Sunday, May 30, 2010

Hot topic: Another round of letters

Please feel free to share your news if you received a letter from the district.

58 comments:

  1. My twin girls got into SF Public Montessori. Very glad to be done with all this.

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  2. EPC website says that they will fill CIS spots previously reserved for native speakers to English speakers starting May 28. But a friend of mine talked to EPC and they said they didn't do that because they didn't need to (there were enough native speakers to fill these spots). I'm thinking that maybe the Catonese speakers decided to choose CIS over their round 2 assignments.

    Regardless, can anyone confirm this? Did this happen in any of other Spanish Immersion schools?

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  3. EPC offered 13 out of 22 seats to native Chinese speakers. Most of those spots were filled in Rounds 1 and 2. There are still some spots available and were released in Round 3 to English only speaking families.

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  4. I went down to Open Enrollment this morning (4:40am and I was 12th in line) No luck. Nothing worth getting had a spot ... even the first person in line (1am arrival, I think he said) Many schools that showed no wait pool as of April 30th now have wait pools (Harvey Milk, New Traditions, Rosa Parks JBBP etc.)

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  5. The new waitpool list has been posted.

    http://portal.sfusd.edu/data/epc/WP_Cohorts_5_28_10.pdf

    Do spots ever open up over the summer or should I just sit tight for mid-August?

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  6. The waitpools are now posted.

    http://portal.sfusd.edu/data/epc/WP_Cohorts_5_28_10.pdf

    2 less people in my waitpool - yippee!

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  7. I'm fully prepared to start school and then switch to our WP school. I really don't think we'll get a space there unless it is after school starts. We are 1/7 co-hort b/c we put a safety school on our Round I list (should NOT have done that). So we'll start there and keep our fingers crossed for our WP school.

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  8. My goodness! There are 10 more people adding to my waitinglist. Sigh!

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  9. Sloat WP went from 4 to 10. From 0 0/7s to 5 0/7s. Smart peeps that waitpooled it for Round II and got it. Other notable movements. AFY went from a WP of 6 on April 30 to a WP of 36 on June 1. Can that be right? CIS stayed the same at 27. Sherman went from 23 to 30.

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  10. Yes there are openings even at the most popular schools if you wait until after school starts. People on the wait list get called and decline the offer because they've paid for private or they don't want to move their kid out of the school they've started. However, it's not guaranteed, especially if there are a lot of people on the wait list.

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  11. The first guy in line at EPC this AM got there at 11:30 PM the night before I think. It was tough because there was no list of Open Enrollment schools so you basically just had to check each school individually, and like a previous poster said, there wasn't much to choose from. I was told there were only 4 schools with Open Enrollment, but I don't think that was true, since others I spoke to had gotten a list of schools that was larger than the list my counselor gave me. In any case, there didn't seem to be any schools worth getting, unless you really had been assigned the worst of the worst and you're willing to drive all the way across town. We're basically still 0/7, even after trying about 40 of the schools that a poster on a previous thread had listed as potential open enrollment schools. Nothing nothing nothing. The hope we used to have is pretty much gone now. Very depressing :(

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  12. we STILL didn't get a letter today (tuesday). did anyone else not get one. i really don't want to have to go down to EPC to find out because what are the odds that i even got my waitpool school. seems like none. but in the off chance i did, i don't want to miss registration. ahhhh, this is so depressing, especially after seeing the waitpools.

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  13. can someone tell me--- if there are more people in a waitpool school now then before this round, does that mean that there was no movement at that school at all? or could it mean that a few people did get in and that more just put it on as their wp?

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  14. 1:12 - Yes - It could mean either of those things. Either some got or no-one got in.

