01-23-2013 02:36 AM
We live overseas and are moving to the bay area in the springtime this year and will be missing Open Enrollment for schools. Can we still find public schools for the kids? We have two elementary school aged kids (grades 1 and 4) and looking at public schools in los altos, palo alto, cupertino or fremont (MSJ)..thoughts? suggestions?
01-23-2013 09:19 AM
Others in the know for these areas can provide the details, but I have not heard of an open enrollment process where you get to pick your school only during a specified time. Transfers between school districts may occur but it definitely requires coordination. Some Bay Area school districts have a new resident enrollment process that requires proof of residency and then you get into the local school, subject to being full.
01-23-2013 09:23 AM
Yes, you can enroll your kids in local public schools when you move to the area. You will need to be able to prove your residence in the district attendance boundaries (which can be a nuisance if you are in the middle of a move and buying a house).
01-23-2013 09:25 AM
Highly recommend renting before you buy unless you already know the Bay Area and these locations vs your planned work location etc.
Each of those areas are quite different regarding schooling dynamics kids - culture etc. You may also find that there are other areas closer or in better proximity to your jobs which offers both top schools and the type of culture your looking for.
01-23-2013 09:36 AM
Also I personally think something is going on with the San Jose schools beyond just demographic shifts. For example Willow Glen High School had an API of around 700 in 2009 and now is 771 trending towards 800 (I'm not going to bother looking this up, this is from memory). