congratulations! I know a teacher at Revere--she is bright, talented, and full of enthusiasm about the school and where it is headed. The principal is indeed wonderful. I also like the facility. If I were in the process now, I would put Paul Revere SI on my list for sure.
9:12, true, and I'm sorry it hasn't worked out so far for you. Of course, it does help a lot to be savvy about picks and determined to see it through--or rather, the reverse thought is that not being savvy and determined is more likely to create a negative result. For your particular situation, I can only say, good luck and I hope you stay with it. If you are in such a small waitpool, you do have a good shot, especially at the 10-day count.
9:12: If you are 0-7 and the only ones in your cohort, I'd say you are practically in. Seems like very good odds to me, so sit tight and don't freak out over the summer and good things will happen...
Nothing in RIII; 0/7 and 0/8 and frankly I'm up at 6am on a Sunday because I'm mad again at such a system. I'm happy for all who found their spots! CongratsI guess in any system there are just going to be some of us who won't get anything... Maybe we really do have to move
As a recognized and awarded public school teacher, I must say I am very disheartened to report that we received 0-7 first round, 0-8 second round, and nothing in this waiting pool run. We are still placed at a school not near our house and fluctuating between state ranks of 1 and 2 over the past 6 years (1 being the worst). Throughout my career, I have worked tirelessly to change the inequity in the system, to improve underperforming schools, and to counsel my families into schools that would best support their children's learning. It really breaks my heart to say we are considering private school or moving, though we adamantly do not want to do either.
9:12 here again. I wish I could be more hopeful, but we're in the 1st grade lottery, and there's a chance no spots will open up at all (none have so far) and no guarantee we'll stay the only ones in our cohort for our waitpool. We were in a similar situation last year for K and never got anything. So for the second year in a row, we have no fixed schedule, no fixed after-school childcare arrangements, and potentially continuing in a school which we are not happy with...Congratulations for those who got something, but please, do not judge your success as evidence that you "did it right" and that those who still don't have something are somehow pursuing the wrong path.
I'm a lurker here, because I went through the mill last year with my child. I ended up at a fantastic school Yick Wo, off its small waitlist after being in a private school for two months.I am just dying to say some frank things about the insane disparity with some of the waitpools for "popular" SF schools. I want to say some perhaps politically incorrect things to the moms out there who are on these lengthy waitpools for schools with huge crowds. 38 people on a list? Give it up.22 people on the list? Keep dreaming.My child's school is in Russian Hill. Her class is super diverse and has a high percentage of white kids, asian kids, and others. Ok? I said it. In San Francisco, TRUE diversity is a MIX of kids.There are only about fifteen schools in SF with true diversity. I just love true diversity. That's a big factor in my choice to go to public schools.Yick Wo is not a hidden gem. It's a long established gem. We just got 860 API and we're rising on our scores, and are ranked a solid "9" out of "10" according to the state. Out of 80 odd elementary schools in SF, we are ranked in the top ten percent. The facilities are spanking clean. The parents are involved. Great community here. The principal is fabulous. Our school is awesome. We have several bus lines, and it's fun for a kid to take the bus to school.Why am I bragging? Because I'm stumped. There are exactly 3 people on our wait list!!Why?Two have already gotten approvals on their appeals, so we are talking ONE lucky person on the waitpool. ONE. This person will get in, for sure, and will be in a great school. So why are you people languishing on waitpools with 20 or 30 kids on them? What are you thinking?Why aren't there more people on our waitlist? Why are people obsessed about the same 15 boring lower ranked schools year after year? Why don't people open up their horizons a little and stop worrying?Let's take Rooftop as an example. In my opinion it is a dirty worn down facility and totally overrated and has LOWER test scores. Hey, more power to you because you apparently see something worthwhile there, but let me make my point--there are 38 silly people on a list, and most of whom will never get in. Over at Miraloma there are MUCH LOWER test scores, yet the wait list is 37. In fact, Yick Wo is squarely ahead (actually FAR ahead) of Grattan, Alvarado, Lakeshore, Miraloma, Harvey Milk, Flynn and all the other "hotshot" (and less diverse and lower scoring) elementary schools that people kill to get into. Why is this? Why do people go through hell for these schools with lower test scores and no true diversity? Same old same old. Get your head out of the sand and look at other schools with shorter lists!If you are willing to pay a fortune and drive your kid all over town to private schools, why are you all naming the same public schools year after year? They should check out our school, but more importantly, stop obsessing over these popular schools. They aren't really so great, the scores aren't so great, and your chances of getting in are laughable.Give it up!Ok. I'm through venting.Look at the waitpool numbers and get yourselves on a list with fewer people.Our school has 860 API scores, which is Marin County territory, and you would probably get in. I'm sure there are other schools.38 people on a waitlist means you are not going to attend that school. Period.
11:34 --I hear what you are saying, and that's fabulous that you are at such a great school. Keep in mind, though, that Russian Hill is simply out of the question for many West Siders. I just looked it up, and I can't even imagine how I (or anyone else in my neighborhood) could make that school work in terms of logistics. That being said, I think others on this thread have acknowledged that they had to look outside their comfort zone to make things work. There again, though, this year is different than others, and people have been relying on advice from friends who went through this process years ago when demand was significantly smaller. Talk to anyone with a third grader or older, and it's all the same -- "I got into Clarendon 2 weeks before school started -- stick it out, and it will work." "We got into Commodore Sloat on the August wait pool run, so it's worth waiting for what you want." It's just not the same this year, with 400 additional applicants, on top of all the additional applicants last year.Think about it -- just five years ago, Miraloma, Alvarado GE and Peabody were still "hidden gems," and selecting those schools was all but a guarantee. Dianne Feinstein opened not too long ago, and the District at first had trouble filling classes. People at all those schools will tell you that the reason the schools are so much more popular now is because people have discovered how great they are. That's part of it, but another piece of the puzzle is that demand has skyrocketed, and the economy has placed private school out of reach for more people. There may be some out there who are out of touch w/ reality and just want to complain about it, but those same people would have had far less trouble finding a school of their choice just a few short years ago...
