Saturday, March 19, 2011

Uncertainty is my BFF

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.

49 comments:

  1. Uncertainty is deeply stressful, Emily. I'm really sorry. I have the same feeling of bitterness -- not towards people who won the lottery, because it really IS a lottery, but towards people with the means to just go private and forget about it. I, too, want what I can't have, which in my case means enough aid to actually accept the private slot we got. I mean, I want what my KID can't have. Today, I think it's fine to just cry and rage. The earthquake and Libya bombings will still be here when we pull up our socks and marshal our resources, which we do have. But for today? Bitter is the new black.

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  2. I'm so sorry. I know how you feel. I have been there. And you definitely should be angry and take time to grieve. But I assure you that it will work out in the end. It's hard to believe that now, but it will. The journey isn't easy but in the end you'll be at a school and love it more than you ever dreamed. Look at Glen Park. You might be surprised. These hidden gems have a lot to offer--and they do have some benefits that the rock star schools don't. Often these schools are smaller, cozier, more nurturing. They're often getting more money per pupil through government funding. The PTA might be small, but you have the chance to be a strong leader and don't have to deal with dozens of type A parents. These small up-and-coming schools have a lot less drama among their parents. That said, you might get your dream school in Round II. And if you're willing to wait it out, you'll probably get into Miraloma! It'll work out. Hard to believe now, but it will!

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  3. Thanks for the honesty. I had just posted the following Q (see below) on the other blog about the letter we received today. It is a bitter pill to swallow and I have gotten nothing accomplished today as I think about what we'll do next. But tomorrow we'll get in gear and figure it out.

    Q to fellow Miraloma attendance area shut-outs who put it down as their first choice. Did you get anything nearby or anything on your list? We got nothing off our list and our assigned school was a school almost 5 miles away from us that we've never heard of before. Thought we'd at least get Sunnyside, Sloat, or Glen Park as schools 'closest to our address'.

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  4. First, let me say that I'm sorry that you didn't get your first pick.

    Second, I'm one of the GP PTO Co-Presidents. I am also one of the PPS-SF ambassadors, so if you call or email them, they'll give you all my contact info so we can chat. We have a daughter heading into 2nd grade after another great year. Our K teacher, Mrs. Redding was awesome. We have an incoming kindergartner. We'll have our littlest one starting in two plus years. We love the school. It's not perfect, but finding a school is a lot like finding someone to settle down with. I'm not perfect, my husband isn't perfect but together, I think we can do great things. Our school has a lot going for it and my daughter is doing really well.

    We will have a kindergarten get-together on April 9th at school. You'll get a chance to meet our teachers, see the school, meet some of the other incoming parents, and talk to current parents. We'll be making phone calls and sending letters next week.

    I can answer specific questions here, but not until tomorrow. :)

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  5. 9:21, thanks so much for chiming in, you made me feel better. Any idea of the time on the 9th? I'm going out of town that day for a little retail therapy, but will try to fit this in if I can.

    I've heard two things about Glen Park that I'm particularly concerned about (total hearsay here)
    a) there is no longer PE and
    b)it's very regimented both behaviorally and academically.

    Thoughts?

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  6. I really loved Glen Park when I toured.

    I think there are a lot of placements there because there are no longer buses going to Glen Park after next year (?) and why the citywides & k-8 had a surge in requests.

    As for API - your child's score will be fine, that's all you really need to be concerned about, right? Glen Park has cluster teaching and peer groups, so, your child will be taken care of, so to speak, and GATE in the 4th, if I remember.

    PE - all children have to have PE under the law of the land. I was worried about this at our current school - which scores a 1 on great schools, BTW, but we scraped together enough for a gym teacher. The children also have active recess with games.

    GP has one of the better after school programs for all kids, not just the disadvantaged ones.

    They have a good computer program and library program.

    They are nice and small and very neighborhood.

    As for the PTO, if they have more than 5 people showing up at their meetings, that's a good show. Ask Alvarado or Miraloma how many people show up to their meetings. Money is one thing, but what about volunteers?

    I met a little girl at the zoo who went there and I asked her how she liked it and she said she loved it. She was a kindergartener. Seriously though, children do not see the things we worry about so much.

    schools can go up and down in API :
    http://www.sfexaminer.com/local/sfusd-ahead-state-test-scores-not-meeting-federal-standards

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  7. Glen Park is a great school. It's a great building in a great neighborhood that is only getting better.

