Thursday, May 19, 2011

Round Two, Part Two

I'll share whatever I learn from Rachel Norton about Round Two (thanks again Rachel for checking for us!) here when I receive a response.

In the meantime, if you know of a spot that should have been given up after round one and wasn't, please share it here. It might give some folks an idea of what could be available in open enrollment. If anyone has info from the EPC, please also share that here.

(Let's try and keep the comments for this thread on this topic so it's easier for those who are just trying to determine their chances for a spot).


"Hi Emily -

So, here's what I have been told by EPC staff. Bottom line: there were some adjustments to the number of seats available for the 2nd round so that the district could avoid revoking offers to families; to my mind they were quite limited.

A new kinder class was opened at CIS DeAvila;
No general education seats were opened at Alvarado even though presumably some were available going into the placement run;
Capacity was reduced by 1 seat at each of the following schools: Grattan, Sherman, Lawton;
Capacity was reduced by 3 seats at Rooftop.

Here's a quote from the response I received:
"In the May run we did everything we could to avoid revoking offers from families while also honoring parent choice. We knew it would be very disruptive to tell parents who received an assignment in March that we needed to take back that offer. We also knew that it would impact families if we held all openings at all high demand schools as part of a strategy to shift the balances of target language speakers and non-target language speakers in the immersion pathway. We very intentionally spent a lot of time identifying solutions that would be the least harmful for incoming kindergarten students.

. . . The individual counseling process has begun; EPC is working personally with non-target speaking families at [several schools] to shift the balances while also honoring parent choice to the maximum extent possible."

I hope this helps!"


  1. Thanks Emily for setting up a clean blog post for this important topic to a lot of us. I hope others will follow your request and keep this pretty clean.

    Does this mean that you aren't giving up yet on Miraloma? We are also Miraloma AA and just hope this means there is a chance. We got Glen Park in Round 2 which now seems like it was an error based on others posting that folks from the Glen Park AA put it down in Round 2 and didn't get it. Maybe we got your spot when you didn't register which means the system isn't working the way the District said it would work with all the tie-breakers.

  2. I would encourage you to register at Glen Park. I know a great family going there next year. I think it is a school on the upswing. Even if you don't love it now, at least you will have peace of mind that you have a school to start at in Aug. Then keep filing your papers and be ready to transfer first week of school. We did this last year and it worked. Good luck to you!

  3. I gave up a spot at Daniel Webster Spanish immersion. Did anyone get it in Round 2?

    And this is only going to work if people don't piss on other people for whatever they gave up.

  4. I got GP first round and wanted Sloat and Sunnyside in Round 2. Didn't get either. Apparently, 16 spots were not enrolled at Sunnyside, so naturally I had high hopes for Round 2 and still...
    Wonder if I should just go to EPC or wait till Round 3 is over?

  5. Does anyone know this...if someone gives up a K spot during open enrollment, do they release it immediately or keep it for the third round? Thanks.

  6. Just added Rachel Norton's response to this blog post. (Was easier to post that way than as a comment)

  7. Translation:

    Target language speakers, Latinos and Asians, bumped "non-target language speakers" from immersion slots into desireable GE slots, and those that got those desireable GE slots bumped others, including people like Emily, from getting a slot in Round II.

  8. I just can't help but think this is a perfect opportunity to start Spanish immersion at Sanchez Elementary as previously discussed on this site. Would any parents that were bumped from Spanish Immersion at Alvarado be willing to go to Spanish Immersion at Sanchez? If so they should contact the principal Dr. Raymond R. Isola.

  9. Last night I received a call from a friend (hi Tabitha!) telling me that even though they did not register at their assigned school (McKinley) and have no intention of attending, they received a letter from the district this week telling them they really needed to register or they would lose their McKinley spot (probably worded a bit differently).
    This is obviously infuriating for many reasons, but my real question is this: does anyone know if these spots (I heard of a Sloat spot like this too on this web site) will be released in open enrollment, or will they be held for round three? I guess I can call the EPC, just trying to avoid that.

