Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Open Seats At Schools

Dear Readers

In an effort to help the families that are still waiting for an assignment or really hoping for an assignment that is a better fit for their family after the 3 - day count, can you post any openings you have observed at your school?  This is especially relevant for the K and 1st grade classrooms.  I will try to adjust moderation to allow anon comments, since this info is often sensitive.  Good luck and thank you to the community for offering some hope to the waiting families!

396 comments:

  1. Sunnyside. As of last Friday, 9 slots observed in FIRST GRADE, with wait pool of 3.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Fairmount - 2 spots in kinder, 1 spot in 1st grade, 2 spots in second grade. This does not take into account no-shows. This is just based on the posted class rosters

    ReplyDelete
  3. Any word on Sunnyside Kinder??? Still keeping my fingers and toes crossed. :-\

    ReplyDelete
  4. Woah. Maybe I need to go down to the EPC! (We're waitpooled elsewhere...)

    ReplyDelete
  5. The K classes at CIS are oversubscribed this year. Class sizes are 23, 24, and 24. Probably will not have movement on the wait list. Something to consider . . .

    ReplyDelete
  6. Four kinder no-shows at Yick Wo.

    ReplyDelete
  7. One no-show at Starr King in Mandarin Immersion kindergarten class.

    ReplyDelete
  8. How did that even happen?! Aren't there strict class size cut offs?

    ReplyDelete
  9. At least 1 no-show at Buena Vista Horace Mann first grade

    ReplyDelete
  10. There appear to be 4 no-shows in the Gen Ed K class at Sanchez

    ReplyDelete
  11. According to my kid (I haven't counted myself), there were 3 no-shows in her K class at Harvey Milk. Not sure about the other K class.

    ReplyDelete
  12. neighborhood parentAugust 21, 2013 at 1:08 PM

    Off-topic, but if I am interested in donating to Sanchez ES this year, is there someone I can contact? Is there a PTA? I can't seem to locate anything on the web. I'll watch this post, and thanks for any info!

    ReplyDelete
  13. AnotherSanchezParentAugust 21, 2013 at 1:39 PM

    We don't have a running PTA at the moment. Though it is on the radar and we do have a school committee. I'll see if I can find information on donating. We did have a donate via Target last year.

    In open seats news. My sons 1st grade GE class had 4 no shows that I know of.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Will the schools turn in their "no show" count today or Thursday? I'm assuming they will run the round 5 lottery on Monday to fill those spots, but please let me know if there is something else I should know.


    Any advantage in going down to EPC this week or early next week if we find out there are open spots for our wait pool school?

    ReplyDelete
  15. Ugh, i'm totally second-guessing our wait pool selection. Our assigned school is fine

    ReplyDelete
  16. Formerly OptimisticAugust 21, 2013 at 4:39 PM

    I counted 3 or 4 no-shows in our K class at McCoppin. Really like our teacher.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Are you going to visit EPC to talk through it or just wait it out and see what happens next week?

    ReplyDelete
  18. At least one no show at Flynn in the GE. I know because we gave up that spot two months ago but still got a call from the school today to ask. The lady said that they hadn't received any info from EPC about people giving up their spots.

    ReplyDelete
  19. We're going to wait it out, I think. Our wait pool really is our favorite school and it won't be awful if we stay at our assignment school. And really, and of the other schools I can think of to change to for our wait pool also have drawbacks. It's interesting how after having attended now for 3 days, it's much more clear what's important to us.

    ReplyDelete
  20. How are you all finding out about empty seats? Posters keep saying the "counted" them or saw the rosters but I have no idea what the kid count in my child's classroom is or how to figure out if there were any no shows. I imagine some that are posting really are insiders but is that true of everyone?


    So if there are openings, will they wait to start calling on Monday or start calling tomorrow?

    ReplyDelete
  21. One thing I think I placed a little too little importance on: ease of commute really makes a difference!

    One thing to say it's worth it to cross town for the right school...

    ...another to be circling for parking after a real drive twice a day!

    Got to get the carpool hoppin'! :)

    ReplyDelete
  22. Agreed on the timing issue. Our school is a late (9:15) start time and it's kind of hard, even if I drop off early, to make to a 9:00 meeting. And since they get out later, if we want to participate in the funded afterschool program, we have to commit to keeping our child there until at least 6pm every night, which is absurd with a kindergartner who goes to sleep at 7:30!


    So where did you end up on Monday? I know you were still on the fence last week.

    ReplyDelete
  23. Like a few others, I too am wondering if the 3 day count will be processed tomorrow. It seems there might be some openings tomorrow if I were to visit the EPC, but I think there are likely to be many more openings come Monday? We are in a very large wait pool and don't expect to be selected. So we are hoping to find another option that has openings. Do most of you with experience recommend waiting and visiting EPC on Monday? Should I plan on multiple trips during the 10 day period of movement? Thank you to all who have posted. One of our choices is Harvey Milk, and thanks to MilkMom's post, it gives some hope that we might have a chance!

    ReplyDelete
  24. There are 3 no shows at West Portal in the GE K class. I know b/c I counted the kids as they lined up to go I this morning. Then I asked the teacher if there were only 19 kids. She said yes but not for long. I heard the other two GE K classes checked in full with 22 each. Don't know about the immersion classes.

    ReplyDelete
  25. I don't understand why there would be any sense in going to EPC. You have your wait pool selected, if there are seats available, won't they just be assigned by the lottery process? When you say "one of our choices" it doesn't make any sense since isn't that your ONLY choice? Are you suggesting that you might change your wait pool choice? So you're planning on going to EPC in the hopes that there will be openings that they'll just give to people in line rather than assigning via the lottery? Or perhaps that they'll run through all the wait pool and then there will be an opening that you can grab?

    ReplyDelete
  26. FWIW, I visited EPC twice on Monday to ask some questions. I asked when the results of the 3 day count would be processed and, more pertinently, when the phone calls would begin. I got two slightly different, but mostly similar answers. Both people I spoke with said that the different schools would report their vacancies as early as Wednesday afternoon but as late as sometime on Thursday or even Friday. One person said the first phone calls would be made on Friday, while the other person I spoke to said that the first phone calls wouldn't be made until Monday, because they wouldn't have results of the lotteries until then.

    ReplyDelete
  27. CACS; so far things are going about as well as we could imagine anywhere.

    But we literally had two outfits on the couch on Monday morning, and it came down to the last possible instant... :P

    Still sorting out how to keep Spanish alive... gulp.

    ReplyDelete
  28. Well, in terms of Harvey Milk, there were only 2 in the wait pool as of the July 2013 update. So if we have at least 3 openings in K, then there should be at least one spot left over. By the way, our new secretary is very nice and maybe she can tell you how many total K spots are available if you call the school tomorrow morning. (As for how we know about no-shows, my daughter's K teacher does roll call every morning, so it seems to be apparent that some kids are missing. ) Good luck! My daughter is loving her new school so far!

    ReplyDelete
  29. Thanks so much for posting. That is the most comprehensive summary I've seen so far! ITA that the counts should be extended past the private school start date. Why keep those seats empty until January? Doesn't the district lose funding?

    ReplyDelete
  30. Yes, with regards to out wait pool, we will just keep "waiting" and going to the EPC will not speed that up. And at this point, there is no option to chance your wait pool choice, except for the spring transfer period. But since I think our chances are very slim, I am hoping to secure a spot at another school that has openings, after they have exhausted their wait pools. There are several schools we are considering, and some of them with just 2-3 kids in the wait pool. It is those potential openings that I don't want to miss!

    ReplyDelete
  31. And just to make a plug for Milk (in case it's on anyone's list): school starts at 9:30am, but we have before-care starting at 8am and after-care that goes until 6:30pm. These programs are available to all students, and I'm discovering that these small things have made a big difference so far!