    Talk to the teachers at Glen Park and see if your son or daughter would bond with those k teachers. Seriously. I have heard great things from parents at GP, on the ground. You have a great placement. If you want to keep trying for Miraloma - no problem. But GP is a great school and you might make some friends in the community as well, if you decide to attend.

    Good luck and thank you for sharing your story

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  8. Re Q from 9:19
    Miraloma attendance area. Our 1st choice. Went 0/10. Assigned to Jose Ortega GE.

    Not sure what is next. Go to Ortega? Go for a 2nd round? Go w our private backup?

    As Emily rightfully says, uncertainty is my bff!!!

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  9. Emily, change your plans and go to Glen Park on the 9th! You're upset because of unconfirmed hearsay and you're passing up a chance to meet incoming K parents because you're going shopping??

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  10. Your instinct is good. Go with it. We pulled out of Glen Park after K and were lucky to get into Miraloma and Sunnyside was the next choice. However, we had one private back up but would have to alter our budget significantly.

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  11. According to the District the low incidence of neighborhood school first apps ought to have been to your favor. In its wisdom I guess SFUSD felt it was more important to send a family across town to take its rightful place at your neighborhood school. How dare you think you could buy your way into a school!

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  12. @12:24 why did you pull out of Glen Park after one year?

    I toured it and it seems nice, but one hour is hard to tell what is going on. The new assignment policy should help make the student population more diverse.

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  13. GP Parent here from 9:21pm. We have no credentialed PE teacher this year. The district reassigned about 4 days before school started. It was a loss to be sure, but the kids get the state mandated 200 minutes every two weeks (in addition to morning recess and lunch recess).

    As for behavior regimentation, it's far less regimented than Catholic schools of my youth. There are 4 basic rules that are consistent from classroom to classroom. No putdowns, keep your hands and feet to yourself, stay on task, and I can't remember no 4, which I think is raise your hand to speak when someone else is speaking. There's an emphasis on being quiet and orderly during transitions because it disrupts other classes if people are being noisy in the halls during bathroom breaks and the like. In class,
    there's lots of freedom of movement and kids are free to wiggle during story times and they talk and move while doing their projects and the like. I like the discipline system so far and I think it will work with my other two kids, but we'll see when we get there.

    It's academically regimented in the sense that there are high expectations. It's not drill and kill though.

    As for PTO meetings, we'll have 30+ at the beginning of the year and less as time goes on, but it's still at least 10-15 people. There’s room for improvement but we are two years old.

    As for the 9th, we haven't firmed up times with our teachers yet, but we should know soon.

    Our PTO Email address is glenparkpto AT gmail.com. If you want my contact info, send us an email.

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  14. 11:18 Re: 0/10 & Assigned to Jose Ortega GE

    Us too! Also uncertain.

    Will be going to check out the school - they have a strong principal, which seems to be one of the strongest assets a school can have.

    Someone on the other thread posted that the immersion strand at JOES is good, parents not as happy in the GE strand? Seemed like a strange thing to say. Is there any validity to this?

    Any JOES parents that can chime in re: your school's strengths/areas in need of improvement?

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  15. I did not get any of my choices. I was assigned to Sheridan Elementary. So upsetting!

    I am working now on my strategy and try to figure out how to handle the situation, so my daughter will get a school we are all happy about! Anyway, I wanted to ask and to clarify if the order that you list your schools on the amended application matters?

    Also, are there any people who can comment on Francis Scott Key?

    I will be really grateful of any insights on both my questions. Thank you!

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  16. I am bummed my post got deleted, I don't think that I said anything offensive. But a frank discussion of class and race and its impact on school performance is out of bounds here I guess.

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  17. More corruption. I knew this crap happens. How does a child get into Presidio Middle School whom lives outside the neighborhood area? Perhaps it's because the child has parents that work in the school system.

