If you have a child in San Francisco that attends public school then you’re very aware of the lottery system for which school your child can get to attend. I’ve yet to hear about this happening in other cities, but it is a crazy system for San Francisco to have and we were lucky…WE BEAT THE SYSTEM!
I’m not sure why we did, but it could be because our daughter is autistic so there’s a smaller pool of kids to draw from. You can put down up to 16 different schools you want your child to attend and you’ll hopefully get one of them. Most parents put down 10 schools [note this is for elementary school, middle schools and high schools have less choicees]. From comments I’ve read there are many parents who put down 10 schools and didn’t get any of them and ended up having to in some cases drive their kids across town to attend school.
When I was a kid you went to the school in your neighborhood and we had class sizes of around 20-30 kids. We didn’t have any problems back then even though there was talk of over crowding. Then when I was getting ready for fourth grade bussing started which brought kids from bad neighborhoods to good neighborhoods and vice versa. Please note the bold/italics is the equivalent of doing the old finger quotation thing. At least they had bussing to get the kids to school back then. They only have that for kids who are in SDC classes now.
It was not a good time as I was supposed to be sent to Aptos Elementary [note it wasn’t a middle school or Junior High as we used to call them] and my Mother was down at the Board of Education kicking and screaming. In the end I ended up going to Lawton Elementary which was the closest to my house since they split out fourth-sixth grades [elementary schools before that were K-6].
What we have today is similar, but we have managed to fare through it very well. We only put down two schools that had SDC [Special Day Classes] that fit our daughter’s needs. We would have been happy with either. We knew the Kindergarten teacher at her current school and he’s a great guy. We got to meet the teacher at the school closer to us and knew that she mentored some of the people who were therapists for our daughter. Everyone had wonderful things to say all around.
Once we got accepted that’s not the end of things. You have to go to the school and fill out enrollment paperwork. We did that yesterday and after a few hiccups we got everything done. Note to parents of SDC kids, while the paper they send you says you don’t need to bring a birth certificate and proof of residence if you’re already enrolled in the SFUSD, ignore that. They sent us home to bring that back.
My Wife sent an email to the teacher that our daughter will have and she promptly sent back an email saying that she wants to visit our daughter at her school and talk with her current teacher as well as coming by our house to meet with us and see how she is outside of school. Some of you may think this sounds like a Child Protective Services thing, but it’s not. Autistic kids think different than other kids. My daughter can barely talk, but she can make music on her iPad in Garageband with very little help from me. The teacher wants to understand how your child’s mind works so she can incorporate the appropriate classwork into her daily life.
The Principal at the school even remembered us and had a long chat with us while the paperwork was being processes [it turns out she taught at my elementary school and knew many of my teachers. She even tried to flatter me by saying she might have been one of my teachers, but we only had old prune faced teachers close to their 70’s when I was in elementary school].
All in all I knew that it would work out for us. My Wife who worries more about these things is ecstatic at the moment so I’ll just shut my trap and let her enjoy it. Sometimes the world isn’t always out to get you and things work out in the end.