Thursday, April 29, 2010

Hot topic: Everyday Math

This from a reader:
It's been over a year since SFUSD adopted Everyday Math. Is everybody happy with it?

Here are a few past posts on this same topic:

http://thesfkfiles.blogspot.com/2009/04/hot-topic-everyday-math.html

http://thesfkfiles.blogspot.com/2009/05/hot-topic-everyday-math.html

George Peabody Spring Carnival on May 15th!

Spring is here! Let’s Celebrate! The families at George Peabody Elementary invite you to join us for a Space Odyssey Carnival!

Admission is free, but games and crafts are a very small fee! There will be games, a rock climbing wall, prizes, a raffle, and food and goodies! Hamburgers, veggie burgers, hotdogs, nachos, grilled corn, sno-cones, cotton candy and fruit cups will be available for purchase. An event you don’t want to miss!

www.peabodyschool.com

RAFFLE PRIZES:

- $1000 cash
- Oral-B Professional Care Rechargeable Toothbrush SmartSeries 5000
- Waterpik Ultra Cordless water jet
- Great America One Day Admission for Two (2) people
- Atlantis Reno 2 night stay
- Gallery of Jewels $100 Gift Certificate
- Ripley’s Believe it or Not! 4 Passes
- Gift Cards to: Peets coffee, Tia Margarita, Olive Garden, Delica, Pasta Pomodoro
- San Francisco Giants Tickets

Monroe online auction

Please help support Monroe Elementary School’s first ever online auction! This auction is 100% online -- there is no event to attend, simply go to the website www.biddingforgood.com/monroe2010, look over the fabulous items and bid away!

The budget cuts for the 2010-2011 school year are devastating; we are losing our school nurse, student advisors, equity release teacher, para professionals, and many vital staff will now only have part time positions- including our one counselor who serves almost 500 children.

The Auction runs from Monday May 3rd to Thursday May 13th. Right now the website site is open for viewing --take a peak now so you will be ready to bid. We have many amazing items to choose from (and more are being loaded in every day) including:

· Private tour of the incredible PIXAR Animation Studio

· Private sailing lesson on the San Francisco Bay with the Marin Sailing School

· Luxury hotel stays at the Ritz Carlton Half Moon Bay, Montage Laguna Beach Resort and St Regis Monarch Beach Resort

· Local San Francisco hotel stays at the amazing Palace Hotel, San Francisco Hilton and Hotel Vitale

· Tahoe Cabins Stays & Wine Country

· Spa treatments & restaurant gift certificate including Jardinière

· Amazing art, fine wines and cool one-of-a-kind collectible items

· And even home cooked meals by Monroe families!

There is something for EVERYONE at every price range. www.biddingforgood.com/monroe2010

Again this auction is 100% online – so please spread the word nationwide (Facebook, email, Google Groups) to help support Monroe!

More about Monroe….Monroe is a public school located in the Excelsior District of San Francisco that offers three academically aligned language programs: a Spanish Two-Way Immersion Program, a Cantonese Bilingual Program, and a General Education Program in

Commodore Sloat Rainbow-A-Fair

Commodore Sloat School (at Ocean & Junipero Serra) invites you to the 2010 Rainbow-A-Fair this Saturday, May 1 from 11 am to 3 pm.
Lots of fun including bounce houses, games & prizes, delicious foods, live music, raffles & special table booths such as book exchanges, plants/soaps, etc. made by our gardening coordinator, massages, portraits and lots more! All proceeds benefit academic enrichment programs at Commodore Sloat! We hope to see you there!

http://www.sloatparents.org/downloads/rainbow-a-fair.jpg

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Hot topic: Sibling preference in immersion programs

This from a reader:
I'm struggling with the whole EPC process and I'm hoping to get a reality check from your readers. Will they be as outraged as I am over my situation...or will they tell me to suck it up and wait in line like everyone else?

