Friday, May 13, 2011

Round Two

Round two letters should have been sent out today. Was anyone able to confirm with the EPC that the letters did indeed go out?

Any related thoughts, news, feelings?

And of course, share your news tomorrow when those letters come!

189 comments:

  1. Good luck to everyone who is waiting for news!!! I have my fingers crossed for all of you!!!

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  2. My expectations are low ( we were 0/10 last round), but I can't help but be filled with flutters of anticipation. Maybe it could happen for us this time.

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  3. Good luck to everyone. My hopes are also not too high, we went 0/8 and expect to go 0/15 this time around. We have zero tie breakers !

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  4. @Emily and to everyone else - good luck tomorrow! If we get any of out Round 2 choices, a spot at Miraloma would have opened up!

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  5. We just so happened to drive by the EPC this morning while running errands. We've had so much going on that we actually forgot that today was the date that the letters for Round 2 get dropped into the mail. It's amazing how quickly my nerves got back into the swing of things though. I'll be waiting for that mail carrier tomorrow but like so many others, we aren't holding our breaths for Round 2.

    I went to the SFUSD website to see if there were any early information released about the results of Round 2 but don't see much other than next steps if you get a school you want (and what to do if you don't).

    http://www.sfusd.edu/en/enroll-in-sfusd-schools/enroll-for-next-year/placement/may-placement.html

    Good Luck!

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  6. The SFUSD website now says that the round 2 letters went out today.

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  7. Arg. Nervous, nervous. We are out of the state and have asked a neighbor to break into our apartment, open our mail, and text us the news. We were 0/7. Blerg.

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  8. 4:14 here. We didn't get any of our Round 2 choices. Good luck everybody!

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  9. Wow, got Starr King ME. I did not realize that this means we lost our spot in Glen Park, for some reason I though we would have a choice. But is what the DW wanted, so we are happy.

    Does anyone know if Star King has breakfast and if so, how early you can drop your child off? I see that it is an 8:40 school with no before school program.

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  10. Round 2 (and subsequent rounds) are for families who are not happy with their assignment offer. So yes, you give up your Round 1 spot if you get something on your Round 2 list.

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  11. Yup ... That was a change this year. If you get your round 2 choice you automatically give up round 1. It actually makes for alot more movement, as when you give up your round 1 spot, it becomes available to someone else as a round 2 choice.

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  12. Glen Park Daddy @ 11:20am

    Congrats on Starr King ME. I guess your move out of Glen Park is why we got it this go round. We put down Glen Park and turned in our Round 2 form after when didn't get any of our choices for Round 1.

    But we toured the school afterward and determined it was not a good fit for us. So we are not surprised about the irony but don't expect to accept this school. So there will probably be space if your family changes its mind for whatever reason.

    We'll go on to open enrollment and Round 3. Any insight here from anyone?

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  13. I think the name of the "game" this year is to just keep filing paperwork. In fact, when I dropped off my daughter's round 2 application at EPC, the woman behind the desk said "if you don't get what you want, try again!"

    The one thing I've gleaned from all the reading I've done is that you are "better off" come September if you are not enrolled anywhere than if you are enrolled in a school you find completely unacceptable. If you're "somewhere" at that point you have lower priority than someone who is "nowhere."

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  14. "The one thing I've gleaned from all the reading I've done is that you are "better off" come September if you are not enrolled anywhere than if you are enrolled in a school you find completely unacceptable. If you're "somewhere" at that point you have lower priority than someone who is "nowhere.""

    That does not sound correct to me. It sounds like a bunch of several urban legends out there all mixed together. In the past, there were certain people who got priority in subsequent rounds (nothing to do with whether you were enrolled somewhere, although people certainly thought that), but that's been done away with. Perhaps you could point people to something in the enrollment guide to back up that information? Having the internet for research is so helpful, but it's a double-edged sword, because a lot of MISinformation gets tossed around, too.

    Good luck, everyone!

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  15. We're still at Glen Park after Round 2. We hoped to get Alvarado (our attendance area school) or Sunnyside instead, but I guess SFUSD has other plans for us. Not sure if we're going to keep playing this futile game, or just accept our fate. Or move.

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  16. we got 0 for 3. (yes, just 3.) good luck to everyone!

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  18. 0 for 10 in round 2. And since we didn't enroll at our round 1 assignment, our "child will not have an assignment for school year 2011-12."

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  19. Got Francis Scott Key in Round 2! Our first choice! Super happy! Good luck everyone!

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  20. 12:13 (who put Glen Park and got it, but now doesn't want it): have you looked at Junipero Serra up the street from Glen Park for open enrollment? Principal is great, and there is an active parent community centered in Bernal. Guessing you can easily talk with a current parent if you put in a call to PPS or a shout out on the pps listserve.

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  21. Kinga, congratulations! FSK is a great school.

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  22. 0/1 with a denied Grattan request. Still can't believe we live 2 blocks from the school and most likely won't be going there. On to Round 3...

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  23. @1:06 my experience last year as a new to sf family is that once I enrolled my daughter in 5th grade at school A, they would not let me move her to another school that I know had a slot (which was ultimately filled by another child coming from out of district a few months into the school year.) It was after "the 10 dAy count" and we were prohibited from going into any wait pools.

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  24. My son was assigned Burton HS a second time. So far we know of no one who got Balboa HS the second time around. It is private HS for him now.

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  25. So, we are heading to MS and went into round 2 with the hopes of swapping Hoover (a great assignment with a pretty bad commute) for Aptos, an equally good choice with a much better commute. Didn't get Aptos, ok with our Hoover enrollment.

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  26. 3:21, I haven't heard of anyone getting Bal this time either. It is amazing how popular that school has become, in just a few, really just a few, years.

    Of all the current non-over-enrolled high schools, it seems Mission is climbing the fastest, with 80% college-bound rate (which beats my own mixed-income suburban high school) and test scores jumping.

    Anyway, that's all general conversation. I'm very sorry for your family's news today, and glad that you seem to have backup.

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  27. All I can say is don't hope you'll get something better by waiting for the 1st grade lottery! We went 0/15 last year, tried again in 1st grade and went, I am not kidding, 0/23 (and they did enter all of our choices). We just went 0/23 again - we listed all the same schools. So we are glad at least we're in a parochial we like that's not too expensive. We live in in the Inner Sunset.

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  28. Oh 3:33 here again - meant to say we we have been assigned Muir every single time. I guess they really really want our kid to go there.

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  29. We went 0/14 in Round 2. Something we expected but I sort of thought that we stood a good chance for Glen Park. We are off to Round 3

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  30. We didn't get anything this round. We were hoping for immersion. I got really excited when someone on this board said that Marshall supposedly had 3 spots for native English speakers, which really didn't make sense since we didn't get it in Round 3 and we are native English speakers so there shouldn't have been any spots available. Anyways, I shouldn't feel as down as I do because I didn't expect to get any immersion for Round 2 but I was really hoping for it. I feel like I know so many people who got amazing schools and I'm not even trying for schools that prestigious. I just want immersion - any immersion.

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  31. Glen Park Dad,
    You can drop your child as early as 8, they have a 'breakfast club' where they read books in the cafeteria.

    We got our 2nd choice, Starr King, we are beyond happy... We're also in GP and no tie breakers. We relinquished a Sunnyside spot.

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  32. We got our first choice in round 1 - SFPM, but declined due to issues that weren't apparent to us when we listed it initially. We received Yick Wu in round 2 and have mixed emotions. We really wanted an immersion program and we truly don't know anything about the school - other than Yelp, Great Schools, and this forum. Thoughts about Yick?

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  33. Marina Middle School? NO WAY.

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  34. 3:05

    Keep trying. You will get into Grattan. It might be two weeks into the school year, but you will get in if you keep applying.

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  35. @12:31pm

    I don't think it matters this year if you enroll at a school or not. But from what I can tell, it will matter if you show up for the first 3 days of school. That's the part that I can't understand. Say you don't want your school assignment but register as a backup. If you didn't get your choice school by the time school starts, do you go to school or sit out? If you go, then how does the school know if you really want to be there or want to leave if another school opens? Seems like a chicken and egg problem. Everyone is waiting it out but you may end up not enrolled anywhere if you don't go to the school you register for. If there are families that are holding spots but aren't planning to attend, why wouldn't they know that until the school year start given the protocol this year?

    Why doesn't the EPC make an easier process for parents who want to un-enroll before school starts?

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  36. Snowbunny at 4:36pm - Congratulations! Yick Wo has a solid reputation. My coworker toured it and really liked it. (I had initially included Yick Wo on my list of schools to research, but the school didn't fit our needs because of the late start time (9:30am).)

    You can also check out this website
    http://yickwo.org/ywes/about

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  37. Round 2 was another joke. Again shut out of all schools within 3 mile radius especially our neighborhood school Clarendon. Gave up our spot to Frank McCoppin, wherever the F*$@ that is. Congrats to SFUSD, private school in tow and a nanny loses her job.
    Very well thought out.