  10. Emily, if I were you, I would go down to the EPC and make sure you are still on the waitlist at Miraloma.

    I know it's a hassle, but the policy regarding waitlists clearly seems to be in flux. You should go down to the EPC and make sure you are in the Miraloma waitlist. Get it in writing.

    In fact, I would go down there once a month and get it in writing each time.

    There's a lot of evidence that families are not picked for spots by "the computer", but are hand picked in a lot of cases.

    Put the pressure on. The only way you can do that is in person.

    Keep a paper trail.

    You might want to hire an attorney. I'm not sure that this business of after-the-fact backfilling of immersion programs with "native language speakers" (who didn't apply or weren't picked in first round) is legal.

    At a minimum, legal action might help you recover some of the costs that you will need to pay for private school.

    Do not think that the EPC is conscientiously handling your application. I'm sure it's shear chaos there right now. It would be too easy for them to just toss all the piles and throw everyone to open enrollment.

    Don't let them do that to you.

  11. I'm confused. We live in the Alvarado AA. And even though there were openings in the GE program (which we want!), EPC didn't release them for the 2nd Round? Why are they changing the rules in the middle of the game? People had plenty of time to enroll after the first round. And if they didn't do so, they should lose their spots. Period.

    Is this what happened, or am I misunderstanding the situation?

    Just when you think this whole process couldn't get any more ridiculous . . .

  12. "Is this what happened, or am I misunderstanding the situation?"

    You are misunderstanding.

    What happened is that native Spanish speakers who applied in R1 were not given a spot they should have gotten in Alvarado's dual immersion program. Alvarado's program runs on a two-to-one ratio of Spanish to English speakers (some of the Spanish speakers are usually bilingual). This year, because of messed up coding, the ratio was the reverse after R1, which really won't work for the program.

    So, what to do? They need to balance the program. So they are asking a few of the English-language families to switch over to the Alvarado GE program in order to make room for Spanish speakers who were earlier passed over--what they did last time this happened was go to the list of who was coded as Spanish and put Alvarado as a first choice.

    In order to make room for these within-school shifts, they held the spots closed that were available in the Alvarado GE program for R2. I heard it was a number of three, but I could be wrong.

    It's the suxxor for sure. Hard to know what would have happened if they had originally coded it all correctly. More Spanish speakers would have gotten in in R1, but who knows what would have happened then to the English-speaking families.

    Rationale for correcting it this way is to avoid disrupting these families too much.

  13. There still seems to be some problem with the EPC not releasing spots of those who did not register at their schools. For instance, is Emily's spot at GP still being held even though she is not going to go there? Is that why she is still assigned to it in Round 2 even though it was not on her list and she did not register? It doesn't make sense. Why are they holding spots for people who did not register?

  14. "So they are asking a few of the English-language families to switch over to the Alvarado GE program in order to make room for Spanish speakers who were earlier passed over..."

    What if those families all say "no"?

  15. 11:17 again here. Thanks for the clarification, 11:54.

    I have another question re: open enrollment vs. the August placement period (round 3). The green info sheet which came with our round 2 letter states that "Open Enrollment begins on June 1. At that time, any student may be assigned immediately into a school with openings that does not have any Amended Choice requests pending."

    So my question is, if Amended Choice forms for the August period aren't due until July 8, does that mean Open Enrollment will take precedence over round 3? Or will Amended Choice forms filed by June 1 (before Open Enrollment begins) have priority?

  16. 12:27, this is a very good question. I looked on the website and it is not clearly answered there. I suspect if you call EPC five times you will get five different answers. I would PPS and see if they know.

  17. Thank you 12:27, that is my question exactly!!!!

    For clarification, I do not believe my child still has a spot at Glen Park, though I wouldn't be all that surprised if he did. But there does seem to be an issue with spots not being assigned n round two that should have been, even without regards to the whole immersion mess.

  18. 12:27: Believe it or not, I spoke with the EPC this morning (by phone!)and asked this question. I was told that open enrollment will only have those spaces that are available at that time, and will not include any available spaces that have been requested on amended lists. They will not do another computer run until the third round in August, so getting your amended list in before June 1 will not make a difference. Hope that helps.

