Monday, March 22, 2010

Hot topic: Private school spots being given up

This from a reader:
Anyone planning to give up their private school spot?

157 comments:

  1. We are holding on to one spot at girls' school in hopes of financial aid. Doubtful. How many are holding on in hopes of financial aid?!

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  2. Has anyone given up a private school spot along with their financial aid?

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  3. @1:43 - did you request aid at the outset? Just curious as I know lots of people complained last year that only those who didn't request aid were accepted. Could make for some interesting dynamics if many of this year's applicants are requesting financial aid until after having an acceptance letter in hand...

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  4. 1:43: Yes, did request aid from start.

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  5. We have been perplexed by this as well...so is it customary for a school to accept a child who applied and clearly needs aid, but then have the school say they have no aid?

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  6. Is there an income cut-off for aid? Someone at my pre-school told me $180K is that true? Do the schools actually state a limit? Is it the same for every school?

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  7. @1:43 - I'm assuming that along with your acceptance, you also received an offer of tuition assistance (though perhaps not at the level you had hoped for)? It would be unusual for a school not to send the tuition assistance offer in tandem with the acceptance. While it is possible that someone may give up a space along with their award, it would be kind of dicey to assume that they would release those funds to another family that has already been accepted, rather use those funds for someone else on the waitlist. That could happen, but that may be a long shot.

    In answer to 2:53 & 3:03, independent schools all use a 3rd party arbitrator (SSS @ NAIS) to crunch a family's financial numbers and report back to all school being applied to what they deem that that family can afford to pay toward tuition. That is, of course, only a guideline for the schools, but most schools end up trying to get as close to those numbers as possible. This is, of course, dependent on that schools available resources for funding tuition assistance.

    A school obviously cannot offer everyone they admit tuition assistance - if they spread the funds too thin, then no one they offer awards to can afford to attend. Most independent schools are able to fund between 15-25% of their families at *some* level. There are a lot of balls in the air.

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  8. People who need financial aid truly don't belong at these schools. They tend to inculcate a lazy sensibility that seeps into the school culture. We received 4 spots and intend to clutch tightly onto each one until Thursday morning at which time we will inform the chosen AD that our Jeffrey will be joining their class. We hope that sensible people of means will fill the three slots that we relinquish. In the meantime we celebrate with gusto here in Aspen. We will drink Ricard (over ice) and gin martinis and enjoy duck liver pate. We will sooth our muscles in a sauna. See you in the fall.

    Catherine and Kent

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  9. I tend to think of myself as somewhat irreverent and enjoy sarcasm as well as the next person. I applied to both public and private and don't see myself as too extreme about one or the other. But I think the Jeffrey comments on the private school blogs have been incredibly annoying, tiresome and redundant. I think all the words of congrats are actually sock puppets. Whoever you are, please stop trying to amuse us.

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  10. 5:03, I'm not a sock puppet and I am in fact really terrible at making up jokes myself, but I have said on this thread that I think they are funny. I think it is healthy to be able to laugh at oneself and culture--especially the privileged classes (which ANYONE thinking of private school is, though there are ranges within that set too). Obviously the Jeffrey series is meant to be over the top. It is actually funny that some people are getting defensive about them--that is more telling than anything else, imo.

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  11. Actually, I said they were funny on the other (longer) private school thread. Sorry! Too many threads.

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  12. To be clear, I'm not offended by them and understand that they are intended to poke fun by way of satire. But I don't think people combing through these threads trying to figure out the next steps necessarily need to keep reading about Jeffrey and his escapades. There are plenty of open mic comedy nights for you to explore.

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  13. No, please keep them coming. Like a glass of wine, they keep things sane around here. Too much stress....humor is good.

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  14. I am interested to know how many private schools do parents apply in general?

    I live near St. Brendan and did a quick tour last year. I would like to apply for 2010. However, my daughter is asian and I didn't not see any student of colour in the school. Did any know any non white children got in this year?

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  15. 1:43 here again: My private school spot will most likely be given up. I applied for aid from the beginning, it is CLEAR we can't attend without it, and I was accepted and received ZERO aid. So, yes, people are accepted without aid even when it is clear they can not afford it. True: acceptances always come with an answer regarding financial aid. The letter states that they hope we will be able to find a way to attend without financial assistance from them.

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  16. 5:44,

    St. Brendan's is a good school. However, it draws first and foremost from the parish. Like a lot of Catholic parishes, it has an ethnic history (Irish, duh, from the name). Not that you wouldn't be welcome to attend there, but that is one big reason why it is so white--now that Irish are considered white; they weren't always--compared to the demographics of the neighborhoods within a 1.5 mile radius.

    You might try St. Anne's over in the Sunset if you want to see more Asian faces.

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  17. Preschool director says to apply to at least 6 privates (especially if not using public as back-up). Beware of cost and time it takes!

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  18. @5:50 - That letter hoping you might attend without tuition assistance is unfortunately in no one's best interest. If you truly cannot afford the full tuition, even if you found a way to cover the costs for this year, how could you hope to sustain that over 9 years?

    Independent schools have less resources in this economy to fund tuition assistance with more families applying for it, but I'm not sure about handling it this way. One of the independent high schools sent out such letters last year with much controversy. While the intent of the school was to let families know that they indeed want to invite these families, it was met with some skepticism as it felt like either a veiled waitlist letter, or a fishing expedition.