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  38. @2:58pm

    This is 12:13pm. Thanks for the info regarding J.Serra.

    We live in the Twin Peaks West area and commute going towards the Panhandle and generally away from BH and the Mission. So J.Serra doesn't work for us most likely. At this point we are going to narrow down our school choices and see if we can get something we want in August. Otherwise, our back up is to let our child stay another year in PreK since he has a fall birthday.

    We've learned A LOT through the hassle of this process and won't be so naive next go round if it comes to that.

    But thanks again for the helpful advice. And congrats to those who got a choice they want this year.

    @3:55pm - We put down Glen Park out of a knee jerk reaction to going 0/10, but shouldn't have. So we hope you can get it in Round 3 if you want it as we won't register there. Or there should be space available at the open enrollment. It's pretty shocking to know that people still got zilch in this process even when they put down really reasonable schools.

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  39. Just got New Traditions, our 10th choice in the second round. It's our neighborhood school, but the start time really doesn't work for our family. Sigh. At least it's something...we were 0/10 in Round 1 and got assigned to Cobb.

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  40. Noe Valley parent here with Alvarado as "neighborhood school", but 0:8 first Round and 0:7 second Round. Really wanting Alvarado; GE would be great but would LOVE immersion. Any thoughts about going down to EPC first thing Monday morning and meeting with them? Finding out what, if anything, we can do now? Or do you think we just do the Round 3 and cross our fingers we get "the call" 7 days into school starting? Would love thoughts/feedback...Thanks!!!!

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  41. Yick Wo is a *wonderful* gem of a school. I think it would have more buzz here if it were located closer to the bulk of middle-class, white families (Noe, Miraloma, Cole Valley, West Portal, etc.).

    You truly lucked out!

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  42. 5:18 - You will never get Alvarado immersion. It is impossible. There are about 3-5 non-sibling, english native spots available per year and given the new process, there is no way you will ever get that spot over a CTIP family that lists Alvarado immersion. In this round or any subsequent rounds. CTIP priority continues through all rounds.

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  43. We went 0 for 10, twice. So we're moving to Marin. Nice work SFUSD!

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  44. I wouldn't dis Marina MS so fast. It is very much on the upswing (and will improve hugely if Sherman and the others feed into it).

    API scores are over 800.
    They made "adequate yearly progress" for ALL subgroups. This is an achievement that many good schools don't attain. They are much higher on the similar schools ranking than Presidio. There are also a lot of nice things going on over there--a strong track team, and competitive in other sports. An honors program---which not all schools have. A well-regarded afterschool program that takes advantage of many of the bayside science, culture, and community groups and programs over there.

    Seriously--I encourage you go take a look before you reject it. It's climbing just like Roosevelt & Aptos. In a couple of years parents will be clamoring to get in there instead of their feeder school.

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  45. New Traditions @ 5:12....I know it is not what you were hoping in terms of family / work convenience, but do take the spot! It's a good school (that will probably feed into either Roosevelt or Presidio). You can still waitpool Round 3 and hope for a call from a more convenient school--but you may fall in love with the NT before then....

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  46. A friend's kid just got the letter for Balboa, Round 2, so evidently there was at least one space that opened up! Great place, happy for them.

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  47. 5:48: Marina Middle School is 70% Asian and 2% White. I do not want my child to be the only white child in his classes, and that does not mean I am racist.

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  48. 5:12 - New Traditions has before care, many parents drop off earlier than the start time. It's, I believe, run by the YMCA and everyone is guaranteed a spot in the program, so check it out!

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  49. Anyone else not get a letter? We didn't get anything today.

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  50. Marina Middle School is 75% Asian, if you add Filipinos.

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  51. "Marina Middle School is 70% Asian and 2% White. I do not want my child to be the only white child in his classes, and that does not mean I am racist."

    Can you explain why?

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  52. I don't want my kid to be the only white kid in his classes. Explain to me why you obviously think that is racist.

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  53. Er...well...because you are basing your decision on race???

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  54. I just met someone who got into her absolute school of choice after 6 weeks of school. This sounds crazy to me, but they went for it, and are very happy. It was nearly impossible to get in -- the Korean program at CL, which has only 22 spots to begin with and gets loaded with siblings (and they also have to maintain the language balance of native speakers to non native). So patience can work.

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  55. "I don't want my kid to be the only white kid in his classes. Explain to me why you obviously think that is racist."

    I'm the one that posed the question. I don't think its racist, actually. I'm just curious, because my daughters went to a preschool where they were one of a few (maybe 3-4%) of their race. I never thought about that, certainly not enough to be concerned about sending them there.
    They had an extraordinary preschool experience and seem like happy kids today.

    So its an honest question. I've heard others on this blog having similar concerns about not wanting to be a minority in a school. What gives?

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  56. @ 5:41 moving to Marin: us too, exactly.

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  57. 7:38: preschool is very different than middle school; fitting in and finding a peer group to be part of are primary concerns to middle schoolers. A need to belong is strong in adolescence.

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  59. We didn't get anything in round 2 although we have registered at a school that is okay but a horrible commute away. I read the August placement process on the SFUSD site and I found it a little confusing.
    Does it actually mean that if you put in for round 3 you are DEFINITELY giving up your registered spot and they might not give you any of your 3rd round choices, but instead stick you into somewhere you absolutely do not want to send your child? This is a big gamble.
    We are playing the 1st grade lottery, btw and it's doubly important this year for us as it will define where our preschooler goes next year for K as we absolutely can't have 2 at different schools. That would tip us over the edge..

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  60. "7:38: preschool is very different than middle school; fitting in and finding a peer group to be part of are primary concerns to middle schoolers. A need to belong is strong in adolescence."

    I don't know if you are the original poster who said they didn't want their kid to be the only white kid at Marina, but if you are, and even if you aren't, then its a kind of self segregation then? I can understand that -- wanting a cushion of comfort and ease given the stress of adolescence. I do agree that fitting in is a big deal in middle school.

    My middle school daughter is probably one of just a few asian kids at Lick (i don't know what the percentages are). I honestly never thought of that and I don't think she did either. She toured the school and immediately felt a pull to it. She loves it and is doing very well, with friends of all races and walks of life.

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  61. 12:18 - Is GP your attendance area? Just curious... because we live in GP, had it on our list, and went 0/10 round two... we didn't get any school assignment, didn't even know it's possible... we're concerned about how the new lottery system works.

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  62. I'm wondering how high the percentages of white kids have to go for the poster to feel comfortable? I mean, there are only about 11% white kids in the district as a whole, right? Serious question.

    Have to say that the original comment "NO WAY" did seem to dis Marina, which is indeed an up-and-coming school, and made it more about Marina and less about the person's own feelings about his/her kid being in the minority as a white person.

    My own kids have been in a school with single digit % of white kids. It's been fine. If you went to a live in a foreign country for a year, would you not send your kids to the local schools for the cross-cultural experience?

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  63. 9:27--you should check with both PPS and district to confirm this, but my reading of the Round 3 language is that it is similar to Round 2:

    If you apply for a different school in Round 3 and you get it, then you will automatically be removed from your current registered school and reassigned to the new one.

    [This is a good change from the past because it eliminates precious time of families weighing two different schools while others wait.]

    However, if you don't get your new school then you will remain assigned to your registered school--you are not gambling that you will lose that spot. You'll only lose it if you gain a higher pick.

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  64. 0 for 10 for both Rounds one and two for a K spot. First assigned school is miles away and has a testing rate of ~50% failing state proficiency standards in Math and English. Year over the year the percentage passing the test is dropping. More simply, it's getting worse.

    We're moving.

    Dear surviving SF families and residents: this uncertain, uneven, and unfair SAS policy (this year and in years past) results in an exodus of excellent, hard working, diligent families who want to contribute to the communities they live in. When they leave, the city does not benefit from that departure. Whatever benefits you claim from the current SAS system, balance them against this loss. I believe you provide access to a few, at the cost of the many. These departures, largely middle class, deprive the system, and the city, of a large chunk of people who are literally ITCHING to contribute time, money and effort towards their kids educations. Each and every year this happens. Those numbers, over time, will add up to literally hundreds of thousands of dollars and/or volunteer hours removed from SFUSD schools. You provide access to some, while slowly degrading the system as a whole by systematically weeding out those who are in a very, very good position to provide that which you so desperately need. Money, time, energy, will, involvement, desire, bake sales, art supply drives, phone banks, grant writing, letter writing, homework helping,.....

    So, my point is more to emphasize that if you're happy with your placement, great. Don't forget this painful process. Even though you're out of the lottery, the lottery is still exacting a toll from you. Each year the SFUSD is being deprived access to resources it DESPERATELY needs because it drives middle class families away. Your schools are hurting more than they could or should be.