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  18. 11:42, the middle school assignment process had NO assignment areas this year other than a preference for CTIP1 (all the way across town, so I doubt it affected Presidio and Giannini as much as Aptos and Hoover, which are more accessible to Mission and Bayview). Therefore it is entirely by chance that someone from outside the immediate neighborhood may have been assigned ahead of someone who lives nearby. No corruption necessary for that to happen--it's how the assignment system was structured--citywide choice with CTIP1 preference. Same for high school. Agree or disagree, them's the rules, at least for this year.

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  19. 9:45, I am not one to try to talk anyone into loving a school that they don't like. Also, there are schools I would certainly not advise are okay.

    That said, I just want to say that Sheridan is not an upsetting or horrible school. Far from it! It has good test scores (better than some of the popular immersion programs), a good principal, experienced teachers, a PTA, and on top of that a nice facility including the most beautiful auditorium in the district.

    I don't know what your issues with it are (location maybe?), but if all else fails, I think it would not be a terrible place for a child to spend a K year while you seek other options. It's a functional school with nice families. I mean that sincerely and I wouldn't say that about every school.

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  20. 8:34
    I made that comment about JOES. Not to offend anybody but it is only my opinion. JOES is a decent school with a great principal and strong PTA. It's just my observation that it seems it's the parents that have their children in the immersion program whom are more happy with the school. Rightfully so becuz immersion programs are more sought after. It also seems in the morning that the immersion kids are more behaved than the ge kids. I mostly talked to parents that were around the campus volunteering in trying to get a feel for the school and they were hyping it up. It just so happens their children are in the immersion program. I'm sure there are families that are happy with the ge program. I will go on record that I wanted my child in the immersion program,but that didn't happen. I just feel JOES ge program was not a good fit for my child so I moved him out. I asked my child which school he likes better and he said he likes his new school better. He is at a GE program school by the way and the PTA is strong and all parents are involved including me. IT IS MY STRONG OPINION THAT IMMERSION PROGRAMS SHOULD BE AVAILABLE TO ANYBODY THAT WANTS IT. WE ARE ALL TAXPAYERS BY THE WAY. I FEEL THAT THE CURRENT SYSTEM SEPERATES THE CHILDREN INTO FEELING AS IF THEY ARE SPECIAL. GATE programs already do that, but every child is on equal ground before they start the immersion program. It's just that 1/2 the class needs to be somewhat fluent in the foreign language and the other 1/2 perfect english. My opinion. Good luck with your decisions. I feel like I made the right choice.

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  21. 12:00 pm
    Cmon what are the chances? I guess I'm just very pissed.

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  22. 12:07 PM

    Thank you for your comment. Location is our biggest issue as well as school diversity. There are only 4% white kids which puts my daughter into minority group.
    :-(
    Does your child go to Sheridan?

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  23. 12:17, it is definitely upsetting to lose the lottery, and I am sorry.

    Still--middle schools are citywide lottery with preference for CTIP1. The chances are the chances! Look at how over-subbed Presidio is--numbers are listed in the SFUSD stats put out on Friday. Someone had to lose out. With no assignment area, is it just as likely someone local to the school as anyone else.

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  24. 12:49
    Non-Hispanic whites are still the majority racial group in the country. San Francisco is still part of the USA. No need to frown about being in the minority.

    But if you did frown, you just stepped into someone else's shoes, someone who cannot change the color of her skin.

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  25. 1:25, I was thinking the same thing--would it really be so terrible, maybe for one kindergarten year even, to be in the minority? Kids have not learned to be balkanized at that age. It could be a great learning experience for a child--similar to traveling and living in a foreign country, which I have known people to do (Italy, Spain, France, Hong Kong).

    It's also very diverse--no ethnic group more than 30%, which can be very helpful to one who is in one of the smaller groups. No one group dominates, so being in the minority (or super-minority) doesn't stand out so much. Plus, there are other ways to cut minority/majority status--e.g., an anglophone child will be in the majority at Sheridan (64% not English language learners, 34% are, primarily Spanish).

    Regarding location, that seems like a more valid concern for me....we all have our commute patterns and transport issues.

    Still, Sheridan has really good test scores (825 on the API, with an amazing 10 on similar schools ranking--which means they are over-achieving expectations for their demographics), a super facility, and solid leadership. It's a good school and sweet community. Really not a terrible backup at all.

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  26. "I have the same feeling of bitterness -- not towards people who won the lottery, because it really IS a lottery, but towards people with the means to just go private and forget about it."