    1:09 - You only get a letter in this round if you got your waitlist school. As you can tell from the posts... not too many people got a letter this round

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  15. It sounds like Sheridan may have spots in OE. It's a low income neighborhood but a very successful school--API 833, and a similar schools rank of 10. A very nice campus, too, with a real auditorium, library, computer lab, and nice classrooms. There is an afterschool program. It would not be a terrible place for a child to go to kindergarten. For anyone with a southbound commute on 280, it would be an easy drop-off.

    People are about to say--"neighborhood"!--and....yeah, it is a low-income 'hood. But there are middle class families there and the children are obviously doing well. A far sight better than nothing, I say, while sticking in the waitpool for your preferred option.

    Rachel Norton wrote about it here (with photos):

    http://rachelnorton.com/2010/03/27/a-visit-to-sheridan-elementary/

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  16. You know, I agree, that Sheridan is probably the best bet now for Open Enrollment. The funny thing is that this was the 0/7 assignment school in my neighborhood and none of us had even heard of it. We had to get out the map to find it. Sheridan's API is higher than Grattan (822), Sunnyside (812) and McKinley (810). But this just illustrates how parents choose a school for more reasons than just API, it's location, community feel, active parent group, etc. etc. But Sheridan is better than nothing and nothing is what a lot of people have right now.

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  17. We're further down in our wait pool than we were before, because another sibling was added. Were 1/7 in Round 1 because we were dumb and chose a safety school that we now realize we won't accept. Lots to discuss between now and the June 11 deadline to switch our wait pool school. Are the 10 people ahead of us all going to turn down an offer?

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  18. Does anyone know why some of the waitpools are much larger than the last list (April 30th)? The waitpool nearly doubled! Is it because looking at the last list some have switched over to schools who's lists started to dwindle?
    If this is the case, do people who have been on the wait list from the beginning have any priority over those who switched over after the April 30th date?

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  19. 3:03,

    My unscientific observation is that the more white families are in the waitpool, the more spots open up. Thus you will see more movement at Clarendon and Grattan than at Sunset or Fairmount.

    Why would this be? I think maybe because more white families have spots at private schools, or maybe are on waitlists there, but are also waiting to see what happens in the waitpool at certain very select publics (basically, the ones that look the most like the private schools in demographics) then they will consider that. But once the waitpools start moving after school starts, then they turn down the spots because they've already started at the private (and paid tuition).

    Nevertheless, these schools are gambles because their waitpools are HUGE. If you really want a spot, and you don't have the private backup, think about one with 1-3 kids in the pool. Yick Wo, Harvey Milk, Jose Ortega GE, JSerra.

    I know--it's hard to give up the dream of your waitpool.

    The other strategy is to stay in touch (weekly) with EPC in case something opens up at Ortega, Milk, Serra etc. for OE, and stay in the preferred waitpool. A little bit more risky, but with possibility of payoff of preferred school.

    Good luck

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  20. 3:03, I am in your exact situation. 1/7 b/c of that one school that we debated even putting on the list and then did and of course that's what we got! I think that all the 0/7s ahead of me in the WP will make other arrangements over the summer, private, parachial, move, etc. I'm hoping that b/c we are registered somewhere where we will start and if necessary finish K, that we'll be able to hang in there til the very end and snag a spot on the last day of the 5 day count.

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  21. Something to think about this year re: waitpool movement is that the publics start two weeks before the privates. So a parent might be more likely to take the public spot b/c they haven't yet started at the private (less disruptive, but I know they'd forfeit the tuition). Also, there might be fewer kids giving up public spots b/c they are on a waiting list and someone didn't show up at a private (I know, happens less). But still with the privates starting two weeks later, there might not be as much waitpool movement at Grattan, CL, Clarendon, etc. this year.

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  22. There may also be more shrinkage of the WPs earlier this year thanks to the EPC's decision to make people opt into the late waitpool runs. Hopefully that will catch some of the folks who know they are going private or keeping their current public assignment, but haven't told EPC yet.

    Maybe this will give people more realistic information heading into the 5-day count: if there are still 20 names on that list AFTER everyone has opted in again, then that isn't such great odds.