    ReplyDelete
  32. Anyone have any info on what the waitlist was last like for Diane Fienstien or Ulloa?

    ReplyDelete
  33. Wow! You got so much more detailed info than I did when I went to EPC with the same sorts of questions. Well done, and thanks for posting! And, like you, I am incredulous that it all comes down to a phone call...

    ReplyDelete
  34. I've read that the Day Three Count determines funding for the whole school year. Which is also ludicrous, because some under-attended schools can gain lots of kids after this period. And at $5,000 per kid (plus or minus) that can add up to, for about 12 kids, say, $60,000. Or more. Astonishing.

    ReplyDelete
  35. My principle told me she was required to fax the count by the end of the school day Wednesday. Amazing how we all get conflicting information....

    ReplyDelete
  36. I think if you do the math, there aren't that many open spots in general. Let's estimate 2-3 per school max, which is like, 50-60 phone calls they need to make? They have a large staff. Seems to me like that should be easy to do by Monday.


    Then they do it all over again, but the number of open slots slows to a crawl.


    My impression from the EPC counselor is that all the activity will happen quickly, in tow bursts, the first one happening really soon.






    The other issue is, should you physically go to the EPC? I'm glad I did because I checked the error on my paperwork. But if they notify by phone solely, and it's all done in a back room anyway, I'm not sure why being there makes sense.


    Let's assume you show up Tuesday and are sitting there at the exact momeny when the computer in front of your counselor updates to show a slot open at "Your Dream School". I don't think he can look up and say, Hey lady, you want it?


    On the other hand, if an opening pops up at an acceptable school with no waitlist, you would be the one. But at this point, what acceptable school has no wait list.


    Plus, there is the strict protocol to go through, and it's not like he can hand you that slot on the spot. Unless it's late in the process, like September 6th, and this is truly a miracle leftover and nobody else wants it. Only if there are no waiters on the list, would you get that slot "on the spot".


    Which goes back to my final realization that anybody on a school with more than 10 waitlist people need to get right with the lord, and just move on to a more likely school choice.


    The SFK Files is great. If they say there are five slots open at ABC school, and you cross reference that there are three on the wait list, then yeah, go down to the office in your curlers and bathrobe and change your waitlist paperwork asap.

    ReplyDelete
  37. Uh, wait. You can't change your waitlist choice? Really? I didn't know that. I assumed that if you are the waitlist for "Nice School", and an open enrollment slot comes up for "Dream School", you can go grab it.


    Otherwise, how else would the schools with four openings and two on the waitlist fill their schools?


    Years back, when they kept the waitlists open, there were ALWAYS crazy openings at Clarendon, Rooftop, Alvarado, etc. come October. It happened every year.

    ReplyDelete
  38. You can grab an open slot even if it is not your wait pool school, but I understood after aug 16th you could not longer change your wait pool choice. So it's either you get lucky with a school that runs through their wait pool and has an opening, or you win the lottery in the wait pool. That's my understanding, but it could certainly be flawed. Thank you for posting such detailed info. What a stressful week!!

    ReplyDelete
  39. This is great. Thank you for detailing so diligently. On your two complaints, I know that they changed up the 'deadline' to try to eliminate the ongoing seat shuffle through the semester. That would give kids a chance to just sit in a class until the end of the year. I think they are pushing people to use the "Spring Transfer" option, that would allow kids to switch and take those late abandoned seats in January. Or this is what was explained in the last PPS admissions info meeting. It's not great, but I kind of get the idea from the administrative perspective.

    On your second issue, about the phone call. I believe they do give you a window to "call back." I know this has been the case in the past. And anecdotally I know of two people who got calls last year and SFUSD reached their VM. They called them back within a day and still had their spot. This possibly could have changed...



    I also totally agree with you on the waitpool transparency. It would make a HUGE difference if I knew all the kids in my waitpool were siblings.

    ReplyDelete
  40. Alvarado K GE has 5 spots I believe for the wait list and SI has none as of the rosters posted online. The SI spots could shift around based upon other movement though. Hope this info is helpful...

    ReplyDelete
  41. Alvarado has five openings (no-shows) in K? Is that what you mean?

    ReplyDelete
  42. If this is true (funding based on Day Three Count), then families holding multiple spots and/or enrolling their kids in schools that they won't attend really hurts the school district in terms of $$. Like you said, no school can afford that.

    ReplyDelete
  43. K English has 5 I believe and Spanish has none...

    ReplyDelete
  44. That is a relief to know about the phone call window. Because if that's the case, then this could indeed drag on longer than the counselor told me it would. Thanks.


    As for transparency, it is possible to know what status the kids have on the waitlist, but you have to go there and get a number and wait and hope that the folks behind the desk cooperate. Isn't that ridiculous? It is THIS total rigmarole that needs to go. I want to see this info posted somewhere.


    The lottery, the computer run, the waitpool posting, everything should be video-taped and performed in front of the public, so we can see it. Creative Arts posts theirs. They list each kid with initials only and their status, and order in line.


    All this mystery is so totally unnecessary. I mean, I have faith that it is all being done correctly, but the public deserves to SEE this.

    ReplyDelete
  45. I can't help to wonder if there are families in the SI program on a wait pool for another school. Do you think it's possible there are families in SI that actually wanted a GE program or a different school all together? Alvarado SI is my wait pool school so anxious to see what would pull people away from Alvarado SI (it seems so in demand). We're in the Spanish speaking cohort -- 12 people on the wait pool :(

    ReplyDelete
  46. Totally stressful. I read through these comments, then I read how ocd my own comments seem... and man I wish we could park a margarita trailer in front of 555 Franklin. What a fundraiser for public schools! We would bring back art and music to every kid, off those receipts. Yo.

    ReplyDelete
  47. Most openings are known to the teachers and then the secretaries, and if you're a parent at that school, I hope you rush back to the SFKfiles and post it.

    ReplyDelete
  48. I really hope so as I know it would make many people happy to see some movement. I can see some people valuing a school that is K-8 immersion higher than Alvarado SI so it's definitely possible.



    Hopefully you have good news coming your way soon!

    ReplyDelete
  49. I love following these comments.


    The CTIP-1 tiebreaker issue is a sore point with our family. How can the hipster family who owns a two million dollar loft in the Mission District be ahead of our friend's family, who rents a cramped apartment in Noe Valley? It's another example of the misguided efforts to bend over backwards to achieve diversity. Diversity is very important, but isn't there a better way?


    I think also that a family who has been waiting since last Spring, should be ahead of a family who just joined the wait list this morning because she read on this site five minutes ago that there were openings. That is why I don't think I want to report any openings for our school in a different grade, I'm sorry, because I'm afraid a newbie will come take the place of my friends, whom I known have wanted this school badly.


    Most people decide to leave the city next week, if they fail to get a spot. The results are too earth shaking.


    Also, I dislike that so many financially entitled families who can afford any school anywhere, play the lottery to see if they get a spot, then don't take it, don't report that they won't take it, or wait and make families suffer for so long. The District doesn't properly register the release of spots.


    Is it truly the case that after three days, the spot is a no-show and there is officially an opening? Does anybody know how the schools report this information?


    In one of our classes, where there is a long waitlist, there is a neighborhood kid with an injury who can't physically show up for a few weeks, and they are holding his spot for him, even though he hasn't shown up. That is logical, but under the regulations, can it be done? Three days and you're out?

    ReplyDelete
  50. Anyone have information on spots at Glen Park for kindergarten?

    ReplyDelete
  51. We went to EPC today to confirm that everything on our file was complete, including phone numbers. They told us they wouldn't start calling until Monday but perhaps that's because we don't have any tiebreakers.

