I attended the PPSSF Enrollment workshop last night in Bernal Heights. I received a lot of good information about the admission process, school make-up and a bit of down to earth thoughts on how this craziness works. There were five parent representatives in attendance. The main speaker was a parent from Miraloma and the rest were from Alice Fong Yu, Rosa Parks, J Serra and Paul Revere. It was great hearing their perspectives.
1. Don’t weigh everything on the base test scores. Visit the schools to get a real feel for what is happening. The parent (Carol Lei) from Miraloma enrolled her child when the API score was 651 and the school was begging for enrollments. It’s now 865 and one of the trophies in the SE. A lot can change over the years. Parents, grant money, it all can make a difference.
2. 81% of last year’s applicants received one of their choices of schools. 75% of those were their 1st, 2nd or 3rd choice.
3. Get your application in on time!
4. List your schools in order of preference on your application. This is very important. Once the computer starts assigning schools, “it” assigns based on your order of preference after it goes through all the tiebreakers.
5. Everything will be ok. One of the parents from Rosa Parks even had a sign that said so! The sign was sort of a humorous take on her process and how much she poured over the data, had spreadsheets and went to the edge of nutty during her “time” in the trenches. Everything will work out.
6. Meet the parents of the schools you are interested in. Attend their Fall fairs, PTA meetings and so forth. These are the people you will be spending a lot of time with over the next 6 years. Make sure the families are a fit, not just the school.
I do feel the session was worth it and recommend attending one if you have time. If not you can still glean a lot of this info from the website and of course on this blog. I suppose hearing from the parents was the best part. I left feeling a lot less stressed about the process.