Monday, August 22, 2011

Are you still waiting for a school?

Most parents have landed their children in a school by now and that's wonderful news. But there are still many who are hoping to get a call from SFUSD this week or who are on private and parochial school wait list. This forum is a place for those parents and for those parents with a past history of navigating this difficult situation. Let's please stay on focus in this post and not veer into other topics. Some readers have requested that I turn off registration so parents waiting for an assignment can freely talk.

280 comments:

  1. We are enrolled and attending a school (for K), but still waiting by the phone to hear if we get a spot at our neighborhood school (Miraloma). Not terribly hopeful, as I think there are a lot of folks in our same situation in the neighborhood.

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  2. We are without a school and waiting for one. Just went down to the EPC today hoping to find out the results of Round 4. I was told that the SFUSD has decided to run the lottery tomorrow instead. So for those of you still waiting, Aug 23 is the new notification date. They didn't even have the courtesy to post something on their web site to let us know. Never mind that, just post a sign in the waiting room so we don't wait for an hour and a half for nothing. We have a parochial school lined up and at this point are so disillusioned with the district, we might just decide to go private.

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  3. I got a robo call from SFUSD on Friday saying that I have until today to remove my amended app. After today, if I get something on my list, I am automatically reassigned and lose my spot at my existing school.

    We are in 1st grade. All of this is so hard. We like our school but a different school would be better for our family for the long haul. It's hard to transfer now that school has started. I feel a knot in my stomach - nervous if we get a spot, nervous if we don't.

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  4. We are also without a school. We've been "offered" Cobb twice and Muir once.

    This new assignment system redefines the meaning of the term "boxed out."

    Thanks, 12:51, for the update on Round 4.

    If that round doesn't pan out, right now, debating between a last-minute parochial application and moving down the Peninsula pronto.

    Two neighbors on our street are in the same boat.

    Good luck everyone...

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  5. We are waiting as well. Our parochial back up starts on Wednesday and we just bought uniforms today but hoping for a public spot. Not sure EPC waited until Friday afternoon to call and let everyone know about the next Round 4. Miraloma folks, I have heard that there are 4-5 open spots so I am sure some Miraloma families will strike gold. Unfortunately our attendance area school is not one we want.

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  6. 1:01 - what schools are you waiting for?

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  7. We are enrolled & attending a school (K), but still hoping we can get a spot closer to home (Peabody). We like our current school, but it's quite the juggling act logistics-wise and I can't imagine doing that for the long haul.

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  8. They had no placement for our first child, a letter for placement finally arrived mid-September but we'd put her in private school by that time. We moved out of SF before it'd be time for the same torture concerning our second kid and don't regret it. But it still sad to hear that SFUSD continues putting parents through this, they should be ashamed.

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  9. We are doing the same as others. Going to our assigned school, but we are waiting for Jose Ortega. I'm worried that my daughter will be devistated if we get the call since she is already getting acustomed to her new school, but in the long run it will make a big difference. I feel awful putting my child through this.

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  10. We are waiting for a school. We are currently juggling last minute camp enrollments, family help and days off. Feel really bad with the situation. Thanks for the update that the round is tomorrow.

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  11. Thanks so much for the info about Round 4 moving to 8/23. Think we'll get letters or phone calls? Probably phone calls if they left that voicemail last week asking us to notify the District by today if we want out of the lottery...We're waiting for a 3rd grade spot for our daughter. My son is already there in 1st grade. No sibling priority when the sibling applying is older. Our appeal was denied too. I work for the District but that doesn't help either. Our backup plan is to keep her in private but not sustainable long term. We've thought of Marin, East Coast, like many of you. Good luck all. I'm sorry there is still a need for this blog in the first place. My friend lives in San Diego and families choose 3 schools and are guaranteed at least one of them. Wouldn't that be nice?

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  12. We are waiting for Rooftop, Miraloma, Clarendon, Sloat, Glen Park, West Portal, Alvarado, Milk and do not live in the attendance for any of the schools but they are all within a 10-15 minute drive or direct bus route.

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  13. Thanks for the update on notifications being tomorrow. Wish they'd told us that earlier, so I didn't have to stay home for the call. Now I have to do that tomorrow. :( grr. Waiting for Sunset as first choice, long list after that. Our assigned school is OK, nice people, but a logistical nightmare.

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  14. We got a spot at GP but desperately waiting to get in Sloat or Sunnyside.
    Still have some hope left in me but it's quickly fading..

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  15. @3:54 p.m. I think Sunnyside has some spots.

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  16. Hey 3:54. I hope you get what you want, but in case not I thought you might like to know: We transferred our child from Sunnyside to Glen Park last year, and are really happy with that decision! So, if you end up "stuck" at GP, hopefully you'll warm up to it.

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  17. 3.54 here:

    I put Sloat first..so doesn't that mean that if someone has Sunnyside as their first choice they get priority over me who put Sunnysie down second

    arghh so confused. I just want that phone call with good news :))

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  18. I wish they would call and ask you if you want the spot, instead of auto-enrolling everyone automatically. What about people that filled-out the form and then moved/went private? Are those seats going to be held for them for another run in September? This seems so drawn-out. I seriously wish they would have started making calls last Thursday, right after the 3-day count.

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  19. Word on the street is that there was some IT meltdown at EPC last week. Not sure if this is true or not or if that's why the lottery was delayed but why can't they put something on their web site so people know what's going on?

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  20. hmmmm - dont know about the IT meltdown at EPC but they have to wait for each school to communicate back to them about how many kids were no shows. Schools take until Thursday or Friday to send that information. It worried me that there was an IT meltdown because the process now is even more complicated. If I want Sunset and someone who is at Sunset wants Jefferson and they get it then that slot at Sunset opens but they have to rerun the data taking out the person who got Jefferson and then yes, there will be people who put in an application but will not join so they will do another lottery match in early September until September 9th.

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  21. I sure hope it works out for all of you. Big picture, if your child misses a couple weeks of school it is no big deal if it means getting a school that you are happy with. Good luck.

