Tuesday, April 6, 2010

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.

159 comments:

  1. go to SFUSD website. hit "enrollment" on the left hand side of the screen. then look on right side of screen for the orangish box containing the "highlights" (blue box). the link for wait pools is at the bottom of the orangish box. the link says: "Waiting Pool Cohorts April 5, 2010 "

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  2. my wait pool school is exactly the same as last year

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  3. chinese immersion numbers VERY high. very sad how many schools where siblings didn't get in!

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  4. It seems like there are surprisingly few folks in the 0/7 cohort, particularly at the MS and HS levels . This bodes well for those 0/7 families.

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  5. Isn't it possible some of the siblings are families who applied late?

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  6. We're not looking too bad, even though I made the mistake of listing a less popular school in Round 1, which we got. After having spent several hours getting a deeper look on an admitted families tour, it was harder to see my kid loving school there, though I've heard good things through the grapevine. Fingers crossed and thinking if we don't get in off the wait list, we'll go with the parochial where we've put a deposit.

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  7. 8:45 - there are fewer MS/HS 0/7 b/c most people do not put a full seven choices, they put five or so.

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  8. Can someone explain to me how siblings "don't" get in?

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  9. Is anyone planning on changing their wait pool school after seeing the posted list? We've decided to keep ours but I'm hoping we don't regret it. We went 0/7 and chose Dianne Feinstein. There are 19 people in our cohort.

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  10. Will kindergarten class size increase next year? How does this affect the wait pool?

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  11. I am just sick to my stomach. I HATE this process. It is clear from the waitpool numbers that families do not get a school of their choice if they just hold out. No one went off Rooftop's list last year and there are 15 families on Peabody's list. It would really help if the district could give us an idea of when they are going to increase the class size enrollment, if at all. If they can't work it out with the union, by say the April 30th Round 2 mailings, then they should not do it at all. I stay awake at night worrying that my kid has no school to go to, I really understand why people move out of the city.

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  12. Siblings end up on the list when an older child gets in to an upper grade in round 1 but the younger child doesn't.

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  13. How do siblings end up on the waitpool for kindergarten?

    - The obvious thing is that a family with an older sibling at the school didn't turn in their forms on time. This probably happens, but no too often.
    - A second way is that an older child was admitted to, say, 3rd grade for this fall. So the younger sibling didn't have priority for Round I. I bet this is exceedingly rare.
    - The last way is twins. If one twin gets into a school in Round I, the other gets sibling priority for Round II. I be this is the main reason.

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  14. "A second way is that an older child was admitted to, say, 3rd grade for this fall. So the younger sibling didn't have priority for Round I. I bet this is exceedingly rare."

    Oddly, not as rare as you'd think. We get new kids pretty regularly at our school in the upper grades and I know some of them will need to get younger siblings in next year.

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  15. 10:45 AM: Right, but if the older sibling is in now, the younger one coming in next year will get in for Round I. I don't think families with one kid in a school and a second one coming would risk trying to get two kids into one school in the same year. The Round I/Round II/waitpool dance is hard enough as it is.

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  16. 10:54 This happens often when parents try to transfer their child into a K-8 at 6th grade or at 4th grade when when the K-3 20 student limit is no longer in place and more seats open for 4th grade.

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  17. It would really help if the district could give us an idea of when they are going to increase the class size enrollment, if at all.

    Increase in class size does not make more seats available. Three K classes will be consolidated into two, or a K and 1 will be combined. Or a school will close and its students will be moved to another campus (in which case I imagine they would have priority over everyone)...

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  18. Alamo looks like a good bet..

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  19. Do you think they would actually close a school? Anyone know which school would they close?

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  20. "Increase in class size does not make more seats available. Three K classes will be consolidated into two, or a K and 1 will be combined. Or a school will close and its students will be moved to another campus (in which case I imagine they would have priority over everyone)..."

    I don't have any inside knowledge, but based on conversations at our school site I really don't think this is correct. The District is not talking about closing schools and I don't think they would even consider it unless the May revise of the state budget is worse than expected, and at this point indications are that the May revise should be better than expected.

    When they increased class sizes last year, they added spots in kindergarten classes. It's easy for them to do this in kindergarten. It's the upper grades that may have to combine or do looped grade classes. And they're talking about increases from 22 to 25 or something on that order -- obviously not a big enough increase to shrink 3 classes into 2, etc.

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  21. There doesn't seem to be that many folks form the northeast part of the city on this board, but there are two good schools there with low waitpool numbers for entering K: Spring Valley and Yick Wo.

    Yick Wo had an 871 API (on par with Rooftop, et. al) and a statewide API rank and "similiar schools" rank of "9". Also has an active parent group. I know many high-acheiving parents who send their kids there and are happy.

    I know less about Spring Valley but its scores are very good considering that 80% of students quailfy for free lunch and 75% are English language learners.

    We toured both schools and liked them both.

    My point is that there are plenty of good schools available - if you want to move out of the city, go head, but be honest about the reason. Is it that you can't get into a good-performing school or you can't get into one where the majority of kids look and talk like yours?

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  22. I guess for the high profile schools (Clarendon, Grattan, Lilienthal, Miraloma & Rooftop), those parents that went 0-7 are hoping for a bit of a miracle in round 2? Anything can happen between the time of round 1 & round 2 in terms of students giving up a spot at those schools for unknown reason...but it's really like winning the lottery if you get in? for Chinese Immersion, how likely is it for them to reallocate some/all remaining Chinese language seats to English speaking students? for those 25 families hoping for that, they're willing to wait until summer or even start of school in hope of getting in there with their wait pool choice? that seems so risky to not have a school locked down before start of school. I'm curious if any readers here actually got one of their alternative choices (non-wait pool schools) in round 2.

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  23. "Is it that you can't get into a good-performing school or you can't get into one where the majority of kids look and talk like yours?"

    Why the attack? It's not like Spring Valley or Yick Woo have any openings!!! There is a waitlist for both! And - as was mentioned on an earlier comment - Yick Woo only filled 1 spot from its waitlist last year.

    Besides - Families that went 0/7 are struggling right now - How about some support eh?

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  24. Completey agree, first off, you have no idea what me or my kid looks like. Second,Yick Wo and Spring Valley have waitlists and those schools had zero, nada, nothing on waitlist movement last year. I would be better off at Alvarado GE with only 11 on the waitpool who went 0/7 and last year 10 spots of movement of Jefferson with 10 on the waitpool cohort of 0/7 and movement last year of 5 spots - at least its a 50% shot. Lafayette looks the best with only 1 person 0/7 cohort and movement of 5 spots last year. I think the data on actual movement on the waitlist is very important. For example, I expect a lot more folks are turning down CL, Rooftop, Grattan and Sherman for private than at these purported gems. Gotta play the odds.