    ReplyDelete
  52. I just got back from the EPC. It looks grim, only one school currently has any openings (Parker). The woman I spoke with was very helpful and patient and went through many schools to reveal the openings, and the wait pool numbers (which have changed since the July posting). Most of the schools I had her look at, were not even high desired schools, and they only had 1-2 openings (based on the official numbers the schools submitted). Most of these schools had a wait pool already of 10-20 kids, and there is no option to change your wait pool now. Our wait pool has 21 kids, and one open spot. She was nice enough to tell me there were no siblings on the list, but still - the odds are slim. She called a supervisor (I have no idea who...) to ask when they would be making the calls for the wait pool rounds. She confirmed they will be calling tomorrow, but it sounded like they have not made any calls today, which is also probably why there hasn't been any movement yet. I realize none of this info is really new, just figured if one of us visits the EPC, we might as well detail our experience if it helps. The worker today recommended coming back tomorrow afternoon to check again if any movement has happened which would make openings. We are not very picky, and we have a list of 20 schools we would rather be at than the one we were assigned too - and they are all prioritized by location. We will only be in SF for 2 years max, so our scenario and priorities are different since we will not have the chance to be invested and involved in the school for years. So we are just hoping to secure one opening at one of those 20 schools, and it still looks quite unlikely, but we'll keep trying!

    ReplyDelete
  53. Were they willing to let you change your wait pool school if you saw something that looked more optimistic than your current assignment? Or, will they make you wait it out for your current wait pool school?

    ReplyDelete
  54. Well, no call for me from EPC today. And I'm pretty positive there are two slots going to open up, and my kid is tops on the sibling list with the tie breaker.

    So, another promise from a counselor totally dashed. Geez.

    ReplyDelete
  55. Thanks for this!


    But why would the counselor recommend your coming back if all the notifications arrive by phone? I guess you mean, since there are no chances for you anyway, that the sudden opening will happen next week. And that if we visit Monday or Tuesday, we'll be there to grab it?


    And if you are open to 20 schools, you are open to all areas of town, correct?


    If so, look at the school in the NorthEast part of town. They all have very short waiting lists matched with some of the highest scores. Best chances are there, and frankly, these schools are the best kept secrets. I have no idea why most people don't want to drive. It's only 15-20 minutes from the Mission/Bernal/Noe/Hayes V/Panhandle/Etc.

    ReplyDelete
  56. I was told that you have 24 hours to call back.

    ReplyDelete
  57. Don't know if people are still waiting for independent school wait lists to clear, but SF Day has a last-minute opening for a girl spot (a family just took a job overseas in the last week) so this may be the day to call and express your interest if you think it a good fit for your girl!

    ReplyDelete
  58. Yes, I believe the benefit of coming back tomorrow is just the chance to find a sudden opening at some of the very low wait pool schools. Some that have 3-4 spots, and only 1-2 on the wait pool. We are currently at Cobb, which is a lovely school and we are actually very happy with it, but I hate the drive and the parking and crossing those busier streets with 3 kids 5 and under, it feels extra stressful. We live in sunset, so we are very much hoping for something closer to home. The 20 schools I mentioned are all a much easier drive (thought probably not parking :) and also have the added feel of community, that we do miss at Cobb. So we will hope for some movement in the shuffle, and if not, we'll stick with what we got and we'll still have a smile on our face.

    ReplyDelete
  59. No, I asked and you cannot change your wait pool school at all. As bummer as it seems, I think that's actually a good thing, or people would be jumping ship at all kinds of rumors and moving all over the place. We moved here in July and did not get to participate in any of the lotteries. So while I know it is fair since we joined late in the game, it's been hard to come into a system with no chance other than open enrollment and it has a huge effect on the outcome. At least next year we get to join the fun right from the beginning.

    ReplyDelete
  60. I was told the same about 24 hours, and I was also told that they will call every phone number they have on file. We had 3 listed, and she said they would certainly call them all.

    ReplyDelete
  61. I know for a fact there is a spot at Alvarado GE. Our next door neighbor declined the spot (as they went private) and day one they got a call from the school asking where the kiddo was. The school had no record of our neighbor releasing the spot.

    ReplyDelete
  62. Milk Mom - I wish there was a private way to message you, but its not possible in the comments section. I would love to ask a couple specific questions about your experience at Harvey Milk so far. Would you be up for a quick email? If so, my email is kristenTlindsay (at) gmail (dot) com Thanks, I appreciate your help!

    ReplyDelete
  63. Second-hand report from a friend in the BVHM PTA -- where we're in the waitpool (SN category)-- she said there are no K openings.

    And... that they are capping K classes to 20 students this year (not 22). There was one departure but the class had 21 and now has 20.

    Why aren't they opening those six spots!? (3 classes, 2 spots each) Can the school use discretionary funding for smaller class sizes and decline to accept 22 students? I can see why that's good for those who make it... but also... it just makes it that much more impossible to get in! :(

    ReplyDelete
  64. Do you know if it's an older or a younger girl? I know the schools usually try to find similar aged to fill open spot. We have an older girl so am wondering.

    ReplyDelete
  65. If you have a Target Card, you can contribute 1% of your purchases to Sanchez via their Take Charge of Education program.
    https://www-secure.target.com/redcard/tcoe/designate?schoolId=35326&enroll=no


    If it matters, I don't think donations directly to the school are tax-deductible. Schools are government entities, vs PTAs which are non-profits.

    I am working on a "supporting schools" post covering all elementary schools. I will put it up after the 10-day count/2 week wait is over.

    ReplyDelete
  66. The kindergarten was capped at 20 students last year also. I think it has to do with the extra funding from the district as part of being in the Superintendent's zone. those caps appear to be in place all the way up to middle school.

    ReplyDelete
  67. I know there are 7 or more openings in Kindergarten at Harvey Milk,

    ReplyDelete
  68. Formerly OptimisticAugust 23, 2013 at 1:39 AM

    You may be able to get an open spot at McCoppin - they had a waiting pool of, like, 1. A lot of Sunset families get sent there because ... Grattan and Jefferson. I'm not crazy about it, but it does fit a lot of what you're looking for.

    ReplyDelete
  69. Formerly OptimisticAugust 23, 2013 at 1:41 AM

    Thank you! I'm amazed they actually told you about whether there are tie breakers. I've spoken to counselors twice and they told me they don't have that info. Well well well. Maybe it has to do with no longer being able to move to a different wait pool.

    ReplyDelete
  70. I am too! It was at the very end of the day, and the woman helping me seemed to look over her shoulder as if she's not supposed to disclose that info. Funny, because in our case, it didn't help anyway. I also wonder since they now had the updated official numbers from the schools regarding openings, maybe the wait pool details are also available now on their computers. I suppose it's possible they couldn't access it before, but who knows... Good luck!!

    ReplyDelete
  71. Thank you, that is one of our options as well and we would be happy if it works out!

    ReplyDelete
  72. My child is in first grade at Jose Ortega, the first day of school there were 23 children in class, as of today, there are 14. I don't think 9 kids are out sick, they probably got their calls. We are still hoping that we get that phone call from the EPC to our wait list school. Good luck to everyone!

    ReplyDelete
  73. Just back from EPC. Was told there are 4 k spots but there are 4 siblings in the wait pool for Sunnyside. How can that be?

    ReplyDelete
  74. So, political favoritism is making one of the most over-requested programs in the entire city 10% less accessible than it already was.

    Does no one have any shame?!

    ReplyDelete
  75. How is the wait at EPC? It wasn't that bad on Monday.

    ReplyDelete
  76. I have the same question: how (and why) are there still siblings in any wait pools at this stage? I thought Sibling was the golden ticket tie-breaker and those kids were placed in Round 1. What am I missing here?

