Enrollment fair helps parents prepare

It seems hard to believe, but it’s time to think about next year.

If your child will be entering kindergarten, transitional kindergarten, sixth grade or ninth grade next fall, you have a lot of options here in San Francisco’s public schools.

And you’re in luck: We set up a one-stop shopping day for you.

On Saturday, thousands of families will converge on the City College campus for the chance to meet every one of our schools — even our prekindergarten and transitional kindergarten.

All the schools will have a table and friendly folks from the school to talk to. Take advantage of this day to meet principals, talk to other parents and ask all kinds of questions.

Meanwhile, here are some answers to frequently asked questions about our assignment system.

What’s a feeder school?
In late October, all currently enrolled San Francisco Unified School District fifth graders in elementary schools will receive a preprinted application that will show their “middle school feeder,” the school matched up with the student’s current elementary school. Placement is not guaranteed, but it is more likely if selected.
This option was approved by the Board of Education a few years ago, and it’s one way students can continue on to middle school with elementary school classmates. Parents also have more peace of mind knowing where their children may attend school after elementary. All you need to do is include that school on your list of choices, and you’ll have a higher priority for getting in. You can still list any number of school choices and programs on the application.
And to make things simpler for you this Saturday, the elementary schools will be grouped with the middle school they feed into.

What does attendance area school mean?
You may have heard that most elementary schools are “attendance area” schools. These schools have geographic borders drawn around them.
We created attendance areas to help you get a spot in an elementary school near your home, if you’d like. You are not required to enroll at your attendance area school and you aren’t guaranteed a placement if there aren’t enough open seats. In fact, it’s interesting to note that only about 25 percent of families list their attendance area school as a top choice.

Start here
So the one-stop, all-school enrollment fair is where you start. But we also open our schools’ doors for tours. Sign up in advance and get a feel for the school, meet some parents whose kids go there and ask more questions.

You have time
You have time to discover the schools that fit your child best, but it’s tough to get the school you want if you don’t turn in your application on time. If you get it in by the Jan. 15, 2016, deadline, you have a really high likelihood of getting one of the schools on your list.

See you at the fair!

If you go
When: Saturday, Oct. 24, 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
Where:City College of San Francisco Gymnasium, 50 Phelan Ave.
Parking: Free
Contact www.sfusd.edu/enroll

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