Monday, March 21, 2011

Private school thread

Some readers have written in to request a separate private school thread. Please keep the discussion focused on private schools. Any off-topic comments will be deleted--or moved to a separate thread.

302 comments:

  1. Anyone out there giving up your Hamlin spot?

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  2. Boys schools - has anyone gotten movement off the waitpool.

    Or has anyone gotten an AD live?

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  3. So, our sfusd letter has been lost in the mail and they are saying they won't give us any information about placement until Wednesday. If we accept a private school, does anyone know how much the non-refundable initial deposit is, generally speaking? THANKS.

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  4. Posted this on another thread, we are giving up a SF Day Spot and will send our son to Town. Our friends are giving up their Friends spot (girl) and will go to MCDS. Wanted to repost here in case someone is hoping to get into SF Day or Friends.

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  5. 12:14, that's so nice of you.

    Deposit -- $2500 for the private we're considering, Nueva.

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  6. any boys not taking their live oak spot?

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  7. Anyone giving up a Burke's spot??

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  8. Just released girls' spot at Waldorf.

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  9. Curious .. did anyone get "too young" letter for boys and when their bday was?

    Really don't want to do this another year. My stomach won't last.

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  10. @12:12 deposits typically are 10% of the total tuition, some more some less.

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  11. we will be giving up either a FAIS or SFDS spot for a girl. Still not sure yet.

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  12. Thanks for putting up this thread! We are wait-listed at 6 out of 6 schools, but haven't gotten any news from AD's. Will post if we hear anything. It is so nice of all of you to post when you release a spot. It gives us hope.....

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  13. Does anyone know if the private schools over-admit (i.e. the releasing of spots is not even that meaningful)?

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  14. Has anyone talked with the AD at the boys schools?

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  15. Cathedral overadmitted by 1 or 2

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  16. 12:12: The deposits seem to run about $3000 at most of the privates. I know that our contract (and all our friends who got in at privates) are due at 10:00 am on Thursday. So if you can get that SFUSD good news by Wednesday, you should be able to avoid the private payment just in time. Best of luck.

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  17. Ugh, just read on one of the other threads that someone claims that they talked to Town this morning and they "don't expect to go to their wait list this year." Can anyone verify that is true? It doesn't affect me, but a handful of my best friends. Ugh, again. This type of info does help people, not just to give hope (false or not) but helps with plan of attack.

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  18. @1:12 possibly...

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  19. I am told that Town overadmitted by around 10, so not likely to go to the wait list. Stuart Hall overadmitted by 2-3, but only have a total of 12 spots.

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  20. Anyone releasing a Convent spot?

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  21. Thanks 2:05. Anyone releasing Stuart Hall?

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  22. I know someone who just released a SH spot

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  23. How does coming off wait pool work? AD reassigns or do they have to go to headof school or a committee?

    2:05 thanks for the info. How reliable is your source.

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  24. So, what happens if a school overenrolls, but no one drops off? Has this happened?

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  25. As a parent of a 3.5 year old, I'm actively watching what happens this year and how (if at all) the process has changed. We were really leaning public, because we simply cannot afford private school tuition. But someone pointed out that they take more than your finances in determining aid. Is this true? Would it matter that our daughter is African American and was adopted? Just curious from parents who might know.

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  26. African American and adopted improves diversity and works in your favor. Lot of work for privates but apply. Never hurts. Apply for aid. worst they say no. Good luck.

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  27. Looks like we'll be releasing a spot at Friends and Burkes and going to SFDS. Girl.

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  28. Released TK spots at 150 Parker and Cow Hollow School (girl.)

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  29. Re: the overadmission question -- almost every year, there is one school whose 'yield' is far greater than predicted. In other words, usually a school will admit 15 kids for 15 spaces (or so, depending on the school), knowing that children often are admitted to more than one school. Last year, all but 3 students admitted to Brandeis accepted their offers, so Brandeis had to add a third kindergarten. The year before (or so) it was Burke's. Before that, it was Live Oak. Most private schools have experienced this. So it is conceivable and even common that a school does not go to its wait list. More generally, it's not accurate to assume that hearing that an offer is released will lead to a new offer extended. Sometimes it will; sometimes it will not.

    As to financial aid, there is probably a strand somewhere on this blog that goes into it in more detail. I'd so a search for that.

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  30. Sorry - I meant, a school will admit 25-30 kids for 15 spaces.

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  31. Hamlin did not plan on overaccepting by more than 5 spots. They have a yield of 90% and have not gone to the waitlist in 2 years.

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  32. A friend at Burke's told me that they are more stingy with offers because they over-admitted a few years ago. I also heard they went to their wait-list last year, so perhaps that gives a better chance on the wait list? We can only hope.

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  33. For the record, I gave that number as representative, as it varies from year to year. Usually schools are very conservative in extending offers after a bubble year (overenrollment) - sometimes offering only the exact number of (or slightly more than) spots available. Additionally, many schools (not just Hamlin) have very high yields, which is why first choice letters (or other expressions that an applicant is likely or certain to accept an offer) are so important at some schools.

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  34. 2:56 - Are you currently at 150 Parker? or are you at a different preschool and offered a TK 150 Parker spot

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  35. I know someone who is releasing a spot at convent. We released a spot at town.

    Does anyone know anyone who got into Cathedral? I haven't heard of anyone who got admitted there.

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  36. we released a boy spot at Marin Primary. Haven't heard any talk of that school on this board. Is there anyone who was waitlisted there? We LOVED that school and it pained me to give it up but we had to go for proximity.

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  37. 3:21 and 3:22 - where did you go instead? this info is encouraging, but it's just one piece of the puzzle. Please everyone, just name the schools you have released and are going to, otherwise, this info is not worth much. And if you are holding spots, please try to make your decisions quickly as many of us are waiting on pins and needles to see if the schools go to their wait lists. Thanks.

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  38. anyone declining an MCDS slot?

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  39. Burke's did go to its waitlist last year as did Stuart Hall. Not sure of others. I know one spot given up at Burke's this year.