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  23. 3:29:

    1) Presumably there is movement on the waitpools as people make their bets. Yeah, it's frustrating to see the rush on the school you had picked out as a hidden gem....

    2) No, there is no waitpool priority for those who picked it in earlier runs. Priority is by cohort (sibling, 7nochoice, 7choice, etc.).

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  24. 3:42, very good point. Hopefully that July, "confirm your waitpool" will weed out a lot of people that have moved on. It's a total crap shoot. I think especially this year b/c of the early start for publics and the waitpool confirm thing.

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  25. It is a bummer there are no loyalty points for getting in the waitpool early and sticking with it, but yes it's true, someone can swoop in until July 23. That's the last day to change the Waitpool. The final waitpool numbers will be posted on August 6, after that it's locked down.

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  26. Good waitpool choices if I didn't have a school:

    Lafayette
    Stevenson
    Commodore Sloat
    McCoppin
    Lau
    New Traditions
    Milk
    Key
    Moscone
    Glen Park
    Jefferson

    People, it's time to get in a good waitpool, these are very very good schools!

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  27. And if you lived on the North Side of Town?

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  28. North side schools I'd look into a WP:

    Sutro
    Spring Valley
    Moscone
    Lau
    Yehall Chin
    Yick Wo

    Don't know anything about Redding or Parker.

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  29. Are you allowed to just get in a waitpool now, if you haven't been in one yet?

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  30. 7:25--yes, I believe that you are.

    Parker is a fine, highly functional school.

    Redding is a very sweet and truly diverse school that outperforms its demographics and has a wonderful and experienced teaching staff. Only drawback as far as I'm concerned is the lack of after care. Central/north location is good for anyone working downtown--wouldn't be hard to get to assemblies and events.

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  31. On the south/southwest side I'd be looking at Junipero Serra and Jose Ortega GE.

    If you are committed to language immersion and don't speak the target language, maybe look at Marshall or Fairmount, possibly Webster, over Alvarado and Buena Vista.

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  32. Funny how Rosa Parks JBBP now has a bigger waitpool (at six) than many others--and hooray for them for getting to that point--but I'd be looking at that one too for anyone on the Geary Corridor or Western Addition/NOPA area.

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  33. Hang in there everyone. We got into CL this round. Looks like the WP went down by 6. I'm thinking they could be spots from non-residents. We are very excited, and wish everyone lots of luck!!

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  34. Don't forget it is a 3-day count this year, not 5.

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  35. I suppose there might be some movement at Marshall for English speakers if people are holding spots while waiting to hear about another, more popular immersion program, but everyone who got it in Round I registered, so it seems unlikely.

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  36. Call EPC, but I don't think you can get in a Waitpool now. You had to turn your form in by March 26. Then re-confirm you still want to be in it in July.

    congrats to the person that got into CL this round. I think that is amazing. You are very lucky.

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  37. I find the whole waitlist situation now completely bizarre. And I have to vent. We are still trying to get one of our kids into an upper grade at Commodore Sloat. After "settling" ont aht school because it had so many openings in the upper grades and getting the eldest one in in round II, my second one (who now gets sibling preference and was the only one in the waitpool for that grade) is now in a waitpool of four. Yet there are other much more in-demand schools with hardly any waitpools for upper grades -- my goodness, Miraloma only has ONE kid in that waitpool for that grade!!! And someone managed to get an "approved family hardship" (whatever that is) so we have someone ahead of us in line for an open slot. There's also another sibling, so we've got a second that might get the call before us as well. I'm figuring that there'd need to be three openings before we get a call. We are starting to realize that we are going to have to juggle kids at two different schools -- I'm highly doubtful there will be that much movement for an upper grade over the summer. I went down to Open Enrollment to see if there were openings at other schools for their grades, but there were none with openings in both grades.

