The SF K Files is a place for parents who are seeking a school in San Francisco. The site offers up reviews of public, private and charter schools, as well as lots of advice and opinions from the community.
Still no school. Wishing for the best!
Sorry, posted in the wrong spot:I was at EPC today and there were a few schools with openings: Lau, El Dorado, Malcolm X, Longfellow, Harte, Cobb. Notably Cobb and Malcolm X had opened up since last week. They said that there really won't be any movement until after school starts. They're doing a 3 day count, where a kid will lose his/her spot if they're not there for the first three days. Per PPS, the next two days or so the info will trickle to the main office and there will start to be movement the Monday after school starts. It's kind of like a chain reaction where one kid gets pulled into their waitlist school, a spot opens up at that school and another kid gets pulled to that school, etc. Per both EPC and PPS, there is likely not going to be movement this week. I moved here too late for most of the lottery runs so I'm making a large number of trips to EPC!
Still waiting but I assumed nothing would change during this round for us.
I received a letter today for a spot in the Marshall Spanish Immersion program. We went through all the lottery rounds. The lottery had given us a spot at our neighborhood school Sanchez. Our first choice is Buena Vista/Horace Mann but I started to get nervous at the number in the wait pool and switched to the Marshall wait pool last month. Maybe I should have tried my luck for BVHM?
Got nothing this round. Our back-up is a private school, though it'll sink our family financially.
We are still waiting too . Hoping to get our son first grader into RLStevenson which is 4 blocks from us, the EPC placed us at Jose Ortega which is 2.5 miles away . I have no idea what the chances of us getting in are, and we have NO back up plan!I went down to the EPC about 2 months ago and got on the wait list. The woman "helping" us was not very helpful and actually seemed like she could care less about our situation.
These days is it worth going down to EPC during the 3 day count or should we trust that they will contact folks on the wait pool based on the lottery/tie breakers? I know in past years, the squeaky wheel got the grease (per parents who employed that strategy). We're on the wait pool for Alvarado Spanish immersion. Chances look slim, but I'm holding out hope.
Can you move straight to 1st grade without doing a K year?
We moved here from San Diego in late June, so we knew we would be at the end of the lottery during open enrollment. We are assigned to Cobb, and really hoping to receive a spot off the wait list at Grattan. Once the movement begins, and notification starts the following Monday after the first day of school, will we expect a phone call or a letter like in the other rounds? Is there any point in continuing to visit the EPC during this interim week? Any other strategies to be aware of, or do I just sit around and wait for a much anticipated phone call? We are very new to this process, and have learned a lot through this site.
Yes. Schooling (whether it's public, private, or home schooling) is only legally required beginning at age 6. Kindergarten, per se, is not required. (See FAQ #2 in the link below). My daughter turns 5 this week, so for her, this is definitely an option. It wouldn't necessarily be the right choice for everyone. But, in our situation, my daughter has already been in a full-time preschool for 3 years (by next year it will be 4 years), and she is reading and writing and doing basic addition/subtraction. I think she would be socially and academically be fine with starting 1st next fall without K. http://www.cde.ca.gov/ci/gs/em/kindergartenfaq.asp#n2
Just came from EPC (waited about 45 minutes to talk to someone). I was told that because there are quite a few (15) people in the wait pool for our desired school, there's no point in coming to EPC in person during that first week. I had planned to camp out there every morning next week before work. But EPC person said if there's movement, it'd be during the second week, and that we'd get a phone call if a spot opens up. There are 23 people in the wait pool for Grattan, FYI. Good luck!
Thanks for posting this--it's really helpful. And good luck to you to. It's good to have community in this stressful week.
Thanks for the update! I know our chances seem slim, but at least I know not to waste my time at the EPC until after the second week.
I just cant believe school is starting next week and we have no school placement for our daughter. It's mind blowing and we are completely freaking out.
Can I ask for clarification on what the benefit of going into the EPC while the waitpools are still in effect? i.e., is it in case there is another school (i.e., not your waitpool school) that happens to open up, with which you might be perfectly happy, and therefore could just get a spot in that school via open enrollment? my understanding is there's no benefit to going to the EPC during the waitpool period, with regards to your waitpool school? or is there? and if so, what is that benefit?
Those of you without school, are you planning to just enroll and attend in the 2nd week, either from a lucky spot off the wait list or going to EPC to choose a school with openings? Sorry if these are basic questions, I'm just trying to figure out what everyone is doing who isn't assigned a school. We were assigned Cobb but we don't want to go there. Can I just not enroll and not have my daughter attend the first week while we wait it out?
If you enroll but don't show up for the first week, your daughter will lose her spot when they do the "three day head count." But, if you wouldn't send her to Cobb under any circumstances -- and if you have a back-up if nothing comes through in the coming weeks at EPC -- then there's no reason to send her during that first week.
Just letting everyone know that there will be two spots open at Sherman ES this Fall. A 2nd grade spot and a 4th grade spot. Last minute move. For those of you still trying to get a spot in your schools, DON'T give up!!! There is still plenty of movement even in the most desirable/hard to get into schools.
This site confuses me - for the people keeping their kids out of school for weeks or an entire year - what is so bad about the schools that makeit seem like they will harm your kids? We moved here late and were initiallydisappointed by the school but after visiting it and meeting the people, Ican’t find fault other than I think the test scores should be higher. Cobb isnewly renovated, has a nice playground, a new principal, some new computers in the classroom, a good layout and everyone we met there was friendly. The student population is diverse. There is after school care (free) until 6pm. I do wish the scores were higher, but they rose last year and I’m not sure how much of a focus I really want to place on test scores. It worries me that I’m sending my kid there and considering pulling my son off of the waitlist for another school (better test scores, hours and a little closer) and other parents are considering keeping their kids out of school rather than go there. What am I missing?