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  19. Yes we also applied for aid but will be giving up our spot as there just is not any available. Due to state of the economy many people are most likely asking that would not usually need to ask.

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  20. Anyone giving up Cathedral spot and taking Town or SH?

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  21. anyone giving up Burkes or Brandies (girl spot)?

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  22. We are taking a 4th grade spot at Synergy. Did apply for aid but did not get it. I'm glad they accepted but let us know the aid situation so we truly could take the time to figure out the best option rather than having them assume. We are in a place where though right now we can't afford it, we may be able to in the future, so we're going to hold our breath and take the plunge. I think it's in the best interest of our child educationally. I haven't heard that we are coming off the waitlist at Live Oak for 4th, even though the note gave me the impression we had a spot if it opened. We will, unless I hear by noon tomorrow, be giving up the Live Oak 4th grade spot and going with Synergy.

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  23. The first Jeffrey post was *sorta* funny, but they've become pretty tiresome. The humor is clunky and tone deaf. I like my satire biting and funny. Which I suppose was the intent, but they're falling pretty flat. Catherine and Kent should have quit while they were ahead.

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  24. Can we limit the posts to mainly spots being given up? There aren't any posted here yet!

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  25. The Jeffrey comments are hysterical! There is so little true wit on this blog. Keep it coming!

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  26. It is 730p on Tuesday night. Has anyone who was on a wait pool had a call from an admissions director about a place?

    We are getting more than anxious. Please if you got into three or four schools, when you accept your choice can you please call the other schools and decline. It is killing some of us who are 0/7 SFUSD and 0/* on the privates. There are so few boy slots this year it is hard if you are not a sibling.

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  27. RE SF Day: there are 14 openings this year and 4 are for boys/10 for girls. If anyone gives up a spot there, please tell us which gender!

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  28. We are giving up our spot at Brandeis (girl).

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  29. The goal for our child, Lily, is to attend an elite private elementary school where she will be with classmates who will matriculate to top high schools--possibly boarding school-- and then on to the Ivy League, where my husband and I attended. I'm a Yalie. He's a Harvard grad. Like Jeffery's parents, we are concerned about Lily's exposure to anyone who is not of our social status. We fly on private planes, spend spring break in Italy, summer in St. Barts and winter in Hawaii. We have five homes. Our staff includes a house manager, a "manny", a nanny, a maid, a driver, an au pair and many others. Playdates will be with our manny or nanny. I, Lily's mother, am very busy with my social calendar and charity work. My husband is busy making deals. At the moment, we are busy deciding which private to send her to.

    OK people! If you think this is off the mark for private schools, think again. This is exactly who is there!!! But, unless you're one of them, you'll never even meet them. You may meet the nanny or driver. as they drop off the kids.

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  30. 8:08 thank you, that brings hope!!! hope you are happy wherever your family goes! And may good karma come your way! :)

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  31. Whew! Count me as someone who is so relieved to see that Catherine and Kent have resurfaced. I was so concerned we hadn't heard from them that I was ready to call the Aspen ski patrol. Oh, sure, I suppose I was somewhat concerned for their safety. But the really important question is -- would Jeffrey's untimely demise in an avalanche on the bunny slope open up a boy's spot at one of the "elite 3"?

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  32. 8:38

    Please stop clogging up this list. Some of us are actually interested in the stated topic. And you really are not funny.

    Nor are your stereotypes accurate.

    "I'm a Yalie. He's a Harvard grad."
    So far, so good, at least as to one couple. My wife went to Yale, and I went to Harvard (and then to Yale).

    "I, Lily's mother, am very busy with my social calendar and charity work."
    Not so accurate. She is a social worker (not as charity, not as a means of socializing, but as a job about which she is passionate - which she initially had to subsidize by waitressing on the side), who has devoted her career to kids in foster care.

    "Like Jeffery's parents, we are concerned about Lily's exposure to anyone who is not of our social status."
    We both are products of public education. We wish that our children could be educated in a more economically diverse environment, while enjoying the same quality of educational experience. (Some on the list argue that the public schools offer precisely this; we simply disagree.)

    "We fly on private planes, spend spring break in Italy, summer in St. Barts and winter in Hawaii. We have five homes."
    Our desire that our children have the best possible education comes at real cost to us. I have made enough money that we will never qualify for financial aid. But we are hardly "rich" as you imagine. We always fly coach, when we fly. Our 2009 family vacation was a three day stay at Legoland (to which we drove). We think education important, and choose to spend our money on it.

    If you have different priorities, so be it. But surely we can agree that there are worse things for parents to spend money on (and that by paying our taxes without consuming public school education, we are contributing resources for the benefit of everyone else).

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  33. Nota bene: one matriculates at, not to, a school (though one may matriculate into a specific program within a school).

    HERE ENDETH THE FREE GRAMMAR LESSON COURTESY OF THE STATE

    cheers!

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  34. "I live near St. Brendan and did a quick tour last year. I would like to apply for 2010. However, my daughter is asian and I didn't not see any student of colour in the school. Did any know any non white children got in this year?"

    If you are not a parishoner of St. Brendan's already you are *not* going to get in (last year there were 86 parishoners applying for 38 slots), at least for Kindergarten on the first round. You may get waitlisted.

    Try St. Finn Barr, St. Cecilia, St. Paul's or St. Philip's, or St. Anne's, as recommended. Epiphany and Corpus Christi are also good options.

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  35. "But the really important question is -- would Jeffrey's untimely demise in an avalanche on the bunny slope open up a boy's spot at one of the "elite 3"?"

    Horrors!

    However, as Katherine and Kent's private banker at Coutt's, I can tell you your ghoul-like hopes for an accident are misplaced. After all, Kent couriered a Post-it to my office dropped by last week to quintiple dear little Jeffie's life insurance.

    A man that cautious wouldn't take risks with his offspring.

    Incidently, Kent, we need to talk a bit about your portfolio and covering those margin calls that went the wrong way. Call me, OK?

    Tarquin

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  36. "But the really important question is -- would Jeffrey's untimely demise in an avalanche on the bunny slope open up a boy's spot at one of the "elite 3"?"

    Anyone remember The Shotgun Player's play a few years back called "Bright Ideas", about the preschool hunt?

    It was a parody of Macbeth, with the Lady Macbeth like character offing parents so to move her kid up the waitlist for a desirable preschool. It was hilarious.

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  37. There is enough material on this blog for a book on class issues in America.

    Does skiing in Tahoe instead of Vail make you middle-class? What about skiing at Tahoe, but at Homewood instead of Squaw?

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  38. place in Tahoe = upper middle class
    place in Colorado = wealthy

    don't ski = middle class just trying to make it in SF on a five-figure family income

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  39. St. Brendan's already has a long waitlist (according to the school) for K applicants for the fall. No movement so far either unless anyone has other information. Unlikely that any more K applications will be considered this year. Deadline for applications was early Jan 2010.

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  40. Anyone giving up a spot at St. Brendans or NDV?

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  41. St. Brendan's is about 90% caucausian. The 10% of other is mixed between hispanic and "asian".

    Most other Catholic schools have more diversity.

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  42. We will be giving up our spot at St. Felicula

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  43. We are giving up a girls slot at Cathedral.

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  44. Betty B, was that a typo or are you attempting to be funny? Please advise as some of us are waiting/hoping for word from Cathedral. Thank you.

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  45. We will not be accepting our St. Brendans slot. We didn't get offered aid, and given the cost difference, we will be going to the Lisa Kampner Academy. Best of luck to everyone!

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  46. Fellow Parents,

    Today we visited the Chesterfields, Kent's dear friend from Phillips Exeter Academy. The Chesterfields have a vacation house down the road from ours in Aspen. Back home they live in an extremely large and gorgeous home in Sea Cliff with all of the loveliest amenities and a priceless view of the Pacific Ocean.

    Well, the reason I mention them is that the Chesterfields face a delightful little predicament. Their daughter Claire Lilly went 2/2 in the privates, and I think you know which two I'm talking about. They are having an extraordinary time figuring out which one to choose. Today over many Ricards (with ice) and a gorgeous platter of shellfish we discussed this important decision with them. They know they they must decide and release at about 9:30am tomorrow. We hope that the sophisticated here who have partaken in the education at one or the other of these very prestigious academies can offer any insight they have that may aid the Chesterfields in deciding. Do understand that they value exclusivity, patrician values such as noblesse oblige and clean and well-maintained facilities as well as cultural similarities with faculties and fellow students, if you get my drift. Thanks on behalf of the Chesterfields for any help you may offer.

    Warmly,
    Catherine and Kent

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  47. "We will not be accepting our St. Brendans slot. We didn't get offered aid, and given the cost difference, we will be going to the Lisa Kampner Academy."

    I'm assuming this is taking the piss, unless there's a lot of Orthodox Jewish Catholics out there. (Twice the guilt!)

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  48. Kent,

    We need to talk about your portfolio. There's not enough there to cover the unfortunate call you made shorting Ford - you remember you conversation we had about how amusing it was all those union pensioners would have to go out and work for living for the first time in their lives. You're so droll.

    You're not returning my calls: is reception bad there?

    BTW, I processed the life insurance increase on Jeffery. Hope he stays safe on the bunny slopes!

    Tarquin at Coutt's

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  49. Betty, you made me laugh out loud! Hope your daughter enjoys Town.

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  50. Kent and Catherine should read LA Confidential (not see the movie, read the book) and take out even more life insurance on little Jeffrey.

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  51. live oak spot will be going to someone tomorrow! Good luck!

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  52. 4:20 Are you giving up a boy or a girl spot at Live Oak?

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  53. and where did you choose instead, if it's OK to ask?

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  54. People say that it always works out in the end.

    Sitting here with nothing, I am having trouble seeing that is likely. Maybe this is a different year.

    We did not apply public. We are waitlisted at the privates. Any advice?

    Are there others out there like me?

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  55. Like the airline passenger seated in coach who longs to see what's going on behind the curtain in first class, I find myself drawn to the story of Caroline and Kent. I feel I have so much to learn from them, and so much for which to strive. I realize that they are terribly busy with their work for charity, but perhaps they would consider it charitable to blog about Jeffrey's kindergarten adventures? I, for one, would love to read http://carolineandkent.blogspot.com.

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  56. It's Catherine and Kent. Not Caroline.

    Kate, will you please start a seperate thread? There's lots of interest.

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  57. I heard the marin privates have longer waitlists this year.