    Why any bitterness towards people that can afford Private? I assume they all worked hard to be in that position.

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  27. People with the means to go private don't get to forget about the assignment process. They go through a much more grueling process.

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  28. "Bitterness": Resentment, a negative emotion, similar to bitterness, felt as a result of a real or IMAGINED wrong done

    So what did a person with "means" do wrong? Other than work hard to provide for his/her family?

    Everyone I know with or without "means" agrees the process is broken.

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  29. Why any bitterness towards people that can afford Private? I assume they all worked hard to be in that position.

    I don't harbor bitterness and am not the original poster, but this comment struck me as funny. In America today, you think wealth is entirely a matter of hard work? (And the corollary: poverty is a matter of laziness?)....there are a few Horatio Alger stories out there, to be sure, and work is not unimportant. But far more important at this stage in an increasingly unequal America is what circumstances you were born into. Not everyone has the same start in life, and how you start is, overall, fairly indicative (with anecdotal exceptions going both ways) of where you will end up, class-wise.

    But we love to believe that myth about class mobility. It had some validity in the post-WWII period, with the GI bill, federal housing loan guarantees, family-wage jobs for working class folks. Not now with with the loss of such jobs, cuts to such social programs including education, and wage stagnation for all but the top 10% (those in the six-figure range and above, basically).

    The fact that tax breaks are increasingly directed to that top 10% .... and especially the top 1% .... at the expense of such social programs, including education, could be at the root of any bitterness, or anger. Recent events in Wisconsin are an interesting example of that coming into public view.

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  30. I work my ass off and can't afford private. Check your assumptions, buddy. There are many, many high-stress, long-hours, low-paying jobs out there. Some of them even require years of higher education: priests, college professors, artists, people heading up non-profits, social workers, teachers, and other professionals have more than a BA, work hard, and get paid not very much. What we do is valuable, yet not particularly valued in this culture. Many of our children are every bit as qualified as your children to attend a private school. But if we need aid, it's unlikely we will get in. And we are losing ground daily, as Wisconsin shows.

    I suppose if I had gone into corporate greed-world, I wouldn't feel bitter. I'd feel smug, and fool myself that I worked harder than other people.

    The privileges I do have, I do not see as "earned." I was lucky to be born white, able-bodied, and middle-class, and have access to a good education. What I have is a result of that and a bit of luck -- my hard work is just what my job demands.

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  31. Emily, I feel for you and everyone else who is disappointed by their placement. I agree with others who said take a look at Glen Park. I know of several co-op families who were placed there -- some listed it as #1, others did not but are happy and plan to send their kid there. I think it may be GP's time. There's already a great group of dedicated parents there and it seems like a new group is on the way.

    Based on my circle of friends in the Miraloma attendance area, those who did not get Miraloma but listed it first were placed at Sheridan, Sunnyside and Glen Park.

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  32. I never said they (people with means) work HARDER than anyone else or that people without are lazy. I apologize if post was taken that way.

    Two good points made in 7:05 and 7:29 posts.

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  33. In response to March 20, 2011 9:45 AM poster:

    "I wanted to ask and to clarify if the order that you list your schools on the amended application matters?"

    Yes, the order matters. Put them in the order you want them. That should be the plan for everyone in the first placement period, as well as the second placement period. Technically, you could get "in" on every school/program you listed. The computer will then offer you the school/program that you could get "into" that is highest on your list and then release/open up the slots of the other schools/programs for others.

    If you don't get any of the schools on your list, you'll be offered a spot at the school closest to your home that has an opening.

    So one strategy is to think of the worse case scenario, and list all the schools/programs you rather have that that school -- in the order you want them.

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  34. I'm new to this blog. And I find it a weird place. With weird postings. Mostly because I cant understand how it is that so many people with the same common goal in mind (good education for our kids, good community, in the city we all love so ardently) find so many ways to criticize each other.

    We were assigned Sunnyside. Not our first choice. But we consider it a gift. And are very, very glad that we got it.

    We also applied for and got into a top private school. Which we also consider a gift.

    Maybe its me, but I dont understand those posters who talk about 'people with means to just go to private school and forget about it'. We have the means to go to private school. Maybe. But it would be hard. A hard, slogging, sacrificing means.