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  25. Not sure how many of those that got into the "trophy" schools would actually give up their slots for private...everyone is pinching dollars nowadays with the economy. Also, we have no idea how many will actually change their wait pool choice this week...so the data on the school site could dramatically change (i.e. a school that has a low WP count on the list could go up a bit after the deadline as parents may opt for that school as their WP choice this week)...so there's a lot of 2nd/3rd guessing going on :P

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  26. If I went 0/7, if I put my neighborhood school as my waitlist school do I get a higher priority than the other 0/7 folks in my cohort, not in the neighborhood?

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  27. someone earlier made the comment about the 0-7 cohorts being small this year (I'm looking at the K level). looking at the 2009 document, there were over 650 in the 0-7 cohorts...compared to roughly 450 in this year's. perhaps the assignment system is working out better...or parents are putting wider range of school choices in round 1 and getting 1 of their choices. what does that mean for round 2 0-7 cohorts this year, hard to say :P less competition possibly between the 0-7 cohorts this year...but also possibly less opened spots than last year as a result of less movement than in the past (i.e. less students dropping their round 1 assignment). another interesting note for this year...there were over 900 from round 1 who went 0-7...but only about half that submitted a round 2 wait pool choice. where did the other half go to? private school?

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  28. "When they increased class sizes last year, they added spots in kindergarten classes. It's easy for them to do this in kindergarten."

    No matter what, if class sizes increase, it is at the expense of a teacher/classroom somewhere -- whether at the same school or at a another. That is entirely the point. There will not be more seats.

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  29. Why aren't we allowed to see how many people registered for their assigned spots? It would help make the decision process a tiny bit more informed. I called the school we're waitpooled for to find out if everyone registered for their spots, they gave me a vague answer that sounded as if there might be a spot available, but when I pressed for more details, said that a memo had gone out saying not to tell. Why? I was also told that I could have the principal call me. I am reluctant to take up the principal's time with my question.

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  30. In answer to the question about waitpooling your neighbourhood school:

    When Round II is run, I understand that within the cohorts the system will use the same logic as used for Round 1. So, if you list your attendance area school as your waitpool choice, then it could possibly help. It completely depends on who else is in your cohort, what diversity criteria the system is trying to fill and how many of the other people in your cohort are also in the attendance area.

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  31. Same question as 2:03pm. Is there any way to know how many spots are even open at any of the elementary schools at the moment?

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  32. We are on the waitlist for MCDS for 6th grade. Does anyone have any knowledge if there is typically movement at this point? They have had an unusual year with more applicants than ever and zero rejections, thus no need to move to waitlist at this point unless someone moves or changes their mind. Is there any hope for us? We really want our child to go there and want to hold on to some hope that it could work out, but also believe that it probably doesn't look good at this point, even though the admissions committee have sounded favorable toward us.

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  33. We are on the waitlist for MCDS for 6th grade. Does anyone have any knowledge if there is typically movement at this point? They have had an unusual year with more applicants than ever and zero rejections, thus no need to move to waitlist at this point unless someone moves or changes their mind. Is there any hope for us? We really want our child to go there and want to hold on to some hope that it could work out, but also believe that it probably doesn't look good at this point, even though the admissions committee have sounded favorable toward us.

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  34. @ 2:03pm: as I understand it, people had until 3/26 to register at their Round 1 assignment. Anybody that didn't do that, their assignment is cancelled...and that spot is then considered "open". Between 3/26 and up to when the Round 2 offers are made (April 30th), the Placement Center is gathering information from each school in terms of actual openings. I think each school actually makes calls to each individual who were assigned to their school but have not responded in some way (we got a call at home), so that nobody gets dropped due to unusual circumstances. So it's possible that not every school has completed their follow up still as of today. This would be an ongoing thing for another week or two. My guess is that by the 3rd week in April, each school should know with a fair amount of accuracy how many openings they have left...but whether they'll divulge that, not sure. Anyways, by then, it's too late to change the wait pool choice :P It's a moving target trying to nail down that crucial information to make an informed choice by this Friday unfortunatley. Best of luck to you.

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  35. Does anyone know how many seats are being held for Cantonese speakers at DeAvila?

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  36. @ 3:20pm: not sure how many seats...the thing to keep in mind though is that the school's goal/purpose is to have dual immersion. if there's a low ratio of Cantonese speaking students enrolled, I'm not sure if they would release ALL of the seats they can't fill to the English speaking students because that may defeat the original idea of dual immersion. Hope that makes sense...which means, I wouldn't hold out hope that every seat they can't fill (with Cantonese speaking students) to be reallocated to English speaking students.

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  37. I can't find the link "Waiting Pool Cohorts April 5, 2010 "....what am I missing?

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  38. here you go :)

    http://portal.sfusd.edu/data/epc/WP_Cohorts%20FOR%20WEB%20%204_5_10.pdf

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  39. here you go :)

    http://portal.sfusd.edu/data/epc/WP_Cohorts%20FOR%20WEB%20%204_5_10.pdf

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  40. 1:24 p.m. here, do they go through the entire 0/7 cohort on the waitpool before they look outside for diversity?

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  41. @ 3:50 - the approved hardship and siblings have first priority...but those are very few cases. After that, they look at the 0/7 cohort group. Within that group, there may be other factors (like neighborhood)...it's up to the diversity index (DI) to assign a profile to each prospect student within the 0/7 cohort...and then I think each profile is compared to the school requested and that school's profile (of existing students). all this is still happening within the 0/7 cohort. If there's still space available at a school and all the 0/7 cohorts have been reviewed and given a space, then the system moves on to the next group, the the Round 1 No Choice received (people who listed LESS than 7 choices on their Round 1 requests AND got none of their choices).

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  42. Thanks for the link....wish they added a column for target language cohort.....as nebulous as all that business is.

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  43. 9:46 and 9:58: We were in the wait pool for Feinstien through the entire process last year. There was very little movement until the first week of school. We were offered a spot on the third day of school and turned it down. One of our friends got into Rooftop during the first week of school. Another into Clarendon during week two. There is movement if you wait it out.

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  44. Can I ask a dumb question? If there's no waitpool for a specific school for a specific grade, does that mean that there are definitely openings for that grade that may be filled by Round II? Or is it also possible that the school's grade is perfectly filled up, and thus that, even though there's no waitlist, there's no openings for Round II either? I'm confused.

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  45. 4:08 - That is interesting that you said your friends got into Rooftop. The list published by EPC says that there was no movement off the waitlist at Rooftop. I wonder if the list is wrong or has some errors.

    btw - why did you turn down your spot?

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  46. Why do people like McKinley so much more than Harvey Milk? We LOVED the latter, didn't care for the former, and are thrilled it has a much smaller waitpool!

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  47. Does anyone have any idea how many medical or hardship appeals are usually approved? I know that the decisions on this years appeals won't be known until April 30th, so won't help for any decision making this week, but it would be interesting to know.

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  48. We found Harvey Milk lacking in languages (compared to McKinley starting Spanish in K and having an after-school Spanish or Mandarin option), we loved the principal at McKinley and thought she was extremely experienced, we liked the PTA and were more impressed with fund-raising capabilities than at Milk. For many, the location of McKinley is better - near the 22, 24, and the N Judah and J church. The social justice part of Milk was very appealing, but I was disappointed about some of the "harder-core" elements - from an equality perspective, for example, they don't let kids bring cookies to share on their birthdays b/c not every kid is from a family who is well-off enough to provide cookies, etc. The one great thing about Milk from our perspective was start time - late at 9:30 - and the 7:50 start at McKinley is harder for us but doable. The other thing I thought I heard is that Milk might lose some grants, though I am not positive about that. I do think parents at McKinley (since they've been building up for awhile) are more capable of covering gaps. I would love to know if

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  49. Does anyone know which schools have adopted the Renzulli learning system? I know Claire Lillenthal, Peabody and West Portal have but their waitlists don't look so great. If you have feedback on the sysem, would also love to hear it. Thanks.

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  50. 4:19: We decided to stay in the Mandarin Immersion program at Jose Ortega. We really liked the vibe and smallness of the school and it seemed like the right fit for our daughter.

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  51. "Why aren't we allowed to see how many people registered for their assigned spots?"

    Keep in mind that this number might be somewhat misleading, even if you had it, because people who registered could be in the wait pools for other schools. If someone is registered for school A but gets into school B in round 2, the spot in school A is automatically freed up for someone who wants it.

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  52. Starr King MI is using Renzulli learning system. I don't know if it will continue into next year.

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  53. What is Renzulli?

    BTW: I was very excited about McKinley's Spanish-language element and made a point of sitting in and observing in the class. It was *VERY* disappointing. I taught French and Spanish to children and teens before having kids and the teacher I saw was *very* inexperienced, using more English than Spanish with the kids (as opposed to using gestures, pointing, etc and trying to use mostly the target language, which is a best practice.) As an educator with training and experience in the teaching of languages, I can say that she was downright *awful*.

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  54. McKinley's Spanish-language element has no funding for this coming year as we understand it unless the PTA steps in and it's unclear if that will happen

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  55. Spanish program or not - McKinley is great school and I am thrilled for (and a little jealous of) the families that were assigned to there.

    When I toured, it really seamed like a great community.

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  56. All these schools with higher waitpools than past years-- like Sunnyside, Revere and McKinley-- just make me chuckle. I mean, I'm glad that those schools are getting attention, but they are no where the level that other less popular schools are.

    Yick Wo has only two people on the wait list. Hard to believe people on this list are in such agony, when they could just put this school on the waitpool and enjoy life.

    Yick Wo is awesome, has super high scores and a very diverse (i.e. whiter than average) student population. Sorry to bring the race issue up, but how else do you explain Miraloma and Clarendon's outrageously long waitpools? It's a white thing, and it's a reality.

    Did anybody on this board tour Yick Wo? If you did, how could you not put it on your list?

    And Revere has 9. Revere? Sorry to vent, but come on. Revere? You'd send your kid to Revere before you'd drive 15 minutes or put him on a bus to Yick Wo?

    You'd attend Revere instead of maybe just moving to North Beach/Russian Hill and going to Yick Wo? Why?

    Yick Wo kids get into the GATE track once they move on to middle schools and high schools. Many of our kids end up at those schmancy schools like Urban and University and St Ignatius.

    YW has test scores 20 points higher than Miraloma.

    Why are people putting themselves through hell?

    Please don't misunderstand. I love that all these schools are transforming and that parents are really doing a great job improving the public schools. We have great public schools in this town. I just hate to see all you guys go nuts over this awful process, end up moving out of the city, than just name a great school and enjoy it.

    Stop the insanity.

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  57. 5:28 am - Have you even read the comments? People have discussed Yick Wo on this thread. Yes it is a great school but

    #1. It has a waitlist, and
    #2. It had NO movement from its waitlist last year (according to EPC's document)

    So NO - you don't just put it down on your list and enjoy life.

    I found your comment about Sunnyside and McKinley patronizing and your comments about Revere to be obnoxious. Families are choosing Sunnyside, McKinley and Revere because they are good schools in their neighborhoods and (in the case of Revere), they offer immersion.

    Also - Sunnyside, McKinley and Revere all had good waitlist movement last year - Yick Wo did not.

    Your comment about just moving to Russian Hill/North Beach is ridiculous. oh sure - we are going to pack up our entire family and move to one of the most dense communities in SF and try to find an overpriced shitty apartment or a condo with no parking. Give me a break.

    btw - Do you really think that school busses from the south to Yick Wo will withstand budget cuts?

    Also - Once you are identified as GATE in any elementary school, you continue on that path in middle. There is nothing special about Yick Wo's GATE identification system

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  58. We are a McKinley family. I agree about the after care language program. Our child is in the Mandarin. It is fabulous. My child comes home everyday with new words and is teaching my husband and I. Neither of us speak Mandarin. The teacher is wonderful and is always giving the kids things like fans and chopsticks to encourage their enjoyment of the culture. In addition, I have a friend with a child in Miraloma and that child speaks less Mandarin than mine despite being in older and having more time in Miraloma's program.

    I also agree with the thoughts on the wonderful Principal. Principal Fong is a gem. She is always on hand and makes a huge effort to get to know the kids and the families. She also is very willing to work with families to ensure the school has the best programs to offer. That is why we have both the Spanish and Mandarin after care language programs.

    Also the PTA is fabulous. Not only are they great at fund raising but the family involvement is stellar. I've never seen a group of more involved parents and even grandparents. The kids are really happy.
    Also as the over protective Mother, I love the upper yard where the smaller (K and first graders) are segregated for recess. This way they are less likely to have the bigger kids bully the smaller ones.

    Lastly, the ASEPs program which is the other after care program. It is a wonderful resource for working families. I think the price is fair compared to other programs and there is a break if you have your child in one of the after care language programs. The ASEPs take the kids on field trips on alternate Fridays. The kids love it. They really do a wonderful job engaging the kids and even assist them with homework.

    There is so much to love about McKinley. We were thrilled to get into that school as our first round last year. We are even happier now with our choice after being there this year.

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  59. 5:28 ..yep, toured Yick Wo. There is a reason it is not on the list, in addition to the no waitlist movement. It seemed chaotic and cold to me, the classrooms get little direct sunlight and it starts at 9:30 a.m. with no before care and no on site after care. The last two for me put the school off the list for sure. The 3:30 p.m. ending time is awful, it precludes after school sports and other enrichment programs that usually start at 3 p.m. The lack of onsite care is also ridiculous for a school that ends at 3:30 p.m. So, your kindergartener gets on a bus and gets to the afterschool destingation at 4:00 p.m. to be picked up...in what an hour? The 9:30 a.m. start time is also equally ridiculous for anyone who works (and no, we are not on a bus route). If you are SAH and live in North Beach or Russian Hill or China Town, but for the rest of us, this school is not a viable option.

