Phase 1


Your baby is getting ready for elementary school! This is an exciting time for your family, and there is so much to explore. You have come to the right place to learn more about navigating the process. The PPS-SF team of experts can help you understand the system and learn more about our excellent public schools.


SFUSD is a choice district.

Children do not automatically attend their neighborhood schools. Although a preference (called a tie-breaker) is given to families who live within an attendance area, families can list any schools in the district on their application forms.


Everyone has an attendance area school.

Every home address has an assigned attendance area school. You will be given preference to your attendance area school if you list it on your application. However there is no guarantee that you will be assigned to it. Use the SFUSD school locator to find your attendance area school.

SFUSD School Locator Map


There are also citywide schools.

Citywide schools do not have an attendance area. Citywide schools include newcomer programs and schools, biliteracy and language immersion programs, K-8 schools, and San Francisco Public Montessori School.


SFUSD offers language pathways.

Language pathways are popular options for many families. Elementary school students can participate in a Dual Language Immersion Pathway, a Dual Language Biliteracy Pathway, or a World Language Pathway. Language pathway programs and schools do not have attendance areas, so no tie-breaker preference is given according to where you live.

Languages Other Than English in the SFUSD: Preschool and Elementary School


Tie-breakers help decide.

In the event that there are more applicants than seats available in a particular school, a system of tie-breakers is implemented. Siblings are offered first choice, before a series of other tie-breakers.

If you do not get one of your choices you will be offered the school closest to your home with openings.

SFUSD Assignment Process


To learn more details about the SFUSD enrollment process and tie-breaker system, we recommend attending a free PPS-SF enrollment workshop. You can also book a private workshop at your school or workplace. Please fill out the form on this page to get started. 


Discover more about schools.

  1. Attend school tours and open houses, you'll find information on the schools' websites

  2. Talk to a PPS-SF Parent Ambassador to ask questions about a specific school, email to get in touch

  3. Visit the SFUSD Enrollment Fair, which takes place each year at the end of October

PPS-SF Tour Checklist

PPS-SF Parent Ambassadors 

Resources for Special Education in the SFUSD 


Other resources.

San Francisco Unified School District

Support for Families of Children with Disabilities


California State Dept of Education