Most of the information covered by PPS-SF program manager Vicki Symonds touched on essentials that have already been discussed on this blog (neighborhood assignment boundaries, list as many schools as you'd like, get your application in by February 18). But compared to a presentation I saw Symonds give earlier this fall, more details are available, so I thought I’d post a few updates:
- The school district has now provided an “all in one map” that shows CTIP1 areas, neighborhood boundaries, and district pre-K’s and CDC’s all in one view. The latter is important in knowing whether the schools you’d like have a pre-K or CDC feeding into them, which can affect one's chances of getting in. So far, I've only seen this true "all in one" map on paper, and district offices and PPS-SF have copies. Online, you can find a map that shows neighborhoods boundaries, city-wide schools, middle schools, high schools, and CDCs/Pre-K's (but no CTIP1 areas, at least for now). You’ll find a copy here.
- After the first round of assignments in March, the old “waitpool” and “Round II” processes have been replaced by what’s now called “placement periods,” which seems like an elaborate way to say “further rounds of the lottery.” According to the school district website, these additional placement periods will probably be run in May, mid-August, shortly before school starts, and after school begins. Participating in each placement period requires its own separate request. The August placement period seems to have a couple of unique features, such as requiring that participants give up a previous school assignment
to try their luckshould they win a higher choice school and want to accept it in that round of the lottery.
- The placement periods seem to use the same tie-breakers, and ONLY the same-tiebreakers, as the main lottery. Some of the priorities from the old system no longer matter, such as having gone 0/7, 0/15, or 0/whatever number of schools you put down in on your initial application.
Thanks to the parents who represented their schools – New Traditions, Jefferson, Argonne, Creative Arts, and Sunset. Your presentations were not only helpful, but provided a welcome reminder that yes, believe it or not, we’ll eventually be on the other side of this process and be in school.
And a personal thanks to Vicki Symonds, whose ran tonight’s discussion without the private school swipes I’d seen at the forum earlier this fall. Tonight, when a mom in the audience commented that she was trying the lottery again for first grade after landing none of her choices last year and opting for private school, I winced on her behalf, expecting a lecture. Instead, Symonds listened empathetically and wished the woman good luck this year. Thank you for a helpful, informative workshop that made room for everyone, regardless of where we’re at in this process.