Tour number one is in the books. I decided to try and get to Miraloma Elementary first since it’s my “neighborhood” school. When I checked the schedule earlier in the week it just so happened that last Friday was the first tour and I was available to attend.
This year us SF K Files guest bloggers are posting our tour notes in the community forum's school pages. It’s an effort to get information about schools in one centralized location and I think it’s going to really make it easier to get information about a specific school. So go here to see my official notes about the Miraloma Elementary tour I went on. However, I have two side notes that came up on my tour that I would love a little feedback on. I’ve posted those below.
Side note 1- On this tour I was a little surprised to see a TV in a pretty prominent place near what I would assume is a “circle time” carpet in one of the kindergarten rooms (I didn't notice a TV in the other rooms, but couldn't see the entire rooms). I don’t necessarily consider this a bad thing and I certainly have nothing against television in general (plenty of Curious George around here), but it seemed like an odd placement in a classroom. Maybe I’m just out of date though, are TVs a tool used in schools often now? Or perhaps the teacher only had one spot in the room with an available outlet and that’s where the TV had to go? As a kid I remember the random movie day, but it certainly wasn’t often enough to warrant a TV in the middle of circle time area. Those of you with kids already in school, what is your experience with TV in your child’s classroom- is it used more often now than in the olden days when we all went to school?
Side note 2- During the Q and A with parents and the principal, the principal asked the parents on tour who lived in the neighborhood to raise their hands because he was curious how the neighborhood assignments would reflect in those who were touring. Only about 1/3 of the parents raised their hands. This surprised me because I live in the neighborhood and don’t feel like I have a great shot of getting in there. Are people still expecting to get into popular neighborhood schools even out of the neighborhood? I’m making no comment here on whether I think this is fair or not, just that I sort of assumed with this new system there wasn’t much shot at people outside the neighborhoods (without CTIP 1 preference, which I can’t imagine all these people had) attending the neighborhood schools that have historically been so oversubscribed. What do you think?
Also, if you have questions about Miraloma that my tour notes don’t answer, please post them and I’ll see if it’s something I can answer. Or perhaps a Miraloma parent can chime in and help us out.
All in all, Miraloma Elementary seems like a really great place and I would feel like I won the lottery (which, considering the circumstances in SFUSD is sort of correct) if I were able to send my child there.