Not EVERYBODY in those big waitpools is a fool. If you don't have a "reasonable" school and you're in one of the big ones, YES that's not wise.But I'd bet the vast majority of the people in the top 5 WPs (Rooftop, Clarendon, et-al) are already in a Private or a "reasonable" mid-pack public school, so it doesn't hurt to WP that "dream" school. Heck, sevaral of my friends kids are already signed up for privates, and they're still on the WP for Rooftop.I myself am in that boat - we have an OK public assignment (Jose Ortega GE) that we can live with but I'd much rather have my kid in Alvarado since we live in Noe. So sure we're gonna wait till the 10-day count to be able to save 2 hours of driving a week and when my kid is older he could walk to school. But if you're not registered anywhere at this point and you're in a WP of more than a couple you should re-think it if you don't get something next week in Open Enrollment.
Test scores are not the only important factor to us. The poster talking about Yick Wo seems to think that is what makes it stand out over other schools. Doesn't matter to me. I am in a large waitpool, don't have my kid signed up anywhere, not attending open enrollment and didn't get into our private school. Most don't agree with our strategy, and it may well NOT work out for us, but I am willing to wait. I hear all the time about people who waited it out and ended up where they want to be.
Speaking of huge waitpools...Sherman has one of the largest yet I clearly remember the Principal saying on the tour "they always clear their wait list"...did Sherman do something different this year or was the waitpool just as large in prior years? anyone know?
My guess (and it is ONLY a guess -- I don't know a thing about the school these days except its location -- I attended the school for a few years in the 1970s) is that location is playing a big role. It's in a neighborhood where in the past people might have considered only private but now, b/c of the economy, they are hoping for public. Again, JUST a guess.Also, if you tell everyone on a tour that the wait lists always clear, people might think that's always true, w/out doing research. The people who lurk on this blog are the type who would educate themselves as to # of people in wait pools, etc. But other people might be in the pool, totally oblivious to how many people are there with them -- secure in the knowledge that the principal said on a tour six months ago said the wait pools would "clear."
I've heard great things about Yick Wo too, and Sunnyside and others. When I toured Yick Wo I too was impressed by its great mix of kids. A friend of my sister in law's is a teacher there. From what I hear, that school is a plum job. Maybe the low waitpool numbers are because of the 9:30 to 3:30 schedule? That schedule works great for kids, but for families where both parents work, not so much.Also, people think it's a Chinese immersion because of the name. A plain old American regular school like Yick Wo without a gimmick gets lost in the shuffle of boutique schools.The whole race issue is a hot potato. The poster missed a point that most white families who would send their kids to public school live across town in Noe Bernal or thereabouts. I do agree that it's refreshing to see a school that looks like San Francisco.
To 1:43, the buses that run to Yick Wo go right through Bernal, Noe and the Mission. That's where I live. I put my child on the bus at 8:40, and I pick her up at 4pm which is perfect for my schedule.Why do people insist on driving their kids to school? The bus works fine. Not for every school, but for many schools.
Has anybody really delved into the numbers? I am 0/15. I am on a packed list. I don't want to move to Marin or the East Bay. Yuck.I have been trolling the internet. I've noticed that all the top SF schools on my list had markedly increased scores, and all the default schools in Marin had their scores go down. I don't want to move to Marin. Everybody knows that scores aren't everything. But it's interesting just how good SF is getting and how the schools in Marin (Brookside, Wade Thomas, Ross School) are all slipping.We are lucky to live in SF.
"To 1:43, the buses that run to Yick Wo go right through Bernal, Noe and the Mission. That's where I live. I put my child on the bus at 8:40, and I pick her up at 4pm which is perfect for my schedule."1:43 here. That's wonderful that that works for you. I assume you don't work full time? I work from 8-5 M-F, and my husband works 8-4, so even if the Yick Wo bus stopped right in front of my house, it would not work for me or my family. I am happily assigned to a school on my side of town, for what it's worth. I was just pointing out why some might not be considering the school. What works for one family does not necessarily work for another.
NO leter, have they posted the waitlist somewhere?I guess I have to go down to open enrollment tomorrow.I spoke with the principal at Sunnyside, she said there were four openings before this run. The list I had has two people on the waitlist... and us and whomever signed up in RII...but no letter, means no placement?How early do I need to show up tomorrow to get a spot at Glen Park?IT WOULD HAVE BEEN SO HELPFUL TO HAVE THE WAITPOOL INFO BEFORE GOING DOWN THERE!(yes I'm yelling)
sfmom - re: Glen Park (and I do hope you come and join me there this fall!). I have heard that open enrollment probably won't be the best bet (the EPC was claiming that they had doled out all the seats as of Thursday - but we all know how trustworthy their information is!). Their advice to a friend of mine was to head down to the EPC if it's not your wait pool school when the deadline passes for registration in this round closes. Since some of the people who got spots there may not want them.
TO 4:51pm - I am a parent at Sherman and it is true that for the past few years, Sherman has always "cleared" our waitpool well into the fall. The caveat is that many families have given up by then. In addition, the waitpool this year is much larger than in the past. At our kindergarten orientation we had a very big turnout and it looks like many families are keeping their spots. That being said, I am sure some spots will open over the summer and into the fall. Hope that helps.
What Crystal says is true of many waitpools, including the fact that many families have given up by then -- so if yours doesn't give up, voila. Though it could also be described as "many families have found other options by then."
got a letter: my daughter accepted to fairmount's spanish immersion program as a first-grade english-speaking applicant. wow. two years in the making...bittersweet as have had a good year at clarendon jbbp, but trying to stay the course we set out on to give our kids another language in their youth (and stay in our neighborhood). hopefully someone -- KORTNEY!!! -- will get our vacated spot. EPC's final funny: the letter said fairmount school but CHINESE immersion. oh, dear. after our prior experiences with EPC, i cleared it with the man, archie, though, before i told anyone. he says it's a go. (taped convo as proof a la spy with equipment from unabomber-type web site...just kiddin'.)
congrats, Kim ...you didn't let the bastards wear you out
Watch it Kim, They'll call it "a computer error" and you'll give up your spot and they won't let you into fairmount and assign you to John Muir!
