Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Sunrise Sunset: A Tentative List

I still have a few reviews I need to write up and I'm still trying to get to more tours, but I think we've come up with a tentative list for the SFUSD lottery. I'm sure we'll move some of these around, but here's what we're thinking right now in order of preference. I have not toured all of these, but I have done about 14 tours so far. I really wish I could do more--I've learned so much.

Any insights appreciated! (Or corrections if I've gotten anything wrong in terms of which school has what immersion program, my head is spinning)

Clarendon Second Community
Clarendon Japanese Bilingual Bicultural Program

Alvarado Spanish Immersion
Alvarado General Ed
West Portal General Ed
New Traditions Creative Arts
Commodore Sloat

Claire Lilienthal General Education
Rosa Parks Japanese Bilingual Bicultural Program
Dianne Feinstein

Glen Park
Harvey Milk
Buena Vista
SF Public Montessori
Chinese Immersion at De Avila
West Portal Chinese Immersion

Claire Lilienthal Korean Immersion
SF Community


Alice Fong Yu
Robert Louis Stevenson
Flynn Spanish Immersion

Monroe Spanish Immersion
Daniel Webster Spanish Immersion
Jose Ortega Mandarin Immersion

Junipero Serra
Francis Scott Key

Rosa Parks General Education
John Muir
Starr King Mandarin Immersion


  1. wait, you are putting close to 50 schools on your list?

  2. Good going! You'll definitely get something off this list. I turned in my application today and it was a big relief!
    I'm assuming your neighborhood school is Clarendon as you said you live in the Inner Sunset and you have it number 1. That is a wise move! If you like your neighborhood school, list it number 1. My only comment would be that you might want to list mid-demand neighborhood schools and citywide programs above high-demand neighborhood programs like Miraloma, West Portal, and Grattan. Also, if commuting and start times are in play, really think about that. It's a 6 year commitment. Good luck!

  3. Yes, Clarendon is our neighborhood school. All of the other schools close to us (West Portal, Jefferson, Rooftop, Grattan) are also high demand, so it seems like it makes sense to make a long list. Some of the schools listed lower on the list would be listed for "swapping value." I hope I'm doing it right. To the commenter from 7:00 pm, thanks for your thoughts. I don't understand why you suggest listing some mid-demand neighborhood schools and citywide programs above Miraloma, West Portal and Grattan. Aren't we supposed to list schools in the real order we would prefer them? Help!

    1. I doubt Muir, Sanchez, and Serra would be good swaps because they are not high demand schools. So if you have them on your list you might be placed into them and stay in them because no one else has them on their list.
      Only put schools on your list that you really want, especially if they are low demand schools. There is info on the SFUSD website which shows you how many people applied for each school in last year's cycle. Miraloma, Grattan, West Portal, are all pretty good to put in for swaps because there is such high demand for them and they are neighborhood schools so you really don't have a shot at them in the first place. Your best shots are mid-demand neighborhood schools (Sunnyside, Stevenson, Milk, Lakeshore, Key) and citywide programs that don't have a preschool associated with them (Rooftop, West Portal CI, Buena Vista, SF Community, Lawton, Clarendon JBB, etc.)
      Yes, a long list is good but you should think carefully of the schools that you list as swaps in terms of historic demand for those schools.
      You are in an okay position with Clarendon because there is no preschool associated with it. So it's siblings, CTIP 1, and then neighborhood. You can look at the demand data from last year to see how many spots were available after sibling applications.
      Yes, list the schools in the order of preference but don't put any on there that you would not want to enroll in come March. I have not toured J. Serra, Sanchez, or Muir and don't know anything about them, I just know they are historically low demand schools and I would not use them as swaps. If toured them and they are a good fit for you, definitely list them.

  4. Oh, whoops, probably could have been clearer. I'm not listing Muir, Sanchez or Serra for swapping value but rather because they are more convenient for my commute than other super low demand schools that are further south in SF.

    1. Thanks! Please post when you hear back in March. You will definitely get a school. It's great you are so open to so many choices. If people used you as a model, everyone would get a school.
      Best of luck!

    2. We are at Sanchez and love it (I blogged here as MJ last year where you can see my review)

      I think it is great that you are open to so many schools.

      Best of luck in the lottery.

  5. Most of the spots at West Portal CI are going to siblings - in the CI program AND in the GE program. There is a little known tie-breaker for city wide programs where if you have an older sibling at the school site, it breaks a tie. Doesn't really seem fair, those younger sibs are already guaranteed a spot in the GE program, why do they get an advantage into the CI program over other kids just b/c their sibling is in the GE program. This would be true for Alvarado, Clarendon JBB, etc. Any school that is not 100% immersion.

  6. Did tour McKinley? If so, will you publish your review. I'm curious about that school but the tours are over.

  7. Can you give me a pointer to more information about the strategy for crafting one's list, and what you are talking about wrt "Swaps"? Thank you so much.

  8. As far as strategy, I am no expert, but here are things I have heard:

    1. You are supposed to be able to just put schools in the actual order you want them. I think the old system had some bonus for a school you placed first or something like that, but under the current system, if you are lucky in the multiple school lotteries that kind of make up the whole lottery, then the computer will place you in the one you have ranked highest.

    2. There do appear to be benefits to a longer list. The lottery has "trading cycles" so even if you are not interested in (say) Chinese Immersion, there may be some benefits to putting a high demand school like Alice Fong Yu at the bottom of your list. Then if you win a spot at AFY but really you prefer Sunset and someone else who has won a spot at Sunset really preferred AFY, the computer would "swap" you.