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  60. 04-06-10 3:20 PM
    On the same note, I can't see that SFUSD would allow a K class to be 10 or 15 students only (while keeping the other seats available for ELL).

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  61. what do people make of de Avila's huge wait list? is the idea that the school really is so great or is it mainly that it is a possible option to get SOME immersion?

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  62. Oops..forgot to add, there are only 15 kids in the whole school GATE identified according to Yick Wo's academic profile...that is hardly a ringing endorsement.

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  63. "I guess for the high profile schools (Clarendon, Grattan, Lilienthal, Miraloma & Rooftop), those parents that went 0-7 are hoping for a bit of a miracle in round 2"

    Occasionally a trophy, like e.g. Clarendon has added a 'bubble' class, which has been major win for those on the waitpoool/R2.

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  64. For those of you making comments about the number of GATE-identified kids in various elementary schools, please note that the whole issue of GATE identification is very complicated. Just because a school only has 15 GATE kids does not mean that there are only 15 smart kids. But it does mean that the school's administration gives out GATE identification very stingily -- and that can be a problem as a few middle schools (like, for example, Roosevelt, but not Hoover or Giannini or Lick) require GATE identification in order for a kid to do honors classes. This is quite a controversial issue for those of us with kids well into the elementary school years -- some elementary schools have 45% plus of the upper grades GATE identified, while some, like apparently Yick Wo, have few. It really doesn't matter AT ALL in elementary school, but it can matter in middle school, again depending on the criteria the particular middle school employs for deciding whether someone gets into honors.

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  65. I wonder why Sloat's numbers are so low? Anyone know why?

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  66. 5:28 here. I did in fact read all the posts about Yick Wo.

    I'm not sure it's accurate that YW didn't have movement last year. I know of two families that got in off the waitlist. There is so much crazy movement in August, the lists don't reflect it.

    The year before, there were 9 people on the list, and all got in. I was one of them.

    The point is, the waitpool numbers inform us of which school is "hot" and getting all the action. It escapes me that a school like Yick Wo with high test scores, an ideal fantasy setting, a mix of kids that looks like SF, great teachers etc... why didn't it get the same kind of numbers?

    Maybe it's just the location, in Russian Hill/North Beach. Or the 930 start time. I don't know. Parents in the southeast or western neighborhoods think this part of town is out of the way. I'm just saying that even if you live in the Mission or Noe, as I did the first two years, it's just a 15 minute drive, or a quick bus ride.

    And had you put this school or several others on your list, the odds are you wouldn't be far from your goal. Or Yehall Chin, which has even higher test scores.

    I think it is helpful to point this out, if a family puts their name on the waitlist and gets in. That's my hope.

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  67. "Does anyone know how many seats are being held for Cantonese speakers at DeAvila?"

    My guess would be almost none. I'd expect that the Cantonese speaker slots all got filled in R1. There's no shortage of Cantonese speakers in SF.

    "what do people make of de Avila's huge wait list? is the idea that the school really is so great or is it mainly that it is a possible option to get SOME immersion?"

    It's siphoning off demand from AFY and West Portal Cantonese Immersion programs. The waitpool for AFY this time last year was 64: this year it's 36. Similarly, applications to AFY in R1 were down 20-25%.

    Also, I think some of the Cantonese bilingual programs have been closed down at other schools (IIRC, Jose Ortega is closing theirs), so you'd expect kids that would have went Cantonese bilingual to shift to Cantonese Immersion programs.

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  68. 9:11 a.m. thanks for sharing your experience, do you or anyone know why Yick Wo is an alternative schoool? This will matter going forward (I think) whether it will get city wide or neighborhood assignments and I am not sure how that plays into middle school. One concern I have with the school and the new system is that it will feed to Francisco as opposed to a different Middle School.

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  69. Like many of you, we are a family that went 0/7 in Round 1. I wrote a blog post about the SFUSD Student Assignment System and my personal experiences with it. It's called, "Losing the Lottery." I think that the post might be of interest to parents and teachers who use this site (although the post is intended for a national audience).

    http://devstu.org/blogs/2010/03/23/losing-the-lottery

    FYI: I cross-posted this comment on two other threads last month.

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  70. "Maybe it's just the location, in Russian Hill/North Beach...Parents in the southeast or western neighborhoods think this part of town is out of the way."

    Your tone implies that the people in these neighborhoods are mistaken. Even if the logistics of getting a child to school from west of Twin Peaks to North Beach weren't an obstacle (a HUUUUGE if, speaking as a working parent who lives in West Portal), keep in mind that there are also evening and weekend events at schools. My child's school (which we love) is a 10-15 minute drive from our house. It's convenient during the week, b/c my husband drops him off on his way to work on the peninsula. But there are so many weekend and evening events to attend as well. The drive isn't bad, but it's definitely something to consider. I can't imagine driving clear across town to North Beach a few times a month for fundraisers, back-to-school nights, etc.

    I'm sure Yick Wo is a lovely school, but just because people on this list aren't shooting for it doesn't mean they are crazy, as you seem to suggest.

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  71. I guess for the high profile schools (Clarendon, Grattan, Lilienthal, Miraloma & Rooftop), those parents that went 0-7 are hoping for a bit of a miracle in round 2?

    I think most of those families will go parochial or private unless they get an assignment to a trophy school. Maybe they'll hold their kids out for a year.

    That's why Clarendon has 40 applicants for every spot. Anybody who plans to go parochial/private has nothing to lose by applying only to trophy schools.

    That's also why there's so much movement after the school year starts, even at the trophy schools. The families who opt out of the public system (about a third of all the kids in SF) don't show up for their public assignment.

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  72. @ 9:13am: in regards to CIS, all the English speaking slots have been filled for the 3 K classes there. Though there's a lot of Cantonese speaking kids in SF, the school has been unable to fill their ratio of Cantonese speaking slots. As one who immigrated from Hong Kong and lived in Chinatown in my early years, I think it's difficult for the lower income families who are living in Chinatown, where both parents work, to have their K level children somehow get out to the Haight where CIS is. That's just one possibility on why CIS is having problems filling the target language seats. The big question (with no answer in the near future) is how many of those target language seats would be opened up to English speaking students.

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  73. Regarding CIS,

    I don't think the issue is to find Cantonese speakers. AFY has more Cantonese speakers students than native English speakers, and according to the parent volunteer at the tour, last year many Cantonese parents put down English as home language so the kid had better chance to get in.

    There is a culture difference. While white middle-income parents are more than willing to put in sweat equity to improve a school, Chinese generally want a proven school.

    Another issue is location. Asians are concentrated in Sunset, AFY and West Portal are easier to commute from Sunset. CIS is a little far.

    CIS was completely new and unproven last year. It couldn't fill the Cantonese speaker spots. That does not mean they cannot fill them this year. We don't know. Even if only 25% of all R1 applicants are Cantonese speakers, that's enough to fill the 39 spots for Cantonese speakers.