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  40. I know of one kid who got into cathedral. And I think he is waitlisted at other schools, but it was their first choice so they are happy. But I haven't heard about any other acceptances at Cathedral and I personally have not heard from any friends who got into Hamlin at this stage. They definitely seemed to keep their offers tight due to high yield. And MCDS spots don't seem likely based on info I received - may be a one off here or there. I am equally bummed about it.

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  41. Got a call from San Francisco School saying it's very unlikely they'll go to their waitlist this year.

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  42. I just heard of someone who got a spot a couple of hours ago off Burke's wait list.

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  43. Has anyone had any luck with AD from boys schools calling back?

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  44. So is this when things finally start to move? Are there still many people sitting on multiple offers?

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  45. What is the appropriate way to turn down an offer? Phone? Email?

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  46. We were fortunate to receive 5 offers and just notified three schools that we have decided not to avail ourselves of their offer: French American, Friends, and Cathedral. We are still part of the frustrated parent contingent: we are wait listed at our preferred choice and were outright rejected at choice number two. (San Francisco Boy - Kindergarten)

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  47. Exciting to hear that Burke's has gone to the wait list. Do you know if they will accept the spot? I wonder if they pushed hard to get off the wait list, or what.

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  48. 5 offers? Sounds fishy

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  49. did anyone get a PK4 or K spot at French American AND tuition assistance with it?

    Or is that just unheard of? I know CAIS does not offer assistance until kinder.

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  50. @7:10 p.m. Why does it sound fishy? Last year we got offers from 2 of the 3 schools we applied to. The poster with the 5 offers doesn't mention how many schools they applied to. If 9, then multiplying our ratio they would have gotten offers at 6 schools.

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  51. 6:51 sounds fishy because why would you turn down 3 schools if you aren't sitting an offer and sitting on a waitlist.

    Who would do this process and end up NO WHERE if they had a choice.

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  52. @7:10 We applied to 11 schools to get the 5 offers. Absurd time suck but we knew the average acceptance rate at the schools was 1 out of 5. We got lucky but in hindsight we burned a lot of time with tours, applications, interviews, etc that we perhaps did not need to.

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  53. @7:51 we still have 2 open offers. If we don't clear the wait list at our preferred #1 by mid-day Wednesday, we will pick one of these two. We turned back the other three earlier today so those schools can offer them to other families. Did I do something wrong?

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  54. @7:51 we still have 2 open offers. If we don't clear the wait list at our preferred #1 by mid-day Wednesday, we will pick one of these two. We turned back the other three earlier today so those schools can offer them to other families. I posted the school names here in the event there are people here on the waitlist. Did I do something wrong?

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  55. 6:51 - I misunderstood you. It sounds like you have 5 offers and a WL that you are trying to clear.

    You are very fortunate -

    When is your boys' birthday

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  56. @8:15 Our son turned five in late October

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  57. 8:10, no, I thought it was really generous of you to turn your spots down quickly and say where they were! Amazing you could apply to 11 schools. I myself would have dropped dead.

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  58. No kidding, good for 8:15 for doing 11. We were exhausted after 6, but with no offers, in retrospect, we should have done more. Thanks 8:15 for the encouragement that more spots will be opening up.

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  59. 8:46 - I can tell you that after applying to 11 schools and all the events surrounding it, this has been six of the most stressful months of my and my husbands life.

    I am so beat down and tired of this exercise. We do not come from money or have fabulous connections.
    The process has been a grind from start to finish. Did I say finish? Heavens, despite sitting on two open offers, we are still prolonging the agony by begging to move off the waitlist at our #1 choice!

    What keeps me focused is what keeps most of us focused: the moment I look into the eyes of my child. He is a happy kid who loves life and loves his pre-school. Fortunately for me, he really enjoyed doing the assessments. At least he was stress free.

    Just a little bit more. Ya, this won't hurt. Exactly how long is the bandage that is getting ripped off my arm?

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  60. How exactly are you begging? We have emailed and called, only to leave a message. No word yet. It's so frustrating not to know how to play the game. Our only saving grace is that we got a decent public back-up. (and boy are we grateful for that)

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  61. We will be releasing spots at SI and at SH - our son is going to Lowell!

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  62. Why does the private schools have their deadline on March 18 along with your deposit right before the public schools send out their notices on March 19? Do they keep all your deposits? Just wondering........

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  63. 9:50 pm, we have a week to decide. Private school notifications are on the 18th and deposits are due on the 24th.

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  64. 10:01pm Thank You!

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  65. 9:50pm, private schools send out their letters one day before publics. Deposits are due one week later. So you already know the public you got into before you need to pay a deposit. However if one month later you get a spot at a public that you prefer, then yes, you lose your deposit. Private schools want to set their class and move on, and are not beholden to the multiple public school rounds that often take until school starts in September to be finalized.

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  66. @7:31pm

    We got a P4 offer to FAIS with financial aid. We thought we'd try our luck for public though and turned it down. Seriously kicking ourselves as we didn't get anything on our public school list. But at least our kid can try again for K next year (though looking at all the waitlists we may be kicking ourselves some more as we do this process again (public or private).

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  67. 6:51, I'm not sure how you can be "frustrated" with 5 offers. Even with the three spots that you very nicely turned down, you still have 2 schools you'd be glad for your son to attend, plus a chance at your top choice. And given the schools you turned down, the two you still have in hand are likely both wonderful opportunities. If I were in your shoes I would be feeling very glad and lucky, and not at all frustrated. Many families put in just as much time and work as you did and have no immediate choices right now, public or private.

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  68. Wow - 11 schools. We applied to 6 (and that was stressful!) and got two acceptances. We are waitlisted at our first and second choice, but have decided to go with one of the two other offers and not push for the top choices.

    Our top choice was Stuart Hall, but our son will be going to Town which was third on our list (after Cathedral) , and where we know he will be happy. We gave up his spot at Friends this morning.

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  69. We were accepted at 4, wait pooled at three.

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  70. Multiple acceptances versus none. There is your answer as to what the schools look for. We just need more details on the multiple offer families to discern a pattern.

