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Apply for Elementary School

There are two types of elementary schools: attendance area and city-wide. You can apply to any of the 72 elementary schools in the city, be it an attendance area school or city-wide school, and you can list as many schools as you like. If there is not enough space on the application, you can attach an Additional School Choices Form. List your school choices in the order of your preference.

There is no guarantee that a student will be assigned to his/her attendance area school.

Elementary to Middle School Feeder

It will be important for parents to be aware of the middle school feeder when choosing an elementary school. 5th grade students will receive a high priority to an assignment into their designated middle school feeder. The preference to middle school is based on where they attend elementary school.

Attendance Area Elementary School

Attendance areas are geographic borders drawn around most elementary schools throughout the district. We created attendance areas so there can be a system of helping you get placement in your elementary attendance area school if you wish. You are not required to request your elementary attendance area school, nor can you be guaranteed a placement at your elementary attendance area school.

City-Wide Elementary Schools and Programs

City-wide means there is no attendance area, and as a result city-wide schools and programs do not provide a tie-breaker for students who live near the school. K-8 schools (schools serving grades K to 8), language immersion schools, newcomer schools, and the SF Public Montessori School are examples of city-wide schools. City-wide programs are available at a limited number of schools; they are listed as an option on the back of the application form and they have a separate enrollment capacity. For example, the Chinese Immersion Pathway at West Portal is a city-wide program. Although West Portal elementary school has an attendance area, there is no attendance area tie-breaker for students who live in the attendance area and request the city-wide Chinese Immersion pathway.

What is a tie-breaker?

Tie-breakers are preferences used to help place students in a requested school when the number of requests for a school is greater than the number of spaces available.

Elementary Attendance Area School Tie-Breakers

Students requesting General Education Programs will be assigned to their highest ranked request as long as there is space at the school. If there are more students applying than there are openings at a school, choice assignments will be made by looking to all the possible combinations of tie-breakers in the following hierarchical order:


1
Siblings
Applicant has an older sibling enrolled in and will be attending the school.
2
Attendance area + SFUSD PreK or TK (Kindergarten only)
Applicant for Kindergarten and attends PreK or TK at the requested school and lives in the attendance area of the requested school.
3
Test score area
Students who live in areas of the city with the lowest average test scores.
4
Attendance area
Students who live in the attendance area of the school.
5
No tie-breakers
Students who do not have a tie-breaker.

Assignments are made to a requested school by looking to all the possible combinations of tie-breakers in hierarchical order. For example, a request with sibling, SFUSD PreK, and low test score area tie-breakers will be ranked higher than a request with only a sibling tie-breaker. Higher-ranked tie-breakers always trump any combination of lower ranked tie-breakers. For example, a request with a sibling tie-breaker is ranked higher than a request with a SFUSD PreK and low test score area tie-breaker.

If these tie-breakers do not resolve ties, then ties will be resolved by random lottery.

Elementary City-Wide School Tie-Breakers

Students requesting General Education Programs at a city-wide school will be assigned to their highest ranked request as long as there is space at the school. If there are more students applying than there are openings at a school, choice assignments will be made by looking to all the possible combinations of tie-breakers in the following hierarchical order:

1
Siblings
Applicant has an older sibling enrolled in and will be attending the requested school.
2
SFUSD PreK or TK (kindergarten only)
Applicant for Kindergarten attends SFUSD PreK or TK at the requested city-wide school.
3
Test score areas
Students who live in areas of the city with the lowest average test scores.
4
No tie-breakers
Students who do not have a tie-breaker.

If these tie-breakers do not resolve ties, then ties will be resolved by random lottery.

City-Wide Program Tie-Breakers TK-12

If you’re applying for a city-wide program that has eligibility requirements, first the student must meet the eligibility requirements.  Then we use the tie-breakers.  

Students will be assigned to their highest ranked request as long as there is space at the school.  If there are more students applying than there are openings at a school, choice assignments will be made by looking to all the possible combinations of tie-breakers in the following hierarchical order.

1
Current program with sibling
Applicant enrolled in program and has an older sibling enrolled in program and will be attending the school.
2
Current program pathway
Applicant currently enrolled in program pathway.
3
Siblings
Sibling - has an older sibling enrolled in and will be attending the school.
4
SFUSD PreK or TK (Kindergarten only)
SFUSD-PreK or TK Applicant for Kindergarten and attends SFUSD preK or TK program at the city-wide school. Requesting city-wide school or program.
5
Test score areas
Students who live in areas of the city with the lowest average test scores.
6
No tie-breakers
Students who do not have a tie-breaker.

If these tie-breakers do not resolve ties, then ties will be resolved by random lottery.

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