Sunday, June 23, 2013

This blog

I am not the moderator or owner. I am simply a parent who comes to this site to learn about school options in SF from other parents.

The original owner shut this blog down because it was overtaken by a few people ranting and promoting their own agendas. The new owner felt this site had so much useful information to offer so she decided to keep it running. I just logged back on for the first time in a while and I see, once again, its turning into a podium for individual agendas.

Its great that you have your agendas and you are so passionate about them but PLEASE, please take them elsewhere. We are simply a group of parents trying to share information about SF school with other parents.

For the majority of you that come to this site and use it as it is intended, thank you.



Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Wait Pool Best Bets and Hidden Gems with Openings

The kindergarten waitpools, sorted by the ratio of waitpool applicants to kindergarten seats. The number of spots are my best guess. For the language programs, I assumed a ratio of 9 English:13 target language spots.

SCHOOLS WITH OPENINGS

The list of schools with openings has been posted as well. Eyeballing the schools with openings, if I were 0/21, I'd try Longfellow Filipino FLES, Parker, or Lau. All have good test scores. Longfellow has an active PTA and raised money for playworks and smart boards for their classrooms.  Parker has an active PTO and is very academics focused--all parents sign a contract to limit TV, make sure their kids get adequate sleep, and give their kids 20-30 minutes of reading time a day.  Will update this post later.

WAITPOOL LISTS

General Education



School
Program
Wait Pool as of 6/10/2013
Kindergarten capacity
CARMICHAEL
GE
1
66?
HILLCREST
GE
1
44
LAFAYETTE
GE
3
88
FEINSTEIN
GE
3
87
MILK
GE
2
44
SANCHEZ
GE
1
22
SERRA
GE
1
22
MONTESSORI
GE
2
22
MOSCONE
GE
2
22
SF COMMUNITY
GE
3
33
ALAMO
GE
9
86
GLEN PARK
GE
5
44
JEFFERSON
GE
10
85
CHIN
GE
3
22
KEY
GE
12
88
MONROE
GE
3
22
MCKINLEY
GE
13
66
REVERE
GE
5
22
MIRALOMA
GE
16
59
NEW TRADITIONS
GE
13
44
LAWTON
GE
19
64
LILIENTHAL
GE
21
66
GRATTAN
GE
23
66
PEABODY
GE
15
43
ARGONNE
GE
24
66
ROOFTOP
GE
25
65
ALVARADO
GE
20
44
CLARENDON
GE
23
44

FLES (Foreign Language in Elementary School)


School
Program
Wait Pool as of 6/10/2013
Kindergarten capacity
LONGFELLOW
FB
None-has spots

CARMICHAEL
FB
1
22?
CLARENDON
JB
14
44
PARKS
JB
2
44

FB= Tagalog, JB=Japanese


Cantonese Immersion 

English spots
Name
Prg
WP
Spots
GARFIELD
CE
2
9 of 22
CHINESE IMMERSION
CE
16
27 of 66
WEST PORTAL
CE
5
13 of 33
YU
CE
10
44 of 66

Cantonese spots
Name
Prg
WP
Spots
WEST PORTAL
CN
12
20 of 33?
YU
CT
22
22 of 66?




No wait pool but no openings for CIS or Garfield for kindergarteners who passed the Cantonese proficiency test. CN=passed the Cantonese proficiency test. CT=listed Cantonese as a home language, regardless of whether they took the proficiency test.