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  58. 6:42 p.m., you are not alone. Starting to think I need to rent an apt in Marin to send my kid to school there.

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  59. 6:50 p.m.....explain. More folks wait listed or are they going to their wait lists?

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  60. 4:20 p.m. - Have you contacted Live Oak with this info yet?

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  61. 6:50

    I can't believe the Marin publics aren't good enough for you. You snobs got what you deserve.

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  62. We gave up a Stuart Hall spot yesterday. Good luck to all.

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  63. It seems to me that it's the public school advocates who are hateful toward private school applicants who are the snobs and vice-versa. Can't we just accept that everyone wants something different for their child - public/private whatever?

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  64. 7:18, to clarify: we LIVE in san francisco.

    therefore, we are not eligible for marin publics. we are only eligible for marin's privates. hold your tongue before you jump to conclusions and call me a snob. i never said anything about marin privates.

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  65. Not to have applied to even trophy publics in SF, even if your chances were slim, now that was dumb.

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  66. It seems to me that it's the public school advocates who are hateful toward private school applicants who are the snobs and vice-versa. Can't we just accept that everyone wants something different for their child - public/private whatever?

    I beg to differ. I haven't seen anyone, especially not public advocates, trashing specific private school communities on this thread or the other "private" ones. Oh yeah, except for one private school applicant who dissed Live Oak for its "mickey mouse" teaching style. (I'm not in agreement there, just repeating.)

    Yet I have seen a parade of snobby, condescending comments here about, let's see, the following public schools by NAME: Aptos, Redding (particularly vile insult), Cobb, Muir, Parks, Grattan (have I missed any)? I'm not talking about the folks that just say, we don't choose to go there. I'm talking about insults and dismissals like "no one with means would send their child there." I'm talking about putting down poor people. And by the way, my family too, since we do choose that school.

    The Kent+Catherine saga may or may not be funny to you, but it is not attacking your child's school by name. There's a reason why it's funny to some people, because it expresses at least a kernel of truth, at least going by these comments.

    I *know* there are nice people on this thread, and many anxious ones, and you shouldn't be tarred by this brush, but these private threads are earning their reputation for being snobby and unclassy.

    And NO, public/private debates are never only about "everyone wants something different for their child." That is so naive. It is about money and power and the defunding of public education in the last generation. About how the choices we all make, taken collectively, have implications for the future of education in this city and country. About the growing divide between have and have-nots in this city that is manifest everywhere--in the schools, in the restaurants, in who serves and who is served.

    The comment that someone made on another thread about the white faces of the Friends kids watching the rainbow march for education go by on Valencia on March 4 is quite apt--I was there and had the same reaction--I have friends whose kids go there, yet it felt so, so strange to see their faces behind their protective gate. I felt strange for us and strange for them, too. What must they have been thinking, seeing all those children marching by? It felt like a literal divide. And that's one of our more progressive schools! One that intentionally located itself in the Mission. How many of the Hamlin/Burkes/Town kids even knew that march was happening, and did their families even care? Those are the stakes, 7:48, because if a few more of those well-connected families did care a smidgen more, we wouldn't be in quite the mess we are in re school funding for all our kids. But why should they care, when they have bought the best education for their own?

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  67. Can we PLEASE stay on topic! The topic is, "Private school spots being given up." If you have other topics you would like to explore on this blog, please ask Kate to start another "hot topic." As for Jeffery, stop trying to seek out attention by writing mutiple posts. I think you might feel better processing your frustrations in more meaningful and adaptive ways.

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  68. We're giving up a third grade spot at Town & Stuart Hall for Friends.

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  69. It is very telling that endless asinine comments like the C&K saga remain in these private school threads while public school topics are policed.

    ***

    Purported public school advocates like 8:29 truly sicken me with their endless race baiting and class hatred.

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  70. "Purported public school advocates like 8:29 truly sicken me with their endless race baiting and class hatred."

    yeah, it really was sickening when she said your kid's community was a "shitstain of a school" ....

    but, oops, no one said that about your private school. that was a private school mother commenting about a particular public school. more than once, and proudly. and you want to say that calling her (and others) out is race baiting and class hatred?

    plenty of class hatred here, yeah, but a lot of it is aimed at lots of perfectly decent schools like redding that do a good job but happen to serve poor kids. some of you may even have babysitters and gardeners and cleaning ladies whose kids go there. sorry if calling that out pushes your "defensive" buttons and makes you feel uncomfortable.

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  71. We've heard of Town and Stuart Hall spots having been given up. Does anybody know anybody who gave up a Cathedral acceptance to go elsewhere?

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  72. I'm neither a public nor a private school advocate -- will probably go private if I can though I support public education and would *happily* pay more taxes to improve it -- but I'm with 8:29. It is not "race baiting" to point out that the marching kids were mostly brown, and the Friends kids mostly white. If you think it's coincidence that the well-off are mostly white and the poor mostly brown, you need a history lesson or two. Meanwhile, the nasty comments about schools filled with poorer kids, whether explicitly racist or not, are embarrassing to all private school parents (and teachers, current students, and alumni, for that matter).

    And I see no reason why anyone can't post on whatever topic they like, as long as they are civil, while we wait for the public/private spots to be given up. If you don't want to read a comment, skip it.

