Monday, September 7, 2009

SFUSD High School Fairs

High School Ambassadors, Parent Liaisons, Principals, and anyone doing outreach for High School,

This is a reminder that the two High School Fairs are coming up. If you are intending to have a table at this event for your High School but haven't registered yet please contact the coordinators listed below ASAP.

These events are put on by independent schools and not by SFUSD. Every year nearly every Independent, Parochial, and Charter High School has a table at these Fairs and it seems that every potential high schooler attends. Our SFUSD public high schools are noticeably absent.

Both of these events are free but you do need to let them know if you want a table.

For the Sept. 13th Fair 1:00-4:00 at Brandeis Hillel Day School

Neal Biskar
Head of Middle School
Brandeis Hillel Day School
nbiskar@bhds.org

Setup begins at 12:00.
This fair is for kids currently attending independent private middle schools.


For the Sept. 20th Fair 12:00-3:00 at Lick Wilmerding
Nathan Lundy
Associate Director of Admissions and Outreach
nlundygo@lwhs.org
415 337-9990
Setup begins at 11:00
This fair is for kids currently attending public and parochial middle schools

Please pass this info on to other High School parents, administrators, and staff.

Vicki Symonds

Parents for Public Schools
415 861-7077
www.ppssf.org
vicki@ppssf.org

11 comments:

  1. Speaking of which, SOTA has openings for specific students right now -- if you know a high-schooler who feels like he or she needs more focus on arts, or someone new moving to San Francisco, please share:

    San Francisco School of the Arts, a tuition-free public high school, has openings available right now in a few specific areas: For boys, all grades, in vocal music and theater; for 10th-, 11th- and 12th-graders in visual arts; and for piano, orchestra and band. Admission is by audition; call 415-695-5700 for more information. SOTA accepts a limited number of students from outside San Francisco. www.sfsota.org

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  2. Why are there separate fairs for private and public/parochial kids?

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  3. "Why are there separate fairs for private and public/parochial kids?"

    I wondered about that, too. Maybe since the independent private schools are sponsoring/hosting the fairs, this is a little perk for their current constituents? Independent families get the date with the smaller crowd? Of, course, for all I know, since the independents are sponsoring the fairs, maybe the independent school day draws the biggest crowd! Obviously, there are many more "potential" attendees in the public/parochial school population, but don't know how many actually show up. Is there a specifically Catholic high school fair... or a specifically SFUSD high school fair?

    At any rate, hope the SFUSD (non-charter) public schools will also have tables this year!

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  4. I know the school board will be approving a new assignment process this year, but will that also apply to high school? If so… are there any proposals to modify the Lowell admissions process?
    It seems to me that there is a certain lack of transparency once you get beyond Band 1 admissions, and it has been hard for me to get a very straightforward explanation of how Band 2 and 3 work in “real life.”

    Like...
    How often is Band 3 updated? Can a school’s status change (for a given student) after the student has started 7th grade? (Can 7th students have the impression they are doing well enough to get into Lowell from their Band 3 school, only to find the school ungraded to Band 1 when it is time to
    apply?) Also, I thought Band 3 was designed to provide an advantage to students from underrepresented (at Lowell) middle schools, but with Band 3 schools like Hamlin, Stuart Hall, FAIS, Children’s Day… and even Presidio (API of 10)... isn’t that underrepresentation by choice? Also… are the approx. 127 students admitted through Band 2 distributed evenly (based on total number of 8th graders at a school?) among all middle schools (public and private)… or calculated some other way? Do all schools (including privates) have the “school-based committees” to carry out Band 2 evaluations? Also… are the approx. 127 students admitted through Band 3 distributed evenly (based on total number of 8th graders at a school?) among all Band 3 middle schools (public and private)? Where do the Lowell admissions essays fit it in? Once the site-based committees make their Band 2 choices and the Band 3 principals make their choices… are these choices a “done deal,” or are their recommendations sent on to some more centralized committee to decide who will make the final cut?

