Monday, March 18, 2013

Waitlists

Hi.  Congrats to all of you who won the public and charter lottery and a big 'yaaay' to all of you who got into a private. For everyone else, I am right there with you.

I am wondering if anyone can speak about how waitlists work? Do schools release spots ongoing this week as they become available? Do they do so throughout the week or in one group at the end of the week? Also, if you are offered a waitlist spot to you have to decide immediately or do you get time?

Lastly, are you releasing a spot at a private school? Where? Boy or Girl?

251 comments:

  1. When/where are you and the other bloggers revealing what you got in the public lottery? We watched you dutifully offer tour write-ups and so carefully craft your lists, where did you land!?!?

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    1. This blogger already revealed that she got Bryant (not on her list of 20), and Muppet revealed she got Clarendon Gen (with ctip tiebreaker).

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    2. Sorry, admittedly I get bogged down in reading through the hundreds of comments, some of which are quite heated, while attempting to scroll on my phone.

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    3. I'm having some trouble getting my comments to show up on the "Public School Letters..." thread. We got Sunnyside, our #7 school, Glen Park is AA. Waitlisted at Alta Vista (not pursuing that), and General Education at TECA (giving up that spot). Pretty happy overall! Full list is http://www.sfkfiles.com/2012/12/lazy-tiger-moms-list.html

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    4. You have to hit "load more" at the bottom of the page to see the most recent comments. Not super intuitive but your comment is there...

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    5. yes, we got into Bryant (not on our list). waitlisted at creative arts charter and at all four privates. a bit nerve wracking but a good practice in positive thinking!

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    6. If you don't get off the wait list in a week or two, you might consider Katherine Michiels school in Noe Valley which is a small private with a compelling curriculum
      kmsofsf.org
      or St. Finn's Barr which is next to Sunnyside. I've heard that SFB is also a good plan B. The schools are both very different one is Catholic, one is progressive but both have aspects that may or may not be of interest to you. At least, they are not too far from your house.
      http://www.stfinnbarr.org/
      Good luck on the next rounds. It seems like something will turn up between the wait lists and round 2.

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    7. Jefferson, #13 on our list (AA).

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    8. We got Rooftop our #1 choice, AA school is Carver. We are also CTIP1. We have a lot of thinking to do in the next 2 days.

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    9. WOTM - good for you and your daughter!! seems like you have some great options.

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    10. WOTM, congrats on Hamlin and Rooftop. Two very different schools and communities. Hamlin is a great school. Rooftop was also one of my favorites. Let us know what you decide.

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    11. SFGeekMom, will you try for language immersion in Round 2?

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    12. Debating, as we were accepted at a great private that's a great match and where we'd be very happy, but without enough financial aid to do it easily.

      It's also hard to let go of language immersion after spending the last 3 years preparing for it, and then having my child pass the proficiency test with flying colors. The teachers at our language immersion program are even more disappointed. One of the teachers brought tears to my eyes as she expressed her disappointment this morning. (I couldn't understand a lot of the words, but the gist was clear.)

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    13. which private, sfgeekmom?

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    14. SFGeekMom - Which public immersion schools did you list (if any) and do you plan to pursue round II?

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    15. Friends. I listed all of the public Asian language immersion programs and JBBP, some ranked above Jefferson and some below. The list is at:
      http://www.sfkfiles.com/2013/01/a-geeky-kindergarten-lottery-list.html

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  2. Just released one spot at Marin Prep (boy).

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  3. I think it varies with the school. Last year, we received our waitlist offer on Friday (with handwritten note). We were offered a spot by the following Tuesday, with additional financial aid. They gave us 24 hours to decide (it took me 5 minutes).

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    1. we had a hand written note from L.O. - does that mean anything? who knows?!?

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    2. I would definitely call and find out! I've never invested much into the handwritten note, but now reading this and with our experience...I think it's worth making contact if this is your first choice. I've heard lots of great SFUSD placements and private spots being dropped left and right. If there is a good time to call, it's now!

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    3. PM - trust me, I was speaking with AD within minutes of getting our mail. Our school director has also called.

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    4. Then get some sleep! I feel like you will get your spot. I *know* these things.

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    5. Check in with LOS every day. It absolutely can make a difference!

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    6. Sorry - Live Oak School (LOS) - I assumed that's what you were referring to by L.O.!

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  4. Thanks for including the info regarding the handwritten note. I am very curious how often people are offered spots from a wait list without one. Just wondering if I should stop harboring hope.

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    1. I don't think the handwritten note means anything more than "hey, we took an extra minute for you because you were close and you deserve that extra attention" - which essentially means that your chances are good on the top of the waitlist. I did end up asking our AD about it this year after and she reveals that we were next for the boy slot at our school. No guarantees in anything though - sometimes schools have turn down families that are a perfect fit for no other reason than space.

