Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Hot topic: Next wait pool

This is a comment pulled from another post:
Friday was another waitpool change deadline. The next letters get mailed out June 30 and they should post the updated WP numbers. I'm not really expecting a letter, but do hope my WP numbers go down.

I know one family moving, saw another post here of someone giving up a trophy public for private. I sure hope there is some more movement. I'm really curious to see the WP posting on Aug. 6 right b/f school starts. That will be after they make everyone confirm they want to stay in. Hopefully that will clear a lot of people who have moved on. Fingers crossed for a K placement in 2010. Are there others out there with no school? Are you thinking about it all the time?

59 comments:

  1. I have so many friends that got their wait list school as late as September. The longer that you hold out, the better chance you have. It will work out!!

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  2. We are thinking of placing our kids in Edison Charter Academy. Sorry, but we are really tired of the endless waitlist. Totally burned out. We saw Edison recently and were impressed with the new energy of the folks now running it. (There's a post a ways down from the new head of the school with all their plans.) The school -- which is in Noe Valley -- has been through tough times, but the new managers there seem to really want to turn it around. I was impressed meeting with them. I'm a bit nervous, though, about whether enough new families are going to go to the school to really make it all that it can be. Anyone out there seriously considering it for next year? It would be great if we could get a "critical mass" of new blood into the school to really improve it!

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  3. We are waiting for an upper grade spot and as of this week have been told by EPC that there are presently no spots available for our grade. Does anyone know how/if open spots will be comminucated to EPC between now and June 30th? Is there a date when they check in with all schools for open spots or do the schools reach out when they know of openings? I am thinking school offices are closing or already closed for summer break so I am not hopeful we will get a letter on July 1st. Cuious if anyone has any insights into the process...

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  4. Based on the last 2 years' experience, if you are looking for a grade above K at a school that is now full, you can anticipate not hearing until after school starts in August. The full schools don't know who won't be coming back in August until the bodies don't show up. Very stressful waiting it out. Remember it's SFUSD, it's "free" (or so some allege). They have absolutely no interest in your convenience. If other issues in your life require you to know where you're going to school before school starts and you haven't got an acceptable spot by now, you need to move to another school district.

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  5. We recently gave up our public school spot. It seemed to me ironic that you go through hoops to verify that you live in SF and you are the kid's parent but to withdraw, they did not even ask for identification, just a scribbled note. Good luck.

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  6. why do some people say that going to the district every week is in your best interest? when i went down, there was "nothing they could do" for me! and yes... it's all i think about. I do have a school, but it's not one i chose and not one that is at all convenient. i'm considering changing my waitlist school, but am going to wait until I see that list in august.

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  7. To the family considering Edison: is the issue proximity for your family? I see several schools with openings that have strong programs and I'm curious why a charter institution with questionable track record/future would seem less of a gamble than one of the public schools with openings?

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  8. 4:46
    i too wonder about how it really helps to keep going down to epc this summer. if there are no spots available at schools you want and you're on a waitlist with more then one person then how is it even possible to get a placement this summer? i can imagine that going down there will help right at the start of school or the weeks after if you're already in a private. we have gone 0/15 and thankfully applied to a great parochial and got in. but we just can't afford it past k. i hate this system and all that it entails. not sure how next year will be any better. we're hoping that there will be spots open after the first weeks of school when we can pull out our child from the parochial. people tell me this works, but people have also told me "oh, you'll get something..." don't believe anything anymore...

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  9. I am 0/15 with no public school for K. I think that some people who are not planning to use their K spots hold onto them over the summer. I keep hearing that people decide once school starts to hold their children out for another year of preschool. I really believe that we will get a spot after school starts. We also switched our wait pool school to one with a much less crowded wait pool. The waiting is soooooo hard. I can hardly stand it so I try not to think about it or let it ruin our summer. Good luck to everyone!

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  10. fwiw i met someone yesterday whose child went to a catholic school for a bit and then got rooftop, last year! so it does happen ...

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  11. 9:41, what school did you give up a spot in? Was it a K spot?

    As for going to EPC all summer I think it's a waste of time too. EPC is making assignements/mailing letters June 30 and again August 6. Other than that, you can only get a spot thru open enrollment (i.e. there is no waitlist).

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  12. I'm obsessed by the K assignement too. We have a school that we don't want and that is far away. I just want the ok school down the street, but so do 10 other people on the waitlist!

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  13. We are waiting for an upper grade slot. I contacted the EPC office two weeks ago. Maybe this is just EPC's way of dealing with upper grade slots rather than K's, but I got the distinct impression that my calling helped. I don't know whether EPC is trying to get a sense of how serious some of the upper grade slot waiting list people are or perhaps they were just being extremely nice, but I did feel that my calling had a positive impact.