    In the meantime I hope that people will see that there is real need for change at SFUSD.

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  22. Thanks for the Round 4 update. Couldn't sleep last night and spent the day jumping whenever the phone rang. We're waiting on a list of six schools that we love, and if none pans out, my daughter will go to private school starting next week. (Our assigned school was Cobb.) Even if we withdrew from private tomorrow, we are out the deposit and several months tuition (per the contract). I hate that we are going through this.

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  23. We are really hoping for Fairmount tomorrow. We are an English speaking family. Best of luck to everyone waiting!!!

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  24. From what I was told at the EPC this morning, it's going to be a phone call tomorrow. Potentially as late as 8 or 9pm is what the counselor said. I'm just mad that they didn't notify the public. I mean for goodness sake, post a sign in in front of the waiting room or something. We have five schools on our list, and a parochial back up that starts on Wednesday. Hoping against hope that we get word tomorrow and can spare our child the confusion of transferring.

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  25. 8:47 Thanks for sharing what you learned at EPC. I can't believe they might call as late as 8/9pm. Guess we will all be sitting next to our phones tomorrow.

    We currently have no placement and have 4 schools on our list. Our friends at various schools have mentioned a bunch of openings so I think there will be quite a bit of movement. Fingers crossed for everyone.

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  26. We start at St. Philips on Wednesday but hoping to get one of our public school choices. 9.10pm, do you know where there maybe spots : We heard of 3 at Miraloma, 2 at Grattan, 1 at West Portal, 3 at Fienstein

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  27. @12:51pm

    Wow, thanks so much for providing the critical information regarding the change in notification. I just checked the SFUSD website and they seem to have removed the August placement dates.

    We've been jumping at all our phones all day today. The cable company and a wrong number have stressed me out. I can't believe this is still going on.

    We are Miraloma AA but it seems like there are a lot of us still waiting. But we'd be cool with anything on our list. Private school back up though.

    If anyone got a public school assignment and are there now waiting for a call let us know if we are missing anything major. Just seems odd to walk into a class two weeks after it's started. Do the schools just keep it light the first month until this is resolved? Seems like such a waste when our kids need every moment to learn given the potential cuts in the school year with the budget issues in the state.

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  28. It's kindergarten, Watson. These missed days fingerpainting will not lead to your child having to cram for SATs. She'll be fine.

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  29. We are currently unassigned, after going 0/9 in the last round. We have given up hope for getting two spots for our twins, and have instead turned to the San Francisco Schoolhouse (sfschoolhouse.org). We already have a dedicated classroom, as well as two wonderful teachers with 40 years of experience EACH in SF independent schools. We just need a few more families to make it work. If you're interested in an engaging, nurturing and fun progressive program for your child that doesn't cost as much as college, contact info@sfschoolhouse.org.

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  30. My child's K class at Feinstein only had 18 students--4 no-shows in one of four classes alone. Good luck everyone! I wonder where these openings come from? Inconsiderate families who don't want the spot or have moved and don't tell SFUSD, or families who got an early August placement? It seems if some of these students were reassigned they should have already filled those vacant spots.Maybe some of the ire should be directed at our peers as well as the district.

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  31. 8:17

    It may not be inconsiderate parents. Once enrolled at a school it's almost impossible to dis-enroll. I had this happen for middle school. I notified the school and the district that my child would not be attending, and still got a call wondering where she was on day 2. Nice they called, but all my efforts to free up a spot early were wasted.

    They need to create a dis-enrollment form.

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  32. There was a computer crash at EPC on Thursday. The schools were supposed to submit their numbers on Thurs, but EPC could not compute until Friday. That has delayed everything. So rude they don't communicate that.

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  33. We transferred our son last year on K day four. I cried when EPC called me at work. The first day at the new school was traumatic, tears, stomping feet, refusing to enter the new school. For a whole week he asked to go back to the old school. And then it passed. Now we talk about it, remember how we started K and then transferred. He of course loves his school and it's walking distance instead of 20 mins drive away. It was the right decision to make for our family and I have no regrets.
    Best of luck to you all.

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  34. Is anyone on a wait-list for 1st Grade? (private school) or do they only wait-list the transitional years (like K, 6th, etc.)? Please let us know.

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  35. I am on a waitlist for 1st grade. Super stressed about it.

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  36. I am on a waitlist for 1st grade public school

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  37. We're hoping for Fairmount or Buena Vista for K. I know it's a long shot. Anyone heard of movement in any SI classes? I've heard of movement at Miraloma and Rooftop but nothing for immersion.

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  38. Has anyone gotten a phone call today yet?

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  39. It seems like there are a bunch of spaces at McKinley - and there is spanish and mandarin immersion for afterschool. Such a sweet school!

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  40. EPC the wait is killing me.

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  41. A friend told me there are two no shows in her child's K class at Clarendon GE.

    Keep the hope alive!

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  42. West Portal has K, 1st and 2nd openings. Some 1st openings in the CIP class.

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  43. Just came back from EPC. They will not run the lottery until 5:00PM and will start to call families tonight or tomorrow. We got an assignment we never requested on Aug. 13 and never registered. But when I checked with the counselor today, my son is Enrolled even though we never turned in the letter. Thank you SFUSD. What a magic system!

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  44. Question: Does the robo call show as unknown caller in your caller ID or does it identify itself as SFUSD? Will they leave a message if you do not pick up? Thanks!

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  45. 5pm?! ARGGGG!!!!!

    Thanks for updating us, 1:14 PM. It's much appreciated.

    The robo call came up as "unknown" on my phone.

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  46. This is making me crazy. I feel like they didn't even do a run in august, before school started. I don' t know anyone who got anything in August. Now there are empty seats and we are working our way through week #2. Every day that passes makes it harder to pull your kid out of school and send them to a new school. I am not happy.

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  47. @ 1:30 PM: the paranoid part of my mind thinks they do that deliberately to cut down on the size of their problem. Your kid will get comfortable at the school you don't really want, so you will stop pushing for change. Then they are off the hook for really solving the problem.