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    2. While the handwritten note is no guarantee, I haven't heard very many stories of people getting off waitlists without the handwriting.

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    3. Had a handwritten note from a high-demand school and got several email updates from the AD, including an email sent after someone posted here that the school did not expect to go to the waitlist. There are waitlists, and there are waitlists...

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  5. We are releasing a girl spot at Brandeis. Also a spot at Teca. All the best.

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    1. I'd love to hear why you're releasing the spot @ TECA - were impressed with them and seemed on the upswing. Where are you going?

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    2. We got into ourr first choice public which was Alvarado SI. Although we liked TECA, we preferred Alvarado. Best of luck.

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  6. Hi all, this is a separate question and I'll post in two places, but does anyone know what happens if we put a deposit down for the school we were accepted in by Thursday, but then are offered a spot off our top choice (we are on the waitlist) and accept that? Are we only liable for the deposit or all of the annual tuition?

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    1. I think it all depends on the contract you are signing. I have heard (and I dont know whether its true) that some schools are on to this (Alta Vista) and they are requiring a signed contract saying you are liable for the full tuition. Just read what you are signing carefully.

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    2. Just the deposit. I've never heard of anyone liable for the whole tuition - that's robbery!

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    3. A whole year's tuition? That's just awful - I really feel like that's taking advantage of a competitive system. A $2k deposit should be more than enough to secure a spot in a school. I love SF and I will not leave this city without a fight, but all the crazy application to preschool in utero, or pay a fee to schedule a tour and this? That's dirty.

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    4. Just the deposit!

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    5. Be careful -- some of the privates definitely require you to contract to pay the entire tuition for the year before Round 2 results are in, not just the deposit.

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    6. Yeah, the norm is full year. You can buy insurance (400 or so) in case you end up leaving for whatever reason. But schools lock you in for the whole year.

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    7. Read your contract. If it's a less popular school and they can't fill the spot, they might be able to come after you legally.

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    8. If you withdraw before a particular date (usually something like June 10) you are only responsible for the deposit. But almost all schools will hold you responsible for the entire tuition if you don't withdraw until over the summer unless you have purchased tuition insurance which I don't believe is available at all schools.

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    9. And yes, I can see how this seems to be the schools' way of taking advantage of the system but I also think that SF private schools are in a particularly difficult position in this respect. Most everywhere else people know what their public option is from day 1 -only in SF are people holding out for the very last minute to get into a public school -sometimes leaving a private school even into the school year. I guess the private schools need some way to protect themselves from this. It is unfortunate though -well the whole system is a bit unfortunate.

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    10. Read the contract. I read one where you're liable for the deposit plus 10% of the tuition.

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  7. Releasing girl spot at Alta Vista. Also releasing spot at SF Public Montessori.

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  8. Does anyone know if swapping still occurs for round 2?

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    1. Yes, the same lotto process applies for round 2. Load the end of your list with high demand schools you don't want to better your chances of a swap.

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    2. But can you put choices on your round 2 list that were not originally on your round 1 list?

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    3. you can put anything you want on your round 2 list.

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    4. If by "swapping" you mean two families deciding to trade spots, no--that's urban legend. The swaps are done by entering Round #2 and letting SFUSD do the swapping.

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  9. The FAQ that came with our waitpool letter from SF Day says that if offered a spot from the waitpool, you would have no more than a few hours to accept or decline. Don't know if other schools have the same policy or not.

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  10. Presidio Hill's FAQ says the same thing BUT our PKD said it doesn't hurt to ask for an extension if you need it. They may say no but it doesn't hurt to ask.

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  11. Technical question about round two...

    We have an offer from a charter, and our #9 lottery choice.

    We know that we can register for the SFUSD offer (automatically giving up charter), and enter round two without giving up our seat -- unless we are offered one of our [probably revised] list of higher-ranked options, in which case our original seat at #9 evaporates...

    ...but we can't figure out if we can register for the charter slot (automatically giving up #9) and participate in round two, etc.

    Seems to be a 'corner case' ... probably have to talk to a human at the office...

    ...but anyone know?

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    1. Yes, you can register at Charter (and secure that spot) then go thru Round 2. You will lose the seat at #9 by not registering by April 12. Then if you get a spot in Round 2 you like better than Charter, you register at that school and lose Charter seat. You can only have one spot in an SFUSD school regular or charter.

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    2. Thanks!!!

      We knew we have to decide now which to register at (tough choice in our case)...

      ...but it was just not clear from anything we've found online that if we accept at our charter, we can keep it if we don't get as assignment we like better in R2 (not many things we do like better in our case).

      The thing we want to avoid for sure is being assigned us a filler school in R2, and finding that because our charter is outside the lottery it would not count as 'higher'... and then we'd lose it.

      The SFUSD instructions are mostly clear about what happens if you're registered at a normal SFUSD, but don't mention charters at all.

      One other relavant detail...

