Standing in line at EPC was like getting a snapshot of the diversity of SFUSD's families. Two families speaking in Spanish, a boy from a Cantonese-speaking family was playing with another boy in line who looked South Asian, a women in a headscarf holding her baby, two African American moms behind me.
I was a little awed and envious of how every year, EPC staff get to see the full diversity of San Francisco, as every family enrolling in SFUSD comes through their doors. EPC staff may not feel the same way, but they were patient and efficient despite it being closing time.
Here's the list. Your comments and perspectives are appreciated.
- Claire Lilienthal - Korean Immersion
- Cantonese Immersion at DeAvila
- Alice Fong Yu
- Clarendon JBBP
- Clarendon General
- Starr King-Mandarin
- West Portal-Cantonese
- Parks JBBP
- West Portal General
Here's how I decided what schools to list:
- Language immersion schools I'd liked a lot:
Claire Lilienthal, CIS at DeAvila, and Alice Fong Yu, in that order.
- Students who look like my child: I set the bar at 15% Asian (including Filipino), based on 2011-12 enrollment for grades K-2. Buena Vista (0% Asian) and Alvarado (8% Asian+Filipino) didn't make the list. This also eliminated most schools in the Mission and Southeast.
- Students who don't look like my child/Not racially homogeneous: I excluded schools that were above about 60% of one race, except for language immersion schools, which are set up to be 66% of one ethnic/language group. Schools near me like Alamo, Sutro, Key, Ulloa, and Lawton didn't make the list.
- Location: This ended up being a lot more important than I expected. Looking at the SFUSD elementary school map helped me realize that commuting to Chinatown, then back to my workplace during rush hour would be crazy-making. I made exceptions for schools that had something else going for them: Starr King for Mandarin, Parks for JBBP, Sherman for high test scores and swap value, but they moved down the list. Lafayette, an otherwise great school, moved way down the list because it's the opposite direction of my commute.
- CST scores: I compared school CST scores for subgroups relevant to my child: Asians, Asians who aren't poor, and children of parents with a graduate degree. Jefferson, Feinstein, and Sloat and West Portal went to closer to the bottom of my list because they underperformed SFUSD for these subgroups. Lakeshore dropped off the list completely because it was consistently well below the SFUSD average for all these subgroups.