    I've been working at home for two days now, waiting for this call, and it's just ridiculous that they can complete this process in a timely manner. I work in technology, and I know they are running an algorithm against a very small set of data (a few thousand inputs at most). Google or Oracle could run that report in less than a minute.

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  48. Thanks, 1:14. Much appreciated info. Calls to night or tomorrow? Oh boy. The suspense continues...best of luck to all who are waiting.

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  49. Was finally able to get thru to EPS to make sure they had ALL of our phone numbers, since I can't work from home tomorrow. The person on the phone confirmed that they will start calling after 5 and through tomorrow.

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  50. Ugh. I feel like they are very disorganized and playing with our emotions. I now have to go to an afterschool orientation for a school I don't know if we will be staying at. Thanks EPC.

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  51. I'm also waiting and my child is getting more and more used to her current school even as the commute is rapidly wearing me down. But I can't help but find this whole process so funny. This is nuts - it is so weird that you really have to go through it to believe it. It will make for a good story in a few years. Whatever the challenges, I still choose SF over the suburbs and I believe this is the right place for my children and our family. Now, ring, ring, please!

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  52. anyone get any calls yet? Nothing from five family friends so far ...

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  53. nope, nothing yet...this is such an evil form of torture.

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  54. Nothing yet. However, what if they are still working out the computer glitches? Plan on waiting until tomorrow!

    Good luck everyone!

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  55. Nothing. I went down yesterday at 4pm and was told they'd call either after 4.30 pm Tuesday OR on Wednesday (thanks a lot). I know they had some technical glitches they were working on but it's driving me completely crazy, especially as we have some afterschool spots being held for us until 10am tomorrow in a couple of the schools we are hoping to get into which we will also lose if we don't know.
    This is maddening.

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  56. My child is HATING her current school, she's in a combo class where she's in the higher grade and the work is boring and unchallenging, we have no before or after care and the commute is killing us all. I am glued to my phone although I'm guessing they will only call tomorrow.
    Good luck everyone.

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  57. Last year they were calling right after the 3 day count and filling seats every day. Something is really screwed up this year.

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  58. This system is so broken it's quite ridiculous. Good luck to everyone who is waiting!

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  59. @ 7:39: I wonder if it's because it's a new algorithm and someone didn't code it correctly.

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  60. getting into a school after only 3 days seems like such a dream to me...this new system seems so flawed.

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  61. Just sent a note to sfgate, I think this does warrant some news coverage

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  62. I think two years ago it was a 10 day count before they released the spots

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  63. I just received an email from a very kind EPC counselor that I contacted earlier today. She informed me that the lottery results will be released tomorrow morning and hence calls will start then as well. I am hoping that tomorrow will be my son's first and last day in parochial school. So let's go to bed, mommies. More waiting awaits us in the morning.

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  64. Tomorrow morning? I don't believe it. Goodnight, all!

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  65. so frustrating...off to bed

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  66. so Daddies can't go to bed yet?

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  67. It's not pleasant to watch new kindergarten parents get their first taste of the public school system in SFUSD. I just urge parents to make your voices heard. In the meantime, good luck!

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  68. Anyone hear anything???

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  69. Last Wednesday, my daughter's school principle said she would go to each classroom to do a head count and drop people who didn’t show up. It just doesn’t make sense to me that SFUSD spent all these money and time to develop a new SAS but ended up with such a mess. They should have been informed people by mail or call last week instead of taking a week. SFUSD website clearly stated that “if you receive an assignment into any of the schools listed on the Amended Choice form in August, all other choices will be de-activated. Additionally, any previous school assignment will be canceled if an assignment can be offered in August. There will be no opportunity to choose between the previous school and the August assignment offer. “ If that is the case, what is the point of sending a sending a rebo call on Friday and telling people that they would start calling today. It just makes already anxious parents more anxious. Isn’t it they should just send out assignment letters instead of waste all this overtime money to call people? I am also a parent waiting for an assignment and I dreamt getting my first choice last night. So disappointed when I woke up.

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  70. Yeah, I'm not really sure of the point of the call, since a letter generally takes one day within SF, and it seemed to work OK for all the other Rounds. God forbid they should send out an email. Heck, I'd pay the 5 cents for a text message.

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  71. I'm considering going down to 555 again. Not that it did me any good on Monday afternoon when I waited for nearly 2 hours and THEN was told that they wouldn't know until Tuesday. Now Wednesday. Radio silence.
    Trying not to actually sit on my phone.

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  72. Check out Rachel Norton's blog post on this:

    http://rachelnorton.com/2011/08/24/recap-august-23-regular-board-meeting/

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  73. Oops - it is this actually this link

    http://rachelnorton.com/2011/08/24/update-for-anxious-parents/

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  74. FROM RACHEL NORTON THIS AM:

    Update for anxious parents

    Posted on August 24, 2011 by rpnorton| Leave a comment


    I know there are lots of anxious parents out there, so I’m taking my correspondent’s suggestion and posting my answer to him here:

    I spoke to Darlene Lim about the lottery progress on Monday. The process of identifying and verifying open seats is laborious and is taking longer with the new process because there are more schools in “play” — with the old process, families just listed one school as their wait pool choice but under the new process as you know you can list multiple schools. It’s imperative that they be absolutely sure about their counts before starting the run.

    The good news is that they are identifying a lot of openings and do anticipate significant movement when the run is completed. They had hoped to complete it yesterday and begin calling families yesterday afternoon but I gather the work took longer than anticipated. I know there are rumors of technical glitches on the K files but Darlene did not tell me that they were having any technical problems.

    Please do not call or go down to EPC today! I know people are worried but EPC is shortstaffed and dealing with public inquiries just slows down the process. And, it won’t help you get a seat you want any quicker. I know it is very frustrating.

    Anyway, sorry for the stress you are experiencing but as I said, I expect they will start making calls to families today. Good luck.