    I have to make sure my kids learn to read write, add and subtract properly. SFUSD, so far, has offered a ~50% chance they can get this done for me. In this insane game of chicken, I'm swerving towards a better educational opportunity for my kids, before they end up SFUSD road kill.

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  65. "If you went to a live in a foreign country for a year, would you not send your kids to the local schools for the cross-cultural experience?"

    This is not a foreign country.

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  66. "I have to make sure my kids learn to read write, add and subtract properly. SFUSD, so far, has offered a ~50% chance they can get this done for me. In this insane game of chicken, I'm swerving towards a better educational opportunity for my kids, before they end up SFUSD road kill."

    Sounds like a much more prudent plan than waiting than waiting for SFUSD and the state of CA to get its head out of its arse.

    If you were assigned a trophy, congratulations. If you were assigned a "decent" non-trophy, congratulations. All the "winners" should definitely enjoy it while it lasts. Budgets will continue to get uglier. Classes will continue to get larger as more teachers get let go. Public schools will become more are more dependent on parents to make up for budget cuts while more and more of the middle class choose to leave SFUSD or SF.

    Having said all this, I truly hope and pray I am wrong. Unfortunately, I haven't read or heard anything that would give me any hope that this situation is going to turn around in the near future.

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  67. 6:54 AM, me neither. I was completely willing to go for public school, and we got a decent choice (an up-and-coming immersion school). But the increasing class sizes, budget cuts, etc., drove us into the arms of a private school offering good financial aid. At least we know what we'll be getting from year to year.

    6:41 AM, WTF? If this is not a foreign country, then all "those" kids various posters are trying to avoid are Americans, and therefore going to school as a minority white person should not be an issue.

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  68. "At least we know what we'll be getting from year to year (with a private school)".

    Agreed. Funny how people talk about how parents want some level of certainty with the school assignment process. I would rather have some level of certainty on what will be offered to my children year to year.

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  69. "I have to make sure my kids learn to read write, add and subtract properly. SFUSD, so far, has offered a ~50% chance they can get this done for me."

    Having spent two years at an SFUSD school with similar proficiency standards, the people who need to be worried about this stat are not hanging out on this blog. The kids in my kid's class who have parents who went to college are meeting or beating grade level standards. A stable home life and a full belly goes a long way at the elementary school level.

    The kids who struggling have multiple factors working against them; they just came to this country, have serious
    family instability thanks to poverty like frequent moves, homelessness, unemployment, have struggling with food insecurity, major health issues (like constant asthma attacks), or have teen parents.

    I'm sorry to hear that you wound up with a distant school, but the reality is that the handwringing over proficiency standards is misplaced.

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  70. Parents who panic at the idea of their child being "the only white kid in the class" SHOULD live in Marin, since it's full of white parents just like them. SF probably isn't a comfortable setting for that kind of person anyway.

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  71. @10:35pm 12:18 - Is GP your attendance area? Just curious...

    I think you were asking me (12:13pm actually) if Glen Park is our attendance area school. It is not. We are Miraloma. So it is seriously flawed that we'd get offered that school over someone else who lives in the AA. We listed GP as one of our last schools as we added to our 0/10 list. We don't have any tie breakers that should have been higher than you living in the n'hood. So seriously don't understand how this system is working?????

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  72. Curious about which schools they send their kids to, those who cry "racism" to the parent who doesn't want her kid to be the only white kid in class.
    Which schools do your kids go to?
    It's easy enough to cry racism and say I don't belong in SF, but I want my child in a diverse environment, and 75% of any race is not diverse. Marin schools are mostly white, and not diverse.
    I've heard stories of horrible bullying and mean-kid cliques at Marina, for children who are not Asian. Am I supposed to ignore those stories and plop my kid into an environment that I have good reason to believe is unfriendly?
    Read the studies on middle school social issues and how "fitting in" and "being like the other kids" is so important, at that age. I wish the world wasn't like that, but to pretend it's all racism, on my part, is just simplistic.

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  73. Helga and 5:38 - thanks for your insight. I really appreciate it and I'm looking forward to touring it soon.

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  74. Marina is also populated with 80% free or reduced lunch kids.

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  75. To 12:17am

    Remember the mantra of this board. It does not matter what school it is, as along as its a "Hidden Gem" or an "up and coming". (all schools after the top10)

    If you repeat this a few million times to yourself, you will soon begin to believe it.

    Good luck!

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  76. <<@10:35pm 12:18 - Is GP your attendance area? Just curious...>>

    If you live in Miraloma then you got the density tiebreaker. So it stands to reason that you at least got something in your list.

    We live in GP too so zero tiebreakers.

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  77. <<@10:35pm 12:18 - Is GP your attendance area? Just curious...>>

    If you live in Miraloma then you got the density tiebreaker. So it stands to reason that you at least got something in your list.

    We live in GP too so zero tiebreakers."

    Glen Park has a density tiebreaker. If you put it on your list, and you live in the assignment area, you should have gotten a space at the school before someone from Miraloma, etc (but not CTIP1). The school was fully enrolled in the GE program, so there were not many spots available. I would check with the EPC. Sometimes there are mistakes made.

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  78. 7:01 - I can't believe you passed on your immersion choice!!

    Wow! My student is finishing K at her immersion school (not a trophy). My child tested 100% fluent, after one year.

    Despite budget cuts - I am amazed at what they do for the kids at our public.

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  79. I also know someone who got Glen Park in round two but does not live in the attendance area.
    It's probably worth a trip to the EPC to find out what happened. If you live in the attendance area, you should have gotten a spot at Glen Park before anyone out of the attendance area.

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  80. 9.02: Just wondering--why do you think your kids wouldn't fit in with Asian kids? I'm Asian & my kids fit in fine with white kids and Asian both.

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  81. 10:44, in my experience with monolingual low-income Asian families, they do not "mix" much with Caucasian families, due to social, cultural and mainly language barriers. Developing close friendships with families at the school will be problematic.

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  82. "Marina is also populated with 80% free or reduced lunch kids."

    May 15, 2011 9:21 AM

    In the SFUSD, the 65% of middle school students have free or reduced lunch for kids so Marina isn't much above the average...

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  83. We were 0/10 in Round 1 and did not register at Sanchez, our assigned school. In Round 2, we received a letter noting that all our Round 2 schools were full. Much to our surprise, we're left without a school. Should we have listed 20-30 schools versus another 10?

    Do we have any other options besides moving out of the city? With little faith in the system, I'm afraid of playing the waiting game in the final round. :(

    Suggestions anyone?

    BTW, our neighborhood school is Grattan. It's our first choice school, walking distance from our home.

    Signed,

    Another Disappointed SF Family

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  84. 11.16: not to be too optimistic, but wouldn't it be a great opportunity for your kids to learn to get along with ppl from other cultures and backgrounds? We are at a school where most of the parents are low-income monolingual Spanish & Chinese & they are very friendly towards us. We've all learned to find common ground despite our cultural differences (which are there, but not insurmountable, imho).

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  85. In Seattle, I was the only white kid in my elementary school class and almost every class I took in MS. As an adult, I'm really glad I had that experience.

    And yes, I had tons of friends in MS. In fact, I am the only one of my friends now that actually enjoyed middle school. Most of my friends were very poor Asian-Americans, but I also had African-American and Native-American friends.

    And yes, I went to a prestigious undergrad and now have two MAs, so it didn't hurt my educational opportunities. Those friends from middle school? One's in grad school at Harvard, another in med school at University of Washington, another is a MSW...

    I hope some parents will read this and realize that this stereotyping is inaccurate. My experience was real, and I'd never go back and change it, because it broadened my horizons and made my life experience so much richer.

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  86. Re Marina, my issue was with the kneejerk "NO WAY" response. If you have questions about how your kid might fit in, fine. You've heard about nasty "cliques"? Check it out. Talk to parents, get on their listserve, tour the school, ask a kid or two. But on the surface of it, why should a school that is above 800 API and is beating its demographics and is clearly on the upswing be "NO WAY"?

    Good lord, I've heard about nasty cliques at every single private middle and high school in the city. I know that at least *some* of those rumors are even true, and sadly the kids who are bullied by these cliques have few other social options, unlike in a big middle school like Marina. And it is objective fact that SF private schools are among the least racially diverse places (most have over 75% one race, if you like that definition).

    The point is--you can make a case based on rumors of bullies and lack of diversity....but as you likely would do if you had a great financial aid offer to a private school, wouldn't you check the place out before making it sound like anyone would be crazy to go there? Marina doesn't deserve that.