5 sibling families were denied assignment to their siblings' immersion program for kindergarten at my school this year. According to EPC, the district is strictly enforcing the language ratio across all immersion programs (more of a priority than siblings): 13 target language speakers to 9 English speakers. At my particular school, there were 14 siblings (all designated English Speakers), vying for 9 English spots, so 5 siblings were assigned to the school's general program instead of immersion.

I asked the language department and EPC to reconsider the ratio (down to 11 target to 11 English speakers) if it meant more hardship appeals or siblings could get in for Round 2. They denied my request. They were adamant that 13 - 9 was consistent for all immersion programs, and no exceptions will be made, "to ensure equity". So I can only get a spot if another English speaker drops out (fat chance because they are all taken by other siblings). Although my child does speak the target language a little, apparently, it was not good enough to "pass" the target language test (it's all or nothing).

So I asked around some of the parents at my school and it turns out that there were at least 2 native target language speaking siblings that I know of (and they indicated that on the enrollment form). However, they were only called in for English testing, not target language testing. So presumably, they must have been designated native English speakers (even though they are not).

The EPC process has just been killing me. My native speaking mother lives with us. I LOVE how my daughter has grown so much closer to my mother since she's started her immersion program. I can't imagine giving one child the opportunity to learn about her heritage, culture, and language (and develop a more meaningful relationship to her grandmother living in the same household)…and not give that same opportunity to my other child. It has also been horrible for our school's sense of community. The district has put all the denied sibling families in a position where we are competing directly with each other for any possible future openings, creating a very divisive environment of distrust.

There are two separate issues. First, I need a reality check. For all the parents out there looking for an immersion school, and have tested as a "native speaker" of a language other than English, do you think it's unfair to ask for special dispensation of the language ratio to accommodate for family hardship grants and/or siblings?

Second, there seems to be inconsistency of language testing and designation. For all the parents who put a language other than English as a home language, were you tested for both English and your home language? Although certain students identified themselves as native speakers of another language, because EPC didn't test them (for whatever reason), they were arbitrarily designated English. I've asked EPC to review this prior to Round 2 assignments and I'm awaiting their response.

JCC Kindergarten night--May 5

Wed - May 05 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM JCC Kindergarten Night
JCCSF at 3200 California Street.

This event is targeted to preschool parents looking for kindergarten/elementary schools.


We have received several questions from parents about the new assignment system and if they even need to market their school or if parents need to tour schools anymore. The short answer is YES!

The new assignment system is not that different from the current system.

1. You still need to submit an application, even for your attendance area school.

2. You still should tour schools because you can list schools other than your attendance area school.
No one is guaranteed a space at their attendance area school. Plus, in areas that have more applicants than space available it will be important to have the option of being assigned to a school ofyour choice rather than have the choice made for you.

The main differences in the new system are that

1) there will be a stronger attendance area preference;

2) in order to help diversity, schools preference is based on address (those who live in CTIP 1 areas will have preference), rather than basing preference on a Diversity Index;

A good opportunity to market your school is at the upcoming JCC Kindergarten Night on Wednesday, May 5th, from 6-8pm. This event will be focused on preschool parents who will be applying for elementary school in the fall. The Educational Placement Center (EPC) and Parents for Public Schools will be at the event to talk with parents about the new assignment system, but it is important for parents to be able to connect with parents from our many great schools so they can see what your school has to offer.

Please submit this form by April 30thto reserve a space for your school at the JCC Kindergarten Night.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Hot topic: Round II and private school tuition

This from a reader:
As Round 2 notices go out and private school tuition payments are coming due, is anyone reconsidering their private school placement if they get their wait pool school this week? or deciding the tuition is just too much and considering other options?

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Good news: SFUSD school music program rocks!

At a time when the news is often about what our schools our lacking, I wanted to share some good news happening every day in San Francisco public schools – the elementary instrumental music program that serves more than 5,000 4th and 5th graders in SFUSD.

