Many of you are eagerly waiting for your round one letters from SFUSD (San Francisco Public Schools) and wondering what to do if you don’t get your first choice, or if you change your mind about which school is the best fit for your child. First off, if you plan to send your child to public school, you must register in person at your assigned school before the deadline of April 10th to hold your spot. Note the registration period of March 16-27 and April 6-10, 2015 excludes spring break.
Scenario: You love your assigned school
Register at your assigned school before April 10th, and look for welcome events. Congratulations!
Scenario: You like but don’t love your assigned school
Register at your assigned school in person before April 10th. Next, look at your round one list, as well as any other schools that come to mind. Delete any school you prefer less than your current school, even if it has swap value. Then rank order the remaining schools by your true preference. Meanwhile, try to tour your assigned school to see if your opinion remains the same. Oftentimes, our many tours start to blur blur, our children change, or priorities change. Second round applications are due April 10th.
Scenario: You hate your assigned school
Consider that your reject could be someone else’s dream school. Try to tour the school to see if your opinion remains the same. If you change your mind, see the scenario above; if not, look to see if SFUSD lists the school as having immediate spots for other parents to register; if not, the school might be worth registering at for swap value. Now, take out your one list and edit it for change of preferences since you last looked at it, but the strategy remains the same as round one: http://gooseling.com/2014/11/06/kindergarten-lottery-strategy. Second round applications are due April 10th.
Scenario: You prefer private school
If your child was accepted into an independent or parochial school that you prefer to any public school, please do not register at your assigned public school. If you prefer the assigned public school to those where your child was accepted, and you are hoping for a waitlisted school, wait until close to the April 10th deadline, and then register at your assigned school if you have not gained admission to a private school that you prefer to your assigned public school. If at any point you gain admission off the wait list from a school you prefer to public school, please notify the school and the EPC, in consideration for children who need a school. Each year, approximately 400 children don’t show up for the first days of school, and SFUSD does not receive state funding for seats unfilled the first days of schools.
If you have special considerations, you can file an appeal during second round and request one particular school. These appeals are rarely granted and never granted for parental convenience. Reasons the district considers highly: access to a particular program for children with special needs (such as an Individual Education Plan or IEP), parent who works at a school and wants the child assigned, and extreme financial hardship (such as homelessness or low income).
For twins, I recommend at this round not linking them for the reasons posted by School Board Member Rachel Norton here. Essentially, if you don’t link your twins, you will have two shots at the more popular schools, and then can link your second twin in round three, when the second twin will have sibling priority.