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  87. Does anyone think that CTIP1 applicants and AA applicants should get equal weight for open spots with the first available spot always going to the CTIP1 family. Now, CTIP1 families receive priority and the spots left over go to AA. What I'm suggesting would look like:
    CTIP1
    AA
    CTIP1
    AA
    CTIP1
    In this year's lottery, a system such as this would have created more parity between neighborhood applicants and CTIP1 applicants at Alvarado and Clarendon. Alvarado had 38 CTIP1 requests and 30 AA requests with 58 available spots after sibling request. This system would have placed 29 CTIP1 families and 29 AA families. From the current data, it looks 38 CTIP1 families got spots and 20 AA families got spots which does not support the AA families or create parity between AA families and CTIP1 families.

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  88. Families in the GP attendance area who want GP should definitely contact the EPC. They should have priority over non-CTIP1 families in other AA for available spots. It certainly seems odd that people outside of the GP AA are getting offers before someone within the AA.

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  89. @11:39 Have you considered any parochial schools? Some like St. Philips in Noe Valley are very open to non-Catholic families? They are much less expensive than private schools and go up to the 8th grade.
    You might look at them as a back up. If you have the stomach, you should go for Round 3. As has been often said on this board, there is a lot of movement within the first weeks of school but that is a tough call.

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  90. Does anyone know what happens in the process after September 2nd (the Round 3 form says that the request stays active until that date?)

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  91. sf bernal
    i hope you get one of your schools in round 3. maybe you should go down to the EPC, too. in case there is something weird going on with GP assignments. at any rate, good luck. it's been a long road for you.

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  92. contact parents for public schools about enrollment questions.

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  93. My daughter got her second choice high school in the first round--Mission. We applied again for her first choice, Balboa, and she got Mission again. She's happy with that, so we're all set for 9th grade! I'm thrilled because Mission has a lot of great things going for it--small classes, diversity, beautiful building, great leadership and teaching. And you can't beat the location.

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  94. 5/15 11:39 am here. Thanks 3:47. We toured St. Philips & other parochial schools and decided against applying. After Round 2 (and no school), we're reconsidering every option. A private school is not out of the question but certainly would have preferred to donate money to a public school/SFUSD in support of a public education. Will hold out hope for our family and those like us that are still waiting for a school.

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  95. 4:55, agreed the teachers at Mission are amazing. And so many things are coming together. I predict Mission is the next school to become popular. I wouldn't have believed it of Balboa eight years ago or even five, and look now.

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  96. Are there any families with a special needs child who were not assigned to any of the SFUSD schools on their application (in both rounds 1 & 2)? Looking for advice/opinions in this situation. My son is currently in a SDC (Special Day Class), and I was hopeful about getting into a school closer to our neighborhood that would fit his needs. Sadly, we feel that he is being placed in a school primarily because the school has openings rather than a place where we feel he would fit in.

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  97. 11:39 if you want a private as back up, you might Adda Cleavanger, Katherine Michiels School, and Stratford School on de Montford might still have openings. i think most other privates will take families from their wait-lists if they have any open spots. hopefully, you'll get a public that you like - that sounds like what you really want.

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  98. Something's not right. One of our school staff was 0/7 1st round, but listed our school (the school she works out) as her wait list school and still didn't get it in round 2. There was 10 spots that were not registered. Can that be? 10 spots of family & medical leave & possibly more siblings? Seems fishy. Staff have some priority in the 2nd round.

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  99. 6:03 I believe teachers do (in later rounds only) but not classified staff. You don't say which she is.

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  100. It was my understanding that appeals are granted to teachers and staff. We want to get into the school my husband teaches at, but did not get it in the first or second round, even though the appeal was approved. We are checking on Monday whether all 88 spots were claimed during the first round. If not, I will definitely be investigating. It's not clear to us how much of a priority the appeal status is. It definitely sounds fishy that 10 spots were not taken and a staff member did not get in (provided she/he filled out the appropriate appeals form.)

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  101. Live a block away from Presidio MS and was assigned to Marina, almost 5 miles away from home. Appeal was denied and no letter for amended choice request. Does that mean we didn't get anything this round? We did not register at Marina.

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  102. 8:10

    I think (but I am not an expert) you are supposed to get a letter, so you might check with EPC if nothing comes in the mail on Monday. I know other people who submitted R2 requests who didn't simply got reassigned to the same school they didn't prefer--they all got letters. Anyway else know differently or can confirm?

    Do you have a backup plan? Marina is worth at least a look....you can register and do R3 and hope for that call. I think the bus ride is only about 1/2 hour on pretty safe buses--I realize that seems like a lot, but some of our kids have longer and it is not so bad. The kids learn independence, which has many benefits. At least that is my mileage.

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  103. 8:10

    I think that because you didn't register at Marina at round 1, you lost that space and current don't have an assigned middle school.

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  104. assigned to a school with no other same sex parents. yes. should I be so happy about sending my child to this school? I feel for the parent not wanting his/her child to be the only white kid in the class. it's hard to be the only. how can an elementary school in sf in 2011 have no same-sex parents? at a loss

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  105. I hope the district will release data on Round 2. I want to know specifics on my desired ( and denied) schools. How many applicants there were, out of those how many tie-breakers etc cause I can't believe I got screwed over again and now my whole summer is ruined with fear and guilt over something that should be a given: education!!!

    I am not willing to send my bright kid to a crappy school. Can't afford to move or go private.

    Round3 here we come.

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  106. 8:52, I can understand the concern. I remember when some friends were a pioneer same-sex family at Marshall; they started a Rainbow Family group if I recall correctly. Once something is established, more families will surely come. I'm sure there are others with this experience. Maybe others have recommendations for how to go about this? Resources? I say this realizing that you didn't ask for this role. But I know you are not the first....and someone has to be the first. I do believe that most families, whatever their background and views, respond to any family, including same-gender parents, that works for the betterment of the school and its programs. The human experience changes everything.

    In any case, good luck.

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  107. We're another middle-class family moving to Marin. Thanks SFUSD!
    0 for 13, two years in a row.

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  108. Marin move--it will work, because you will definitely guarantee your child is surrounded by no-one other than middle/upper class families. The Affluent Parent Index will guarantee you great test scores and lovely facilities (though not necessarily a better education). I don't mean this as a slam....it is your choice if you can do it. Just that it is not SFUSD's *fault* that more than half the kids here are poor (understanding that low test scores and underfunded schools track poverty).

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  109. I would never move to Marin. All the jobs are down south on the Peninsula. You might have a job in SF right now, but who knows where you will want to work 5 years from now.

    Job tech growth is all in SF, Peninsula and south.

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  110. I, too, would love to see the Round 2 data. We were hoping to get a spot in Balboa HS, but, so far, I've only heard of one kid getting in there R2 of the 10 or so I know of. And it seems few I know trying to make moves in middle school found spots that opened up. Having followed this system for almost a decade, it does seem as if the dynamics are different this time around. I think the critical mass of kids that started entering public schools once PPS came into being are now hitting MS and HS and what was formerly a large number of open spots are now being filled by more and more. Families have chosen a wider array of schools over the past decade in schools that are now highly sought after.

    We are all pretty familiar with the elementaries that have become popular, but on the MS front, 10 years ago few middle class families would be seeking out Aptos - much less Lick. I see Everett, Francisco and Marina gaining popularity.

    On the HS front I remember Chinese families protesting "bad schools for bad kids" who did not want to send their kids there - now it's among the most highly sought after (thank a terrific principal and some top notch program placement to turn a situation around - hello, SFUSD?? Quality Middle SChool plan anyone?)

    Of course, our own top HS choice now was perceived as awful 10 years ago (or even, to some, 5-7 years ago.) Again, top notch principal leadership working to build a strong staff made the difference.

    Mission seems to be the HS next in line. It has the advantage of being in an accessible and nice location (that has recently gentrified and become less dangerous.) Sadly, it doesn't seem as if Thurgood Marshall, John O' Connel or Burton (where my child was assigned - twice, now) have the same set of attributes to move the dial yet. Burton and Thurgood have the disadvantage of being in neighborhoods that still have a lot of violence, which scares off some.

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  111. Did anyone get Claire Lilienthal GE on 2nd round? Or Clarendon JBP

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  112. Thanks, 8:52, for not just slamming me and understanding what I mean. It is hard for kids to be "the only one".
    People can be Pollyanna about it, and claim it will be great for him, and say I am worrying about nothing, but I think he will be lonely and treated like an outcast. Middle School is hard enough on kids without piling on more social roadblocks.

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  113. 8:52, I've been in this position in private schools time and time again. Starting a group is the way to go -- there probably are same-sex parents out there with kids in different grades. I didn't ask for the role of Leading Representative Homosexual, god knows, but sometimes you just do what you need to do for your kid.

    You didn't say what level, elementary or middle or high school. That does make a difference. I'm not sure I'd put a middle schooler in the position of having pioneer parents. An elementary schooler will likely appreciate it, and a high schooler is probably old enough to start a Gay-Straight alliance or some such thing him- or herself.