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  74. 8:21am, did you talk to any parents at Yick Wo? Or kids? Or teachers? The playground is bathed in sunlight the whole day. There are numerous field trips, the building is clean and newish. Early 80s. The parents and the kids love it. The after school program is free and easy to sign up for.

    It's a great school. Did you tour Sunnyside? That's a great up and coming school, but the facilities are nowhere near as nice.

    So yeah, you toured it. So you know more than we do, the families who attend. Got it.

    And finally, the point here is--a 15 minute car drive isn't a big deal in the 'burbs. So, why not the City?

    And sure, if I don't want to drive, I'll move to Russian Hill to save over $250,000 in private school tuition to get my two kids through 5th grade. And if other parents wouldn't, they need to talk to a good accountant.

    Most families who don't get in to a SF public school will be moving anyway. Wouldn't you rather live in Russian Hill/Telegraph Hill/North Beach than Walnut Creek or Fremont? I would.

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  75. I'm not surprised to see the crowds lining up for DeAvila CIS. It's drawing a population of engaged parents (with only kindergarten and first grade, their PTA has raised almost $100K already this year), the location by Buena Vista Park is fairly central, and it provides what's obviously going to be a high-performing alternative to John Muir for local families who get shut out of Grattan. It won't surprise me at all if DeAvila CIS turns out to be a stronger academic school than Grattan. I know it's frustrating to be shut out but it's important to bear in mind that immersion is more successful with the right balance of target language speakers to non-speakers.

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  76. Yick Wo getting some love!

    I haven't yet tried to discern the district waitpool spreadsheets, but I do know two families that got in off the waitlist last year...

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  77. Can anyone tell me where to get the historical info about how many people got in off the waitlist last year or the year before? I saw lists of how many were on the list, but not what the results were. We are hoping for Fairmount, but we did get one of the schools on our list, so I don't know how good our chances are.

    Thanks.

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  78. We live in the Haight and toured Spring Valley because our kid loves science and we heard it was a science magnet school. There was no simple bus route, and driving was infuriating. And of course you can't park there and go to work (we work downtown). You have to either pay $30 or more a day to park in a garage in the Financial District or drive back home and park and catch public transit from there. Then add in no aftercare. It's just too much time and/or money you have to devote to school transport. Yick Wo sounds like a wonderful school for people who live nearby or SAH or flex-time parents, but like most northeast schools, if you don't live nearby or on an SFUSD bus line, it's a huge challenge for families where the parents work full time.

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  79. 9:07 I have been wondering the same thing about Sloat myself. It's a great school with solid scores and has seemed to have just fallen off the radar of many people. We're thrilled to be going there in the Fall, I'm just surprised more people aren't knocking at the door :)

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  80. sorry, I'm still confused. Is the general consensus that DeAvila has filled their Cantonese spots or that they haven't but that no more English speakers will get spots. Isn't AFY a one way immersion and it works fine? It would seem crazy to leave open spots when people are dying to get in.

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  81. I am also surprised to see that Lafayette has few people in the wait pool. Perhaps the early start time and distance from the center of town scares people away? I would think it's a solid choice for Round 2.

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  82. @ 10:25am: CIS has filled their quota of English speaking slots (look through this blog for an earlier post regarding a "mini lottery") as of Round 1. I heard this from the placement director himself. Now if someone gave up their spot, we don't know. So going into Round 2, the only slots that are definitely open are Cantonese speaking slots (plus again, any spots that may have opened up as a result of any drops). So anyone putting CIS as their wait pool choice are hoping for either for a drop from the previous round...or...some of the spots get reallocated to English speaking students...but from what I heard, that decision wouldn't happen until June at the earliest, if a family can wait that long and no guarantees either...kind of scary to me.

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  83. 10:25,

    As I understand, AFY and West Portal are same as CIS, they aim for 1/3 native, 1/3 bilingual, 1/3 English (or half-and-half, with 1/3 minimum for native and English speakers)

    Last year at AFY, a lot of Cantonese speakers put English as home language. As the result, majority of the class are native speakers.

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  84. 10:56 AM: That's wrong. Alice Fong Yu is the only "one-way immersion" program in the district. They expect that all the kids are English proficient. (Looking at the ELL data shows that that's not true, but it's the goal.) CIS/DeAvila and West Portal Chinese are both "two-way immersion" so they strive for a third-third-third model (or so they say; the info on these programs seems to change in undocumented ways every year).

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  85. Here is the link for how many got in off the waitpools in 2009. It's the far right column.
    http://portal.sfusd.edu/data/epc/WP_Historical%2009-10%20Update.pdf
    Some here have said they had friends who got in a school, where the SFUSD has zero. I wonder if those kids were enrolled in private schools and then got a call after Sept. when a spot opened up. I know there are no transfers w/in SFUSD after a certain point, but they will let kids from other schools come in. It's a good arguement for doing a private K. You will still have a chance to get into a public when the other SFUSD kids are frozen in the current school.

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  86. Help--I'm having a moment of panic.

    So I'm 0/7. I put my first choice school as Round 2 and my 2nd choice as the waitpool.

    Assuming I didn't get my first choice in round 2, does it automatically become my waitpool choice?

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  87. 12:28

    Nice post! Always keep hole alive!

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  88. 12:31, no your waitpool school doesn't automatically change. But don't panic. You can change your waitpool school before April 9, this Friday. Just go to EPC.

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  89. I'm surprised Sloat has so few on the waitpool too. Someone else posted on the other string about it. Seems like a good option for 0/7's on the SW side of town. There might even be spaces available in R2 after the 4 people from the waitpool get a spot. Crazy!

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  90. I love it that you can change your waitpool school until Friday. How would anyone know this if they weren't reading this blog? Seriously....

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  91. 1:01 - you would be watching the SFUSD EPC website instead of spending time on SF K Files. They do list all the info there, including the dates for the next rounds.

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  92. Thanks! And I do check www.sfusd.edu frequently. Turns out there is nothing in the "key dates" section that mentions that you can change your waitpool school until April 16. Should I be looking somewhere else?

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  93. It's on the link "Key Dates for Wait Pool"
    http://portal.sfusd.edu/data/epc/WP%20Key%20Dates.pdf

    I agree there is a lot of info on their site and some of it is buried pretty deep.

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  94. Here is the link for the Medical and Hardship appeals from last year. For K, there were 3 approved medical appeals and 34 family hardship appeals approved. West Portal had the most with 8 approved appeals b/w their two programs.

    http://portal.sfusd.edu/data/epc/WP_Cohorts_5_1_09.pdf

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  95. 9:51 am

    I live in the Haight, but don't want Chinese immersion program for my kid, so it isn't an alternative for everyone in the Haight. My heart was set on Grattan, but we have been assigned to Muir.