I was delighted and proud last weekend to attend the annual SFUSD citywide 4th/5th grade music concert at Lincoln High School. This is the second year my daughter performed as a budding flute player.

Over 800 musicians were selected to perform from among all SFUSD elementary schools. First year trumpets, clarinets and flutists performed in groups, followed by first year violas. Deputy Superintendent Richard Carranza was in attendance, and wore his own beautiful black velvet hat to play a mariachi tune with the first year violins! The guy has talent!

The second year violins played together followed by the wind instrument band. It brought tears to my eyes to see what these dedicated music teachers can accomplish with these eager young students in less than one hour each week. Several long-time retiring music teachers (one had 41 years in SFUSD!) were honored.

My own daughter has been inspired through this program to continue flute next year in middle school. Her older brother is an enthusiastic viola player in orchestra and electric guitar in jazz band. Several of my fellow parents (all of us amatour musicians ourselves) noted that we didn’t have access to this type of program when we were growing up.

Here’s one thing that is definitely RIGHT about SFUSD and our public schools!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

SFGate: U.S. tapping S.F. school's recipe for success

This from SFGate:

A top education official in the Obama administration sat in San Francisco's Marshall Elementary School cafeteria taking notes Monday as parents, teachers and administrators recited a recipe for what it takes to turn around a struggling school.

The main ingredients included quality teachers, involved parents and a supportive principal mixed perhaps with a new dual-immersion language program. Time must be allowed to let it all take hold.

It is the kind of formula federal officials would love to see in place at schools across the country. Too many schools are failing year after year with no end in sight, said U.S. Deputy Secretary of Education Tony Miller.

Some high schools have a dropout rate of up to 40 percent, and that's no longer acceptable, he said. Meanwhile, too many students graduate from high school unprepared for college and they end up needing remedial classes at their university or college, Miller said.

"We're lying to kids," said Miller during the second stop on a two-day tour around San Francisco to meet school officials and staff, politicians and business leaders.

At Marshall, Miller was especially interested in the school's dual-immersion Spanish program.

The program combines English learners and native speakers with the goal that all students will obtain grade-level literacy and proficiency in both English and Spanish by the time they move on to middle school. The idea was embraced by the school community - a necessary component of any reform, several parents told Miller.

The school's test scores have been improving as has the school's popularity since the program started six years ago.

With pen poised, Miller asked parents, teachers and administrators in the Marshall cafeteria how they created the school's culture - one that includes open communication among all parties while raising money, giving computer workshops for parents and posting one of the highest attendance rates in the district.

Principal Peter Avila cited several factors, including having a social worker, nurse, full-time instructional support staff member and paid parent liaison on campus - mostly funded by federal stimulus dollars or the city's Proposition H school enrichment money.

Marshall Elementary: First- Annual Dia de los Ninos Festival

Come join us at the family event and support Marshall’s PTA!!

Saturday, April 24th
noon-5 pm
1575 15th Street (entrance on Capp Street)
$2 entrance fee (includes free event tickets)

Easily accessible by Muni (16th & Mission)
Metered parking available and at Hoff St. garage (@ 16th)

Activities Include:
  • Live entertainment, including a student talent show
  • Great Food from local mission restaurants such as La Copa Loca, Taqueria Cancun, Balompie, Panchitas, Olivia’s
  • Jumpy House
  • Face Painting
  • Games
  • Raffle and Silent Auction
  • Community Organization Exhibits (MADD, S.F Bicycle Coalition, S.F Police & The Red Cross
Funds raised will support Marshall PTA-funded activities, such as science-oriented filed trips, and parent computer classes.

