Thursday, March 18, 2010

Private school letters

Feel free to share your news...and please let's keep this section focused on readers sharing details about the letters they receive from private schools. If you're interested in bringing up another topic, you can email theskfkfiles@gmail.com, and I'll start another thread.

525 comments:

  1. Very excited for my dear friend who got into both FAIS and Le Lycee. She does not use the K files blog...so I thought I would let any FAIS waitlisted families know, you have another shot...she chose Le Lycee.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Did she get a letter or a email?

    ReplyDelete
  3. she received letters from both

    ReplyDelete
  4. Are you sure? Thought the letters go out today, and won't arrive by tomorrow at the earliest.

    ReplyDelete
  5. did you apply to FAIS or Ly Lycee?

    ReplyDelete
  6. That sounds very strange as I don't see how the letters could be delivered before late this afternoon. My understanding is that emails were being sent to people who live out of state/country...

    ReplyDelete
  7. Could this be pre-K, not K letters?
    I thought FAIS mailed them today - for arrival tomorrow.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Speaking of emailed decisions... I have a friend who received their K admission decision from CAIS by email today. Anyone know of other schools that are emailing today?

    ReplyDelete
  9. Unfortunately, the last comment makes me quite anxious - maybe some schools are emailing those who were admitted today and sending snail mail rejection/waitlist letters to everyone else?!? Had CAIS announced that they would be notifying via email?

    ReplyDelete
  10. CAIS sent acceptance emails today. If you did not get one your letter tomorrow should say you have been placed in the waiting pool : ( As far as I know they are the only schools that sends emails.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Ok - I didn't apply to CAIS...but would certainly welcome confirmation from others that emails weren't received from any of the other privates today!

    ReplyDelete
  12. I applied to 3 private schools. As far as I know, letter arrive tomorrow.

    ReplyDelete
  13. We applied to Cathedral, Town, Stuart Hall, Friends, and MCDS. Haven't received emails from any schools - so hoping that both good news and bad news alike are being delivered as letters tomorrow!

    ReplyDelete
  14. Some of the same schools 3:21 p.m. listed and have not received any e-mails.

    ReplyDelete
  15. We heard from Stuart Hall a couple weeks ago that they would not complete our application process due to no space, but we were looking at 2nd grade. I doubt people applying for K have heard yet.

    ReplyDelete
  16. No emails are coming from schools outside of CAIS (which seems suspect since there is a private school pact to send out information on the same day for families to have time to weigh all options...maybe they don't participate). Letters will arrive tomorrow, possibly Saturday if the mail is slow.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Some of same schools as 3:21 p.m. as well here.

    I do have a question though. Why don't the schools send emails to the families they are accepting? Is it because a contract is included and it needs to be signed and returned? Surely people could print up the contract if it is attached to an email.

    ReplyDelete
  18. @3:37 - THANK YOU.

    ReplyDelete
  19. I'm sure that they will eventually move to email notification...am guessing it is just a matter of getting all schools to agree (there may also be concern that some families of lower SES may not have ready access to email?).

    ReplyDelete
  20. CAIS said they will send acceptance emails by noon today. We applied but received no such emails, thus we are wait-listed I guess. Only ~ 5 spots after all the siblings are counted there. Last year there were 6 spots for >120 applicants. As far as we know, no other schools are sending emails.

    ReplyDelete
  21. We heard from CAIS today - offered a spot in 1st. CAIS does everything online / by email and they told families ahead of time that the acceptances would be emailed.

    ReplyDelete
  22. CAIS said they only have 5 spots, but i'm told they really have 2! originally they were going to send emails out at 8am, but because of the pact with other schools, i'm told they changed it to noon. so good luck everyone.

    ReplyDelete
  23. where did you hear that CAIS only had 2 spots?! I thought they had five.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Only 2 spots for non-siblings, huh?! Surely makes one wonder why CAIS hosts all those prospective family events and has the current families make calls to tell how wonderful the school is. Why waste everyone's time? It's simply disrespectful!

    ReplyDelete
  25. @4:38 p.m., Star of the Sea did the same thing pretty much. Made families dance through hoops for no good reason as it appears they had zero spots after their preschool and siblings were taken into account.

    ReplyDelete
  26. After this six month long process, you still jump at every rumor and piece of gossip? Wait one more day and then you'll know.

    ReplyDelete
  27. --Only 2 spots for non-siblings, huh?! Surely makes one wonder why CAIS hosts all those prospective family events and has the current families make calls to tell how wonderful the school is. Why waste everyone's time? It's simply disrespectful!--

    CAIS has a small number of K spots not because of siblings, but because they recently increased the size of their pre-K to 4 classes. Due to this, pre-K is now the main entry point, with only a small handful of spots opening up for K. I believe they are very upfront about this, and that most of the prospective family events are filled with prospective pre-K families.

    Besides, "I heard" that it was 5 spots, not 2.

    CAIS parent

    ReplyDelete
  28. What is the (rough) running count of non-sibling spots at the privates this year? (I've added what I've heard...)

    Cathedral - 15
    CAIS - 5
    FAIS - ?
    Town - ?
    Stuart Hall - ?
    SF Day - ?
    SF Friends - ?
    Presidio Hill - ?
    Live Oak - ?
    MCDS - ?
    Hamlin - ?
    Burkes - ?
    Convent - ?

    ReplyDelete
  29. I know we all feel the same about the issue of courting everyone when there are only a few spots...but I can tell you that I am in recruiting for a big employer and we do the same thing during our recruiting season on school campuses because we don't know who we are going to offer that early in the game, so we're out there recruiting everyone. It's painful on both sides, believe me. While I think it's given me some perspective now as a parent looking for kindergarten, it also makes me a harsher critic of some admissions practices. Anyway, just giving you one idea of why they court everyone - I didn't find any school who lied about open spaces, so a school says that there are 5 spots for ex, then you know what you're getting into and the level of possible disappointment.

