SFUSD Superintendent Proposes Maintaining Choice-Based Admissions at Lowell High School for 2022-23 School Year

SFUSD Superintendent Proposes Maintaining Choice-Based Admissions at Lowell High School for 2022-23 School Year

San Francisco (November 30, 2021) - San Francisco Unified School District (SFUSD) Superintendent Dr. Vincent Matthews is recommending that SFUSD utilize the same choice-based admissions policy for Lowell High School for the 2022-23 school year as it uses for placement at its other comprehensive high schools while the SF Board of Education considers alternatives. 

In February 2021, the SF Board of Education adopted Resolution No. 212-2A1 which provided that the regular admissions process for SFUSD comprehensive high schools would be used for future admissions to Lowell High School. This Resolution was the subject of litigation and on Nov. 17, 2021, a court ordered the Board to set aside Resolution No. 212-2A1, adopted at its Feb. 9, 2021 meeting. The Court found that although the Board placed Resolution 212-21A1 on the Board agenda for action, and the Board provided a copy of the Resolution, it nevertheless failed to provide adequate notice that it intended to change the Lowell admissions policy. However, in the same order, the Court noted and explained that the Board could cure and correct this procedural error by placing the Resolution on a board agenda with proper notice. 

Superintendent Matthews will introduce a resolution for first reading on Dec. 7, 2021 that recommends SFUSD utilize the same admissions policy for Lowell for the 2022-23 school year as it did for the current school year. Per the Superintendent’s resolution to be introduced on Dec. 7, students applying to Lowell for the 2022-23 school year would use the same application form used for SFUSD’s comprehensive high schools. The application for Lowell would have the same deadline as all other comprehensive SFUSD high schools –– Feb. 4, 2022. 

Superintendent Matthews will request that the SF Board of Education schedule the resolution for a vote at a special meeting on Dec. 16, 2021. SFUSD will notify families of the final decision immediately following a decision by the SF Board of Education. 

“We recognize that in light of the recent court decision, families are anxious to know what the admissions process will be for applying to Lowell for the 2022-23 school year,” said Superintendent Dr. Vincent Mathews. “It would be logistically impossible to establish and implement any selective admissions criteria prior to the application deadline of Feb. 4 so I am recommending we maintain our current admissions practice for Lowell for the upcoming school year.” 

Under the Superintendent’s proposed resolution, students who live in San Francisco and wish to apply to Lowell High School for the 2022-23 school year would submit the same application form used for SFUSD’s comprehensive high schools. Students may list as many high schools as they like and 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 at a series of tiebreakers. Unlike elementary schools, comprehensive high schools do not have an attendance area, meaning all high schools are city-wide schools. 

For many years the SFUSD used grade point average and Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC) scores from a student’s 7th grade and the first semester of 8th grade as factors in determining admission offers to Lowell High School. Last year the San Francisco Board of Education approved a change to the admissions criteria of Lowell for school year 2021-22 due to the COVID-19 pandemic and a lack of existing criteria used in previous years to admit students. 

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