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  14. Have a missed anything this month? We are on a waiting list for CI. I thought that it was July that we'll have to assert out desire to stay on the WL. Just checking.

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  15. Yes, you re-confirm your waitpool July 1-23. EPC is making assignements on June 30 and mailing letters only if you get a placement. They will also update the waitpool numbers on the internet sit on June 30. Then the next letters will be sent on Aug. 6. I think there will be lots of placemetns made than b/c the waitpools will thin out with people that have moved or gone private and not re-confirmed their waitpool spot.

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  16. That would be so great if lots of kids get a K spot in the Aug 6 round before school opens. I'm totally willing to move my daughter the first or second week of school but I would love to avoid that upheaval if at all possible. Maybe there will be dramatically less people in the waitpools after the July affirmation process. Here's hoping.

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  17. Here's the thing I'm still concerned about...I also have no issue with moving my child from one school to another after school starts, but I don't think we have 1 or 2 weeks to do that. I think we only have five days. I've been told by EPC that after Aug 20th, there will be no transfers between SFUSD schools (except for certain hardships). If a spot opens up at a desired school (for example on Sept 1), it can be filled by someone outside of SFUSD (like still in preschool or at private) but not by transfer from another SFUSD school.

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  18. If it makes anyone feel better, we've JUST moved to SF and are, per the EPC's words, at "the bottom of the barrel." (Sigh).

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  19. 10:20 Egads, I totally feel for you. I have often wondered what families do who move into SF after the process has started. Good luck!!

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  20. 10:20 pm -- you may think you are but you are not. You represent $5000 plus in income from the state and that makes you valuable. The people at the bottom of the pile are the ones, like me, who are trying to transfer from one public school to another. We don't increase SFUSD's income, so they have little incentive to help us. And, by the way, I know a family who moved here and applied in late May/early June last year for middle school. Before school opened, they got Rooftop and are VERY happy.

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  21. You are very smart to be worried about those spots opening up after the 5 day count. Public schools kids won't be able to transfer anymore but kids from out of the district (in preschool, private, or just moved here) can. It seems totally unfair but that's how it works. And all of the stories we hear about little Sophie getting the call from Grattan three weeks after school started are b/c Sophie was doing private K somewhere.

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  22. I quit. I am not enrolling in K this year and will stay in preschool, will go for our neighborhood school for 1st grade.

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  23. So what happens if you got a crappy assignment and didn't take it. And you are waitlisted somewhere. Are you considered out of district if you haven't accepted a school? If your kid is just sitting at home waiting for an acceptable assignment? I'm confused about what happens after the 5 day count if your child is still sitting at home.

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  24. 2:00 PM:

    If you got a crappy assignment and didn't take it, and you choose to have your child sit at home, then that is exactly what will happen . . . your child will sit at home.

    We waitlisted last year into the Fall, but did not get an assignment. No one contacted us about this.

    So nothing will happen.

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  25. Are they truly dissolving the waitlist after the 5-day count? If so, then what happens if a spot opens up after that? Will they only take kids from out of district? (From pre-K, private or out of town?) This seems so unfair to anyone who has waited it out all this time-including people who keep their child home while they wait. (Like the previous poster.)

    I keep hearing (first-hand) about people at private schools getting the call from trophy schools later in the year.

    We have an acceptable assignment for K, but I feel so bad for those who don't.

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  26. PURELY anecdotal, but don't put your name in the system until after school starts. Then you are truly out of district. No incoming kindergartners participating in the lottery are out of district.

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  27. 8:04, that is not true. If you go through the lottery and take nothing. And keep you kid home, you are still out of district and can transfer in after the 5/10 day count (when kids attending a district school can no longer transfer). The district doesn't know if you have gone private, preK, etc. The just know you are not enrolled and will not be transferring from another SFUSD school.

    12:53, who quit, you're actually onto a really good strategy. You will probably get a call after school starts to fill on of the spots that open after the 5/10 day count. You will be out of district and can transfer in. Good luck!

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  28. "The district doesn't know if you have gone private, preK, etc. The just know you are not enrolled and will not be transferring from another SFUSD school."

    They do know that you turned down an assignment.

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  29. "You will probably get a call after school starts to fill on of the spots that open after the 5/10 day count."

    No, they don't call anyone after the waitpools dissolve.