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  73. Probably what the Friends kids were thinking was : "Wow, look at all those people marching down the street." Doesn't everyone turn to look when they see a big march going on? And the school has a gate because they have a play yard right on the street. Public schools have gates around their play yards, too.

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  74. Anyone give up a spot this morning? or are just simply not submiting a contract?

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  75. its 10am! Get your stuff in laddies!

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  76. Just declined a boy spot at Live Oak. Good luck everyone!

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  77. I am practically holding my breath for the phone to ring...so lets hear some more spots have opened up!

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  78. 10:02a. It isn't just Ladies there a number of male primary care givers on this list. I am one, and I am sitting by the phone too.

    We know of one family that got a call at 0945a this morning. So the wait pool log jam is starting to break.

    We were only wait pooled in our household so it has been a rough week. My wife took a couple of days off. Hopefully we wind up with the good news at the end of the week and get off multiple wait pools. But who knows. Prayers for all you also waiting.

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  79. never mind 'Laddies' v. 'Ladies' my bad. Eyes tired from not much sleep.

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  80. got a call on Tuesday from our waitpool girls school from the AD that there's still hope that we were still on the waitlist, but that they really wanted my daughter part of the K class, but still no call today. :(

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  81. SF Day and Friends are full (multiple people from the "top" of the waitlists were told this yesterday).

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  82. Supposedly Burkes wasn't closed as a waitlisted parent just got an offer and walked it in this morning. This is AFTER the AD said they weren't going to the waitlist. The hypocrisy in this whole thing just sickens me!

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  83. 12:04 - SF Day offered a waitlist spot today

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  84. Are there other families out there waitlisted like us? It sounds like everyone is getting spots. We will try for SFDS round II. No other options.

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  85. 12:16-- San Francisco Day round 2? Or SFUSD? You can defnitely get something quite decent in that process, but choose carefully. I recommend talking it through with a counselor from PPS. Seriously. Been there. Good Luck!

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  86. SF Day is not being so honest about their wait pool. They've told some people they are no longer going to the wait pool, and then accept people at the same school. Not very classy. I think most people would just like to hear the truth.

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  87. People from families that add diversity are getting spots. Families that do not add diversity seem to be the ones without spots.

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  88. @12:11, 12:57 - completely agree.That speaks volumes on what schools these may be.If these schools ran themselves as true businesses,they would be upfront even if the truth hurts.

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  89. 12:04 - That's good news for that family, but disappointing to me personally since it means that the AD was not being straight with me when she said earlier in the week that they wouldn't be going to the waitpool.

    This process would be greatly improved by some transparency and straight talk.

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  90. We really loved SF Day up through this wait pool process. They should just tell you if you're at the top or not. It was totally ridiculous that they told us (and other families) they are no longer taking from the wait pool as they continued to admit kids from the same preschool class. What are they thinking?

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  91. Don't think it is necessarily diversity for getting the last minute spots. Never underestimate the power of the preschool director. Some work magic.

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  92. Hamlin never went to the wait list. Heard that Cathedral did not either.

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  93. Ahmen on the preschool directors. That's where the magic is happening this week - they're all talking to the admissions directors and making it happen for kids at their schools. But there is only so much they can do. This year is supposedly one of the toughest years in memory due to the public school budget crisis.

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  94. @1:10, where did you hear about Cathdral? I have been waiting all day for a call from them. I guess it's not going to happen. Thank God we got our second choice school, I hate to see our friends who went 0/* suffer like this.

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  95. I do not blame the admission directors. Things shift at the last minute, and we are sitting here with limited information.

    I give them the benefit of doubt. I assume they are deciding what is the best fit for the class and school (factors like gender, personality, birth date, sibs, alums, friends, family, preschool, diversity, aid).

    They have to live with these kids and families for nine years, so why not optimize the decision.

    People who are waitlisted were waitlisted for a reason, and maybe not a judgement. This might have been not best fit with the rest of the incoming class. It is like putting together a puzzle. We will never know :)

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  96. Ditto on giving ADs a break; they do recognize how hard this is for families. An AD I spoke with earlier was debating whether to take one child from wait-list, even though the class is already full with all contracts in. This is just in case a family changes its mind or drops out later. The gaming/puzzle goes both ways.

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  97. Is MCDS closed? Should we just give up at this point?

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  98. 10:57, we got a call as well on Tuesday from an all girls school saying we were still on the waitpool. It must be the same school. We got a call late today that it was a no. Did you hear anything today?

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  99. I'd be curious to know what private is sending acceptance letters with no financial aid to candidates who applied for aid? I wondered if they did that - interesting (I'm in this awful game next year). Pls post if you know, thanks. Good luck to all.

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  100. SF Day, Cathedral and Town - full.

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  101. @3:59 p.m., do you know this because you are on the wait list and they told you? Or do you have another "better" source? If the latter, you have just broken my heart.

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  102. Anyone in SF Day Wait pool just got an email that they're full for this year. Maybe they mean it for real this time (since the AD kept saying they were full, while taking kids from our preschool).

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  103. I heard Town only has 1 wait list spot to offer: it was taken. It's over.

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  104. I've heard MCDS is full... there was some movement this week, but not much. My guess is anyone close to getting in is talking with the AD by phone now.

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  105. Received confirmation that Town is closed. Never heard anything from Cathedral this week.