    If there is literally no one else to join a group you start, or you want to spare your kid having visibly activist parents, then join the Our Family Coalition so your kid has a peer group with same-sex parents. You could also try to do some recruiting to your school by leading tours, attending school fairs, etc. It's amazing how tuned my ears and eyes were when I was touring -- the presence of even one gay parent or staff member made a huge difference in my sense that the school was viable for us.

    Hope something in here is helpful, and good luck.

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  114. 8:52 pm- We are a same sex couple and are completing our first year at a school where we are the only "out" family. Contact Kevin Gogin and Ilsa Bertolinni in GLBT Student Support Services. They may have some ideas, advice, etc.

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  115. Anyone get Jose Ortega Mandarin program? Did they have any slots available for round 2?

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  116. Just a quick comment about errors -- I know of a kid who got Grattan in round 2 and was NOT AA. It makes no sense. And hearing about another case like that here really puts the whole process into question.

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  117. Anyone else go 0 for 40?

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  118. "Anyone else go 0 for 40?"

    Did you literally put down 40 different schools and not get one? Or did you repeat schools/programs across different rounds?

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  119. For the New Traditions poster, there's a Lemonade Social at the Panhandle Playground this Saturday May 21 from 10am-12pm.

    You can come and ask about the before care and other questions about the school, plus get a chance to meet some of the families.

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  120. 0 for 40 poster back again. Sorry for the confusion, 0 for 20 in the first round, 0 for 20 in the second round. Mostly repeated schools/programs across rounds - only a few substitutions/changes were made.

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  121. @ May 14 1:08pm and other possible Glen Park Parents
    If you decide to enroll at GP, I hope you will consider joining the school site council and the PTO. PPS has been trying to make parents aware of the importance of the school site council in determining the vision and priorities of public schools. It seems the principal will most likely retire soon and busing will be phased out in the next two years so the parents who are active and present at Glen Park will have a part in shaping the school over the next few years during this time of major transition. It would be wonderful if some local parents were part of this process.

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  122. "It seems the principal will most likely retire soon and busing will be phased out in the next two years so the parents who are active and present at Glen Park will have a part in shaping the school over the next few years during this time of major transition. It would be wonderful if some local parents were part of this process."

    Glen Park is already undergoing transition, but this will be accelerating. The way to get into popular schools like Miraloma is to jump on board as the train is leaving the station.

    In a few years, it will be impossible to get into Glen Park in Round 1 and everyone will bemoan that fact and tell the parents now in the 1st and 2nd grades how "lucky" they were in the lottery and how the Glen Park parents don't know anything about getting into a lower-tier school because, after all, they are at super-popular Glen Park! :-)

    The trick is seeing which ones are beginning to move. Glen Park is certainly one. The factors are there--great location; leadership, which has in many ways been good but has not served the changing population as well, is going to change; good teachers; mixed neighborhood around the school with a solid middle class/professional base. Junipero Serra is another likely candidate.

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  123. 10:09 pm wrote "...it is not SFUSD's *fault* that more than half the kids here are poor"

    Not arguing your point but I wish that people would stop using the word "poor" as some sort of blanket signifier: "poor" kids are not the problem (said as someone who was a poor kid with a lot of poor friends who all went to college and are mostly not poor anymore) and neither are children of any particular race a problem. Poor kids certainly face challenges and can benefit from programs that help them show up fed and with supplies and ready to learn, but their challenges are unlikely to degrade the education that your child receives from being in class together.
    "Poor" parenting that doesn't value education and that doesn't prepare a child to behave in a classroom is the problem which then becomes the school's problem and then the under-funded schools don't have the resources to make up for the poor parenting and provide a good education for all the kids who are showing up ready to learn each day. Poor administration and poor teaching are also problems.

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  124. If there is a trick to seeing which schools are on the upswing, what about the reverse for schools on the decline? Are there any elementary schools that used to be desirable but are no longer?

    I have three kids and don't want to get my oldest into a declining school that will be undesirable once my yougest is in.

    What would be some signs to look for? Or does it just not happen?

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  125. A bit beside the point, but Mission is not in a location that is "recently" gentrified. It has been gentrified for quite some time. We have lived two blocks away (in the Castro) for 12 years, and it has never been even remotely scary. Not while we were childless, and not with small kids. We hop down to the mission all the time, and that is not scary either. Mission High is a gorgeous building in a great location, and I am super excited to hear people say it is coming up academically. We have a long time to go before High School, and it would be so great to send our kids three blocks down.

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  126. 11:53 I've been trying to think of schools that have declined. The general trend has been up, although there are schools in the middle--not ones that people here even glance at--that have declined. SF has many schools swinging up, very little in the middle, and a set at the bottom.

    There are some schools with good scores (over 800) and nice teachers that are never looked at here though. Not the ones on the failed schools list. Schools like Longfellow and Guadalupe and Sheridan, that have working class and immigrant populations and are doing quite well but are off the radar (or map) of middle class white families. Glen Park and Junipero Serra have been in that list. I think they will gentrify somewhat with the new assignment system and other changes.

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  127. we're trying to transfer from our school for 1st grade next year. seems like round 3 is different this year because i don't have to pick just one waitpool choice, but i can put down a whole bunch of schools. anyone have experience with getting transferred in the 10-day count for 1st grade? or later than 10-day count?

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  128. Glen Park / Bernal Heights / Noe Valley / Mission incoming Kindergarteners with no assignment or unacceptable assignment, another option with apps still being accepted for waitlist (changeover likely as everyone learns their Round 2 assignment): http://www.missionpreparatory.org

    Free and located near Mission bus lines, J-Church line.

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  129. Yick Wo parent here. It is an excellent school with parents active in the PTO and SSC. The school offers an extensive list of arts programing. We don't promote the school outside the neighborhood because its location and late start time make it somewhat difficult for many SF families to attend. Contact me if you want more information.

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  130. Poor Asians do great in school because they look at it with an open mind, feel they can become rich. Poor blacks, Hispanics and even whites don't do as well in school. Poor Asians actually get better SAT Scores on average than rich blacks and middle class whites, it's a fact. It is SFUSD's fault in pushing for low income and moderate income housing, pushing to save rental housing in the Tenderloin. We should let there be market condos and we'll have a lower percentage of poor kids. Larger condos for families. Then another community will have to deal with this problem. As to housing projects, we should have time limits, 5 years, and favor immigrants. If we could turn all the projects Asian we could make SF a school with very few bad students. The projects in Chinatown, the average college graduation rate from there is higher than the average in Marin or Orange County, that's of kids who grow up in them. They don't stay long. It's all about attitude. If you hate on the rich and successful and blame others and speak slang and watch TV, poverty will keep you down. Honestly, I admit it, a middle class white kid can get away with such behavior and stay middle class by connections more than a poor black or Latino kid can. But if you are poor and are fired up and work hard you will get into a UC and have a good life. Like Obama said, no one is so poor that they simply cannot turn off the TV and study.

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  131. Tried to give up our spot at Sloat to trade up for a different school by not enrolling at Sloat after round 1. For round 2 we were assigned Sloat again even though we didn't put it on our list (we are in the attendance area). I was ok with getting a school on our list or nothing since we have a backup. And was hoping someone would take our spot at Sloat. It's not that far for those who were shut out of Miraloma.

    So I'm passing along the news that there will be an open K spot at Sloat since we are not trying for round 3 and beyond.

    It is really disheartening to hear about all the disappointed families out there. if only all this energy could be spent helping the schools instead of touring and filing endless paperwork...

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  132. Thank you so much for posting this, 3:24. Sloat is a good school.

    Can you please be sure to tell EPC that you want to decline the spot? I know that if you don't register you are supposed to lose the spot, but just in case.....as a favor to another family that would love to get Sloat. Thank you so much!

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  133. Last year we went through the SFUSD school assignment hell trying to get our son into a Spanish immersion program. We went 0/7, 0/7, 0/7…0/7. I’ve always been committed to public education but this experience left me incredibly angry and frustrated.

    Fortunately, we got assigned to Flynn GE which we heard wasn’t so bad (we heard similar if slightly different stories about other underperforming schools). Turns out GE Kinder at Flynn was very good and perhaps even better than Flynn Spanish immersion in some ways. Our son has done very well.

    We just learned our son got into Spanish immersion for 1st grade at another school. It looks like we’ll be leaving Flynn; we can’t pass up the opportunity. But I’m sorry to be leaving Flynn. We’re involved parents and have become a part of the community. Our son has good friends and a lot of people are working hard to make Flynn better. I really believe the parents there will one day make Flynn a “trophy” school.

    I guess the message is if you don’t get what you want, don’t ACCEPT the results by abandoning SF’s public schools or by enrolling in the underperforming school and doing nothing about it. I know it’s difficult for many of you right now, but keep trying to get what you want. And if you don’t get it, go create change at the school you got assigned. When I made that decision, it really energized me.