    ReplyDelete
  30. As far as I know

    FAIS - 40 spots
    Hamlin - 17 spots
    MCDS - 25 spots (half for Marin)
    SF Day - 22 spots
    Convent - ??
    Burke's - ?? very few

    ReplyDelete
  31. Small correction. MCDS is 11 spots for San Francisco, which is better than the 6 they had last year.

    ReplyDelete
  32. CAIS has more than 2 spots open - I was told it was more like 5-10. They were also upfront to everyone that they would email acceptances today.

    ReplyDelete
  33. Independent school decision letters were mailed today, and they'll be in mailboxes tomorrow.

    ReplyDelete
  34. I heard 22-24 spots for Burke's.

    ReplyDelete
  35. If these numbers are accurate, it seems that there are more spots this year and the last two years! MCDS has 4 spots last year for SF, and SFDay had 15 spots.

    ReplyDelete
  36. Live Oak 11-12
    Presidio Hill 3-4

    Disclaimer that I heard this through word of mouth rather than directly from an Admissions Director.

    ReplyDelete
  37. SF Friends has 16-20 spots this year per Admissions Director on our tour. Our preschool directors said SF Friends had less spots than SF Day & Town, but I don't know their numbers.

    ReplyDelete
  38. FAIS adds a K class this year, so more spots than usual.

    ReplyDelete
  39. GOOD LUCK today, everyone! For those of you waiting for parochials, by next week when contracts at independent schools are due, you'll start to see a lot of movement on the parochial waitlists.

    ReplyDelete
  40. Presidio Hill - has no boy spots or at least that is what we were told on the tour. If they have 3-4 it is all girls.

    ReplyDelete
  41. Does anyone know if we need to do anything to let SFUSD school know we will not send our child to assigned school?

    ReplyDelete
  42. Anyone get into The San Francisco School? I'm happy to answer any question you have about SFS.

    Good luck.

    ReplyDelete
  43. @7:34...just don't register your child at your assigned school and don't turn in R2/Waitpool request forms and you're done in the eyes of SFUSD.

    ReplyDelete
  44. "Does anyone know if we need to do anything to let SFUSD school know we will not send our child to assigned school?"

    Call the school secretary, and they'll tell you what you need to do. I think that the process is handled at the school level, and then they let EPC know how many parents signed up for the Fall. Please do that ASAP, so as to free up a slot for another family.

    BTW, congratulations to all who got in. It looks like it was very competitive this year.

    ReplyDelete
  45. I just want to put this out there for stressed out families here.

    We agonized over whether to accept our Live Oak offer last year, and ending up going with Grattan. We have not regretted it for a single day, we love the other kids, the families, and especially value the family time and lack of stress on our finances that this has given us (and the savings fund we could start for private middle and high school!). The public schools may not have as much to offer at some of the privates, but if you are in the middle financially, I think the publics offer more than enough to make the trade offs worth. I know this may well not apply to ALL of the publics, but this is one family's experience. Good luck today, and hopefully we'll see some of you at Live Oak in 6th grade!

    ReplyDelete
  46. FYI to anyone looking in the post-K grades: I ran into a St. Brendan's parent on a field trip to the Steinhart, who said they were putting out the word they had openings in the later grades. If you're OK with Catholic education, it's possibly the best Catholic K-8 in the city.

    Personally, we're fat and happy in our current school, but for those looking to move from their current school and got bubkes, it might be worth checking out.

    ReplyDelete
  47. 9:00

    You should consider yourself LUCKY to have a choice.

    Most people are assigned to John Muir and hoping they have another option

    ReplyDelete
  48. I need some advice. If we turn down admission to a private school this year, then re-apply to that same private school in a few years for 6th grade, do you think the school will hold it against us in a few years?

    ReplyDelete
  49. Just got my letters in the mail. I applied to 2 privates and didn't get into either. I got offers to be put into the waitpool at both. Does everyone get waitlisted?

    ReplyDelete
  50. @10:01 a.m. I am sorry to hear that. From what I understand people either get an accept, wait list or too young. I don't believe that anybody gets an outright "rejection" though I may be incorrect.

    ReplyDelete
  51. For most people, the waitlist letter is a nice way of saying they don't want you. Unless they follow it up with a call or have something meaningful handwritten along with the letter.

    ReplyDelete
  52. @10:05 a.m. when you say "meaningful" do you mean something along the lines of "You are first on our waitlist."?

    ReplyDelete
  53. Sometimes schools do send rejections if there's not a chance in hell you'll get off the waitlist. Their waitlists aren't going to move by more than 10 or 15 spots at the most, and for the most part they have a pretty good idea of the universe of kids that they would like to fill those spots.

    ReplyDelete
  54. @9:26

    I think you're more likely to be welcomed back to a school if you spend one or two years there and then leave for financial reasons. Your family would be a known entity then. They would see how much you volunteered your time or contributed in another way. They'd also see how your child fit in socially and academically.

    A woman I know whose kid went to Presidio Hills said that school readmitted children for middle school on more than one occasion.

    ReplyDelete
  55. Another public school parent who wrestled with the public private decision.

    I know that if you haven't gotten into a private and got assigned a sucky public it feels awful, and nothing anyone says will relieve the anxiety. But it REALLY is true that slots at places you want to go WILL come open just after school starts in August. It's an awful system, but things DID work out for every single family know.

    ReplyDelete
  56. To 10:08

    The best thing to do would be to call the admissions office, although I think that all the directors are MIA this week and next. But leave a message stating how it's your first choice, etc. If you know a familiy already enrolled who can write you a letter, that would be good.

    ReplyDelete
  57. Rejection letters are fairly rare (from what I've heard) but are sent. Cathedral announced that they send two "types" of waitlist letters - a high waitlist letter and a regular waitlist letter. Great if you receive a high waitlist letter. A regular waitlist letter is the same as a rejection.

    ReplyDelete
  58. Just a reminder that those who are on this blog after receiving letters are disproportionately folks who were unlucky with the privates...those who are happy with the results are going to be celebrating. So if you are still waiting for your letter (such as me) - don't despair just yet!