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  106. @4:08 p.m. +1 on Cathedral, despiting contacting them twice. Very sad as we loved the school.

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  107. What about Friends? Is it full?

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  108. Friends is full.

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  109. Synergy has admitted someone who requested financial aid without an offer of financial aid. I'm glad they did. Personally, I'd rather know I have the spot and have the option to make choices from there. (And yes, we took the spot and we'll figure something out.)

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  110. Good Evening Fellow Parents,

    Today at precisely 9:59 am PDT, we informed our chosen AD that they would have the incredible fortune of having our wonderful Jeffrey join their kindergarten class. Prior to notifying her, we informed the other 2 "elite" AD's that while we appreciated their wonderful schools and cherished their elite culture and their patrician values, we would sadly have to decline their offers. As for the other "safety" offer we received, we simply let it expire worthless, as no serious person would ever dream of sending their kid to such a Mickey Mouse institution.

    We congratulated young Jeffrey on his good fortune and then our wonderful nanny took him to the local ice cream parlor in Aspen for the biggest banana split on the menu, complete with macadamias, cherries, chocolate sauce and gold leaf shavings. We then rented out the local amusement park for Jeffrey and his Aspen playmates. We hired the famous Corey actor (not the dead one) to entertain. Finally we deposited a large sum of money in Jeffrey's trust fund. No child at our son's school will outspend our Jeffrey! We of course made another donation to the Boys and Girls Club of Sea Cliff.

    Tonight we celebrate again, this time with renewed gusto and a distinctly patrician style. We begin with tumblers of Ricard (on ice). What can we say? We like that drink. But shortly after that we will open some retardedly expensive champagne. We won't say the vintage - no need to boast. We will eat stone crab claws and loin of venison. Tony Bennett will entertain us.

    Summer will be idyllic before we matriculate. Understated but elegant. We will visit the Chesterfield home in Firenze and enjoy steak and super Tuscans. We will gawk respectfully at art at the Uffizi. Little Claire and our Jeffrey will play in the Roman fountains.

    Yes life is good now and we are so grateful for our good fortune. To those who neglected to get their privates we pity you with the deepest respect. We will make a donation to charities and sleep well tonight.

    Warmly,
    Catherine and Kent

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  111. @5:17 p.m., you got shut out of the privates, correct?

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  112. Cool! My son will be at the same school and I hope we can be friends!

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  113. Catherine and Kent's writing has improved. Either it was through the practice of frequent posting, or the case of an anonymous imposter stepping in.

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  114. Can someone tell me when the first tuition installments are due?

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  115. @5:38, it depends on the school. Based on our acceptance letters, I've seen June 1 and also July 1.

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  116. We turned down two of C & K's three "elites" for one they would probably consider a mickey-mouse school. Darn, it would have been fun watching them in school.

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  117. Can someone tell me when the first tuition installments are due?

    I have it on authority that this post is from C+K's financial advisor, Tarquin. Seems C+K are, afer all, going to have to liquidate to afford their tuition.

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  118. To: 3:54 PM

    We haven't received a call or email or anything from our waitpool girls school. Weird huh? At this point, I just want some sort of call for resolution! I finally caved and emailed the AD to write a polite email to find out. No response yet. (re: 10:57 AM)

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  119. Kent, where is J going and what are the elite 3?

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  120. 6:42 I'm with you. I would love to read catherineandkent.blogspot.com. Chronicling the wacky day-to-day adventures of little Jeffrey and his playmate Claire would be hysterical.

    I could see it now: Jeffrey gets his ass kicked by the "elite" bully who doesn't appreciate his patrician values. Claire get thrown out of the 7th grade when the headmaster discovers Ricard (with ice) in her juice box. Catherine files for divorce when she finds Kent groping the docent at Ufizzi. The possibilities are endless!

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  121. "we pity you with the deepest respect"

    Genius, sheer genius.

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  122. March 23 at 5:44 p.m., look into St. Monica's at 23rd & Geary. It's a sweet school w/smaller class size than St. Brendan's and a more diverse population. Informally speaking, maybe 30-40% Asian, 30% White... St. Mary's Chinese Day School downtown is predominantly Asian, if that is what you are looking for. BTW, our child is likely attending St. Monica's in the fall.

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  123. 8:29:

    Friends does a LOT in the Mission community I think. And the focus on equality there is very deliberate as we understand it. I can't imagine there wasn't a lot of discussion about the march and likely some families did go. And I agree about the fence, sorry, this is not meant at all as a "wall" it is a gate like any other gate at any other school - most of them have them or have doors that are locked in the day, including many public ones. That's an urban environment, nothing more.

    A friend of ours was on a tour at Friends this year and she remarked on how involved the community there is in the Mission. A parent there had told her about a student assembly that had guest speakers. One was from a young, unwed mother, who had been given funds through a group that included Friends, and she had come to speak to students. The parent was remarking on it because the talk was so compelling (not noting anything about the Friends gift) and everyone learned a lot on both sides. I may not be getting this exactly right, but in general, the school doesn't shy away at all from talking with students about difficult subjects. That is why so many in SF applied there! We wish there were more schools like this.

