A place for parents educating their kids in San Francisco
Went through the whole touring process and listed 18 schools and submitted application, but decided to wait a year for my September bithday child. Today's letter might cause me to second guess that decision.
We just got the mail and there was no offer letter. Have other people received theirs?
Nope, no letter from SFUSD. We were waitlisted at creative arts and Edison. Looks like we have to wait til Monday.
Waitlisted at Edison. When ddid you apply? I thought they were first come, first admitted.
TECA is first come/first serve (after sibling pref, that is). But from the length of the line on the first day applications were accepted, I suspect anyone who did not apply on the first day was waitlisted. Maybe even some from the first day. (We got accepted at TECA into the dual-language K. Almost certainly will release our spot on Monday or Tuesday. Best of luck to everyone.)
No letter here either.
No letter here either. Glad I'm not the only one...Wait list for Creative Arts
Just got mail. Also no letter.
No SFUSD letter. Accepted at TECA/dual-language and at CAC (boy). Likely will release both spots on Monday or Tuesday. Keeping fingers crossed for everyone out there.(For those keeping count, I'm the same anon as 11:51 am reply above, so don't double-count the space to be released at TECA.)
No SFUSD letter either. Was the earlier email right htat they are in fact delayed until Monday. Oh god, my nerves can't handle the wait!
No SFUSD letter but accepted in dual language K for TECA.
Waitlisted for Creative Arts and TECA. So - waiting for Monday. Couldn't they just email us in this electronic age....
Totally what I was thinking.
No letter here. On wait list for TECA.
No letter either. Really bummed out since we're 0/5 from yesterday. I'm sure I'll really freak myself out by Monday. If the letter even comes then.Doing this by solely by postal mail is completely ridiculous.
Wow- this definitely makes me lose some faith in sfsud. I mean they can't even get the letters out on time, as promised.
has anyone heard why there is a delay? what's the source of the delay in sending out letters?
I think it's an estimated 14,000 letters that, if dropped off at the end of the day Friday, is taking a while to sort. We all need to take a breath and try to enjoy the weekend with our kids!
It's pathetic, in 2013, that they can't even manage to get the mail out early enough to arrive on the weekend. This should all be done electronically with letters as the backup. SFUSD EPC never ceases to amaze me.
Bet you 10 to 1 that no one at the EPC answers the phone Monday morning.
If they didn't get the letters out yesterday (Friday), then they definitely did not get out today (Saturday). I would expect that now the letters won't start coming until Tuesday. I agree this is ridiculous. I started to wonder if this was the case last night. In earlier years, on Friday afternoon (presumably after the letters had gone out), EPC posted statistics about this year's lottery rounds... what % of people got a school on their list, which were the most requested schools. I was checking www.sfusd.edu all day on Friday and didn't see any of this information. No word from Rachel Norton or PPS as far as I can tell. That irks me as well. If you are going to be late, send a quick email to PPS and Rachel Norton. Hell - send a note to SF K Files and get the word out!
It's possible that since the USPS no longer guarantees next day delivery within the city, that it's not the SFUSD and EPC.
True, it may not be SFUSD's fault. However, given the fact that no one here at SF K Files has reported receiving a letter, and the fact that all of the letters from independent schools mailed on Thursday with a 3/14 postmark arrived at my house yesterday 3/15, I suspect that SFUSD mailed no letters on 3/15/13. I hope I'm wrong and that they were all mailed yesterday and are being sorted by USPS this weekend and will be delivered Monday, but I doubt it.
I too find it surprising that no one received their letter today, but the SFUSD did tweet yesterday afternoon that they sent out the 14,000 letters. Let's hope for Mondaythis is what they said yesterday around 4pm:"TGIF for the EPC. School assignment letters mailed today to over 14,000 families. Register @ schools by 4/12. More info online next week."https://twitter.com/SFUnified
I suspect that "mailed" means the 14,000 letters were put in the outgoing mail room at the EPC for pickup by USPS on Monday whenever the mailperson comes by...which I bet is in the afternoon, following Murphy's law."The check is in the mail."If that excuse worked in the 19th and 20th centuries, it's good enough for the 21st ;)
Devil's advocate here, the independents mailed 100-200 letters each. 14k is quite a bit more sorting-wise. Hoping that everything will be revealed in the mail Monday.