    ReplyDelete
  77. Laurel: pretty busy!

    It was about 25-30 people in the waiting room (they were at #35, we were handed 66) at 10 am. We stopped by to make sure our contact info was right, it was.

    The person who helped us with that at the counter (we didn't have to see a counselor after all) confirmed no chance in the wait-pool numbers for our case (BVHM SI K, SN category) (i.e. 5) and said that they were still 'processing' info from the school[s] -- and would start making any calls [at least for our case] on Monday.

    ReplyDelete
  78. That sounds great, I look forward to reading that post. Also, if you (or anyone else) run across any info about starting a PTA, that is something that I'm sure would be helpful to many up-and-coming schools. Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  79. Exactly. My child was a sibling and should have been placed. Three new kids showed up in his grade for this school year, and when I asked how that was possible, I was told they they do not have records of prior rounds, just the results.


    It's a mess.


    But to answer your question, there are siblings because maybe your 3rd grader got in the first round, but your 2nd grader didn't. So you enter the next round differently, as a sibling. That's how.

    ReplyDelete
  80. That's so lame. So our kids don't even have the grace of starting fresh on the first day of the week.


    I was told Thursday and Friday for all siblings, then Monday for everyone else.


    Friends, this all could be done with robo-calls and emails in an hour. If the computer is making the decisions, just have somebody review it, and post the results, send a robo call, and an email.




    The waiting is the aspect of the system that has always seemed the cruelest. It's circa 1951.

    ReplyDelete
  81. Huh, OK, thanks. It just seems like astronomical odds that 4 Sunnyside families with Kindergarten younger siblings are all still waiting to get assigned in Round 5, using the scenarios you outlined above. I am not trying to pick a fight or question you at all --thank you for responding -- but I am just scratching my head....
    Makes me question the accuracy of the process overall, I guess

    ReplyDelete
  82. Exactly.


    And while we are at it, if there are four slots and four siblings, it's a no brainer, so what haven't the calls gone out yet? Sheesh.

    ReplyDelete
  83. There's no way there could too many siblings. Sunnyside has 3 K classes.


    None of this makes any sense to me. And I also do not believe that there could possibly be 4 instances of a K student with an older sibling who didn't get in until Round 4, thereby bumping up the priority of the K student.

    ReplyDelete
  84. Would you might sharing what school you're talking about? I thought this process was over after the first kid was assigned; it didn't occur to me that siblings might not later receive a spot. I guess this might happen at very small schools?

    ReplyDelete
  85. How it could happen: families with two or more children move to SF after the January deadline for round 1 of the lottery. Sunnyside, not being a trophy, has 2nd and 3rd grade spots available even though K is full. The older child gets Sunnyside during Round 2 or open enrollment. As we've seen, there's no kindergarten movement during rounds 2, 3, and 4, and here we are.

    ReplyDelete
  86. Yes, and maybe that family included 5-year old quadruplets. Sure, it's * possible*.

    ReplyDelete
  87. Just left the EPC. There's no line, and there's only a couple people waiting for counselors. It's a good time to go ask questions if you want. The main point is that no calls are going out until Monday which like others on this list, is not at all what they told me earlier in the week.

    ReplyDelete
  88. This morning a counselor told me that calls would start to go out today and possibly tomorrow as well. I'm not sure it's possible to find 2 counselors who tell the same story.

    ReplyDelete
  89. I do not know the age of the child (whether it's older or younger) but I would definitely call Homa to inquire if your daughter is a fit. The incoming class looks like a great group, best of luck!

    ReplyDelete
  90. I went to the EPC today at noon, only 15min wait. I saw a different, but very candid counselor who said he just received an email recruiting the counselors to work on Saturday to make calls. I said "really. Who would volunteer for that?" He said "lots of people! It's the best part of our job, calling the wait pools. Those people are so happy to talk to you." Anyway, so he made it sound clear that calls would certainly be made tomorrow. He also gave us placement at Harvey Milk, (yay!) and they still had a wait pool of two, but they had more than two openings, so he went ahead and gave us the assignment. The numbers hadn't changed from Thursday, and I was told to come back on Friday without getting placement. So I am not sure why they were willing to give me placement today and not yesterday. But we went over and registered right away at Milk and finally feel relief. I sincerely hope those that are still waiting get a special Saturday phone call! :)

    ReplyDelete
  91. Not waiting anymore...August 23, 2013 at 8:21 PM

    Just got a call from the EPC. My son got into DF. no more waiting....A little mix emotion now to leave Jose Ortega, but still excited.

    ReplyDelete
  92. Congratulations! If you don't mind sharing, I'm curious to know if you had any tie-breaker / was DF your attendance area school?

    ReplyDelete
  93. Not Waiting anymore...August 23, 2013 at 8:29 PM

    I had nothing! Just a little Hope that was fading every time I went to EPC.

    ReplyDelete
  94. Thanks for sharing. I'm still pretty pessimistic, but this gives me a little hope about our own situation...

    ReplyDelete
  95. Congratulations! Thanks for sharing your story.

    ReplyDelete
  96. We got a call from a private school today offering us a spot (we declined).

    ReplyDelete
  97. Not waiting anymore...August 23, 2013 at 9:29 PM

    Which school are you trying to get into?

    ReplyDelete
  98. Congratulations! Did you like Ortega? We're waiting for Buena Vista which looks highly unlikely and I hear many kids are leaving Ortega.

    ReplyDelete
  99. waitingforamiracleAugust 23, 2013 at 10:07 PM

    Wow, is that still happening? We would still love to be called for our first choice private. Do you mind sharing if you have a boy or girl and if it was a co-ed or single sex school?

    ReplyDelete
  100. Congratulations! Do you remember who you talked to? I was there yesterday and got nowhere. I was actually told that maybe I should look at charter schools.

    ReplyDelete
  101. I wish I knew his name. He sat in the back office space, through a second door far off to the left once you enter the counselor area. Thursday I spoke with a woman counselor who also assisted Spanish-speaking clinets, and was so helpful. Problem is it seems you get who you get when your number is called. I don't know another way to request a specific person. I would go back Monday, I hope it's a better experience!

    ReplyDelete
  102. Not waiting anymore...August 23, 2013 at 11:35 PM

    To be honest, I wasn't happy about my son going there, at first. It wasnt on our first list. But the staff and community are great. The principal knew my son's name the 2nd day of school. She is so involved with everything. I dont think she needs an office because she engaged with teachers, parents and kids. From what I observed, the PTA is working hard to bring more funding into the school and to build a better support community. Teachers had smiles on their faces and parents seem to be pleasant. My son likes his class, which made me torn about living and I considered dropping out of the wait list. But in the end, Continuing with the waitlist process worked better for me. I do wish the staff and community well.

    ReplyDelete
  103. Would you mind sharing which private it was?

    ReplyDelete
  104. I called EPC last night around 5:30 - someone actually answered the phone. She told us that we didn't get off the wait pool for Alvarado SI. She also told me that there hadn't been any movement on that wait pool. It would have to be a pretty huge miracle at this point for us to get a spot.

    ReplyDelete
  105. There are at least 5 k spots at commodore Sloat and not one has been filled yet! These were 1st day no shows. The secretary said she expected them to start filling on Monday.

    ReplyDelete
  106. Girl spot at live oak

    ReplyDelete
  107. Thank you for sharing. It is my attendance area school and wasn't on my list either as I was really hoping for spanish immersion. But since that dream looks to be going out the window, and I hear spots are opening there, I have a feeling that's where we will end up.

    ReplyDelete
  108. Thank you! I just knew from the minute my number was called that I would get nowhere. I will go back Monday.

    ReplyDelete
  109. I have a buddy who got a call from SF Day.