    ReplyDelete
  59. We got waitlisted at 5 schools last year. The best thing to do is have your preschool Director call the admissions person at your top school. Also, follow up with an email and a call saying how the school is where you want your child to be and you would accept NOW if you're offered a spot etc etc. We had to wait 2 weeks until we finally got accepted to our school. We are so happy with our "choice" and we feel really lucky. Hang in there.

    ReplyDelete
  60. We got an outright rejection from a parochial two years ago. It's highly sought-after, and our child would not have been a good fit for their large classes.

    Thanks for the tip about Cathedral's wait list letters.

    If you have registered at your assigned public school but decide to go with independent or parochial instead, it would be a great courtesy to anxious families to notify the public school of your withdrawal immediately. This is particularly the case with high-demand schools, since many families would love to get your spot in Round 2. If you don't register at your public school, I believe the space remains open and there is no need to contact anyone.

    ReplyDelete
  61. "We got an outright rejection from a parochial two years ago. It's highly sought-after, and our child would not have been a good fit for their large classes."

    Well, some of the most highly sought after parochials can't fit all their parishoners in. So if you were low down on their priority (say, non-Catholic) they may have thought it better to just make an honest call rather than keeping you hopeful.

    ReplyDelete
  62. 10:57 Are interfaith couples also low on the priority list for the parochial schools? Or does that vary by school? Just curious. My husband is not a parishoner but a regular church goer and I am not Catholic.

    ReplyDelete
  63. "10:57 Are interfaith couples also low on the priority list for the parochial schools? Or does that vary by school? Just curious. My husband is not a parishoner but a regular church goer and I am not Catholic."

    Really depends on the school. St. Brendan's, in Kinder, is turning away parishoners so even altar-rail eaters at other parishes are SOL. Don't know about NDV or St. Thomas More.

    St. Philip's, after it's parishoners, prioritizes non-Catholics in its neighborhood over Catholics in other parishes. Most others will take Catholics who are active parishoners (i.e attend mass and make regular donations) in other parishes after their parishoners, and then non-Catholics and non-active Catholics.

    So we got waitlisted for St. Philip's, despite waving our kid's baptismal certificate around and being in our local parish, but our non-Catholic friends in Noe got accepted (they eventually went public, as did we, 'cos we wanted immersion.)

    ReplyDelete
  64. Where is everyone? Aren't people getting their letters? I'm so curious as to how everyone fared. Best of luck to you all!

    ReplyDelete
  65. i cant take it. My mailman is late and i'm totally losing my shit. I think i'm about to go off the ledge!

    ReplyDelete
  66. We usually don't get our mail until 3:00. Where do you live where the mailman (or, to be PC, letter carrier) gets there before noon?!!

    ReplyDelete
  67. Our mail in the Inner Richmond comes before noon. Sometimes as early as 10:30. But I'm not waiting for a letter... (privates out of reach for us financially)...just living vicariously through everyone else who is! Good luck!

    ReplyDelete
  68. Re 10:05am post about "something meaningful" in the waitlist letter.

    In our experience a couple year's back, we were waitlisted at 4 privates and accepted at 1. The waitlist letters at 3 were generic letters as far as I could tell - didn't say if we were "high" on the list, middling, or low. We ended up being offered a space in each of these schools off the waitlist. The one that *did* have a personal note was the one we never received an offer from. So I wouldn't read too much into the waitlist letters and know that movement does happen.

    That said, we did followup with our favorite schools by email or phone to reiterate our interest.

    Also, I believe Admissions Directors go silent until after the deadline for contracts is due as a "gentleperson's agreement" with other admissions directors --they don't want to influence your decision.

    ReplyDelete
  69. my neighbor keeps opening and closing my mailbox. everytime i hear the noise i jump up and my sorry ass runs down stairs only to see him laughing his ass off. I'm about to kill him!!

    ReplyDelete
  70. does anyone know if you can go by how skinny or fat the envelope is? Wondering if this indicator means something?

    ReplyDelete
  71. Skinny letters are not good. We've got 5 skinny and 2 fat.

    ReplyDelete
  72. 12:08, my 2 rejections were all skinny.

    ReplyDelete
  73. I love that you will finally know THE ANSWER within hours, but most of you still can't help but jump at every baseless rumor. Go out and have a cocktail instead of waiting for the mailman.

    ReplyDelete
  74. If you are waitlisted and you still want to be considered, you need to contact the school immediately. They don't just start calling randomly once they go to the waitlist. They need to know that you haven't taken a spot somewhere else. They still might not be able fit you (ie need a boy not a girl) but squeaky wheels, sincerity, and desperation count!

    ReplyDelete
  75. The mailman arrived for years at 12noon. Now just recently, he started coming between 1-4pm. Nice big fat window to have me walking on eggshells. OH MY!

    ReplyDelete
  76. If you got a spot in a private school that you are going to take, please release your public school spot. Maybe you'll save some 0/7er some heartache. Also, I'd love to know what public school spots are being released.

    ReplyDelete
  77. my aunt just dressed up as an Asian mail lady and walked by my door with bag in tow and all. I ran out to greet the mail lady and my aunt pulled off her costume and told me to lighten up. Seriously. I told her she's a bitch

    ReplyDelete
  78. does anyone know if the mail people deliver to certain neighborhoods first on delivery day. Do the Richmond find out before the sunset or mission for example?

    ReplyDelete
  79. Enormous relief - happy news from the private schools we applied to. Will be releasing our public school spot immediately and hopefully shorten the torture for those still waiting.

    ReplyDelete
  80. Yet one more public school parent here (and a financially well off one at that) with a reminder that should private school admittance not go your way, things in public elementary are really not as anywhere near as bad they are made to seem sometimes. Really: if you have a loving, educated home, your kids are going to do just fine so long as the school you get isn't terrible (and yes, you really will get a good one after the horrible 10-day count. We are at Commodore Sloat, and the class didn't finish filling up last year until mid-September). That said, I echo an earlier public parent: after 5th grade, we're outta here -- those public middle schoolers are scary! :-)

    ReplyDelete
  81. 12:56

    I am seriously not wanting to hijack, but I just have to say in response: you only think middle schoolers are scary until you have one. Just like elementary kids seem huge and boisterous at the playground when you have an unsteady-on-her-feet one-year-old toddler.