Both the SFUSD and Independent School letters were mailed/received on the appropriate dates the last 2 years (i.e. Friday (privates) Saturday (SFUSD). Not sure that happened this year. Maybe mailing them meant at 11:57 PM?
This system is so screwed up
No letter here.
No SFUSD like all here. Double wait listed for TECA & CACS. Double wait listed for the independents too. Didn't rank high demand schools so holding out for some good news!
Posted by rpnortonI’ve gotten a number of questions on this so I thought I’d post a quick update — I was told by Educational Placement Center director Darlene Lim that 14,000 placement letters were mailed yesterday as promised. I am hearing that many people have not gotten a letter today — I am waiting for a 9th grade placement letter myself but as of 2:30 p.m. my mail carrier hasn’t arrived. I have a very anxious 8th grader I’m trying to keep occupied!Usually the district does a press release and press conference with highlights of the run, and that did not occur yesterday as checking and preparing the mailing consumed all of the department’s time. I was told by Ms. Lim that they expect to have highlights ready for release on Monday.Anyway, so far as I know, letters were mailed on time and people should be hearing very soon. Good luck, everyone!
That's the quote from Rachel Norton
What is double waitliisted?
Just meant we are 0/4 - All 4 schools we applied to: (2) charter and (2) independent, no acceptances, just put on the wait list.
I was told when I handed in my form that letters would be mailed on 3/15, but to expect to receive it on or around the 18th. Maybe it has something to do with sorting?
One of my twin sons got accepted at CACS but the other one didn't. I was told that if one would get in, the other would be accepted immediately, but this hasn't happened. Anyone knows how likely is it for my other son to be accepted? Do we have any preference over the other waitlisted? I'll obviously be calling on Monday, but maybe someone knows the answer here.Thanks
yes - you will have a preference - but only if you accept the first one. The waitlist letter i got from CACS says that if you have one sibling who got in that once you accept placement the other sibling moves to the top of the wait list and received sibling priority.
That is crazy!!!!!! Twins shouldn't be sent to classes let alone DIFFERENT schools! I want my twins kept together!
I meant they shouldn't be sent to different classes or different schools Sorry
I spoke to someone at the sorting station at Geary/Steiner, she was not even aware SFUSD letters had gone out and she did not recall seeing any. This afternoon, I saw one our mail carriers and she also said she had not seen a single letter today. SFUSD must not have made the cut-off for mail to go out today.
So if the sorter hasn't seem them today does that mean they get sorted Monday and arrive Tuesday?
no sfusd letter. wait listed at CACS
no sfusd letter in the mail today. waiting for middle school options. got into Gateway Middle which we will decline.
Why the decline and why apply if you don't really want it? Not being snarky just curious.
Accepted at CACS! So so so psyched. It's far and away our first choice.
Our kids will be going to school together!!! We are thrilled about getting into CACS! Went 0 for 12 on SFUSD lottery...
Awesome! Would love to meet your family and any other CACS families before school starts. :)
Totally! I just wrote to you on the other public school thread. I'm not too savvy with blogs/privacy etc. what's the best way for us to communicate?
Hi there - Send an email to email@example.com with CACS in the subject. I'll connect you and anyone else that wants to connect offline with incoming CACS families
Yes thank you so much!!
MARCH 15TH-16TH IS FOR CHARTER/PRIVATE SCHOOLS!
The SFUSD site says people applying to public schools will be notified March 15th, 2013.
I find it absolutely pathetic that they can not get the letters out on time, which is so obviously the case here.
Wait listed at cacs
Waitlisted there too. Wasn't even my first choice but still disappointed. One less option.
I'll throw myself in as another statistic. No SFUSD letter and wait-listed at CACS. Even though my mailman arrived horrendously late, thanks to others before me, I had tempered my expectations and was not as disappointed as I would've been. So, thanks fellow parents and good luck to all! At least we have nice weather to enjoy... Until next week!
No letter for us too- so disappointed. Normally it arrives satursday; now don't know when. I will follow the forum day by day until receiving the letter.
I feel like we have all been punked!
NO letter eitherMailed out on Friday but the pick up time was?????? Are they still sitting in a mail box some place
The letters went out on time. Every single one. Now it's in the hands of the post office.EPC staff person
Private school letters went out on time and were received on time. Don't blame the post office. Sorting mail is what they do. If the letters had been delivered to the post office early enough, at least SOME people would have received letters on Saturday. As far as I can tell, not one person received an SFUSD letter on Saturday. Pathetic.
