On Saturday I stopped by the elementary school information session for parents seeking to participate in Round II of the assignment process.
Sunnyside Elementary is incredibly welcoming, from the cheerful cutouts of flowers on the classroom windows to the friendly sight of my friend and Sunnyside ambassador Kari Gray, decked out in a bright yellow T-shirt emblazoned with the school logo, who was greeting parents as they arrived. I admired the information display and Kari’s pretty vase of flowers, then made my way into the auditorium, where Darlene Lim, Executive Director of the Educational Placement Center, was answering parents’ questions.
The session was calm and well-attended; the parents I spoke to seemed not happy, exactly, but resigned to the fact that they would participate in the process for Round II, and many were holding spots that, while not ideal, would work for them if they were not ultimately granted a higher choice. I was relieved to see that. There was a big group of Educational Placement staff members on hand, and while the acoustics weren’t perfect, it seemed to me that most people left with their questions answered.
It was also great to see my friend Stephanie Eldred, the parent liaison at Hillcrest Elementary. Stephanie brought Hillcrest Kindergarten teachers Lisa Castellanos and Pameila Orgill, as well as Principal Richard Zapien with her to the counseling session. Hillcrest is one of those ‘hidden gem” schools I suspect will have a game-changing year this year — in Round I it received 21 first choice requests for 44 general education Kindergarten spots, and 108 requests for those spots overall. Judging from these two intelligent, caring and motivated Kindergarten teachers I met on Saturday (their day off!), more and more parents are going to be discovering this lovely school very soon.
Tomorrow night I’ll be attending the informational meeting about the district’s new dual immersion Cantonese school that will be located at DeAvila Elmentary. The meeting will be held at Grattan Elementary, 165 Grattan St. (De Avila Elementary is located at 1351 Haight St. but is not yet open for visitors). The meeting is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. — if you are one of the families offered a spot at the new DeAvila, or you are interested in our new Cantonese dual immersion program, this meeting is for you! Hope to see you there.