Wednesday, April 14, 2010

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.

30 comments:

  1. Or what happens if there are too many kids who all apply to their neighborhood school? A lottery? New boundaries?

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  2. This is the same thread as above. Yes, student's home address plays a much bigger role next year. But don't count on that school near you being your neighborhood school. Maps aren't out yet. And the neighborhood boundaries can change any year.

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  3. Or what happens if you live next to one of the worst schools, but aren't necessarily in the worst CIPT (or whatever that acronym is) zone.

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  4. "Or what happens if you live next to one of the worst schools, but aren't necessarily in the worst CIPT (or whatever that acronym is) zone."

    Snarky Answer: You should have lobbied harder to keep the lottery.

    Less Snarky Answer: We don't know what the boundaries are yet.

    Serious Answer: You can take your chances with the choice process. Immersion programs and the k-8 alternative schools will remain city-wide. You can try to get into other neighborhood schools, but understand that you're low in the priority queue relative to CTIP1 families and neighborhood families, so getting into e.g. Miraloma is going to be very unlikely: better to aim for the on-the-bubble schools that are good but not as popular (say, Harvey Milk).

    Long-term serious answer: Things are going to be dynamic in school performance, as the shift to a more neighborhood based system takes place, e.g. Flynn and Revere suffered from Bernal families going out of neighborhood, but may get more of the benefit of the strong Bernal community when more of the neighborhood is sending their kids there.

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  5. 7:48,

    We are one of those families. Right now, we would be assigned El Dorado. There is no way on earth I would send my child to that school.

    Luckily, we are already in a great public school and our next children will go there too due to the sibling rule.

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  6. 10:43: That is the school we are assigned. And, I agree, we will move before we send our daughter there. We are avid community supporters and really do like our neighborhood, but I will not send my daughter to school there.

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  7. 2:42,

    The problem is, unlike Bernal and Glen Park, Visitation Valley is not coming up anytime soon. There are just too many underprivileged children there. I would suggest you try doing all you can to get into another school.

    We were lucky and got into a great school with last years lottery. I shutter to think what school we would end up with if we had waited since we could have "Red shirted" our child.

    Hope you get into a good school...just to let you know, Malcolm X is even worst!

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  8. I get this poster's question - an example is that Cobb is currently, and likely under the new system, the neighborhood school for much of Pacific Heights...which clearly won't make it into CPTI (or whatever) 1 zone. I guess that's life, but sadly, not everyone in pac heights is wealthy, so I am feeling a bit sorry for myself and thinking I should move before K apps in the fall, ha!

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  9. When will the school boundaries and defined census tracts map be out?

    My family lives close to blocks of projects. Could that potentially help us even though we do not live in a public housing project?

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  10. Will the current CTP1 areas be changing also, or are those already set?

    I'm sure this is frowned upon, but I am considering moving to CTP1. I currently live near a school where I would not send my child (Sanchez), I assume we'll be in its attendance area. We cannot afford private by a long shot. It sounds like there's no chance of getting into a desirable neighborhood school. What are our options? What are the city-wide schools, only K-8 and immersion?

    I wasn't planning on going for immersion because I don't think it would be a great fit for my kid. Am I crazy to think that all the spots in the "good" city-wide schools will be taken by CTP1 kids?

    Maybe my chances aren't any worse than in the old system, but I'm still frustrated with this process.

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  11. yes, living close to projects could put you in the CTP1 area and give you a boost over neighborhood kids for a school. These maps are already available. Link below. We are waiting on the maps that show the neighborhood schools. PPS said they would be out in Sept/Oct.

    http://rpnorton.files.wordpress.com/2010/02/fullsize_ctip.jpg

    And Pac Heights poster, don't move yet. You might get lucky. Also, check out the Public Montessori in your hood. They start enrollment at 3. Get in now b/f K.

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  12. trying that link again

    http://rpnorton.files.wordpress.com/2010/02/fullsize_ctip.jpg

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  13. Hmm, it's here on Rachel Norton's blog http://rachelnorton.com/page/2/

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  14. Here's a CTP1 map with street names.

    http://wangtime.files.wordpress.com/2010/03/ctip-overlay.jpg

    Are these definitely staying the same or might these change as well?

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  15. Is there a length of time you have to live in CTIP, or jut when you apply to SFUSD?

    I heard there will be stricter proof of residency enforcement. What happens if you live in CTIP but later move somewhere else?

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  16. CTP maps won't change. These are used for the census. The neighborhood school maps will change. You don't have to live there for any period of time, just be able to prove residency when you apply so makes sure you are there long enough to have a PG&E, water bill, etc. Once you are in the school, you can move anywhere you want.

    Sanchez neighbor, I wouldn't move until the new attendance area maps are released in Sept/Oct. And even then you are guranteed nothing (spot in your neighborhood school or spot in a city wide school even with CTP1 status).

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  17. The CTIP uses Census Tracts (that the "CT" part) for boundaries. However, if a particular tract does better on the standardized tests, a tract will change from a 1 to a 2, so there's still room for movement.

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  18. 7:39 AM said: "Am I crazy to think that all the spots in the "good" city-wide schools will be taken by CTP1 kids?"

    Yes, you're crazy. If history is any guide, the white, middle class families will over-run the "good" city-wide schools, like always. The neighborhood pref should give the white, upper middle class families in Cole Valley a better chance at Grattan though.

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  19. Interesting. Thanks for the maps, all! I am the one who lives by (not in) the projects.