    My kid is at Aptos MS just around the corner from Commodore Sloat, and she and her friends are great. We actually get a lot of kids from CS every year, unsurprisingly. I love the energy of this age group, and all the ideas they are trying on for size. The honors program at Aptos is plenty rigorous, the arts/music are really good, and the social life is dynamic and surprisingly supportive. Yeah, the usual dramas of early tween/teen years are there, but they are there in any school! I urge you to keep an open mind....

    Okay, back to regular programming. Good luck to all who are waiting for news today from the privates.

    ReplyDelete
  82. Inner Richmond famiy here. Mail arrived before noon. We were accepted at 2 of the 3 all-boys schools we applied (only privates we applied to). As we long suspected but now know, letter thickness does matter. A regular envelope can contain good news as long as it is stuffed with multiple pieces of paper. Good luck to everyone!

    ReplyDelete
  83. Those of you who don't get accepted to any private schools you applied for, prepare yourself for posts that go something like this, "We were accepted at all 5 of our choices!". Can't help but feel a twinge of bitterness.

    ReplyDelete
  84. 12:08...we got accepted to Town today, and the letter was skinny. So size does not always correlate.

    ReplyDelete
  85. No, size of the letter doesn't matter. Size of your wallet is more important.

    ReplyDelete
  86. When people post about multiple acceptances, remember that those are potential wait list spots that will open!

    ReplyDelete
  87. When people post about multiple acceptances, remember that those are potential wait list spots that will open!

    Indeed. But often without financial aid, right? Unless the person giving up the spot was in the potential financial aid mix in a big way. Which is less likely as multiple-acceptances families tend to be somewhat more wealthy, overall. Or is this too much reading of tea leaves?

    ReplyDelete
  88. "I am seriously not wanting to hijack, but I just have to say in response: you only think middle schoolers are scary until you have one."

    Ditto. E.g., Lick MS seems intimidating until you meet some of its product, who've been better behaved and talented kids than I was at that age.

    Good luck to all today. Also, remember that those who got good news are going to mostly be celebrating and thinking about uniforms etc., rather than posting in this thread. They'll be either moving on, or may feel that posting about their good news may be indelicate. There's probably a lot more good news than bad, just you won't necessarily hear it here.

    ReplyDelete
  89. I know a family that only applied to three of the big private schools last year, certain that they would get accepted. And they were. They have money. They have connections. The system is completely rigged, but you knew that. Unless your child is an outright monster, they are not considered as part of the equation. It is all about the parents. Good luck today.

    ReplyDelete
  90. thanks town I am trying to keep the faith while looking out the front door! Thank you for good news.

    ReplyDelete
  91. We received our letters...

    1 rejection
    1 wait list
    1 acceptance

    Pretty good. The acceptance was our favorite school. Mid range cost.

    ReplyDelete
  92. Hooray!! We got our first choice -Brandeis.

    ReplyDelete
  93. To 1:21:
    " They have money. They have connections. The system is completely rigged, but you knew that."

    We are a working middle class couple. Not rich at all. No connection. We have boring jobs.

    2 years ago, we got accepted to 5 privates and wait listed for another (also got our 1st choice for public).

    So it is possible to be accepted without being rich or connected.

    Please don't generalize.

    ReplyDelete
  94. Waitpooled 6 for 6 (all coed), one with an encouraging handwritten note. Which makes it 0 for 13, I guess.

    Multiple-acceptance people, please act with all reasonable speed; those of us in limbo appreciate it! :)

    ReplyDelete
  95. "The system is completely rigged, but you knew that. Unless your child is an outright monster, they are not considered as part of the equation. It is all about the parents."

    We got into private school. We could barely afford it. We did not have connections. Our social skills are marginal: we know which fork to use but are both extreme introverts. We did not suck up, make donations, submit extra recommendations, phone, write letters, or do anything beyond what was indicated in the application instructions. Prejudiced though I may be, people seem to find our child to be intelligent, well-mannered and personable. So, no, I don't know that it's "completely rigged." Stressful, frustrating, and rigged for some people, yes, but not "completely" rigged.

    ReplyDelete
  96. 1:39

    Were you accepted at Town, Stuart Hall, Cathedral, SFDS or Friends? Don't have to say which one, just yes or no.

    ReplyDelete
  97. 1:38 - Don't despair, sounds like you're in a great position to have something come through. Please post when it happens!

    ReplyDelete
  98. @1:41, none that you listed.

    ReplyDelete
  99. 1:41

    I'm not 1:39, but we are similar to them, middle class with an all around average kid and we got into Cathedral with a substantial aid package.

    ReplyDelete
  100. 1:59

    If you don't mind, do you mean middle class meaning professional, with 6-figure family income, or true middle class with family income between 50-100K? I am in the latter category and will pretty much need a full aid package if we get in somewhere. I wonder how many of us middle class are really accepted or is mostly between the upper-middles and the truly rich? It would make a difference in terms of how much energy to expend on this to know.

    Thanks so much.

    --prospective parent 2011 year

    ReplyDelete
  101. The way people identify their "class" in the United States could be another thread--it's fascinating. But I don't want to throw people off-topic when everyone's so anxious.

    ReplyDelete
  102. Four waitlist letters, two with notes. I thought waitlist letters would have financial ail packages. How can I call and say I'd jump at a spot without that info? Do waitlisters not get as much?

    ReplyDelete
  103. Did anyone get a letter from the French American School?

    ReplyDelete
  104. Does anyone know if there are expected to be waitpool spots opening up at Live Oak?

    ReplyDelete
  105. There are ALWAYS waitpool slots everywhere. Doesn't mean you'll get one...

    ReplyDelete
  106. My mailman has still not come yet, and I'm PMS on top of that. Go figure! I just ate a pint of Haagen Dasz (Vanilla Swiss Almond :) ) and i'm pulling my fucking hair out. Does anyone know if they got into Friends yet? I can't wait any longer

    ReplyDelete
  107. 2:32, you're in a bad way. Hide the alcohol.