EPC Staff person, you are incorrect. The postmark on the envelope today was March 16th NOT March 15th. Not all of the mail made it to the Post Office in time or it would be postmarked March 15th. You can chat with the IRS about what this means....
Is it me or do some of you need to relax and take a chill pill. What are you teaching your children if you can't excersise a little patience yourselves. I mean really, youve waited for months already, whats a few more days. Go outside and enjoy this beautiful weather.A Dad
Sounds like your own kids might need to look elsewhere to learn compassion.
Hey, Im not saying I dont feel for you, Im nervous too, but some people feel the need to blame and complain when really there is no reason for that. The bus will come when it comes. We need to be OK finding happy things to do while we wait.Still waiting
Every year the letters are mailed on Friday and are received on Sat. It's hard to believe that it's a postal error. Saturday delivery isn't being cut until August. If a couple of people didn't receive their letters, then postal error. If no one received their letters, why is it USPS's fault?
Maybe every person you know has gotten letters on Saturday, but I'm pretty sure you don't know every person who's ever applied to SFUSD. Every year MANY people get them on Saturday, MANY people get them on Monday, and some even get them on Tuesday and Wednesday. There's no point in looking for the reason or trying to lay blame on EPC or the USPS. Just have some patience. It's not like the new school year starts on Monday and you'll have nearly a month to respond!
People may be impatient if they have received an offer from an independent school. We received an acceptance letter from an independent school and they need a large deposit by Thursday noon if we are going to take the spot. So if we get the letter Monday or Tuesday, we will still have a day or two to go tour the assigned school (if we haven't already seen it, my partner and I toured more than 20 schools but we put some on our list that we haven't seen) and perhaps do some research. But it would have been nice to get the letter Saturday as in the past, and have all Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday to tour and also call friends who might have children at the school or what have you.
Indeed, the postmark on the letter we received today was March 16, not March 15. SFUSD did NOT mail out on the deadline.
Patience is great and all, but most of us just want to put this issue to bed and start planning our next steps. Nothing wrong with that. If SFUSD says notification is on the 15th, then it needs to be on the 15th or sooner. But not later. Unacceptable.
Totally agree. Would add why are we all waiting for letters? Shouldn't notification be online with a letter as follow up? What year is this and which school district?
Kinda off topic thoughts and questions while the wait continues.... how many hours and cost does it take to enter 14,000 handwritten applications? I did applications for my twins by hand, each with 21 schools listed..and thought that was unpleasant. Sad that we can't have this done electronically. Second thing - how can we be sure that they entered our info correctly? I'd hate to find out that they miskeyed my #1 choice to a school that I actually didn't want and was then assigned to.
It does happen sometimes. Look at your copy of the application and if the assignment seems wrong given your choices, take it up with the EPC. It helps to know people familiar with the system, too, like Carol Lei of PPPSF or maybe even an SFUSD teacher if you can't get it sorted out.Then again, if you chose the 21 most popular schools and you opted for the twins to be assigned together, you could have come up with zero in the lottery. Unfortunate, but just move on to the next rounds if that happened.
We applied last year and received our letter on the Saturday that they said we would. Called and texted all friends to check in and everyone last year also received letters on Saturday. I don't trust the EPC and I don't trust messages from Darlene Lim. I doubt they sent it on Friday. If they had at least someone here would have received a letter on Saturday. Incompetent.
I think they missed the USPS cut off time for next day delivery but don't want to admit it. I really hope we get them today. I don't understand why they can't upload the Middle and High School assignments to school loop.
Completely inefficient system. So sad it is almost laughable. If people could apply electronically, they wouldn't have to pay for hundreds of hours of staff time entering all the data on those paper applications. But they like spending all the money on hundreds of hours of staff time, because the system is centered on the adults in it, not the children or families served. Not to mention all all the errors they make entering the data. EPC is an example of how not to do things in the modern world.
