Friday, March 25, 2011

Publics: Part II

This from a reader:
Would you consider starting a "Publics, Part Deux" thread on the front page of SF K Files? There is a thread that was started over on the forum, but it hasn't gotten much action. I'd love to switch my focus from obsessing over not getting into the private schools ("But you were at the top of the waitlist, that has to count for something!" says the PSD), not getting any of our 6 publics ("But you put only the great schools on your list!" say the friends not in the lottery), to WHAT AM I GOING TO DO FOR MY SECOND ROUND.

Does the order matter? Do I have to take the form down to the EPC or can I mail it in? Can we confirm that I do NOT have to accept Cobb (where we were assigned) in order to enter the second round? Can people advise me on what schools to list now that we think we should broaden our list?

46 comments:

  1. Also, it would be great to get insight into aftercare options! We got into a school that ends at 1:50 and has no on-site aftercare. They have a SFUSD bus going to the JCC and other programs right now, but apparently this bus will be discontinued next year. On top of that, these aftercare programs are between $450 and $650 a month per kid, and I have two! I thought public school was free...Does anyone have ideas for affordable, practical aftercare near the Inner Richmond?

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  2. Public school is not free.

    Not only do you (and others) pay taxes, the demands on parents and family for donations will never stop.

    But we really needed to start another war in Libya, to go with the ones in Iraq and Afghanistan. Syria's next.

    Good thing we have a Democrat for a president now!

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  3. Since when is a public school supposed to be your nanny or a daycare. Of course you have to pay for your kids' aftercare while you are at work. This never ceases to amaze me. It is your responsibility to provide care for your own children after school. Why is it assumed the school should do this?

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  4. No, you do not have to register at Cobb to go through Round 2.

    You should put all your Round 1 schools and then some more. Spots could open in your Round 1 choices b/c some people go private, etc.

    Order matters only as a personal preference. Whatever school you prefer most, put it on top, etc. There is no rank choice tie breaker as in previous years. Simply put them in the order you like them.

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  5. Of course schools should provide free or very affordable aftercare. A school that gets out at 1:50 or even 3pm is stuck in some kind of 1950s timewarp where women didn't work. Maybe it's because I'm from Europe where school starts at 3 years old and aftercare goes until 6pm and there are many near-free public summer programs, that I think it's a moral right to provide families with viable, liveable childcare options. Who in the world could pick their kids up at 1:50 in the afternoon? Only SAHMs who have rich husbands I guess!

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  6. Which school is it? Is that the only aftercare option?

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  7. It's Rooftop! we won the lottery but are now are grappling with how to make it work for us. Their is an on-site program, but no room, so we're on the waitlist. There is also MEEP at Miraloma and the CDC at Grattan, but they aren't sure if bus service will continue to those, and Miraloma is also very far from our house. These programs are about $450 a month. JCC is $625 a month. So any other ideas appreciated.

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  8. People in Europe are much more willing to pay taxes to fund all day school until 6pm. People in America want more services than they are willing to pay for. In case you haven't heard, we here in the US are broke, the state of Cali, SFUSD, the city of SF, even the federal gov't. Europeans are used to a social state and are used to paying for it. Americans do not think anything is a moral right, healthcare, childcare, transportation. That's just how it is here.

    And if someone mom/dad/grandma can't pick your kid up from school, then you have to pay someone to do it for you.

    And I'm a democrat, but I'm just sayin'

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  9. European here again. Very interesting the tax debate, but I actually pay MORE tax in America. The taxes here are very high (fed, state, property) compared to France where I'm from, because there families get lots of tax breaks and property taxes are just a few hundred euros a year. Plus here you pay for basic services with after-tax dollars - healthcare premiums, daycare costs etc. Do Americans need to believe they pay less tax than Europeans - to feel better that they don't get many social services, public transit, long vacations, healthcare and childcare, free college, job protection and govt pensions?

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  10. Oh, European, welcome to our broken, ignorant, selfish, badly-educated country. I can't imagine why anyone with citizenship in a social democracy would come here.

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  11. The reason that France, and most other Western industrialized countries, pay less tax and get more services is that they control immigration. These countries don't cultivate a huge underclass of people who burden the system with high social needs and little economic input.

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  12. I know several stay at home dads with rich wives. It's not always the man who makes the most money.