      I note you say *if* you register -- we were under the impression that if you were offered (assigned) a school on your list in Round Two, you automatically *lost* your original assignment -- i.e. that you don't get the luxury of *deciding* between your registered school, and your R2 assignment.

      Are you sure your seat at your registered school isn't automatically released when a new assignment is made?

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    3. To the above posters, I just verified (for a second time) with PPS-SF that you can, in fact, register at a charter and register at your lottery-assigned school without either one cancelling the other out. Although they are all under SFUSD, they apparently act independently in this case. You can then pursue Round 2 for your lottery-assigned school without losing your charter spot. I was very interested in having this clarified as we are in the same position with a charter option and pursuing Round 2 for the regular lottery option. I recommend talking to the knowledgeable people at PPS-SF if you want further clarification, they are very helpful.

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    4. Very interesting, MANY thanks 3:25 for posting this. I will follow up with PPS-SF.

      I'm assuming at some point the System will detect your double enrollment and demand that you select one. That's consistent with what *I* was told about this when I called EPC today. The person I spoke with said something consistent, MINUS the part about double-registering; they were a little vague about how the Round 2 system would know how to treat my choices...

      On that front, I'm still not clear on whether you list your round-one-assigned school on the Round Two list -- or is it presumed that every school you list is higher, or you wouldn't be listing it?

      Guessing PPS-SF will also have advice there... just always slightly paranoid it'll be slightly stale data on how the EPC actually is handling things *this* year and that we'll slip through the cracks in some unfortunate way...

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    5. Before going into round 2, definitely register at your SFUSD school even if you don't want it. I was told by another parent who has older children and is actively involved in the public school process that if you go through round 2 and are not registered at a school, your priority is lower than those who are registered at schools. Worth checking out the validity of this with SFUSD or PPS.

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    6. I was just at 555 Franklin yesterday and I was told that if you absolutely will not attend your assigned school that you did not have to register there. Registering there will ultimately hold your spot at the school, just so you will have a school if round 2 doesn't pan out, but doesn't prioritize you in the 2nd round if you're registered somewhere. They basically told me that everyone that registers in round 2 goes back in the pool and the lottery happens again. For those that registered for a school, if you don't get a better choice in round 2, at least you have your assigned school from round 1.

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    7. Re-confirmed, Carol Lei at PPS-SF told us confidently that if you have been offered a charter you know you may want, you can (and should) accept and register at BOTH the charter AND your SFUSD round one assignment.

      Then, you participate in Round 2 (etc.)...

      Any way that pans out, at some point the district will detect your dual registration and ask you which to keep. But she's confident you will NOT be summarily dropped from both. (Whew.)

      AFAI can tell, that's also the only way to properly participate in Round 2 (etc.).

      Still TBD: whether or not you list your assigned SFUSD school on your Round 2 revised list (at the bottom)... :)

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    8. For anyone with the same question: according to the ever-patient Carol Lei, no -- you don't list your assigned SFUSD school. Only those you truly want more.

      (Remember, if you get a spot in any of them, the system will automatically send you a new assignment letter for that school, and free your registered round one school seat -- you don't get to choose.)

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  12. We are releasing a boy spot at Presidio Hill and Alta Vista. Got our third choice public school, Sherman and have friends who are very happy there so will go public over private, at least for lower school. Good luck to everyone who is still waiting, I hope that the spots we are giving up today will help one of you!

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    1. Welcome to Sherman. We're so happy to have you join our community.

      You'll be getting a phone call from one of our welcome team in the next few days and they should be able to answer any initial questions you have plus there's all kinds of great Kinder Orientation and other events etc. to help you settle in and meet other new families. There's more info about that on the letter the PTA hands out when you register with the receptionist at school.





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  13. Anyone hear of movement in upper elementary grades for privates? Seems much much harder to get one of those spots!

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  14. We released a spot (girl obviously) at Convent.

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  15. We released a spot at Hamlin and one at Friends, going to SF Day. We were hoping for a public but got Rosa Park (not saying it is not good, but it was not on our list).

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    1. Why did you select SF Day over Friends and Hamlin? What aspect of the school stood out for you? (I ask because we're grappling with a similar choice.)

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    2. Friends we decided against mostly because of logistics. We love the school but living on the north side the other two are closer to us. Hamlin was probably our favorite school of them all, but we have a younger boy and are thinking that we would love for them to be at the same school in a couple of years rather than having two different schools to be involved in. If we did not have a boy too we would have gone with Hamlin. Not sure if this is helfpul at all but know that we have made a good decision for our family.

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    3. Very helpful and SF Day is a fantastic choice so congrats!

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  16. Any middle school parents out there? This is our first year with middle school assignment (6th grade), and based on good luck with three different elementary school assignments, we naively didn't have a private school back up plan. Our SFUSD middle school placement is not acceptable for us (I don't intend to disparage it by name here), so will certainly enter second round at SFUSD. But does anybody know which private schools are most likely to accept late applications, if any?