Congratulations, Kim!!!! That's fantastic -- especially to know now, before the 10-day count etc.!! Woo hoo!!!
Oh, didn't you see the hidden memo on the SFUSD web site? They've added 17 new Kindergartens featuring Shanghaiese and Tibetan (dual-language immersion) at Fairmount. Students who apply must already be fluent in Spanish. The program will be housed in a converted cruise ship that will be parked in Islais Creek in Glen Park. The new school-within-a-school is being funded by a grant from Weyerhaeuser Corp. All families must sign (in blood) documents stating that their children will commit to working at least four years upon graduation from university for 1) The U.S. Army or 2) Cal State Hayward or 3) Bi Rite Creamery. School start time will be 6:00 A.M. MST.The uniform is dirndls for girls, lederhosen for boys. Families who can document at least one living relative living in West Virginia will be given precedence in application.Note: The EPC cannot respond to requests about this new program, all applications must be presented in cuniform directly to Fairmount's new principal, Sonia Sotomayor. Any families calling EPC will immediately be struck from the school enrollment records and their house will given a new tax assessment at 2009 rates. Skolan stöder alla minoriteter, särskilt dem från Skåne.
Beth 10:41-- That was neither funny, nor witty, nor the wry, backhandedly insightful commentary on the failings of SFUSD that you hoped it would be. Do us a favor a post your insights (such as they are), where they belong, on the Craigslist "rants & raves".
Rants don't belong on this blog? Since when?
I thought it was rather funny, and the Swedish was good.
From one Beth to another, I thought that was brilliant
11:36, do you ever wonder why you have no friends? Leave Beth alone.
Wow - Congrats Kim!!
9:04 - Paul Revere was on my list too, and I have two good friends whose kids are doing well there! Congrats!Kim Green - AT LAST! I have been following your saga for two years and am so thrilled that you finally got a Spanish immersion slot!
Wow Kim!I hope Fairmount is all you hope for and more.
Beth: Two votes for not funny.
11:36 and 1:59 are the same person, "voting" twice :-).I thought it was amusing, but sense of sense of humor does vary. What is really funny is that someone who didn't find it funny cared enough, and had venom enough, to post such a mean review. Whaddya wanna bet that same person won't let go of the issue, either, now that s/he has been spanked by the others for not playing nicely in the sandbox.
2:41I know, it doesn't matter if it was funny or not, Beth can write whatever she wants to. What are we doing now, RATING people's comments?
It was Kim, saying they'd been assigned to Chinese immersion at Fairmount, that did it. I thought "Oh my god, what if they did suddenly decide to throw a Mandarin class in with the Spanish at Fairmount?" Even as my rational brain realized the District wouldn't do that, my irrational brain was off and running.I thought it amusing enough to post. Clearly, your mileage may vary.Though I do apologize for misspelling Cuneiform. No excuse for it, really.
Actually, I'm skeptical it was really Beth Weise. I know her only through this blog and list servs, but it doesn't sound like her style. The way she IDs herself here, she doesn't log in, so anyone can write s/he is Beth.
I guess I'm generally posting factual stuff, so my sense of humor isn't much in evidence. But I do have one, and can be quite fun at parties. Really.
Wait list timeframeMy son was granted a medical and a hardship appeal. I would like to know if we will be notified by SFUSD when an opening occurs - or do we have to continuously call to check to see the status?If we just trust them, will they put more vocal parents above our son? Will be able to see who has gotten in front our son if this is the case? Who should I call? Every time I call EPC I get a machine. No one calls back. I leave messages, and more messages.ThanksRuss
I thought Beth's post was hilarious.
I went down to the SFUSD office today and found a spot for my daughter in the Spanish immersion program at Daniel Webster. The school looks amazing -- it recently had a beautiful makeover with new paint and gardening areas -- and there's a lot of excitement about the school's new direction. I'm not sure if there are any other openings, but for those who haven't gotten into a Spanish program and want to, I would check it out.
I was under the impression the SF K files were helpful and informative. Sorry that I got that confused with something else.
Russ - I cannot believe that your child has not been placed. What extreme stress your family must be facing. This is what I understand the WP schedule to be from another poster on the SFK Files:6/19 - Last date to make WP changes7/6 - Mail any WP approvals8/7 - Last date to make WP changes8/18 - CALL any WP approvals8/21 - Last date to make WP changes8/28 - Call any WP approvals9/11 - Last date to make WP changes9/18 - Call any WP approvalsIf your child needs IEP, make sure you stick to your guns and that SFUSD does what is right by your child. I know many who have appealed and prevailed. Best wishes!
I meant to add Russ, that I would not trust them to call. I would go down there with copies of your appeals being granted in hand and demand when your child will be assigned to the right school.
I agree, Russ--go down there in person.Sorry for the delayed response. I don't think many here have any experience with hardship and/or medical appeals being granted. Available information is more about the more common experience of being in waitpools and so forth.Sorry too that it's been so frustrating.
I didn't get into my school last year until the middle of October, and my daughter made the transition without a hitch. It was super easy. In fact, I don't think most Kindergartners care one way or another, making a switch.I'm just putting that out there. When a school says it's going to "clear its list" it might mean you'll get that magic phone call in Late October. Which sucks. But most families are reluctant to pull their kid out of one school and put the kid into another. Which works well for a family who is willing to do so.A reminder: Public School is free. Free. Free means no tuition. Just sayin'.It's worth it to wait for the call, even if it comes in November. For six years of free education and the ability to stay in the city, it is worth it.Having said all that...I don't think it's a good idea to pull a Kindergartner out and make him start all over in first grade. And leaving Clarendon (!) for a poor scoring Spanish immersion program is.... Well, it's just not a choice I would make. That just escapes me. To each his own and all that, but to give up Clarendon? Hmmm. Ok.Every family makes their own decision. I realize immersion is important. But there is a greater issue to me. As a child educator and psychologist, I have to say that kids should stay put once they make friends and establish themselves.