    ReplyDelete
  108. In the olden days, the admissions directors accepted more kids than they could accommodate, knowing that some would choose a different school. However in recent years, that backfired and several schools have had to take on extra classes. Now I think they keep acceptances pretty close to capacity. The plus side is that there is more wait pool movement.

    ReplyDelete
  109. waiting for people to share their news is like watching the grass grow! Won't see my mail til we get home and hanging out here as if it will shed any light.

    ReplyDelete
  110. 2:32, I hope your kid gets into Friends. That's where my kids go and I can tell that I would like having you around the place.

    ReplyDelete
  111. 2:48, thanks, but I don't even have a horse in the race. Just trying to lighten things up for those who do.

    ReplyDelete
  112. we got Hillwood Academy and got hosed at all six others. This system blows!

    ReplyDelete
  113. Everyone ...

    If you got accepted .. it helps us understand that someone got in..

    can you tell what preschool you went to ..

    ReplyDelete
  114. What the average deposit for most private schools? 10% of the annual tuition?

    ReplyDelete
  115. BREAKING NEWS: So I just called SF Friends and they said that they sent their letters out this morning (Friday) and not yesterday.

    ReplyDelete
  116. that's kind of untogether!

    ReplyDelete
  117. Friends doesn't require a deposit, but they make it clear that they trust you not to screw them over and that you should feel like pond scum if you accept a spot without the intent of taking it.

    ReplyDelete
  118. that's kind of untogether too! what going on there?

    ReplyDelete
  119. wait listed at the 2 privates we applied to.

    ReplyDelete
  120. I received my Friends letter today.

    ReplyDelete
  121. "2:32, you're in a bad way. Hide the alcohol."

    I'd say if there's a time to get roaring drunk, this is it.

    ReplyDelete
  122. We got our Friends acceptance this afternoon, so not sure above the validity of the above post.

    ReplyDelete
  123. We feel very lucky! We got into our two privates, Brandeis and Marin Prep. We went 0/7 in SFUSD.

    ReplyDelete
  124. I saw Yvette yesterday and she told me that she had mailed the letters. As for the deposit, it's part of the Quaker thing - they want to show/create trust.

    ReplyDelete
  125. We were accepted to Marin Prep too!

    ReplyDelete
  126. 3:16 - Congratulations! I worked at Friends a few years back and have nothing but wonderful things to say about it.

    ReplyDelete
  127. 6 for 6 waitlists. 1st choice public school. Pretty mellow. Looks like things actually do/will work out.

    ReplyDelete
  128. is it just me or did anyone else not get their mail yet? I don't know if it's my neighbor Shorty playing games again but the last time I checked, stealing mail is a federal offense. I am livid, because this is my children we're talking about, and still no mail. We are waiting on Brandeis, and frankly I'm not sure I even want it or can afford it. Is it good?

    ReplyDelete
  129. "frankly I'm not sure I even want it or can afford it"

    You know, a good many people who get turned away share this attitude, one which the admissions directors can smell a mile away. For some reason, people with little or no intention of committing to private education nonetheless apply. Then they spend the rest of their time flapping their wings because they got rejected from something they didn't want. Go figure.

    ReplyDelete
  130. 3/6, including our 1st choice MCDS. I'm pretty excited to be honest. Didn't ask for aid.

    ReplyDelete
  131. Happy to have gotten an acceptance at Brandeis! On the wait pools at the other 5 schools to which we applied (two letters came with handwritten notes). We went 0/7 in the public school lottery.

    ReplyDelete
  132. I'm the Haagen Dasz lady. One pint later and I finally got my mail!! Friends said maybe, but Brandeis said yes. Go figure? The Quakers can't make up their minds and the Jews said yes. This Catholic girl is happy to be 1/2. I was 0/7 in the joke of a city lottery. Thanks for nothing, city of SF. You know where you guys can go shove it!

    ReplyDelete
  133. Didn't you just say you didn't have a horse in the race?

    ReplyDelete
  134. I'm sure the person saying "don't know if I want it" is stressed out! We're one of the "middle class" white straight families in the City - household income near $200k before taxes - and we're out in the cold w/privates. We're sad, but not delusional. I think it is helpful for people still to go into this process and those wondering why they were rejected to know the results from others, but also a true definition of your family. I have no doubt it's people who didn't ask for financial aid or people who add some kind of diversity. Not saying that's bad at all even though it leaves my kid out - but it's the majority of acceptances.

    ReplyDelete
  135. Congrats 3:33! I have two children at MCDS and it truly is a wonderful place - notice I said 'place' and not 'school' because that is truly how I think of it. A few years back, we were in the same position having been accepted at every private including a couple in San Fran. We overwhelmingly chose MCDS and it has been everything we thought it would be and more. Hope to see you next year!

    ReplyDelete
  136. Does anyone want to start another thread (somewhere else) for Marin Prep since its a relatively new school?

    ReplyDelete
  137. Just curious, what types of personal notes are written on the wait pool letters?

    ReplyDelete
  138. 3:43

    I think you are right that all other things being equal (kid is a good fit, right gender etc.) that not needing aid and/or adding diversity is a better bet for getting in, with some exceptions every year, of course. Some schools have a more solidly upper-middle class profile (Live Oak) and others perhaps more of a mix of wealthy, upper-middle, and middle--the uber-wealthy help subsidize the lower income in that case.

    I truly don't mean offense, but I just want to point out that $200K income, while perhaps low for some of the private school communities in question, is way, way above middle class by most standard definitions (deviation from median and average income, federal government definitions, for example in the current health care debate, Biden's middle class task force, etc.). $200K is not highly wealthy either, but it is solidly in the upper-upper single digits percentile for the whole population.

    Again, I'm not meaning offense or judgment, just that I think it is good to have clarity about these things and where one falls on the spectrum. It's easy to feel poor in one setting when in the whole picture one is very well-off.

    The fact is that median income for a family of four, even in highly inflated San Francisco, is well below the six figure mark. I think this fact puts the private admits and financial aid offers somewhat into perspective. To answer the previous poster's question, most private schools are not aimed at the (truly) middle class, but at upper-middle and above, the top 10% of income-earners. Many parochials are aimed at the middle class, however, and some even at the working class (St. Charles is one, in the Mission).

