PPSSF asked me to post the following:
There has been a lot of discussion and confusion regarding the attendance area preference in the Student Assignment System and where you should rank that school on the application I just received confirmation from the EPC that the statement below is how the Student Assignment System treats attendance area schools.
In the technical description of the SAS it states that for attendance area schools, attendance area kids within the applicant pool will be selected as long as their demographic profile increases diversity. Further it states, that once attendance area kids no longer increase diversity and all kids within the applicant pool are considered, if there are multiple kids within a selected demographic profile than the kid who lives within the attendance area will be selected for assignment. It does NOT state that this attendance area preference is only considered if the attendance area school is the applicants first choice. The technical description of the SAS can be found at http://portal.sfusd.edu/data/epc/DI_Handout_Combo.pdf.
Bottom line is that attendance area preference is given regardless of the school rank on the application and it does not require the applicant to place their attendance area school first on their application.
Parents for Public Schools-SF