7:03Forgetting the claim you make that you are a "child educator" (which is disturbing enough to think about) what an odd psychologist you must be, to be so judgmental and snarky. Why did you feel a pressing need to tell Kim that you think she is doing the wrong thing? Do you think she CARES what you think?Not all of us covet Clarendon like you seem to, some of us think it is a messy, disorganized, crowded school full of moldy bungalows.
It is odd how some try to make other people doubt or feel bad about their choices. Kim, if memory serves, wanted a school that she could walk or bike to, and that had Spanish immersion. It isn't as though she hasn't thought long and hard about this decision, so get off her gown, forgoodnesssakes.Happy news, Kim!
Gee, 7:03, what's it like being such a bitch to people all the time?
Most of the Spanish immersion schools perform poorly on standardized tests. The tests are in English, while the kids are learning in Spanish -- even math is taught in Spanish. Also, many of the kids have not been in this country that long. Of course they're not going to score well on an test written in English. Clearly the "educator" needs an education.
Knowning how to make new friends is a valuable skill that we all need to learn. The friendliest people I know are the ones who switched schools a lot when they were kids.I switched schools between 1st and 2nd grade and it was a great move to a better (public) school. Totally worth the two weeks or so it took to break in.
Look at the disaggregated scores for Spanish immersion schools on the state web site and I'll guarantee you'll see the same thing for those schools as for high-scoring schools--white and Asian kids score higher than AA and Latino kids.
Piling on, it can't be emphasized enough how often Kim has said in this forum that she wants to walk or bike to school. Unlike many of us, she's on public transportation and the factor of walking is a huge quality of life issue for her family. I respect her judgment on that. And yeah, what everyone else said about not blowing up Clarendon to be Shangri-la just because it has great test scores to go along with its much-lower ELL group, not to mention its lowest-in-district, practically suburban-like free-lunch contingent. It's a very nice school, but hardly worthy of a "(!)" compared to many other nice schools.Finally, congrats Kim for getting Fairmount SI by a whisker after hanging in there for so long.
"Look at the disaggregated scores for Spanish immersion schools on the state web site and I'll guarantee you'll see the same thing for those schools as for high-scoring schools--white and Asian kids score higher than AA and Latino kids."IIRC, Asian kids have higher API scores at Monroe than at Rooftop, Argonne, or Lakeshore. [Not enough Asian kids at Fairmount for there to be separate stats for them.]
Round III number crunch:or how did the waitpool change or what lessons can be passed on for next year?Schools with the biggest change in total waitpool (sorry haven't/won't break it down by cohort)Biggest increase:Sunnyside: +9 (yay, the one I needed)Ullola: +8Key, FS : +7Bryant (SB, only non GE), Stevenson, Alvarado: +6Lafayette, Jefferson, Grattan : +5Biggest decrease:Fong YU (CN): -47Monroe (SN): -16Fairmount (SN): -13Miraloma (GE): -6De Avila (CN): -5So what does this tell me? The immersion has the biggest movement because they've opened up the fluent speakers spots (but 47 at alice fong yu, do they have ANY native cantonese in the K classes?)And the increases are people moving off of the larger pools to better their odds.
And of course the EPC leaves out the critical column of how many were placed in a school during the April & May WP runs, so we don't know how much of the changes are actual placements versus people moving from one school WP to another.
Exactly. If a school's wait pool is way down b/c people who went private dropped out before the latest run, that doesn't really say a lot about the movement at a school.
Hey SFMOM - you should email me off line at glenparkmom at sbcglobal.net if you want to talk about Glen Park Elementary and some of the people headed there next year. We'll be there (anyone else who is reading this is welcome to email me as well). I *think* I met your husband today when I was taking my brood to a neighbor's place on Detroit (otherwise there is another mom out there who missed the Round 2 deadline who is assigned to Sheridan). Ciao!
I know Glen Park hasn't been available in open enrollment so far, but does anyone know about the waitpool status? Seems like it might be a very good bet.
"So what does this tell me? The immersion has the biggest movement because they've opened up the fluent speakers spots (but 47 at alice fong yu, do they have ANY native cantonese in the K classes?)"The shift in AFY is puzzling. Possible explanations are:1. Some of those kids got into CAIS or other privates. But you'd think there's be similar movement in waitpools at other trophy schools.2. Some went to DeAvila CN.3. Some switched to other waitpools because of the large waipool at AFY. But then why didn't movement happen in other large waitpools (like Clarendon and Rooftop) - are AFY-waitpooled parents more realistic about their chances than those wanting to get into Clarendon?4. As for the drops in waitpools at the SN programs at Monroe and Fairmount: may be a function of some spots allocated for Spanish speakes being filled by English-dominant kids, or those kids opting for places at Marshall or Revere or Daniel Webster.
"but 47 at alice fong yu, do they have ANY native cantonese in the K classes?"IIRC, about 20% of kids at AFY have some ability in Cantonese before entering. There's no spots reserved for native Cantonese speakers, though.
My favorite people got settled into schools they like...finally! Including us.*Congratulations Kim!*We are changing schools for 1st grade. Not an easy decision, but for our kid, a bigger class was important (yes, I said BIGGER.) We took ourselves off Clarendon's waitlist. Don't feel good enough about it to drive there. Good luck to those still waiting. I'd go for Sunnyside if it was a tad closer. We'll be in the Portola Dist. for school for the next many years. I still recommend Katherine Michiels School for K and up. They just got a new Executive Director who is responsive, warm and savvy.
Congratulations, Kortney, and thanks for the update! Are you going private or public? Couldn't quite tell from your post, and I do admit to being curious. Glad you've found a place you're happy with!
SisterKortney- what school did you get? I'm sorry, I've been a bit out of it and not sure if you posted the name...Glad you're finally happy with your new choice. Congrats!
I posted this on another thread, but I am trying to figure out how the waitpool works with Approved Medical Appeals. Are they still on the wait list and get priority as slots open or are they in?Thanks!
7:41If you look at the WP chart on the EPC website, you'll note next to each school are categories. The first is Grade, and then you have approved appeals, followed by family hardship, then sibling, then the different cohorts (round 1, 7 choices, no school...) When a spot opens at a given school, the WP is run first in approved appeals if there are any people in that category. If not, then family hardship, etc. For those without a medical or family appeal approval, or a sibling, avoid the WP with people in these categories!!Good luck.
I write this with some trepidation. Zoe got into The San Francisco School. She will be in the 1st grade class this Fall.-sisterkortney
That's wonderful, Kortney. My brother attended the school many moons ago. A well-established Montessori where your child will get to do lots of fabulous art projects. I know the parents of two currents students, and they are very happy. Congratulations!
Congrats, Sister K.We know a kid who recently graduated from there---great school!
Hey, thanks!Just to clarify, SFS's preschool is Montessori, but the elementary and middle school is not Montessori.A wonderful school community we look forward to being a part of.
Are there any stats indicating movement in waitpools from last year? Or is this not a relevant indicator of what could happen this year? (I am new to all of this)
As far as I know, EPC has never kept track of, or released stats about WP movement.
On the EPC site, click ENROLLMENT, then the blue "click here for 09-10 enrollment information", then "09-10 WP & Amended Tool":http://portal.sfusd.edu/forms/epc/09-10WP%20&%20Amended%20Tool.pdfBefore anyone gets their hopes up for Clarendon JBBP, the big placement last year was because they added a JBBP K class after R1, so they immediately placed 20 people from the WP in it.
2:37Whether or not past performance is an indication of future probability is the source of a lot of speculation around here! Some argue that schools in the neighborhoods where 75% or more of the neighborhood kids go to private school are more likely to move their waitpools--Claire Lilienthal, for example. The thinking is that parents in the Marina and Laurel Heights apply there as backup and never both to disenroll when their kids get into Hamlin, KBS, and Town. Others say that large schools with several classrooms are the best bet--more room for movement. Still others say that immersion schools are not good bets, since parents tend to be committed to those programs that exist in only a few private schools in the city (and none exist in Spanish).I myself would suggest that the absolute best bet is a very small waitpool. At this point in the process, look for the ones with 3 kids or less in your priority cohort or above--unless you have acceptable backup and are prepared to march through that backup's doors in August and dig in and be happy about it. In that case, a large waitpool at your top fave school is fine, and if you hit it, you will have won the lottery--yay you! But. Please. Hitting the lottery with those odds is nothing to count on (looking at you, Alvarado, Clarendon, West Portal waitpoolers). I definitely would not bank on the theories posted above, either. It all depends on your backup plans and your willingness to tolerate risk.
The San Francisco School is a great place. We chose Mandarin immersion over it after four years there but it's really delightful, if you can afford the tuition.I'm always surprised that it doesn't come up on the radar of private school parents so much, at least on this blog.
the system has crushed me. after what seems hundreds of hours spent in the sfusd holding room, still coming out with nothing. my daughter has no kindergarten assignment for fall and we are being forced to leave sf. i keep trying to resurrect some glimmer of hope, that something has to happen in our favor, only every time i leave sfusd i'm even more heartbroken than before.
10:48, so sorry it's been that hard. What type and location of school are you needing? I
10:48no one is "forcing you" to leave SFyou are leaving because you didn't get a school you wanted. It's fine to only want certain things, that is your choice, but you are imposing the penalty on yourself, by not accepting any spots at schools that have openings.
The reason that The San Francisco School doesn't come up much on this blog is because there are essentially NO kindergarten openings. Their preschool goes through K, and typically, preschool families stay through that year. Thus, If you didn't start your kid their when s/he was 3, it is almost impossible to get into the kindergarten.Their elementary program begins in 1st grade, and typically a few spots do open up then.
10:48, do not leave SF yet. You mustn't leave until the waitpools are disbanded in October or November. That's a lot to ask, but it's amazing what opens up. Tons of spots at Clarendon and other top schools opened up. And in the summer, they always pull tricks like adding a whole new K class at a school. Don't give up.It's not big deal to start Kindergarten late.You sound like you are "awfulizing" because you haven't gotten what you wanted yet. Get a little backbone and stick it out. I just don't hear that much about folks leaving the city if the folks actually do stick it out. Most folks who leave, just leave. They never get so far as filling out the lottery form.But reading through the thread, to all those who piled onto the "educator" who expressed an opinion that pulling a kid after Kindergarten to change for First Grade was a bad idea, I have to say I agree. Navy and Army brats will tell you that it is no picnic to change schools a lot.Parents make decisions based on lots of reasons. But I too am a bit stumped as to why a parent would want immersion so much that they would want to give up Clarendon for Fairmount. I'm a teacher in the system, just to disclose.Also, if I read the thread correctly, the parent is changing from top scoring Clarendon to a poorer scoring school also because the latter was walking distance to her house and she uses public transportation.That made me think about my parents, and the sacrifices they made for my brothers and me.People can disparage Clarendon as a moldy bungalow type school. But the proof is in the pudding. Those kids move on to top Middle Schools and High Schools. I think I read that Rooftop and Clarendon have 80% of their kids move on to Lowell. Is that right? If so... That's an important stat.I think Fairmount is perfectly fine, as are many schools in the district. But what can I say: my folks worked extra jobs to send my brothers and me to the best schools they could, and the burden of taking a long bus rides or whatever, which we did for several years, was well worth it.I believe in public schools, but if someone gave my kid a free ride to a top private school, I'd probably take it. I hate the testing system. I really do. As a teacher, I loathe it. But I will admit that it does show that the kids are learning certain material and doing it at a certain level. When scores go up, the staff is doing something good. When the scores go down, something is up. I'd look at the change in scores rather than the score itself. Rationalizing away a really low test score school is an activity one does at one's peril. I think it's a false argument that the scores at immersion schools are low because of the language issue. It's more than that.
@6:56 and all other bashers, there are real legit reasons a family would not choose any of the open or assigned choices. location, start/end time, incompatible aftercare options or, by R3, no space in aftercare. and even preference or gut feel or perception about a school. my partner and I disagreed on a number of schools as to whether they would be 'acceptable' or not. We crossed off everything we were not in agreement about - in the interest of family harmony. Some schools were raved about by friends of ours but we just did not like them. layer on top of that, some people (myself included) are planners and really don't do well with uncertainty. I think you must have a really really strong stomach and a particularly calm outlook to last into the fall. yes, plenty of folks on this blog have done it but it realistically is NOT for everyone.and, yes, it's ok to reject all of the choices that no one else has picked either. @10:48 - hang in there! and good luck, something *will* work out for you in the end, whether it's in SF or otherwise.
