Monday, July 22, 2013

Round 4: Wait Pool Best Bets

For those who haven't folded their hands yet, here are the latest 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 to 13 target language spots.

Some interesting findings here, especially with the language immersion waitpools. If you only put "English" on your application, Alice Fong Yu now looks like your best bet for Cantonese immersion. If you put any language other than English as a home language on your application, AFY is your worst bet of any program in the city.

2013-14 WAITPOOL LISTS, as of 7/19/2013


General Education


No waitpool/possible openings: Carmichael, Carver, Cobb, Drew, El Dorado, Guadalupe, Harte, Lau, Malcolm X, Muir, Parker, Redding, Sheridan, Tenderloin, Webster.

SchoolPrgWait
Pool
Kindergarten
Capacity 
Waitpool
as a %
of K Spots
VIS VALLEYGE1662%
LAKESHOREGE2882%
MCCOPPINGE1442%
LONGFELLOWGE3883%
CHAVEZGE2445%
MILKGE2445%
ORTEGAGE2445%
PARKSGE2445%
YICK WOGE2445%
CLEVELANDGE1225%
SANCHEZGE1225%
SPRING VALLEYGE1225%
LAFAYETTEGE6887%
FLYNNGE3447%
HILLCRESTGE3447%
SF COMMUNITYGE3339%
GARFIELDGE2229%
MOSCONEGE2229%
STARR KINGGE2229%
ULLOAGE76611%
FEINSTEINGE118713%
BRYANTGE32214%
CHINGE32214%
SERRAGE32214%
SUTROGE32214%
JEFFERSONGE128514%
KEYGE138815%
GLEN PARKGE74416%
STEVENSONGE158817%
ALAMOGE158617%
SUNNYSIDEGE126618%
WEST PORTALGE136620%
MCKINLEYGE146621%
SLOATGE146621%
SHERMANGE156623%
TAYLORGE104423%
MONROEGE52223%
SUNSETGE166525%
MONTESSORIGE62227%
REVEREGE62227%
NEW TRADITIONSGE134430%
MIRALOMAGE185931%
LAWTONGE216433%
LILIENTHALGE216433%
ARGONNEGE246636%
GRATTANGE246636%
ROOFTOPGE266540%
ALVARADOGE194443%
PEABODYGE194344%
CLARENDONGE234452%


FLES (Foreign Language in Elementary School)

SchoolPrgWait Pool
as of
7/19/2013
Kindergarten
capacity
Waitpool
as a %
of K Spots
LONGFELLOW FBFBNone22 -
CARMICHAEL FBFBNone22?-
PARKS JBBPJB444 9%
CLARENDON JBBPJB1644 36%
FB= Tagalog, JB=Japanese


Cantonese Immersion

English spots
SchoolProgramWait
Pool
Allocated K
Spots
Waitpool
as a %
of K Spots
YUCE - monolingual English*1344 of 66?30%
GARFIELDCE39 of 2233%
WEST PORTALCE713 of 3354%
CHINESE IMMERSIONCE1527 of 6656%
YUCT-not monolingual English2322 of 66?105%
* For Alice Fong Yu, CE refers to students who only listed English as a home language on their application. Students who listed any language other than English on the application are considered "CT."
No wait pool for Garfield for applicants who passed the Cantonese proficiency test, so some English spots may open up there.

Cantonese spots
SchoolProgramWait
Pool
Allocated K
Spots
Waitpool
as a %
of K Spots
GARFIELDCNNone13 of 22-
CHINESE IMMERSIONCN339 of 668%
WEST PORTALCN1020 of 33?50%
CN=passed the Cantonese proficiency test.


Mandarin Immersion

English spots
SchoolProgramWait
Pool
Allocated
K Spots
Waitpool
as a %
of K Spots
STARR KINGME618 of 4433%
ORTEGAME99 of 22100%

Mandarin spots
SchoolProgramWait
Pool
Allocated
K Spots
Waitpool
as a %
of K Spots
STARR KINGMN126 of 444%
ORTEGAMN213 of 2215%


Korean Immersion

SchoolProgramWait
Pool
Allocated
K Spots
Waitpool
as a %
of K Spots
LILIENTHALEnglish19 of 2211%
LILIENTHALKorean313 of 2223%


Spanish Immersion

English spots
SchoolProgramWait
Pool
Allocated
K Spots
Waitpool
as a %
of K Spots
FLYNNSE218 of 449%
HARTESE19 of 229%
MARSHALLSE318 of 4417%
MONROESE318 of 4417%
REVERESE418 of 4422%
WEBSTERSE518 of 44 28%
BUENA VISTA/MANNSE1227 of 6644%
FAIRMOUNTSE1427 of 6652%
ALVARADOSE1518 of 4483%
Harte, Revere and Webster have no wait pool for Spanish proficient spots, so more English spots may open up. For those considering Harte, a glowing parent review is at: http://phile.com/user/SweetMedicine

Spanish proficient spots
SchoolProgramWait
Pool
Allocated
K Spots
Waitpool
as a %
of K Spots
REVERESNNone26 of 44-
WEBSTERSNNone26 of 44-
HARTESNNone13 of 22-
FLYNNSN226 of 448%
BUENA VISTA/MANNSN539 of 6613%
MARSHALLSN426 of 4415%
MONROESN626 of 4423%
FAIRMOUNTSN1439 of 6636%
ALVARADOSN1126 of 4442%