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  30. We got our waitlist assignment in Round 2 and enrolled but decided that the school did not work (we stupidly changed our waitlist to a school the really does not work for us logistically) so I went down to the EPC and told them we withdrawing from the school and no longer wanted an assignment in the SFUSD. Will we be considered an out of district transfer if we try after the 5-10 day count to see if there is an opening at the school we really want? We have a backup plan but all this talk of in district and out of district placements has me thinking.

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  31. 10:18 AM

    "They do know that you turned down an assignment."

    It doesn't matter if you turned down an assignement. You are not in the district so you can transfer in to any open spot during the school year. That includes any open spots after the count.

    From the EPC page of the SFUSD website. "When a family who is new to SFUSD visits the EPC they can immediately get assigned to a school with openings. "

    "Transfers for students already enrolled in an SFUSD school are considered disruptive for students and schools and they are generally not accepted during the school year."

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  32. 10:27 "No, they don't call anyone after the waitpools dissolve."

    I personally know a family (that was in private preK, that had gone thru the lotto and declined all assignmnets) that got a call to Grattan three weeks after school had started. The district doesn't call kids that are already enrolled in an SFUSD school, they only call kids not in the system. I know it happened last year and I've heard over and over of it happening in years past. I know they say the waitpools are dissolved but the calls happened in the past. Not sure what will happen this year with the whole reconfirm you want to be in the waitpool in July and making the count 5 instead of 10 days. Sounds like they are trying to tighten up the process.

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  33. 10:53, yes, you will be considered out of district transfer. I would call them everyday/week after school starts and ask if any schools you like have openings. It's a hassle but it can save you a bunch of money in the long run.

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  34. If a school has openings I'm sure they do everything they can to get people in the door while they can still get the funding for that student.

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  35. I know a few families that were enrolled at other schools in the district that got the "call" for their dream schools so you don't necessarily need to withhold your kid to get a placement you love if you have a placement you can live with. One family in my kid's kinder class got the "call" the day before Thanksgiving for an open spot at Lafayette (which they wanted for logistical reasons) - which opened up a space at open enrollment at our school that was filled by the next week (that family was out of district). Another at Serra got the call at the 10 day count for McKinley. So it does happen. And I know a few people who have managed to secure spots in first grade after a year elsewhere.

    I do recommend checking with the EPC for waitpool movement and for schools that might work for you that have short waitlists (i.e. 1-3 kids). We had a few people in our class grab spots at our lovely but unpopular school during the summer doldrums.

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  36. I know someone last year that kept their kid out of school for a week and finally got a call for a K spot at McKinley.

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  37. At our (good but non-trophy) school, a girl in my child's K class got (and accepted) an opening at Alvarado GE after the 10-day count. It does happen.

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  38. It is no longer a 10-day count. It is no longer a 5-day count.

    It is a 3-day count this year, and this is a new policy.

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  39. I'm glad there are switching to a 3day count, because it is horribly disruptive to the class to have kids coming in and out (especially kindergarteners!), but I sincerely doubt that there will be no movement allowed after that. Unfilled seats are lost revenue for the school and the district. So for those of you who are assignmentless, head down to the EPC after school starts!!!! Your waitpool choice is only one school and there over 70+ elementary schools in this city. And do keep your eye out for schools with short wait lists. You might get a spot then.

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  40. May I ask folks who get a letter for the June 30 run to please post here? We are anxiously waiting and want to know when letters go out.

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  41. Hi,
    I'm not going to give any advice, only to say that I was totally giving up this time last year. We were 'late' (last year it was called 2nd round) and assigned to Sheridan. Sheridan is a great school, but with the principle leaving and the uncertainty of after school care, I chickened out and stayed with our private for K. I figured my son will switch schools once, for 1st grade instead of for K (he went to this school for preK). We wait-listed Sunnyside but never got a call. Last year was very booked, wait-lists were crazy, even with the added class at Glen Park and the extra students per class.

    For 1st grade, we listed our 7 schools: Miraloma, Sloat, Lakeshore, Sunnyside, West Portal, Glen Park, Rooftop. (Rooftop was filler, I didn't really think we'd have a chance there). And a note, when I dropped off our paperwork, for interested I asked if there were any openings in K.. and the EPC employee pulled our file, said 'Oh you were late last year, you didn't like Sheridan?' and 'no openings.' So yeah, its in your file.. not that it should matter anywhere.
    This time, we were assigned Monroe. At first I was very disappointed because I hadn't even considered it. When I toured I found an excellent school. But we still wait-listed Miraloma with Sloat and Lakeshore 2nd round.. and we got Miraloma. Why did we narrow our list for 2nd round? Well after touring, I found Monroe to be a better school (my opinion, yours WILL be different) for my child than Sunnyside or Glen Park or West Portal(that's sort of a different story, family related).
    Now the happy ending is we're at Miraloma, a school only six blocks from our house (be we are in Sunnyside's neighborhood, one street over is Miraloma)

    Now I read here about EPC says this and that and the 3 day vs 5 day vs 10 day...who gets calls, who doesn't.