"Also, if I read the thread correctly, the parent is changing from top scoring Clarendon to a poorer scoring school also because the latter was walking distance to her house and she uses public transportation."Logistics are a big issue if you don't have a car, plus Fairmount is a full immersion program, rather than a bicultural program like Clarendon JBBP.
"the system has crushed me. after what seems hundreds of hours spent in the sfusd holding room, still coming out with nothing. my daughter has no kindergarten assignment for fall and we are being forced to leave sf."Try a Plan B. There are some strong, but unfashionable, Catholic schools which may have openings. You may have to plonk down some $$$ for registration and a deposit for tuition, but if you're this despairing, it may be worth it for your mental health.
"layer on top of that, some people (myself included) are planners and really don't do well with uncertainty."Understandable, but acknowledge that's your issue. Having a no-choice system (the flipside of the lottery uncertainty is having choices not limited to an assigned neoghbourhood school) has its own costs: you can see the radical shifts in house prices in districts with neighbourhood assignment.The biggest disadvantage of waiting out to the fall is that there may be minimal slots in afterschool programs for where you're finally assigned, however.
The after school program is a good point. I know the JCC has a great program and it fills up fast. A tip for next year is to get into the JCC program as soon as possible (I'm not sure what the current enrollment/waitlist process is -- but I'd suggest calling now). They pick up by bus from most elementary schools. If you get in there at least you'll know you have after care even if you don't know what school you'll be going to.
Crushed is a good word. After you spend weeks touring 25 plus schools to name 7 that you can see your child at and then more time after they get no assignments, you have nothing. As a parent you want what is best for your child and if the remaining options are not in their best interest then moving may be the only choice. The current system requires a lot of patience and tolerance for uncertainty. There are more than 65 Kindergarten schools with waitlists (with only approximately 75 kindergartens). Can you really expect a parent to wait for 10 days in the fall for a WP spot and then up and move in that 10 days if it does not work out? No. They need to find a new place to live, settle in and prepare their child for K. For all of those who condemn the parents who cannot tolerate the uncertainty and have been forced (and yes, I say forced because these parents did not receive one of their 15 choices and the handful with openings speak for themselves) to move as a result, I want to know where your child goes to school? Was it one of your 15 choices? Were they assigned prior to the 10 day count? Did you face a year of K applications with increased triple digit numbers for the second year in row?
@7:52 - this is 10:45pm hereI'm not debating neighborhood vs choice, I do understand it's complex. We played within the current rules, which means we put schools both in our neighborhood and not. In fact we did not put the highly rated school in our assignment area because of choice. But if the system were different, we probably would have studied those rules and options, toured all of the schools near home, and ranked them accordingly.What I do defend is people's right to feel the system is a failure and that leaving the city is a valid option. The flight to the suburbs has been an extremely unpopular topic and frequently those who mention it are lambasted as whiners or crybabies. I think by Open Enrollment anyone who doesn't have a placement they can accept has probably spent hours and hours researching schools, touring schools, talking to parent representatives, studying waitpools and APIs and transportation routes, researching aftercare programs, and waiting, waiting, waiting at EPC. Crushed is definitely expressive of this experience.
I am a supporter of those that feel "crushed", that the system is a failure and that moving out of the city is sometimes the only option left. And agree with my friends on this thread, enough already about people calling us crybabies. There are so many reasons why a family might find itself in this situation, quit judging. And yes, what schools do all you naysayers send your children?
To the teacher who mentioned high rates of kids from Clarendon and Rooftop ultimately going to Lowell--I highly doubt it's an 80% rate, but even with the reasonable assumption that it is a higher rate than the rest of the city's schools, that would correlation, not causation. As in, correlation with lower rates of poverty and higher rates of parental education. Move those same kids to a different school, which is what our lottery system essentially forces us middle/upper class families to do, and voila! more schools send their grads to Lowell. Kim's kids will not be having any problems doing high school work whether at Lowell or somewhere else, I am sure, and they will go on to fine colleges. This despite their "lower class" education at Fairmount ;-). Plus, have you checked out Fairmout lately? Lots of Noe Valley families in attendance. It's looking more like Clarendon all the time--though one advantage of the SI program is that it puts the brakes on over-gentrification with the requirement of Spanish ELLs.And finally, moving your kid *once* in between K and 1st to attain your family's dream of walking to school plus language immersion hardly qualifies as army-brat-move-all-the-time level of burden. Sheesh. Crazy the way people attack others' very reasonable (even if different from yours) decisions. I love how parents beat up on each other for behavior that is well within the realm of good care when we should be banding together to fight the power on budget cuts to the schools.
While I support the decision to move out of the city, I can't help but wonder where ya'll are going. The suburbs with good schools are even more expensive than SF!
I don't think I would make the same choice Kim Green did to move my child from Clarendon to Fairmount because I happened to love everything about Clarendon including the fact that all the kids there, regardless of ethnicity or poverty, do really well, but it's her kid and her life. Her comments on this blog indicate that she makes her decisions with considerable thought and care. Her kid probably handles change well. Her kid comes from an educated family that cares about education and will support their kids' education in any school. I've always assumed Kim is white, and white kids at Fairmount score almost as high on standardized tests as they do at Clarendon. If Kim had pulled her kid out of Clarendon for Tenderloin Community, that might raise my eyebrows a bit more (just as it would raise my eyebrows if a Latino family pulled their kid out of a school where Latino kids score very high and put them in a school where Latino kids score very low), but her Fairmount decision seems perfectly reasonable and right for her family. Congratulations Kim.