Never Say Die Strategies

Applicants who of "Other" ethnicity are the most likely to opt out of their kindergarten assignment (35%), although there are not many of them. White kindergarten applicants are the next most likely to opt out of public school assignment (25%), followed by non-Chinese Asians (17%), then Latinos and African Americans  (13%). Chinese applicants are the least likely (11%),   Of the kindergarteners who registered for a spot and did not show up on the first day of school, 40% were white. 
This suggests that if you have the fortitude to hold out until Sept 6, the last day to get in off the wait pool and 14 days after school starts, your chances would be higher at say, Lilienthal than at Alice Fong Yu. McKinley and Lakeshore were mentioned in the report as two schools that had a high number of students not showing up on the first day of school. 
Source: SFUSD First Annual Report on Student Assignment for the 2011-12 School Year, 3/5/2012


94 comments:

  1. Looking for advice... Our son was assigned to, and enrolled in, a school very low on our list that we have no intention of sending him to. We'd love to get into our wait pool school but are losing hope fast after seeing this list. There's a chance he could get into a private school that starts a week after public school (though it would force us into debt). Can we still be in the wait pool for our desired school if he doesn't show up to his assigned school? In other words, does not showing up hinder our chances or impact the formula for getting into our wait pool school? Any help much appreciated. Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think you can still stay in the waitpool even if you give up your assigned school spot. At this point there is no preference to those who have a spot elsewhere and does that do not. My friend was in a similar situation and enrolled her son into neighborhood parochial school, but stayed on the Rooftop waitpool. After the first 4 days started of school, she got a call from SFUSD that he got a spot at Rooftop. So, although she forfeited her deposit and first month tuition, pull him out of the parochial and got him into Rooftop.

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    2. Two things to consider in making your decision - your son will have the potential for a spring transfer if he's enrolled somewhere in SFUSD and children at schools that are in program improvement (i.e. the schools with low test scores) have priority to transfer to other schools not in program improvement thanks to No Child Left Behind (federal law). Good Luck.

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    3. Our boys go to one of the very highly coveted publics on this list. we are very lucky. interestingly, my sons' kindergarten class was 100% full. By first grade, however, there were only 21 students for a class of 24. Do not go into debt, closely guide your son through kindergarten at the school you don't love and apply to a different school for first grade.

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  2. It's still not clear to me that there even IS a Round 4 or at least a Round 4 that is completed prioer to the first day of school. Has anyone confirmed this? The SFUSD website still has it listed but the recorded message that we received noted that we were in a wait pool but that no changes would occur until after the three-day count. I've tried calling and emailing EPC to no avail. Maybe I need to go down there and figure this out.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I finally heard from EPC on this topic. The email to me said "The key dates are right, and no run has been cancelled.
      The message was a reminder for people with a wait pool request, so they are aware the request is active, in case they want to cancel it before the run.
      The deadline to cancel is July 26." So I guess there will be a Round 4 with August 9 notifications if available spots can be offered.

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  3. For 1:23, I hope some knowledgeable parent weighs in with an answer for you, but that's a complicated enough question, you might also want to go down to the EPC and/or email Parents for Public Schools (I hear PPS is super responsive). Please report back what you find out! Meanwhile, if you're willing to share what school your son is assigned to, what school you're shooting for, and where you live, you might find that other folks have some good suggestions to you -- and I would hope commenters will be helpful and not judgmental!

    ReplyDelete
  4. I'm surprised the wait pools are not bigger at a few schools I've heard great things about, especially Lakeshore and Rosa Parks JBBP.

    ReplyDelete
  5. 1:23 - in speaking w/PFPS this morning, I was encouraged to dis-enroll my child from the current school which I am NOT sending her to. I was told this school has no trading value. And since it has a wait list of (1) - might as well open up the spot. I was told this will not hurt nor help my chances in ROUND 4 (which is announced the 1st wk of school according to the message). Maybe we should call it Round 4.5!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. 1:23 here. Thanks for your reply. I see there are 2 spots in the wait pool for our current school. I don't know if that constitutes "trading value," but I'll give PFPS a call myself.

      Delete
  6. There are several spots available at Carver, Chavez, Bryant and Visitation Valley, and a couple at Tenderloin Elementary. Hurry though. They won't be available for long.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Lakeshore also has capacity for 88 kids, so there's a greater chance for your child to be admitted there in any case. While Denman was a strange feeder assignment choice for Lakeshore, given that's it geographically closer to Giannini, Hoover, and Aptos (one of the goals of the new assignment system), it seems to be a solid school. It was a popular choice among my oldest child's classmates, but then seems to have fallen off the radar until now. By the time this year's kindergarten cohort heads off to middle school it could be popular again.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm sure it will, since other 'popular' schools such as Miraloma, Sunnyside and even Ortega are feeding into Denman.

      Delete
  8. If you're in the North East, Jean Parker with no waitpool (API 820) is a good option, as is Bessie Carmicheal (API 794).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Bessie Carmichael is South of Market, not in the northeast.