For more information, call 241-6280 or email: diadelosninos2110@gmail.com

Hot topic: Pairwise substitution of students

This from a reader:
Has anyone attempted to ask the district (or the schools directly) to do a pairwise substitution of students? If two families would like to switch assignments, is there a chance to make this happen? Considering how non-optimal the lottery result is for many families, it's hard to imagine that there are no such permutations that would be a win-win. We live next to a school and didn't get it but got assigned to another with a similar level of "desirability" (yeah, I know, there is no absolute index of "desirability"). I can't help thinking that there is another family who lives next to that school and may have been assigned to "ours". Rather than having the two families deal with years of commuting, it would be nice to switch if both agree.

If anyone has any experience with this and there is a chance of it happening, I might try to work on some way (e.g. a simple web site) for any family to find such potential win-win substitutions.

FAIRMOUNT ELEMENTARY NEW FAMILY EVENTS ON SATURDAY APRIL 24, 2010-

NEW KINDER PLAYDATE & EARTH DAY ACTIVITIES
Fairmount Elementary parents will be hosting our first of several Kinder 2010 Family Playdates in the Park on Saturday, April 24, 2010 from 11 am to 1 pm at the Noe Valley Upper Recreation Center playground, located at the corner of Day and Sanchez Streets. Come and meet new Fairmount families. The playdate is hosted by two current Fairmount families who have incoming kinders.

On that same day, Fairmount also needs help to plant trees on the Fairmount Campus, 65 Chenery – just a short walk from the Day Street Park – in celebration of Earth Day! (Earth Day event: Saturday, April 24th, from 10 am to 4 pm) Under the guidance of our certified arborist, we will be planting native trees (coast live oak), as well as some fruit and nut trees to go along with the school vegetable garden. We will also have a potluck, a giant bubble maker, our garden bunny to pet, some ladybugs to release, and other activities.

We look forward to tree planting as an event that will engage both kids and adults in a simple, fun activity that will have a tangible, positive impact on the kids' schoolyard experience, both now and for years to come. This tree planting event is being sponsored and organized by the Quality of Life Foundation, a San Francisco nonprofit startup that engages volunteers to plant trees to build stronger and healthier individuals, communities, and ecosystems.

Hot topic: How to support advanced kids

This from a reader:
My kid has made great strides in reading and mathematics this year. For the been-there-done-that crowd, I would love to hear suggestions about how to support her, her teachers, and her school in the years to come. I've done a little research online (like Junior Great Books Program - does anyone have any experience with it?), but I would love to hear about what systems/programs/resources that have been put in place in your school or your home.

Hot topic: SFUSD resources for kids with ADHD

This from a reader:
While we wait for our wait pool letters, I was wondering if you could start a topic about problems encountered during kindergarten. For example, my son (July birthday) is currently in a private kindergarten. He's having behavior problems and could possibly be ADHD. Its been suggested if he were to stay at this school, he would have to repeat kindergarten. We've applied for SFUSD schools, we're currently 0 for 7 and hope for a good school. But now I'm worried, what school would be appropriate for him? How do you find out about services or classroom set ups that can accommodate us? If the private school suggests repeating kindergarten, can I enroll him in 1st grade at public? What if I need to enroll him in K, how would that affect our assigned school?

I would love to hear of personal experiences with this issue, though I realize most of your readers are new to the system. Also suggestions of resources would be very helpful.

Washington High School teacher changes the lives of student athletes

This is an old news clip that I just came upon. I thought it was worth sharing this bit of uplifting news about a teacher at SFUSD.






Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Hot topic: Parochial schools and abuse

This from a reader:
Specifically, what are local SF Catholic schools, grammar and high, doing to ensure that abuse doesn't occur on the scale it has in the past? I'd like to hear concrete plans and policies that are being implemented.

My husband and I both come from Catholic families and were practicing until recently, so we are not trying to Catholic bash. We just want concrete assurances our child will be safe a Catholic grammar school in SF.

If there are principals, teachers, parents, diocese employees that can explain the SF policies here, please speak up. Because the Vatican comparing the NY & LA Times to anti-Semites for reporting on the abuse, well, that's just not cutting it for us.