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    1. I would check with CDS and Kittredge.

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    2. If you are not opposed to it, try some parochial schools. Last I heard Zion Lutheran (Inner Richmond) has some space in 6th grade. I am sure there are others. My experience has been that San Francisco parochial schools reflect the communities they serve more than the "official party lines" for the denominations they are attached to. Parochial tuition tends to run in the $6,000 to $8,000 per year range.

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    3. Presidio Hill School also adds a second class of kids at the sixth grade level.

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    4. Live Oak also adds a second class in 6th grade. Good luck to you.

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  17. If any of you got Gateway Middle school, you should take the spot! What an incredible year it has been for us! I would say this place, hands down, is the best middle school in the district. Take a look.

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  18. Just "released" a wait pool space at Burke's. Does this actually help anyone? Wasn't sure how it helped NOT to stay in wait pool.. it's kind of confusing but my preschool director suggested that we do this because she said they rarely to the wait pool. maybe she knows something we don't so I listened to her.

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    1. Yes, several private school admissions directors told me that if you "release" your wait pool spot, the admissions directors then move other families higher in their wait pool. So, good for you for doing that.

      We released our wait pool spaces at Live Oak on Monday for the same reason.

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  19. We just accepted a Presidio Hill boy spot from the wait pool. Yay! We did have a handwritten note on the wait pool letter and contacted the AD immediately. Perhaps we got the spot from the person who released it above? (Thank you!) The AD said they are super careful with the number of offers extended because they cannot risk over enrolling. It was our first choice; we expressed this to the AD when we contacted her about the wait pool. She said to stay in touch, so we had been contacting her daily (via email). We accepted immediately on the phone. Not sure how long she would have given us to decide. Releasing offers from Friends, SFDS, and MCDS (wait pooled at Live Oak - let them know too). All great schools, so hoping that releasing the spots helps those of you in limbo. Good luck everyone; have hope!

    One "lesson learned" from the process... our preschool director advised us NOT to tell a school they were our first choice during the process (unsure why?). I think this hurt us at Presidio Hill since it's so small and may be the reason we didn't get an offer upfront. The AD didn't exactly tell me this, but I got that impression. I think telling her it was our first choice did help with the movement out of the wait pool. So if you do have a first choice and are wait pooled, you may want to let them know. I don't think it can hurt.

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    1. Wow! You got into all our top schools? Any advice on how you did it? We got waitlisted on all.

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    2. Congrats! Did you also apply to public? If yes, which one did you get in?

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    3. Any particular reason you like Presidio Hill over SFDS? Thanks.

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    4. 1:17PM - I am so sorry to hear you were wait listed at your top schools. Fingers crossed that you are offered a spot soon!

      1:50PM - We did not apply to public.

      1:59PM - There is no one particular reason we selected Presidio Hill School over SFDS; it is just a better fit for us. We have good friends who have children (or graduates) at all the schools we applied to and their kids are all doing really well. It's such a personal decision; they are all great schools. Why Presidio Hill School for us… We think the small size of PHS provides for more cross-grade interaction, a tighter community, and greater student accountability. The program has a very strong experiential emphasis and they have thoughtfully integrated in many other tenets of progressive education (one of the few schools we felt truly walked the talk). The focus on the development of the whole child resonates with us, and we really like the values exhibited by the school and parent community. We also felt PHS would be a good fit for all three of our children. Our oldest one (entering K) is outgoing and will love the strong experiential and project based elements of the program. Our younger son (3.5) is quiet and shy, and I know the school will challenge him and won't let him fall through the cracks. Our youngest is a baby girl, so we like that it's co-ed.

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  20. Does anybody know the specifics from Synergy school about their wait pool?

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    1. I just sent them an email and they responded that they've had zero movement on the waitlist.

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  21. We are releasing a spot at Burke.

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    1. what are you doing instead?

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  22. Does anyone have any insight into the wait list at Alta Vista? I have called and emailed, but I have not received a response (probably a bad sign). I am just wondering if anyone is getting off the wait list there?

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    1. My sense is that Alta Vista probably sent out a lot more acceptances than they need because they are a new school and are anticipating a lot of turn downs - so they probably have to wait to hear back from many people before they start offering spots. That said, I'm sure they will have to go to their waitlist at some point my guess is that it won't be until Weds or Thurs this week.

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    2. I actually don't think it's a bad sign. I know a few people that have called and emailed without a response. I think they are overwhelmed with the number of applicants they got this year and how many people they had to waitlist. They will have movement later in the week and beginning of next.

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    3. We got accepted at Alta Vista and they sent out an email yesterday asking anyone who had been accepted to let them know as soon as possible if you weren't accepting your spots. I think this is a good sign for you as it means the school is trying to gauge where they will have movement up the wait list. They will probably reach out after it is all due tomorrow morning. Good luck!