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  96. 2:11, have you looked at New Traditions? It's sort of near you and a cute little school. We toured and liked it. But ended up moving across town so didn't list it. We have friends there that like it alot. And, there is only 1 person on the wait list. I hope you at least put it on your Round 2 list. Perhaps you could get assigned there in Round 2, then stay on the Waitpool for Grattan thru the Summer. Good luck to you.

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  97. Second the New Traditions call. It's just across the Panhandle from the Haight, on Grove.

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  98. @2:11,
    We ultimately decided against DeAvila too. I was not comfortable with all the homework being in a language I don't know, and had a hard time imagining our slow reader being comfortable with a second language. We only put it as filler on our Round 2 list for first grade last year and were surprised to get it. We expected New Traditions, which had no wait pool for grade 1 and whose classes did not seem 100% enrolled, but did not get it. (So a lesson: Don't assume that just because a school shows no wait pool after Round 1, that you will get it in Round 2.) This year we got New Traditions for grade 2 in Round 1, but I have mixed feelings about it. They are having an art show/breakfast/rummage sale April 17 which we plan to attend to get a better sense of things. It's very convenient and the PTA parent I met was delightful, but I don't have an "oh, wow, this is great" kind of feeling about it yet. I wish more families with kids at the school would post about it.

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  99. You should contact PPS and ask to speak to a parent ambassador. THat might help put your mind at ease. We know two families that go there and love it. One family chose it over an "elite" private b/c they wanted to walk to school w/their neighbors. The school doesn't get a lot of buzz so you don't hear much about it and it's small.

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  100. I'm still confused about attendance area and waitpools. Within a cohort (for example, 0/7), do people within an attendance area get preference on the waitpool for that school? Answers or links to answers would be greatly appreciated.

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  101. For people who didn't realize there was a chance to change waitpools this week - did you go to the EPC info session? They handed out a schedule with all the dates of each waitpool run. It's probably on the website, too.

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  102. " AFY has more Cantonese speakers students than native English speakers,"

    Nah, AFY has about 24% ELLs. A higher percentage speak Cantonese (or some other dialect of Chinese) and English at home. From my observations as a kinder parent there, the number of kids in the current kinder who are Cantonese-dominant is maybe 10-15%, and its probably lower in upper grades (as the %age of Asian families is higher in this current kinder year than other years).

    "and according to the parent volunteer at the tour, last year many Cantonese parents put down English as home language so the kid had better chance to get in."

    That may be a myth floating around the Cantonese-speaking community, based on way back when AFY was not supposed to admit ELLs (because of concerns in the early days of immersion education that ELLs wouldn't get sufficient exposure to English in an immersion program).

    But based on the percentages of ELLs currently, they'd have been better off putting Cantonese as the home language.

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  103. re: the increased class size - The presenter at our Round II counseling session specifically said that the EPC was going to add class seats for Kindergarten, but combine classes in the upper grades to cut teachers. Bad news for upper grades, good news for those of us trying to get into more competitive schools off the waitlist. She also said that she was hopeful that the district and union would agree on class size before April 30 so that extra seats could be given out during the Round II run.

    I have also heard from neighbors that the published lists of earlier years waitpools cut off at the first day of school. Really, the most movement on those waitpools is after the 10 day count. Maybe I'm just an eternal optimist, but I think there is still a lot of potential out there for people willing to stick it out (and willing to lose a lot more sleep, of course.)

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  104. i agree with 10:02 - honestly at our Rooftop and Clarendon tours, it seemed like SO many families got in off the waitlists at some point or other. why they won't post updated wait lists that show really what happens is beyond me.

    that said, when i was at EPC, they said wait pools would close this year august 30. so if you don't get in between aug 15 and aug 30 (during the first two weeks of school) you're out of luck. that's good for anyone at catholic or private schools who want the spot, especially b/c SFUSD wants these folks in the system to get the funds.

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  105. RE Yick Wo, I toured and liked it but it didn't rate on my 'love it' list because it doesn't have the fundraising some other schools have or as much parent involvement. If that doesn't bother you, I would also recommend Jean Parker. One of the best principals I've met, nice kids and good test scores. Only a few blocks from Yick Wo.

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  106. For Bernal families: A bus to Yick Wo leaves from Paul Revere school. [Although it's an hour ride for them.]

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  107. 7:52 - For Bernal families: A bus to Yick Wo leaves from Paul Revere school. [Although it's an hour ride for them.]

    I can't imagine this will continue due to budget cuts?

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  108. I am thinking of changing my waitpool to Claire Lilenthal even though the odds are horrible. I am very concerned about middle school and this feeder idea from the elementary schools. My less popular (not by so much) waitpool school, Sherman, likely feeds into Marina middle school - not exactly one that I would currently consider. Does anyone else worry about this?

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  109. 8:27 a.m., I totally agree that relying on a bus for a school that starts at 9:30 a.m. with the new school system in place is a bit irresponsible. The buses are likely on the chopping block with everyone going to their "neighborhood" assignment first.

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  110. Anybody know about class-size increases for first grade?

    Or will first grade classes combine with second?

    I'm really hoping to get the benefit of the amended choices during the second round-- or at least get something before the 5-day count.

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  111. If you have some sort of back-up, private or a public you can live with, then go ahead and change your waitpool to Claire Lillenthal. But I am not worried about the Middle School feeder. The system changes next year. If all the kids from Sherman get fed into Marina, starting in 2011/2012, I bet Marina will change alot b/f you kid goes there in 2017/18. That's 7 years from now. I would be more worried about K for next year.

    Last year 4 kids got in CL off the waitpool by Sept. This year there are 39 0/7 kids in the pool (GE). You have a have a 10% chance of getting in. At Sherman, 9 off waitpool by Sept. Currently 18 0/7s, so you have a 50% chance of getting in. I'd stick with Sherman.

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  112. Hi to 9:19am.

    I think your kindergarten waitpool choices should be totally based on what elementary school you want - with some realism thrown in there too - make sure that you are at least aware of the waitpool numbers and the likliehood of your actually getting a spot.

    It it too hard to try and second-guess what the middle schools will look like in 6 years time. The change in the system will possibly completely change the middle schools by the time our kindergartners get there, and one that isn't considered so great now could look wonderful in 6 years time. You just don't know.

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  113. 9:19 am -- I would also suggest that, right now, Marina Middle is a great school. Our kid is going to be applying to middle schools next year, but we toured them this year to get an idea. Marina was very high on our list. I wonder if maybe you are relying on what people said about the school from experiences years ago, because, five or six years ago, I do think there were definite issues at that school. But now it has definitely turned around, and I would agree with the other commenters that six years of a more neighborhood-centric assignment system are only going to improve it.

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  114. I noticed that the historical information about getting off wait pools seems to only be about K and 6th grades -- is there information anywhere else at SFUSD about getting for other grades like third and fifth? Anecdotal information would also help. We are trying to decide whether to list Lakeshore as a waitpool for those grades. Is Lakeshore easier to get into for upper grades. Any help would be appreciated!