    The whole tax thing is a pickle. I do think there are idealogical differences in the US and Europe about what is personal responsibility and what is government. But we won't solve any of that here.

    Could you lobby Rooftop to create more space in their onsite aftercare program. They did this at Sunnyside last year and the Y hired more people and any kid that wanted to go got in.

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  13. By the way, the population of high needs, low skilled labor in California is increasing at a geometric rate.

    Rachel recently put mentioned that we can can only advance the position of disadvantaged children if we fully integrate them into our schools. Perhaps, ensconced as she north of Golden Gate park, she hasn't noticed that MORE THAN HALF of children in SF public schools are economically disadvantaged. The situation is even much more dire in other parts of the state. Just what are these kids supposed to integrate into?

    Rachel continues to get on her soap box with a political position that might have been popular in 1970. I'd suggest that she move to the Mission with the gang takedowns and graffiti. Perhaps that would help her think more clearly and pragmatically about the state of schools in 2011.

    AS to afterschool care, perhaps you should read the article on school cuts in the Examiner today or start following closely the news on the California budget.

    Free childcare after public school may very soon be a thing of the past.

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  14. Nihonmachi Little Friends (Japantown) has an afterschool program that picks up at Rooftop.

    http://www.nlfchildcare.org/prog_afterschool.html

    Not sure if the bus service will be affected next year.

    Good luck!

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  15. European taxes also tend to be much more progressive than the system here. Wealthier people pay a higher percentage of their income in taxes. The redistribution of weath from poorer to richer citizens in the U.S. is not only wrong, it's also short-sighted. Without reasonable investment in public education, who will be the doctors, accountants, teachers, and civil servants when we're all old?

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  16. 10:00am - am I more likely to get my number one choice than my number 6? I think I am still unsure about how the lottery actually works but I guess it doesn't matter. I should just put them in the order I want.

    Anyone have an answer to the questions in the original post :)?

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  17. Lots of kids from Rooftop attend the latchkey program at Miraloma Rec Center and Douglass Park Rec Center, possibly others. I am not sure if the buses will continue to these programs or not.

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  18. When we participated in the lottery for my oldest back in the late 90's no one in our preschool expected to get anything in the first round. That would just be considered a lucky fluke. Many, many people waited until after school started to get placed. But most people ended up in places they were happy with, even if it wasn't in their top group of choices. So this isn't a new problem, but one that many, many people have faced over the years and lived to tell the tale.

    As long as there is some element of choice in the system (something we all say we want) there will be some people who do not get their ideal placement initially. If you want certainty, you have to move somewhere with no choice.

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  19. Until 1999, the US also had a progressive tax system. What has destroyed that?

    - The 1999 repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act

    - The 2003 Jobs and Growth Tax Relief Reconciliation Act

    Also, a tax structure that encourages corporations toward very high executive pay, which can structured to be tax exempt, and low pay and benefits (hence less taxable income) of the rank and file.

    Yet, we don't address this. Even with our leadership lead by Democrats, not a word is spoken on these issues. Where are Pelosi, Obama, Boxer, Ammiano, Newsom, and Feinstein on these issues?

    At least Brown is trying to say something. No one is listening.

    It's pointless to talk about the schools and not look at the larger picture of why our state and our schools are on the verge of financial collapse.

    Where's the revenue?

    Why isn't the tax on this revenue more evenly and fairly distributed?

    Where are the intelligent decisions to limit the number of economically disadvantaged or at least not grow the number of disadvantaged at a geometrically increasing rate?

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  20. @ 12:09

    At least in the first round, each school conducted its own lottery. So you are entered in the lottery for each school. If you get a spot at more than one school, then you get the highest one on your list. So there isn't any "gaming" in the sense that School X is more likely to pick you if you put School X as #1 on your list vs #6. Your own ranking *only matters* if you get in to more than one school.

    I'm not versed on the details of R2, but I have to imagine that it's the same in this respect.

    Good luck!

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  21. Sorry if I'm adding confusion, but I'm, well, confused on the registration requirement.

    I thought that to enter Round 2, you DO need to register at your school of assignment in Round 1, even if you don't ultimately want the Round 1 school.

    Has this requirement changed this year?

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  22. Everyone please focus: The premise of this thread is what to do in Round 2. This is a thread for those of us who DID NOT get into Rooftop or any other school that we wanted or requested.

