Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Hot topic: 10-day count recap

An SF K Files visitor asked me to start the following thread:
The 10-day count is now over. Could you please start a thread asking people how it turned out? There's been a lot of speculation over the summer about how this year would be very, very different. Is that the case?

49 comments:

  1. the SPAM beings ...

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  2. I would like to know if this year was much different from last? All those people who were waiting it out over the summer, did it work out? Did you get the call? People kept saying it would work out if you could stomach it, but wondering if that was in years past when there were fewer K applicants.

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  3. Did not work out again this year. We moved outside of SF - best decision ever! What a difference in the facilities and atmosphere.

    I can't believe the level of stress and anxiety we endured last year - public school tours, private applications and interviews and those crazy kid 'playdates.'

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  4. Curious - Where did you move to?

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  5. We got the call on the evening of Day 4 that a spot had opened up at our waitlist school. Phew!

    We were sweating bullets, though. It was not a pleasant experience by any stretch of the imagination, especially when you factor in starting Kindergarten at a great public school (though not workable long-term for us due to commute reasons) and then starting all over again at another school on Day 5. We also had a back-up at a private school in case the waitlist didn't work out.

    I am glad it worked out for us in the end but I am bitter about the experience. The entire past year was a stressful nightmare for our family. The current system does not work, SFUSD!

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  6. no, it did not work out. No phone call. No mail. No notification whatsoever. Lots of for sale signs.

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  7. Worked out for us! We got our waitlist school on Day 5. There is still hope for y'all. There's been a lot of movement in my child's class the last week of a couple of kids in & out. Just today, two new kids started, and two MORE spots opened as a different two children moved to the Immersion track at the school. And this is a highly popular school so there should still be waitlisters to be made happy this week.

    But yes the summer was highly stressful as we lamented our OK-but-far assigned school, and turned down a private spot, hoping-hoping-hoping that the stories of things working out in September would apply to us.

    So glad we won't have to do this again for #2 in two years as we'll have sibling priority.

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  8. Everyone I talked to who applied for Second Grade received an offer from their waitpool school. We received notice that we had spots at our waitpool school in early July.

    So far, we've had a very easy transition, mostly due to an exceptional 2nd Grade teacher.

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  9. We were waitlisted at West Portal which is closeby. We did not get called. We are now in private.

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  10. We were surprised and relieved to get a call on the afternoon of Day 4, after paying a hefty deposit and two months tuition on a private school as back up. Wish we had been better able to prepare for the transition, as it all still seems rather chaotic but we look forward to getting more involved with the school, its programs, and other families. Our typically well adjusted son breaks down in tears each morning - not sure how to make it smoother for him.

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  11. which schools had movement? What grades?

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  12. We did not get our waitpool school for 2nd grade (Lawton, so we knew it was a longshot). No call, no letter, nothing. We were assigned an ok school in Round 2, but opted instead to stay in private for now.

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  13. For Kinder, the schools that I personally know had waitpool movement after school started are:
    Clarendon (!!!, and they decided to keep their kid in the private they had started)
    Alvarado (GenEd)
    Glen Park
    McKinley

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  14. As usual, Grattan had a some amount of movement right at the start of the school year and thorugh the 10 day count.

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  15. I'm at Clarendon and there were plenty of new kinder kids after the 10 day count, both second community and japanese.

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  16. We went to the trouble of removing our waitpool application from the system. Did not matter, SFUSD called us on Wednesday and told us we have a spot at Miraloma. Great. Would have been awesome 3 months ago. Now, not so much. Hope someone else can benefit.

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  17. Yes, that is how it works: those with the nerves to stick it out through the 10-day count get the slots rejected by others in the waitpool who jumped sooner, and are unwilling to lose their private tuition payments for the year. Those who stick it out will almost always get something they like.

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  18. Does anyone know what happens after the 10 day? We are still waiting with no call, and its Thurs.
    I have been down to SFUSD EPC a few times and get different answers, so wondering if this group might know something?

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  19. My friend has a hardship letter and still has nothing. I think he's in total shock. They did absolutely everything they could - picked a reasonable list, wait-listed a not-crazy-popular school, have a legitimate hardship letter...and no joy. They're driving their son across town every day and it's brutal - this system is TERRIBLE.

