The SF K Files is a place for parents who are seeking a school in San Francisco. The site offers up reviews of public, private and charter schools, as well as lots of advice and opinions from the community.
I have a question that I don't know the answer to. I put in my Round I choices last week, and now want to change them. Can I put in a new one or do I have to wait for Round II?
There is no round 2.
Have you called the EPC and asked them?
Alrighty then. We're going with Citywide choices because our local GE is a non-starter for me. And though we are CTIP 1, I just haven't seen any GE curriculum that looks significantly different than what my kid already learned in preschool, except for reading. Is going all-immersion crazy (we are applying to private too). Alvarado SI or Daniel Webster SI as first choice -- thoughts?And then:Flynn SIBuena Vista (all-immersion)Monroe SIFairmount (all-immersion)Marshall (all-immersion) Paul Revere SIHave at it. And if you know which of these schools have aftercare limited to low-income families only, I'd be grateful for that information.
Here is our list:Grattan (attendance area school)Rooftop MiralomaNew TraditionsClarendon GEChinese Immersion SchoolClarendon JBBPArgonneCommodore SloatJeffersonGoal -- get something decent close to our house which is 1/2 block away from Grattan. Otherwise back up plan = Argonne, Sloat, Jefferson, avoid Muir.
We're CTIP 1, so feel like we actually have a choice and a good likelihood of getting something high up on our list. But I'm torn between 2 competing priorities: 1) do I do my civic duty, try for my neighborhood immersion school, and put in the sweat equity to make it better; or 2) do I go for one of the tried and true west side schools with the high test scores and curse my commute each day?Anyway - for immersion I like Buena Vista, Daniel Webster and Fairmount. I also really liked the Clarendon JBBP program (citywide but not immersion). GE programs I really like are Clarendon, Commodore Sloat and McKinley.And there are quite a few others that I would be perfectly fine with having my child attend, too. For all the 'sturm und drang' about the state of SF public schools, I was pleasantly surprised to like as many as I did.
CTIP1 here....Rooftop, Alvarado SI, Buena Vista, Clarendon JBBP, Chinese Immersion, Clarendon, Miraloma, Grattan, Alvarado
Sutro attendance area.1. Lilienthal2. Clarendon JBBP
RooftopClarendon jbbpGrattanClaire lilienthalMcKinley (neighborhood school)
Finally got my application together. Here it is - Fong YuChinese ImmersionClarendon JBBPWest Portal IMMCClaire Lilienthal IMMKClaire Lilientahl GEAlvarado SIShermanRooftopWe are hoping for immersion or a K-8.
5:37:Are you bitter because the lottery didn't work out for you, or just in general?There are a lot of CTIP 1 folks commenting here listing a range of schools - if they're not going to get something they want, then who exactly is? There aren't that many siblings or CDC preschools out there, and they're the only ones who outrank CTIP 1...
Well, I'm sure that the three CTIP1's will squeak through, but the rest with their Alvarado, Clarendon, Rooftop lists may be in for a surprise.The Fong Yu, Clarendon, West Portal list is particularly amusing.
I don't understand why people aren't putting "safety schools" somewhere on their lists. In the past, people who came up with lists like these at least had some advantage in subsequent rounds by being 0/7...so they had priority in Round 2 and wait pool runs. But now, there is no disadvantage to getting a school that you consider to be acceptable but not your "dream school." You can still participate in subsequent rounds, without any disadvantage for having received a school you requested in this first round. I hope it works out for all of you...but color be a bit skeptical...
Oops, I mean color "me" a bit skeptical.
I can't speak for anyone else, but mine is the list of Spanish immersion schools and there are definitely schools on it I'm not completely wild about. With CTIP 1, I consider them "safety" schools. But over here in the SE side of the city, the GEs just aren't up to par. Our real "safety" plan is private if we get financial aid, or leave the city if we don't get an immersion public or aid at a private. I'm not interested in gambling on my kid's education and the funding cuts are too scary anyway. I started this process feeling pretty good about public schools, but in a state that's gutting its K-16 educational system I think that optimism is misguided.
I don't see why anyone should put a school on their list they aren't totally certain about. We know NOTHING about what the results of this new SAS process will be so why not list the 10 schools you REALLY, REALLY like and see what happens? I'm fairly certain everyone reading this blog knows the schools that have been popular/oversubscribed in the last few years and don't need the "Safety School Fairy Godmothers" paying them a visit.
Public school is our back-up, hoping for one of our private schools to come through. Live in Sutro attendance area. Here's our list:1. Lillienthal2. Rooftop3. Argonne
Hi,How does the wait pool process work this year? Do people who list 10 schools in round 1 get priority over those who listed less than 10 schools?Thanks, I am a bit confused with the new process (understatemnt!)