      Delete
  9. To the original poster, who had a lot of data on the ethnic breakdown of people who don't show up for a spot they've registered for, do you have the number of kids overall who didn't show up last year?

    ReplyDelete
  10. For the 2011-12 school year, 369 kindergarten
    applicants accepted their offer by registering at their
    assigned school but did not attend school when it started
    in August 2012. The 369 seats were distributed across
    69 different schools and ranged from 1 seat to 16 seats
    at each school.
    • 19% of students who registered but did not enroll were registered at Rosa Parks, McKinley, Lakeshore, Flynn, Sanchez, or Sheridan.
    • 40% of the students who registered but did not enroll were White.

    Check out the source at the bottom of the original post. If is full of these facts and figures.

    http://www.sfusd.edu/en/assets/sfusd-staff/enroll/files/2012-13/annual_report_march_5_2012_FINAL.pdf

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I seem to remember it hearing a considerably higher number for the number of kids who *moved* during the shuffle, more like 700, but that report (for two years ago, not this past year) only says something like 220 K kids moved.

      That's waaay worse odds than I had been assuming... if it were divided evenly among 70 schools that's about 3 spots per school. Ugh. But it says it was only 1 spot for some schools (presumably the more desirable, the fewer, on the whole)...

      Ugh.


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    2. I can't tell from the phrasing whether kids who were not enrolled anywhere but got a seat through the waitpool process the first week of school would be counted as a kid who "moved" during the first week of school. You would think there would be more moves than open seats, because kids who move open up seats at their old school. (I remember when my oldest son was in kindergarten a classmate got off the waitpool to a higher choice school and left, and another child took his place shortly thereafter.) But it's possible that some of these open seats end up remaining vacant, which would make the number of "moves" potentially lower than the number of seats.

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    3. I heard from PPSSF that a little over 700 families received phone calls from EPC in August 2012 offering them their wait pool spot for Kindergarten. That number seems to line up pretty well with the 300 to 400 Kindergarten no-shows, as some families will be moving out of a school that someone else has wait pooled and others may no longer want the offered spot.

      I imagine the numbers will be somewhat similar this year.

      Delete
  11. The SFUSD report provides insights into the amount of movement that occurs after school starts.

    Page 74: Which schools held seats for applicants who accepted their assignment but did not attend once school started in the fall?

    In August 2012, 369 kindergarten students, 190 sixth grade students, and 461 ninth grade students did not show up at their registered school and their seats were available for reassignment.
    • Kindergarten: 19% of students who registered but did not enroll were registered at Rosa Parks, McKinley, Lakeshore, Flynn, Sanchez, or Sheridan.
    • 6th grade: 56% of students who registered but did not enroll were registered at Visitacion Valley, Aptos, Denman, or Presidio.
    • 9th grade: 52% of students who registered but did not enroll were registered at Lowell, Mission, or Washington.

    Page 75: School Transfers

    The previous year (2011), there was a lot of movement at the beginning of the school year. In total, 1800 students across grades K through 12 changed their school assignment at least once after school started. Table 16 shows a grade-level breakdown of the 1800 students who changed school between the first day of school and October. Other details include:
    • 66% of the students who changed schools transferred between the first and the third day of school.
    • 31% transferred between the third day of school and October 2011.
    • 3% transferred more than once.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Okay, so we lost the Kindergarten lottery. zero x 3. We'll make due for now. Does anyone know the statistics regarding the lottery for first grade. Are they as grim as I suspect? Waiting for that one family to move? Worse, considering our AA is Clarendon?

    ReplyDelete
  13. I live in Peabody's area, I put down 16 schools still have nothing. Looking at the chart it looks like I still have a better chance getting into Lillienthal? Any thoughts? I am now on the waitpool list for Peabody, but wondering if I should move it to Lilienthal?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Peabody is a great school. You should stay on the waiting list. If you don't get in, then after the first week of school show up at Lilienthal to see if you can get in. Knock on their door every day to show that you are interesting in the school. Do it with Peabody too.

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    2. Fantastic advice. Knock on doors.

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    3. School assignments aren't controlled by the schools so spending time at the schools won't help. EPC is where you should spend your time after the first 3 days of school if you are so inclined.

      Delete
    4. Can anyone clarify for me what knocking on doors or waiting at the EPC will do? I keep hearing about both of these strategies, and I'm wondering what they can offer if you're there in person that they can't offer by phoning when / if your wait list number comes up, etc. Thanks for any help anyone can offer with these questions.

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    5. Well calling into EPC has basically no effect. I've tried over a dozen times and keep getting the voicemail. I've even left detailed messages that are then returned, days later, by leaving me a voicemail, asking me to call THEM if I had any questions but completely ignoring the fact that I left them a message with my question. So infuriating. I'd have to agree that going to the school isn't going to make any difference. You need to be at EPC every day, from what I hear, if you really want someone to help you.

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    6. Even more fun, I phoned to get advice about the "WE ARE DELETING YOUR CHILD FROM OUR SYSTEM' all caps letter I got, and not only did I only get voicemail, but the voicemail box was full. Thank goodness for Carol at Parent for Public Schools, who helped me iron out that one. (It was a widespread SFUSD mistake, is all I can gather.)

