Sunday, January 30, 2011

Helga's Private School Redshirt Plan?

I haven't submitted my SFUSD list yet as I'm waiting to hear the middle school and transportation policy updates during the Feb 1 board meeting. I am nervous -- given historical demand -- that we will not get into any of our top 10+ public school choices since we do not have sibling, SFUSD pre-K, CTIP1, attendance boundary nor densely populated area advantage.

Accordingly, we applied to project-based Creative Arts Charter (outside the SFUSD lottery) (previously reviewed here). (Note: Unfortunately the C5 International School Charter was denied by SFUSD Board and the development team has decided not to pursue an appeal to the State Board in time for 2011-2012 school year.)

We also applied to project-based Alta Vista School with science, math & technology focus. I toured Alta Vista in October and my full review is here.

Pros: We like the small school size, small class sizes, and, above all, the project-based and science orientation of the curriculum. We also like the option for Junior K (academically the same as K but smaller class size/ratio) that would allow Hugo to go straight into 1st grade if he is developmentally ready at the end of Junior K.

Cons: The price. Let the spousal squabbling begin if we get in without financial aid.

The flaw in the redshirt plan is, of course, if we don't get in. We'll find out the same time as the SFUSD assignment letters. Stay tuned.

27 comments:

  1. Thanks for keeping us updated on your journey. It has been interesting to follow along.

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  2. Could you refresh my recollection, Helga, on your top 10 public school choices? 10 is a lot I think for you to feel you are going to be frozen out.

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  3. Don't worry Helga. The school board will make sure you get a spot.

    They're always careful to make sure that the SF K Files poster mom's always get a spot for their kids . . . just to keep the cat in the bag about the real state of discrimination against the middle class in San Francisco.

    Can't wait to see what the school board manages to cough up for you. Maybe you should up the ante and ask for Lilienthal or Clarendon.

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  4. 12:14 paranoid much?

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  5. I had no idea I would get a guaranteed spot from being a guest blogger here! That's awesome news!! And to think, I originally did it just for the fun of it...

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  6. Helga -- I asked above about your 10 school list because it seems to me that there are LOTS of good neighborhood schools that are not going to fill up with either neighborhood or CTIP 1 kids -- like Lakeshore, C Sloat, Sunset, and perhaps some of the Richmond schools.

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  7. Wow, 12:14, what planet are you on? I blogged last year and it's completely anonymous and pseudonymous, so how could SFUSD find us and give us an advantage? My form has absolutely nothing on it to indicate that that's who I "am." Even Kate did not originally get a placement she was happy with.

    Lordy. Been abducted by aliens and subjected to a rectal probe lately?

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  8. Helga- I hope you get a spot at Creative Arts---it would be wonderful to have your family join our school!

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  9. 2:59, 12:14 is the troll, hard at work. Ignore him.

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  10. You want to go to Creative Arts? Sure about that? It's a second tier education in perpetual turmoil. Test scores tell the story. You could do worse though.

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  11. 8:04 -- we were thinking of ca as a backup for middle school, in case we get shut out of the good middles. What do you think of it's middle school program?

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  12. Creative arts is for white people looking a free escape hatch. You'll get your child a real "alternative" education there, alternating between mediocre instruction and chaotic management. Half the middle school families decided the escape hatch was more like a rabbit hole. They went traditional. Kindergarten, that's another ball of wax.

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  13. Copied here is an excerpt from last year on the blog

    -We love our unique school, but the constant upheaval and uncertainty is really bad for our community morale and our kids' sense of security.
    I really hope you're listening, Rachel Norton!-

    I don't know why the blogger singled out Norton.

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  14. What is your assignment school?

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  15. Good luck, Helga! I think we are in similar boats.

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  16. 9:21.

    What school in upheaval were they talking about?

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  17. There will be somewhat less upheaval with a stable and improved campus, though, for CACS. The much needed physical improvements are finally happening this summer.

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  18. CACS middle school is a mess. Don't do it. I would guess that 80% or more of the 5th grade families are applying elsewhere. Gateway Middle School is starting in the fall and looks very promising judging by their high school. Presidio also has a great reputation.

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  19. 9:21: The blogger was referring to the fact that CACS was being moved around by SFUSD frequently and with very little notice. It was very disruptive to the community and created a great deal of insecurity and instability.

    8:22 is the same poster who always trashes our school, a former parent with sour grapes. Throwing out the race card is a pretty weak argument and is just not true.

    Finally, the new leadership has been a breath of fresh air. No more ridiculous daily drama to get caught up in. The small middle school is starting to show some real improvement. Loads of potential there.

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  20. The school is suffering from lack of leadership and lack of parent participation. Most of the parents I know who send their children there have applied to other schools.

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  21. I actually can name 3 families that I know that loved CACS on the tour and it is the first choice for each one of them.
    It's too far for me, but I've heard good things so good luck.

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  22. Helga care to share your public school list?

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  23. Bear in mind there are a few folks who sharpen their fangs over any CACS posting, harboring old resentments.

    The bias and misinformation would be more frustrating were it not for the number of parents who are excitedly asking me about CACS after positive tour experiences. Level-headed touring parents see through the nonsense.

    I attended the most recent CACS Spring Fundraiser meeting and there were plenty of parents. Involvement everywhere. Parents in my kid's class donated everything on the teacher recent wish lists within a week. Classroom volunteers are plentiful.

    There is an especially strong cohort of parents in the 1st grade who attend all the meetings and are super committed. They are taking the long view and working hard to make the middle school the best it can be for their kids when they reach middle school age.

    I'm seeing really good things. New renovation plan, new leadership, and no drama to speak of.

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  24. 1/31 9:52 & 2:38; 2/2 6:38

    I haven't posted my list of public schools yet, because I'm double checking against the middle school and transportation info provided last night to the Board.

    Sigh. Maybe this a procrastination or a rationalization or both? I'm stuck in analysis paralysis beyond anything I could every imagine!

    I will definitely post by 2/18, because I'll have submitted the list to SFUSD by then.

    NoeValleyJim - I will list my attendance boundary school when I post the list.

    1/31 12:14 I wish that were the case!

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  25. Go for it Tailypo and let's talk in 4 years.

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  26. I have friends at CACS. Their views seem to concur with what Tailypo said. Things are on the mend. Just what I heard.

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