Here is our list (although we might fiddle a little more with the order):
Buena Vista (ImmS)
West Portal (Gen)
West Portal (Gen)
Glen Park (Gen)
A little explanation: Although Rooftop and Clarendon are known to be some of the "trophy" schools in SF and are quite a drive from our home, we left both of the schools feeling like there was something special about them. We love that they both have very active parent communities, the kids seemed happy in the halls and there was art all over! Rooftop topped the list because of the diversity, the beautiful garden and the fact that our nieces attend! Since we are in a CTIP-1 area, we actually have a chance of getting in.
After that we prioritized Spanish Immersion and the Filipino program at Longfellow. We actually toured three ImmS programs in one week: Fairmount, Marshall, and Buena Vista. We left all of them feeling like they were all strong schools offering something different. My husband and I disagree on Marshall so it might slip down the list a little more. I think Spanish Immersion with a Science focus is awesome and the instruction in the classroom we saw was amazing, but he was a little weary of the neighborhood and problems shared by the principal.
Beyond that, we put down other schools that we toured that seemed strong enough and took into consideration recommendations from friends and family. We also used The SFK Files a bit to gather more information to inform our ranking. (Big THANKS to all the current and former bloggers!) There were a lot of schools that we didn't list and didn't tour because of the distance from our house. Our daughter was also adamant that she could do Spanish immersion, but she drew the line and will not do Chinese immersion. We can respect that.
We spoke with folks from all the Bayview schools and realized that, for the most part, they talked more about meeting the basic needs of students and less about the enrichment programs. None of the schools will make our list. This is not to say that they aren't doing great things with the kids that go there. With our children ethnically representing a group of students who are "performing" worse than other students in the district and are more likely not to even graduate from school, we're trying to be cautious and take advantage of what we feel are the best programs in the city.
I am excited to end this Kindergarten craziness with a trip to Carver tomorrow to submit our form!
Private Schools applied to: Synergy, The Hamlin School - Yes, they seem completely different from each other, but both offer something very special.