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  38. If you have sibling preference and you're trying to get into an upper grade, you may well get a call during the 3-day count. Most grades at most schools have a few kids move away during the summer, but the school won't know about the opening until the kid doesn't show up in August. No guarantees of course, but it seems reasonably likely.

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  39. Hang in there, the waitpools are fluid until July 23 when they get locked down. I like that you keep checking with EPC for openings at other schools for both grades. It totally sux, but I bet something works out for you.

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  40. So I just found out that they use the diversity index for the waitpool runs too! Which means, that just as in the lottery, it is not a random chance that you get chosen, but rather they go through the list of criteria to see who will get chosen next. So not only do you get no preference for getting on the list early, you also automatically go to the bottom of the list if you are white-middle class. This is so infuriating!

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  41. we still did not get anything in the mail from EPC. can someone tell me if this means that we did not get our wait pool or if it means that it got lost in the mail. in the very off chance that we did get our wp choice i just don't want to miss registration--when would you have to register if you did get it? i can't make it down to EPC until monday to find out and they won't answer the phone down there. i just don't want to miss the registration deadline. did anyone else not get a letter?

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  42. 6:59 the diversity index is not based on ethnicity...so any middle-class may be affected in certain high demand schools (I'm asian and is currently without an assignment at all for my child...and I know of 4 other asian middle-class families in the same situation).

    7:40 in the round 2 letter, it clearly states that only people who got an assignment in round 3 would get a letter. If you're still holding out hope that your letter got lost and that you got an assignment, you will need to go down to the EPC to confirm. I've finally accepted the fact that I didn't get an assignment as no letter came today.

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  43. we did not get a letter either.
    7:51- while it is true ethnicity is not a factor per se, if English is your second language, that is considered a diversity factor.

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  44. We just moved to SF and will be putting our son in 1st grade. The school we want has only 1 in the waitpool. What are the chance of us getting this spot by the time school begins? Thanks!

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  45. If you only had a crystal ball! Someone could get held back a year or move onto private or even move away...If I were in your shoes, I would stop by the EPC at least weekly to check out what other schools have space. You might get something tolerable during this time and then at least you'll have some place to sit and wait for that waitlist school. The immersion programs will let you switch in if you are a non-target language speakers in 1st so that's something to consider.

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  46. I think your chances are good, particularly if no one else joins the waitpool for first grade. My child is entering 3rd grade next year and so far every year there are at least 3 or 4 kids who move on for various reasons. Often the school doesn't know this until much closer to the beginning of the school year, or even after school starts. Your odds are good. Good Luck!

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  47. "you also automatically go to the bottom of the list if you are white-middle class"

    white has ***nothing*** to do with it.

    being middle class (not poor, that is) may have an impact. but i would guess that most people in the WP are also not poor. self-selection and opting in means the level of SES tends to be higher.

    good luck

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  48. If you are on the wait list for a school that has demand from the middle class and you are not low-SES, families that are low-SES will have priority over you in the wait pools.

    If you are the only person on the 1st grade wait list at your school, odds are probably pretty good you will get a call (unless others join the wait list) because there are almost always a few kids who don't come back in August, but the school won't know until the kids don't show up. It is stressful waiting until after school starts to get that call though.

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  49. I appreciate the comments from folks about the way the wait pool works. I'm the one who has one of two kids in C Sloat, but is now on a longer wait list for the other. I realize it is very much a moving target. But it is truly byzantine when you are trying to move two kids. K applicants need to think about this especially as they "compromise" on their first born's school. I have learned the hard way that these early decisions reverberate for years after.

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  50. 5:04, I agree. We are trying for K for our oldest of three now. If he can just get in a good school, the rest of my kids are set. But right now we are in an OK but far away school for K, waitlisting our better scoring neighborhood school. We just keep thinking that K will be alright at the OK school and we'll try again for 1st grade next year (with new SAS system which should get us closer to home), but who knows. There is so much uncertainty.