    We pay for my parents' home. We pay for their healthcare. And their groceries. And also that of my grandmother. We live in a 1000 square foot home, with three kids and two adults.

    My parents grew up in Omaha. my grandfather was a fireman. There was no money.

    I have a hard job. An executive, high paying, 'corporate greed' (whatever that is) unbelievably hard job. I work alot. So does my husband. We do this not because we love the inside of our laptops. We dont.

    We do it because we have family to look after. Because we have to. Like (I suspect) everyone who posts here. If corporate greed means making sure that your elderly parents have healthcare and a place to live and some groceries on their shelves, then I'm guilty.

    We were so lucky to get assigned to a decent public school. And got into a great private school. After alot of work. Hours and hours and HOURS of work to get in.

    But paying for private school isnt easy, contrary to the postings of some of you. It means hard choices. Do we ever move into a house where our daughter and son could each have their own room? Do we pay for school for them or do we save for retirement, because we sure as heck cant do both? At all. How do we prioritize my parents versus my children?

    We all want the same thing. To live in this extraordinary city that we came to because of all its accepting, vibrant, gorgeousness. Its hard all around, with devastating choices everywhere.

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  35. Why is it called a lottery? It's more like a nepotistic shitpot. Why should siblings of current students get priority? That isn't necessarily fair.

    If anyone takes issue with your plans for your child's education, then you should simply tell them to f$%k off.

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  36. 11:18 & 8:34: My daughter is in 1st grade at Ortega. Full disclosure, she is in the immersion program, my son will be joining her next year and I am the PTA president. I respectfully disagree with 12:08 about the GE families being unhappy or at least not as happy as the MI families. Ortega is a small and diverse school. We consider ourselves one school and not two schools under one roof. Everything that we do is to benefit all of our students. Parents (GE & MI together) contribute in many ways - from greening projects (new parent installed outdoor amphitheater), family art days, monthly parent-led reading day to recess supervision and fundraising (recent auction with a GE family cooking our incredible luau feast). We work closely with our amazing principal and teachers and all strive to create a nurturing and fun environment where every child can learn and thrive. Please visit the school during our Tuesday tours or schedule a private tour at your convenience. We will have new family play dates throughout the summer. We can also put you in touch with our current GE parents if you have any questions.

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  37. You really can't argue with the sibling priority. It would be absurd to not give it and force families to commute to two different elementary schools. I'm sure you'll feel the same if/when you have a younger child and the assignment system suddenly changes on you.

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  38. Last year Seatlle changed their assignment system to neighborhood and did not let younger siblings in if they were out of neighborhood. They would transfer the older kids to the new neighborhood school, but not let the younger ones in where the older was enrolled. Pretty harsh. But I can see people in the Miraloma, Clarnedon, Grattan areas seeing some benefit in this. It will take a few years for the siblings from out of attendance area to cycle through.

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  39. Once more high SES CTIP1 families realize that they have a golden ticket, even more of them will put down Clarendon as a first choice. There will still be few spaces left for the neighborhood folks.

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  40. Look, if you live in a teeny house, forego retirement funds, and take care of elderly parents, you are by definition not someone who can pay for private school and forget about it. I know families for whom the private school bill simply isn't an issue, who can go wherever their kids get in without a worry, and their kids get in with multiple offers. And I know several families who were waitlisted everywhere because they needed aid (there is no other rational explanation for their outcome vs. the outcome of those who can pay--these are stellar kids from preschools with great placement records, some of whom would add obvious forms of diversity). Does that hurt? You bet. And I still do not believe that what financiers, CEOs, and tech people do is de facto more valuable, and thereby more worthy of high pay, than teachers, priests, social works, and so on. You may work hard at your corporate job, but you are no more deserving of a high salary than people in the "helping" professions. And we all worked long, hard hours on school applications. To find out that needing aid does, indeed, hurt your chances is a bitter blow.

    As to siblings, that seems like a "no duh" policy to me, and I have an only child. Every family has to work hard to get their first child in, only or not. We are also CTIP 1 and middle-income, and I don't think the new system is nearly as fair as the one that gave preference via household SES. Truthfully, had I know that CTIP 1 was such a golden ticket indeed, I might have applied to the trophies on the northwest side. I didn't because I wanted a surer bet. So I imagine next year will see more high-SES people in CTIP 1 neighborhoods shooting for the fanciest public schools.