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    4. are you taking your spot at Alta Vista?

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  23. We are releasing a spot at Hamlin.

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  24. I seem to have read about a lot of folks who have released spots at Live Oak, yet the Admissions director told us today they've had ZERO movement on the waitlist. Do they overenroll? I thought they wouldn't since they had that snafu a few years ago and now have 2 5th grades....

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    1. yes, they do over-enroll somewhat so 2-3 people releasing spots won't change much, but 5-7 people releasing spots will.

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  25. MPS: We spoke with our preschool director today who reported MPS will have movement but they are getting responses slower this year (??delayed public school notification). They likely wont release spots until Monday.

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    1. With great mixed feelings we released a spot (girl) for Marin Prep today. I hope it helps someone who is sure that this is the best school for their family (and that we aren't making a big mistake)! Good luck everyone!

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  26. Our kid got into SFDS off the waitpool this afternoon - we accepted. FWIW, there was no handwritten note on our waitpool letter.

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    1. boy or girl?

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    2. Congratulations on accepting your spot at SFDS!

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    3. Girl. We're excited and thankful - it was our first choice.

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    4. Congrats! We are holding out for a boy spot there. Thanks for responding!

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  27. The Privates deadline is approaching... the delay may be due to the Publics being so late in comparison to when the expected results were anticipated. Those holding out on wait lists, don't give up... it ain't over yet. Those holding on to multiple spots, please give others the chance at a spot you are not intending to pursue! Thank you everyone for supporting each other during this highly emotional and stressful time.

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  28. Please, please, folks with multiple spots, release them sooner rather than later. The last few miles of the marathon are killers!

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  29. Released Live Oak yesterday and Burke's today. We are headed to Friends. Our daughter will be 5.5YO in September. Good luck to those in the wait pools, as well as those still in the decision process.

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    1. We gave up 2 spots today as well to attend Friends...something wonderful about that school. See you there!

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    2. anon 12:04: where did you give up spots and boy/girl?

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    3. Sorry for the late response 1+ - Yesterday we released Hamlin and released CDS a few days before that. Very excited!

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  30. Does anyone know how big the wait pools are? We waitlisted for SFDS, MCDS, Live Oak, CDS and Alta Vista. Our preschool director said we are not ranked anywhere on the lists for MCDS, SFDS, or Live Oak. (In fact she said Live Oak only had 3 K Boy spots after siblings!) She made it sound like those schools were just "not options" for us. Does anyone have any context or know of where statistics like this are posted? How many rejections vs. wait-lists were issued? Is there any transparency anywhere?

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    1. I think (just a guess based on friends who have gone through the process) the PD's would only have an idea if you are REALLY high on that list. Remember, that the demand is so high for these schools and on many occasions, they do not even have to got to their wait pools.

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  31. Does anyone have insight into Nueva waitlist? Do they send out rejection letters or all waitlist? Has anyone heard how many boy K spots were available?

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  32. I also have a waitlisted boy at Nueva. We were told in the parent interview that they do send out rejections. I ended up emailing them earlier in the week to see if they thought they would go to the wait list, but have not heard anything back. I don't know how many boy spots they had.

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    1. With or without handwritten note? Good luck!

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    2. No handwritten note. You?

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    3. Yes, but very brief so I wouldn't read anything into it. Good luck! This is so stressful.

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    4. Sorry, we did get a handwritten note, also brief. It was SFDay and MCDS that didn't leave a note.

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  33. Anyone get off the waitlist at Cathedral?

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  34. Are any of the girls schools done with going to the waitlists?

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    1. which one in particular are you hoping for?

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    2. if any movement will happen, it would be today seeing as tomorrow is the cut-off across the board. Wishing you the best of luck! Hopefully you have a plan b just in case. It definitely is a stressful time but you never know what can happen in the next few hours.

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    3. Burkes has gone to the wait list, my friend got a call yesterday that they had a spot for her daughter. Not sure about the other girl schools.

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    4. Yes, Friends is done. Got an email from Yvette saying they have filled the girl spaces for their kindergarten class.

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    5. We have a couple of friends who are going to Burkes who got off the waitlist.

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    6. more than one girl?

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    7. At least two girls from our preschool got off waitlist at Burkes this week. Would assume more including other preschools.

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    8. can you share the preschool? I have heard that there hasn't been all that much movement at any of the girl schools. Maybe a spot or two here or there. From what I am hearing out there, have to wait and see if more movement happens.

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  35. Just released 2 spots (boy/girl twins) at Marin Prep. Good luck to those who want those spaces! Still haven't decided where we will go -- we have 2 other privates and 1 public we are choosing between. Will release as soon as we can to help others.

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    1. Thank you, what other privates are you considering for your twins?