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  71. We applied to 6 schools and got accepted in 3. Released spot at Hamlin and Waldorf (girl) on Friday. BUT still waiting on answer from our 1st choice - And no communication whatsoever from that particular school so - no idea where we stand. Interesting tho that every other AD found time to reply to our emails...even with just a 5 word email!
    Will know (and communicate) TUE evening or WED morning where we will accept.
    Good Luck to everyone!

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  72. 11:00 here. To your question about multiple offers- we were not accepted to our first two choices, but did have options and feel very lucky about that. We are a middle class family (teacher and writer) with few contacts (we are new in San Francisco), no diversity (however you define diversity) , and we got two acceptances out of 6. Not sure if this helps any, who knows how this process works? It just makes me really sad that so many are without offers. That is part of the reason we decided to just sit happy with the offers that we had, knowing that he will be at a good place.

    I don't think that this whole process will ever be easy to figure out. I know of great families (and great kids) that were not offered spots as well as families that I don't care as much about that got multiple offers. Go figure. (And no, the ones that got offers were not wealthy families or families with diversity)

    I know this is a private school thread, but we are also giving up a spot at Rooftop.

    I hope for the best for all of you and that one of you will be offered the spot that we gave up at Friends.

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  73. three people turned down Burks, one Hamlin and two convent today. Has anyone got off the waitpool from the above schools? Any advice on what we should be doing at this stage to get off the waitpool? Have already emailed, called and gotten email responses from them. Now what next???

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  74. I'm starting to think they just draw names out of a hat. Being in the pool means your name is still in the hat.

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  75. The thought of all you had to do to apply to 11 schools makes me want to weep for you. We applied to two total. We got very lucky and got into both, but just doing all the tours to decide where to apply, then all the events for just two schools, I simply cannot imagine how you did 11. There should be some kind of prize for this. I hope you get your first choice!

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  76. Truthfully .. to discern a pattern, I think you need to look at the age of the boy.

    A few factors:

    Most boys whose birthday was between October and March got multiple offers vs those after March.

    What preschool are you at

    What is your contribution

    What is the personality of your boy: This is a huge sib year for boys so they are looking for "mellow boys" to round out the classroom

    Did I miss any other factors?

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  77. This entire stream is utterly depressing. I'm not sure what's worse: hearing that some families are struggling with 2, 3, 4 or more offers (yes, poor you, this must be so stressful), hearing about families who have only wait-pools (not even hand written) from 6+ applications and just want to get a yes out of the wait pool from someone, or hearing about the hundreds of families who cannot afford private school (in the other threads) and have no other option but a public school they did not chose and to which no one would want to have to send their child.

    We are disappointed that we did everything WE could do to get an offer from a private school and only got one from six very well thought out, hard worked and considered applications.

    Our son is a regular boy, not a genius, not "diverse", just nice and sweet and with his own special talents - like all our kids. we are straight, white, not filthy rich and we're not connected people. we didn't have a single person who could write letters for us or make calls. We had low expectations going into this but when you put your whole heart and soul into something its simply human to expect a return. Something so many of the posters on this blog didn't get. the return that is. i can see they gave it their best shot.

    We are so grateful to have one offer at a wonderful school. And we are so sorry that there are parents out there of wonderful children who don't have offers yet. We believe that every parent wants the best for their child, and that every parent should have an opportunity to give their child the best education. We're sorry it cant be a reality in San Francisco, and we're so close to just tossing it in on this whole system and moving to Marin or the Peninsula.

    We wish you all the best over the coming few days, and we're grateful also to hear your stories.

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  78. 1:28, that's such a kind e-mail. Thank you.

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  79. The fact is all of the kids applying are fine for any of these schools. Just not enough spots to go around. Are you listening private school creator people?

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  80. I think one of the really hard things about being waitlisted at private schools is that it's PERSONAL. We went 0/6 in the public lottery and while it sucked, I don't feel like I did anything wrong. It was bad luck, bad housing location choice, whatever. But when you get waitlisted at a private school, it feels personal. You wrote essays, schmoozed at interviews, went to the coffee hours, cocktail hours, etc. etc. They met your child and your family. They looked you in the eye and shook your hand and said how much they liked you. And then they went and chose someone else. That mom that you always see on the playground? How come they took her child and not yours? It just hurts. We all love our kids so much and know they deserve to be at the best school possible. And it's really hard to watch these admission directors basically playing God..."We choose you and you and you. But not you."
    I know this happens to us all the time in the real world (job interviews, promotions.) But it's just different when it's your kid.

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  81. there are more spots for private school than it seems right now. we went through this last year and I was amazed that so little changed during the week (not much movement at ALL on the wait lists) and then at the last second, spots opened at some really desirable schools (albeit not all).

    Last year, on the Wednesday, we accepted our third choice because we felt our son wouldn't get off the wait list for our first choice (the AD was really nice and said it was possible but unlikely and indeed, they didn't take more off their waitlist). At 9:55 am on Thurs am, multiple calls (AD and parents in the loop with kids at that school) from choice #2 called saying "there's a spot! would you take it? please tell us right now." We had said yes to #3 and I felt we had "made" the decision - also my husband was out of town, I couldn't change the decision without him, there were some other factors, I needed to tell them right away, etc. So it could be prudent to wait depending on how you view the choices.

    Parents who had zero offers for their child going into this wound up getting this spot and good for them. They could not be happier. We had felt we needed to NOT wait until the last second to take a spot (we didn't want to appear ungrateful to choice #3 and we thought waiting til the last second was rude), but that's not true.

    What I also didn't realize is that there's some wiggle room for many of the schools. You feel a lot of pressure to give up a spot if you ultimately know you won't take it, but if you aren't sure, don't say yes til you know. Maybe the schools are looking for 15 or 26 or 48 or whatever number of kids, but given things can change over the summer, sometimes they will go for 27 or 49 etc. They know some children will get West Portal or Rooftop in round #2 or a desirable immersion school and that some kids will leave and be okay forfeiting the deposit. They don't want to wind up starting K with an underenrolled class b/c it's all funds they are counting on. Being 1-2 overenrolled isn't the end of the world for them even in Sept. and it is prudent in March.

    They must be very careful not to overenroll too much so it's tricky - but if you really want a certain school, don't feel absolute pressure to accept IF you have one offer you aren't positive you want to take. Giving up spots is important, so others can have them, but ... just saying, a lot changes right up until the deadline and even right after the deadline. I had thought we were out of the running at choice #2, since we hadn't heard from the AD, and in fact that wasn't the case at all. We just didn't like waiting.

    As it happens, although we are at the #3 choice school, we do love it for our child and feel it's absolutely the right place for him. I know now we would probably feel the same if we were at any of the choices.

    One other thing that gets obscured - anyone lucky enough to be able to afford private school or get aid - these schools for the most part all do a really great job. Everyone has their favorite, but most all will create a wonderful environment for your child. There's probably less difference between them all than it seems during the process.

    Good good luck and hang in there. I literally do not know anyone from our child's preschool who didn't find a great home and wasn't really happy by fall. I know that is a long way away, but given that it's 9 years of school, that's a great outcome.

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  82. Well said, 9:08. It sure feels personal after all that effort--how can they judge your child after only meeting them for such a short time? The truth is, they probably did like all of us on the wait list, there are just too many of us, and random things like birthday month, number of shy vs gregarious kids, etc probably determine a large part of who gets in.

    I just wish they were more transparent about how hard this is, and what the chances really are. At least colleges publish the statistics, so you know what you are getting into. With all of the hard selling going on at each open house, and the multiple events that are required for each school, it makes you feel like you actually have a good chance of getting in somewhere.

    I don't think this would feel so bad if we'd had more realistic expectations.

    I really hope all of us wait-listed folks get some good news this week!

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  83. Just need to vent...

    We got into our first choice private school. During the application process, we figured that we'd just be able to afford it.

    Four weeks ago, we found out that one of our employers is having hard times, and a sizeable across-the-board pay cut was coming for everyone.

    And now, the hard fact is that we probably can't afford to attend the school we received that wonderful letter from.

    We are scrambling, look for change in cushions of the couch, you name it. I can't bring myself to say "No thanks" yet, even though the reality is setting is that we will probably have to.

    We tried for public, and went 0/10.

    This morning, I'll admit, I found myself with tears rolling down my face. I know that, in the grand scheme of things, this is a small problem. Something will work out elsewhere if we have to say no, and our saying "No" will be a waitlist person's good fortune.

    But right now, this hurts.

    Thanks for listening. Best of luck to everyone!

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  84. Patience is key.

    Still two days left till the 10am deadline, so many changes should be expected. Additionally, 2nd round public school decisions have yet to be held, so once that happens, expect another round of movement, as there are many families who are willing to sacrifice the initial deposit they may have had to put down (just in case) in exchange for a good public school.

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  85. Dear 10:48, I hope you have let that school know your change in finances. Maybe they would offer you financial aid. Too bad people can't swap a public for a private. I'm sure there'd be lots of takers, in both directions.

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  86. FYI:

    SF K Files deletes posts of opinions it doesn't like.

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  87. 10:48, call the director ASAP. Financial aid committees do meet (mostly today) to reconsider aid packages. If they really want you, they'll do what they can to help you come. Another possibility is pulling out all the stops--all your resources-- to pay for this year and then applying for aid for next year. Don't give up too soon!

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  88. 11:23 AM: NB at the top of the thread:

    "Please keep the discussion focused on private schools. Any off-topic comments will be deleted--or moved to a separate thread."

    Post whatever-it-was in a more appropriate thread.

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  89. Can anybody name all schools that have gone to waitlists? And the schools that are confirmed done?

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  90. We went 0/4 (waitlisted) at private schools with an early summer birthday (girl). We have a TK spot but aren't sure what it means to hold out and re-apply next year if we didn't get any "too young" notices. Anyone with experience/insights in this direction?

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  91. It seems like it is starting to move at some schools. I just heard from a friend that got off the wait list at Town school this am! Very happy for this family as they went 0/5 and have an older child at one of the girls schools. Fingers crossed that this is the start off wait list movement for the families that are still waiting.

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  92. re deposit and split-day decisions: say yes to that private, write a check from an empty account and let it bounce if you don't need the spot; you lose $20 instead of $2,000, the spot gets filled anyway by some very happy family, you get your choice of public; the private goes thru some very minor overhead and everyone is happier in the end. And if you don't get your public the day after you write the check, make sure to transfer enough funds to cover it.
    Not ethical, but we're all forced to play this game.

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  93. @12:25 very interesting strategy to say the least

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  94. Wow, 12:25, did you use to work for Enron?

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  95. 7:31 pm last night: Regarding FAIS pre-K...this is crazy, but I saw a note on their website that they were still possibly looking for two girls for the pre-K4 class. They just didn't get enough good applicants. So, if you have a girl, it may be worth calling Andrew now and may not be too late.

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  96. Did Stuart Hall really only have 12 non-sibling spots this year? Is this reliable information? Any idea how many applications they got?

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  97. FAIS PK - 2 more girls??...does that mean the classes will be heavy with boys? i hear that it tends to lean that way and if so, should i be worried?

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  98. Yes 1:31. 1 thing the rich and the poor have in common, lots of babies.

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  99. Would love to hear what other PSD are doing to help their waitlist people.

    Ours is doing nothing and I am worried.

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  100. I haven't heard that FAIS runs boy heavy. And it sounds like they are working super hard to balance it, so assume they will. We have accepted a K spot for a girl ourselves. I'm just in shock because it's always been so competitive for pre-K.

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  101. Do you know how many FAIS k spot were offered?

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  102. Curious how much weight the preschool and the PSD had in this whole process. Anyone want to share what preschool they're at and where they were accepted?

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  103. Friends at two different preschools have indicated that everyone at their respective schools has been offered spots/multiple spots or had decided on parochial.

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  104. 2:19 PM

    All the schools are different regarding preschool weight.

    It's probably not a big consideration right now.