Thank you for any insight you can provide.

Hot topic: New student assignment system

This from a reader:

I'm interested in a topic that starts a discussion about the new student assignment system in SFUSD. How will it yield different results than the old system?

Hot topic: Enrollment process changes

This from a reader:
I was hoping for some clarification on the changes adopted for next year’s enrollment process. Is it true that the school board will more heavily weigh a child’s home address when deciding where to place him/her? I’m especially interested because we live two blocks from a very good elementary school.

Help support Grattan School!


Grattan Online Auction, April 14th - 30th

www.grattanschool.org/auction

Find some great bargains. Get a gift certificate for that restaurant you’ve been meaning to try. Plan a vacation or visit to the spa. Take a class in cooking, art or karate or kick-start your fitness routine. The online auction features hundreds of exciting items!

Grattan Fun Fest & Silent Auction, May 8th 11am to 5pm

165 Grattan St. between Cole and Shrader

Join us for a day of kids’ games and crafts, delicious food and great live music. Admission is free. Buy a raffle ticket for a chance to win a selection of 50 bottles of quality wine. Shop the silent auction for beautiful kids’ art, toys and clothes for children, bountiful gift baskets, Grattan vacation rentals and much more!

100% of auction purchases directly benefit every child at Grattan by enabling us to reduce class size at every grade level to 24 students, keep our state-of-the-art computer lab open, retain key counseling staff, support our thriving gardening program, and so much more! Thanks in advance for your support.

McKinley Dog Fest

DogFest 2010

This Saturday, April 17th, at Duboce Park (Noe and Duboce) from 11AM to 4PM

Featuring:
Dog Contests (pre-register at http://www.mckinleyschool.org/dogfest/Dogfest_2010)
Celebrity Judges (Top Chef Contestants, San Francisco Supervisors and more)
Silent and Live Auction with Auctioneer Lemony Snickett
Kids Zone featuring Carnival Games, Face Painting, Balloon Animals Bouncy Houses and more
Great Gourmet Carnival Fare
Music
Prizes
Pet Parade

Bring your two legged and four legged kids for a fun day in the park. All proceeds from this event will support much needed educational enrichment programs for our children.

Hot topic: Wait pool changes

This from a reader:
I would like to ask if there are people who changed there wait pool school school based on the waitpool cohorts released April 5? If they did what was there original waitpool pick and what school did they change it to?

Monday, April 12, 2010

Statement from Superintendent Carlos Garcia regarding intent to declare an impasse with the United Educators of San Francisco (UESF)

“With a May deadline for layoffs rapidly approaching, the District is trying to reach an agreement in order to save jobs, and the Union is refusing to settle. In fact, UESF negotiators walked away from the bargaining table on Friday despite the fact that the District and Union were within range of an agreement on some of the economic proposals that could retain current class sizes and rescind hundreds of final layoff notices.

Regretfully, we have no choice but to notify UESF of the district’s intent to declare an impasse and request that the Public Employment Relations Board appoint a neutral mediator to help us overcome our differences.

By calling in a third party mediator, we are hoping to continue this conversation without confrontation and move toward a plan that gets us through this crisis.

Union negotiators are demanding permanent changes in the contract that have nothing to do with student learning, and which go against the needs of our most underserved children.

UESF wants the district to:
* Pay for picking up and distributing mail between schools and the Union headquarters (a legally prohibited practice);
* Limit the criteria used for teacher evaluations and require that any observations for use in teacher evaluations be scheduled with a specific time and class period (as opposed to a window of time which is the current agreement). This would restrict a principal’s ability to get a well-rounded view of a teacher’s instructional practices.
* Reduce the stipends agreed to in Proposition A for those teachers at our hardest to staff schools. (The District is committed to the goals of access and equity and this portion of Prop. A is critical to our most underserved communities. The District is leaving in all of the Prop. A teacher pay scale changes);
* Guarantee that no core substitutes will be laid off (the District maintains that permanent teacher positions must be a priority);
* Maintain additional daily prep periods for AP teachers that result in most of them teaching only four classes per day for full salary – a cost to the District of over $3 million per year. (In light of the economic crisis we are asking the Union to agree to suspend them for the next two years while giving the AP teachers a $1,500 stipend in place of the prep periods).