      I did go in yesterday in person, but all I got was a quick, polite answer to my question; nothing like the kind of mystical advantage-in-the-system that people keep promising about.

      Delete
    7. if you go to the school and speak directly with the principal i have to believe he/she can make a difference at epc. when i was going through this last year i actually saw my child's current principal at epc-she was talking with epc staff and walked behind the counter as if she was there all the time. it certainly can't hurt to have the principal on your side.

      Delete
    8. A visit to the EPC won't net you some mystical advantage in the system. Nor will a visit to your school of choice.

      But, waitpool numbers will be changing rapidly after the 3-day count. Looking at the list above, there are quite a few schools on there which will likely clear their waitpools within the first week or two of school. A visit to the EPC at that point could net you a place at a school that still has spaces and has cleared it's waitpool.

      Delete
    9. I can tell you that I got my child into kindergarten by going to the school and speaking with the principal. However, that doesn't mean you will be able to do the same. This was several years ago. I do know someone who used this method and got into a school this upcoming year. The district will ALWAYS say that they follow the system to the letter. If you believe that I have a used car to sell you.

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    10. "A visit to the EPC won't net you some mystical advantage in the system. Nor will a visit to your school of choice."

      How do you know that to be true? Some people succeed by being persistent. It varies from person to person and school to school, but people get around the system to some extent. I know that is the case because I'm familiar with such cases. You are not being realistic if you think otherwise. But I can understand people on this board trying to discourage such activity. It makes it harder for them when others spend their time at schools and at EPC pressing their cases.

      Don

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    11. Anyone who tells you that they know 100% what will happen in the future is giving you false hope. Some people will follow the system and hope for the best. Others will be beating down every door for entrance. Who do you think will win out?

      Don

      Delete
  14. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Not to call you out but let's get some basic facts straight: SFUSD does not factor race/ethnicity in the enrollment process, it is not a tie-breaker. SFUSD reports race/ethnicity (for legal and political reasons) but it has no bearing on the school assignment process.

      CTIP tie-breaker is, arguably, a proxy for race 'preference' but, according to an SFUSD simulation, CTIP helped whites and hurt Chinese with negligible impacts to all other races.

      The real problem for families in the Richmond District is lack of seats: There are more resident kids than seats and, because we have a number of sought after schools, additional citywide families trying to get the oversubscribed seats.

      FWIW - I am a lottery loser who went 0'for rounds 1 and 2 and am stressing through the waitpool process. I have invested hundreds of hours in the enrollment process - school tours, EPC visits, PPSSF events - and know more than I care to admit about this process. I share many of the frustrations with and anger at the process. I wish SFUSD would: 1) have more 'good' schools; 2)have a 'better' assignment process; 3) share the algorithm so we can see if it even works as touted.

      Delete
    2. "CTIP tie-breaker is, arguably, a proxy for race 'preference' but, according to an SFUSD simulation, CTIP helped whites and hurt Chinese with negligible impacts to all other races."

      That's strange, because the numbers of whites and asians from CTIP1 are very small (about 80-90 for each) compared to the numbers of Latino (~580) and blacks (I think around 300, but don't quote me).

      Delete
    3. "I wish SFUSD would: 1) have more 'good' schools; 2)have a 'better' assignment process; 3) share the algorithm so we can see if it even works as touted."

      A better assignment process: SFUSD overhauled the assignment process two years ago, so another rejigger is not in the works. Using a strict neighborhood assignment would be worse (as half of all applicants don't list their attendance area school AT ALL), and any choice mechanism is going to run into the problem that about 15-20% of SFUSD's capacity is elementary schools that, mostly 'cos of their demographics, have very poor test scores, so neither affluent nor non-affluent folks want to send their kids there.

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    4. The CTIP1 designation is deeply flawed, in my opinion. I know of at least two white families that live in houses worth well in excess of $1,000,000 that are nonetheless in CTIP1 zones. On the other hand, I know a family that lives within a half block of a large public housing project that is not in CTIP1. It's just bizarre.

      Delete
    5. At 400pm. I completely agree with you. CTIP1 also allows gaming.

      Delete
    6. Yeah, I'm one of those people. House worth $1.3K, CTIP 1. Don't worry, I didn't use it. It doesn't work for citywide immersion programs, which is what we got into.

      Wish they just did it by income, but that would make people scream too. Maybe a compromise would be to give CTIP1 preference to those in public housing and leave it at that.

      Delete
    7. CTIP1 is a tie-breaker for citywide immersion programs.

      Delete
    8. Yes, CTIP1 is a tie-breaker. I'm a middle-class parent stuck in a crappy apartment, but non-the-less in coveted Clarendon's area. Didn't get it - got assigned to Muir - the opposite direction of where I work and live. We have no assignment and don't have much hope in the waitlists - Clarendon was not a choice for us, but I put it non-the-less. I attempted to game the system and move to the Mission - but couldn't afford it and also got locked out by the young techies with no children. The system is broken and favors wealth. If you don't get your choice, you may at least have private as a back up.