Indeed! This is a ridiculous way to operate. We should be able to fill in applications online and upload the requested supporting documents. Then on d-day login to learn the results. The district isn't using technology wisely at all. They refuse to put in effort and initial costs to modernize. However, sooner or later they will have to join the rest of us in the modern world, I say no time like the present. It's not just school assignments either, but also things like the STAR test results. Why aren't the results uploaded to the student's school loop accounts in July instead of yet another reenactment of "Please Mister Postman, look and see If there's a letter in your bag for me "
I think it in person visit to EPC is in order this morning
Let us know if they cen tell you anything!
give them a break people... we are all anxiously awaiting the information but let's support each other rather than bash a system that is not likely going to change any time soon. Spend that time waiting being positive. What you put out there, really comes back to you. I really believe that. If Round 1 doesn't pan out, that's just the beginning. We have seen it work out for so many people. Just need patience, perseverance and an understanding of the process.
Very well said. Need some positive energy here.
Suggesting sensible changes that are more efficient and would save a ton of money to a cash-strapped school district is not "bashing". To suggest it is bad Karma to want to improve things is ridiculous.Improving systems is POSITIVE.
@Ralph. It's not the suggestion of improvement that was the point of the prior post... it was the way in which it was said. you are suggesting change of a system to posters who ultimately have no control on affecting this process. Why not take that great thought and direct it at the office who would most benefit from a great and positive suggestion? I also wasn't saying bad Karma will result from suggesting to improve thing and it was not based on just your post alone. There have been high levels of frustration due to the letters being later than expected. However, as some put it... we have waiting for months and a couple more days will not make a difference so maybe turn that frustration into something more positive. That was IT.
I disagree we have no control over the process. We elect the school board and the district doesn't operate in a vacuum. Places like this blog, Parents for Public Schools and other places are venues to brainstorm and come up with ideas to then forward along to people like Ms. Norton and others. We have been waiting for months and in the long run the extra days aren't that big of a deal. You're right. However, that doesn't mean it's okay either. Especially when the technology exists to mitigate these kinds of problems. Over on twitter the middle school kids are tweeting away waiting on their high school letters. The Kindergarten wait is stressful enough, I remember those days but it wasn't really impacting my children directly. Middle School and High School is very different. The tween and teenagers are on pins and needles themselves waiting to hear. It's a very inefficient process and just adds stress to the students as they wonder if they got in Lowell or Lincoln or wherever.
Totally agree regarding the tweens and teens. I have one going into Middle School and one going into High School. Thankfully both of my kids got into our top choice charter school. Still waiting to hear about the district choice. My older kids friends are freaking out at this point at least he has a very strong option already.
I really feel for people who were expecting to get their assignments on Saturday and didn't - I remember I was in the hospital having had a baby early Saturday morning and by the afternoon was desperately calling my mother-in-law who was home with my soon-to-be kindergartener to see if there was a letter from SFUSD. But obviously the District just got the letters to USPS a little late - either after the deadline or close enough to the deadline that they didn't arrive next day. Do people really think that budget cuts have no impact on things like this? The administrative staff at SFUSD are stretched thin and that's why mailings go out late, phones don't get answered, etc. And of course SFUSD parents and future parents prefer cuts to come from administration and not from school budgets, but that is a consequence. You can't usually maintain services with fewer resources. And while the suggestion to apply via the internet is valid one, (a) it requires money to transition and (b) a huge percentage of SFUSD families, maybe the majority, lack access to online resources and so it wouldn't solve the problem. There are some classrooms in SFUSD where no families, or maybe one or two, have online access - especially in elementary school, where the kids aren't old enough to figure out how to get access themselves through the library etc. My two cents. Good luck to everyone and hope letters arrive today.
Some paper applications will still have to be processed, but that is no reason to make everyone apply using a paper form.
Exactly. The district is going to have to modernize. It's not a matter of if but when. Technology keeps marching on and the SFUSD is behind the curve. It will take upfront investment to overhaul but it is going to have to be done, they can't continue to operate this way in the modern world.
"Some paper applications will still have to be processed, but that is no reason to make everyone apply using a paper form."Gosh, I can't imagine why in the ages of budget cuts the district wouldn't want to do a major rollout of a new IT project. Because most IT projects come within schedule and budget, especially when you have to contract out to consultants. [/sarcasm]Plus, paper copies may be preferable in this litigious age we live in. Especially where there are numerous cases of address fraud. Shifting to electronic submission would make address fraud worse, IMHO - people tend to have more moral qualms about lying to a human face-to-face than an ASP or CGI script-generated page.