I, too, am a supporter of the families who feel the system failed them. Who can argue that it is too complicated? I think that a broader neighborhood scheme would benefit all the schools. For example, if we knew we'd be assigned to one of the following: Flynn, Fairmount, Revere or Chavez...I would have contributed time/money to each of these schools leading up to my daughters Kindergarten tenure. It gives people an opportunity to help grow their school in advance. But since we had no idea where we'd be assigned, we had little motivation to seek out those school communities.I never would have dreamed that 2 years later I would be taking on more work to pay for a private school. You can say that it all works out in the end, but that doesn't mean the system isn't broker. SFUSD lost a family (ours) who has time and money to contribute. It's true that it was our choice not to attend a poor performing school. We take responsibility for that choice. The bottom line is SF families shouldn't have to navigate thru such a horrendous system.note that schools with preschool feeders and 2 year Kinder classes have enrollment opportunities for 1st grade. SFS and KMS being two that come to mind.
I can completely relate to the crushed feeling. Anyway I'm here to report our rollercoaster ride is over. We have commited to continuing at our private school in Daly City. Our son is happy there and that pretty much is worth the price. I can not take a chance on the unknown where the possibility of it all going wrong is too high.So don't all rush down to Open Enrollment to grab our spot at Sheridan!My adivice to next years crop:DON'T MISS THE DEADLINE! (ha!)Tour your favorite schools (yeah, you may not like Rooftop as much as you think you will) PLUS tour some schools that people are being assigned to this year:SheridanJose OrtegaJohn Muir(where do the Richmond people get assigned? Rosa Parks?)Tour until you find the schools there is NO way you will send your child to. A few people here seem to have quite a long list in this catagory.You really will have no problem finding 7 schools you'll like.. the trick is to find two or three schools you'll probalby get into and five schools you'ld love to get into.best of luck. And yeah, it does all work out in the end (beleive me, if stress would pave the way, I'd have a spot at Miraloma and Lakeshore at this point!)
I agree with sisterkortney and the other crushed parents. We're sending our son to a neighborhood parochial school. We cannot handle the stress of waiting and it is a bonus that we won't have to go through the same turmoil in middle school. It will cost $$, but that is peanuts to what SFUSD would have cost me in time of commuting and stress.
sfmom,It must be a relief now that your decision is final.What's the reason you are giving up on Sheridan again?Thanks...
3:00, not questioning your decision at all, and congrats on having a placement you like in your parish school; just want to point out that at least for the current cohort of families there has been very little turmoil with regard to middle school. People mostly get what they want and are happy with the experience. So if your kid is one who begins to chafe in a small-school enviroment in the pre-teen years, as many do, you might give it a shot again with one of the bigger middle schools with lots of offerings.
Shut up Caroline.
An open enrollment question: if we're now 0/15 in the lottery but decide to get *something* by enrolling in a school that has openings, are we able to maintain our original waitpool choice for the remainder of the summer? And, if so, does this now lower our cohort priority for that waitlist?
4:05, I think if you need to make this "school with an opening" your waitpool choice before able to enroll in it, I think you're considered done, no more choices.But if you can register with the new school without changing your waitpool choice, I think you are still in the 0/7 cohort with the same priority as if you never registered with any school.Not sure if this helps.
Geezuz peezus, 4:02, obsessed much? Anyway I'm the person who posted at 3:40 and my name is not Caroline. I do not know the woman and would not recognize her on the street.
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4:05. Yes if there's openings (and by definition no waitpool) for a school, you can register for it now and still keep your 0/7 priority in the waitpool that you want.
""the system has crushed me. after what seems hundreds of hours spent in the sfusd holding room, still coming out with nothing. my daughter has no kindergarten assignment for fall and we are being forced to leave sf."""Try a Plan B. There are some strong, but unfashionable, Catholic schools which may have openings. You may have to plonk down some $$$ for registration and a deposit for tuition, but if you're this despairing, it may be worth it for your mental health."Yes - we toured Catholic schools as a back up plan (which we in the end needed) and found some we loved. We liked St. Monica's alot and I heard they still have openings. Amazing art and music teachers. By far and away the best kindergarten teacher I met on all of the tours - public and parochial. Eighth grade teacher & principal seemed dedicated to helping the middle school students really stretch and aim high for highschool. All around a real gem.
I expect most people in the Haight and points northwest of there get assigned to McCoppin and Sutro, the closest schools with low Round 1 demand, then maybe Cobb, John Muir and Rosa Parks. Demand has increased for Rosa Parks but the departure of Monica Nagy as principal after a relatively short tenure may be a concern for some parents. New Traditions is near the Richmond but "alternative" so people are not supposed to get assigned to it. The Sunset schools all have high Round 1 demand.
I should amend that post, as you go southeast (more towards the Haight and away from the Richmond), you are more likely to get John Muir. I know last year a number of Pacific Heights and Presidio Heights families got John Muir.
The thing with Caroline is pretty funny really. I once learned the backstory, but have since forgotten it (no one repeat it please, it wasn't so interesting the first time). From what I can tell: Caroline is obsessed with charter schools, and many K-files readers believe are haunted by Caroline and see her image in their grill cheese sandwiches.
And any time she offers upbeat advice to people going through the lottery, people lash out because they take her comments as a validation of everything that SFUSD has ever done wrong, ever.Yeah, um, pretty funny stuff. Ha ha.
sisterkortney-I think the role that SF's system played in your experience is somewhat ironic. If you lived in a place that didn't have such a convulted system, where you simply attended the neighborhood school and that was the end of the story, would you be happy? In such a system you would have no opportunity to seek out a school that met your needs in terms of start time, arts curriculum, etc - so would that have really been a better situation?
12:50Yes. We would have spent time volunteering for that school, and made friends with families attending. We would have thrust ourselves into our neighborhood school community years prior to our daughters Kindergarten.Have you been following our saga since last year? Or just read the last handful of posts?If Flynn was neighborhood school, we would have still moved here and happily gone there. I am also assuming that Flynn would be a different school than it is today, for better or worse.
I know for a fact of a family who got into Peabody, but is moving. That is one more kindergarten spot opening up. FYI
we know of a family who has decided to leave starr king mandarin immersion after kindergarten leaving at least one spot for a 1st grader
We are an English-speaking family giving up a first grade spot at DeAvila Chinese immersion. I am confident DeAvila will be a wonderful opportunity for people who want Chinese immersion, but that was not our family's program preference. We decided to stay private another year rather than ride out the wait list for the school we actually wanted. Our school's small class size and combination of academics, performing and visual arts, and physical activity suit our kid's temperament extremely well, and after two years there (preK and K) he's very attached to the school community.