    Indeed it is happening, and it might keep happening after Sept 6th when the rounds close, because many privates start September 9th, and they will have openings.


    A shame they close the pools so early. I understand not keeping them open the whole year, but I think it's fair to keep it till October. Because otherwise, if a new family moves into SF from far away, in October or November, they will automatically get that newly open spot which other families may have dreamed of, but can't get access to until January. Unfair.

    ReplyDelete
  110. And they swore they wouldn't make calls till Monday. Argh.


    Congrats, but I just wish all the employees in that office were on the same page.

    ReplyDelete
  111. That is not the case. New families cannot get newly opened spots in the fall if SFUSD students want them.


    From page 107 of the 2013-14 Enrollment Guide:

    "After August, if a school has pending transfer requests, any available openings that occur in that school during the fall semester will be held open until the end of the semester when an assignment run will be conducted using the tiebreaker process.


    "New enrollees into SFUSD will be offered enrollment into schools that do not have pending requests for [spring] transfers. They will not be offered any school openings where there are transfer requests unless they are the younger sibling of an enrolled student in the school and there are no other siblings in the transfer pool....



    Note: The transfer process is only offered to enrolled SFUSD students."

    ReplyDelete
  112. One 1st grade opening, Spanish Immersion, Marshall Elementary. Great community; come and get it!

    ReplyDelete
  113. Well, while I'm sitting here in shock, I will share that we just got a call from the EPC letting us know we got a spot at Miraloma. On a Saturday. At the exact moment I was looking at this site for updates. Knock me over with a feather.

    ReplyDelete
  114. Just got a call today (Saturday) from the EPC, we are off the wait list and have been placed at our first choice school Stevenson. I am literally in tears. There is still hope out there folks. Just keep your ringers on and fingers crossed. So glad they are making calls today, hope you all get yours.

    ReplyDelete
  115. That may be the rule, but yet again, it wasn't my experience. I had to leave SF for six months, and when I returned, I got offered spots at Sherman, Clarendon, Alvarado, and others, including my old home school, and I took the home school. There was no room in my son's grade, which is why I'm still on the wait list.

    Not only that. They enrolled two new kids in my son's grade, non siblings, and they couldn't explain why. They said they don't keep records after the lottery run.

    I think they do what they want. Period. There is no way to make sure.


    So that rule sounds good, but it isn't what actually happened in my case.

    ReplyDelete
  116. Just got a call 11am Sat morning from EPC that we got into Sherman. There were 15 on the waitlist and we had no tie-breakers. We had originally gotten into our 2nd choice school (AA) Yick Wo, but declined and started at St. Brigid. Need to decide by 2pm today. Child really liked first days at St. Brigid. Will probably stay there...

    ReplyDelete
  117. Do you mind sharing more details? Did you hav any tie breakers? What size was the wait pool? Congrats!

    ReplyDelete
  118. We are going to have to leave Jose Ortega now after getting a waitpool spot at our top choice. And I have to say, we (including our kid) are a little heartbroken about having to make a change. In the long run going with our top choice will be better for our family, but there are many, many wonderful things about JOES. The teachers, the principal, and the parents are all very involved and make for a great community. It is definitely a hidden gem and a school to watch. If it was closer to our home, we would most likely be staying.

    ReplyDelete
  119. Judging by the calls, it seems they're going in alphabetical order.

    ReplyDelete
  120. You mean instead of a "pool" they are calling starting with last names beginning with A? Or do you mean in order of school name?

    ReplyDelete
  121. It's our AA school. Thank you!

    ReplyDelete
  122. Just declined the Sherman spot so someone else will get an offer.

    ReplyDelete
  123. By school. Per posts, DF was the first, then Miraloma, Sherman, Stevenson.

    ReplyDelete
  124. When you say by 2pm, did they give you that long to reply? Where did the 2pm deadline come from?

    ReplyDelete
  125. Two people I know just got Clarendon spots (both had AA tie breakers)

    ReplyDelete
  126. Wow. Who no-shows at Clarendon?!

    ReplyDelete
  127. Congrats! Do you know if anyone else got into Miraloma from the wait pool?

    ReplyDelete
  128. Private school families. They play the lottery to see if they can get it, but even when they do, they don't care anyway, then they're too busy to report it to the EPC. It's kinda mean.


    There are some on this list who got a got a golden ticket, turned it down, only to waitlist for a slightly more golden ticket, then they get a golden ticket phone call this morning, and oh well, turned that down too. After a week at a private school.


    Now, I really wonder about that kind of decision. I'm curious. Why?


    And to think that these ambivalent acts change the whole lives for some families, sets their worlds in totally different directions. They were in the lottery, which dashed the chances of another family for a school. That family leaves the city, the kids meet different people, have different lives. It's boggling.


    Wow indeed.


    *Chuckle* I don't think I'm exaggerating. I know my own life and my kids' have changed dramatically.


    Fate.

    ReplyDelete
  129. Wow, we were so discouraged from joining the Clarendon wait pool from the people at EPC, making it seem completely impossible. And we are in the attendance area - so looking back, we definitely should have tried our chances there instead of at Grattan! It's all fine now, we will be very happy at Milk. But who wouldn't still wish to be walking 5 min down the street to what happens to be the neighborhood trophy school.

    ReplyDelete
  130. We didn't want to hold the spot too long because we know others are waiting to hear, so the woman who called us told us she was leaving at 2pm today and I offered that I would call her before then.

    ReplyDelete
  131. No, sorry, I have no clue! I think the wait pool was at about 15?

    ReplyDelete
  132. You can always try again in 1st grade or 2nd. It's really not that big of a deal for kids if they change schools. It's when they change, change and change again that it's rough. But most do one change so well, there's hardly a bump.


    Please don't feel like you made a mistake by not naming it, because I'm sure the folks who got the Clarendon call realize they just had a lucky number. With that many on the waitlist, it's just luck. Pure luck.

    ReplyDelete
  133. Do you think they are done calling?

    ReplyDelete
  134. I'm sure they're done calling for the day, but there will be more calls from the shuffling that ensues from today's calls. The process of calls can apparently go on for much of the time they have allotted for it (i.e., until September 6). I don't know if they'll actually be making calls on Sunday versus Monday, though.

    ReplyDelete
  135. So true Laurel. I am more just disappointed like the rest of us in the poor information the EPC gives - (as they also made it sound like we would have great odds at Grattan - HA!) But we should have been aware of our AA tie-breaker status at Clarendon, and considered it. We were totally new to the whole process, so we just took their word. We could care less about the API scores (as I said - I personally attended the lowest performing inner-city schools in East Bay my whole life and I excelled). I love the diversity, and I especially recognize kindergarten can be great anywhere. But I can't stop dreaming about the lovely ideal of walking my child to
    school everyday. :) I need to get over that one - it is NOT the way in SF for
    most of us. I couldn't agree more that public schools are so worth it, and experiences can truly be had at all of these schools. I truly value the advice I've found on this board, far more than any EPC counselor has shared.

    ReplyDelete
  136. Does anyone know if they also call those on high school wait lists?

    ReplyDelete
  137. We got a call this morning but we all missed it. By the time we called back they left for the day. Voicemail box was all full. We'll call back tomorrow, but I am assuming they will not be there. They are not going to give away our spot? The missus is super worried.

    ReplyDelete
  138. Congrats. Just wondering...did they tell you to show up at Miraloma on Monday at 7:40am? Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  139. Formerly OptimisticAugust 25, 2013 at 1:01 AM

    Has anyone had a call for Grattan?

    ReplyDelete
  140. On Saturday, just after we picked up the keys for an apartment in Marin, we got into Grattan (AA tie-breaker). Previously we had not received any of our 30 choices, so in August we decided to leave Cole Valley.