What is the cost in salaries to EPC staff for entering the data from 14,000 paper applications? How would that compare to setting up a simple online application system? As for the assertion that address fraud would be more rampant with online applications -- that's just silly.
Ultimately we can control the process by electing school board members who make change happen, instead of defending old-fashioned, unfriendly-to-parent systems. Parents must stop thinking that they have no power over the system. Every year it is the same dance and frustration, EPC learns nothing from its mistakes and they have no leadership or imagination. We need to change the way things are done because the department shows no effort to change, it will take action from the School Board to make the changes that need to be made.
"Again, the system has much room for improvement."Those of us who sat through the School Board hearings on Student Assignment and heard the Market Design experts from Stanford do their presentations would tend to disagree: there are serious constraints and tradeoffs that aren't apparent until you get into the weeds of the geography and demographics of SF and current choice patterns (e.g. over 70% of Bayview/HP families send their kids to schools out of their neighborhood, even though there's slack capacity in their schools. So that neighborhood REALLY DOES NOT WANT neighborhood schools.) For all the happytalk about diversity and inclusion, SF neighborhoods are very different ethnically and by income levels, and the current system is a result of decades of court orders and trials of different systems, and is probably the Least Worst of all the methods that have been tried. This current system is a substantial improvement on the old "diversity lottery" with its limit of seven choices. CTIP will be have to be tweaked as it will be gamed, but I'd give 3-5 years before that's needed, as the Mission isn't turning into Noe Valley East anytime soon.
The system sort of works, for the people who participate, yet so many parents whom the system claims to be favoring do not even get applications into the first round. Those are also the people who do not have computers. They are just assigned whatever schools are left, they don't "pick" a school, a school is picked for them, yet EPC calls that "their first choice".Yes, this system is better than the last one. And hopefully the next one will be better than this one. You may disagree with people's opinions, but calling them "blatantly wrong" is not accurate, and not helpful.
IMHO CTIP should be tweaked immediately. As I understand it even the district was shocked at how huge an impact it made as implemented.Its golden ticket effect shuts out everyone else out of desirable schools within realistic transport distance from (or within) CTIP areas; and makes for a grotesquely disproportionate burden on everyone living near, but not benefiting from, CTIP areas. Ie everyone on the SE side or center of the city. The current system essentially says:Live in Portola, Excelsior, Glen Park, Bernal, Noe, west Mission, Castro? Want high quality Spanish Immersion?Sorry, you lose. Should have checked the CTIP boundaries when you bough/rented!Your options are settle for the bones left by the lions of CTIP, or 20-30 minute + commutes, passing three or four CTIP-owned options on your way.So here's a question,When and how was the decision to make CTIP1 a golden ticket made?Was it a publicly vetted? Or was this an ideologically well meaning mandate from the school board?Could it be overturned by proposition? (If more than 20-something % of SF had kids and hence cared one whit...)I honestly don't know but would like to.
So, has anyone gotten their mail yet today? : )
I am at work and keep looking here, wanting to see who has gotten their mail! Since it seems like who gets a letter today may be zip code dependent, it would be great for those of us without access to the mail until early evening to know your zip code, if that's not too personal. (Is that too obsessive??)
Rooftop here! My number 1 choice! Ra! Yippee! Happy, happy, joy, joy!!!!
Welcome to Rooftop. The Welcome committee should be contacting all new families soon.
Welcome! Make sure you register for our parent contact/mailing list on our website. There are many upcoming events planned. Congrats!!!
Got our letter!(we live not far from the Evans post office)
Clarendon Second Community, our 1st choice!!we're in 94124
No. Not at all. We were in the same boat (wealthy whites living in a CTIP1 neighborhood--until our kid got accepted into one of the trophy schools). Play the system for all it's worth!!!
just for the record: If someone is white and happens to apply to a desirable school (like anyone would) and gets a spot with ctip advantage does not mean they are wealthy and temporarily living in the ctip to play the system. we have lived here for 10 years, love it, and dont intend to (nor could we afford to) move.
I'm so happy! Just found DD got into Clarendon.
Congrats! I hope that was your top choice.
We got assigned to McKinley, our #4 pick and neighborhood school. We will go round 2 for Spanish immersion, but will be happy if we end up at McKinley.
