Author Archives: michelledparker

They’re out! School Assignment Letters 2012

Today’s post is being written by Michelle Parker, President of the 2nd District(SFUSD) PTA. I am out of the country and Michelle graciously agreed to pinch-hit in my absence and report on the outcome of the first round.

P.S.: I am getting some email from a few families who did not receive spots at their attendance area schools but know of families who received spots at those schools, even if they don’t live in the attendance area. The explanation for how this can happen, according to EPC, is the trading cycles algorithm (AKA the swap). Let’s say you submit a list with Schools A, B, and C listed in order of preference. You are assigned to School B. Let’s say I submit a list with Schools B, A, C listed in order of preference, and am assigned to School A. AFTER all seats are filled, the algorithm looks for someone who is willing to trade School A for School B, and another person who is willing to trade School B for School A. It matches us, re-assigning you to your higher choice of School A and me to my higher choice of School B. At that point, attendance area doesn’t come into play because all seats have already been filled.

They’re out! 13,919 school assignment offers were mailed to families last Friday. And, in typical fashion, I saw a line outside the Educational Placement Center (EPC) at  555 Franklin Monday which reached out and around, all the way to the corner of Franklin and McAllister for most of the day- people standing in line to file medical or family hardship appeals, or to submit an ammended school request list.

The official Press Release from SFUSD came out late Monday- a few highlights: The number of overall applications was down. This was as expected due to the State’s eligibility age for Kindergarten moving back from Dec 1 to Nov 1, therefore impacting the number of applicants eligible to begin transitional kindergarten, as well as the predicted decrease in high school enrollment (number of eighth graders entering high school is lower than last year).

There was a slight increase in the percentage of applicants receiving one of their choices, though it is difficult to draw many conclusions from this data. There are a few things I am curious about, some of which we will learn more about as detailed data comes in. This was the first year that elementary schools feeding into a designated middle received a priority assignment. Of the 85% of 6th grade applicants who received one of their choices, how many applied to their feeder school, versus not, and did they receive that school? How many siblings, whose feeder school is different from an older brother/sister’s took advantage of the sibling priority vs. attend their feeder school? On the elementary school side- but still related to the feeder patterns, did people choose their requested elementary schools dependant on the middle school they fed into? Of course the data won’t be able to answer this question, so speculation is all we’ve got. This year the 15 most requested elementary schools were: Clarendon GE, Rooftop, West Portal, Lawton, Grattan, Lilienthal, Alica Fong Yu, Sunset, Miraloma, Jefferson, Feinstein, Sherman, Clarendon JBBP, Alamo, and Argonne. Last year the schools with highest number of first choice requests were Clarendon, Alice Fong Yu, Lilienthal, Alvarado, West Portal, Rooftop, Sherman, Taylor, Buena Vista Horace Mann, Lawton, Miraloma, Monroe, Alamo and Dianne Feinstein. This is not exactly an apples to apples list, since the first is total requests and not just first choice requests like the second.

If you are received a placement offer here is what you need to know: Register at your designated school to secure enrollment by April 13. It is recommended you do this, even if you want another school, should a spot open up. Accepting a placement offer still allows you to choose to seek a higher choice school during the May Placement Period. There is no priority given in any rounds to students who have not registered at any school. If you do NOT register your child at the designated school by April 13, your placement will be cancelled.

The EPC’s webpage describes the process in detail.