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  41. It's a capitalist society 8:49. I may not be more worthy from a social standpoint but my work produces even more profit then I am paid. If a financier makes a $1mm bonus for 2010, she made her company a heck of a lot more then that. That's how it works. I am sure there are ditch diggers that work harder but it's the production that counts. I'm also quite sure that I worked harder at keeping my grades high to go to a better school and graduate school. If you are looking for some utopia where teachers, priests, and social workers are paid on par with heads of industry, I don't think you will find that anywhere in the world including the socialst or communist ones.

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  42. I also have a child in JOES MI, but I agree with Elaine that it really is one school. We've had playdates with GE kids and the chinese new year parade (we were on TV!) was both MI and GE kids. If you were assigned JOES GE, do tour it, it's a sweet little school. Go to joseortega.org to see the video and call the school for a tour!

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  43. If a financier makes a $1mm bonus for 2010, she made her company a heck of a lot more then that.

    This is about the worst argument you can make for your conception of capitalism. Right now, we're ALL, ditch diggers and corporate titans a lot, dealing with the results of prizing short-term gains (the kinds that lead to hefty bonuses) over long-term stability and profit.

    I think you may also have a false conception about how hard people in non-financial fields work. This links to a powerful essay by a Florida teacher:

    http://www.teachingquality.org/newsroom/node/677

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  44. You might not like it but 9:05 is reality. I don't think she said they don't work or work hard. In fact, she mentioned that there are ditch diggers that work harder. She said it was production of profit that generated the production of salary benefit. That IS capitalism. Pointing to political hotpoints and saying we are all ditch diggers is nothing more then a distraction. The point remains that "worthy" is measured by economics. You would have it measured by a social worth which is not how this country, nor any country as far as I know, operates.

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  45. All I know is that the big-time bankers, their lobbyists, and their bought politicians brought this country to the brink of financial meltdown. (Read any number of books about how they did this. Michael Lewis's is very accessible.)

    And now those same folks are rewarded again--for doing what? Accuring profits to themselves with little value for the rest of us. I don't think they work that hard. They figured out how to corner the government and get the financial system deregulated.

    You don't have to overthrow the capitalist system to have a basic balance of power in which government regulates banks on behalf of the people--because we know they will not regulate themselves. Why should they? they it not their purpose. Their purpose is to make profits. But government is supposed to be of the people, by the people, for the people.....recently, it has been for the banks.

    There's not just one form of capitalism. And those who wish to have more oversight and more balance in terms of social services such as education are not radicals. How skewed to the right our nation's politics have become.

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  46. 10:36 and 3:30

    It's me 12:08. Look, I'm sure JOES is a good school. It just was not a good fit for my child. Example, I remember first week of school in the morning. The MI kids were behaved in line and the GE kids K-5were just huddled moving around behind their respective teacher. Now maybe this little problem has been fixed,but im no longer there to witness. For me as a parent that speaks volumes. My child came from a preshool where getting in line was the norm. My child tried to get in line and the kids in the class looked lost and it made my child very confused.

    Anyways, the two of you responded to my post and of course your children are in the immersion program. That's great. I'm sure the GE program is great. I mentioned I wanted my child in the immersion program. Oh well life is not fair. However my child is much happier in another GE school. My comments are observations, that is all. JOES does have great API score. Oh, the school's morning schedule did not work for my family.

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  47. We have b/g twins. Put down the same 10 public schools for each child and noted they were twins. One got George Peabody (out top choice) and one got Sutro (our neighborhood school). We are going to private school, so we will be releasing the spots. Odd that they got different schools. Last year we applied and both got Cobb.

    Good luck to everyone in round 2.

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  48. For twins, if they didn't get the same school, this is fairly easily fixed (I realize 11:18 has a different solution, private school, but this is the public solution).

    Register the twin who got the school you like more (actually, you can register both at each school if you like). Next, submit a round 2 application for the twin with the lower pick. That twin will have top-priority sibling preference in the next round. I cannot think of one situation in which the second twin did not, eventually get into the first twin's school via sibling preference.

    Good luck!

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  49. Emily, what did you decide?

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