    Moving truck hasn't come yet, so we have a tough and potentially very expensive decision to make.

    ReplyDelete
  141. congratulations! Just out of curiosity, where were you assigned? 30 choices seems like a lot to not even get one.

    ReplyDelete
  142. May I ask for advice?


    There are 3 kids on the waitpool for our school. Two siblings, and I have a tie breaker, so I believe I'm #1 sibling, the other sibling is #2.


    Two no shows in one of the classes, so that's good news, right?


    But the EPC is not showing the two vacancies, and the principle says nothing can be done, and it's all in the EPC hands. The other sibling mom and I spoke yesterday, and we were told totally different things. She was told there were no openings, but I know for a fact that two kids did not show up, so there should be two slots, one for each of us.


    How can you pressure a principle to report correctly? Can you report the principle for not reporting correctly, and to whom do you report? Can a principle keep a class artificially low?


    And also, if the class is being kept at 21 kids to accommodate the mainstreaming of certain kids--who spend maybe 3-5 hours per week--does the principle have any room to increase the enrollment to 22? If the teacher is willing to accommodate this, can't they increase the size? Any leeway?


    I feel the principles must have more power than they are claiming here. And if there are two no-shows, that must demand for two kids to come off the waitpool, no?




    Very frustrated here. Not sure who is up the ladder from this confusion.

    ReplyDelete
  143. Has anyone received a phone call today? Just curious to know whether calls are going out on a Sunday.

    ReplyDelete
  144. Out of curiosity, what is your plan for EPC tomorrow? See if an schools have cleared their wait pool and grab a spot, or do you have a question specific to your situation? I am trying to gauge when (and why) folks go to EPC in person. Thanks for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
  145. Wow, I don't know whether to be happy or sad for you. Let us know what you decide.

    ReplyDelete
  146. I have a question about waitpools.


    There were three no-shows at our school, and two siblings on the waitpool for that grade; I was one of the sibling families, so we were thrilled, expecting a call. We haven't gotten one.


    The EPC computers show NO open slots in the class. We are being kept to a small class size of 21, to accommodate mainstreaming of special kids. But there were 19 kids as of Friday.


    My question is, do special ed kids trump siblings in assignments, and if so, is there a list somewhere that we don't know about? In other words, the small wait pool would be irrelevant because they can always replace kids with others on some list that nobody knows about?


    Any advice is appreciated.

    ReplyDelete
  147. Agreed, there is no reason to go to EPC. It's all in a phone call.


    But for me, I think there is an error in reporting class size at my school. There were confirmed no-shows reported last week, but the computers at the EPC are still showing a full class.


    I'm just confused, is all.

    ReplyDelete
  148. No advice, but we're facing a similar situation at our waitpool school (which is maybe also your waitpool school??) Would be interested to hear any definitive answer to your question if you get one. Good luck to us both...

    ReplyDelete
  149. Special education students get absolutely no priority in assignments. Inclusion students (special needs students who are mainstreamed full-time in general classrooms with additional support) go through the main lottery just like everyone else. There is a separate lottery for kids with more severe disabilities who require special day classes. It sounds like your school must have a special day class and is mainstreaming these students part-time. Since these students are assigned separately to the SDC, there is no competition between them and mainstream students.

    SFUSD has a fairly poor track record with special needs students, so the idea that they would prioritize assignment of special needs kids over siblings would be, let's just say, inconsistent with their usual approach.

    ReplyDelete
  150. I went to EPC today to check on my wait pool school. It looks dismal, but I was pleasantly surprised about the amount of info the counselor provided me. He walked me through the composition of the 12 kids on the wait pool (tie breaker status and where they are currently enrolled). I guess the only glimmer of hope is that there are no siblings and CTIP1 families on the list -- so all 12 are us are equal from a lottery perspective. He said they were running another lottery later today. I wish I had asked how often they'd run the lottery. Not that it really matters for us because there was ZERO movement for our wait pool school and probably won't be any.

    ReplyDelete
  151. Do you mind saying what school it was?

    ReplyDelete
  152. How many open slots are available? I think you posted earlier that you were waiting for Alvarado SI, right?

    ReplyDelete
  153. It's sort of amazing that Sunnyside has gotten so popular. I've been following this blog for a few years, and no one even talked about Sunnyside back then.

    ReplyDelete
  154. We did notify EPC months ago re declining our school assignment (not Clarendon) and still got a call from the school last week after not showing up. This is my third year in the lottery, EPC has not been a great experience. (We are at a charter, not private)

    ReplyDelete
  155. Anyone get a call today?

    ReplyDelete
  156. Formerly OptimisticAugust 26, 2013 at 5:38 PM

    My daughter's teacher told us today that we weren't on the list, and asked whether we got a call - which we didn't. I know because I have been permanently attached to my phone all week. So, I went to the EPC and yes, we have been placed in Grattan! They were surprised that no one called us, but I have a letter with the new assignment in my sweaty little hand and will now need to figure out how to tell my kid.
    Ms Cheung of McCoppin, you were wonderful. I'm already nervous that the new teacher won't be as good.

    ReplyDelete
  157. Does anyone anticipate any 1st grade SI movement at their school? I've been at EPC almost every day since we moved to SF at the start of August with little to show for it and a lot of conflicting info. Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  158. What grade is your daughter in, if you don't mind me asking?

    ReplyDelete
  159. Congratulations! I think I remember your posts from months ago. I'm so glad it worked out for your daughter.

    ReplyDelete
  160. Formerly OptimisticAugust 26, 2013 at 8:00 PM

    She's in K.

    ReplyDelete
  161. Congrats to you (he says through gritted teeth). Seriously though, congrats on getting in. Unfortunately we're still waiting. Are you an AA applicant by any chance?

    ReplyDelete
  162. Wow, you had to find out from your McCoppin teacher that you were placed at another school? I'm so happy for you, but that is unbelievable.

    ReplyDelete
  163. Marshall Elementary has one first grade SI opening.

    ReplyDelete
  164. Congrats!!! Thanks for sharing where you landed.

    ReplyDelete
  165. Thank you! I asked about Marshall this morning and was told that they are full, but I will try again tomorrow.

    ReplyDelete
  166. Formerly OptimisticAugust 26, 2013 at 10:52 PM

    Thank you! Yes, we're AA. Good luck to you, I hope that you're going to be getting good news soon too!

    ReplyDelete
  167. Formerly OptimisticAugust 26, 2013 at 10:53 PM

    Thank you! I have to say, my impression of McCoppin was quite positive. I'll try to write a review once the dust settles.

    ReplyDelete
  168. Formerly OptimisticAugust 26, 2013 at 10:57 PM

    Yeah, this system is really wonky.

    The people I talked to were really surprised I didn't get a call. They checked, and my phone number was right in the system.

    As I was leaving the EPC, the room where people wait to talk to a counselor was packed and there was some screaming and a guard involved. Fortunately, I managed to get all the info from the people at the front.

    ReplyDelete
  169. I was in the EPC today. It took 4.5 hours to speak to a counselor. There were 55 people ahead of me. It is crazy! Still I think I need to go every day to see if we have some kind of good luck. Be prepared for a LONG wait if you too have to visit them.

    ReplyDelete
  170. Ok here is a new one.


    Or, sort of an update to other posts.


    I have a sibling, and I was thrilled when I found out that there were no-shows at our school last week. I have been to the EPC Friday and Monday, thinking of course the openings would show up in the computer and I would get the spot. But no.


    The computers at EPC don't match what we all know to be the fact, that there are at least 2 to 3 slots open in our grade at this school.


    Why won't the EPC update their computers? In the counselors office, we even got a supervisor to contact the school secretary by phone, and she confirmed everything. But still the computers at EPC aren't correct. They told us to check back Thursday or Friday.