  19. "So they are asking a few of the English-language families to switch over to the Alvarado GE program in order to make room for Spanish speakers who were earlier passed over..."

    Why would they give up their spot in the coveted immersion strand? Everyone knows the GE strand is less desirable. The real losers in this situation are the families that only wanted the GE to begin with but didn't get the spot because SFUSD needed the spots to clean up their mess.

  20. 1:08, they can cajole first, but ultimately they and will de-register people. It happened three years ago.

  21. Sorry, I must have missed something earlier. Can someone say what happened with the immersion programs, exactly? It sounds like SFUSD either has asked some non-target-language families to give up seats they already got, or plans to do so. Is this correct? And if so, is it happening in Spanish programs, Chinese programs, or both? Thanks

  22. Thanks, 1:02. Congratulations on getting through to EPC! When I called, it just rang and rang. I guess they had to give up voicemail with the latest budget cuts.

    Anyway, I spoke with Carol from PPSSF, and she said what you said. Open enrollment is for spots currently available (at the less popular schools), not for any spots that may open up at more popular schools.

  23. Hey Emily's friend Tabitha,

    You should take that McKinley spot!

  24. Does this mean that Emily, could in theory, be inline for open spots at McKinley, Sunnyside, or other schools she put down in Round 2 from her amended choice list from Round 2? I'm using Emily as an example as all of her lists are chronicled in this blog. From what folks are saying, the only spots available on June 1 for open enrollment would be at schools that had seats available from Round 1 that no one picked in Round 2.

  25. Too many of those "one-time errors".

    Doesn't this happen every year?

  26. I had a friend that went to the EPC today. Apparently the only spots that will be available in open enrollment are for schools that have not already turned up on someone's third round form. So let's say today my friend turned in a list consisting of Lawton, Alamo and Sunset (just an example)for third round. If those schools have spots open currently, they still won't be available until third round because they appeared on her third round application.

    I get the process, but it makes NO sense to me why they would do open enrollment so much earlier than the third round applications are due. The two dates just don't jive.

    FYI- the person at the EPC told my friend the only schools that generally have open spots during open enrollment are in the SE and schools on the west side of the city pretty much never have spots available in open enrollment.

  27. Thanks for sharing your results, Emily. (I meant to post on your 5/14/11 blog.) My coworker (not a San Francisco resident) is enrolling her daughter at Zion Lutheran kindergarten this fall too.

    Best of luck to you and your son.

  28. Don't forget though that there are kids that retained from this year's kindergarten class. And at some schools, a certain number above and beyond capacity are assigned (yield management).

  29. I was also at EPC yesterday and was told that at some schools they would be holding empty spots for "special needs children" who may have to be accommodated.

    The EPC counselor told me that even if someone at the school's office said that there were empty seats in a class, that may not be the case when I came down to EPC, due to the above.

  30. Open enrollment should have open spots in schools irrespective of Round 3. the Round 3 deadline is on July 8th so those forms, if submitted early, cannot be part of open enrollment.

    That said, it will be highly unlikely that there will be spots at the most desired (based on general popularity) schools.

    I am sure the district will be holding spots for "Friends of the District" and then of course for the those affected by the immersion debacle.

    Lot of people are talking about wait lists / wait pools and as far as I know this year there is no wait pool. There maybe one after Round 3 which will be the end of August and 2-3 weeks after school starts. I was told there will be two Round 3's : one just before school starts and one after school starts.

  31. a lot of the spots that are going to open up, don't open up until the beginning of the school year, because families register at a public school, but then go to a private or charter, and do not notify the school district. one anecdote, we know twins who registered at a popular public school for K, but did not show up because they went private -- and then they did the same thing when they got into a very sought after public high school! so those were 2 spots that were not released until after what used to be the 10-day but is now the 3-day count. people do this for a variety of reasons, they may have been on a waiting list for the other school, or not sure of their finances, etc. we've talked to so many families who got into their first choice after the start of school. it's worth sticking the process out. switching after a few days or even a few weeks of school will be a big nothing for your kid in the long run, you're the one who is probably a lot more anxious about this.