    We are Hamlin parents and my daughter and I went to the march against budget cuts and public school education. It was heart - wrenching. While I have to say while it wasn't really a place for young kids to be for hours (which the march was and so we stayed) but it was important to me that our daughter understand what other kids her age are going through and that she and all of us work to figure out how we can help. We go to public school activities a lot (book days, grounds cleanups, food drives) and we all benefit from schools getting better, because even if we don't go at the moment, neighbors, friends, and others in the community go and if it is bad for them, we want to help however we can.

    Our kids, wherever they go to school, need to know that there is money being cut from the schools and that it is wildly unfair and that some of them are being affected more than others but if they are in a community where it is happening, they need to help, however directly or indirectly it is affecting them.

    I also went to the recent school board meeting on budgets being cut because at least I want to know what the board is doing, who needs more and less support, who to advocate for at election time, etc. It was a particularly sad meeting because so many schools that are doing worse have newer teachers (a lot of turnover) so their teachers are getting cut far more.

    The meetings are also great b/c they talk at meetings at stuff going on that we take our kids to - like the musical "Seussical" last week that the high schooler who is part of the school board is in. It was at SOTA and that was another thing that was fantastic for my kid to see and appreciate. She now is very interested in the school and that is a great way to have it happen rather than to have the parent just recommend it.

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  124. Thanks, 10:41. It is great to hear of your participation and involvement. This public school parent appreciates your effort.

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  125. "This year is supposedly one of the toughest years in memory due to the public school budget crisis."

    Can't see how that was the case, as the number applying to the publics was about the same as last year: there didn't seem to be much shifting of demand. Unless families were sending out more applications.

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  126. ** Sorry - I meant to send this earlier - may not be as helpful now!**

    Update on school movement: several new spots today at Burke's (from other posts plus these it seems that at least 8 to 10 spots have been turned down at Burke's - great odds if you are looking there!!), heard of one spot opening at Convent, and zero at Hamlin - does anyone know of any spots that opened at Hamlin?? I have not heard of a single one. Heard of one boy spot at Marin Primary and one boy spot at Stuart Hall.

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  127. Regarding Q's about whether or not to tell the school if you need financial aide when you apply: If you get in and then spring on them that you need financial aide 99% chance you will not get it, as they will have already distributed their pool. Also, I have heard that at the BADA meeting the ADs specifically warned against doing this because they also view it as dishonest.

    Some schools will accept only if they can give the requested financial aide; some schools will accept even if they can't offer aide so that they family can make their own decision whether they can make it work.

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  128. @12:00 The number applying to publics might be the same as last year, but the relevant data is how many accept the public spot vs. releasing it to take a private.

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  129. Wait Pools Totals (based on reading blogs, talking to parents, talking to teachers, etc):

    Cathedral - Looks like they never went to wait pool
    Town - Took at least 1 from their wait pool Wednesday night or Thursday morning
    Stuart Hall - Took at least 2 from their wait pool Wednesday night or Thursday morning.
    MCDS - Looks like they may have taken 1 on Wednesday or did not go to wait pool
    Friends - Seems like they took 1 later in the week
    SFDS - Had unusual movement late in the week. I think that they needed 1 or 2 kids with a specific fit for the class
    Hamlin - Looks like if they went to wait list at all it was for 1
    Convent - Looks like 2 on Wed or Thu
    Burkes - Looks like they had 3-4 open up late on Thursday.
    Nueva - Looks like 2 during the week
    Marin Prep - Looks like 1 late in the week

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  130. My wife & I gave up a space at a private school as well a space at our trophy public school assignment. We will instead enroll our daughter in one of the lowest demand SFUSD schools.

    We both grew up in privileged families in affluent Midwestern suburbs. We met as undergrads in Cambridge. We then went to different graduate schools before reconnecting and getting married. We both changed our last names to a hyphenated version. We didn’t just combine our privileged family names; we used two other names—name of a peace activist and name of a pagan god of something we hold dear. When we were pregnant, we decided that we would give our daughter a unique first name that I will not reveal to keep anonymity, but it is a protest name so she can forever take on all that is unjust in this world. We also gave our daughter also a hyphenated last name, but we reversed the order of the two names. Our daughter was not born in a hospital. She was never given formula or even a bottle. I sat side-by-side for every single feeding along with my wife, even at 3:00 a.m.

    Before our daughter was born, I worked in the nonprofit world, and my wife worked at for another worthy cause. I have been househusband since the day she was born. My wife continues to work. We rent in San Francisco and sympathize with the other 69% of San Franciscans who are also victims of landlord abuse, such as the nerve to raise rent at the rent board’s allowed 60% rate of inflation…translating to a full 0.1% rent increase in 2010!

    In a moment of weakness, we went with former classmates of ours to a private school tour. We filled out applications, and our daughter was accepted.

    I also was surprised to see the SFUSD assignment letter that listed one of those famous trophy schools that people commonly mention. I looked back at my SFUSD form, and I saw that somehow I mistakenly put the wrong school instead of my intended, low demand school. I simply copied the wrong school onto the form.

    I wish all well in this process. I hope no one actually takes that private school spot or trophy public school spot, since there should be no such schools.

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  131. Now, 9:21 is the San Francisco parent that I know and love!

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  132. 9:21, you must meet Catherine and Kent for cocktails! Or hemp tea! Or whatever. Perhaps invite Mrs. S. too, for the full range of well-off San Francisco stereotypes (benevolent snobs, overearnest crunchies, and bile-spewing reactionaries). And video the meeting for YouTube! With viewer donations via PayPal! And donations to the lowest-performing SFUSD school! Who need a silent auction when you have this possiblity?

