Where is your child going to school next year?

It seems hard to believe, but it’s time to think about it. If yours will be entering kindergarten, transitional kindergarten, sixth grade, or ninth grade, you have a lot of options here in San Francisco’s public schools.

Here are some other things you can do now to discover your school options.

How do you find the right school?

I’ve been an educator for a long time now, and I have three grown children.

So you could say I’ve been in a lot of schools. If you are looking at SFUSD schools for the 2019-2020 school year, here are some things I suggest you think about:

First, logistics: Before you even head out for a visit, consider the basics. Where is the school located? How will your child get to school each day? Does the start and end time work for your family’s schedule? Do you need an afterschool program at the same school?

Online research: Our district website has data posted about every school. In addition to standardized test results, you can learn what parents say about how well the school works with them and their child. You can learn about whether or not students feel safe at the school. I encourage you to consider multiple measures when assessing whether or not a school may be a good fit.

Ask: When you talk with the principal, parent tour guides, or teachers, ask them what they like about the school. If they talk about things that you want for your child, you are well on your way to having a good match. If you’ve heard the school has challenges, go ahead and ask directly about them. It’s so much better to hear from school staff about how issues are being addressed than to rely on rumors.

What’s happening in the classroom: If you have the opportunity to observe a classroom (which may or may not be possible on a scheduled school tour), notice what students are doing. It can sometimes look chaotic and noisy with small groups of students doing different activities. Or it may sometimes look like everyone listening to the teacher. Either way, upon close inspection, you should be able to see whether or not each child is engaged in his or her learning.

Please fill out that application on time! Submitting your application on or before January 11, 2019 means you have the best chance to get one of the schools you chose. It also means you are able to change your choice or appeal the school you are assigned if you want a different school.

We look forward to seeing you in the hallways of one of our schools during a school tour in the near future.

Deadline to submit Enrollment Application Form: January 11, 2019

More resources for your school search: www.sfusd.edu/enroll

Vincent Matthews is superintendent of the San Francisco Unified School District.

Vincent Matthews
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