So before I start, here are the facts:
-We applied and were accepted to Zion Lutheran
-We applied to SFUSD and got none of our 10 listed schools
-We put pretty much all very popular schools (though I had no idea how popular Feinstein would be and thought that was a decent “safety school.” I was wrong.)
-Our “neighborhood” school is Miraloma. We listed it first. We did not get it.
-We were assigned Glen Park Elementary.
Okay, so now we’re all on the same page, I’ll begin.
I did not win the lottery today. I’m not particularly surprised. Despite reassurances from many people, I didn’t really hold high hopes of my son getting into Miraloma. I wanted him to get in, just didn’t think he would. I figured what would happen is what exactly did happen: lots of siblings, a few CTIP applicants and tons of neighborhood kids dying to go to the nice school down the street, equals few spots to go around. So where does that leave me? Eh, a little bit bitter.
I’m not bitter in any one general direction. I’m not bitter at SFUSD. I get it, it’s a big urban district, and it’s not going to be all roses and butterflies. I’m not bitter at myself, I did choose highly sought after schools, but I wasn’t about to go into this process not trying to get the best programs for my kid (and argue with me if you will, but in general, the schools that can raise $100k+ from PTA events are going to have better programs than the schools that struggle to make $5k), I’m not even bitter at my bank account for not being able to comfortably afford any type of private school.
I’m bitter because I want what I can’t have. It’s a tough lesson to learn, one I’m trying to teach my 1-year-old, but really need to learn myself. We live in a house we like, in a neighborhood we like with a great, free, school down the street and my kid can’t go there. And really, I have no reason why he should be able to go there over some other kid, it’s just that I want him to. And he can’t. I’m also bitter because this just means more uncertainty for us. I do not like uncertainty, I’m a planner. And, no, it is not at all lost on me that this whole process is some type of life lesson for me, but it doesn’t change the fact that’s it making me bitter.
But, bitter or not, it’s time to start making some contingency plans. I’m very lucky in that we applied and were accepted to Zion, but without financial aid (those applications aren’t due yet so we won’t know for awhile if we get it), we would have to significantly reduce our current cost of living to afford it. And that means we would need to move. Which, considering Zion is a decent commute across town for us, moving would make sense anyway. But I don’t want to move. I really, really like Zion, and if some education funding fairy came out of the woodwork to pay for it, we’d accept our spot there and call it a day. But so far I’ve seen none of that type of creature. So we need to plan beyond that.
My SFUSD plan is to go through round two. I’m not sure what schools I’ll put down, as it really doesn’t seem to me that there were many schools just overflowing with extra spots at this point. I have a few friends that made much more reasonable lists than I did and STILL didn’t get a spot (well, John Muir was assigned to them) so I don’t have much faith in round two. I do plan on touring Glen Park and checking it out. But it concerns me that the Great Schools score is so low and it concerns me that the API scores are low and it concerns me that the PTA is very small. The trifecta of those three things leaves me worried. I would be happy to hear from CURRENT Glen Park parents though. If you have any input on your school, please, please, please do chime in with a comment.
Our final contingency plan is a move to the East Bay earlier than planned. We will eventually move to the East Bay because of my husband’s career, but hadn’t planned on doing so for at least a few more years. And quite frankly, I’m not ready to leave San Francisco, I feel like I just got here. But I’m not willing to go all summer not having a place for my kid to go to school in the Fall, so if we have to do it, we will.
And there you have it. I know I’ve given lots of you opportunity to “bash” my decisions and plans here, and that’s okay. Private school and moves and turning down public offers other people might want are hot topics around here. I feel no ill will towards those of you who would have done things differently than I have, but I would change nothing about what I’ve done so far. I’m simply trying to find a great place to educate my son, and I take that job seriously.
So congratulations to those of you who have received exciting placements the last few days and good luck to those of you who, like me, are now making contingency plans. Uncertainty is still our BFF.