A couple of weeks ago I was able to get Jack’s elementary school application submitted to the San Francisco Unified School District. Now we wait until March when we hear which of the 10 schools we asked for will be assigned to us. I admit that I’m experiencing an array of emotions during this process.
I tried to lower my general anxiety over San Francisco’s lottery system by not touring any of the schools. I know that might sound a little odd, so let me explain my reasoning. For one, even with the improvements made to the lottery system for this academic year, Jack may not be assigned to any of the schools we requested. Why tour schools and pick favorites when chances are good that he won’t even attend those schools? That is just asking for disappointment.
In addition to that, the reality is that we need a school that is fairly close to either our home or my employer. My workday isn’t flexible and I will likely be the one doing drop-off and pick-up (at least, that’s how things are now with daycare). I don’t have the ability to drive across town to a better school than the ones that are close.
There there is the fact that this is just Kindergarten and there is a high likelihood that we will move before he goes to 1st grade anyway…but if we do happen to still be in this area when that time comes, all the schools within a mile or so of our house are pretty equal according to my research.
So for the most part I have managed to avoid much of the anxiety that I think a lot of parents experience during this process (one mom behind me in line when I went to submit the application had a worry stone that a friend had loaned her for good luck). I AM a bit anxious but that has more to do with my own worries about how Jack’s school experience will go – that is more related to other kids than the school itself. Putting my kid in school is forcing me to face all of my school-related issues.
I am also unsure what is going to happen with Jack after the school days are over, as so far the after-school programs I’ve found in our neighborhood aren’t open to kindergartners. What kind of craziness is that? I *know* that other parents of 5 year olds work so what gives, San Francisco? Or, more specifically, Richmond District? We live in one of the more affordable parts of the city – not everyone has a nanny – so you’d think these things would be ironed out. Apparently they do not, though, and there is not much I can do about it until I know where Jack will be going to school.
In the mean time, we’re in limbo. SFUSD limbo. This is not my favorite thing.