      Delete
    9. You said:

      "CTIP tie-breaker is, arguably, a proxy for race 'preference' but, according to an SFUSD simulation, CTIP helped whites and hurt Chinese with negligible impacts to all other races."

      If the CTIP1 preference had a negligible impact on African Americans and Latinos that would be because those groups did not use the preference, not for lack of one. So the question is why not?

      The answer is that people have preferences as to where they want their children to go to school and many won't go outside their environs even with an enrollment advantage. That is to say - CTIP, and by extension the whole SAS, is based on the false premise that underperforming students prefer a higher performing school over a neighborhood school.

      Don

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    10. Maybe the point of CTIP was a compromise to benefit a small number of people from both sides, low performing students and middle income families. The option is there for low performing students to opt out of their low performing neighborhood schools and drive a distance to a higher performing one. In the same token, some middle income families (CTIPs) have the same option. It sucks for the rest of us with no tie breaker but the system, I think, whether intentional or not is designed to push out those who can truly afford private schools.

      Delete
    11. There is nothing immoral about sending your kid to private school, or to a public school somewhere else in the city. I live in the Richmond, my kid is African American, so we decided on a private school FOR DIVERSITY. Instead of the 90% Chinese Alamo school down the street.

      Everyone has to make the right decisions for their families. Calling someone's choice immoral is juvenile and insulting.

      Delete
    12. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

      Delete
    13. 1:58 here. First of all I'm not saying there is anything wrong with being Asian. Didn't mention Lowell. Or bash you because you study hard. Seriously? And, btw, "Even a liberal white woman who adopts a black child feels it's just fine to criticize Chinese people." You're making some bold assumptions about who I am. Because I said my kid is African American, obviously I'm a white liberal woman? Ummm, that sounds pretty presumptive.

      Also, my point was that I made a choice that I didn't want my child in a school where none of the teachers look like my child, and few if any children do. I want my child surrounded by many races - not just one. And not just ours. I toured - I saw who was there... this isn't based on rumor.

      Delete
    14. 1:58,

      You say you live down the street from Alamo, yet you think it is 90% Chinese? No doubt Alamo has a lot of Chinese students, but according to SFUSD it is slightly under 50%.You said your view is not based on rumor. However, it is clearly not based on fact either. That leaves your own subjective analysis of what you want for your child, which is fair enough as long as you don't trick others into believing in your made-up assumptions.

      As for the other long winded run-on sentence comment, that is just Scalini wasting our time again.

      Don

      Delete
    15. @1:58, Must you feed the troll, whose original comment is long gone?

      I'm sympathetic to your situation, as Alamo had 2 African Americans out of 259 students and none at all in kindergarten in 2011-12. Few parents want their child to be the only one of their race out of 130 students.

      To get the numbers clear, Alamo is only 49% Chinese but its K-2 enrollment is 62% Asian. I also did not consider Alamo because it is racially homogenous. However, I hope you can see how referring to Alamo as "the 90% Chinese school," based on school tour impressions, could be interpreted as an assumption that all Asians look/are the same.

      I also would like to gently suggest that there is a subtle but important difference between saying that a school is too Chinese, or too much of any group, as implied by the "90% Chinese" comment, versus wanting a school that is racially diverse, or one with children of the same race as your own child. The former can be construed as a negative feeling towards that group. I think your 2nd post makes clear that was not your intention.

      I'm guessing that your are the first poster from "1/23/2013 Post Your List" ,who was applying to Live Oak, Friends and Presidio Hill but not SF Day, which you didn't like for your family. I've been wondering where you ended up; congrats on finding a place you like for your daughter.

      Delete
    16. Substitute black or Latino for Chinese and it would be considered racist. Bashing the Chinese is OK in your book? How does that work? This city has plenty of public schools with one race comprising more than 60%, including many with non-Asian minorities. Did you consider any of those or are they also unacceptable?

      Delete
    17. I'm so relieved you think there's nothing wrong with being Asian. What a relief!

      Delete
    18. @1:58, you may have paid full fair or gotten a significant financial aid package for a private. Those of us who would be willing to forego our beliefs in public education and go private are not necessarily able to afford it or likely to get financial aid. I'm wondering how many teachers are people of color at your private school or at some of the acceptable public schools. If you think it is hard to find a diverse student population, it is doubly harder to find a diverse teacher pool.

      Delete
  15. So do folks think I should stay with Peabody or have a better chance with Lilienthal?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. For Peabody, you have AA tie-breaker.
      For Lilenthal, you don't have any advantage in tie-breaker. Siblings and CTIP1 will take an available seat before you do.

      Delete
    2. Your chances will still be better at Peabody as you have the attendance area tie-breaker there.

      Delete
    3. Technically speaking, yes. But that school will be filled to the brim long before the attendance area tiebreaker comes into play.

      Delete
    4. I'm not sure I agree with your point Don.

      In Round 1 a lot of K spots went to siblings at Peabody this year (about 20, I think). In the past two years Peabody hasn't had many CTIP1 applicants - I think because it is just slightly too far away from those areas and I would doubt this year was significantly different.

      And I happen to personally know two families (with no other tie-breakers) in the Peabody attendance area who were assigned it in Round 1. So, clearly the attendance area tie-breaker was already in play for Peabody in Round 1.