    One thing I should add is that Monday was the last day to submit an amended list before the run, and according to Darlene there were a lot of families who changed their lists. Things look different after the first week in a school — I have definitely heard from families who are happier than they thought in the schools they “settled” for and so are taking schools off their lists in order to avoid being placed anywhere but their top choice school(s). So anyway, processing those amended lists has taken time as well.

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  75. Why does Rachel's response make me feel more anxious than I already was?

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  76. The problem with Rachel's response is that, yet again, SFUSD takes no responsibility for this mess. She doesn't address that the EPC has not followed the procedures they themselves outlined, nor does she address that when they veered from their own procedure, they didn't even have the decency to post a note on their web sites to notify parents waiting.

    It's sad that SFUSD doesn't seem to see that there is even a problem. And if they do, they sure aren't admitting that they have any responsibility to the mess that this process is.

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  77. So, my takeaway from this is that they might not even call us today. It could be tomorrow or even later because they can't get their act together because they keep changing the rules without telling anyone. I am hoping that the good news is that the 'significant movement' means that I am going to get my kid out of her crappy school assignment and into somewhere she can actually learn something. Sooner rather than later.

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  78. When i went to EPC last week and waited for two hours the counselor told me it was too late to amend my choices. I wanted to add an additional school. Rachel Norton posted that MOnday was the last day to "amend" the choices. Did she mean the last day to withdraw the request for transfer?

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  79. anyone get a call yet?

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  80. the robo call said that Monday was the last day to withdraw our amended choices.

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  81. Not anything to add, but I'm shaking in my boots as I'm in this process next year. I've been following it closely since we decided to buy a place in SF and stick it out. My hearts go out to all of you that are dealing with this.

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  82. I emailed two people at epc yesterday to see if they completed the assignment run. They both responded this morning saying that it was complete and they are working hard to notify parents asap. My son was assigned to alvardo gen ed, our neighborhood school. Hang in there mamas and papas! Your wait will soon be over!

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  83. Apparently Monday (or Friday) was the last day to withdraw your amended application, not to change it. But they DO keep on changing the rules and nobody seems to know exactly what the If You Seek A is going on down there, least of all the employees.
    Only thing I'm hanging on to is that they told me that my 5th amended choice had 3 open spots and 3 kids waiting so we 'should' get in there if none of the others.
    But I won't trust it until I get the call.
    Good luck everyone, I know we all feel terrible today.

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  84. di, did you just find out about Alvarado or did you get in during one of the earlier rounds? Just asking because Alvarado is our AA school and we're trying to figure out what our chances are. Thanks!

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  85. Just got THE call. Assigned to Grattan. Yes, two hours after our son started his first day of parochial school.

    She simply instructed us to have our son attend school within the next two days. No accepting or declining, that was it. Wanted more information but the person on the other line admitted that she was from a call center and not from the school district.

    I cannot say how much this means to us. I feel for everyone here who is waiting for the call. I have scoured this board for month as we all endured this unnecessary, torturous process.

    Good luck and peace be with you.

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  86. 10:09 AM

    Could you tell us what school has the 3 openings?

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  87. We are enrolled and delighted with the GE class at Daniel Webster. The class has a new teacher this year who seems great, we are in our neighborhood so we can even walk to school, we get to see friends and neighbours from our community every day, and best of all at the moment there are only 14 students in the class!

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  88. wow! congratulations!

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  89. I am afraid to get the call. I don't want to transfer anymore.

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  90. @10:39 - ditto, I'm torn about this and am hoping to NOT get a call. Is there absolutely no way to withdraw our request at this point?

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  91. Does anyone know what the process is if they call you and you don't answer? Do you lose your spot. I tried my best to make sure EPC has all my numbers, but I'm very scared they will give our slot to someone else, because I'm in the middle of a work meeting and can't get to my cell phone.

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  92. 10:44 - I don't think so. I'm actually a mess right now. My kid is in 1st grade and is going to go crazy with a transfer at this point. 2 weeks into the school year is a big deal.

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  93. @ 10:44 I'm in the same boat. I figure it will be a rough few months, but kids are resilient and they will adjust.

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  94. The school with the 3 spots was sunnyside but for 2nd grade, not K.

    Congratulations to the Grattan parent! Very happy for you (very jealous you got a call!)

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  95. so it seems like only one parent has gotten a call so far...

    my question is do they ONLY call parents who got a spot or they give you a courtesy call to tell you you're stuck with whatever you got earlier as well?

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  96. that is a good question. I don't think they'll call to say you got zip because this process goes on until September 2 and after that you can assume you are stuck or you get to sit in line at the EPC and get put somewhere you don't want to go.

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  97. I guess you're right. It'd make no sense to call with bad news...

    oh the agony of the next few weeks then...

    I personally don't mind even switching weeks after school has started. I really just want to send my kid to the school that's the absolute best fit for our family.

    come on phone RING!!!!!!

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  98. Let's all take heart from the fact that only one person got called.

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  99. Let's all take heart from the fact that only one person got called.

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  100. The woman from Parents for Public Schools put it to me this way: you can worry about having your kid in a school that isn't a good fit for 2 weeks and suffer a little heartache when you get moved or you can stay and worry about having your kid in a school that isn't a good fit for 6 years. I'll take the former. We are getting used to the school she is in now, but in my heart I know it is not the best place for my child. The best place is different for every child. I know that at the school we are waiting for we will have the opportunity to be more involved and that will make a huge difference.

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  101. Ok. WHY has only one person been called? Weird! Despite Rachel's advice, I'm ready to storm the EPC

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  102. I know!! I almost wish there were more positive posts to signal that the system works and people do end up with what they wish for...

    one phonecall seems pathetic.

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  103. A friend and I both went down to the EPC to get our reassignment letters. If you can't wait another minute, I would head down there if you can. Then you will know for sure.

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  104. 12:27 did you and your friend actually get re-assigned (to a school you wanted)? It is unfathomable that only one person who follows this thread has gotten a call.

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  105. The only thing holding me back is that I was down there on Monday afternoon, waited two hours and got sent away after being told they hadn't got any news. I don't feel like hearing that again after sitting in that dreary room feeling more and more antagonistic.
    Beginning to feel as if I'm in some kind of Kafaesque nightmare..