    The big consideration for private schools at the moment is staying power. They're trying to figure out which families will stick with the school.

    So perhaps preschool played more of a role a few year ago. That may not be the case now.

    Again, it also varies tremendously between schools.

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  105. Anyone receive "the call" yet?

    Have the schools started moving the WLs?

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  106. Our preschool director has been extremely UNhelpful. We do have one acceptance in hand, but are anxiously waiting on our first choice school's waitlist. I think her concern is with placing the families that were shut out (and rightfully so) but it would be nice if she could advocate just a little for us at our first choice school, or at least let us know if there's no chance.

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  107. 2:35 PM:

    I think that preschool directors vastly over play the influence they might have on private schools. They probably don't have much and this year in particular, with so many families applying, they probably have very little influence.

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  108. @ Anon 2:35 PM, please get a grip and put yourself in the shoes of the other families with no school. The PSDs have a lot to balance and I'm sure they are advocating as best they can, but going so far as to call them UNhelpful seems a bit harsh. I'm sure they played some small role in getting you your initial placement.

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  109. does anyone know how many CAIS k spots were avail, non sibling? we hear the new director is AMAZING and doing all the right things, "so far".

    and no offense but did any non-chinese pursue CAIS?

    i ask non-chinese assuming the leap of faith to choose mandarin with non-chinese speaking families like us.

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  110. I am the mom of an infant, but I am also a public school teacher, so I am just curious about this whole process. What the heck are the admissions people of a private school looking for when assessing a five-year-old? I mean, how do they even determine who to accept?

    If money is not an issue, how do they choose?

    It seems so strange!

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  111. to Anon @ 2:28 p.m.:

    Assuming the information on this blog is accurate, both Burke's and Town have gone to their wait pools. Anyone have any contrary or additional information?

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  112. Lynn MaKannay left us a vm that they didn't know if they were going to their waitpool or not and they would know more later today.

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  113. Presidio Hill calling off the waitpool.

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  114. @3:09 Having just gone through it and hearing indirect feedback, it's definitely a black box combination stuff. The schools all say it's all about the kid, but from what we've see/heard, it's really a mix of the kid's abilities, family fit with school, support of the school philosophy, contribution (diversity)

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  115. @2:47 - We are very grateful for the spot we do have, and as I wrote before, I completely understand that the PSD's attention is focused (again, rightfully so) on the other families with more pressing needs than ours.

    I was just answering 2:04's question about what other PSDs were doing - ours, not so much. Has not made contact with the AD, and was unable to tell us anything about our chances of getting in off the WL at the other school. Not trying to bash our PSD, just giving the info for comparison. I thought "unhelpful" was a pretty fair assessment.

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  116. And she was actually pretty UNhelpful through the initial placement process as well, so I feel especially lucky to have the one offer we do have!

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  117. 2:57 - only a small handful of K spots were open at CAIS (not sure exact number, but in single digit).

    Plenty of non-Chinese families apply to CAIS, as Mandarin speaking families only make-up about 1/3 of the school (and maybe even less so in the younger grades).

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  118. @3:23, that's fair and sorry for the get a grip comment. The tea leaves don't reveal anything until today. I suspect there will more information here and from all the PSDs this time tomorrow. Good luck all.

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  119. Are people hearing from the admission directors directly or through their PSDs? Does anyone really know their rank on the waitlist anyway?

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  120. @3:27 - I think all of us are feeling a little on edge this week. At least it will soon be over, one way or another (at least until high school . . . )

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  121. Can I just say this for everyone..."THIS FRIGGING SUCKS!!!!" I'm ready to throw my phone across the room.
    Serenity now!

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  122. I would kill to be a fly on the wall of an admissions director right now.

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  123. Just signed up at Town. First choice. Very excited. Released a co-ed spot. Had tough time deciding because we also have two girls. :)

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  124. Accepted MCDS. Released 3 co-eds. We have a Fall boy.

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  125. Congratulations 4:11PM and 4:26PM! Would you mind sharing what co-ed schools you released spots at? Thanks!

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  126. accepted SF Day. released one other coed.

    good luck everyone!

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  127. 4:11

    When is your boy's birthday?

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  128. We also signed up at Town. Our boy has a November birthday if that information helps any of you.

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  129. Thanks you 4:48.

    It really helps to see if the class is going to be old or young. If the class tend to be older they won't go to the spring wl.

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  130. Our friends were also accepted at Town, and they have a "young" boy (April), so maybe they try to create a balanced class with young/old?

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  131. 3:22 - re Presidio Hill, could you say if the waitlist call was re a boy or girl, and did you accept it?

    We've been waitlisted at all schools we applied to and got a disappointing assignment in the public lottery, so really hoping for a call this week.

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  132. I work in an independent school so please heed my advice! Families that have received acceptances need to make decisions, and release acceptances that they do not intend to take. If you have multiple acceptances, narrow it down ASAP and release the spots that are further down on your list. If you are wait-listed for your first choice, please release all but the one school you will enroll in if you do not get off the wait list for #1! It is absurd that families are holding onto multiple spots at this point, and it's absurd that families are struggling to make a decision between multiple schools at this point. Hoarding acceptances is incredibly selfish!

    You know what you wanted when you submitted your applications. An issue that has appeared this year is a lack of integrity--families declaring a first choice to admissions directors and pre-school directors and they are now waffling on that declaration. This makes my stomach turn.

    Step up people, make decisions, release acceptances so that the dominoes can begin to fall. Don't make it hard on the folks who are still waiting!

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  133. We gave up a boy spot at Presidio Hill.

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  134. Accepted at Burke's - 1st choice. Released a co-ed spot.

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  135. Does anyone know how many spots SFDS had?

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  136. Accepting at Nueva.

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  137. @5:27 It is difficult to know where to start with your comment as it is insulting on many fronts.

    That being said, lets start with "Step up people..." How about if you "step up" and reveal what esteemed institution made the mistake to pay for your services?

    My family, and many others, have invested 6+ months of time, money, energy, and emotion into this process. I am now waiting on 2 "waitpools" and would like to know if you are from one of them, and as you suggest, reduce my "choices" to only 1.