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  115. Check this out. On SFUSD website today.

    RESIDENCY FRAUD REPORTING


    Students must reside in San Francisco County to attend an SFUSD school, or must obtain an interdistrict permit from their current school district that is on file with SFUSD, if they live outside San Francisco County. 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.

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  116. 10:41, wow. That's good news. Residency fraud is so unfair to residents. I hope people will take advantage of this tips line. At the very least, it will serve as a deterrent.

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  117. Re the Yick Wo bus--it leaves Paul Revere and also stops in the Mission (Valencia and 18th, I believe). I wouldn't count on it being there in a year, but I think they will keep the buses this year, so it might be a nice benefit, but not something to count on. After that, maybe a carpool? There will still be families coming from the Bernal/Mission areas because of the previous bus service.

    Re Marina, it really has come up, and will likely continue to rise given neighborhood feeders. Aptos is an example of a school that was held in contempt 7-8 years ago by middle class parents, and now is over-subscribed. Definitely stay at Sherman if they is your preferred school anyway.

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  118. We are trying to decide whether to list Lakeshore as a waitpool for (3rd and 5th) grades. Is Lakeshore easier to get into for upper grades?


    The wait pool chart linked on the front page of the EPC website says there are no kids currently in the waitpool for 3rd or 5rd grades at Lakeshore:

    http://portal.sfusd.edu/data/epc/WP_Cohorts%20FOR%20WEB%20%204_5_10.pdf

    Lakeshore is a big school, and I'd say chances are great that at least one spot will open up in each grade.

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  119. I know at our school that has a waitlist of 12, there is a better likelihood than appears to get in. Firstly, there remained several open spots that were offered, but not claimed, right around 5. This was true despite the fact that we had a lot of #1 picks, well more than the number of spots open. Also, the number offered was based on 22 kinders per class. According to the principal, this likely will go to 24 kinders which would open 6 more spots. At our school, the school is actually planning on getting 20+ more students K- 5 to make up the budget shortfall. By my math, nearly everyone on our waitlist gets in.

    FYI, no one in our neck of the woods is talking about collapsing kindergarten classes. There is high demand for kinder classes. The demand falls off in older years in the 4- 5 grades, so any collapse of classes will likely happen at that level.

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  120. New Traditions would be an excellent waitpool choice, particularly for families in the Panhandle, Haight, Cole, and Inner Richmond. Here's why: in response to the budget crisis and increased lottery demand, the school made a choice to increase K enrollment from 34 (1.5 classes) to 63 (3 classes) and K class size will remain 21 as part of the deal. (It was and probably will still be the smallest elementary school in the district, so increasing the enrollment was a way to address the budget problems created by such a small school.) Next year's K class will remain the biggest grade as it progresses through the school, while other grades are gradually increased in size. So the small feeling of the school won't change. All of the above info was presented at a PTA meeting earlier this week with several SFUSD reps present.

    In any case, since now there are 63 K spots, there should be substantial movement on the waitlist for this great school.

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  121. Thanks, Mibb, for helping. I was panicking yesterday and went down to the school district to ask about openings for third and fifth grade. And, for the first time EVER (and I've been at this for several years), I actually got someone who really tried to help. I do also want to thank everyone who posted here. Without you all, I would not have realized that I could change my waitpool/amended choice list. I scrapped my old one and, based on what this person at the District told me, redid it yesterday. I've got my fingers crossed that this time it will work!

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  122. It is too bad New Traditions is another school with a 9:30 a.m. start time...sigh.

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  123. The late start time is a double-edged sword for us. One one hand, it makes the mornings easier, but it will make after school activities harder in the upper grades. (I don't think it matters so much for K and first.)

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  124. 10:02 and 9:33 - the proposed increase in class size will not help because they aren't adding students at schools in upper grades, just combining existing classrooms. It could help for kinder if they added seats.

    I don't think they are doing this though, schools got an amended budget this week that is budgeted for the same size classes as exist now, which is 22 for kinder. The previous budgets were done with increased class size, but there is a response to the call to keep K-3 class size the same and have more furlough days instead.

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  125. So just to clarify, today they are doing a wait pool run, but they will send the results of that run out on April 30? Does that sound right?

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  126. 1:01 pm -- Yes, that's what the very nice woman I spoke to yesterday told me. We get the results April 30th. Keep fingers crossed!

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  127. I went down today and found there is a way to put The Public Montessori on your wait list, even though it did not have an official number. This is the program that will move from Cobb.

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  128. Really, they run the lotto today? But we have until 5pm to change our waitpools. I bet they run it next week.

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  129. I wish they would post the waitpool numbers again Monday after everyone had a chance to change, but b/f they run Round 2. Just to see if my odds changed at all. Maybe some people left my crowded waitpool.

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  130. re 12:19's comment about the amended budget - Really? They aren't increasing class sizes? Great news for the education of our kids, but a bit disappointing for us relying on extra seats for the waitpool. Do you have any more concrete information? Is this definitive? Are hint as to where this info is coming from?

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  131. 8:07

    The president of my son's elementary school (Jefferson) sent this email to parents:

    "Hello Jefferson families! You raised your voice and made the district change its plan!

    Instead of increasing the number of students in grades K-3 to save $8 million, the district will work with the labor unions to save that money by increasing teacher and staff furlough days over the next two years. Mr. Tam got a letter to that effect from the district today.

    Under this new proposed plan, K-1 classes would have a maximum of 22 students, while 2-3 classes would have a maximum of 20. The district is sending out new budget allocations asap, so schools can revise their budgets accordingly. Our School Site Council will need to review this updated budget before the submission deadline of Tuesday, April 13.

    A note of caution: This is all still subject to labor negotiations and state budget changes. And no one likes the idea of teachers losing any more days of pay. However, at least the district is listening to the parents and teachers who insisted that increasing class sizes was not the answer to the budget crisis.

    Thank you to everyone who spoke out on this issue, signed a petition, called or wrote a letter to the district, or supported those who did. And please, don't stop now. We can make a difference."

    So it seems the district is going to try to keep class sizes lower, subject to 1) labor negotiations and 2) further state cuts to the education budget.

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  132. How, exactly, do you furlough teachers without furloughing school days or hours? Or do the kids take care of themselves during these periods?

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  133. ^ No, we, the parents are supposed to take care of our kids during those hours. For working parents, it is in effect another tax--we either take time off work or pay for childcare. So the teachers lose pay, the kids lose education hours, and the parents lose money or vacation time. That's GOP budget solutions for ya.

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  134. You furlough teachers during non-instructional days, which is effectively a pay cut. That's what they did to us at the UCs. Better than a pink slip, but crappy, deeply crappy. Staff can make it "no business as usual" with their furloughs, and the harm to the educational institution is visible. But teachers can't, so what they take from us and from the kids doesn't show. If your kid were suddenly denied several schooldays, wouldn't you be on the steps of City Hall howling in protest? Quite likely. But if they fire teachers and furlough them on professional days and so on, you are fooled into thinking there is no compromise to the educational mission.