    I wish everyone the best of luck and I can only say do what you feel is best for your family. The truth being there are families extremely happy at every school and there are family unhappy and dissatisfied at every school, even the trophies. Find the school that works for your family.

    I'm hearing amazing things about Sloat and Lakeshore, both schools I would not hesitate sending my child

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  42. To the person above who asked why consider Edison Charter school when there are so many good public schools surrounding that school that currently have openings, I'd ask -- what good public school around that area currently has openings? I don't know of a single one that is any good. Second, what about Edison sounds iffy? Yes, they just got rid of their management team. But the new principal is very solid and they have made great improvements. And, ultimately, it is a small K through 8 -- and, frankly, SFUSD's K through 8's are impossible to get into. We are very intrigued by Edison and wonder if others are considering moving there.

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  43. Here are the schools with no waitpools as of May 28. They may or may not have an opening, but they do not have a waitpool. None of these are anywhere near Noe Valley or Edison Charter School.

    Willie Brown
    George Carver
    Cleveland
    Cobb
    El Dorado
    Garfield
    Guadalupe
    Bret Hart
    Longfellow
    Malcom X
    John Muir
    Jean Parker
    Redding
    Sheridan
    Spring Valley
    Tenderloin Community

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  44. 4:04 p.m., it is no conicidence that several of the schools listed are the one's folks received in Round I 0/7 and did not take. The school we were assigned is on that list. If proximity is your top focus looks Jean Parker is your best bet.

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  45. I don't get it. Jean Parker is nowhere near Noe Valley. If I lived near Noe Valley I'd for sure check into Edison Charter. At least for K. And you can stay in your waitpool with SFUSD b/c you are technically out of district since it's a Charter school. If you hate it you can try the lotto next year. It's certainly better than nothing and it's probably better than most of the schools that are left with seats.

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  46. 1:02 pm -- those are my thoughts exactly. We are in that position. I'm a little nervous about the charter because it is going through a transition. But, frankly, how badly can they screw up K? And I'm starting to wonder whether some of the negative comments about Edison reflect the knee-jerk folks who reflexively hate charters because they are . . . . well charters.

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  47. what is the start time for edison?

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  48. There is another post that says there are 8 K spots in Spanish/English dual class for next year at Edison.

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  49. I am hitting refresh on the SFUSD website looking for the June waitpools. Please post here if you see it.

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  50. You aren't the only one! Yes, please post if you find a link to new WP info supposed to be posted today on SFUSD website. Thanks!

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  51. from another poster today: "Just spoke to EPC and they said letters mailed today so probably won't arrive til tomorrow. Also the IT person is out so the waitpool lists may not post til tomorrow as well. More waiting and nail biting for all!"

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  52. Agh! EPC is just torturing us. I've had these dates on my calendar all summer. Why couldn't EPC do the same and staff accordingly. I can't believe there is one person there who can post to the website. This is 2010!

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  53. If you call the EPC today, could they give you the info?

    I'm so tired of this cat and mouse game with the EPC and SFUSD. I'm 0/14 and this is the second time late with letters this summer... could they not plan ahead? Argh...

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  54. I think EPC deliberately doesn't post the new waitlist until they know the letters got mailed out. The last time the new waitlist pool was posted on the website but there was a delay in the mailing of the letters, people were unduly stressed. People saw changes in the waitpool (and were tortured wondering if they got one of those spots).

    I was one of those tortured souls.

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  55. Starting to do the "check the mail every 5 minutes" thing again...

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  56. Another let down, at least I got a letter in the mail about continuing on the WP list though. Did anyone make it off this June waitpool run?

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  57. You got a letter? My green letter after Round II said I would only get a letter if I got a spot. I didn't get a letter in May??? I was only expecting one today if I got an assignment. EPC still hasn't posted the update waitpool! ARGH!

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  58. I got the "if you want to remain in the waitpool" letter. Says they won't do another run til right before school starts in Aug. However it says that there were runs conducted in APRIL and MAY. Does this mean there was no JUNE run? I'm getting confused.

    I'm feeling really down about this whole thing... I really want to see the waitpool list to see if there was any movement.

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  59. Oh, I see. thanks for clarification on the letter. We don't get our mail til 3 or 4.

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