As a public school teacher, I am partial to public education. And while I’ve had a good amount of experience at some middle schools and high schools in various school districts, I’m still learning about all the prekindergarten (preK), Transitional Kindergarten (TK), K-8, and elementary options that exist.
San Francisco Unified School District (SFUSD) has schools that range from preK, elementary (TK-5, TK-8), middle(6-8), and high school (9-12), for a total of 136 schools. If you’re interested in enrolling in SFUSD, or are new to the enrollment process, you should definitely attend their Enrollment Fair happening on Saturday, October 13, at John O’Connell High School.
Why go to the Enrollment Fair?
The Enrollment Fair offers you the opportunity to learn about the enrollment process (which can be a bit complex) and SFUSD schools, as each is unique in their mission and vision. It also serves as a chance to mingle with current staff, schedule school tours, and to begin/ complete your enrollment application. Some schools even give away swag! And if you don’t get all your questions answered, there are a series of workshops you can attend to assist with the application and enrollment process.
What do SFUSD schools offer?
Schools in SFUSD aim to be diverse and meet a variety of students’ needs. Something that’s different than other districts I’ve worked in, for example, is that you have the option of choosing to enroll in dual-immersion or biliteratete schools, or schools with a world-language component at the elementary level. There are schools that focus on certain career and technical skills, as well as charter schools. (While charter schools are part of the school district, they have their own application process. You can find more information on charter schools with links to their websites and applications here.)
TK and PreK
If you’re enrolling in pre-kindergarten in SFUSD, your child must be three years old on or before December 1 for the year they are enrolling. Additionally, you must reside in San Francisco. PreK schools enroll differently than the TK-12 schools. They enroll on a first come, first serve basis and are tuition-based. (I find the process a bit like enrolling for daycare. It’s never too late to get yourself on a waitlist!) Once your child is in, you pay the school directly on a monthly basis. Subsidized tuition rates are also available, depending on need. If you’re looking to qualify for subsidized care, or are curious about current tuition rates (click here to get an idea), go to the Enrollment Fair and/or contact the Early Education Enrollment office before you apply. Their number is (415) 241-6085 or (415) 401-2500 (try this number first). You can also reach out via email at [email protected]
If your child will turn five between September 2nd and December 2nd of 2019, they are eligible to enroll in a Transitional Kindergarten (TK) program. TK occurs during the first year of a two-year kindergarten program, and uses a modified, developmentally appropriate, kindergarten curriculum taught by a credentialed teacher.
The TK enrollment process is the same as that of K-12 schools and is free, as it’s part of the public education system. Once your child completes TK, they will automatically be enrolled in their TK school’s kindergarten class…so choose a school you like. Of course, you can always transfer, but you’ll have to repeat some steps in the enrollment process.
I’m ready to turn in my application. Now what?
When enrolling, you will need your completed application or preK application form, your picture ID, proof of your child’s age (birth certificate) and proof of guardian/parent residency. FYI, cell phone bills do not count as proof of residency, but pay stubs (within 45 days), utility bills, auto insurance/registration, etc., do. Make sure that you turn in your application by January 11, 2019, to have the best possible chance of getting the school of your choice. You can turn in your application at the Educational Placement Center on 555 Franklin Street, Room 100. Don’t forget to keep yourself in the loop with key enrollment dates and the 2018-19 enrollment guide. (The 2019-2020 guide is not yet available as of this writing. You can get the most current one at the Enrollment Fair) See you there!