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  20. I was told by the EPC that the waitpools will be dissolved September 18. Was anyone else given this information?

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  21. 9:03, has your friend checked regularly with EPC to see where openings actually are? I don't know where your friend lives, but there are openings in some schools, in different parts of town, that I know I would consider if in those shoes. It may be that there is no movement at the school your friend is WL at....it happens. But there may be other options, too. Would this friend be open to considering those?

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  22. We're at a private, but would have no problem giving it up for our WP school which is across the street

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  23. Still on the waitlist for our neighborhood school. Feeling grateful that we got into a private that's also in our neighborhood.

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  24. Yes the waitpools are "dissolved" (ended) on Sept 18th, when presumably all available seats have been filled from the waitpools.

    http://portal.sfusd.edu/template/default.cfm?page=policy.placement.waiting_pools

    "After the September waiting pool run, the waiting pool process will be considered finished and the waiting pools will be dissolved. For the remainder of the school year, no transfers within SFUSD schools will be allowed except for cases of change of address, disciplinary action, or safety concerns."

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  25. Unfortunately, I think the 6:35pm poster is incorrect.

    Sure, some people got calls, but many many (probably most) of us didn't. We were on the Grattan wait list. There were 2 hardship cases, and over 20 families in the 0/7 cohort. So, even though there was movement, most families waiting did not get in.

    I hope SFUSD publishes a final version of how the wait pools played out.

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  26. I am pretty sure there is one spot available in my son's Kindergarten classroom at Commodore Sloat.

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  27. There was quite a bit of movement after the first day of school in my son's class at Clarendon (and I heard the same about Grattan and Peabody), and we got off the WP the day before school started. So, I think if you have the stomach to wait it out/move from another school, my impression is that spots do open at most schools in September, alebit not enough for everyone in the huge waitpools.

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  28. I posted at 11:50am that we hadn't been offered a spot at Grattan off the wait pool (we're in the 0/7 cohort).... we just got a call! We need to decide by noon on Monday whether we will take the spot. We have a tough choice to make.

    I think it would be very helpful for SFUSD to publish not just how many seats were filled through the wait pools, but also how many families were offered spots - what % of their wait pools were called.

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  29. Take the spot at Grattan - it is an awesome school!

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  30. I agree--it's a great school and if the location and other logistics work for you (as they must if it was your WP school), then go for it! You don't say if you are currently in public or private, but just to say if you are in private that the hassle of switching at this early point in the school year should be far outweighed by being in a great school that is FREE (or what you choose to donate) for the next six years. Even if you lose some tuition money now you will save over a hundred thousand bucks and more if there are siblings. Think of the college fund, the classes, the trips.....and the great experience of a supportive public school community like Grattan's. Can't beat it for yourself or your child.

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  31. Grattan is having a back to school BBQ tonight at 5:30 at the school. Come check us out! Might help with the decision?

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  32. Here's how it worked out for us -- we wound up disliking our assigned school and never heard from our waitlist school. I picked up the phone on day 10 of the 10 day count and called Creative Arts Charter and asked if they had openings in Kindergarten and the secretary said there were four!!! So we went there.

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  33. Welcome to Creative Arts! It is a fabulous school.

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  34. We got our waitpool school (Clarendon, Kinder general ed) on the Friday of the first week of school. We started only one week late. Several children have started since then. I know there was a lot of movement. We knew two other families on the list, they both got calls too. One went, one already started at a private. All three families had NOT enrolled in any other public school. Does that boost your chances, some say it does, others say it absolutely plays no part. Just stating the facts. I called and emailed EPC every day during the first week of school, figuring what did I have to lose. They told me to change waitpools since my chances were so slim of getting into Clarendon. But then we got the call. I still don't trust the system and wouldn't be one of those to tell people "it all works out in the end". For some it does, for others who played it like we did, it didn't work out. I still think the system needs some serious fixing.

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  35. Update on Grattan: We decided to stay where we are after all, so one K spot is still open. According to the person I spoke with today at SFUSD, there are 19 families remaining in the wait pool and they will continue calling folks until the end of September, unless they fill the space (with a child from the wait pool) sooner.