    Lowell Admission Bands Summary:
    http://tinyurl.com/m3a794

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  5. Sorry... just a few more questions (if anyone has any answers):

    How is a possible Band 2 candidate brought to the attention of the school committee? Can a kid self-nominate? Or can a parent nominate? Is it left to all teachers... or other staff... or just homeroom teachers... or? Are these kids evaluated after Band 1 is decided (and they didn't make it?) How are the school-based committees chosen? How many people on each committee? Do they figure out which kids are just a little short of the Band 1 requirements and then use the additional Band 2 evaluation factors to award a number? And then the cut-off number is determined by some kind of Lowell Admissions committee... like, they work their way down from the highest score, and then reach the cut-off number 127 applicants later? (Or, as I speculated earlier, is each school allotted a certain percentage of Band 2 applicants?) Is there some other document (beyond the one I linked to in the previous post) that provides more detailed guidelines for the site-based committees on how to award Band 2 points? (It just seems there could be room for a lot of subjectivity...)

    How are potential Band 3 applicants brought to the principal's attention?

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  6. I found another document that answers many of my questions regarding Lowell admissions:

    http://tinyurl.com/nbaybv

    San Francisco Unified School District Board Approval 10/23/01
    New Lowell High School Admissions Policy Revised 7/1/08

    Band Two – School-Based Committee Criteria
    Admission offers yielding to 15% of available seats will be extended based on the following
    procedures:
    • The principal of each participating school will establish a School-Based Committee on
    Lowell Admissions composed of administrators, teachers, and counselors.
    • Upon receipt from the District’s Educational Placement Center of the names of Lowell
    applicants from that school, the School-Based Committee on Lowell Admissions will forward all their nominations of students to EPC, according to the following criteria, to be considered under Band Two:
    A. Grade Point Average
    As under Band One
    64 pts max (after F’03)

    B. Committee Assessment
    Using the District’s Standardized Scoring Sheet for Band Two, the School-Based
    Committee on Lowell Admissions will award up to 45 points and provide justification
    based on the criteria below. Based on these criteria, the School-Based Committee will
    nominate to the District’s Lowell Admissions Committee students to be considered under
    Band Two.
    • Test scores (not a point value)
    • Extenuating circumstances
    • Socioeconomic status
    • School leadership/service
    • Demonstrated ability to overcome hardship
    • Extracurricular activities (school based)
    • Community service
    • Creative abilities in performing and visual arts
    • Athletics (school based)
    • Participation in peer support/mentoring activities
    • Technological skills

    • After reviewing the nominations, the District’s Lowell Admissions Committee will select
    the students to be admitted under Band Two.
    • The deliberations of the Band Two committee are confidential and final and cannot be
    appealed.

    Band Three – Criteria for Principals of Underrepresented Schools

    Admission offers yielding to 15% of available seats will be extended based on the following
    procedures:
    • Using the SFUSD developed formula for Band Three, a specific number of Lowell
    admission seats will be allocated to public and private schools that were underrepresented
    in the students admitted to Lowell the preceding year(s) and that have eighth grade
    students residing within San Francisco.
    • Upon receipt from the District’s Educational Placement Center of the names of Lowell
    applicants from that school, the principal will rank all student applicants from that school
    based on the personal statement and the criteria below. Principals will use the District’s
    Standardized Scoring Sheet for Bands Two and Three when making these rankings.
    • GPA and test scores (not a point value)
    • Extenuating circumstances
    • Socioeconomic status
    • School leadership/service
    • Demonstrated ability to overcome hardship
    • Extracurricular activities (school based)
    • Community service
    • Drive and ambition
    • Creative abilities in performing and visual arts
    • Athletics (school based)
    • Participation in peer support/mentoring activities
    • Technological skills

    • The principal will send the SFUSD Educational Placement Center his or her ranked list of
    all Lowell applicants from that school, together with the District’s standardized scoring
    sheets for Band Three for each applicant. The SFUSD Educational Placement Center
    will combine the principals’ list with offers from the other bands and simultaneously send
    out all Lowell offer letters.