    (Btw, I don’t think anything will ever remove the bitterness of the SFUSD assignment process—that needs to change. It’s one thing to be denied once, it’s another to keep giving you hope then disappointing you over and over again. But the schools themselves are all worth fighting for. Don’t believe me? Check out the Flynn Benefit at El Rio on Thurs, May 19, 6-10pm. Even though my son won’t be at Flynn next year, I’ll be there to support the school. I especially recommend this to anyone who got assigned to Flynn and has doubts about it. Just introduce yourself to parents as someone who will be new next year and you’ll see how well they will welcome you.)

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  134. Ugh, I am so tired of racist invective like 2:39's. We didn't take away huge tracts of China's land and slaughter its people, nor drag the Chinese over here in chains and deprive them of any kind of education for generations, so perhaps, just perhaps, there is more than TV watching at issue in the achievement gap.

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  135. 4:16

    I am sorry, but GET OVER IT! Feeling sorry for ourselves does not make change.

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  136. 4:16

    If you take an Asian American studies class, you would learn some of the struggles and discriminations that Asians also encountered in this country...

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  137. We started at Starr King in 2007 as the only out gay family. Today we have a whole parents/staff group and great potlucks. I found posting to various lists that we were there made people more comfortable with the school, and also more comfortable to come out. The staff was very supportive and my girls have done all sorts of mothers' day and fathers' day gifts where their teachers had them make two of each without even asking. They even showed That's A Family to my older daughter's class when another student gave her some grief (and that student's mom was horrified to learn her kid had said what she did and apologized all over herself.)

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  138. @ May 16, 2011 3:24 PM

    You're passing up a GREAT school at Commodore Sloat! Take it from a parent who's highly involved! It's a solid school all around. Someone will be lucky to take your spot. Good luck in your own school endeavors. :)

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  139. Community Advocate - Does Yick Wo have pre-care/drop off before the 9:30 start time?

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  140. 4:12 - Congratulations on getting a spanish immersion spot for 1st grade. Can you say which school?

    It must be hard for you to leave Flynn. I know it has only been one year, but the kids grow so much in K and the family quickly gets committed to a school.

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  141. @ May 16, 2011 3:24 PM

    Similar to others, thanks so much for your post regarding Sloat. I am just perplexed regarding this so-called system given the sporadic results from those in Round 2.

    So folks that live in Glen Park AA put down the school, but don't get it while folks in Miraloma AA do get it even though they shouldn't have with the 'rules' put into place.

    Open enrollment - so what really happens with open enrollment? Do families just show up and it's first come first serve? I've never heard of anyone camping out for a SF school so just curious as to what we are supposed to do especially if we don't want out Round 2 school but don't know how to know if we are risking getting nothing at all if we play the waiting game all the way until school starts.

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  142. 4:50 & 5:01, there is no DOUBT about the history of Chinese exclusion and internment of Japanese Americans and on and on, and lots of people within the African American community will give you a better line about empowerment than you could ever give. Still. What I took from 4:16 is that there is history and it is complicated and often terrible and has roots going back several hundred years, and simplistic rants about some other people's cultural so-called failings does not actually help a whole damn lot to make anything better. I know people hate the word racism, but in my mind it does involve the privilege of not knowing or forgetting or glossing over that history and its effects in the present day. A little more listening and understanding (which is actually impossible on this blog given the apparent absence of voices from several of the communities being talked about in such pat terms) would be nice.

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  143. 4:16, this is a huge part of the problem. People think oppression is a justification for not studying hard, watching TV and poor test scores. It is no excuse for not trying your best with what you have.

    As for saying some were less oppressed than others, that's silly. I think eeryone would agree that Jews were more oppressed than African Americans, yet they make up 34% of Harvard with 2% of the U.S. Population. Half of the Jews in the world were murdered over 6 years. Asians have been enslaved and oppressed. That has nothing to do with it.

    What is holding African American and Latino kids back is a focus on style, being cool, and relaxation over a focus on grades, SAT Scores, reading and intellectual achievement. African immigrants to the U.S. outperform whites, as do East Indians who faced huge oppression and colonization. Anyone can see it. There is an insistence that it is cool to speak slang. Asians, by contrast, show amazing dedication to school, go to the library on SAturday, study late nights, turn off the TV. This isn't merely a function of history. It is a function of being maladaptive and not wanting to change. It is a function of not wanting to do hard work that won't reward you for another 10-15 years. It is more fun to hang out with friends at the mall on Saturday than to study math tables, to watch sports or sitcoms than to read novels all Summer. The parents don't push their kids to make the right choice for the long run in certain communities. The only way they will ever close the achievement gap is to convince parents of all races that there is no excuse, if you want your kid to be a winner you need to pressure them to study harder and harder, to be intense and passionate about your GPA, your SAT score, and to take more pride in academics than in popularity, athletics, style or attitude. Obama said it, Cosby said it, and it's absolutely true. Parents need to push this and act more like the Asian parents.

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  144. 10:41, thanks for the clarity. I can't imagine an African American or Latino parent being able to stomach this blog for 5 seconds. Imagine having your children and your culture heaped with contempt every 3 or 4 posts. I think this blog should be shut down as a hate site, at this point.

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  145. Did anyone who did not register at their school in Round 1 get anything in Round 2? I'm noticing that folks like SF Bernal and Emily who did not register at their assigned school in Round 1 also totally struck out in Round 2.

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  146. Can we stay on topic, which is "Round 2"!

    Commenting on ones ignorance does not help people focusing on round 2.

    That said, 1:06AM, comment is well thought out, and right on the money.

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  147. "I can't imagine an African American or Latino parent being able to stomach this blog for 5 seconds."

    It confirms two things for me: 1) most people who aren't hispanic or african-american have NO idea what the day to day life is like for people of color in this country. Seriously folks, educate yourself. It's not as simple as watch less tv or attitude. 2) fear of the other motivates a lot of the school choice drama.

    I think we should nominate this whole blog for whitewhine.com.

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  148. "It confirms two things for me: 1) most people who aren't hispanic or african-american have NO idea what the day to day life is like for people of color in this country. Seriously folks, educate yourself. It's not as simple as watch less tv or attitude. 2) fear of the other motivates a lot of the school choice drama."

    Can you share what advice you can give to close the achievement gap since you seem to feel that you feel that others don't know what they are talking about?

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  149. 1:06PM: JeffScalini, please leave! You were banned in the forum; why are you still here?

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  150. @snowbunny - I am not Community Advocate but one of the reasons we did not enroll in Yick Wo is that there is no before care. I asked the principal. There is just no way we could show up at work at 10 a.m.

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  151. Regarding before school care at Yick Wo which has a 9:30 am start time, I think there may be care available at the Sarah B. Cooper program (they have a CDC pre-school and after school program but not positive about morning care).

    Supervised care at Yick Wo begins at 9:10 am. In general, most families designate one parent to drop off and work later and one parent to work earlier and handle pick up.

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  152. I think we should nominate this whole blog for whitewhine.com.

    Best idea on this blog in weeks. I think I only check this place anymore out of some weird anthropological voyeurism, kind like a reality show addiction you wouldn't want to admit to your friends.

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  153. Trying to get back on topic, here is a notice I read from another forum. It didn't seem to affect me since my child went for GE but it may explain some of the difficulties some of you had with immersion tracks. If they botched things this badly for 25%(?) of the K applications, I wonder how badly they #@$@#$ up with GE.



    Dear Partners:

    SFUSD has recently uncovered that some of the data for language immersion requests for incoming kindergartners was corrupted before it went into the March student placement run. This caused an imbalance in the distribution of students who speak the target language and those who don’t speak the target language assigned to immersion pathways in March 2011. The immersion model works best for all students when 1/2 to 2/3 of the class are speakers of the target language.

    SFUSD checked thoroughly to make sure that the assignment computer program was operating correctly. The problem we have discovered is one that happened before the data was run through the assignment system. The program that creates the immersion codes to indicate whether a student speaks/does not speak the target language incorrectly coded some target speakers as non-target speakers and some non-target speakers as target speakers. Before the May student assignment run, we determined how this happened and we corrected the problem so it did not happen in the May run and will not happen in future assignment runs.

    Before the May placement run, some of the immersion pathways had an imbalance of target language speakers and non-target language speakers, which meant that the district needed to find a way to shift the balances as part of the May 2011 placement process. We focused on remedying this in the least harmful way for incoming Kindergarten students, which meant correcting the pathway balances with the least impact on families who already received assignment offers while maximizing our opportunity to honor parent choices. In the May placement run, for example, we opened another kindergarten class at CIS @ DeAvila.

    Some of the pathways still have an imbalance of target language speakers and non-target language speakers. This most directly impacts immersion pathways at two schools: the Spanish immersion pathway at Alvarado and the Korean immersion pathway at Lilienthal. We will work individually with a small number of families at Lilienthal and Alvarado to facilitate within school pathway changes to correct the balances before school starts in August.