"why not list the 10 schools you REALLY, REALLY like and see what happens?"Because there aren't 10 schools I REALLY REALLY like within a commutable distance that have workable start times and aftercare for middle-income people, that's why.Also, how can you fault people for listing Clarendon, Lillienthal, etc., and also fault those who choose less popular "safety schools"? That makes no sense.
best of luck to all.I heard Beuna Vista will be going K-8 and moving to the Horace Mann campus.Yes, after the acceptance letters go out there will be many who come here in a panic about being placed at Muir or Sheridan or ______ (fill in blank for your bigest fear) but there will be plenty that will be happy with their placemnt or, like us, plesantly surprised.Your aditude will help you here, stranger's aditudes will not!
Going local all the way:JBBPYick WoSpring ValleyGordon LauShermanLillenthalClarendonWe really want JBBP (nihongo). The last three names are just for filler (only dreaming).I was impressed with Yick Wo and surprisingly impressed with Spring Valley.
10:03 - Which JBBP? Clarendon or Rosa Parks?
Rosa Parks.We are Japanese speakers, and RP is much more serious about Japanese learning. Clarendon is a great school, of course, but the Japan connection is a bit thin.
I was surprised to see the sentiment 'panic' associated with Sheridan. Sure, it's not on anyone's top-10 list, but it's had steady scores in the 800s, the facilities are really nice (one of the newest buildings I've seen!), the classes I saw seemed engaged, and the staff is highly dedicated. It's my neighborhood school and I'm honestly wondering if I'm just missing something?
February 1, 2011 7:15 PM-------No, you are not missing anything. Go with what feels like a good fit for you. I have two middle school kids now and when we were deciding on an elementary, I had exactly the same concerns about our local school. Why is it not on anyones list? What am I missing? Seems good to me - but what do OTHERS know that I don't? (and this particular school had scores in the low 600s at the time - nowhere near where Sheridan is now. )I had the same reaction to the facility (great!) teachers (engaged!) principal (fantastic!) - but, still - why weren't others on the bandwagon? So we went there, started a PTA, started giving tours, got involved. When I wore a shirt of our school to a local grocer and someone in line, when they asked if I was a teacher and I said I was a parent, told me "I would never send my child to THAT school." (more nagging doubt - was I doing right by my kid?) The next year, twice as many people put is as a K choice, the next year, twice again, with exponential growth in requests. This came with more parent involvement and eventually we were out of the "closing school" list (a threat back then.) I knew things had changed when just two years later at the same grocery store wearing the same shirt, people would chase me down to ask about the school and "how do I get in? I hear it's great there!" Both my kids went there and eventually moved to middle school. They had a terrific experience - and so did we as parents (many, many new friends for life were made for us there!)The school: Miraloma (no one remembers that it was not so long ago an "unacceptable option.)Go with your gut, Sheridan has great things going for it and I'm sure you'll have as a great experience as we did with our elementary.
CTIP1 here too. John Muir is our attendance area school. We have applied to two privates as well but know it will be tough getting in with all the applicants.New TraditionsClarendon GEGrattanShermanClaire Lilienthal GE
Ugh, the miraloma miracle people again. Yes, you can do that anywhere. No problem. Yeah, right. I don't know about sheridan, but your big question should be about PTA activity there. How much do they raise? How much involvement is there? Don't go in there thinking you can turn the place around yourself. You can't. (trust me, I spent five years trying to do that at a school and burned out.) Ms. Miraloma miracle was not by herself. A large group of miraloma and Noe valley parents went in there deliberately and took it over and made it what it is today. It also had the benefit of being geographically isolated which kept low SES families out. In these times of budget cuts, buzz does matter because that's where the parents with big pockets go -- that's why for our middle school pick, we are only applying to schools with buzz.
Here are ours:1. McKinley2. Alamo (assigned area)3. Grattan4. Montessori Public5. Claire Lillienthal6. Peabody7. Argonne8. Lafayette9. Spring Valley
I guess I don't understand the new assignment system at all because most of these lists seem like crazy, pie-in-the-sky lists to me. In the old assignment, the likelihood of getting one of these (wait for it) trophy schools was something like 10%, and now people are still listing those same schools?! The all immersion lists are just as risky. I truly wish everyone good luck, I'm just stunned by the choices.
Well, the choices reflect how many schools are just *not* acceptable, either academically or in terms of commute/start time/aftercare. And what they say about this new system is: don't put a school you don't want on your list.
Daniel Webster GE (along with a few other Potrero folk)and just in case for some reason I've done such an amazing job recruiting people to the GE that it is actually oversubscribed...!MckinleyMiralomaWe're CIPT1 and did not list our attendance area school.
Just as an FYI, I learned that there are 29 siblings coming into Miraloma next year. If you're not CTIP 1 and not in the neighborhood, I wouldn't waste a spot on your list with Miraloma.