    So, if I understand correctly, the census tracts are drawn by the California Standardized Testing scores NOT income. Is that right?

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  20. What is the rationale for k-8's being citywide? I don't get it.

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  21. At least two of the k-8s have their lower and upper school on different campuses... so one could easily separate the lower and upper schools and provide neighborhood access.

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  22. I've been *very* impressed by what I've seen at Sanchez. Don't write it off. Its scores are low, not because it is a bad school, but because so many of its children are new to this country and just learning English. It is a very well run school with *great* teachers. I signed up to tutor there through Reading Partners, and have been blown away by what I've seen. A big proportion of current first and second graders are getting one-on-one instruction through Reading Partners to make sure their reading skills are rock solid. This is the same program that has been used with great success at Sherman. Those kids are going to out-perform SAnchez kids of years past as they go through the grades. I wouldn't write off the school.

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  23. April 16, 2010 8:47 AM said: "Is there a length of time you have to live in CTIP, or jut when you apply to SFUSD?

    I heard there will be stricter proof of residency enforcement. What happens if you live in CTIP but later move somewhere else?"


    I believe there are talks of requiring parents to provide proof of residency more frequently, not just at time of enrollment. Plus, there is an address fraud tip line. This from SFUSD:

    "The use of a fraudulent address to enroll in an SFUSD public school denies equitable access to students living in San Francisco. The district has installed an Address Tipline to accept reports of suspected address fraud. You may make a confidential report by calling 415 522-6783 or by e-mailing information to AddressTipline@sfusd.edu."

    You bet I will report my neighbors and friends if they are trying to game the system. Those CTP1 areas are for the most disadvantaged children. It's despicable that parents would fake residency to get into their school of choice.

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  24. To 12:08 who said: "Those CTP1 areas are for the most disadvantaged children. It's despicable that parents would fake residency to get into their school of choice."

    I agree that faking residency isn't right. But on the flip side, is it fair that the population with the most advantage - ie those that live in expensive areas near high performing schools like Clarendon, Miraloma, West Portal, Alvarado, Grattan, etc, get a preference?

    If you want to give CTP1 a preference, that makes sense. But by also giving a preference to the MOST advantaged, it puts an unfair disadvantage to everyone else. But I guess I'm ranting for no reason since it's all a done deal. I'm still at a loss how this system is supposed to decrease racial isolation. Seems to me it'll do just the opposite.

    Also for what it's worth, there are definitely plenty of people within CTP1 that aren't disadvantaged.

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  25. "What is the rationale for k-8's being citywide? I don't get it."

    The K-8's are historically "alternative" schools, under the old OER assignment system that predated the lottery (and which looked a lot like the old assignment system), and were created to introduce an element of choice into the system. They're essentially "magnet" schools. They're being kept as citywide schools to keep an element of choice in the new system for non-CTIP1 families.

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  26. "Also for what it's worth, there are definitely plenty of people within CTP1 that aren't disadvantaged."

    I hear you. However, the district wanted to move away from self-reporting.

    Auditing income or receipt of public aid, versus address, is a lot more intrusive and difficult than auditing addresses (ask Ed Jew). So that's the reason they dumped the SES variables in place of address. Also, using geography for attendance area preference as well as CTIP1 means you're using the same system for all, rather than trying to layer an individual socioeconomic status variable on top of a geographic one.

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  27. But isn't this whole map thing a silly idea, given the true diversity of San Francisco? For example, I live apparently on CTP1 street in the Mission, but I own my house, so does everyone on my block, and they're all worth over $1 million. The TIC flats across the street went for $950k each.

    So who's kidding whom?

    This is why I liked the lottery. I can only hope the neighborhood schools concept means that families on our block will start attending Caesar Chavez instead of trucking up the hill to Rooftop.

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  28. "But isn't this whole map thing a silly idea, given the true diversity of San Francisco?"

    Well, it turns out the diversity of San Francisco is a bit more lumpy than you think. Check out some of the maps of demographics on the District's school assignment redesign site.

    I'd have rather they'd used individual SES variables (e.g. receipt of public aid) than geography, but Orla O'Keefe gave a pretty convincing reason why that was not a good option for auditing.

    I was surprised, as I'd have thought people would be more wary about e.g. fraudulently claiming food stamps than faking an address, but evidently there was concern by the district that self-reporting of receipt of public aid was open to being gamed.

    Also, unless those TIC flats across the street from you are 1,800+ sq.ft., your neighbours overpaid. You can get a ~1,000 sq.ft.single family home for about $700K these days in Bernal.

    (Hmm - though the CTIP1 preference might justify a $100K premium)

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  29. Does anyone know how to confirm if your address is in CTIP1 definitively? I live on the border street of CTIP and am on the side of the street which borders a non CTIP area (west side of Valencia). How can I find out if I'm in or out?

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  30. I looked at this issue carefully as I live in your neighborhood. According to my reading of the census maps, west side of Valencia is CTIP 2 and east side of Valencia is CTIP 1. That is the dividing line between the rectangular tracts that stretch along that corridor. Which makes sense, demographically, if you think about it. Real estate people are very clear on the value of being on the west side of that line! Though maybe this will push things the other way, hmmmm.

    Another big dividing line in this area is Cesar Chavez Street, also not a surprise.

    You can put your address into the census tract finders at census.gov and see for yourself. Go by the shape of that tract and of adjacent tracts to compare to the SFUSD maps of CTIPs 1 and 2.

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