If you give up Clarendon you may NEVER get it back. We were assigned NO school in the 2nd and 3rd rounds last year. We had to go to catholic school and are now trying to fix that. Be careful.
Who said anything about giving up Clarendon?
Any one ..anything ..yet ?
The friend I know who got hers lives near Evans...I'd guess much of the southern end will get letters today, the rest tomorrow.
on my letter the red postage meter "stamp" is dated 3/15, but it's 3/16 on the postal machine marking
Got our No.1 pick Argonne
We got our 2nd choice - SF Community. Haven't decided if we'll go back for Round 2 to try to get our 1st choice.
Cross posting from the other thread, as we seem to have two going: General education at Rosa Parks (choice 18). Any thoughts on how gen ed fares vis-a-vis JBBP? It seems like a great school, but most of the happy parents seem to be in JBBP and I'm wondering if we should be concerned. Thanks.
:( NOTHING AT ALL!
Which zipcodes have not received the letter?
we also got chavez... not on the list, no go.
Got the letter for Aptos Mandarin Immersion for middle school. No surprises, but we are still relieved that it's official. Enjoy elementary school, everyone - it goes by so fast!
We had 29 schools on our list including Glen Park and Sunnyside. We got nothing. Did Glen Park do better this year because of the change in principal? I was pretty surprised. We were assigned Flynn. We will be entering round 2. Needless to say.
What do you mean 'nothing?' A letter saying 'unassigned?' Sounds like a possible EPC error. You might want to get down to the office to investigate--make sure you bring your copy of the application plus your copy of the extra schools form (which should have been signed by an EPC staff person).Yes, there were quite a few more requests for Glen Park this year. You can find the enrollment reports for this year and last on the SFUSD site.
We got our second choice SF Public Montessori. However we've now heard the 2nd principal in two years has left. Does anyone know if they have a new one? I also heard that the former principal was considering mixing the pre-k and Kindergarten classes to have a bigger class but also allow for 2 teachers. Does anyone know if this is happening? Any way I can find out? It seemed like a nice little school close to us but I'm worried about the principal. My son will also be on the older side and he would not do well in a class with 3 year olds.
Welcome to SF Public Montessori. My son is in K there now, and we love it. Yes, our principal left mid-year, which was sad. We are currently looking for a new principal and have some great candidates. The National Center for Montessori in the Public Sector is helping us with this search. As for your question re: mixing pre-K and K, it is not going to happen next year. The district doesn't like to mix pre-K with K, as they have two different funding sources.
Got Grattan; which was a relief, I was worried that we would get frozen out of our local school due to popularity. 94117Only listed schools we wanted to attend (17)Friends one zip code over got hosed....Good Luck to all.
Which zip codes do you think got hosed?
Received first choice Alvarado Spanish Immersion.
Were you CTIP1?
Received Sloat which was on our list, but not in the top. Anyone have feedback on Soloat?
The thing I find most upsetting and heartbreaking about all of this is how kids who went to Elementary School together should go to Middle School Together, and kids who went to Middle School together, should be able to go to High School together. How SFUSD systemically breaks friends apart is often completely overlooked. Is there no value, in their eyes, to relationships? Think back to Middle School and High School and remember how important your friends were to you. There will always be cases of some kids wanting to go to other schools, but cohorts should be kept together. That should be the priority. Kids should be the priority.
I went o public school in NYC and had a lot of friends who went to private school there. In large urban areas it is pretty typical to have kids going to different places for each school.
And sad ...
1:07 Not everyone is lucky and happy in being in school with the same children from K-12. Writing from experience going to a small K-8 school and small high school it can be socially isolating if that child doesn't fit in. Not to mention having the same bullies for years and years.
Yeah, 6:51, that why I wrote: "There will always be cases of some kids wanting to go to other schools, "That's what I meant... that would be one of those *cases*, huh?
All elementary schools now have feeders into Middle where you are guaranteed a seat (if you want it, not all do). This went into effect with the new lottery system (current 1st graders and younger). Now elem. schools get a preference in their feeder, but no guarantees. By the time current 1st graders go to Middle, they can all stay together (again, if they want). Not everybody wants their feeder.
Feeder Plan goes into full implementation in 2017.
Yes, lots of people don't want their feeders.
Alice Fong Yu! It was our top choice. We live half a block away too. I know location doesn't play a factor in it, but I can't help but feel that it did in our case.