Waiting is almost at an end! Decisions are about to come out on the following schedule:
Independent schools in San Francisco that are members of ISSFBA will email or upload decisions on March 19, 2020 for K-8 and March 10th for preK/TK. Decisions will be due in the form of online contracts and deposits by March 26th for K-8 and March 17th for preK/TK. You will receive either an admission, a wait pool, or a rejection in this letter.
SFUSD will mail by USPS a school assignment for round one for TK-12 on March 20, 2020, and most families will receive them on Monday, March 23rd or Tuesday, March 24th. On Wednesday, March 25th, you may pick up an assignment letter at the EPC at 555 Franklin Street. To keep your public school assignment, you must register at the school between March 23rd and March 27th or April 6th and April 10th (ie spring break is excluded, even if a camp rents the site).
Creative Arts Charter released its lottery results on SchoolMint on March 6, 2020. You received either an admission or a waitlist number. Due to sibling priorities, your waitlist number could change as twins/siblings will be moved up in the list as parents register. You must accept the placement on SchoolMint to keep the slot.
New School will release lottery results on SchoolMint on March 16, 2020, and responses are due on April 10th. Due to new tiebreakers, few families not in the free and reduced lunch income category will receive a placement. You will receive either an admission or a waitlist number. You must accept a placement on SchoolMint to keep the slot.
Parochial schools and independent schools that are not members of ISSFBA release on their own schedule, meaning many already sent their decisions or continue to send on a rolling basis.
What does this mean for you?
You will have all your initial decisions from public, private, and charter schools before the independent school and SFUSD decision deadline. Some families will receive many offers (public, charter, and private), while others might receive only a public school that was not on their list. To be a good citizen, please do not hold more than one school, including public, private, and charter. If you register at a public school and later withdraw, the district sometimes fails to remove you from the registry until the first day of school, and that spot is not available to other families. Likewise, if you hold a charter and a public, or an independent, public and charter, that means fewer spots are available to other families who are trying to make their own decisions.
If you have multiple offers, and some rise to the top of your list, please decline the others immediately to free them up for other families. Quite often, it will be two schools that have your largest attention, and the rest might be less of a fit for you. Read my blogs about choosing an elementary school or middle school. If you applied for financial aid, read the offers carefully, as each school assesses need differently. If you have questions about the offers, whether about the school or the financial aid offer, reach out to the admissions office. Sometimes, for instance, if you were not granted aid, and you can demonstrate need, they may find more budget during decision week.
If you have no offers that you are willing to accept, take some time from the process and remember that those who have multiple offers can only attend one school.
If you prefer private, there will be some spots opening from wait pools, although this number varies year-to-year and school-to-school. Now is a great time to send an email to admissions to reiterate your interest; only send one first choice letter as they do speak with each other. Most movement is within the week before deposits are due. If you have no offers by the end of this week, reiterate your interest to any school that has your child on its wait pool and pursue public schools and rolling admissions private schools in the interim.
If you prefer public, and you like your assignment, even if it's not your first choice, register before the deadline. If you are unhappy with the assignment, there are multiple rounds to come. Keep in mind that using a private school as your backup can be quite expensive as there is not only the deposit, but, depending on the school, the full year’s tuition is typically due before SFUSD releases round 2 assignments. Instead, as a free backup, find a public school that might work for you but is less popular. There are always public schools that open spots if you are patient and flexible on which school to attend. I’ll issue another post on round 2 strategy next week; round 2 applications are due on April 10th.
Need more help?
Vicky consults with families to help select public and private schools in San Francisco in an environment of non-judgment. Email to learn more about her services.