Where to Start for 2010?
While there are still parents who are waiting to know where there child is going to kindergarten next week, there are those of us who are looking to Fall of 2010. We all know that the SFUSD enrollment process is ... trying, but with a little bit of knowledge, parents can make the process less so. The problem is getting that information. The SFUSD website is full of information, but some of it is "spun" and that makes it hard to believe what they say. However, there is good info, if you can find it.
Despite the assertions to the contrary, location of a school is very important to families. Here's a map of all the schools in the district (including charter schools):
Another very important thing to consider is the quality of the school. With mandatory testing, new parents can easily see which schools have students who perform well on these tests. These results probably don't say "how good" a school is, but they are the best we have. (It's also notable that these scores are not available from the district website. They have "highlights" which list the 7 schools that got a 10, but don't list the 12 schools that got a 1.) Here are the raw scores, from the state.
For more detail, the district does have some good breakdown of how a school is doing with English and math. It's not easy to compare the results, but the detail is good after having a set of schools in mind:
As at least one regular will comment, these scores are more likely to predict mother's level of education and household income. The district doesn't seem to make that data public, but they do have racial/ethnic data here:
The most important thing however, is the likelihood of getting in. It's dog-eat-dog out there, and it seems like black magic getting into a "good" school. As parents, we don't have very much good info, but the 5-year historical demand data is as good as we can get:
The Adams' spreadsheet can be helpful in evaluating your choices and likelihood of landing an acceptable school in the first round:
For those of you interested in language programs, the district has an enviable number of in-class immersion and enrichment programs. The official list is here:
There are also many schools that provide aftercare language classes. Unfortunately, these are not tracked by the district, but the SF-AME multilingual parents group has collected a list of programs. Yahoo Groups registration is required to get the file:
Good luck, and may you get into your first-choice school (as long as it's not my first choice school, that is).