Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Hot topic: Wait pool

This from a reader:
I'm still waiting to get into my wait pool public school. I'm 0/15. When will the district start calling people? What's the latest on the 10-day count? Are they still doing a 10-day count? I've heard they're now doing a 4-day count.


  1. I don't believe anyone will be calling until after the 3 day count. Did you confirm your waitpool with EPC as that is the next step? They say they will do another lottery run right before school starts but didn't say what date. We are seriously considering Edison at this point. They have a change in leadership since Edison Mngmt was booted by the board and it seems like a good place to start. There are more openings I believe and they are starting a bilingual program this year.

  2. i think there is a law that they must allow a child a certain number of days to show up before they release the spot. i think it is the first full week so calls would not be made until after. check with EPC

  3. In past years, when you were 0/15, you were better off NOT enrolling your child and claiming that you were "homeschooling," "going private," or "sending child to a transitional K preschool." Then, in late fall or early spring, you could waltz into EPC and request a school. By law, SFUSD had to give you a spot. Often, many great spots were available, and you even got to pick from several schools or reject them all and wait some more. This is in stark contrast to those who enrolled their children in schools that they hated and got locked into those schools because SFUSD does not allow school transfers once they dissolve the waitpools in Aug/Sept, and it takes years to transfer betwen schools if you use the lottery system for first grade and beyond.

    Can families who are 0/15 still use this strategy (i.e., delaying enrolling until late in year) or has SFUSD closed this loophole?

  4. I tried to enroll midyear. (Three times in a row.)

    There were no spots at any of the non-trophy schools I inquired about.

    The EPC are also not particularly helpful. You have to request school by school to see if there are any openings.

    They don't maintain a list of open spots.

    I also get the impression that school insiders work with the EPC to protect openings for family and friends, rather than the general public.

  5. Yes, all the movement will be after school starts and they count who's actually shown up.

    Our "trophy" school (Alvarado - OK, the general ed track, not the Spanish immersion) exhausted the waitlist bringing kids into our kid's K class, and there was even a space empty for the whole year - only 21 kids. So anyone could have just walked in out of their private and started - we tried to talk some of our friends into it, unsuccessfully.

    We got the waitlist call on the first Friday of school. Yes the summer was extremely frustrating. I tried being "on top of" the EPC, but there's just not movement in the waitpools after R2 until school starts, you have to stick it out.

    Good luck!

  6. 7/17/10 @ 8:08
    I too am curious about the potential loophole in registering for K. It makes me nervous to not enroll my son anywhere - He is ready for K and we don't have a backup private school. But... I don't want to get locked into a K that will wreck havok on my family with driving kids in different directions all around the city and driving myself to work everyday when we have a fine neighborhood school and reasonable public transit/bike ride to work. Not enrolling feels like playing chicken with the EPC, which may backfire without a back-up plan. Will it though? Everyone seems so optimistic about "the movement" once school starts. Do most people get in after the wait list is disolved? Since currently enrolled students aren't allowed to transfer, who gets the priority once the waitlist is dissolved? Is it too late to try to enroll in some of the less expensive parochial schools if nothing opens up?

  7. How will the school closings impact the waitlists? Will those assigned to a closing school get first selection from those schools with open spots?

  8. It is my understanding that only
    Willie Brown Jr. Academy is targeted for closure.

  9. Is it possible to still change your wait pool school? If so, what is the last day to do so? Thanks.

  10. We will be giving up a spot at Sherman.

  11. 0/15 parent here...took a break from thinking about the process for two weeks :P saw some unanswered questions here possibly? this year, it's a 3 day count...meaning 3 days after school starts, a school can start dropping students who don't show up. But how quickly they do it and report those drops/openings to EPC, that's anyone's guess :P

    As for the loophole and how previous years trend was, I've become a bit of a pessimist in that area. So far this year in this process, I've relied on "past years trends" in my decision making...and for some reason, the trends do not seem to be holding up. That's why I would be a little leery on relying on what happened in past years...because they just may not happen this year. IF you have a school now as a "back up", you may really want to look at that school hard again and see if you see any potential in it and perhaps can make the best of the situation instead of dropping that school and playing chicken and holding out for a school that may not materialize and you find out you're stuck with your kid at home for the year.

    Lastly, you have until July 23rd (this Friday) to reactivate your wait pool request. IF you have not done that, the school that you had as your waitpool choice will not be in effect for the next waitpool run. So you need to take ACTION now! And this is your LAST chance to update your waitpool choice. Whatever is your choice after July 23rd (assuming you sent in a reactivation request) will be your waitpool choice for the rest of this process which ends at the end of August.

  12. I'm just counting down the days to Aug. 6. I hope EPC is prompt in posting the updated waitpools this time. I think there will be significant changes in the numbers from parents having to re-confirm the waitpool. I think some of the bigger waitpools in the popular schools will go down by half. I'm just trying to get at GE program close to my house but it still has 10+ waiting (I'm on the west side). But at least I'll have a better handle on what I'm going into with the beginning of school. If there are 15 waiting then I'll not have much hope but maybe the list will go down to 5 or so and we'll get some good news. Fingers crossed!

  13. The Educational Placement Center will continue to assess openings in each classroom at each school. If there are any openings, students in the waiting pool will be assigned. This process continues throughout August until all openings are filled or the waiting pools have been exhausted.
    After the August waiting pool run, the waiting pool process will be considered finished and the waiting pools will be dissolved. For the remainder of the school year, no transfers within SFUSD
    schools will be allowed except for cases of change of address, disciplinary action or safety concerns.

  14. "For the remainder of the school year, no transfers within SFUSD
    schools will be allowed except for cases of change of address, disciplinary action or safety concerns."

    Here that voters? Remember the compassionate flexibility of the EPC when you head to the polls next fall.

    And don't fool yourself. The Supervisors are in on this as much as the Board of Education.

    No breaks for homeschoolers or private school parents who lose their jobs or change their mind.

    Their kids can stay at home and rot, whilst all those newcomers from Arizona and points south will get priority treatment.

  15. SB1070 has resulted in mass self-deportation of illegal aliens, makes critics look foolish:

    "The new law does not actually go into effect until July 29, but it has already resulted in a massive number of illegal aliens leaving the state."

    "One example can be found in Arizona’s public schools, which are over-burdened with the children of illegal aliens. Since April, schools have been reporting a large drop in enrollments. By late May, the Balsz Elementary School District which is 75 percent Hispanic, saw the parents of 70 students pull them out of school."

    If your child is still on a waitlist or is assigned to an underfunded low performing school, you need look no further than our city's sanctuary policy.

    The situation will only get worse until we act.

  16. 11:36, I think you mis-read the post about transfers. It says "no transfers within SFUSD
    schools will be allowed" You then said "No breaks for homeschoolers or private school parents who lose their jobs or change their mind." You are incorrect. Homeschoolers wishing to enter the system or those from private school would be able to do so, they are not "transfers within SFUSD."

  17. we just got a spot off the waitlist at west portal. @4:20 p.m, if you are going to vacate your sherman spot, you'd be doing the lucky recipient a benefit by letting EPC know in advance, rather than just not showing. we are grateful to the family that notified WP they weren't coming in advance of school's start.

  18. July 27, 2010 3:44 PM - Congrats on the spot at West P. We are also on that waitlist. Did you get in the GE program? Were you the sibling? Or one of the four 0/7s? Just wondering how much movement there has been. THX