    Please be clear: I'm really not trying to make a moral argument about this, just stating the facts, which may be useful to people in thinking where/whether to apply. There are always exceptions, but there is a culture that is created (and a financial reality that may or may not be mitigated by aid).

    All that said, sincere congratulations to all who have received admit letters today.

    ReplyDelete
  139. 3:43 - We're the same as you, except we also have diversity and got a rejection/waitlist letter.

    So for those thinking diversity is a shoe-in...you're wrong. There must have been someone more diverse who could foot more of the bill :-)

    We got our first choice at SFUSD and while not great, it'll do. We'll give the private school thing another look at Grade 6 (yes, 6 years of saving money!!)

    Public school here we come!

    ReplyDelete
  140. This would all make an interesting sociological read someday -- look what this city does to you! Reading it, you all sound totally neurotic to me. I actually think that no matter how many good schools there were, it would be people's nature to clamor for the very best one, so I don't think any system could totally avoid this.

    Now, last year, when it was my turn, I sounded even worse! Checking for the mail every 2 minutes and sure that my little girl's future depended on it. In just a short while, I can reassure you this will seem like a strange and distant memory.

    ReplyDelete
  141. Did anyone get accepted to Synergy and is not going to take it? That's the school we really want. So far, 0/3 for privates.

    ReplyDelete
  142. I am on the Synergy wait list.

    ReplyDelete
  143. I know someone commented earlier, but what does being "waitlisted" really mean?

    ReplyDelete
  144. waitlisted could mean several things depending on the schools, i think. some it's just a nice rejection letter because they don't want to burn bridges. but others schools will actually work off their waitlist depending on what they need, boy, girl, kid of color, etc.

    ReplyDelete
  145. if only my son were a gay black dwarf!

    ReplyDelete
  146. 4:55, I want that on a t-shirt.

    ReplyDelete
  147. 3:52 - I must have missed something. What's wrong with thinkibng of your child's school as a school rather than a place?

    ReplyDelete
  148. You people are entirely neurotic.
    (shudder)

    ReplyDelete
  149. We gratefully received an acceptance at Synergy and two other schools (we are also waitlisted at two others - one of which is our first choice). We are leaning toward one of our other schools and so will probably be declining Synergy. I hope this works out for you and you get our spot!!

    ReplyDelete
  150. If private school folks think 200K is middle-class, public is definitely the place for my family.

    ReplyDelete
  151. I am comfortably enjoying a nice Whiskey (Bunnahabhain, single malt, 12 year old, neat) and enjoying the gorgeous view of the Bay Bridge and Treasure Island from our place. We went 3/6 on our privates, and despite being 0/7 in the publics, we could care less as we have long jettisoned the notion of public education (or public anything) working. Tonight we will dine on porterhouse (1 1/4 inch thick, lightly salted and heavily peppered) and celebrate our good fortune. We feel incredibly blessed and as good karma dictates, we wish the same for everyone. This system is rough, but now we celebrate. We will, of course, enjoy Chateau Lafite Rothschild 1985 with the steak, and a little creamed spinach.

    ReplyDelete
  152. Sounds like some people are feeling fortunate and some fortunate enough. I'm happy for my friends who found their private schools and were accepted to the club. I for one feel fortunate to have had a choice last year. We chose public, albeit a high demand public, over private. Sometimes I've wondered if our choice was the right one for our child. But, reading the vitriol here, I'm glad I don't have to deal with this, at least for now. I'm hoping 5:48's post was tongue in cheek, but if not excuse me while I go vomit.

    ReplyDelete
  153. 5:48 I enjoy your sarcasm and got a nice laugh instead of wallowing in the stress. Everyone needs to have a glass of (cheap to moderately priced) wine to relax. None of this is as important as family, friends and good health.

    ReplyDelete
  154. Hilarious posts, love it. 3:43 back and just want to be clear - my point of posting my family profile was to put it all out there so more of us could get perspective on this stuff and give my idea of what I call "middle class" in SF since people were using that term without definition. May be it will save some others from wasting so much time and money on applications for schools that aren't realistic. Almost $200k before taxes for an SF family doesn't put you in a place to afford private tuition, so it doesn't make our chances any better than others. It does allow my family to afford a very old car, a cheap rental and enough food. We're not living the high life. I don't begrudge those who make more (just jealous that their kids get more options) and I definitely support diversity (a little fact, I manage diversity programs at my company and helped create some innovative programs). And to be clear, I agree, we are still fortunate and we appreciate everything we have. Best of luck to all.

    ReplyDelete
  155. Anyone get accepted at Live Oak?

    ReplyDelete
  156. Did someone ask about preschools? Are there feeder preschools?

    ReplyDelete
  157. I am comfortably enjoying a nice beer (Pabst, Blue Ribbon) and enjoying the gorgeous view of the drug trade from our place. We went 0/6 on our privates, and despite being 0/7 in the publics too, we could care less as we have long jettisoned the notion of social equality. Tonight we will dine on saltines (1 1/4 inch thick, lightly salted and heavily peanut-buttered), and celebrate our good fortune. We feel incredibly blessed and as good karma dictates, we wish the same for everyone. This system is rough, but now we celebrate. We will, of course, enjoy Franzia from the box with the crackers, and a little canned spinach.

    ReplyDelete
  158. 7:14 pm...lol, let me know where your child ends up a school, you sound like the perfect co-room parent :)

    ReplyDelete
  159. 7:22, get me a scholarship and I'll be there with bells on (and Hostess Sno-Balls with Sunny D for snack).

    ReplyDelete
  160. If I only heard from 1 of 2 schools should I be concerned about the mail? When should I follow up?

    ReplyDelete
  161. We're in the 200K club now and have our heart set on the private school we got into. Are we facing financial ruin since we received no financial aid and have two kids? Will the toll that the financial stress takes on our family be worth it? Would appreciate the honest perspective of private school parents who have been through this.