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  135. My understanding is the furloughs will be instructional days. So there will be no school an additional 4-6 days next year.

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  136. 11:51 - well, personally i would MUCH rather hire a babysitter with my neighbors for some days and use vacation days for some days in order to keep K class sizes down. I know all of it is hard, but gosh class sizes going up so much is daunting.

    To the New Traditions families - what is hard for us about this school is not knowing where it will be. Is there a chance it goes to Cobb where the Montessori program was? I assume that is far too small. It's kind of hard not having this info.

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  137. Are there other parents in the situation where the school principal isn't set? This is the situation at Cobb Montessori (which is moving) and although the program sounds wonderful, it seems risky without knowing who will run it. The current person seems wonderful but I think her contract runs out in a couple of months and it isn't clear if there will be someone new or if the school will be lucky enough to continue with her. They don't have many spots for K and 1, but they do have a few.

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  138. 2:53 said: "For working parents, it is in effect another tax--we either take time off work or pay for childcare."

    And then 8:57 said: "well, personally i would MUCH rather hire a babysitter with my neighbors for some days and use vacation days for some days in order to keep K class sizes down."

    I agree that paying for childcare a few extra days a year is preferable to cutting class sizes, but that misses the point. We've all been deluded into thinking that tax cuts for the rich are great and tax increases for anyone are synonymous with poor fiscal management. But the fact is that by not increasing taxes to pay for vital services, the cost falls to those lower down on the economic ladder. So even though the Legislature isn't "raising our taxes" (GASP!! The horror!!!) our incomes still go down because we are paying to make up the shortfall.

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  139. "To the New Traditions families - what is hard for us about this school is not knowing where it will be. Is there a chance it goes to Cobb where the Montessori program was? I assume that is far too small. It's kind of hard not having this info."

    New Traditions has nothing to do with Cobb or the Montessori program. It has it's own building.

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  140. Curious to know how the assumption that NT is being moved anywhere, let alone to Cobb, has come from. NT is a school, not a program within another school. It has a building and property and as far as the families who go there know, nobody was planning on moving the building or the kids anywhere. Please check your info before posting it.

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  141. I wonder if the previous poster was confusing New Traditions with Creative Arts Charter, which is frequently rumored to be moving.

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  142. And so now we wait for the results of Round II. I wish you all (and us!) good luck.

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  143. Thanks to all of the great comments. We are 0/7 and changed our wait list to Yick Wo and have our fingers crossed. Though, the 9:30 a.m. start time may cause us to lose one of our jobs...sadly. I really wish all of these 9:30 a.m. schools had before school care. Afterschool care is so much easier to find!! I cannot in good conscience leave my 4 yo on the playground unsuporvisied at 9 a.m. (no bus service unlike the lucky folks in Bernal). So, we face the loss of a good school vs. a job....we are heart broken but our kid wins out! Best wishes.

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  144. 6:22, I guess it's early as you don't (hopefully, yet) have an offer to Yick Wo. I hope you get it! That said, have you checked out what other parents do? Or what kind of supervision is available on the yard starting at 9am? Maybe a car pool or collective supervision (each family takes 1 day/week for the kinders in the morning, and keeps an eye out for them). My own experience--my youngest is in 5th grade now--is that the kids grow so quickly, and adapt to elementary school life, and it may soon be okay to leave them there as long as there is a teacher on the yard to deal with anything unusual. The other thing would be to try to work out a flex schedule with your boss (if that is possible).

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  145. If you get an approved appeal, does the letter get sent April 30 with the other Round 2 offers, or are you notified earlier? Anybody know?

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  146. The person I talked with at the EPC said that the letter informing you as to whether or not your appeal was approved would be sent out April 30th. So, you would find out about your appeal status at the same time you get your Round 2 results.

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  147. A friend who is a parent at Peabody said they have 10 kids who did not register. I think their waitlist is longer than that, but still 10!

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  148. We put Peabody down as our waitpool school. I loved the school and the logistics (start time, location) work great for us. Oh my gosh - if there are 10 slots open for round 2 that gives us much better odds than I had hoped for. We are sitting there in that 0/7 cohort.

    11:01pm - thanks for posting and I hope your friends information is accurate!

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  149. Peabody has 15 people in the 0/7 cohort. If 10 get off waitlist (and there are no approved appeals), that means you have a 67% chance of getting in. That's pretty good odds. Good Luck!

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  150. re: New Traditions being targeted for closure, there are emails going around the Parents for Public Schools list serve about this too. Something like the school doesn't have enought space. NT parents, please fill us in.

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  151. 11:01 - As a parent in the Peabody wait pool, I certainly hope that your friends' info is accurate, but that number seems really high. Could it be that your friend was referring to the stats. from last year? According to the waitpool info from last year, but Sept. 2009, 10 people got into Peabody from the wait pool. Just a coincidence that the numbers are the same?

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  152. We're not at NT yet but are admitted and have heard a lot about the size of the school since we enrolled. My understanding is that the school has historically been under-populated. If I understand correctly, there are certain fixed costs associated with running a school, and if there is not enough population, you don't get enough funding tied to the number of students to cover those fixed costs plus costs driven by the number of students. A first-grade teacher's salary is what it is, whether they have 14 or 22 kids in the class, but if you only have 14 first-graders, your school gets less money to cover that salary. NT have a long-term plan in place to increase the total number of K-5 classrooms to 12 so they will have enough students to remain economically viable. There's nothing wrong with the standardized test scores and it's a very nice facility with what seems to be ample space. They're going to be moving some activities around, but there is every reason to believe that there will be adequate space for all the students they plan to add.

    BTW, even with its 9:30 start time, NT has on-site before- and after-care provided by Buchanan YMCA. It's one of the things I liked best about the school.

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  153. Carver is on lock down after gun shots near by. Any you wonder why families are not lining up for a spot?

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  154. And there was a shooting -an actual murder- one block from Jefferson a few weeks back on a Monday afternoon about 4:15 pm - you know when all the kids are hanging at the library on the corner or walking home. Funny, no snarky comments about the quality of that school!

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  155. Yikes, I would reconsider Jefferson as well.

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  156. There's crime everywhere. The average parent's concern is not whether a shooting or some other nasty thing happened at or near a school, but whether crime seems to be endemic to the area in which the school is located. There was a fatal stabbing 2 blocks from my house in the upper Haight, but I haven't put my house on the market, or stopped walking around the neighborhood alone at night. If you don't want to send your kid to a school where a crime might occur, you'd better home school.

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  157. There was a murder recently in Noe Valley (28th and Sanchez). Maybe this news will get all the folks new to Alvarado to relinquish their spots there and free them up for the rest of us who are so uncaring as to send our children into a killing zone....

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  158. That was actually much closer to Fairmount than Alvarado, so maybe you can hold out for an immersion spot there instead.

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