    Can you believe out antiquated this system is, that people and their mistakes and papers and faxes are still used, and even when you get the official word on a phone call, the computers won't change and the spaces can't be released?


    Ridiculous. I am so fed up with this process this year, that I am going to get involved with Parents for Public Schools and my supervisor to see if this system---which frankly, I think is a relatively fair process--can be put into the 21st Century. We need transparency, an open office, an open computer, an open lottery that people can SEE and access online. This needs to be done behind a glass wall where we can all SEE that the process is going fairly.


    Yesterday at EPC, where I spent five hours, you couldn't get into the supervisor's voice mail, they said her secretary was out of the office, they don't answer your emails, they don't answer your calls, and the counselors are sitting there unable to really do anything. I feel sorry for them, but I also think, why are all these human beings sitting here when all you really need is a computer station, internet access, and a real time updated data base?


    And finally, about the process: I know that the hands are tied when it comes to diversifying schools. The courts took away affirmative action (a huge mistake in my mind), so they try to rig it by making some neighborhoods different from others, and making the whole thing a lottery, and I cannot imagine how much money all these backflips require. The process is always changing. There there is the issue of class size. I know, I know, a small class is important. But some really smart people disagree with that. And when you are holding the class size at 21 to accommodate two kids who are part of the class for three or four hours per week, it is ridiculous. They do that. Let's just say that in the 1910s through the 1960s, class size was a whopping 40-60. In some great hard to enter catholic schools in this city, the class size is 36-40. Today. And they get results. I love a small class, but after standing in line next to the homeless woman yesterday, who fled the shelters of the East Bay because she just wanted a safe shelter for her lovely gorgeous kid who played nearby, I wondered if it was all that important to have the class size at 21. It seems like you allow 21 kids to get the brass ring, and the other 4 or 5 kids per class get to eat out of the dumpster. It's not right.


    There were people in that line yesterday who didn't know what a waitlist was, who didn't know that they should have entered a lottery back in January, who didn't know that you can't just go to the school and enter your kid. And it's sad.


    The biggest obstacle to changing this, is that this lottery does kinds indeed work for about 70-80% of the families in SF, and that means they're happy and aren't at the office and aren't on this list, and they don't want to work hard anymore. I was one of those families before this year.


    But the bottom line is that there are TOO many students for TOO few schools. When you are have 300 people in line yesterday and they are saying there isn't a single solitary space in a single school in the whole district, it's stupid.

    ReplyDelete
  171. I was there all day yesterday as well! Only to be told the same thing... the school says they have space, the counselor agrees that there is space, but the computer says there is none. So my kid sits home again today waiting for that space to open up on the computer. And what if it opens and I'm not sitting in front of that counselor just at the right time?


    I agree that this whole process is quite ridiculous and I feel like a beggar just trying to get into my attendance area school. I'm with you, this needs to change.

    ReplyDelete
  172. Sorry, but in a weird macabre way, I'm glad to hear you are having the same experience. It makes me feel less crazy. If the computers really aren't updated for several schools, maybe there is hope for us. At least, we're less crazy and alone.


    It's a lousy system that makes you feel guilty. My kids are all in really great schools, I just want the two youngest to be in the same school, with start times that aren't two hours apart. I can't work, and about to lose my job because of it.


    But after being in line with the homeless woman who has no school, and the several families whose names were LOST IN THE COMPUTER and they have no schools, and the family who is leaving the city after five generations because they have no school...I feel guilty.

    ReplyDelete
  173. Many of your statements are over the top and sweeping claims without actual information to back them up so I won't address most of them. But, there's one that I must address and that is your attack on children in special education. Inclusion of ALL children should be a priority. Obviously, there are lots of nuances and approaches to this that EXPERTS should address but it is not your prerogative to determine that it's "ridiculous" to consider special needs students as a factor in classroom size, particularly since you don't seem to actually have any facts. You are attacking a population that is already marginalized.


    FWIW, I did not get any of the choices on my lottery list and I continue to sit in the waitpool. I will not blame special education and attempts to include all children in the classroom.

    ReplyDelete
  174. Your comment is the reason these lists get so ugly. You didn't read my comments correctly and you totally misstate them. My comments are not over the top. They are my opinion and you are free to disagree


    I am ALL FOR mainstreaming kids of all types in the classes. I merely opined that keeping a class size three kids smaller than others, when the mainstreamer spends maybe 3-5 hours per week, is a loss for those three kids. You can mainstream without lowering a class size from 24 to 21. This opinion came directly from my teachers, who both accommodate those kids.


    Furthermore, I used the word "ridiculous" to describe the fact that there were openings reported last Wednesday, and it's six days later and the EPC has not updated computers and released spots. Seats are empty in that class, while kids are waiting for a phone call. That is totally too slow, and yes, ridiculous. Hasn't a thing to do with mainstreaming.


    Or maybe you just don't read very well.

    ReplyDelete
  175. Laurel,

    You are misinformed with regard to mainstreaming special ed kids. First, SFUSD class size is 22 per class, not 24. Second, fewer than half of the elementary schools have special day classes (about 30 schools do). The schools that have SDC's run the gamut from "trophy" schools to the ones virtually nobody chooses. Finally, whatever you may have seen or heard, it is not SFUSD policy to restrict mainstream class size to support inclusion of special needs students. Some schools may be doing that, but I'd bet it is a strategy by them to keep their class sizes lower for the rest of the week when the special needs students aren't there.


    So, even if everything you're saying is true at every school that has an SDC--which I seriously doubt--at most a few kids are affected. Mainstreaming of special education kids is absolutely not the reason why people can't get the school they want (and I am one of those people). I actually agree with much of the rest of your post, but on this one you are mistaken.

    ReplyDelete
  176. I agree with Laurel that the attempts by the SFUSD are inconsistent and impossible to follow year to year. There is ample evidence that lowering class size is overrated. Given the choice between higher pay for higher quality teachers or lower class size, the research shows that higher quality teachers are a better investment.

    http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,2056571,00.html

    http://www.takepart.com/article/2013/03/04/smaller-better-class-size-school-students

    http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2009/feb/05/michael-gove-schools-class-sizes

    I spent 7 years teaching learning disabled students in New York City in the 90s, and while I loved my job and was good at it, and I agree that including them in regular classes is extremely beneficial to them, I am not so sure of the benefits for most of the rest of the kids. IMHO.

    In Manhattan where I taught, the class sizes were and continue to be measurably higher than in San Francisco, and overcrowding was tolerated. The result was more middle and upper middle class families, and even very rich families, attending with ease. Inclusion of all economic levels and ease of use resulted in higher test scores and better schools. It's a good comparison, NYC and SF. If we were still in our old NYC neighborhood, our kindergartener would be in a neighborhood class with 25 or 26 students, and it would have been easier.

    I share Laurel's outrage, given the crisis mode of current state budget cuts and the awful experiences of so many SFUSD families. I am among them. My kindergartener is sitting at home not getting any classroom time at all. How many of us are there, and is this worth the cost?

    The choices are difficult, but a slightly higher class size is an easy and immediate fix.

    I thought I had seen it all when I worked in the school systems back East, but SF is in crisis mode. I can't imagine leaving the city, but my husband looked for a rental in the East Bay last weekend. That's over the top enough for me.

    ReplyDelete
  177. Thanks for your perspective. That was an informative post.

    ReplyDelete
  178. I believe the "superintendent's zone" is not political favoritism, but rather a shorthand reference to specified federal grant program money to improve the performance of english language learners and low-income students in a block of several schools that received the grant. The superintendent is tracking how the money is spent and the programs closely.