"Just as an FYI, I learned that there are 29 siblings coming into Miraloma next year. If you're not CTIP 1 and not in the neighborhood, I wouldn't waste a spot on your list with Miraloma." ---It was my understanding that with the new system you couldn't "waste" a spot on your list because your list could be as long as you like. You're right that 29 siblings makes for extremely poor odds for getting into Miraloma, but it nevertheless can't hurt to list it. Or have I completely misunderstood the application process?On a separate note, I'm the original Sheridan commenter...thanks to both the optimistic Miraloma parent and the other commenter. I suspect you're both probably right...changing a school is possibile, but I imagine it's a truly daunting prospect. I asked about the PTA. It's pretty under-represented (20%) and has no fund-raising capabilities to speak of. To wit, "Our community doesn't have the means to support fundraising.'
CTIP1 here also. I listed 7 out of the 10+ schools I toured. There are 2 parochial schools as back up. My order was simply as a preference, and I do not mind a commute. The neighborhood school was not acceptable for us.MiralomaClarendon GEShermanSloatFeinsteinClarendon JBBPArgonne -schools that were taken off the list after touring: Flynn, Daniel Webster, Sunnyside, West Portal, Rooftop, Claire Lilienthal, Grattan.
8:26, you're actually right, supposedly you are able to list as many schools as you would like. However, there are 10 spots on the application and it instructs you to "speak with an EPC representative" if you'd like to list more than 10 schools so I'm not sure what that process is. Did anyone try it?
"A large group of miraloma and Noe valley parents went in there deliberately and took it over and made it what it is today."This is absolutely not true. My son was at Miraloma before the previous poster (he's a high school senior now) and the principal and I busted our butts trying to get ANYONE to come look at the school for years. Believe me, it was a hard sell. I do absolutely think that not every school can be turned around, but in my 22 kid-years as a public school parent I have come to believe that it's all about the principal. My kids have been in five different schools over the years, some under the radar, some up-and-coming, some hidden gems, some undesirable, and without exception the most successful schools have been those with strong leadership at the top. That's one of the reasons we're strongly considering Mission High School right now for our younger child. The principal rocks and he's building on a staff that teaches there because they want to make a difference in kids' lives. My children benefit from their willingness to give and it makes for a truly rich educational experience.
question - do you need to list your neighborhood school to get it?if your neighborhood school is acceptable but not your first choice, and you list it last, will it bump any of the other schools you list above it?for example - neighborhood school is RLstevensonlist -feinsteinlakeshoresunsetlawtonulloashould i even bother listing RLS as number 6? we would take it, but don't want the computer to auto-place us there because it is our neighborhood school. thanks :)
That's a great question. The way I understand it is if you don't get one of your listed choices, you will automatically be placed in the school nearest you that has spots. So, theoretically, if you didn't get a spot at one of your listed 6 and Stevenson had spots, you would get placed there without listing it. But, who knows, I could be wrong.
My daughter is at Sheridan PreK and we do not want to send her to K there. We don't really mesh well with the school's philosophy. Our choices don't look like most of the folks on here:SF CommunityMonroe (Span)Monroe (GE)El DoradoThat's it. We'll see where we land and work with it. I went to Miraloma in the late 80's and liked my experience there back before schools felt like they had to get all fancy to attract students.Question: How many of the families posting here from CTIP1 are actually socio-economically disadvantaged? It seems that the rule was made to have an integration process rather than to have middle class families shun their neighborhood school instead of bringing it to higher standards with parent participation and active PTA participation; something which struggling families often don't have the time or resources for.
I can't speak for the other CTIP1 folks who posted here, but we are not socio-economically disadvantaged. We are middle class I suppose. This is an expensive city so I don't really know what middle class is here. And I know a few others like us also in CTIP1 who are college educated people, but will not be able to afford to send their kids to private school. And their neighborhood schools may or may not be acceptable for them. Our assignment school is John Muir. As much as I would like to help our neighborhood school become better by being an active PTA member and involved parent, I can not see sending my children there. If it were already on the upswing, maybe. They have had many years of large amounts of dollars pumped into that school with little return. And yes, they have a new principal and have fired half the staff and I hope it turns around. And maybe it will over the next 10 years. But my K kid is extremely bright and he will get lost there and be under challenged as they try to get the base up. I think part of this new process is about giving children who live near the worst schools an opportunity to go to a better school, not just about diversity. We are just one of a few "middle class" families who will get a prioritization because our neighborhood school is less than acceptable. I am sure if they based this CTIP1 area designation on census track data, which I think they did, then the majority of people in it will fall into the socio economically disadvantaged group that it may have been intended. And for the record, I toured and toured. I toured 14 public elementary schools. And of course I went to all the "trophy" schools. But in the end I was having a hard time loving most of those schools and my top choice was not one of the trophy schools. If we get into the school we requested first, a school on the brink of swinging up, we will be extremely active at helping it get there.
I'm CTIP 1 and middle class. I don't think the new system is fair, even though I may end up benefiting from it. But nor do I think forcing people into their underperforming neighborhood school is fair.The old system was fair: household-by-household SES. Everyone squawked, and now we have a new system where lower-income households in high-scoring neighborhoods (likely to be old-time residents of the city who got to high-scoring areas before they were fashionable) are truly screwed. Nice!