    Aftercare is important, without question. But it is step 2. Many of us are still on Step 1 -- finding a school.

    For those of us fighting for crumbs, it comes across as incredibly selfish when someone eating a steak starts asking us to help them pick out dessert.

    You already won the lottery. At least allow us "losers" our own thread. Please move the aftercare conversation to another thread.

    Thanks in advance.

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  23. 4:19: Bitter? But very well put. :)

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  24. 3:52, there was never a requirement that you must register at your round one offer school in order to participate in round two.

    That said, there are families who later regret not having *something* as they move through the process. Understanding that people have definite preferences and there are lots of logistical & commute & aftercare issues in play as well, nevertheless there are very few schools that are not basically okay for a kinder year anyway.

    But it is your decision to register, or not. Round 2 is not dependent on that decision.

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  25. afterschool at CYO (south of market @ mission and 9th) $300/month. bus from rooftop, alvarado and? Open until 6pm.

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  26. From PPSSF.org:
    Enrollment

    Options for Families after Receiving SFUSD Offer Letters
    1. If You Received Your School of Choice.

    •Register at your assigned school by April 15, 2011 to secure your spot. If you do not register you will lose your spot.
    •Attend school welcome/orientation/play dates, if any, before school starts.
    •Become familiar with the school community
    2. If You Did Not Receive a School of Choice.


    •Visit the offered school, if you have not toured it
    previously
    •Consider registering at the offered school by April 15,
    2011 to secure the spot. Registering at your assigned
    school will not affect your chances in the 2nd Placement
    Period
    •Broaden your consideration of schools
    •Tour additional schools
    •Submit 2nd placement period application by April 15, 2011
    with your choices
    3. If You Received a School of Choice and Want a Higher Choice.

    •Register at offered school by April 15, 2011 to secure the spot.
    •Submit a 2nd placement period application by April 15, 2011 with your choices
    4. Submit a Medical or Family Hardship Appeal.

    •Medical and Family Hardship Appeals are considered only for cases where the student’s needs cannot be met at the assigned school. Approved appeals are granted for ONE SCHOOL ONLY that can meet the student’s needs and cannot be used for placement into multiple schools.

    There is also a link to "more tips for Round 2"

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  27. Also take a look at the wait pool movement from last year (09/10):

    http://ppssf.org/Enrollment/data/WP_Historical%2009-10%20Update.pdf

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  28. Also take a look at the wait pool movement from last year (09/10):

    http://ppssf.org/Enrollment/data/WP_Historical%2009-10%20Update.pdf

    They really need to make an updated one of these since this one is 2 years old and isn't obviously an accurate reflection of this years lottery.

    I know in the past this spreadsheet was extremely helpful for parents trying to find a school. Showing only the numbers of top 14 isn't going to help most people.

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  29. Does anyone know what happens after Round 3? Waitlists? A free-for-all? I keep hearing different answers, and can't find anything on the EPC website...

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  30. 4:19 - if it makes you feel any better, we got Rooftop for...4TH GRADE. We've been trying for it for five years.

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  31. @ 5:07 I'm probably more bitter than I fully realize. Sorry. : )

    @ 6:04 Congratulations on making it into Rooftop!

    @ original first commenter. Sorry I came across harsh. I won't retract the essence of my comment, but it may have been a little over the top. I'm sorry. This is a community after all. I apologize for being rude.

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  32. My view on Round II
    - It is not the same as last year in terms of analyzing the movement of spots etc.
    - Unfortunately, if a spot opens up for whatever reason and here are a few reasons
    a) someone did not register at their assigned school - like we did; we have been assigned Chavez
    b) opted for private schools - lots of hoarders here, will keep public spots until the last minute (maybe just to put the rest of us through pain)
    c) moved out of the San Francisco - this year, unlike last year there will be fewer people doing this because most of the folks who would move are ones that live in the attendance area of the "trophy" schools and did not get in there
    d) other unknown reasons (not sure what those reasons are :)

    So this year Round 2 is more than likely going to yield the same outcome as Round 1. People who has a not so hot school (their perception) like Glen Park, will register but hope to get into Clarendon or Rooftop or immersion.

    When they realize they will not get into those they will either suck it up and say Geln Park it is or move or eat ramen noodles (as one post had said) and pay $20-30K/year for the next 5 years !

