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Palo Verde Lottery?

Original post made by W.G.B. on Apr 22, 2008

We have a 4 year old who is supposed to be starting at Palo Verde this coming fall. Last week, we got a vague letter about there being an overflow, and they wanted everyone to call the school to inform them of their "intentions." I guess they were looking for people they could easily scratch off the list who might be going to private schools.

I was wondering if anyone out there also got this letter, and if anyone knows any inside scoop on how bad the overflow situation is, and what the school plans to do. Its really unsettling!

Comments (22)

Posted by julie, a resident of Midtown
on Apr 22, 2008 at 2:46 pm

If they did not have the Tinsely VTP in PAUSD then your child would have a place in the local school

It is time to end the VTP program now. Our schools are already over crowded without these aprox 700 VTP students from other districts

Posted by W.G.B, a resident of Palo Verde
on Apr 22, 2008 at 2:55 pm

I totally agree, Julie. I'm on board 100%. However, Just as a kind of an "administrative request," if anyone has a response to Julie's VTP comment, perhaps we could start a new thread, so we can keep this one for the Palo Verde (or possibly any PA elementary school) overflow situation for 2008.

Posted by PV Parent, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 22, 2008 at 3:49 pm

Actually, I am very glad to hear that they are doing a follow up to find out if everyone who has a place is intending to take it. Too often in the past there are no shows on the first day or week of school as kids who have places in private schools never have the manners to tell the school that they won't be there. We have an enrollment crunch all over the district and it may be that this is just a new system to see how much of the overall kindergartens are not going to be filled in the fall. I believe Fairmeadow last fall had over 20 spaces for no shows. The district is right not to let this happen again and I hope that they do this again in early August just to make sure that there will be no others who find alternate school places just before school starts.

It is bad planning to have the only indicator of whether a child will turn up as the application process the preceding Jan or Feb. It is about time that those who are only using PAUSD as a fallback in case they don't get into the private school of their choice were checked up on. It shouldn't be allowed that their place is held until 11th day of school (or whenever) before realising that the child is not going to turn up. Now they are doing something about it.

To WGB, I would call the school office and ask what no. your child is on the waiting list. Also, ask how many siblings are on the preference list. It is understandable that these siblings get preference, but some years there are over 40 while some years there are less than 10 and these siblings can make a very big difference to the number of remaining places, particularly as siblings do tend to turn up rather than go elsewhere.

Posted by palo alto mom, a resident of Crescent Park
on Apr 23, 2008 at 9:08 am

I don't think they have wait lists this year. Last year there was a "lottery" for kinders, I believe this year they are doing it differently. The last I heard there were about 60 more kinders (thru the whole district) then we have space for. I think just Addison had 25 or 30 too many. I assume siblings continue to get first preference at all school (having a current 5th grader doesn't count, you must have a sibling who will be at the school with you next year).

Posted by ns, a resident of Crescent Park
on Apr 23, 2008 at 11:34 am

I know that Addison and Duveneck are over-subscribed as well this year. Both schools have sent out similar letters and, I believe Duveneck, has started the lottery process.
The original number over-subscribed for Addison was 35. Apparently that has now dropped to 25, probably due to those letters being sent.
Addison is adding a bubble class because there are so many. That brings the number of bubble classes at Addison to 4. You might as well now call it a 4-strand call rather than continue with this "bubble-class" mis-representation.
They're now pinning their hopes on 5 additional no-shows to get them all in.

Don't pick on the Tinsley kids. Even without them we'd have overflow issues in the north cluster. This needs to be tackled at the district level and not victimizing one group.

Posted by duveneck mom, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Apr 23, 2008 at 12:28 pm


Does anyone know the over-subscriber number for Duveneck?


Posted by MidtownMom, a resident of Palo Verde
on Apr 23, 2008 at 12:33 pm

We got a similar letter from Palo Verde .. we were on vacation all of last week and almost missed the window to call the office and let them know we were interested.

While I agree with the notification process trying to estimate the number of children who are actually going to attend PV in fall .. some people will unfortunately be side tracked since there is a small window of opportunity to respond.

I was told that siblings do get a priority (which makes sense)

Posted by palo alto mom, a resident of Crescent Park
on Apr 23, 2008 at 12:54 pm

Addison is an awfully small campus to be adding another classroom.

Posted by ns, a resident of Crescent Park
on Apr 23, 2008 at 5:18 pm

Duveneck Mom,
I believe Duveneck is over-subscribed by less than 10 kids so it isn't in anywhere near as dire a situation as Addison. As Duveneck's already a 4-strand school, that's 90 kids for 80 places. Let's hope all the kids that want a place will get in. It's unlikely all 90 kids will show up on the first day.