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    2. SF Day and Alta Vista

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  36. This just in from Friends:
    "Dear parents,

    I wanted to let you know as soon as we had confirmed that we have just filled all of the girl spots in our Kindergarten class so we will not be able to go to our wait pool for girls at this time. With only 14 girl openings our admissions committee had to make some difficult decisions. I do wish we had a bigger school and could enroll all of the wonderful families we met this season.

    Thank you for investing the time and energy in applying to the Friends School. It was a pleasure to get to know you all throughout our admissions process, and I wish you the best of luck as you choose your elementary school.

    Best regards,
    Yvette"

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  37. this from AD at friends:

    I wanted to let you know as soon as we had confirmed that we have just filled all of the girl spots in our Kindergarten class so we will not be able to go to our wait pool for girls at this time. With only 14 girl openings our admissions committee had to make some difficult decisions. I do wish we had a bigger school and could enroll all of the wonderful families we met this season.

    Thank you for investing the time and energy in applying to the Friends School. It was a pleasure to get to know you all throughout our admissions process, and I wish you the best of luck as you choose your elementary school.

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  38. our preschool director has advised us against calling our waitlisted schools again. we spoke with them right after getting the letter and then our PD reached out them. I so want to reach out again but I dont want to be a pest and turn them off. thoughts?

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    1. Every family's situation is different, but our experience was that we emailed or called every day to check status and reiterate our enthusiasm. We had our PD do the same. We also looked at our combined network of friends, colleagues and friends of friends for any person we could think of to find a connection in to the school to pass along a note expressing our interest to the AD, head of school or anyone else at the school who might be able to help press our case. It ended up working out for us as we did end up with an offer out of the waitpool. Who knows what tipped the scale in our favor, but repeated expressions of enthusiasm certainly did not hurt us. Might try to find out from your PD why they think persistence isn't the right strategy for you.

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  39. Waitlist order for CACS is on their website under enrollment. We are in last 10%.

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    1. oh no! I'm so sorry!

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    2. How very considerate of CAIS for letting one know where one stands. Kudos to them for their transparency. All of the privates should do this.

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    3. I stand corrected. Nonetheless, very thoughtful of the school to provide this information.

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    4. A few years ago my son was in the very last spot at CACS. We got a spot from them in August but didn't take it.

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  40. Just got off the wait list at Cathedral. We are beyond happy. Our wait pool letter stated that we had "highest priority" in the wait pool. No handwritten note, just typed.

    Put in wait pool for Alta Vista, SFDS and Stuart Hall for Boys. I have written to all three to take us off the wait pool.

    Received an email today from SFDS that they do not expect to go to their wait pool for boy spots.

    Good luck everyone. The process is very emotional.

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  41. We just gave up a spot at Cathedral (boy) and accepted our spot at SFDS - relieved this process is over!

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  42. When did you give up Cathedral spot? 6pm? I'm curious if it is the spot that went to 5:41 post...

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    1. We gave up our Cathedral spot around 3:30 or 4 pm today. If it made space for 5:41, I'm delighted. I know that Cathedral is very conservative in providing the initial acceptances since they had a very high yield a few years back which led to them having to create two kinder classes. They have a high priority wait list to reserve a special group which have a good chance of getting admitted. Cathedral is a fabulous school and we gave up our spot with a heavy heart since we couldn't go to two schools at once. I'd be thrilled to know the spot went to a family that was so excited to have it. Best of luck to 5:41 and everyone else on wait lists - they do move!

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    2. Does your son have a fall birthday? Just curious because ours has a late spring and we were less successful.

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    3. yes, he has a fall birthday

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  43. Has anyone gotten into Stuart Hall off wait list?

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    1. Yes, I know at least one who was offered a spot yesterday afternoon.

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  44. Has there been any Live Oak movement?

    I saw Friends announced they are done for girls? Did they announce this for boys?

    It is customary for schools to send out an all-done email to all wait pooled people to know its over?

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  45. To 7:55 and 7:09, my husband got the call from Cathy Madison at Cathedral at about 5:00 p.m. on his way home from work. Perhaps it was your spot 7:55. If so, I cannot tell you how grateful we are. We had Cathedral as our number one but SFDS was a very close number two. We were crushed to receive a REJECT, that't right, REJECT from Town. Then, we received a generic wait pool letter from SFDS, Stuart Hall for boys and Alta Vista. No handwritten notes. Cathedral gave us a "highest priority" wait pool letter but we were feeling pretty down. We did receive a decent public school, our number three, on Monday, so we started feeling better about things. Then, we got the call today. I cried with happiness. I know this may sound crazy to many people on here, but i really wanted a Cathedral education for my high energy boy. A small school that understands boy energy was very important to us. Thank you for releasing your spot.

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    1. 7:55 here, your post has just brought tears to my eyes in a good way! It was the hardest decision to turn down Cathedral as it's such a special school (magical even), but it's made my day to read that it may have led to a space for your wonderful boy! So delighted to hear this happy ending.