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  106. I'm getting choked up just reading all these comments, and I'm not even waiting for a call. It's just heart wrenching to read comments from such devoted parents waiting to hear such big news about their children. Good luck to everyone, and I have my fingers crossed that it works out for all of you!!

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  107. The wait is driving me crazy! Why haven't they called anyone? I'm leaving work to go to the EPC now.

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  108. I'm also following this thread as an Aug 2012 K parent, watching to see how it all unfolds. Amazing. Unfathomable.

    good luck to all those who are waiting!

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  109. My advice? Go to the EPC. we just got Sunnyside. Not our 1st choice but way better than what we have now. Good luck everyone!

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  110. My heart goes out to all of you waiting. I hope you get the calls you want very, very soon! The white knuckles and knots in stomach are awful.

    That said, I'm a parent with kids in upper grades (middle/high school). I fully know about the anxiety of going through it. But it is my observation that aside from EPC not being able to follow its own published schedule for notification, which is incredibly galling, the system isn't any slower or more crazy than it was in past years and systems. We still need to see how it plays out in terms of placements, so I withhold judgment on that metric. In the past though, it was the same wait, and actually after the 10-day count, or in the real mists of time, waiting for appeals. That was back when the choices seemed much more limited too.

    I do realize this perspective doesn't help anyone NOW. Totally get that. I've been there. Just that, other than the deviation from the notification schedule, EPC is about where it usually is.

    The greatest movement is always right after the start of school, when kids don't show up and they do the head count. There is just no way to force parents to give up their assignments, unlike in private school where they forfeit actual money deposits if they hold onto a spot through the summer and then decline.

    The alternative is a system in which kids are just assigned a school, whether that be by neighborhood, or some kind of busing scheme to mix kids up by SES status. But that would also leave many unhappy parents if they happened to be placed in unpopular boundary areas, such as Cobb or Muir, with little recourse to switch. It is a supply/demand issue, and moving the pieces around doesn't change that. Only improving schools, or perception of them, does that.

    Again--good luck to everyone here.

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  111. Just spoke with a friend that waited in line 8am at EPC and got an assignment. Myself still no call:(

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  112. What did your friend get? Please say school names. It helps to know if they are placing people at any schools on our list. THX

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  113. Just called this number at EPC: 241-6271 and a LIVE person answered and told me our assignment! Starr King Mandarin Immersion! (first on our list)

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  114. Does anyone know when the schools receive new lists? It has to be today right (if kids are supposed to show up tomorrow)?

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  115. The school just told me that they do not know who has been assigned and we should get calls tonight. They also said that tomorrow morning they can look you up in the system when you show up. I tried EPC...nothing, but a series of machines. Ho hum.

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  116. Last year, I got the call and EPC said don't go to the school this afternoon, b/c the school won't know about you yet. Go the next morning b/c EPC was faxing each school the names of the new students in the evening. The school was expecting me when we went that morning. I didn't have to go back to the old school to do any paperwork there. I did email the original teacher thanking her and explaining we were switching schools.

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  117. Called the number posted here. (Thank you for that!) Found out we didn't get any of our amended choices (just listed 2 schools). Oh well, it's probably for the best.

    Good luck to everyone!

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  118. I would just like to wish everyone luck and to encourage people who are successful to stop by and continue to post their success stories. I wonder sometimes if people hesitate to spread the good news but it really helps the rest of us who are waiting!

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  119. Is anyone at EPC? I am thinking of going there to find out.

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  120. Tried the magic line listed here, but no dice."This mailbox is full." Ugh. The wait continues...

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  121. Maybe we can hire Anonymous. They can tell us our assignments...

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  122. Gave up waiting for a phone call and went to EPC. The line wasn't bad at all. I would recommend anyone who is still waiting to shoot on down there and find out in person.

    We got into Starr King MI!

    Hoping now that my English speaking kid will not miss her English speaking school.

    Best of luck to everyone!

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  123. I just called a few times and they picked up on my 3rd try.

    By the way, for those who want to stay where you are -- the EPC woman told me that you have until Aug 26 to withdraw your request to transfer. It must be in writing -- via email at enrollinschool@sfusd.edu, or fax, or bring in your written request. You need to say that you no longer want to transfer, provide the full name of your child, birth date, and sign it with a phone number to contact you.

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  124. Just went to EPC. We did not get an assignment. There is no line right now. Bummed

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  125. 2:55, do you have any school? is your child at home? any backup? how many on your list. it sounds grim.

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  126. 2:52, did you get a school from your list?

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  127. Called the magic number twice and a person answered the second time. She confirmed there was no change in assignment.

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  128. 2.55 here - we had 11 schools. We have a parochial back up but any one of these 11 would do - Fairmont, sunnyside, glen park, Starr king etc.

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  129. Sunnyside parent congrats!
    Your school is second on our list.
    Were you AA parent?

    gosh this wait is just crazy...

    called that epc number but I only got the " mailbox" is full message :((

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  130. 2:52 here. I did not get a new school, but at this point I'm ok with that. My child is at West Portal GE and we had 3 schools on our list, all Chinese Immersion -- CIS, West Portal CIP, Alice Fong Yu. Really wanted immersion but we're settling into a good groove at school now and we're in walking distance so at this point I'm not sure I want to move.

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  131. @2:25, is West Portal your AA?

    I also called the magic number and was told we have no new assignment.

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  132. Hi, we decided not to do Muir (which we were assigned) and went private but I'm wondering whether any parents have tried it, and, if so, whether they are happy with it.

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  133. I can't seem to get a live person at the EPC. Am I cursed?

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  134. Any word on Middle School movement?

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  135. I had to call the number 6 or 7 times, but got through. No new assigment for my 1st grader. We were trying to transfer him to his younger sister's school, Fairmount. While it won't be easy having kids at 2 schools, I am relieved for him. He loves Glen Park Elementary and with 60+ parents & teachers at the PTO meeting last night, I feel confident this already good school has a bright future.

