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Announcement (SY 2021-22)

Update: On October 20, 2020 the San Francisco Board of Education approved a change to the admissions criteria of Lowell High School for one year (school year 2021-22). For the 2021-2022 school year only, Lowell applicants will use the same application process and application form as all high school applicants. Students who live in San Francisco and wish to apply to Lowell High School will submit the general application form, and will go through the student assignment process used for all comprehensive high schools.

The SY 2021-22 application is now available at Please submit by February 5, 2021.

Questions on SY 2021-22 Lowell Admissions Changes

Why did the process change?

The one-year admissions change is a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and a lack of existing criteria used in previous years to admit students. SFUSD uses academic grades and Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC) scores from a student’s 7th grade and the first semester of 8th grade to determine admission offers to Lowell High School (Board Policy 5120.1). Due to changes made in response to the pandemic last spring, neither of these data are available for this year’s applicants therefore the District is unable to implement the previous Lowell High School Admissions policy for the 2021-22 school year.

Is this a permanent change?

No. This is for School Year 201-22 only. The board adopted a resolution due the the COVID-19 pandemic.

How do I apply to Lowell for SY 2021-22?

For the 2021-2022 school year, incoming 9th-grade students who live in San Francisco and wish to apply to Lowell High School will submit the same application form used for SFUSD’s comprehensive high schools and include Lowell as one of the choices. A separate application for Lowell is not needed for 2021-2022.

Once all applications are received (deadline is February 5th, 2021), SFUSD will assign students using the student assignment system and tiebreakers. 

For more information on how to apply visit Enrollment applications for 2021-2022 will be posted by November 2 on

Will students receive tiebreakers in student assignment?

Yes. Per the resolution, SFUSD will use Board Policy 5101 to admit incoming 9th graders to Lowell. All assignment policies and tiebreakers would apply to those applying to Lowell HS on their application. The following tiebreakers would apply in order of priority:

1. younger siblings of students who are enrolled in and will be attending the school during the year for which the younger sibling requests attendance;

2. students graduating from Willie L. Brown, Jr., Middle School (Brown) who were enrolled in and attended Brown in 6th, 7th, and 8th grade (Brown preference);

3. CTIP1;

4. all other students.

Can incoming 10th, 11th and 12th graders apply for Lowell?

Per the resolution for SY 2021-2022, no additional 10th-12th graders will be enrolled into Lowell so that we can hold consistent standards within each grade level and to address concerns with physical space.

How do I give input on this change?

The resolution has been voted on for 2021-2022 and public comment on this issue has passed. However, if you have concerns or questions about the Lowell Admissions Policy 5120 beyond 2021-2022, you can contact the Board of Education.

Lowell Admissions Process (SY 2020-21)

The following procedures are for Lowell Admissions for SY 2020-21. Please see the announcement at the top of this page for information about proposed changes for SY 2021-22.

Important Documents

9th Grade Selection

All applications received for Lowell are reviewed, and students who meet the admissions criteria are identified before the school assignment run each spring. Students who meet the admission criteria and list Lowell as their first choice will receive an assignment offer to Lowell. Those who meet the requirements but list another school as a higher choice will go into the school assignment process for their higher choice. If they are assigned that higher choice, they will not receive an offer to Lowell. However, if they do not receive their higher choice, they will be assigned to Lowell.

Students who do not meet the admissions criteria for Lowell will not be negatively impacted for other school choices. They will still be included in the assignment process for other school choices listed on their application.

Due to the student assignment process, it is very important that students list their school choices by their preference. There is no wait pool or appeal process for Lowell. There also is no sibling tiebreaker for Lowell. All students must meet the admissions criteria to enroll.

Applying for Grades 10-12

Generally, to qualify for Lowell admission in grades 10-12, students must take four of the five academic subjects for each semester of high school – English, Laboratory Sciences, Social Studies, Mathematics and Foreign Language – and have the classes listed in their official transcript. No more than one course from each of the five academic subject areas will be considered. Courses completed in summer school are not acceptable.

Current SFUSD students do not need to submit transcripts. Students who attend school outside of SFUSD or attend an SFUSD charter school must submit their official transcripts to the EPC. Transcripts can be submitted separately from the application by the deadline. Transcripts must arrive sealed to be considered official and may be mailed or emailed directly from the applicant’s current school.

Availability for grades 10-12 depends on the number of available seats at Lowell. Students who meet eligibility requirements for admission will be sent an assignment offer. There is no wait pool for admission.

Proof of Residency

Students who apply to Lowell must reside in San Francisco with a parent/legal guardian at the time of application and continue to live in San Francisco while attending Lowell. Interdistrict permits are not allowed for admission to Lowell. Any application with falsified information will nullify any application or result in a canceled assignment.

Current SFUSD students in eighth grade do not need to submit additional documents for proof of address unless the student’s address has been recently changed. Non-SFUSD students must submit a picture ID of their parent/guardian, proof of birth and one proof of address when submitting applications.