    Personally, I would love to speed things up, as you suggest in your own special way, and receive a call from one of the 2 schools I covet. However, for once in this process, respect the applicants. Between tours, open houses, interviews...we have catered to the whims of these schools for long enough. The least you can do is wait 3 business days for a decision. A decision mind you that involves several variables that clearly you are not capable of understanding or respectful of their importance.

    So in summary, go back to your hallowed halls and wait.

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  138. We were wait-listed at all three of the private schools we applied to, then went 0 for 10 for public (and our daughter was assigned to one of the worst schools in the city, once that is constantly threatened with an outright closing). So I second the gentle request that those who have offers please make your decisions and free up some spots!

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  139. I think the issue here might be with "spot hoarding." For example, someone who has two spots, but is waiting to hear on a first choice school. Chances are that of those two spots, you have a preference for which you'll put the deposit down on (after all, we are less than 36 hours away). So why not release your third choice first thing tomorrow morning? Think of it as good karma, because there's an excellent chance that spot you want at your #1 school is being held in a similar manner.

    I understand the frustration, 8:02, but bear in mind that everyone on this thread applied to private schools. We all suffered through the tours, the applications, the endless open houses, etc. So if you were fortunate enough to receive more than one offer, and want to hold on to a guaranteed spot in the hopes that a better option comes along, that's absolutely your right. But to keep more than one ace in your pocket until the last possible moment is simply selfish and dead wrong. And I'm saying that as someone who could have done that, but gave up the extra spot immediately. Because we knew that of the two offers, we preferred one school. Still waiting on a top choice, but at least we have our second. And the third slot has (hopefully) already been passed along to someone else.

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  140. @5:27

    I hope you'll take this response as a learning opportunity.

    This is a response to your suggestion that those of us who may have shifted our first choice school since we submitted applications (months and months ago), are lacking in any way in integrity.

    I cant speak for everyone, but I will speak for my family. We fell madly in love with one school when we toured, saw fabulous facilities, met a handful of teachers, and heard from a lovely group of kind and articulate middle schoolers. We communicated this preference both to our PSD and (in vague but pointed terms) in our application.

    Pursuant to handing in our application, we had three subsequent interactions with this school. None of them were terrible, but they were all a bit 'off'. Collectively, and partnered with multiple reports from current parents that were dissatisfied with their experience at the school, those post-application submission experiences were enough to make us rethink our first choice. As the universe would have it, we got in there. And were waitlisted everywhere else.

    So we're spending these days doing the research that we need to do to feel comfortable in the choice that we need to make. What with having to write a $25,000 check every year, that seems (at minimum) fair.

    I dont think that translates into a lack of integrity, We are doing whats best for our child. If anything, it reflects flaws in this process. As applicants, we are rushed through tours, spending 3 minutes in each classroom. And then Open Houses, where we are competing against (literally) dozens of other families for even 2 minutes of conversation with teachers or administrators. Maybe there is an opportunity for an evening or weekend event. Maybe there isnt. And whether--as in our family-- both of us work full time, or whether both parents are not working, its still the same reality: we cant possibly make the time to attend every 'optional' event for every school. So we go to what we can, and get a sense of what we can.

    Then tick tock, applications are due.

    To me, I'd say the flaw lies in the fact that in some cases, hundreds of families with girls (like us) applied for 5 or 6 spots. And we all paid to apply for those spots. And we all spent hundreds of hours and incalculable personal investment in hopes of getting one of those spots.

    Do I lack integrity because it is March 21 and my first choice school isnt the same as it was on December 15th when I submitted my applications?

    I don't think so.

    And I would hope that the schools to which we applied would have the empathy and clarity of thought to get that. And maybe to think a bit about what works and doesnt work about this process.

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  141. @8:15pm Are you at a popular preschool? If so, it is so stressful right now, but things should work out. At popular preschools the psd will almost always find homes by Thursday. There are kids that get in to schools and they had not even applied.

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  142. Could not agree more. I see you are angry at the AD from the school, however peaches, I received ZERO offers for my amazing son and only ONE wait list. I went 0/7 in the public school game and got one of the worst schools in San Francisco. My neighborhood school was not my favorite, however I put it first and got a school that I would not ever consider for an hour!

    Free up your wait list options that you do not need, selfish people. What are you doing right now, eating Cocoa Bella chocolates in your tub? As I sit and throw up blood here? An my baby sleeps in the next room with no idea his future is on the line? Seriously, get a life. Make your choices. Cut loose all offers other than your 1st choice wait list and the best secured offer you have. Do you understand how awful this process is for people that have nothing. Give others the chance you have right now. All of the kids desrve a great school.

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  143. 0/3 - Did you apply to only 3 privates because you prefer to find a public school?

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  144. I suppose the upside of spot hoarding is that their spots will open up eventually. If there are lots of people doing this, Thursday hopefully will be a good day for many of us.

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  145. It's clear tensions are mounting. And I think we should all aim for civility here. however,

    @9:03, just for the record, and while we all understand you are doing what is best for your child as expected, if you wrote a first choice letter to a school and subsequently are not going, than you do lack integrity and clearly lack an understanding of the definition. I am glad it worked out and you have a spot for your child, you 'won' at your game. But I do believe that those that wrote first choice letters and are not not honoring those promises, or wrote multiple first choice letters, have made an judgment call at the expense of integrity.

    We had a first choice all along but didn't submit such a letter until the final weeks when we were certain in our decision. Perhaps that cost us our letter in the first round, but hopefully karma sorts this all out for us. I'm confident; and sleep well at night.

    Tomorrow should bring good news. Good luck to everyone.

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  146. Going to MCDS and giving up Hamlin and SFDS.

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  147. @8:56, 8:02 here.

    If you read my post carefully, I'm holding 2 waitpools, not a "more than one ace in your pocket" situation. And I realize, again as mentioned in my post, that "everyone on this thread applied to private schools. We all suffered through the tours, the applications, the endless open houses, etc."