    Good luck to all of you.

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  136. Went down to epc. No school. They also said all calls have gone out, and if you haven't received a call by now you have to wait until the next lottery round, which I believe is sept. 9. I'm am sad, annoyed, frustrated and mostly just pissed off that everyone has to learn everything third hand, through a blog, instead of a few simple web updates from sfusd. Best of luck to everyone after this crazy day -- we all deserve more than this.

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  137. wow...is it me or only a few people mentioned her they got placed...

    I am bummed I didn't get a call today...

    but part of me just wants to give up hope and move on because this stupid wait and hopeful state and constant rejection is killing me.

    congrats to all who got good news today!

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  138. Dear fellow parents,
    We were in the system for two years prior to getting assigned to the school of our dream...Please hang in there. Things will work out eventually! Best.

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  139. 4:09 PM

    I would go down to EPC in person. You may have gotten a school, just no phone call telling you so.

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  140. Anyone going to give up a K spot at a private girl's school after today? Would love to know the school as we are waitlisted everywhere hoping someone else gets a public choice and frees up a private spot for us.

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  141. I have called EPC about 25 times in the last 10 mins...no answer...
    nice communication SFUSD

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  142. I went to EPC. No new school for me (1st grade). I am actually relieved for now.

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  143. When a few of the K-seeking writers for this site bailed on SFUSD earlier this year (if I remember right, one went parochial and two moved), I thought they gave up too fast.

    And now, here we are. It's into week #2 of school, and we have no school (sorry, not going to Muir).

    And I'm thinking that my decision to not have other options was pretty dense. Dense dense dense.

    Congrats to all who've gotten good news, and (dwindling) hopes for the rest of us that it might work out OK.

    And another lottery on September 9? I thought the lotteries ended September 2.

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  144. Went to EPC. No new school for us but I am not surprised I was waiting for Spanish Immersion. We are off to Catholic School.
    Good Luck for those who are still waiting for the Sept. 9th round!

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  145. I am so thankful to this blog and the information so openly shared here. Thanks everyone.

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  146. 4:26 - I feel for you and offer virtual support. I don't know where you live but Katherine Michaels School in Mission/Noe is an option or even Adda Clevenger in Noe (not sure if they have spaces). Might be a great place for your little one to start while you work on a getting a spot you like. Good luck

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  147. Just in case anyone is still waiting for a call, I just got our call from SFUSD that we got one of our choices McCoppin for K. Hopefully this will give some parents some hope, that there may be still some calls happening. They said they notified the school and a letter has been sent to us too.

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  148. to 4.38:
    Congrats and thank you!

    you just confirmed not to believe anything EPC says...

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  149. Any parents got your favorite middle school? I haven't heard one.

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  150. I posted earlier that my friend and I went to EPC to get our new placement results. This was at noon today.I did not have to wait to see a counselor to get the lotto results. Just at the front desk.

    I just got a call on my cell phone from the EPC at 5:10pm telling me I got a new placement.

    It would have killed me to wait until 5pm to get a phone call.

    Good Luck to us all!

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  151. 5:22 - Congratulations!!

    What school did you get?

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  152. I just got a call that we got into Sunnyside ( k class)

    woohoo!! soo happy....
    and most importantly relieved!!

    good luck to all of you still waiting.

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  153. Ok - we have no assignment and so the parochial back up is going to be the real deal for (not our first choice but happy to be there even though we are not Catholic).  I went to EPC today and got some information.
    - Spots are available at Sheridan, Muir, Cobb, El Dorado, Garfield, Redding, Bret Harte, Ortega GE, Cesar Chavez, Carver and Sanchez.  We will not opt for any of these schools.
    - It seems that at least 50-55 families got an assignment or withdrew their applications before Monday. I say this because Clarendon had 130 applicants and now there are 74 so approx 56 families that had Clarendon as ONE  of their choices either got Clarendon or something else on the list (Rooftop had 110 and now has 66)
    - On August 12th the available spots were at MalcolmX and now there are 11 schools so more than likely that a majority of the 56 families were registered at one of these 11 schools (could there be a further CTIP factor here - genuine CTIP families realizing that they can get trophies and address fraud - amended applications have CTIP addresses). I am sure both these factors were in play.
    - Most probably they will do another lottery run before September 9th
    - My assessment is that if you do not have your choice by now you are done. Movement from now on will be low low - people moving to privates, leaving the city or some other reasons that are highly unlikely
    - You cannot amend your application now. Only new applicants can submit a form until Aug 26th
    - Kate : it will help to open a new thread for the September runs

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  154. We just got our call from EPC saying we got our AA school for 1st grade (Miraloma). Although I was able to get through on the phone earlier (around 3:30), so I already knew. But for those of you still waiting, FYI, they are still calling. Best of luck to everyone!

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  155. Although I already know our assigment (SK, Immer) from calling there today, I did just now receive a call from EPC reiterating this news....so calls still coming it seems!

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  156. Thank goodness for this blog. We took the suggestion to just go down to EPC and found out we got assigned a school (still haven't received a phone call). What is really exasperating is that we noticed the letter was dated August 17th! So how on earth have we not been notified (we went down there I think August 12th to make sure they had all our contact numbers).

    Anyway, we got McKinley which was near the end of our 7 school list. We are in Miraloma's AA and were hoping for it but will let it go. Just glad to have something finally.

    So again thanks so much for everyone's transparency as otherwise we'd still be waiting for a call that doesn't seem to ever be coming. So ridiculous. Why can't they email the letter to everyone in addition to phone and phone calls?

    Ok, gotta get the kid prepared tonight for the 'first' day of school! Hope everyone will finally get a resolution SOON.

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  157. Just a call from EPC - we have a spot at New Traditions. Weighing that against our current (not-public) school. Thoughts?

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  158. We *just* got a call - cell phone didn't ring, so we only got a voicemail saying that we got Jose Ortega MI. So happy! (Do we just show up tomorrow morning, expecting them to know about us?)