    ReplyDelete
  162. 8:01 pm..You are very lucky. We applied to the 200K club last fall and were waitlisted. We were told we'd be notified if a space opened, but in the meantime we should be happy shoveling shit for $45k a year. Will a private school for your two spoiled rugrats bring you financial ruin? Who knows? It kind of depends on your lifestyle. $200k in San Fran aint much. So if you want to be able to eat out at restaurants, drive a nice car, pay your rent or mortgage, and go to an occasional movie or museum, yeah, get another job. In the meantime, count yourself lucky.

    ReplyDelete
  163. A lot of people on this blog say they will spend their "savings" (from not paying for private school) on other enrichment for their kids, or family vacations, or college, or whatever. But unenforced savings very often go up in smoke just like everything else. I like to think of of private school as a sort of enforced savings.

    ReplyDelete
  164. 8:18, how is paying for private school instead of your own retirement or a college fund "savings?" That makes no sense. You put money in one place, you can't put it in another at the same time. And what are public school families doing with their money if not vacations, college funds, retirement, etc.? Throwing it into the streets? Buying beer and hookers? Somehow I doubt it. Bad math and weird assumptions there.

    ReplyDelete
  165. I am seriously in tears of laughter over here @ 4:55, 4:57, 5:48, and 7:14. I haven't laughed that hard in a long time.

    I am so glad this nightmare is a thing of the past for us and I really feel for everyone that is going through it now.


    -200k club public school parent

    ReplyDelete
  166. Heard that several top preschools had several waitlisted students. Other less known preschools probably had more. Guess it was not a good year.

    ReplyDelete
  167. Did anyone get into SF Day School?

    ReplyDelete
  168. To Haagen Dasz mom: Can you let us know if you are going to accept at Brandeis? Sadly, I have 3 good friends on the wait list there and I'd love for them to be able to attend with our family.

    Brandeis is an amazing school, BTW. The academics are fantastic and the moral fabric is incredibly strong. The school is on the rise and received a record number of applications this year, for a smaller-than-usual number of spaces, so they had to turn down more families than they ever have in the school's history. I'm sure that those on the wait list would love it if you could decide swiftly.

    Of course, Brandeis does require a deposit. But it also offers lots of financial aid :)

    ReplyDelete
  169. "-200k club public school parent"

    hu?

    ReplyDelete
  170. I am a Lesbian Indian woman (a vegan, Jain, transgender agnostic) and I am married to an orthodox Jewish Republican doctor from Brooklyn. Five years ago we adopted a Laotian, slightly handicapped left-handed orphan baby and moved to San Francisco from Kansas city. We truly believed our diversity would make us a shoo-in at the very elite competitive San Francisco private schools. Let me tell you - we were wrong. After going 0/7 in the publics, we anxiously awaited our privates. 0/8!

    We applied to the best of the best - Town, Cathedral, San Francisco Day, Live Oak, Synergy, Brandeis, MCDS and the Walton school. We played up our diverse credentials, breastfeeding our Sudanese daughter in front of Cathy Madison and chanting a Malaysian sonnet semi-nude in front of Lynn McKannay. We even baked cookies for the teachers at Brandeis. But did we get in? Nooooo. But our two boring white banker neighbors went 4/6 with two wait list with hand written notes. WTF? I am beginning to think for all of its talk of diversity, San Francisco is another bastion of white heterosexual bigotry!

    ReplyDelete
  171. 9:14
    Privates are notorious for discriminating against children with disabilities.

    ReplyDelete
  172. Wow lots of 200k families out there. I guess it is around the middle class income in SF for famileis with school age kids.
    If you look at the numbers affording the 24k tuition times two (all aftertax money folks - cant deduct it!)for two kids will be a real stretch.
    We're a private school family and make way more than 200k. I still 'feel' middle class and our kids think we are as well.

    ReplyDelete
  173. "I am a Lesbian Indian woman (a vegan, Jain, transgender agnostic) and I am married to an orthodox Jewish Republican doctor from Brooklyn. Five years ago we adopted a Laotian, slightly handicapped left-handed orphan baby and moved to San Francisco from Kansas city. We truly believed our diversity would make us a shoo-in at the very elite competitive San Francisco private schools. Let me tell you - we were wrong. After going 0/7 in the publics, we anxiously awaited our privates. 0/8!"

    You're pulling our leg. Are you just having fun, bitter and defeated, just plain drunk or some combination?

    ReplyDelete
  174. We were accepted at SF Day!

    ReplyDelete
  175. 9:32 Good luck. I hear SF Day is an insane pressure cooker and many kids drop out in frustration. Best of luck to you.

    ReplyDelete
  176. No need to be nasty.

    ReplyDelete
  177. Is anyone going to Ring Mountain in Mill Valley?

    ReplyDelete
  178. 0/7 public schools.

    rejected again for K at CAIS, applied
    2 yrs in a row for PreK.

    ReplyDelete
  179. Hear that SF Day is changing from the pressure cooker rep. School head wants it to be different. More flexibility for siblings. A wonderful school, but we were WL.

    ReplyDelete
  180. Wow lots of 200k families out there. I guess it is around the middle class income in SF for famileis with school age kids.

    Er, no. Median income for 4-person families is in the $70,000s in San Francisco. $200,000 is a small group of folks in the mix of all SF families, less than 10% of the total. The $200K club is objectively not middle class for families in SF.

    However, it may be the "middle class" for those who read this blog, or this thread on this blog, or who apply to private school, or (I'd bet) those who get into private school in this town. But that is what is known as selection bias.

    --public school member of the $60K club :-)

    ReplyDelete
  181. For families with twins: did privates take both? We are applying next year. When we do public do twins receive same school assignment?

    ReplyDelete
  182. did anyone get a letter today from French AMerican International School? I didn't?

    ReplyDelete
  183. From a parent (making slightly less than 100K and received no financial aid offer) whose slightly handicapped but bright child just got an upper elementary grade spot at one of the many good independent schools listed here. Sometimes--if a spot opens--and they do if you are willing to wait and switch later--a school may find the fact that you are taking the time to look at a school based on your child's needs, it makes a stronger case than when the child is just one of many entering at the kindergarten level. At that point you're making sure that the teaching style of the school is an especially good match for your child, and the school sees that you really need what they have to offer.