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    2. Thanks 7:55. You'll be happy at SFDS. In my son's preschool class, five of his classmates are going to SFDS. Some are siblings, others are the children of teachers at SFDS, etc. Very good group of kids and parents. You'll be happy.

      Truthfully, we don't know anyone at Cathedral but I think the "fit" for our son will be better at a "boy" school.

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    3. @10:13pm Which preschool is this? SFDS does not seem as well-represented at our preschool, where single-sex schools seem more popular.

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    4. I don't think you are crazy. I wish we could afford to send our son to Cathedral. We fell in love with the combination of academics, arts, sports and ethics and thought it would be the best possible fit for our high-energy yet rather sensitive boy. I thought Cathy Madison was lovely. Congratulations.

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  46. We got off the waitlist deep into summer a few years ago. That was a surprise. We had gotten over the disappointment and were looking at other schools. This was when Marin Prep and Alta Vista didn't have waitlists. Then one fine summer day, a phone call. A spot had opened up. Probably because a family was being transferred to another city or some similar reason and had to give up their spot. I'm sure this doesn't happen a lot, but it does happen. We felt very fortunate and are very happy at this school.

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  47. any luck on Convent? anyone contacted off waitlist?

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  48. Things are pretty sad in our home right now. We are the only family at our preK to have no school as of today. Our public lottery gave us a school on the other side of town, not even on our list. Fun, fun.

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    1. Try Brightworks and SF Schoolhouse (two relatively new schools). They may be taking rolling admissions.

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    2. If you were considering independent school, and you don't object to it, you might look at some parochial schools. A number of them have rolling admissions, academics are typically solid (though not necessarily cutting-edge innovative) and they are relatively affordable. You can always try for your dream independents and publics again next year.

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  49. We got off a waitlist for our preschool in June. By then, we had already enrolled in two others and placed deposits. The person whose spot we took moved out of the City. Last year, three or four parents who went through the kindergarten process and accepted spots at great publics, independents or charters, wound up selling their places and moving. Things do move unexpectedly in the summer. Put another plan in place and stay flexible.

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  50. We released a boys spot for Friends and FAIS this afternoon. Accepted Town. Had previously released Stuart Hall. Sorry it took us so long- it was a very tough decision. Best of luck to everyone- I'm sure the world will change dramatically in the next 48 hours.

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  51. Save the random moving or transferring away family, I would think all would be pretty much done this afternoon if 10am is the deadline for contracts.

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  52. Did anyone get into Stuart Hall or Town off the wait list? Yesterday? I see that Cathedral list movement happened.

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  53. I would imagine that waitlist movement will happen today and tomorrow (and into Monday for Alta Vista and MPS).
    Synergys WL is much more public school driven so that will continue.

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  54. Cathedral is done.

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  55. Alta Vista wait list is moving...
    And... can I persuade those of you who haven't made the "no thank you" calls to do so? Thank you kindly, from all of us!

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  56. Anyone releasing spot at Hamlin or Burkes this morning? Did they go to the waitlist?

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    1. i think burkes took at least 1-2 from their wait pool.
      I heard hamlin took 1 as of yesterday but I didn't hear from the school directly so it could be totally off.

      are you in the wait pool of both? what other options do you have?

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    2. Burke's took at least two girls from the waitpool from our preschool. Not sure if there were more but I have heard of the 2. If they are full they will send an email to their waitpool to inform of this status.

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    3. we have a parochial option and gave a deposit last month but would lose it. what are preschools from the Hamlin and Burkes wait lists?

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  57. Any more boy spots being released at Friends? Has the wait pool been touched there yet?

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    1. I think SFFS over accepts by so much that even with lots of turn downs, they still fill their class before touching the wait list most years. This year they offered something like 21 acceptance letters for only 13 boy spots they had (they expected at least 8 boys to turn them down, typically lose many to big 6 privates and/or publics each year). They would be in trouble if everyone accepts. The AD should let you know if they're full for boys. Feel free to call Yvette.

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  58. For what it is worth, we just received a call for our son for a spot at Alta Vista and turned it down on the spot as we have already registered at our AA public school and #1 choice. Good luck to those of you waiting for Alta Vista!

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    1. I have a boy- no one from AV called yet:(

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    2. Call the AD now. They are still trying to fill their class!

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  59. Replies
    1. Nice! Are you going to take it?! ...

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    2. WONDERFUL NEWS! Did you take it?

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    3. HOORAY!!!!! So happy for you!!!!

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    4. I'm rooting for you 1+1.

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    5. thanks everyone! I wish I felt more excited, to be honest. Not so much about the school but feeling pretty beat down about the whole process. by the end of the touring season I was very onboard with the public schools and thought of privates as a 'back-up' option. With having our back-up plan shot and then going zero for 20 publics and 0/1 charter I am feeling anxious and almost backed into a corner with our acceptance. We applied there for a reason and are excited to be welcomed into the school. I guess its just how things went down. We will likely also pursue round two (and maybe beyond). Anyway, I am beyond grateful for the opportunity and support from fellow K-filers!