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  154. Something is broken about this site. Posts aren't going on. Please make a note when it's fixed, this is becoming a waste of time to write a good argument and have it not go on. What's going on?

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  155. This type of thinking that it is racist to point out the obvious truth is why the achievement gap never closes. If kids worked as hard across racial lines, then telling the teachers to have equal expectations and paying more for the lower performing schools would work wonders. However, the fact that it doesn't shows there is a work ethic gap and a problem with divorce and kids being born out of wedlock and men not dedicating themselves to raising kids to do well in school.

    If you think it is all beyond the control of the poor, that it is based only on poverty, then go to the public library at San Bruno and Silver Avenue on a Saturday. Note the percentage of kids of each race studying. Now you may say, it's poverty, these Chinese kids here have richer parents, they have opportunity. OK, then go to the park, the streets, see the percentage of each race at the basketball court, playground, etc. You will see these kids are free, the library is free, and they are making a choice to spend Saturday relaxing rather than studying. Therefore to close the gap, we need to change this choice, not teachers' attitudes or anything else. Teachers may expect more from students of certain groups because they see it over and over.

    Society is so racist that I appear racist by being so nonracist. It is racist to be so PC that you don't point out the obvious and make change.

    Many whites do avoid schools with high L or AA populations, so racism is a factor, but why does the average Asian kid at a public school in SF get a higher SAT score than the average white kid in private school in SF? This despite poverty and immigration, language issues. Because they put more work in and focus. Because they are studying on Saturday and at Midnight when other kids are watching a show or playing. Because it takes sacrifice to be a top student and we need to convince all kids to sacrifice more free time and study more, watch TV less.

    These are the facts, and they are undisputed. You can avoid the issue, but you can't tell me that poverty is the only reason Asians study more than anyone else. It's primarily cultural. If it's part of your culture to not study as much as a more successful culture, you need to change your culture.

    Addressing this would close the achievement gap. Whites will avoid Asians to go private as well, but Asians put their heads down and achieve. This is the reason for the gap, this and this alone. If there's one Asian kid at a school like Malcom X, he'll get into a good college, so it doesn't matter.

    Being blind to this phenomenon is actually racist, and pointing it out is nonracist because you're saying they can do better, let's convince them to work harder and give them the support they need.

    Studies show white kids do the same at different schools, on average, thos eat Presidio and Lick are about equal on test scores, many go from Lick to Lowell. So attitude is the key. White racism/private schools can maybe be blamed for 10% of the achievement gap, but 90% is based on what you have in your heart and how hard you're willing to work.

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  156. I agree, enough of calling everyone racist who says Asians study more than others. Why do you think we're 27% of Harvard and over 40% of Cal and UCLA, it's not genetics. Teachers need to convince all kids to work as hard as we do then you are going to see the results. I get so sick of people not giving us credit for studying long hours as kids, giving up so much time and then saying it's racist if you say others could study more. Ask anyone with a brain who studies more. We know how to close the gap of achievement, now just do it.

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  157. That's crazy about the immersion programs. Basically all the English kids got left out the programs filled up with the target speakers. How are they going to fix this? Try and talk the target language kids into taking a GE spot? And then how do they fill the immersion programs with English speakers? People that put it first on their list in Jan are long gone, enrolled somewhere else, pissed that they didn't get an immersion program. This is why you need to keep filing your papers until the very end, who knows what shuffling the district will do and what spots they are holding back to sort things like this out!

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  158. But here's the deal - it's not the kids' fault. Any child, no matter the color of their skin, whoever their parents are, whatever their culture, it's not their fault that no one's pushing them to succeed at home. It's not their fault that the adults in their lives are not acting like adults. It's not their fault that the adults in their lives are not there for them.
    What these kids need, deserve, and have the right to, is help. And I say that as one of those kids when I was a kid - I didn't get that stuff at home and I needed it, but I got it at school. Thank god for the Seattle Public Schools and my lowly, working-class grade school that gave me the leg up I needed.
    So let's agree that ALL children deserve our schools' support, as much as we can give them to help them.
    For some kids, that's going to make up for stuff their families can't give them.
    But let's add to that that it's not a zero-sum game. And that for kids who are lucky enough to have functional families who can give them the support all children SHOULD get, their school needs to meet them where they are and help them up from there.
    The problem here is that the District (and some folks on this blog) seem to see it as a zero-sum game: If we help kids who need more support, then we can't help kids who are ready for the next step.
    And that's what will drive families with kids working at or above grade level out, if they can afford to.
    And that harms the schools for ALL the kids, including the ones who really, really need and deserve the support that they don't get at home.
    Can we agree on that and stop blaming children who, through no fault of their own, are in families that can't step up to the plate for them?
    Can we start to engage with the District at a rational level, and say that all students deserve an education that meets their needs?
    And can we find a way to broaden the discussion, so that the cut off isn't working at grade level, but working at ability?

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  159. Basically all the English kids got left out the programs filled up with the target speakers.

    NO, it's the reverse--the programs filled up with too many English speakers that were meant for target language speakers. The programs are supposed to have more Spanish, Korean, etc. speakers and fewer English, in order for it to work well, esp in schools like CL and Alvarado that have dominant-English strands as well on the playground.

    The letter I saw from the Alvarado principal states that they have only 18 Spanish speakers and 24 English speakers. They would prefer the reverse. So six English speaking families got lucky and six Spanish speaking families lost out.

    Please understand--I'm not saying it's not a mess, because it is an unholy mess! Just that the people left out were not English speaking kids, who in fact got more than their share of spots. It was Spanish-speaking kids who missed out who may now have moved on.

    The damage is to them, though they may never know it; to families who will now be pressured to relinquish spots in order to bring the balance at least to 50-50 for the programs to function; and to this year's cohort of kids, who won't learn the target language as well with only 50-50 and not a little higher ratio to Spanish or Korean, as the teachers prefer.

    I hear that EPC will be offering choice spots to families to move either to the GE strand within school or to other popular schools. Probably by expanding classroom size at Clarendon, Miraloma, etc. It's what they did last time this happened (three years ago?).

    Ugh.

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  160. Having had a white child in predominantly asian schools, for nine years, I can tell you why you wouldn't want this if you were a white family. The asian families rarely socialize outside of their own race and even then they rarely socialize. The asian kids do a lot of extracurricular academics putting more academic pressure on the kids who don't. My daughter left elementary school with no friends and is leaving middle school with one friend. She knows a lot of people, but a friend where you sleep over and do things together after school.

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  161. I consider myself to be a calm person. However, if the district increases class sizes at Miraloma and offers them to people out of the neighborhood because of THEIR screw up, when there are tons of us in the neighborhood that didn't get in, I just might lose it.

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  162. I hear you, 4:26, but what are they to do? The immersion program is screwed up, they totally screwed some native-Spanish speakers who should have gotten into Alvarado but had their spots taken by native-English speakers, and how would it feel to be one of the families being asked to move now? It's a mess, but how to fix it?

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  163. I agree it's not the kids' faults. However, in some cases it turns out to be because often the kids who everyone says are victims because their parents didn't encourage them, turn around and divorce, don't encourage their kids, so yes and no. If they let it stop with them, it's not their fault but if they perpetuate the corrupt culture as adults, it is their fault.

    The schools absolutely need to step in and make up for this. They need to tell kids to emulate those who are studying the most. 2:57 has great points. You need to keep the advanced kids in the district as this helps all kids. You also need adults to step in and teach kids to work beyond what their mom is encouraging. If mom watches TV all Saturday, you need to go to your room or to a library or you'll be like mom, poor and ignorant. Some of the kids from 25 years ago who were labeled victims would now be labeled victimizers and perpetrators because they failed to learn the error in their parents' ways and instead embraced and perpetuated those ways.

    As for Asians, you're right. They could be more social and still do well in school. Some Asians are social but you probably need a mix for a good school because if it's not 25% non-Asian, no one will do anything fun. Sleepovers once in a while are fine, but watching TV all weekend or evening has killed many a child's future.

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  164. 4:32-
    They can use city-wide schools or they can figure it out on the campus somehow. The rest of us that have been told "just hang in there, you'll get your spot eventually" about 1000 times shouldn't be punished because the district can't get their act together!!

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  165. 4:42--good point, and maybe they will use citywide schools. We don't know yet as far as I know.

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  166. 3:51

    After your daughter's experience in elementary school, did you think that things will change in middle school that also had a high percentage of Asians?

    Why didn't you transfer your daughter into a school that has fewer Asians?

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  167. "I hear that EPC will be offering choice spots to families to move either to the GE strand within school or to other popular schools. Probably by expanding classroom size at Clarendon, Miraloma, etc."

    There is no immersion program at Miraloma.

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  168. You have got to be kidding. This Alvarado thing has just got to be a joke.

    This exact thing happened three years ago. It was the topic of choice on this blog, nicknamed Fynnarado. Simply look at the blog history for posts tagged as Flynn/Alvarado.

