SFUSD Enrollment Updates
We had a great time meeting families at the Enrollment Fair on October 13 and appreciate everyone who stopped by our table, asked questions, and picked up one of our stylish yellow bags!
Many families we spoke with wanted to understand better recent changes in the SFUSD assignment system. We are sharing here a brief summary of those changes.
What Has Changed and What Has Not
First, what has changed for the 2019-20 enrollment cycle:
Transfer Mechanism (“Swapping”) Has Been Turned OFF
Prior to this year, the student assignment algorithm included a step known as “the Transfer Mechanism.” Once the algorithm had applied the tiebreakers (e.g., sibling, test score area, attendance area, etc.) to assign students to schools, the Transfer Mechanism looked across all assignments to determine if ‘swapping’ any assignments would result in more families receiving higher ranked choices. After several years of discussions and data analysis, the Board of Education decided to discontinue this step. This document provides a detailed explanation of the decision rationale.
New “Bayview ES to All MS” Tiebreaker
A tiebreaker has been added for any student who has attended any of the following four elementary schools in the Bayview (zip code 94124): George Washington Carver, Charles Drew, Bret Harte, and Malcolm X Academy. To be eligible for the tiebreaker, a student must have attended Kindergarten through 5th grade at one or more of these schools. In other words, a student could attend three years at Carver ES and three years at Malcolm X Academy and still be eligible for the tiebreaker. This tiebreaker applies only to students enrolling in 6th grade and falls after the feeder school tiebreaker and before the test score tiebreaker. For further clarification, please see this policy document published by SFUSD.
Change to Lowell High School Admission Policy
A change was made to the Lowell High School Admission Policy to support more robust enrollment at Willie Brown Middle School (“WBMS”) and align with the enrollment preference granted to students attending all three years at WBMS in the assignment system for other comprehensive high schools in SFUSD. The change affects Band 3 admissions. According to SFUSD, “The allocation of the 15% of seats in Band 3 will be adjusted to accommodate all WBMS applicants who have met the academic criteria and have been recommended by their principal.” In other words, all students who attend 6th through 8th grades at WBMS and meet the academic criteria will qualify for admission to Lowell under Band 3 regardless of under- or over-representation in Lowell. All academic eligibility requirements will remain the same. Applicants must still meet the required criteria specified in each band. For more details see this policy brief.
Change to Ruth Asawa School of the Arts Audition Process and Admission Decision Notification
New this year: applicants may audition ONCE for ONE art department only. In the past, after initial admission decisions were made and communicated to applicants, students could elect to re-audition for the same discipline or for a different discipline. This is no longer the case. Applicants must select one department to audition for and will only have one opportunity to audition. No RE-AUDITIONS. Students may select one of the following two audition dates: Saturday, February 2, 2019 or Saturday, February 9, 2019. Decisions will be communicated through the regular SFUSD assignment letter process in March - there will no longer be early communication of RASOTA admission decisions, but RASOTA will send audition decision information directly to students after the SFUSD assignment letters have been mailed. For more information on the application process for Ruth Asawa School of the Arts, visit the school website.
Despite these several changes to SFUSD’s assignment system, most aspects of the process have not changed
The Proposed Redesign of the Entire Student Assignment System Is Only a Proposal
Some families we spoke with at the Enrollment Fair had heard rumors that the assignment system was changing dramatically or that the choice system was being abolished. While a proposal to reconsider the current assignment process has been introduced and sponsored by three SFUSD Board of Education commissioners, the proposal has not been adopted or even voted on yet. If the board does approve the resolution, it is likely that designing a new process will take time. The last time the assignment process was changed, the process took about two years to complete. If you are interested in learning more, the proposed student assignment resolution will be discussed at the November 7, 2018 (6 PM) Student Assignment Committee Meeting and at a Committee of the Whole meeting, tentatively scheduled for December 4, 2018. Both meetings will be in the Board Room at 555 Franklin Street. Any vote to approve the resolution would happen at a regular Board of Education meeting after these two committee meetings have been held. Read the proposed resolution here.
Have Additional Questions?
Attend a PPS-SF enrollment workshop! Register for one of our public enrollment workshops through the events page.
Make an appointment at SFUSD’s Educational Placement Center. There are counsellors there who can help you navigate the process.
Reach out to us! You can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have specific questions and we will do our best to help!