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    6. Exciting! I am familiar with a couple families at MP and they are both very enthusiastic about the future of the school.

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  60. Any movement from Alta Vista or Synergy?

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  61. Stuart Hall has gone to their wait list.

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  62. Does anyone know any success stories of getting into 1st grade in any of the independent schools? We are considering keeping our child in the preschool he is currently in (it does have a good Kindergarten) and trying our luck next year (we are waitlisted at Synergy for the moment and not happy with our public schools assignment...) But seems the odds of scoring a good school for the first grade next year are really slim... Any thoughts on that?

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    1. You know there are a lot less openings for 1st grade, but there are also a lot less applicants... so I'm not really sure it is that much harder. We were wait listed at Synergy for K and just got in for second grade. (we did not apply for 1st). Good luck.

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  63. We were just offered a spot for a girl at MPS but turned it down because we already accepted at Friends. MPS is a great option though and we really liked it on the tour/visit etc. Good luck everyone!

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  64. Just released a boy spot at Alta Vista. I love this school so much, but we also got our 1st choice public. Best of luck to all of you!

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  65. From SFDS:

    I am writing to share with you that our 2013-2014 kindergarten class is now fully enrolled and decisions have been very hard to make with so many amazing families to consider. I have thoroughly enjoyed meeting your family through this process.

    I can't tell you how much I have appreciated your patience during this season. I would like for you to know that I have carefully considered all of your requests throughout this week, while reviewing files over and over.

    Between the spring and fall, sometimes enrollment can shift. Should you be interested, you may want to consider contacting schools of your choice in early summer to see if anything has opened up.

    Thank you for your continued interest in San Francisco Day School and I wish you all the best.

    Homa Hanjani
    Director of Admission

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  66. Any word on Live Oak girls spots? Did they have a 10am deadline today as well?

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    1. all independents gave out a 10 am deadline today for initial accepts to revert back with a deposit and signed contract or else lose their spot.

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    2. From LO AD: "It looks unlikely that I will go to the wait list for girls this year"

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    3. Oh. Well, so much for that and all my hope with it. Guess we can buy that couch we've been eyeing now.

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  67. As someone who didn't even apply to any, I'm pretty curious

    (a) what the odds are for getting into the most desirable privates, i.e. how long are the waiting lists, how many people are rejected outright?

    Is it like 10 to 1, 20 to 1? Worse?

    That would put them on par with the most-competitive and least-attainable SFUSD schools... with the added benefit of having to do custom applications and personal interviews etc etc for each one?

    Zoiks!

    (b) how they decided?

    I assume most of them have to consider whether someone is paying full tuition or FA to some extent, in order to make their revenue for the year...

    ...but once that's factored, what else are they looking at?

    Is it based on accumulating staff impressions on whether a given child/family fits the ethos, is going to 'play well with others,' has achieved the requisite decorum and skills, or demonstrates the right behavioral traits...?

    Curious how they avoid a quagmire of subjectivity and circumstantial evidence! Or whether that's just par for the course, because as with all cases where demand far exceeds supply, there is no 'right' solution, only ones ones that are not obviously wrong...

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    1. I really think schools have profiles of kids they think will do well in their schools. Hard thin is that each school has a different profile. The more you and your preschool reflect what they are looking for, the higher chance of getting in.

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    2. A lot of factors go into this beyond financial aid. I think people downplay the recommendation from your Preschool Director (the "check the box" form that's standard for all independents) as you never get to see it. I suspect it's quite important and ADs trust the analysis by someone professional who deeply knows your child. Also, it does help if you have an older and more mature child (extravert/introvert doesn't matter as much as age/maturity). So if you have a early summer or late spring birthday, I would apply to more schools overall (at least 6-7), and several "safety" options to maximize options (at least 2 if not 3) so you don't get shut out.

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  68. Having just been through this with moderately good results (2/6 at the "most desirable" privates), I am way more cynical that I was at the start. If your child aces the screening (and they actually rank the child's performance against peer group on a percentile basis, so I'm talking 98-99% on all the measures) then congrats, you're the family that gets multiple acceptances from the "top" privates. Otherwise, assuming your child did well on the screening, didn't bite anyone in the playdate, and your family doesn't come across as a nightmare in the interview, it ends up being about whether you have anything special to distinguish you from the others in the pool. This could be ethnic, socioeconomic or family diversity, or some other uniqueness factor. But here's the cynical part: at the end, the best weapons you can have going for you if your preschooler is not the world junior unicycling champion or some other similar differentiator, are 1) coming from the "right" preschool with a PD who is tightly connected with the school, and (2) knowing a board member, head of the school, or other prominent family who are willing to stand up for you. Sad but, I think, true.

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