    This whole process has been terrible. I really, really feel for everyone still waiting. Seems like they are making calls through this evening, FYI if you haven't heard from EPC yet...

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  159. 7:28pm: Yes, just show up tomorrow..they told me that the schools will have a list of kid/s who were called during this last round...bring birth cert, immunization records, two forms of ID with name and address...

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  160. Got the call just before 8pm. J Ortega GE. Our #1 choice. Good luck to all!

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  161. So are they still calling, even if you aren't reassigned?

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  162. 6.59. We just left New Traditions, partly because it was a huge trek and partly because we didn't feel it was a good fit for us. Having said that, lots of parents are really happy there and there are some great teachers and a lot of parent involvement. We were VERY unimpressed with the after school YMCA program but the K/1 Spanish immersion class (fee based) looks interesting and you can also pay for other interesting after school options one or two days per week. Bus service only this year, then dropped.

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  163. oh thanks for mentioning bringing all the documents.
    I totally forgot about that part.

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  164. The family that left New Traditions - can you say where you are now? How long did you stick it out? We want art, but we also want academics. What a pipe-dream!

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  165. We declined a general ed spot at Alvarado to go to GISSV instead. So there should be at least one opening at Alvarado.

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  166. awesomev Thx for posting 9:40. What does GISSV stand for?

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  167. Welcome to the new Miraloma 1st grader! I am guessing your child will be in my son's class, as it had one spot unfilled, or maybe even two (how dud==id that happen?). I'll tell him to keep an eye out for a new child and to be friendly. We were in the same boat last year as he got a waitpool call in the second week of school for K.

    Hope you and your child love it.

    Good luck to all of those waiting. It ain't over yet.

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  168. That mangled word in my last post was supposed to say "did." Sorry.

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  169. We have no school and did not get a call. We called the district and we still have no placement. I feel like we are at the end of this road and it is time to find a new one. I don't think there is much movement beyond this point. Any others with experience in movement and getting spots beyond the 3/10 day count release of spots please let us know.

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  170. We got a call at 5:30p yesterday. One twin now assigned to Lafayette and one still unassigned.

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  171. We're looking for a 6th grade placement. I don't know of anyone in our same situation that has been placed. Does anyone know of any? Meanwhile, my son is at a parochial school. His first day was yesterday and he told me that there were 9 new students in his grade all previously from public schools

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  172. I won't be taking my own advice because my children are in 4th and 7th grade, but people should take a closer look at openings at SIG recipient schools. These have tremendous resources and very small class sizes.

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  173. Welcome to Lafayette, 7:43AM! What grade? And best of luck getting Twin #2 in as well!

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  174. To the person still waiting for a K spot, there will be more movement. There is a sort of trickle down effect. Someone leaves New traditions for Rooftop, spot opens at New traditions, someone takes New traditions spot and opens one at Jefferson, etc.

    Also, once private schools start there could be openings there and kids will leave public and take private. There will be movement after this next round. After that not much, but it always happens, especially if you are not in an SFUSD school. Friend of mine got Grattan call 2 1/2 weeks after start 2 years ago.

    Try and find a private trans K or K that starts after labor day (Lakeside?) and then keep working the SFUSD system. Or try for first grade next year.

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  175. What schools have SIG money?

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  176. I just googled GISSV, It's the German International School of Silicon Valley. They are opening an SF campus this year.

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  177. 8:03 AM, is your son at St. Monica?
    My son just started yesterday and we have no placement for 6th grade.

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  178. this year, unlike prior years, gaming the system at this stage will be reduced. If your kid is not in an SFUSD school by and at the September 9th (last) lottery run you are done (home schooling or private or whatever). If you are in an SFUSD school you can apply for a Spring transfer and may get a shot at your choice school starting the first week of January when they will communicate the spring transfer results. If you have no SFUSD school you are not eligible for a spring transfer spot. So essentially after September 9th the only people who will be given spots are ones who are new SF residents

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  179. Re: first grade, many spots open up in west side GE programs b/c kids do a "free" year of "preschool" at SFUSD and then repeat K at catholic school. It's possible b/c of the late b'day cut off date at SFUSD. Feinstein had 10 first grade openings last year. I heard West Portal had 5-6 this year. This will happen less b/c SFUSD is rolling back it's b'day cut-off to Sept. but it will still happen to some extent creating openings in First grade.

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  180. 9:33 - Are you sure? I thought that non-sfusd families could participate in the spring transfer round.

    Also - I understand that any non-sfusd families can join a school with spaces, as long as the school did not have a waiting list at the end of this process. So, for example, if, at the end of this process, Glen Park clears its waiting list, then it is available for new families throughout the year prior to the transfer round.

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  181. For the family looking at New Traditions (and perhaps others who don't have a school yet): When I took the NT admitted families tour in spring 2010, we were told the kids only got 20 minutes of dedicated studio art time per week and they were struggling to avoid cutting their existing studio space in half. Yes, they incorporate art into other parts of the curriculum and I know they get some music, but I was pretty underwhelmed with what was supposed to be an "arts magnet school." There were other things about the school I did not like either. For example, one of the teachers told the touring parents that he felt tremendous pressure to teach to standardized tests. I know there are many happy families at NT, test scores and student work quality are high and it's one of the most diverse schools in the city so it's got positives for sure. Just sharing my reasons for going elsewhere.

    We ended up at a parochial, Zion Lutheran. Zion does not have as much art as I'd like (only Adda Clevenger, which is sadly too expensive for us these days, has all the art I'd like), but more than NT. Studio art at Zion varies from teacher to teacher, but the music program is very impressive in all grades for a tiny and very academic school.

    If you don't mind the strong Christian culture at Zion--it's much stronger than at the Catholic schools I've been involved with though welcoming of all family structures and the majority of families are not Christian--it's an affordable option. Classes are small and teachers do an amazing job engaging their students. My kid's 3rd grade class, with 17 students, is one of the larger classes. He's a challenge to teach but his needs have been met well. I think there is still space in every grade.