    That being said, despite not having an offer, I appreciate that others like @4:11 have difficult decisions to make and as I expressed earlier deserve to take all the time they want up until the 10am Thursday deadline.

    Whether the spot was released on Saturday morning or held until Thursday, it does not affect my chances and amounts to 4 days time in the scheme of 6 months? The last thing people deserve is to be called out by someone who claims to work at an independent school.

    Congratulations on your offers, thanks for making a speedy decision and good luck on your top choice.

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  148. @9:50

    Um. We didnt write a first choice letter. At all.

    We had a preference when we submitted our application in December. So we spent more time on that application, and tried to make our feelings for the school felt more than the other applications we did.

    But thats it. No letters, no other communications. No covert ops (we have no connections). No game.

    But thanks for making this mom feel like a big piece of poop. Awesome.

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  149. @12:50pm (Tuesday) who wrote:
    7:31 pm last night: Regarding FAIS pre-K...this is crazy, but I saw a note on their website that they were still possibly looking for two girls for the pre-K4 class. They just didn't get enough good applicants. So, if you have a girl, it may be worth calling Andrew now and may not be too late.

    March 22, 2011 12:50 PM

    Wow - I am just in shock and having a bit of anguish. After we got our public school letter Saturday and saw that we went 0 for 10, my husband suggested we call FAIS and tell them we had a huge error in judgment turning down our acceptance and would beg to go on the waitlist. We assumed they had lots of waiting parents to snap up our spot. But we thought it wouldn't be right to do that since we have moved toward another path (and still think we'll see what happens in Round 2 of the public school lottery as well).

    Thank you so much though for letting us know about FAIS P4 still looking for candidates. Ironically, I decided today to finally go back to work and actually focus on my job and not sit on the blog. So I missed this post until just now. The FAIS website still shows 2 spots open (and yes we have a 'bright-eyed and ready little girl'). My husband and I are now back to thinking about options and if we should rethink the road not taken.

    Guess I'll be up tonight again!

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  150. 11:33

    When is your child's birthday?

    I think the birthday has been a huge factor this year.

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  151. @11:36

    Her birthday is May 2. Maybe we should have waited until next year. I dont know. Ugh.

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  152. Did anyone else get out right "no" from FAIS.

    I was shocked to get a no..

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  153. @11:33, if you read my original comment than hopefully you figured out that I was referring to those that abuse the first choice process. Your earlier comment seemed to note that you made such a declaration to a school and were not living up to that commitment. There has been a lot of acceptance hoarding and first choice abuse from what I'm hearing. The good news is that it should result in some WL movement. Peace.

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  154. With so many people with 1 or 2 offers in their pockets waiting on "the call" from their first choice school, I wonder if these people are all hoarding the very spots they hope to get. Family A holding onto and offer from School 1 and hoping for School 2, Family B holding onto an offer from School 2 and hoping for School 1. Somebody's got to be the first to make a move.

    People holding onto backup offers will be forced to send in their deposits on Thursday, so I'm thinking (and hoping) the families with no offers will be rewarded on Friday when the spots finally clear. Mark my words!

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  155. 11:47 - Regarding FAIS, my son was outright rejected. Fortunately, we got offers from Town, Stuart Hall, and MCDS. We felt we were totally led down the path by the AD at FAIS. What a tool. Oh well, doesn't matter in the big picture. We are happily going to our first choice MCDS!

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  156. When I see posts from families saying they are accepting offers from "my" school, I can't help but wonder who they are.

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  157. 11:40 - I'm curious if you spoke to anyone about a May birthday. We also had a May girl and it seems like most May girls "go" but will end up being among the youngest (but not necessarily the youngest) of the class. I'm curious (and sorry to be a little off topic) this was a concern for you or if you wanted to avoid having among the "oldest" kids. I know it's very kid-specific, but some schools are more "academic" than others and some "freer form" and it's easier to be youngest at some places vs others. Our school (we have older kids there) isn't as academic so it wasn't a problem but I'm not sure if I'd want a May birthday girl (turning 6 not til the end of K) in all programs in the Bay area. TK spots open up so if you feel strongly you could apply again (exhausting thought but an option)

    Regardless, whatever the school, you did well that she was accepted b/c I think having young kids who are the oldest kids is a really tough factor in this process. For what it's worth, and this is coming from a mom who got top choice only at the end of last year's process - there will always be things about each school that even the biggest fans will be sad about. Truly no school is perfect. Complaints range from general to family specific -- e.g., it's too far away, the bus is expensive, it's hard to get to know people, there aren't enough volunteer opps, there's too much pressure on parents to volunteer, there isn't enough financial aid, there is not enough diversity, the endowment isn't big enough, they don't have PE every day, they don't have a great art teacher, it's too religious, the gap is too big, etc. etc. etc. - I have never heard of a school that any parent finds perfect in every way. That said I would stay on the wait list until Thursday at 9:59 waiting for the call from your 1st choice, unless the AD of that school says to do otherwise (many of those messages start to be given out Wednesday). If you wait and do not get a call by 9:59 take the other spot and explain that the process was more complicated than you expected. No one will know in the fall who accepted first and who last but I do think it would be a good idea to write a diplomatic letter either way to this AD as I agree the school was counting on you to say yes early if your application said it was your top choice. AD's do expect this to happen each year, although I'm sure it isn't easy.

    11:47 - FAIS definitely gives "no" letters if they don't think you will come or if there is another reason they don't think the fit is good. This to me fits more with the French culture.

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  158. 12:12 am - no offense meant, but the AD at FAIS could probably tell that you are a great family that would get lots of offers - if they think there is not a way you will come, they will not accept you. AD's (right or wrong) seem to get judged by School Boards largely on number of applicants, number of first choice intensions, and yield. This is too bad but it is the way it is. From what it seems, FAIS did not rank high on your list, so arguably the AD did the right thing. I also think we should stay away from complaining about any ADs by school name. They are all clearly giving this their all and for them it must be an impossible process as well. Many have very little admin help and to manage this process has got to be a logistical nightmare.

