Wednesday, April 14, 2010

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?


  1. We changed from Sherman to Yick Wo. Now regretting the change because of logistics. The odds, however, seemed better because we are 0/7 and there was only one family in that cohort and I know of at least 2 kids who did not sign up for K after they were assigned to Yick Wo because they are moving out of district. I wish they would have given me more info, the counselors were utterly unhelpful because they cannot tell you even a guestimate of how many kids had signed up for K or not. The forms were due March 26, the school district has that information. It makes me mad as I really really wanted to Sherman, our neighborhood school.

  2. 7:21am - I think your experience highlights how painful the current process can be. You have to try and make decisions for Round II without knowing all the relevant information. The counselors were able to tell me which schools usually have waitpool movement, but you are still making your best guess as to what decision might give you the best odds.

    If you are really upset with the your change, then it might not hurt to go down to the EPC again or call them and see what they might be able to do for you. I always think you are better off at least asking the question. With the understanding that there might be nothing the EPC can do at this point.

    I hope everything works out for you.

  3. For upper grade transfers, we changed our waitpool from Claire Lillienthal to Commodore Sloat and also changed our amended choice list to Argonne/Alamo. (We had had Sunset.) We've got one kid in inclusion and that made the situation VERY complicated, as inclusion is a completely separate assignment system with separate size limits. It was hard saying goodbye to Lillienthal. We really thought it would work best for our special ed kid and make the middle school years much easier. But we heard from the school staff themselves that the odds of getting off the waitlist in upper grades were virtually nil. And we got the sense from the HQ staff that there was a really good chance of getting into the ones I listed above. Just hope the special ed program at those schools is going to be good.

  4. Just curious, what neighborhood are you in that CL and Sloat could both work for you logistically? Or are there fewer special ed programs so location doesn't matter so much. We were suprised how much we liked Sloat on our tour. Of course we didn't get it, but did Round II it b/c there were very few on the waitpool list. So there could be a chance to pick this school up in Round II if several K kids were assigned it and then went private.

  5. @9:57 --
    So much depends on your own kid's needs, but for what it's worth, we're extraordinarily happy with the inclusion team at Lakeshore.

    With the budget cutbacks we were all set to move to the suburbs, but we opted to stay because our kid is doing so well.

    Also, we also have a friend in the inclusion program at Jefferson who recommended it to us.

    Good luck.

  6. 9:57, you mentioned inclusion and Alamo, do think Alamo serves kids with learning differences well?

    We have a K slot at Alamo, any have not done formal "testing" for our child but suspect she may have some challenges, so we are wondering.

  7. 9:57 -- Thanks for the comments about C Sloat. Yes, we wanted to put Lakeshore down because we've heard lots of positive things about it, but I don't think there are openings there. The HQ person I spoke to (who I really found helpful) gave me the "most likely" places that would have inclusion openings and that's how I ended up with my list. And, yes, we are ranging far afield, but we are finding it incredibly difficult to find realistically likely inclusion openings for a transfer. I'm really worried that whatever we end up with will not be a great inclusion program. Can I ask another question: If we don't get C Sloat on this Round, can we change our waitlist in May?

  8. Yes, you can change your waitpool all summer long. Once you get your letter from Round 2, then you can change it at EPC. Then they lock the lists down again, do a waitpool run, send letters, then you can change your waitpool again.

    This is the pdf from SFUSD that gives all the dates.

  9. Thanks, 1:23 pm, for the information. And here's something completely OFF topic but which will hopefully give you all a well-needed laugh: this came from a readers' comment on the NY Times website:

    A e-mail is going around in Norway written in quasi-Icelandic that says:

    “Put 30 billion euros in unmarked bills in a bag by the gate of the Icelandic embassy in London, and we’ll turn off the volcano.”