Thursday, November 5, 2009

SFUSD Enrollment Fair tips

SFUSD Enrollment Fair
Saturday, November 7, 2009
9am to 2:30pm
San Francisco Concourse East Hall; 620 7th Street @ Brannan

Free Shuttle bus service is available thanks to First 5 San Francisco:
Burnett CDC (1520 Oakdale Ave): Pick up 8am,8:30am,9:30am
Cesar Chaves ES (826 Shotwell St.): Pick up 8:20am, 8:50am, 9:50am
Gordon J. Lau ES (950 Clay St.): Pick up 8:45am, 9:15am, 10:15am
Concourse pickups & returns: 12:30pm, 1:30pm, 2pm

For Attendees
1. Plan to spend up to 2 hours at the Fair. (After 2 hours your brain turns to mush and you won't be able to remember any more!)
2. Use public transportation or shuttle buses (see schedule). Parking is limited and the nearby lots and garages are expensive.
3. Bring a tote bag to put all of the flyers and papers you'll pick up, including the Enrollment Guide and application.
4. Bring your calendar to schedule tours.
5. The Enrollment Fair can be noisy and crowded. Small children may feel overstimulated by the crowds. If you can arrange childcare, it would free you up to focus on your school search.
6. Childcare options:
- Free Childcare is available at the Fair for ages 3-7. Register via email at
- Arrange for a playdate and trade with a friend - take turns going to the Fair.
7. Bring water - you'll be talking with a lot of different people.
8. Visit the PPS-SF table! We'll have Parent Ambassadors and staff that can give you even more tips on finding a school that works for you.
9. Attend a workshop at the Fair to get more information. Workshop schedules will be distributed at the fair.
10. Go to the PPS table to pick up a Getting Ready for Kindergarten Guide for info on Kindergarten Readiness, Enrollment Tips and information, and Resources.


  1. In another thread Vicki Symonds mentioned that there is usually a talk by Jeff Fillingim Selk, an analyst with EPC, about the assignment process and its intricacies. Is there a schedule for this talk and are there any other talks?

  2. This event sounds like a zoo. Is it really necessary to attend if you're already going on tours, reading this blog, etc.? I presume you can get the application at another time and place.

  3. For us it was actually a time saver, we were able to collect written information about a lot of programs -- more than what is on the websites -- all at one time. We were also able to talk with real parents and teachers, which weeded out some programs and added other to our tour list. For example, the people at the Rooftop table - who may have just been having a bad day, were incredibly rude and yelled at my four year old who touched the papers on the table (not shredded, ripped or removed, just touched). They then talked to me as if I was a not very bright four year old myself... and I decided that that was a parent community not worth exploring... one less tour to do. On the other hand, a mom from Paul Revere had a fanstastic description of her school, both its pros and cons, and really sold me on looking further, similarly with Daniel Webster & Star King.
    We were able to narrow down our list a lot, and get a much better idea of which schools to still tour.
    Good luck!

  4. Nothing is necessary, Dylan! You could pick out of a hat if you wanted, or just go by this blog, or just based on looking at websites, or what your friends told you ....

    That said, I agree with MCL about what is the value-added of the fair. My strongest suggestion is to leave your preschooler at home, however, as you are correct that it is somewhat a zoo.

  5. It was a zoo. Not sure how much I got out of it. I'll go thru the bag of flyers, papers, etc. tonight after the kids are in bed. I thought it most helpful when the schools had a map at their table. I didn't know where half of them were.

  6. Thought it was much more helpful than anticipated. Was able to really talk with parents and principals which helped me add and delete schools from my list. Also reinforced some of my favorites.

  7. 2:17 and anyone else, there are maps available in the enrollment materials and on the sfusd website. Each school has a clickable map as well (look under school information). It's pretty easy to navigate.

    For us, this was the easy first round of culling schools from our list. While we were willing to look at some schools with special programs outside our neigborhood, and to consider bus routes (which are also listed in the SFUSD site), we were able to cross many others off our list as too far across town.

  8. "You could pick out of a hat if you wanted, or just go by this blog, or just based on looking at websites, or what your friends told you."

    I'd say 'what your friends told you' is the worst way of making your selection. Whatever the "buzz school" is on the playground chatter is going to oodles of other parents deciding its The Hidden Gem of 2009; in 2007 it was Flynn, in 2008 it was Sunnyside and Ortega. You have to find your own "hidden gem".