Posted by Tina, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Apr 23, 2008 at 5:19 pm

PAUSD should be charging all applying families a deposit which will be refundable when the school year begins or if a family moves or decides to send a child to private school (and they usually know by spring) and notifies the school no later than June 1.
This would encourage people to be honest about their "intentions" and free up spaces sooner.

Posted by 4 years??, a resident of Greenmeadow
on Apr 23, 2008 at 9:11 pm

If you have a four year old, my advice is to look into Young Fives. It's really sad to see these tiny kids, who in many states would be deemed too young to start school, shoved into the kindergarten path. You don't get the same kid back on the other end. Once they're on this roller coaster ride of school, it's impossible to get them back off it.

Posted by Mom of 3, a resident of College Terrace
on Apr 23, 2008 at 10:44 pm

Young 5's is a lottery program -- filled long ago.

Posted by ns, a resident of Crescent Park
on Apr 24, 2008 at 10:30 am

4 years??,
WGB say's her child is 4 now as are most children starting kindergarten this fall. The child may or may not be in the "Young Fives" range but that still wouldn't make it an automatic choice for the parent. It all depends on the child.

Posted by WGB, a resident of Palo Verde
on Apr 24, 2008 at 10:36 am

Just to clarify, my daughter turns 5 this summer, well before the cutoff date, or the start of school, so young 5's isn't really an issue for me.

Posted by palo alto mom, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Apr 25, 2008 at 4:27 am

Any advice for a family moving within PAUSD?

We registered in the Priority 1 timeframe though are moving. So, it seems we are no longer considered Priority 1 and are now at the bottom of the 'second list' at our soon-to-be neighborhood school. Further, it sounds like all the schools nearby are oversubscribed so I am not sure what the overflow school will be...

Any thoughts?

Posted by Another PA Mom, a resident of Professorville
on Apr 25, 2008 at 5:03 am

We had to wait a year to get into our neighborhood school for 2nd grade. We were sent to Nixon. I had to drive our daughter to Nixon from (near Garland) for a year until they had room. This was 2 years ago. It was easy for her to assimilate into Nixon since they have a lot of overflow kids, but she did have problems with other girls being mean to her (as the new girl). It was heartbreaking to see her suffer so much. Things seem to have gotten better. I almost feel sorry that we moved her from the school where she felt confident.

Posted by Parent, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 25, 2008 at 9:15 am

If you are moving within PAUSD even though you haven't actually started school yet, you will be considered an intradistrict transfer. Many people move within PA and want to remain in the school they are already in and they still have to apply for an intradistrict transfer. As far as I can see, it is paperwork like this that keeps so many people employed at 25 Churchill. Stuff like this should be a 2 minute job at one of the relevant school's office.

No wonder we have no money for important things in our schools, we have too much bureaucracy wasting time and money at the top.

Posted by palo alto mom, a resident of Crescent Park
on Apr 25, 2008 at 3:28 pm

Dear PA mom - I know the district is committed to trying to keep over flow students as close to home as possible. Duveneck currently has about 10 too many kinders, Hays has space for a couple kinders and Addison is over enrolled by 30-35 kinders.

Posted by WGB, a resident of Palo Verde
on Apr 25, 2008 at 5:56 pm

Well, it is official! Today, I received a letter from Palo Verde that a lottery will be taking place on Wednesday (4/30.) Apparently, its going to be what they call a "reverse lottery" where they will only draw names of the students that will be overflowed. They are then supposed to call the students on the 30th to let them know which schools are available.
I'll certainly post my experience with this and I invite others to do the same.

Posted by Parent, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 25, 2008 at 6:03 pm

Is this a public lottery with parents invited to attend? Is this going to be done by Palo Verde staff or the District Staff. Is this going to be the same as the MI SI Ohlone Hoover lotteries, which are called something else?

I think this should be watched.

Posted by WGB, a resident of Palo Verde
on Apr 25, 2008 at 6:12 pm

Parent - I feel the same way! the letter does not indicate if its public. It says that the lottery will be held in "the school office." I was going to call on Monday and find out. You are right though - it should be totally transparent.
I'm also wondering how kinders with older siblings still at the school are going to be handled - are they going to be exempt from the lottery? That would be fair, of course, In fact, I would be more irritated if they are part of the lottery, since it would be inconsistent with what I've heard from the school district, that once you are in a school, all the siblings are essentially guaranteed.
We do NOT have an older sibling in the school, I'm just curious how they are handling that.

Posted by Curious, a resident of Midtown
on May 3, 2008 at 12:45 pm

So, what happened with the lottery? I am curious.

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