      Somewhere else in this thread a poster with the attendance area tie-breaker for Peabody posted that they got an assignment there in Round 3. So in Round 3 the attendance area tie-breaker is still in play for Peabody.

      Peabody happens to have a small attendance area (as there are many other schools close by) and previous years statistics show that there are typically fewer children in the Peabody attendance area than there are spaces at Peabody.

      My recommedation would be for the OP to stay in the Peabody wait pool.

      Delete
    5. That was in Round 1 when there was at least some reasonable opportunity. Now its Round 4. How many spots will open? Precious few. Even if you are right and one person should get in under AA tiebreaker, that represents a miniscule chance. In the meantime how many will suddenly get a doctors' letter and apply for a medical or hardship appeal? These is where desperation kicks in.

      This school has a high white population and that means every avenue will be fully exploited.





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    6. A lot of people think that the rules are hard and fast, that it isn't who you know or how tenacious you are. Well, if you think that, don't be naïve. I know a family that got in on a hardship appeal late in the game. The squeaky wheel gets the grease. Cross your fingers and you might luck out. In the meantime others are prying open the holes to get in. There's a lot of money at stake if you lose. The meanest dogs win out when push comes to shove. This is what happens when you create a system that pits one against the other, sorry to say.

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    7. You both have a valid point. Realistically, Peabody's not very likely. But It can't hurt to try unless you pout all your apples in one cart.

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  16. Hi Melfrewhite,
    I just took a quick look at the chart and I have to say, I don't think you have much of a chance at Peabody or Lilienthal. What about switching to the wait pool for Lafayette? I've heard really great things from someone I work with whose son is going into the third grade and it looks like there are only 6 kids in the wait pool with a K capacity of 88. Those are much better odds. You could always try to switch to Peabody mid-year or at 1st grade.

    Beyond that, though, I would say you should stay in the Peabody waitpool because at least you have the attendance area tie-breaker there.

    Hope that helps...

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    1. Yes, thank you so much for the advice.

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    2. I'll second the suggestion of Lafayette. We're also in the Peabody AA and just got in after Round 3, but we were initially assigned to Lafayette. It was our 3rd choice and there's a lot we really liked about the school.

      If you went down to the EPC, I wonder if they would tell you how many AA kids are in the waitpool? It might be worth a shot.

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    3. I actually think that if Peabody is the school you really want and it is your attendance area school then if I were you, I would stay in the Peabody waitpool.

      Peabody has a pretty small attendance area and my guess would be that at this point in the process there aren't too many others with attendance area preference still in that waitpool. Unfortunately, EPC is unlikely to share that information with you, but it might be worth asking the question.

      Also Peabody is one of those schools which often has a decent number of no-shows on the first day of school, so it is likely that there will be quite a few spots there after the 3 day count.

      So sorry you are still waiting and hope it all works out for you.

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    4. Last school year, there were 3 families who joined Peabody's 44 student K class after the three-day count. They had nerves of steel, and were ready to transfer out of whichever school their child had already started.

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  17. For those who have no acceptable school assignment, and are thinking about private school options but have no private/parochial school spot, there's a brand brand brand new school that's going to pilot their first class this fall that is just starting up (like, I don't think they've finalized where their building is going to be, it's that new). Obviously I have no idea of it'll be a good school, but if you're looking around for a last-minute option, here is some information from an email that the founder sent out to a neighborhood parent mailing list:

    "I've been working with a group of educators and technologists on creating a new set of child-centered elementary schools in the Bay Area for the 2014 school year. In advance of next year, a few of our teachers are looking into having pilot K-5 classroom for this coming school year, starting September 16, 2013. The teachers are superb (take a look at the lead teacher's bio here), the in-classroom student:teacher ratio is very low, and the education would be highly subsidized for this initial year.

    For other parents who haven't been particularly excited by the local elementary school options for their child, AltSchool may be worth investigating despite the fast approaching 2013 school year. You can read a bit about AltSchool here: http://www.altschool.com/landing/brochure. Their next info session is next Thursday (7/25 at 6pm in SOMA). Alternatively, you can email info@altschool.com with any questions. "

    My sympathy to everyone who is holding on and gritting their teeth through round 4!

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    1. While it's great to hear of new schools in the mix, it's disheartening to read of new schools founded by Tech or MBA types (rather than educators). The top 3 senior positions (including the founder and CEO) are all MBAs or techies.

      Education is not the same as launching a tech start-up. The lead teacher appears to have recently served as a learning specialist at Synergy, but not the same as having a number of experienced educators work with MBA-types to found a school. More like a bunch of MBA-types saw a void in the market and hired a few education-types to round it out.

      If I'm going to send my kid to private school, you better believe it won't be a start-up. It will be something thoughtful and proven, run by educators who have thought long and hard about a curriculum of early childhood education, with a strong track record and one that's already worked their kinks out. Prior work experience at google or twitter or having one snazzy TED talk won't cut it, or frankly, even be relevant.

      This "Alt school" sounds a lot like Alta Vista (including the name) and like Brightworks ...

      Sorry to sound a bit negative here, but as a parent I'm really getting frustrated by the kinds of schools that are springing up lately ... who wants their kid to learn in a "start up" or be a guinea pig on a "new model" school ...