    Hope this helps - this is my analysis and I went 0/10 and into a school we will not send our child to !
    c)

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  33. "c) moved out of the San Francisco - this year, unlike last year there will be fewer people doing this because most of the folks who would move are ones that live in the attendance area of the "trophy" schools and did not get in there"

    At my child's preschool the "move out of SF" happened last year for many families in anticipation of Kindergarten. Many gave up on SFUSD before even going through Round 1.

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  34. The poor don't need more money for the public schools. Really, if they can't make do with what they have then they need to reconsider how they spend the money. Only the real citizens see it that way. Labor has driven the schools into the ground. Labor is at fault for the debacle that we have. Sorry but that is the truth. Have you bothered even to consider that the tax base is almost all paid by Privates? Ever think about the fact that they pay twice? Rally for the parents that pay twice next time. Everyone knows they agree.

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  35. I would like to apologize for all my recent posts. I just realized that I have this:

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0001938/

    Now that I know what the problem is and am working on it, I won't continue with all my previous rule-obsessed blogging, and again, please accept my apologies. I'm sure it must have been very annoying for you all to read.

    ;-)

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  36. "The reason that France, and most other Western industrialized countries, pay less tax and get more services is that they control immigration."

    Google 'banlieu'.

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  37. I'm still confused - do you have to submit the April 15th round 2 form in person or can you mail it in this time (like I was able to do last year when we were equally screwed)? It literally doesn't say on the form, the website, anything I can find?

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  38. I'm sure you can mail it in, but I wouldn't. Last year I took my in and asked them about mailing and they laughed and said yes, I could, but they would never do it themselves. Didn't give me a lot of confidence it would get to the right place if I mailed it.

    Are you looking for a first G spot? If yes, look to west side schools where many Catholic school kids go to public K then switch to St. Cecelia's or St. Brendans. West Portal and Feinstein have lots of kids that do this.

    Good luck.

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  39. uh, I wouldn't call it a "G Spot".

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  40. I went in today to drop off our form, and was advised that I could fax it in. Personally, I wouldn't do that -- I like that the person at the counter confirmed that it was filled out correctly and returned a signed copy which shows that I brought it in on time.

    I would either head down there, or ask a trusted friend to do it for you. It was a quick in-and-out at around 11:45 this morning.

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  41. @1:52

    Thank you so much! I finally get it!

    Thanks also for the heads up on taking my form down to the office. Will do! Anyone attending any of the workshops on round 2?

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  42. 2:50, that's very funny and you are right TROLLS HERE.

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  43. 10:52 AM, that's just mean, assuming you are someone posing as Don and not Don himself.

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  44. I just attended the Kindergarten meeting at Sanchez Elementary. I first want to say as a teacher coach for SFUSD, I have done school visits of Sanchez and have always been very impressed with its calm environment (in the class and in the halls) and how happy the teachers and students seem to be there.

    With that said, the Principal, Dr. Isola, said they have the funding and the okay to add a third kindergarten class and wanted to know if there is parent interest in opening a Spanish Immersion pathway. The parents at the meeting expressed enthusiasm for the idea. Dr. Isola, principal at Sanchez for 12 years, told parents to email him if they would like to open a Spanish Immersion at Sanchez.

    I encourage all parents who got into Sanchez to not only consider going but to email the principal and advocate for the opening of Spanish Immersion.

    Dr. Raymond R Isola, Principal
    isolar@sfusd.edu

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  45. Here's another private option to consider. We went through the same ordeal several years ago- no public assignments on our list and no acceptances at the privates. Our daughter has an August birthday and we were told by the privates that she was too young, so we looked for an acceptable K option, feeling that another year of pre-K would be boring. We found Hillwood Academic Day School and put her there. They are "off the grid" as far as privates go and don't use the same entry process, so you can still apply. We originally assumed our daughter would stay for K and then move to another private, but she loved it so much that she has stayed put. Tuition is less than $10,000.

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  46. We are planning to file a medical appeal, which is due April 15th. That appeal requires us to list only ONE school. But we also don't want to miss out on Round II (or whatever it is being called these days), which gives us the option to list MORE THAN ONE school. That's also due April 15th. So can someone BOTH file a medical appeal AND put in an amended choice application for Round II?

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