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  133. To all the honkeys here who think they aren't getting private schools slots because you aren't diverse enough: that's not why you didn't get in.

    Let me tell you the real reason:

    You didn't get in because you are the kind of people who think you didn't get in anywhere because you aren't diverse enough.

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  134. I just spoke to a parent who just gave up 6th grade spots and financial assistance at Live Oak and SF School to go to Aptos.

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  135. Neither of those schools are giving a lot of financial aid, so my guess is that the "assistance" did not assist enough.

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  136. Movement on waitlists corrections:

    MCDS - at least two spots declined, moved to waitlist on at least one

    Burke's - 9 or 10 spots declined and moved to waitlist (throughout the week, 4 on Wednesday)

    Town - 2-3 spots declined

    Hamlin - did not go to waitlist - cannot find any declines

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  137. "I just spoke to a parent who just gave up 6th grade spots and financial assistance at Live Oak and SF School to go to Aptos."

    "Neither of those schools are giving a lot of financial aid, so my guess is that the "assistance" did not assist enough."

    Plus Aptos honors program = good value. Strong, solid, rigorous teaching. And a nice community.

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  138. "Hamlin - did not go to waitlist - cannot find any declines"

    Ofcourse there were declines. Each year most schools accept more kids than they have spots for. How many more they should accept is an educated guess and sometimes if they're wrong they end up with a huge K class like what happened at burkes 2 years ago.
    Hamlin either guessed right on or they had a higher yield than anticipated and will have a big K class in Sept.

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  139. The schools got burned last year with the over-acceptances and it was my understanding from all of them that they would accept closer to or the exact number of open spots this year, so "of course they had declines" is not necessarily accrate. I personally have not heard of any family that decined Hamlin - if you know of someone let us know, otherwise I don't think we can assume they had any declines.

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  140. I know of one family who declined Hamlin.

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  141. Hamlin had a decline. They did not go to the waitlist.

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  142. Any news on whether/if/how much Brandeis went to wait list? I did not hear of any movement...

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  143. Live Oak only went to their wait list for two girl spots (from the AD.) No boy spots opened up.

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  144. I heard Live Oak never went to their list.

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  145. Would anyone with a private school spot give it up if they get CL, Rooftop, or another trophy in Round 2? I would be curious how much this happens and if from past experience, if anyone has a sense at which schools is it more likely. Thank you!

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  146. Surprised to read any info about Live Oak. Not sure if it is just me, but I have not had any luck reaching the AD, despite the suggestion to keep in contact. I think the story may change depending on who is calling. Do AD's usually return calls or just brush the wait pool families off?

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  147. Regarding the Aptos family and financial aid - they got great offers, just decided they've always been a public school family and want to stay that way. Plus, as noted here, it's a good school with a lot going on and a great academic track record (note: quite a few kids go from there to the top privates - some , like Lick-Wilmerding, seem to really prefer them over some privates.) This particular parent is a L-W alum and apparently consulted them about their decision.

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  148. you can't say private schools are all white, and that if you don't offer diversity you don't stand a chance. You cannot have it both ways. On tours the AD's said they struggle to get diversity into the school. Economics being the biggy--and if the school isn't offering full tuition assistance, and across the street, why would a poor working mom (for example) want to attend?

    A few privates on the East Side did an excellent job with 35% and up tuition assistance, economic and ethnic diversity. I like the websites that post graduating classes year to year--it shows the true student body diversity.

    But don't be naive--middle class and up are more tuned in to private school culture.

    We are in a private school, but it isn't an all boys (or girls) school. Those, the Hamlin's, etc were scary to us. High pressure, fast track to Ivy League was not our style. We went groovy private and have a lovely school with excellent diversity. Tour them all and get a sense of where you belong.

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  149. 7:00 would you be willing to say your school?

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  150. 7:00 ditto -- love "groovy private".

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  151. Privates that fall into the 'groovy' category would be: Live Oak (has kids w/mohawks), Synery (is in the Mission), CDS (in the Mission and has goats). You will not find goats at Hamlin or Cathedral. =)

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  152. Friends (also in the Mission) would also be considered "groovy." What the groovy schools have in common IMO is a largely upper middle-class student body. By contrast, the "elite" privates have a largely upper-class (society set parents) student body.

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  153. "You will not find goats at Hamlin or Cathedral. =)"

    probably not mohawks either!

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  154. Goats at San Francisco School too.

    Groovy goat school or pigeon-y public school? Only you can decide.

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  155. Friends is a nice school, but its dicey neighborhood location doesn't really qualify it as 'groovy.' I don't think that there is a lot of non-conformity there, and to the extent that there is, usually it's from the wealthiest families (lots of VC & CEO dads there). Maybe it gets points for 'trying' to be groovy, though. But for all of the Friends parents who would welcome that description, my guess is that there are even more whom that description would make cringe.

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  156. I would love to send my kid to a school with goats. The barnyard part of the Children's Zoo is my favorite. Sounds like Burke's might have room.

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  157. VCs/CEOs/entrepreneurs type families seem to dominate Friends, vs. bankers/old-money type at the single-sex schools (IMO, based on having friends at both).

    And yes, I think many of the Friends families would cringe at being labeled "groovy".

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