    • Principals will only recommend students who will succeed academically at Lowell. The
    District’s Lowell Admissions Committee will reserve the right to challenge the
    principal’s recommendation.

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  7. I seem to be the only veteran high school parent who has noticed the questions here, so I'll take a crack at those I can handle.

    Re the school fairs, SFUSD runs its own fair, Nov. 7 at the Concourse, and needless to say it's open to all. It's for all schools, K-12.

    The high school fair this Sunday at Brandeis is run by private school people and is open only to private school students with a ticket, and the one the following Sunday at Lick-Wilmerding is also run by private school people but is for parochial and public schoolers. Only the organizers can explain the thinking.

    I'm only answering where I have some idea and you didn't find out the answer from that helpful document...

    I don't know the answer about how often Band 3 is updated, but the process can't really distinguish whether a school is Band 3 by choice or due to disadvantage. And there are privates that aren't aiming kids at prestige high schools (a visible example in my neighborhood would be the Voice of Pentecost Academy), so treating private schools differently from public wouldn't be valid either.

    My understanding is that Band 2 students are admitted case by case, not spread out among schools.

    I believe the essays are used in evaluating for Band 2 and Band 3 -- not Band 1, since that's strictly by the formula. And Band 2 would be only students who fell short of the Band 1 cutoff -- that's the purpose of Band 2.

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  8. The fairs are separate because no facility has been identified as large enough to host one fair for all 8th grade families in the city. The best part of the fair is the "breakout sessions" in which a panel of students/teachers from each high school talks about the school to a small audience in a classroom. Even with separate fairs, many of those classroom sessions are standing room only sweatboxes.

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  9. “I don't know the answer about how often Band 3 is updated, but the process can't really distinguish whether a school is Band 3 by choice or due to disadvantage. And there are privates that aren't aiming kids at prestige high schools (a visible example in my neighborhood would be the Voice of Pentecost Academy), so treating private schools differently from public wouldn't be valid either.”

    Thanks for the additional insight!

    I wasn’t suggesting treating privates differently from publics… since I also mentioned Presidio, which had a higher API (10) than Giannini (9) last year, but is a Band 3 school. The API leads me to assume that Presidio would have a significant number of students who could meet the Band 1 requirements for Lowell, but that there just isn’t as much interest in Lowell as at some other (non-Band 3) schools.

    I have wondered (here) before exactly how the status of “underrepresented” (at Lowell) is determined. (That part also seems less than transparent.) Is it based on students applying and not making the Band 1 cutoff…. or not applying at all… or both? Do they just base it on what percentage of a school’s departing 8th grade class is accepted to Lowell.. or what percentage goes on to enroll at Lowell? Do they look at that in the context of how many actually apply to Lowell from a given school? And if there is some threshold percentage for any of these factors… what is it? And if there’s a combination of factors determining “underrepresentation,” what’s the combination?

    Regarding Voice of Pentecost Academy (which is in my neighborhood, also)…. it is not a Band 3 school. So, what does that mean? It is not on SFUSD’s Band 3 radar? (Then how does a school get on that radar?) Or… does Band 3 not include schools that go through 12th grade? (Which I think the Academy does…) Or… maybe a lot of kids apply to Lowell, since it is the nearest (non-Academy) high school… so it sends a “representative” percentage of its students to Lowell? Or... the school isn’t accredited n a way recognized by the district?

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  10. Readers who are considering language immersion schools for their kindergarteners might be interested to see them in action in our new documentary film:
    SPEAKING IN TONGUES (www.speakingintonguesfilm.info).

    We followed 4 SF immersion students and their families for several years. You can watch the trailer on-line.

    Marcia Jarmel
    Alice Fong Yu Parent
    Filmmaker

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  11. If you’re in a school band - marching band, concert band, jazz band or even rock band, you have to check out the new Rhett & Link School Band Rap video.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1CTDEteVMIA&feature=PlayList&p=F46A2A099A1F7398&playnext=1&playnext_from=PL&index=61

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