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  159. Got an "almost full" but you aren't coming off the wait list email from Burke's last night.

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  160. still no news from the #1 choice school waitlisted. should I call today or wait for tomorrow?

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  161. Town School is "highly unlikely" to go to the waitlist.

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  162. Just released girl spot at The Little School (TK) program.

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  163. @8:56 - was that message received this morning? there was another post early on saying someone did come off the waitlist.

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  164. Does anyone know if Pacific Primary has a "feeder" to any specific K-8 private? Just curious. They always say that there are no feeder preschools, but it seems like there kind of are...

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  165. @9:27 - yes, the AD called this morning.

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  166. That's it people. Game over. That beautiful school where you envisioned your son or daughter while taking the tours, ain't gonna happen. Thanks for playing.

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  167. Has anyone gotten off the waitlist at Friends?

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  168. Burk's took 13 from the waitpool last year. I personally know four people who turned down Burks this year. Has anyone gotten off the waitpool this week? We are waiting......

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  169. We are also waiting at Burke's. I've heard they are working through the wait list so there are still some options there. Good luck to you, too.

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  170. We also applied at FAIS, and were shocked/thrilled to get in. It was a very tough year there -- while I've heard slightly varying numbers, there seems to have been about 130 applicants for 10-12 spots.

    I know of four families who got an "outright" no.

    Did other schools do this besides FAIS, or is this unique to them?

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  171. Anon 10:50, that's bullshit. We just put down the deposit on the school we accepted, and the director said they won't be sure until after the deadline for deposits whether they can go to their waitlist.

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  172. I really have no problem people taking their sweet time deciding. After they were put through the application process, they earned it. After all, it won't make a difference if it is today or Thu. The spot will get free. And a $250k purchase is nothing to laugh at. Full consideration should be given.

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  173. Make it 5 outright no's at FAIS. I was mildly amused since it was far down our list and we got three accepts. I strongly feel that the AD's talk to each other and determine who is going to enroll.

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  174. Just got a spot from Burke's! Releasing Marin Prep now.

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  175. Anon 11:36. For 99% of us it is true.

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  176. My friend's child was turned down for FAIS PK4, no wait pool, no nothing. Does anyone know how many aps they had for their PK4 program? It seemed very competitive so I am surprised they have 2 girl spots.

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  177. @12:06 Congrats. Assuming you were on the waitlist? Been hearing that Burke's is moving through their WL.

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  178. Anyone hear anything about MCDS and waitlist potential? Seen a lot of accepts in this comment thread, but no releases?

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  179. Our daughter just got into Live Oak off the wait list! Yay!

    Good luck everyone!

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  180. From what I heard this morning from the AD, Friends (at least as far as girls go) need 4 girls to turn down slots by the deadline before they go to their wait list for girls.

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  181. Congrats on Live Oak! did you hear any thing in the mean time from the AD? Our girl is on WL there too, and we have called and emailed but not heard anything. Am just wondering if they kept in contact with you, or was this a surprise?

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  182. @1:34 pm: I called every day this week. From what I gathered, they're waiting to finalize the 2 remaining slots, but I'm not sure if they're for girls or boys...

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  183. @ 1:41, Thanks so much!

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  184. 12:39 - yes, we were on the waitlist at Burke's. Had a handwritten note at the bottom of the waitlist letter. Don't know if that info is helpful at all.

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  185. Is anyone giving up a Town spot?

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  186. We also got the no dice on waitpool notice from Burke's last night. So much for the unranked waitlist!

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  187. For 9:26 am, releasing Little School girl spot--did your daughter get into another TK vs private or public? We have a summer birthday girl waitlisted at all the privates we applied to but into a decent public school, trying to figure out whether to go with TK spot. Would value any insights!

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  188. Has anyone heard about anyone giving up a spot at Cathedral for next year's second grade class?

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  189. 9:26-
    We also have a summer birthday girl and got accepted into our first choice school for kindergarten. It was a really hard decision to make between sending her to K or doing a TK year. The school we accepted made sure that she would have peers her age (also summer birthdays) and assured us that she was ready and would be a great fit in the class. If we hadn't gotten that school, we would have absolutely done a TK year. I still worry that we made the right decision and maybe should have waited. I think a TK year would be a great option for you.

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  190. Sorry---meant 3:19 parent, I'm the 9:26 poster.

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  191. Just gave up girl spot at Live Oak School. Good luck all!

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  192. 3:51 can you share where your daughter will be going, even single/sex vs co-ed? thank you for considering it, just trying to see what spots might be filled/what might open in a little more detail now that we're down to the final day.

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  193. If I havent gotten any communications from the ADs at our waitlist schools yet today regarding our chances of still getting a spot, should we assume they are all no-gos at this point? Any advice much appreciated!

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  194. 4:07 - no definitely not - last year people got calls at 10 am Thursday who hadn't heard from the ADs all week. I don't know how much it happened but it definitely **did** happen at one of the most desirable co-eds - what ends up happening is that although the ADs get letters all week, by Thursday, simply not as many people want the spot who were were on the original WL.

    t's worth it to write one last note reinforcing your interest in K and even in 1st grade. nine years is a long time, even joining late is a real option, and although it seems a lot to ask now, many families do join late and have a great experience for their child - people do leave schools for a range of reasons - getting into public over summer, job moves, financial changes, etc. - and if you are savvy, you can have a chance at these spots. some schools also have more spots in first grade for a range of reasons.

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  195. 4:07 p.m.,waitlists continue to move. Some move even after Thursday's deadline, people move, decide they cannot commit the $$$, get a great public school spot, etc.

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  196. Our daughter got out of the wait pool at SFDS this morning. We've turned down Burke's and Friends.

    Good luck all!

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  197. 4:07,
    we got off the waitlist at Burke's this morning.

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  198. Thanks 9:26 for your candor. I have a feeling we might have met on the "trail" including at Little School. I'd love to email off-thread. My email is newdoc999@yahoo.com Thanks! 3:19 poster

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  199. Anyone know of any movement on the MCDS wait list?

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  200. How about further movement off the SF Day wait list?

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