Mandarin Immersion

English spots

Name
WP
Spots
ORTEGA
9
9 of 22?
STARR KING
3
18 of 44 (more will open up later)

Korean Immersion


LILIENTHAL
English
2
9
LILIENTHAL
Korean
2
13

Spanish Immersion


English spots
Name
Prg
WP
Spots
ALVARADO
SE
14
18 of 44
BUENA VISTA/MANN
SE
12
27 of 66
FAIRMOUNT
SE
15
27 of 66
FLYNN
SE
1
18 of 44
MARSHALL
SE
1
18 of 44
MONROE
SE
2
18 of 44
REVERE
SE
2
18 of 44
WEBSTER
SE
5
18 of 44

Spanish proficient spots
Name
Prg
WP
Spots
ALVARADO
SN
9
26 of 44
FAIRMOUNT
SN
10
39 of 66
BUENA VISTA/MANN
SN
6
39 of 66
MONROE
SN
5
26 of 44
MARSHALL
SN
3
26 of 44
FLYNN
SN
1
26 of 44

Reporting live from the EPC

I arrived at 6:40 AM and Im about 100 people in back. I'm also on my phone so pardon typos.
I asked the first few people what time they arrived - some said 4AM. One woman smiled and told me she paid someone to hold a spot from 3-6 until she could arrive.

They handed out a list which contains schools with open spots. The  following kinder have spots:
Alamo - special Ed
Bryant - ge
Bvhm - special Ed
Carver ge
Cobb ge
Cobb special Ed
Drew ge
El dorado ge
Flynn ge
Garfield - autism sped
Guadalupe ge
Harte ge
Malcolm x ge
Moscone Chinese biliteracy
Muir ge
Parker ge
Redding ge
Sanchez sped
Spring valley Chinese biliteracy
Starr king ge
Sunny side sped
Webster - Spanish cohort
Wo - sped

Now there are about 150 people behind me.  I feel like when I used to wait in line for ticketmaster to open to get concert tickets.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Reader Looking for McCoppin Feedback

I noticed in the comments a parent whose child is headed to McCoppin, but it's unclear if they got to tour and it sounds like they have yet to hear much, either good or bad, from current parents. So I thought I'd make a separate post inviting feedback on McCoppin specifically. I noticed some pretty positive reviews on Greatschools, so I'm hoping there's someone out there who can reassure this parent that there's a lot to feel good about at McCoppin (of course, I'm sure any negative info would be helpful as well).

More generally, I was thinking now might be a good time for parents who have found (either through a tour or enrolling a child) a "hidden gem" to share what was such a pleasant surprise to them and why. I used the phrase "hidden gem" but I'm hoping people can just describe why a school was a surprise for them and not criticize one another by saying that such and such a school is not a hidden gem at all--that just doesn't seem useful.

For me, one surprise came just a few weeks ago when I ended up on an impromptu tour at Thomas Edison Charter Academy (TECA). We were offered a spot off the waitlist and I didn't know much about TECA, so it was hard to have to make a quick decision. Ultimately we decided to stick with Sunnyside because we're really excited about everything going on there. But I was pleasantly surprised by the really warm and welcoming tone of the school at TECA and definitely tempted by the K-8 and Spanish immersion. The person who was supposed to give me a tour ended up calling in sick that day, so the office person called in someone he described as a cafeteria worker to walk me around. Well, she turned out to be the coordinator of the lunch program (which is separate from the program offered by SFUSD) and a part-time office manager and she gave a great tour. She knew all of the teachers and as she led me around the classrooms, she filled in me on details, including why one teacher's room seemed more sparsely decorated than another (that teacher was about to go on maternity leave so had packed up most of her materials already) and how long different teachers had been with the school and in what grade. She walked me past some middle school classes that looked interesting and we got to see the yard, which if I understood correctly is staffed all day by Playworks staff. She also took me to a guitar class (I think it was for third graders) that blew me away. The teacher (who unfortunately is moving out of state this summer) told us that the class is provided in collaboration with a program called Little Kids Rock (http://www.littlekidsrock.org/) and it's been a huge hit with the kids. They learn to play guitar but they also get a chance to try out songwriting and I saw a group of totally engaged kids each working on their own songs. I also got to see a duo perform an original--that was amazing!

But as I said, we decided to stick with Sunnyside. I am starting to understand why some schools can go down a waiting list pretty quickly once it gets into summer--it can be hard to think about switching from an option you are starting to get to know a little to one that it is a big unknown.

Any other surprises out there?