We are in a financial crisis of historic proportions. The District feels that it is much more respectful to save the jobs of our dedicated teachers and paraprofessionals rather than quibble over sentences in a contract that have nothing to do with keeping students first.

By calling in a third party mediator we look forward to creating a plan that gets us through this crisis together.”

Hot topic: How much to charge for a yearbook?

This from a reader:

I’m an Alvarado parent and getting ready to take on a school yearbook and I have a question I’d like to propose to you or your readers.

We’re going to use a service called www.treering.com that allows you had add an additional fee to the cost of the yearbook to apply to fundraising. The cost of the yearbooks are about $15 bucks, or so, and each kid’s yearbook is customized.

What do you think is an appropriate additional charge on top of the yearbook cost? I’m wavering from anywhere from not using it as a fundraising tool up to $10 bucks on top of each book.

Any thoughts, or any way to survey your followers? I’d love some other opinions on this.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Leonard Flynn Elementary School: FERIA VERDE/GREEN FAIR

Saturday April, 17
10AM-4PM
3125 Cesar Chavez Street, between Harrison and Folsom
* FREE LIVE MUSIC ALL DAY
* GIANT RUMMAGE SALE
* AUCTION
* KIDS ACTIVITIES
* PLANT SALES AND GARDENING ACTIVITIES
* EARTH-FRIENDLY PRODUCTS & SERVICES
* GREEN CLEANING PRODUCTS & DEMOS
* WORM COMPOSTING WORKSHOP
* OLD ELECTRONIC EQUIPMENT RECYCLING
* STREET FOOD CARTS
* COOKING DEMONSTRATION AND TASTING
A day to meet your neighbors, learn how to be green, help raise money for our school, and get to meet our school community!

Hot topic: Parent involvement

This from a reader:
I have seen several parents say that one school or another doesn't have much or has a lot of parent involvement. How do you evaulate that? Is is just based on how much the PTO raises? How much is enough? Does a well established school with a senior teaching staff need as much parent involvement? Can you offset money raised with
sweat equiity? To experienced parents, what percentage of your parents are actively involved in the following categories: give full amount to direct appeal, attend parent meetings, volunteer time in classsroom, work at fundraiser?

Hot topic: School lunches

This from a reader:
Was wondering if we could revisit the topic of school lunches. I read with great interest the old post about SFUSD lunches. Was wondering if the budget deficit will affect the lunches offered. Would like to know what school kids are eating these days. Any other schools beside Miraloma that offers a salad bar? How are schools with edible garden programs incorporating that into meal times?

Hot topic: How to donate to low SES schools (for parents with some disposable income)

This from a reader:
I would like an easy way to give money to the schools with the highest percentage of low SES schools. I don't know anything about how to go about making this happen but I'm interested to know if others would like to help. If we can get two or three families interested who would like to volunteer time to this, I would be happy to lead it. Could anyone with opinions on this topic (I'm sure it has been thought of before) let me know why this might be hard or impossible? This is from another thread from March, about what PTAs raise. I think there would be both public and private school families interested in giving to the neediest schools, in addition to the current donations they give. I have given before to low income schools but it has been haphazard and I just wanted to explore what would make it easier to do this electronically. Thank you for anyone expressing interest - if there are enough of us, I'll host a meeting to discuss!

Hot topic: Private school consultants

This from a reader:
"Who are the good private school consultants? What services do they provide? Are they worth it?"

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Hot topic: Lowell

This from a reader:
I like to suggest a new topic about what the breakdown of # of students in middle schools that were assigned to Lowell High School. It appears that this data is not published by SFUSD.

