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Email Newsletter about SFUSD's New Elementary School Student Assignment Policy

Greetings and we hope you are well. This newsletter will provide information about the future elementary school zones and share what happened at last week’s Board of Education meeting.

Moving from District Wide Choice to Elementary School Zones

One of the many challenges with our current district wide choice system is that it causes great stress and anxiety for families, in part because of the large number of options available to choose from (72 different elementary and K-8 schools!) and the uncertainty of where their child will be assigned. With zones there will be less choice and, as a result, a lot more predictability.

When the new policy is implemented with kindergarteners starting school in August 2024, instead of district wide choice, families will have choice within zones.

Zones will be drawn to meet the three goals of the new student assignment policy: create diverse elementary schools; offer a high degree of predictability for families about where their children will enroll in school; and create strong community connections to local schools within a reasonable geographic distance.

Learn More about Elementary School Zones

What is a zone?

A zone is a boundary that is drawn around a group of SFUSD elementary schools. Each student will be able to apply to any of the schools in the zone in which they reside. This is different from SFUSD’s current system, in which there are no zones and students can apply to any school in the district. All zones will provide students with access to general education programs, language programs, and special education services.

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How many zones will there be and what schools will be in which zones?

We are currently developing a draft set of zones so do not have an exact number yet. Based on community feedback showing a preference for larger zones that give families more options, we anticipate that there will be 6-8 elementary school zones with 10-12 schools inside each zone.

When can I see the zones and provide feedback?

SFUSD will present draft zones to the public in Spring 2022. In the coming months, we will announce opportunities for the public to see the draft zones and provide feedback.

When will the zones be final?

June 2022. After zones are final, we will update our enrollment processes and materials so that families can apply for kindergarten under the new zone-based system. New kindergarteners will start school in their zones starting in fall 2024.

Submit Your Questions about Zones

We invite you to use this form to submit any questions you have about zones and what they will mean for kindergartners enrolling in August 2024.  We will answer your questions in future newsletters.

Recap of Board Meeting

Last Thursday night, the Ad Hoc Committee on Student Assignment met to discuss the work to develop and implement the new student assignment policy. SFUSD staff shared findings from our Fall community engagement, where more than 400 community members provided feedback on elementary school zones, and how that feedback is influencing how zones will be drawn. Staff also shared the process for drafting zone boundaries, and the process for evaluating zones to ensure they promote diversity, proximity, predictability, and equity.

You can see the meeting presentation slide deck in three languages (English | Chinese | Spanish) or watch the video recording of the meeting.

Quote of the Week

"I appreciate that the school district is taking this on; our current assignment system is not serving our children."

-- Parent from African American Parent Advisory Committee meeting on October 21, 2021

    Reading of the Week


    As SFUSD redesigns our student assignment policy, one of our primary goals is to create integrated elementary schools that provide students with the opportunity to experience the rich diversity of our city. In this post from October 5, 2020, we highlight a few school districts that have had success integrating their schools and improving racial equity and educational quality for all children. Read: Lessons on Integration From Around the Country

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      Student Assignment in the News

      Unconstrained choice — allowing families to apply to all SFUSD schools — has resulted in unintended consequences for our schools: More schools are now segregated, under-enrolled, and disconnected from surrounding communities than they were 10 years ago. This recent article from the San Francisco Chronicle highlights some of the challenges we are hoping to overcome with the new student assignment policy.

      Read the article
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