    ReplyDelete
  179. Do you mind sharing which charter you are at. We are at TECA and waiting but hopes are dim

    ReplyDelete
  180. Did anyone go to EPC today? Anyone get calls? I heard they were running a new list yesterday.

    ReplyDelete
  181. At least a couple new kids in Harvey Milk kindergarten yesterday.

    ReplyDelete
  182. Thanks for the clarification.

    Better -- but whatever the theory, capping class size and eliminating seats leaves me -- as someone who has tried for nine months to get a spot there for our Spanish-fluent walking-distance kindergartner -- quite bitter.

    Especially after the post above about the different approach taken in NYC.

    ReplyDelete
  183. Mainstreaming is not the reason why people don't get the school they want, I agree. I didn't mean that, and I apologize. As I said, I fully support mainstreaming and the classmates can accommodate it and benefit from it.



    Our school is limited to 42 for some reason, which means 21 in each class. Per the principal and the EDC. (The PPS woman told me most schools are 24.) I wish they would allow 22 each (44), as it would add 8 additional children to our school. I'd welcome that. I think 21 is too small, considering the dire need that so many families have this week.


    I love smaller class size. I wish all classes were smaller. But I also love a brand new Mercedes Benz when I see them driving down the street. I wish everybody could afford them. I actually could afford one, but I drive a 21 year old minivan, Old Reliable. And the Mercedes drives better. But the minivan gets me to where I'm going, and more kids can come along.


    Poor analogy, but still.


    I appreciate your numbers and reality check, Jeff, on this and other threads. I find it hard to find that much organized information in an accessible format. Or maybe I'm late to the game.


    I just have faith that with 8 kids added here, and 8 kids there, we could make a start.

    ReplyDelete
  184. I am still honestly confused as to why some kids still don't have ANY school? There are openings - sure they may not be the ones you desire at this point, but that is just part of this idiotic system. I am wondering if those without schools are holding out on wait pools or otherwise hoping to get a spot at a select few they are willing to send their child to?


    We were THRILLED (after what we went through) to get a spot at Harvey Milk last Friday, and we did not have to compete - there were 7 openings and they weren't being filled. Milk was far from our *top* choice, but given the circumstances, it became a dream. A 5 min walk from our home sits Clarendon, where I wish we had the convenience of attending, but sadly it'll likely to never be an option.



    Last week, we were at one of the lowest-performing schools in the city and had we lived closer, we would have been happy to stay. My daughter's teacher was incredibly involved and the kids and parents in her classroom were also wonderful.


    So is not having a school at this point a reluctance to attend the ones with openings available, or is it due to the major computer issue that the EPC doesn't show ANY current openings?


    I realize people probably have varying reasons, but I'm sincerely curious how people are making this decision and if I am missing something?


    At what point do you plan to pick from what's left, and get your kid in school? Do you plan to wait until Sept 5th?



    I do wish you all the best, and I hope some of you still get those mysterious and joyful phone calls!

    ReplyDelete
  185. I agree that there is some consolation in knowing that I'm not going through this all alone. But in the end, the one I feel sorry for is my daughter.


    We got a call this morning saying we were getting out AA school. It wasn't our ideal, but we will try it out and see if it's a good fit for her.


    The one thing this has all taught me is that I can completely understand why someone who could afford it, would turn to private school. If the system doesn't change, more and more kids will go to private and I just don't think that's the answer.

    ReplyDelete
  186. Congrats! Which school is your AA school? Weren't you waiting for BV?

    ReplyDelete
  187. Yes, we were waiting for BV as it's closer to where we work. But since the assignment system only works on home address, we are now at Ortega.

    ReplyDelete
  188. Don't think it'd matter since BV has no attendance area, it's 'city wide' because it's a 100% Spanish Immersion...

    ...unless maybe a grade or two at the top predates the BV-HM merger and still have GE?

    ReplyDelete
  189. I just got the class roster for my son's K class at McKinley. On day one there were 22 kids. Since last week, 3 names were dropped and 2 were added. The current roster has 21 so I assume there must be an opening that will be filled.

    ReplyDelete
  190. Maybe call Marshall, too. There is a spot available in first grade.

    ReplyDelete
  191. I'm still waiting for the EPC to update their computer, and then for some employee to pick up a phone. Why else would our school have available places, yet no phone calls for our grade?


    We have received new students for the Kindergarten, second and fifth grades. None for our grade.


    I went to EPC every day, and I won't go back. I'm done. The other mom on the sibling wait list actually got the school secretary on speakerphone with the counselor to confirm the count/openeings. He checked with a supervisor, but returned and used governmentspeak to say when there is a spot, the call would go out.


    There are available spots. 3 on our waitlist, and as far as I can tell, there are placements for them. No calls yet.


    Why? You tell me.


    So I plan to take EPC at their word. There is nothing else I can do. The siblings families have emailed and phoned the Supervisor Darlene Lim repeatedly, and have received not a single reply.

    ReplyDelete
  192. I have sent this information to the moderator at the sfkfiles, so I apologize if it is duplicated.... This information regarding movement for the wait pool. We are waiting for a school assignment for our son who *should* be going into 6th grade, but currently has "no school assignment" and is wait listed for Hoover MS. We have not received a "phone call" and my husband went down to the EPC on Monday. He was told that the system that the district uses to track students is not working and that they have seen no movement at any of the schools. This means that they can not fill empty spaces, because they do not know if there are any. My husband, who is a high school teacher in the district, confirmed that this is true, no one can log in to the system and register student numbers. When asked when or how this was going to be fixed EPC could not answer. When asked if they could collect the information manually, they said it is the principals responsibility. When you ask principals about placement, they will say it is out of their hands and up to the EPC. It sounds like no one is accountable.
    My husband went to speak at the Board of Education meeting on Tuesday. He was the only parent there to speak out about the lack of movement on the "Wait Pool". He was spoken to by an assistant to the superintendent who said they would get back to us. We have still to hear. I am not holding my breath.
    Regardless, what it means is that hundreds of children (my husband counted the wait pool numbers from the current list while waiting to speak and it was near 500) are being left out in the cold because the buck stops nowhere. My child has missed the first week of school and will probably miss the next two. I am having to lose three weeks of income to stay home with him, not to mention the vital transition time from elementary school to middle school that has been lost. I hope by exposing this information that SFUSD would rather keep quiet it will encourage someone to step up, become accountable and FIX THE PROBLEM. Please let my child go to school.
    If you are interested, I have started a petition on Change.org, (http://www.change.org/petitions/san-francisco-unified-school-district-stop-the-wait-pool-system-which-blocks-students-from-starting-school)%20 please sign it if you would like to send a message to SFUSD that this torturous system needs to end.
    Thank you,
    Snow Ford

    ReplyDelete
  193. sorry, I forgot to mention we were told twice by the EPC, when we asked what our options were when the 9/6 deadline comes and our son still does not have a school assignment what our options were, we were told to send our son to private school. So the district that complains about parents leaving in droves is basically pushing parents toward private schools. As I mentioned, my husband is a public school teacher, we can not afford to send my son to private school. I guess our only option will be to let my child drop out of school.

    ReplyDelete
  194. Did you check with the charters? I only know three with a sixth grade (TECA, Gateway, and CACS) myself but maybe there are more... maybe one has an opening?

    Appalled by your situation and the systemic failure prolonging it. :/

    ReplyDelete
  195. GOD BLESS YOU for confirming what we all suspected. Incredible.


    Ok. Let's get moving! Let's ALL write our supervisors, the board of education, etc. If the principals can get something done, let's hound them. TODAY.


    The principals are awful about taking any responsibility.


    Is there a lawyer who could take this issue on as a class action? Sounds dramatic, but at this point, our family is going broke from the lack of my income. Working a full time job and dealing with these issues? Forget it.

    ReplyDelete