What a coincidence, we're also registered with De Avila as well (K). We're leaning toward private but having a hard time deciding.The immersion aspect of De Avila is great but there's just so much uncertainty since everything is so new (except for the building itself).
Kortney - Why don't you keep your name on the waitlist for your favorite public and see what happens? No harm right? It sounds like you still really want public no?
I think Caroline wrote all of the comments on this thread!
12:49Our only problem is that our daughter is finding the transition hard. She moved away from friends to go to a different Preschool, and then left that community for her Kinder. She became very attached to both friends and teachers in each place. Now we're moving her again to SFS. I realize this isn't much different than what other families are going thru, but our kid is an only child, and is pretty sensitive to this type of change.Bottom line is, once we start her in a school, we feel it's in her best interest to stay with that school for at least a few years, if not for the whole shebang. And, because we only have one kid to put thru school, we can manage the tuition. I appreciate the thoughtful advice from you and others about this. Truthfully, I still participate in the blog to show solidarity to those in a similar situation.Cheers.
Personally, I think it is insane to pay 20K+(fundraising) per year for elementary school. Put them in public and pay for music/language lessons after school. SF School is not worth it.
Unless you're a SAHP or have a very flexible schedule, if you want your kid to have those activities, you either have to take time off work to haul them around to the lessons or hire someone else to haul them around and stay with them while they're at the lessons, plus pay for the lessons--that may not be much of a net gain for some people.
And paying for after-school lessons will not get your kids the smaller class size for their academic subjects.
Why not take the 20,000 and spend the summer in a foreign country!
Because we don't live in France where we get weeks and weeks of vacation.
Hi Sisterkortney,I won't be giving you a nasty post or anything like it and I respect your decision you made in regards to private school, but I would like to tell you a little bit about our experience and encourage you to still leave your daughter on the waitlist. It's never a good thing to burn all the bridges.My twins will be entering K this fall and we were insanely lucky enough to get our 3rd choice public school. When I toured schools last fall, I freaked out at the variables. Both my partner and I work on the Peninsula and thus a few more private schools came into consideration. Particularlay one we like very much offered us two seats on the spot in December 2008. We took them and moved our twins from our beloved preschool to this new K-5 private school. We like the school, but we are not as hot about it as we thought we would - more importantly the kids had a great 6 months loved it. - We told them a few weeks ago that they would have to switch schools again in the summer but that that the plan is to give them a chance to make friends there and not move again anytime soon. They were a little sad, but really truthfully they took the news in stride. One of my kids is super outgoing and has no issues socially, the other one is shy and needs her twin to lean on, but even she, and I was so worried about her and felt so guilty, managed to adjust w/o problems. In the contraray she excelled academically and socially, in no time made new friends and learned to read in a matter of few months.While I agree that not everything is for all families, change is part of life and not always a bad thing. I hope that SF school will be a wonderful experience for your daughter and if you decide to keep her on the waitlist, that's no mistake either!
Maybe Sister Kortney should start her own blog (if she hasn't already)
Yes, let us pray. (To be spared any more of it)
I wouldn't be surprised if she turns up again next year trying for 2nd grade.
After she finds out what the SF School is really like; not the uptopian ideal she thinks it is.
I think she won't be satisfied, no matter what.
Geez people! I have read almost all of Kortney's posts and have never found her to be unreasonable, and she is very clear that she has set out her priorities for her own family that were not met in 2 years of trying with SFUSD. She has been personally helpful to me in private correspondance. I really don't know where all this lashing out is coming from.Kortney, we wish you and your daughter all the best in your new journey.
Thanks for that. I know folks get frustrated on this blog, and I get it. We aren't 'people' we're just blog posts.
Agreed, Sister Kortney posts a bit much, but hey, maybe a bunch of others do too but since they are anonymous we don't really know. Wasn't it Sister K that wanted Synergy so badly? So why is anyone surprised she chose a private school. And Sister K, just curious why did you feel so much trepidation when you revealed where you were going to send your daughter? Also, why the CONSTANT push for KMS? All the advertising you do for that place makes me not want to go there!
There are definitely school-hoppers out there who are unhappy no matter what, and after a while you realize it's them, not the schools. They're looking for a level of perfection unattainable in human institutions. They probably rearrange their furniture all the time too. That's not the same as leaving a situation where your kid is simply not learning, or leaving an OK situation for what you perceive to be an ideal situation (not that you might not be disappointed when your ideal turns out to have feet of clay).
I feel sorry for those people's kids, being yanked from school to school each year because nothing is good enough or because they managed to alienate every teacher and principal their kid ever had.
Makes it hard to form friendships, too.
ouch. zing. pow.This blog is full of folks desperate and dying for a good kinder spot. KMS saved us, as well as a lot of folks. If you do not have an assignment, it's an option. Dare I share.Yes, we liked Synergy and Lakeshore a whole lot. Neither had space for us. So it goes. We're settled. Never were school hoppers, which is probably why I expressed so much angst over the process.I will go sit in the corner with Caroline now. Buh bye.
SisterK: Ignore the haters, sniping and rude comments. They do not represent the majority of readers. This is a frustrating process no doubt, but the insights of you and others make are additive to this process-- at the very least, that have been the case for my family. You also have the courage to post with your name, which many (like me) do not. Thanks and be proud of yourself for being part of the solution, not the problem.
My daughter has a November birthday so we actually applied for Kindergarten last year and were 0/15. Applied again for this school year and again 0/15. We have placement in our 2nd choice private school so waitlisted for a neighborhood school. Based on our experience last year and the increased number of enrollments this year, we will feel as if we hit the lottery if called. I want a neighborhood school too so my child and I could walk to school as well as to not have to complicate our already compressed schedules. SF has amazing elementary schools. We're prepared to try again for our neighborhood school next year for 1st grade and our child has the temperament and personality to adjust. Good luck to all who are in search.