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  51. I know a family with 4 kids close in age. They had a private backup for their eldest for kindergarten a few years ago, but rode out the 10-day count and got Claire Lilienthal, the closest school to their house, in early September. Now they are set for all 4 kids through 8th grade. The private deposit and partial tuition payment they forfeited was a tiny price to pay for peace of mind while they rode out the horrors of the lottery. They are well-off but no way could afford to have all 4 kids in private at the same time. It was nerves of steel by necessity. They otherwise would have moved to Marin the summer after their eldest finished kindergarten. Something to keep in mind for larger families.

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  52. 7:45 am -- you have the right approach. I'll warn you, however, that saying you are going to try to transfer for 1st (and on and on) and actually doing it are two different thnigs. You are going to have to keep your emotions out of things to keep your plan going. Yes, your kid will make friends; and, yes, that "OK" school's K program is going to be just fine (I mean how can anyone really screw up a K class?); and yes it will sometimes appear that that "OK" school is really improving (the start of every year, I would get all positive about the school and then watch as things fell apart). To complicate matters further, SFUSD is not going to give transferees between public schools first dibs -- the real possibilities for transferring (I believe from painful experience) come in Round II and over the summer, not Round I, for intra-public school transferees. So you not only have to keep with your plan, but you are going to have to be prepared to keep going down to SFUSD and going through ALL the Rounds, with all the appended frustrations and craziness. Then, lastly, there is this crazy aspect of SFUSD -- some school's waitlists move, some don't, some do some years, some don't some years. You are reacting to the odd reactions of other parents in your odd situation. So who could figure that, for example, Miraloma has lower wait pool numbers in many upper grades right now than schools MUCH further down on the popularity scale? Go figure -- I can't. I honestly can't. Anyway, I'll let you all know if I get lucky in Round III.

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  53. We giving up a sought after public trophy school for private after much thought. I hope it helps someone else in the next round.

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  54. A couple questions:
    1. If you put a school, say Ortega, as your WP and get it, can you then WP for another school to try to "upgrade"? Or are you locked down once you get in your WP school?

    2. Speaking of locked down, what does it mean that the WPs are "locked down" on July 23rd?

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  55. 8:47: Please name the school you are releasing. It helps so much for those still waiting to hear the school name.


    7:50: Once you get your waitpool school, you are done. You can't go on and waitpool another school. The only way to get an assignment now is to sign up somewhere where there is an open spot or get your waitpool school.

    The July 23 lockdown just means that is the last day to change your waitpool school. So if you are in Clarendon now but want to change to Ortega, you can do that until July 23. But after that there are no changes.

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  56. Just a friendly reminder to all those folks still . . . waiting. I've seen postings in the past about the importance of going down to SFUSD or at least contacting them and talking about your situation on a periodic basis. Can't overemphasize the importance of doing so. I just had a really pleasant conversation at SFUSD with a counselor and got the feeling that she's really trying to help me. Maybe I'm dreaming but I've got my fingers crossed that I'm going to get good news at the end of the month.

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  57. The waitpool process has been hair-raising for us but we finally got a school we like (not a trophy). Now I'm worried because my husband may have to go overseas for a year for work (not this coming academic year, but the year after). I'd like to take the family and accompany him. Will we have to start all over if we withdraw our son from his school after kindergarten? Is there any way to hold his spot at that school until he returns for 2nd grade? Has anyone on this list done this? Thanks for any insight you can provide. I will obviously head down to the EPC for more info too.

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  58. Unfortunately you cannot hold your spot at a school if you leave the district for more than 2 weeks. We know one boy who is now attending his 3rd school b/c he lost his spot at the other 2 due to long trips back to his home country. The school may have some leeway in what they designate a "withdrawal" vs. "independent study" (and admittedly this boy is a handful, so I imagine he was quickly withdrawn after being absent for the requisite 2 weeks) but I can't see how you can possibly hold a spot for a year, sorry.

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