Hundreds of parents filtered through John O’Connell High School on a recent Saturday. Many had kids and spouses in tow. Others, mostly mothers, were by themselves. Almost everyone looked a little confused and overwhelmed because it’s that time when parents have to start navigating what school to place their children in next fall.
For some, attending Saturday’s SFUSD enrollment fair was the first major step in what has become a long and complicated process.
“Was it like this when we were kids?,” Fernando Corcuchia, a financial planner, asked his wife, Cheryl Villanueva. The two have lived in the Bay Area their whole lives and now have a five-year-old son who will enter kindergarten next fall. They aren’t set on a public school for their son and are considering private schools as far away as the Peninsula. Many of their friends with kids have already moved there.
The SFUSD’s application period for all grades opened in October and runs until January 16, 2015 when applications for round one are due. The process includes proving residency, providing a list of schools, and submitting immunization records, proof of home address, and other relevant documents to the Educational Placement Center at 555 Franklin Street. The application must be presented in person.
Over the last three years, interest in Mission schools has increased for both general education and some language pathway programs. While the number of parents putting the four K-5 schools – Bryant, Cesar Chavez, Marshall, and George Moscone – as their first choice has stayed about the same, the number of people who listed the schools as one of their choices has increased almost across the board. More popular schools do see much higher numbers (Clarendon Alternative Elementary School in Twin Peaks had 1,421 list the school in 2014), but the improvement for Mission schools cannot be denied.
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