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  182. 9:51 You have posted this several times about NT and it's just not true. The kids have music, drama, and art for a full 45 mins i.e class period a week for each thing. Please stop re-telling your tale of your class tour from a year and half ago.

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  183. Anyone no who EPC answers too?

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  184. SIG elementaries

    Bryant, Carver, Chavez, Muir, Revere

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  185. Each school has approx $1.5M extra per year as of last year as well as this year and next.

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  186. "- Spots are available at Sheridan, Muir, Cobb, El Dorado, Garfield, Redding, Bret Harte, Ortega GE, Cesar Chavez, Carver and Sanchez. We will not opt for any of these schools."

    Ortega, Redding, Sheridan, Garfield are pretty good options.

    Garfield has a greatschools score of 7 (better than McKinley's), and has the added kudos of appearing in the film of The Phantom Tollbooth. Jose Ortega and Redding have greatschools scores of 6. Not sure why you declined these unless you're in the NW of the city. Otherwise, it seems there were good options in both the south and NE of the city. Cobb, Sheridan have greatschools scores of 5.

    Not trophies (although Jose Ortega outscores Miraloma in some API subgroups), but some solid options there.

    No openings at Revere? If so, surprised they filled all their slots.

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  187. STILL no call from EPC. Voice mails full. No humans answering the phone.

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  188. Private school tuition is challenging, so I kept on trying. JUST got the call for my son- a slot into Claire Lilienthal for grade 1. Folks there is hope, his assigned school for 6 rounds, ding ding,(last year and this year) was W Cobb. Worth the wait. Best of luck to anyone still waiting, my best energy is being sent your way.

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  189. you got the call today? wow

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  190. Colleague at work just got the call about a first grade spot at Claire Lillienthal, so there's still movement...

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  191. For those of you with students in grades K,2,4, Creative Arts Charter School is expanding, and we have a few openings in our grades with two sections. Class size is 22 k-3 and 26 4-8.

    We are a sweet little school with an incredible community, committed to knowing, appreciating, nurturing, and surfacing the genius of each of our 288 students.

    You don't need to go to private school or continue to wait for your dream district school. CACS has the world's most passionate and dedicated teachers and an approach to education that cultivates a lifetime love for learning. Our kids are happy and eager to be at school. Come see for yourself!

    www.creativeartscharter.org
    415.749.3509

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  192. for those parents rejecting John Muir Elementary, I pray you reconsider. I have had my middle child in John Muir since second grade, and my youngest there since Kindergarten. The school may not seem like much from the outside, but I have to tell you... it's a GREAT school. There is no violence there. The teachers are VERY dedicated. The families are ALL great families...they are just, many of them, from poorer neighborhoods. I placed my students there as I am a BIG proponent of attending the nearest school to you and I have to say, I was well rewarded for my trust in John Muir. Their new principal is AMAZING and has test scores up by a huge amount.

    Truly... it breaks my heart to see folks turning away from John Muir... it's had a rocky past but really is an excellent school in dire need of more cultural diversity.

    For those curious, up until the past two years, my students were the some of the only white children in attendance at John Muir. They have wonderful friends and I've made many good parental contacts there. If you can look past the socio-economic barriers there, you'll find it a wonderful school with great heart and full of children who are learning and advancing towards bright futures. :)

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  193. There is something terribly wrong with a system that has parents broken hearted and in tears because of school placement. There needs to be a push to make ALL schools equitable in programs (immersion, art, drama, etc) so parents are not going crazy (literally) because due to the luck of the draw a neighbor gets Claredon and the other doesnt.

    My child was placed at Sanchez. We actually wanted Cobb (I am a teacher and did a school visit as a part of my job and I was really impressed with the quality of teaching and commitment to science) because it is 4 blocks away. Sanchez, a school I also had to visit for work, is nice and my son has a great teacher, yet it starts at 7:50 ( my other son starts at 9) and it is far. We tried and tried to get into an immersion program and no luck. It is just ridiculous that parents feel like its up to a lottery or game whether their child will learn a language or spend an hour on the bus each way. Its crazy.

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  194. what I don't understand is why children with NO placement are being left in lottery with children who DO have placement. How is it FAIR that a child already in a school gets an equal shot at the lottery with kids who have NO placement yet. Shouldn't the children with no placement whatsoever be getting placed?

    I would like to add that in my experience with SFUSD I was told point blank by the Educational Placement staff that I should consider TAKING MY CHILD OUTSIDE THE DISTRICT or HOMESCHOOL if Vis. Valley wasn't an option (not an option due to the distance/time it would take to get there daily)

    Honestly... I'm in tears about the whole thing. I DO hear rumors though that the SF Examiner is now looking to interview parents whose children still do not have placement. You can bet I'll be calling them! The City needs to know what a travesty and a joke the SFUSD really is.

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  195. Maybe we should start seriously consider a voucher system and close all the Schools the are failing. This will open the doors for more highly sought Schools, as fed up parents will op for vouchers.

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  196. 1:09 PM you should file a complaint. Get that person fired. If they have no compassion as a placement counselor they really need the boot.

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  197. @ 1:15 I could laugh and weep at the same time. "Placement Counselor"??!!! These people are clerical flunkies. They do the job they are told to do and you can tell they know the system is terrible, but have no will or authority to change it.

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  198. Repost from August 1 Notification - Phone or Letter?

    Call her so she can report how bad EPC is.

    AmyCrawford 2 hours and 46 minutes ago
    I'm a reporter at the SF Examiner, and I'm looking into the delayed placements. If your son or daughter is still out of school because you are awaiting lottery results, please call me today at 415-359-2741.
    Thanks!
    Amy

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  199. I've contacted Amy Crawford. She really interested in this story. If anyone else is still fighting the good fight against SFUSD, do please call her! Maybe if we all work together, we can have our voices heard!

    Here's her contact info:

    Amy Crawford
    415-359-2741
    S.F. Examiner

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  200. Like anybody who works at EPC or any other civil service job will ever get fired for being incompetent or unhelpful or not doing their job. Layoffs go by seniority.

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