I think there's no reason to go there for your waitpool school but should another school open up, you could jump into that spot (at least that's how it was before school starts). However, wouldn't your kid end up attending 3 schools?!?
I don't really think you're missing anything. Lots of people just have a knee-jerk reaction to test scores and are swayed by the buzz about a handful of popular schools. There are lots of great public schools and you'll find supporters of just about every school if you look for them. If you like a school and have a good feeling about it, you should go for it. If it turns out to be a bad fit for you, well, there's always a January transfer or a transfer for 1st grade.
I too was very happy after visiting Cobb and I have no problem sending my child there. The reason we are holding out and hoping for a wait list spot is to get a school closer to home. We live in sunset, and it takes a while in traffic to get over there. I think there is often far too much weight placed on scores. I grew up in the east bay and attended some of the worst performing schools. I had invested parents and teachers that saw my desire to learn and became meaningful mentors. I grew up excelling academically and attended a top college, from a school where only half of my senior class graduated. I realize my personal story is not everyone's experience, but having parents that value learning goes much further than the effect of test scores alone.
Yes, you can wait it out and it won't hurt your waitpool odds. The risk is that if you don't get into your waitpool school, you might end up at a school you like even less than Cobb. Even when spots open up at popular schools after the 2 week wait, families of enrolled students get first dibs at those openings. You will only get offered a school that has no spring transfer requests from enrolled students, and families get to submit those requests before the waitpools even close.If a SFUSD student has requested that school for the spring semester, the spot is held until spring (for yet another lottery round!) Details on page 107 of the SFUSD 2013-14 enrollment guide.
Thanks for the responses! I feel much better, I have to keep in mind that everyone has their own reasons for wanting or not wanting a certain school and it doesn't necessarily reflect the school itself. I think we're going with Cobb :)
We just saw some friends who live in CTIP1 of Western Addition. They listed Sherman, Yick Wo, Peabody. Round 1: Parks (neighborhood school). Round 2: Yick Wo. I'm trying to figure out how they could have gone 0/3 in Round 1 with a golden ticket. They waitlisted Sherman, which means there is at least one CTIP1 kiddo in the Sherman wait pool.
There were plenty of AA kids assigned to Peabody in Round 1. We're also in the AA but weren't assigned until round 3. One of our preschool friends was assigned to Sherman in round 1. They're not CTIP1 or AA. I have no idea how they got in if your riend didn't. There certainly are plenty of inconsistencies.
Now would be the perfect time to post something for Cobb parents and families that do not like their assignment to join you at Cobb. If you make an opening for incoming families, you can create a community. It does not look like Cobb has a PTA, but you could create an informal parents group and then work with the principal to create a PTA this year. This site would be the perfect place to make a post for assigned and interested Cobb parents. After spending a few months at the school, you'll be able to see what is needed to support staff,teachers, and students. There are so many examples in San Francisco - Miraloma, Sunset, Grattan, Sunnyside, McKinley, Rooftop, Clarendon, Sherman, Alvarado, Fairmount - of parents working together to make great schools, that there are plenty of examples to research and follow. Once you know what you want to bring to Cobb, contact existing PTAs and Parents for Public Schools for help. There are tons of programs that are free and merely need to be activated like SF Symphony, SF Opera, SF Ballet, Poetry in Schools, Artists in Residence that a few committed parents can really make a difference. Join together and make something happen.
It would be a great time for those of you going to Cobb to post on this site and on parent listserves an email address so other incoming Cobb parents and/or undecided parents could come together to create a community. If you create an opening, you can create a community. It doesn't look like Cobb has a PTA but you can create an informal parents' group and then a PTA or PTO. After spending a few months at the school, you could see what is needed to support staff, teachers, and students. There are so many examples of parents coming together to create great schools - Miraloma, Sunnyside, Grattan, Sunset, Rooftop, Clarendon, McKinley, Fairmount, Alvarado, West Portal - that there are plenty of models to look at and from which to draw. There are also a ton of free resources that simply need to be activated like SF Symphony, SF Ballet, SF Opera, Poetry and Artists in Residence Programs, Garden and Outdoor Ed Programs, that you just need a few dedicate parents to start bringing in enrichment programs. Playworks is another fantastic program, although it requires some money to fund the coaches. At any rate, once you get your group together, you can contact Parents for Public Schools and existing PTAs to get information on how to bring programs and support to your school. Join the School Site Council, create community and you'll have a great school.
THEN DON'T DO IT. Any public school is fine in this city, and you will definitely get a gem of a school after the two weeks, or next spring. Don't commit yourself to spending $10,15k per year or more and sink your finances. It ain't worth it.Have a little patience.Especially if we're talking kindergarten. Come on, kindergarten??? I'm raising five kids, and I wouldn't worry about "quality" (in the way you probably are) until around 3rd or 4th grade.Everything the first couple years of school is socialization, and meeting all types is the best education your little one could ever have. They will not get that in private school.Now. If you have the money and want your kids to associate with certain kinds of kids, and are in it for the long haul, go ahead with private.But under no circumstances should any San Francisco family sink themselves financially when they could attend any one of a score of great San Francisco schools. Especially kindergarten.
Melissa,Do you have a school at all?
Some students get their assignment based on "the swap"
Great ideas, thank you! Today was a great first day at school, I really liked the teacher and my kid said Kindergarten was "too much fun" and wanted to do homework tonight (he wasn't assigned any)!
Nope no school. Sad