Hot topic: Wait pool numbers

This from a reader:
Please start a thread for waitpool numbers. I think they are supposed to be posted online today according to this flyer. http://portal.sfusd.edu/data/epc/WP%20Key%20Dates.pdf

but I can't find the link on SFUSD. I'd like to hear what people think about the numbers, higher/lower than years past, chances of getting in, etc.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Welcome Meeting for Flynn's New Families - Monday April 5, 6-7pm.

We'd like to invite you to a Welcome Meeting for all incoming families on Monday, April 5 at the school from 6-7pm in the auditorium. This is not a mandatory event but it is a great opportunity for you to meet other incoming and current families, as well as Principal Lepe, the kindergarten teachers and members of the PTA. You may bring your child, and we are providing food as well.

There will be also be a school tour on Monday, April 5 at 9am. Meet by the school office.
LR Flynn - 3125 Cesar Chavez Street at Harrison.

Queremos invitarles a un conjunto en Monday, April 5 desde las seis de la tarde hasta las siete en el auditorio de la escuela. El conjunto es una oportunidad concocer al Director Lepe y los maestros de kinder. Tambien se puede conocer a otras familias nuevas a Flynn, y las que ya teine ninos en la escuela. LR Flynn - 3125 Cesar Chavez St. en la esquina con Harrison.

Hot topic: Preschool directors and the private school enrollment process

This from a reader:
I wonder if this is worth a discussion?
I have heard several friends at different preschools express frustration over the following: Preschool Directors who insist on parents applying to at least 5 schools, who then turn around and fight for the families who only applied to 3 schools and were not accepted at any of them, to the detriment of families who did follow the rules and got in to a second choice school. (We did not have this issue, but two close friends and several acquaintances have all shared their stories and I am disappointed/ upset for them.)
Here's an example: Family A, at XYZ preschool applies to 5 schools at the direction of their ED, Plum School is their top choice and really the only school they care about. Family B at XYZ preschool ignors the repeated urging of the ED and applies to only their top two or three schools, Apple School is their top choice. When the letters come out, A gets into Banana School - a fine school, but low on their list, they immediately contact Plum to indicate that Plum is their first choice, and to please keep them in the Waitpool; A is told by the AD that they are at the top of the list. A calls the ED of the preschool to indicate that Plum is still their first choice and they would like help advancing their case at Plum. The ED hears that A got in to a school and mentally crosses A off her list of things to worry about.
Family B gets in nowhere - they took their chances against the advice of the ED and it seriously backfired. Now they are scrambling. Apple is still their number one choice, but there is no movement on that WL. Family B calls the preschool ED very upset and demands help in getting into ANY school. The ED does not want an unplaced child - that reflects poorly on the school. So what does the ED do? Goes to bat for the kid who has no spot because their parents refused to follow the ED's rules.
Ultimately B gets into Plum - their second choice, and A loses the spot because the ED went to bat for B instead of A (who had Plum as their first choice).
Assuming they were both basically "qualified" is it fair for B to get the spot over A just because B didn't have any acceptances (by their own doing)?
The EDs obviously need to help all families get in to schools - but I have heard repeatedly this year how unfair the system has been to those families who did everything they were told to do. I wonder what others think and what the solution might be. I heard that one preschool is requiring parents to sign a contract with the ED that commits the parents to applying to a minimum of 5 schools, and if they don't apply to 5, they explicitly agree that the ED will have no obligation to help them if they do not get in anywhere. This seems more ethical to me. I understand that the EDs want everyone to get in, but it does seem extremely unfair to families that did everything that the ED asked to be penalized for doing so, while families who (some arrogantly) believed that they did not need to follow the rules are then rewarded for their flouting of the rules.

Hot topic: Stratford School

This from a reader:
I would be interested to learn more about the Stratford School in San Francisco. Can you please start a thread on this?