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  36. My son's kindergarten class at Grattan had a new student enrolled this morning. Don't know if it is the same spot as the earlier poster as it was already filled this morning by 7:50. Probably another spot.

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  37. We were assigned to Ortega and Diane Feinstein (across the street from us) was our waitpool school. We decided to check out catholic schools very late in the game and at the last minute (July), were accepted by St. Finn Barr on Hearst. After all that lottery nonsense, we got a call from EPC on day 3 --they said we got our waitpool school. The timing was interesting--it was the day after we called Ortega to let them know we wouldn't be attending. St. Finn Barr has turned out to be perfect for our family. It's a wonderful school and my son loves it. Funny how things turn out sometimes...

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  38. Kathleen, glad it worked out for you.

    And so another family will get the call for Feinstein and yet another has probably gotten that Grattan call for the spot the other family turned down yesterday, so there is still hope for those families waiting it out. And it sounds like at least one spot open in Jose Ortega, a rising school in the southwest sector, and Rosa Parks, a rising school in the north-central sector.

    For anyone still waiting, or who is just now realizing how incredibly draining tuition is in an unstable job market--there are good spots out there.

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  39. Hi Parents,
    We are the lucky lucky folks who got that Grattan spot an earlier poster declined. We were in a T-K program and are thrilled to be in Grattan, a school we have been trying to get into for many months now. The entire San Francisco kindergarten enrollment process has been exhausting and our hopes and dream ranged from Catholic school, to Syngery, to SFUSD and back and forth several times.
    We are really happy we hung in there for our waitlist school but know its largely luck and chance.
    This blog has been immensely helpful to me over the last 10 months or so and I am appreciative of the wealth of information/outpporing of empathetic emotion. Its good to know that we are not alone in our quest for a great fit for our kid, and I wish everyone nothing but the best in the future.
    Thank you SF K files.

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  40. BTW, (I'm the Creative Arts switch poster) we opened up a space at Sutro -- certainly a school with fine test scores and a likeable principal. We found the K teacher too 'old school' for our liking but it might be a perfect spot for someone else.

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  41. Welcome to CACS, anon 6:32.
    We *LOVE* our school!

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  42. Does anyone know what is going on at Clarendon? We got a spot this morning - almost a month after school started. I know of three families myself who got spots at Clarendon after school started and am wondering if this is normal or there is something different about this year.

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  43. As far as I know, it is normal. Clarendon receives more requests than most public schools from families that are also looking at private schools. The private school shuffle is also still going on as families get calls from SFUSD and take them, and thus open up a spot at their backup private. So Clarendon has more movement than most after school has started. Also, Clarendon is huge, so it makes sense that more spots would be shifting in absolute terms.

    Congratulations, by the way.

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  44. To 11:35
    May I ask you if this is for GE or JBBP? Last year we couldn't get in although they opened a new JBBP class at Clarendon. Now we are very happy at Rosa Parks JBBP..

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  45. I'm a mom at Clarendon JBBP K. There has been no movement in my son's class since the school started. This year, Clarendon GE has 3 K classes (normally 2) and there has been some movement in the GE K classes but pretty much nothing in the JBBP K.
    Clarendon GE also added a 3rd grade class so we also have new families joining in 3rd grade.

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  46. I have heard that the schools have added a couple of spots for each Kindergarten class due to the demand. A friend of mine got her two children into Rooftop grades 3 and K. The offer for 3rd came first, moving the younger child into the Sibiling priority cohort and they got the call a day after accepting the 3rd grade spot. We just got offered Lafayette on Friday, I was excited as it was one on my list. I had called and spoke with a Parent Advocate and gave me a choice of McCoppin or Lafayette. After talking it over with my husband all weekend, we have decided to continue to homeschool as it's working for us. I'll be calling to give up my K spot at Lafayette. Congrats and good luck to everyone.

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  47. Thanks 10:48 AM..
    I didn't know about third GE class at Clarendon.. I hope the school can accommodate so many K-classes.
    3:48PM Mom

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