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  18. Every school was a start up at one point or another. You go to the school you like, others go elsewhere. What's the problem?

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  20. What about TECA and the other charter schools? Any information on their lists? TECA has a dual language program and from their website a new principal.
    This is from the TECA website:
    "Dear Families,
    Please come and meet the school’s new Principal, Dr. Oliva Lynch this
    Saturday, July 20th at 1:30pm-3:00 pm on the school yard. There will be a dessert truck and activity stations for the children. This is short notice, but please do come by and say hello to our new principal -she speaks perfect Spanish!! We are so excited for you to meet her!"

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  21. Creative Arts Charter School has already given at least one spot to an out-of-town family. I'm not sure if that means they exhausted their list of SF residents or whether SF residents only have priority in the first run of their lottery.

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    1. we are on the CACS waitlist (SF) and have not been offered a spot. So, they definitely have not exhausted their waitlist.

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    2. Count your lucky stars you didn't get a spot.

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    3. Anonymous content-free slams like this have no place here, as regardless of their target they do nothing but (maybe) stir unnecessary anxiety and second guessing on the part of incoming parents.

      Fortunately in this case CACS is so self-evidently excellent, offers so many advantages rare in SFUSD generally, so right for so many people -- if yep, not perfect for everyone -- something like this is more laughable than unsettling.

      Got a specific complaint? Spell it out for discussion.

      Got a chip on your shoulder? Please take it elsewhere.

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    4. Content-free slams? Where is the content in "so-self-evidently excellent, - so many advantages..."?

      You're touting it so please tell us, what is so great about it? Considering the demographic, CACS scores way below where it ought to be. They've had numerous in-house quarrels, management and staffing problems and recently lost their expansion plans into the adjacent building. Their relation with the district is tenuous. They showed poor judgment and lost a lot of goodwill when they held a demonstration with students in front of the board pitting students on their schools against another.

      That said, it may be just right for you.

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    5. Sounds to me 1:13 like most of your complaints are the fault of SFUSD's hostile attitude towards any charter. AFAIK they've tried every trick they can to kill CACS and failed so far. Hardly a surprise that would provoke push back at some point. The district should get that kind of public displeasure with crappy policies a lot more IMO.

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    6. We are also on the CACS waitlist and live in SF and haven't been offered a spot. I wonder what the story is. Also, does anyone know if the statistics about #s of no-shows in the first few days are similar for charter schools? Or if they count charter schools already? (Not looking for a discussion about whether CACS is a good school or not--just another panicked parent with a child with no school assignment, wondering about the numbers and our chances.)

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    7. Hi 12:47: My family got in without even being on the waitlist. When my daughter's kindergarten turned out to be a poor fit for her we applied and got into CACS in the second week. They had exhausted the waitlist. Good luck, it is our 5th year and we have two kids there. We love it!

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  22. Our son is @ TECA in the dual-immersion program, and we've been really happy.
    I know there is a lot of movement in the first week of school @ TECA as well. So, I'd stay on the waitlist there if it's at all a fit in terms of style, geography, etc. I haven't met the new principal yet, but we are excited to have her aboard - she seems like a real rockstar & good things are happening at our school!

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  23. Dear SFGeekMom,

    Do you think this is some sort of game? I have shed many a tear over this process. Folding my hand as you call it, is not an option for me. I HAVE TO enroll my 5 year old in a school and I cannot get to the assigned school from our neighborhood and still get to work on time.

    At this point I'm distraught, really. Please show a little respect to those of us who haven't been so fortunate with this lottery process. If we are playing poker, we are doing with our children as chips. The idea just makes me sick.

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    1. I highly doubt that SFGeekMom thinks of this as a game since she so kindly puts up all this information on a volunteer basis. Everyone here is stressed out and I actually appreciate the little bit of humor that SFGeekMom employs to keep things a bit on the lighter side. I'm not happy with our situation, but let's not shoot the messenger. That being said, I'm sorry that you are having a rough time. Hang in there and things will work out. It may be a few weeks or even a few months until Spring transfer time that you have to suffer, but things can only get better!

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    2. "Folded one's hand" sounded less grim than "given up all hope." It was also a little nod to Kenny Rogers "The Gambler." Sorry the wording caused you distress, and that you are in this difficult situation.

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    3. GeekMom,

      She is upset about the process and unfortunately you are getting the blame. The card game analogy is not wholly inappropriate. I can understand her feelings, but why focus on your words? They have nothing to do with her predicament. It is, after all, a lottery, not unlike the state gaming lottery, playing with your children's education rather than cash.

      People come to rely on SF K Files for some compassion and are strung tight as a racket from this harrowing process. But she should take her anger out on those responsible. And who might that be? Well, it's all of us.

      Don

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  24. I'm with you, 9:33. We're in a similar situation (assigned to a school way down on our list that's too far away), and have felt sick and anxious about this process for months. Our son asks us every day where he's going to school and it's painful to repeatedly tell him "we don't know yet." He's missing out on all the open houses/back-to-school gatherings that his friends have attended of the summer. We'll also likely have no shot at an after school program, as those spaces will likely be filled in our wait pool school. I'm sad to report we're going into credit card dept to secure a spot for him at a private school. Our plan is to break the contract with the school if he does get into the wait pool school. We feel lucky to even have that as an option but feel emotionally (and financially) depleted by this whole process. I'd like to know if any parents have advice for what to tell your kids who still don't know where they're going to school. Thanks.