    As I recall, the District had to recind placement offers to a bunch of english speakers because a coding error resulted in not enough fluent speakers being assigned. The families were offered choice spots at various schools. One frequent poster who was bumped out ended up at Clarendon JBBP.

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  169. Oh god, not the bi-lingual immersion fiasco from 3 years ago. Every year the district screws up in some grand way.

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  170. It's hilarious how the district calls it a 'coding error' as if it wasn't people doing the coding. Nope, not us - we didn't do it - the COMPUTER did it!

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  171. 6:48, I know there is no immersion program at Miraloma. What I have heard is that some of the English speaking families that were sent to Lilienthal and Alvarado by mistake (spots should have been given to Spanish or Korean speakers) will be offered spots in the GE program within the school, or in very popular schools elsewhere. I haven't heard that they will be offered immersion. There may not be immersion spots available. They have already added a bubble kindergarten at CIS in order to fix this issue there.

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  172. me me me me, I want sloat!!!

    trying for Round 3...come on lottery gods

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  173. Hi 12:12, someone posted above that they got assigned Sloat and don't want it. There will be at least 1 Sloat spot given out in Round 3.

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  174. oh yeah I am doing ROund 3 and will hope someone fails to show up in the first 3 days...and if needed I will wait till X-mas and then will try next year again.
    I just can't settle for anything less than the school I feel would be the absolute best fit for us.
    It just prob won't even get that spot as I have no tie-breakers ...

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  175. Six kids didn't get immersion because those spots accidentally went to English speaking kids. What about all the other 1000s of kids who won't get A MINUTE OF LANGUAGE INSTRUCTION UNTIL HIGH SCHOOL??

    This district is such a joke. Every time I think of immersion, with all of the special treatment it gets, it makes me want to scream. Sorry if you're an immersion parent, but let's just all admit that it really isn't fair.

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  176. 9:37, Are there other school districts nearby that offer more language immersion programs than SF?

    And what special treatment are you referring to?

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  177. 9:37 here. I do not know if other districts nearby offer language before the 9th grade. It's a good question. I'm just saying that in OUR district, learning a second language is a stated objective, and yet it's all or nothing until the 9th grade. This seems hypocritical. (Rosa Parks JBBP is a good example of a more balanced approach - not all or nothing.)

    And by special treatment, I mean you either "win" the lottery and your kid gets full immersion, or you lose (most of us) and you get nada. Don't you think having your kid taught in another language, in addition to basic curriculum, is special? Just as attending a bilingual program, like what is offered at McCoppin for English Language Learners, is special. Not standard. Out of the norm. It requires special teachers. Special curriculum. Special materials. Does that help you understand what I mean?

    If it sounds like I have an axe to grind with immersion, I suppose I do in this budget cut world we live in. I guess I'd just like for my kid, and all the others, to have some exposure to another language if a few are going to be fully immersed in it. Is that so wrong?

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  178. Maybe there should be more Spanish immersion programs since it seems so popular. I just think your anger is misplaced.

    Doesn't SF offer more language than other districts?

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  179. Immersion programs get stuck in underperforming, under enrolled schools middle class families tend to avoid. The District uses immersion as Carrot to get middle class families to attend schools they otherwise wouldn't. (Except for Cantonese immersion, which is about the Lau plan, which I'm still murky on.)
    What happens is that middle class parents take a leap of faith and send their kids to schools that appall their friends and neighbors and the school begins to transform, and suddenly it's all not fair.
    The District could, instead, add an hour of language to all schools. But I don't think there's a chance in the world that an hour of Mandarin would have gotten 250 middle class families to go to Starr King, a school which is next to a housing project and which still freaks some parents who come to tour out.
    You've got to hand it to SFUSD, they don't do everything right but in this instance they took lemons and made lemonade.
    Instead of saying 'Oh woe is me, we have to many non-English speaking kids" they said "Hm, we've got all these kids who ONLY speak English - how can we create something that serves the needs of English language learners AND pulls middle class families into schools that are under-enrolled and under-resourced?"
    Immersion's done both pretty well. Not perfectly, by any means. But pretty well.
    Yes, they need to open more immersion programs. Which I believe is in the works. But you can really only roll one out every year or so. it's a pretty big shift. It's not that they cost more, I don't believe bilingual teachers get paid any more. But it takes planning and time.
    And the easiest low-hanging fruit in terms of schools are full, now they're going to have to start opening immersion programs in neighborhoods that are a harder sell. I'll be curious to see just how much people want immersion when it's deep in the Bayview, for example. Though as a Starr King parent I'd say it's not an issue, but it's a lot harder to make that leap of faith at the very beginning.

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  180. Anyone who got into Starr King or Jose Ortega MI in Round 2, there is a Mandarin Immersion Parents Council Q&A on May 24th for incoming parents. Would love to see you. Please email me for details: ramseygorman@comcast.net

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  181. An hour of language won't do anything to the kid. Beth, you need to get educated on language learning.

    By the way, an hour of language will also cost way more money than having immersion programs. Immersion programs do not cost much more than regular GE because the number of teaching hours is no different from a regular school. Additional hour will cost money.

    By the way, I was very against the district putting MI in poor performing schools as social engineering. However, at this moment, I have to admit that it worked.

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  182. Even after 4 days of finding out we went 0/13 I am still bitter.
    I feel shut out of SFUSD and was duped again to think round 2 would bring any good news.

    If there is going to be a lottery system I feel it should be 100% lottery with the exception on one tie breaker, siblings (even though I have only one child).
    This is after all "public" education and everyone should have the same chance.

    We have 8-9 schools all within reasonable walking distance but still can't attend. Now if that is not an excuse to be bitter and frustrated tell me what is.

    I don't want to move and can't afford private but refuse to send my child to an under-performing school.
    The big issue though is that I would consider going if it was close by..how can a parent be expected to contribute to a school that is so far away. I am not motivated enough to even try.

    If they have an algorithm for test scores, zip codes siblings whatever else can't they have one to prevent families from getting assigned a school miles and miles away from their home?

    This system is broken and for everyone who is happy with what they received there are many of us who feel very bitter and angry.

    Since there is a word for everything, what is it called when the odds are against families that live in an area with reasonable test scores and are shut out of their neighborhood schools and any decent school for that matter?

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  183. 12:48
    I didn't say that an hour of language learning wouldn't do anything for the kids. I said that I didn't think an hour of language a day would have been enough to entice the parents the District was trying to entice to come to the schools where they were putting immersion.
    An hour of language a day is great.

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  184. In regards to the enrollment error with the immersion programs, I hope SFUSD considers starting the Spanish Immersion program at Sanchez Elementary as a way to remedy it. The demand is there from previous discussions it looked like a lot of the elements were already in place.

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  185. 2:20 PM, I think it's a German word: Neighburchulenfreude or maybe Esseffdistictenauche. Or Mitelklassangst?

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  186. 9:37 a.m.
    Immersion parent here who did not get into any of the schools she wanted for her child in round 1 a few years ago (including SF Community, Miraloma, Harvey Milk, Rooftop) and felt it was all horribly unfair as we learned of our child's schoolmates getting into their top choices. We took a chance on a low-demand immersion school round 2 and got in. All has not been wonderful but it is OK. It is no less fair that my child is in an immersion school than it is that another person's child took the spot we wanted at SFC, Rooftop, HM, Miraloma, etc. I don't understand the rage towards immersion. Anyone can put a school with immersion on their lottery list. The teachers are paid the same salaries. There are plenty of immersion schools with many low income students, and PTAs which don't raise very much money. If you live in the SE there are not many decent NON immersion school options.

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  187. @ 2:20

    I think that you are wrong that there are more people upset with the process than happy with it. I think most people in San Francisco are happy or at least accepting of their assignments. The people that are satisfied with their assignments are just not as vocal about it.

    I think the system produces a moderately large amount of happy parents, a majority of satisfied and a minority that is bitter and angry like you.

    There are some people that will want nothing but a 950+ API test score school for their child and will be bitter if they don't get it and there aren't enough slots like that to go around, so there will always be a few vocal and unhappy posters.

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  188. @ 4:42 so I am assuming you are one of the happy ones!
    I think you are naive to assume that the unhappy parents only want high scores! who do you think you are to assume that?

    If you read my post correctly maybe you wouldn't be so quick to judge. I am not only unhappy that i got a school that is rated a 3 with failing scores it is also 5.2 miles from my home. I have 9 schools very nearby.

    Do you think it is fair that ANY families are asked to go through such a heart wrenching process? I could go on but it is parents like you that don't stand up for the whole of the group and find nothing wrong with the system when you get what you want for YOUR family.

    For your blatant disregard I only wish you an experience such as mine. How dare you!

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  189. I know this is really old and nobody may ever read, but what happened to Emily? Did she get Miraloma? Go private or parochial? Move?

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