    So, we will have to make some lifestyle adjustments--rent out our bigger house and rent a smaller one until one of us finds a better paying job. But this is her one chance at an education, when "things are falling apart," so that is what we'll do. Not ideal. But it's what we'll do.

    My point is that what you choose for kindergarten is not set in stone--it does not necessarily set the tenor for the child's entire education.

    ReplyDelete
  184. 0-7 public. We were assigned Cobb. 0-1 private. Got a waitlist letter from Presidio Hill. How hard is it to start a charter school?

    ReplyDelete
  185. Accepted at 3/5 for private, need to think over the weekend. We also got 1/7 for public school, Rooftop. Would prefer public but very worried about budget cuts. I also heard from other parents that some of the Rooftop classrooms are very
    chaotic - anyone here with experience from Rooftop?

    Of the privates we were accepted to we are leaning towards Friends - would love some more input from Friends parents.

    I realise that we are very lucky to have choices, and will make a decision over the weekend. Rooftop versus Friens for our daughter is what it comes down to.......any input.....?

    ReplyDelete
  186. What a dream choice 10:31! Rooftop was by far the most diverse and together public school we visited (in terms of community as well as parents who really care about academics) and like Friends seemed to really care about character development. We loved the morning meeting at Rooftop and the fact that all parents seem truly grateful to be there and really worked as a team. I would check the finances of all schools, not just the publics. Schools that cost $24K this year will be $37K per year when our kids are in 8th grade, and that is assuming a 5% increase per year, no larger - sometimes it is more than this (or smaller, like with MCDS the last two years). But, the class sizes, if less diverse, will also be much smaller at Friends with no risk of increasing and the teachers all seemed wonderful! You can't go wrong. I have heard it is possible there will be a Friends High School in eight years, and I don't think there is an equivalent high school to Rooftop. Good luck with that great decision! We waitlisted Rooftop!

    ReplyDelete
  187. We got accepted at FAIS and waitlisted at Live Oak with a hand written note. We also applied to Friends and Le Lycee but didn't get any letters from them.r

    ReplyDelete
  188. what did your Live Oak note say? Ours said she wishes they had more spots, was not very personal and seemed like she likely wrote that on all the letters. But they (Live Oak) do seem to expect more movement in wait lists there then in some other schools like Hamlin and Burkes.

    ReplyDelete
  189. 9:55pm -- I think it's pretty hard to get in to the privates with twins. It's easier if there's an older sibling to get in first. Maybe this year presented better odds, as it appeared many of the privates had more spots available this year than last. We tried last year, with no luck. But both kids were admitted to a public as were both twins of various other sets we know. So far. so good.

    ReplyDelete
  190. Everyone I know that did not get accepted to Live Oak got the same "personal" note. At least they made the effort to write something. Anyone get a "personal" note on their Friends rejection... I mean, waitlist letter?

    ReplyDelete
  191. Re: Rooftop/Friends - We also were assigned Rooftop, however, waitlisted at Friends. I was wondering what we would have done had we been faced with that dilemma. Alas, we are not :) Feel incredibly lucky we received Rooftop and will now be wholeheartedly embracing it. Let us know what you decide to do!

    ReplyDelete
  192. 3 "too young" letters, one waitlist, second choice public. Anyone else out there get the too young excuse?

    ReplyDelete
  193. boy or girl with the too young letters? what was the birthday?

    ReplyDelete
  194. "chanting a Malaysian sonnet semi-nude in front of Lynn McKannay"

    Lynn didn't show up for our tour. During the interview, she acted as if she was above it all. I could see that she would be unfazed by your chanting.

    ReplyDelete
  195. Too young has nothing to do with their age. They want the kids to be successful but if they feel they are not ready then they wont accept them.

    It doesnt mean they are not ready. But thats how they were classified in the assessment.

    ReplyDelete
  196. June birthday, girl.

    ReplyDelete
  197. Are there any parents out there who can comment on Convent, Hamlin or Burke's from **personal (parental) experience**? All three are amazing and did a great job of presenting themselves - now I need help distinguishing between them.

    Because I feel I have a strong sense of the positives, ideally I would like insight on: what you think is lacking at C, H or B; what the challenges are; how they work with girls on social skills; how they encourage the girls to take risks; if they are facilitating a life-long love of learning; I don't need my daughter to think school is "fun" but I do want her to be completely engaged and to want to be doing what she is doing; are any of the girls schools incorporating progressive educational theories; is there hands-on learning going on; are there aspects of the curriculum that are integrated so that the girls are making meaningful connections between disciplines?? My husband and I both have very traditional/ classical educational backgrounds - I want to pass some of that on to my daughter but I am also a follower of Sir Ken Robinson, Alfie Kohn, Daniel Pink, etc... and am looking for a place that is evolving with brain developlment and scientific research (not following fads, but recognizing what studies are showing about how children learn).

    If you are at one of the three girls schools please share your insights - I would REALLY appreciate them (especially related to all of the areas mentioned above).

    ReplyDelete
  198. Got into 1 private, reject/waitlist at 2nd, no mail from 3rd. Thrilled and thinking of everyone else.

    ReplyDelete
  199. We picked Burke's and if we had to do it over we'd pick Burke's again. Key differences are science program and campus (can't beat four acres of grass compared to stacked floors of concrete). Only negative (and this depends on where you live) is Burke's is out in Sea Cliff while Hamlin is so much closer to us.

    ReplyDelete
  200. We are at Hamlin and couldn't be more thrilled, although you can't go wrong at any of those schools. We chose Hamlin because of the outstanding curriculum, the commmunity and the character education piece, which is integral to the curriculum. Hamlin combines the best of a classic education with focused theories in scientific, psychological and educational research.

    Your question warrants more than a quick response. Along with your acceptance letter there is a list of families that are willing to talk about the school. I am on the list as a kindergarten parent, and I know all the families that volunteered to be listed can answer your questions. Please call!

    ReplyDelete