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    1. 12:26, and 9:33, I am so sorry you (and many others) are in this situation.

      I would advise being really careful about signing a contract with a private school with the intention of breaking it. Friends of mine were in a similar situation a few years ago. They did get in to their number 1 choice of public school in August, but when they told the private school they would not be attending, the private school held them to the contract which had them on the hook for the entire first year of tuition.

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    2. Thank you. I've read the contract carefully and can get out of it by a certain date. That date, of course, is before the wait pools close. I'm crossing my fingers that in the small window between August 9th and the private school's deadline, our son will get a public school assignment. We may get stuck with private for K, but will work hard to get him into public for 1st and beyond.

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    3. I know you can only list one school as your wait pool school, but are there many schools you would consider? As I am sure you have heard, there is a huge amount of movement after the 3 day count and there are schools which will clear their wait pools - a visit to the EPC at that point could allow you to switch into a school which still has spaces but has cleared it's wait pool.

      As far as talking to your son, I would let him know that it might be a few more weeks before you know the name of the school he will be attending, but that you'll let him know as soon as you have it figured out. Try to project (as much as you can) that this isn't a big deal and that you'll make sure it works out for him. We went through this with my son last year, and he actually spent 2 weeks at one school before switching to another. Amazingly, the uncertainty and switch didn't seem to bother him at all. Pretty stressful for the adults in the family though.....

      Urgh, so sorry you find yourselves in this position.

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  25. I can't advise you on what to say to your son. But I sure can empathize.

    Take consolation in that you are doing good. Many people would say that you are doing your bit for society, creating a better world, as it were, by commuting across town and supposedly helping diversify the district. But that's the rub. It doesn't help diversify the district. Maybe you could explain that to your son - well, not really.

    Integration is one goal worth having after student achievement. But that isn't what SFUSD is doing. It has entirely failed to integrate this district by driving out the very elements that might make for a more integrated district and ignoring the inherent makeup of this city. We have integrated neighborhoods across this city. Ones that should make an city proud. Instead of using them to our advantage with neighborhood school placement, SFUSD has a lottery and causes a middle class exodus. Brilliant! Well, what do you expect of ideological bureaucrats?

    Meanwhile, the district bleeds middle class families as a long-term trend. This is one reason why, with one exception, every ethnicity in SFUSD scores below their counterparts in both LA and San Diego. (See SF EdBlog)

    SFUSD has a diversity plan and they are sticking to it hell or high water. In a city as politicized as this one is, it doesn't even matter if it works or not, as long as it is perceived to be doing the right thing. Whether it is sensible or effective policy, few care. The district is run by ideologues who don't consider or give a rat's ass what kind of havoc they cause you and your family.

    These are bad people. Look at what they are doing. Though we are more integrated than any city in the country the district uses the historic national specter of segregation as a hammer to continue to pummel the public into believing in the falsehood of the lottery as a way to assuage their collective white guilt. SFUSD has integrated schools in the palm of its hands and just throws it away.

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  26. I don't agree with you, Don. Why would neighborhood schools make us more integrated?

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  27. Since you won't tell me why you disagree, can you at least refute what I'm saying with some reasoning?

    We agree I presume that CTIP plays an integral part in the new assignment scheme. If you look at the census tracks, the CTIP1 areas are very integrated parts of the city, the Mission and BVHP. But the schools are some of the least integrated in the city. It doesn't take a genius to figure out that if people who lived in those areas went to their schools, it would be more integrated than now. I understand that there are some infrastructure issues, but they're resolvable in a few years time.

    I understand that people don't want to be singular guineapigs in an experiment - even very liberal people who truly believe in an integrated community, but don't want to achieve that goals on the backs of their own children. But if everyone knew they could do it together, the 90% of liberals who frequent this blog wouldn't have to figure out how to still be liberal while avoiding diversity. They could have something to really believe in.

    And K files wouldn't have to be bulletin board for liberals looking for a polite way out of their predicament.

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  28. Here's a paranoid question. We're trying to plan a trip around New Year's and it looks like flights would be cheapest and logistics would overall work out best if we come back a few days after school starts. Can my daughter miss a couple days of school right at the beginning of January or will we come back from vacation to find out someone else has grabbed her spot in school? Am I completely nuts to worry about this?

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    1. Yes. No one will give up her spot if she misses a few days after winter break. If you are worried, and it will make you feel better, just let the school (teacher and school secretary) know in advance.

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  29. We are a Chinese Immersion School @ De Avila family. Many SF families, who are interested in Cantonese immersion, want Alice Fong Yu, because it's K-8. As a result, there are possibly some families who got CIS and are also on the waitlist for AFY. When my older daughter started, there was some movement of students from CIS to AFY during the first 2 weeks. We had several new students come in from the wait list during those first 2 weeks. I am keeping my fingers crossed for all of those who are still waiting and hoping.

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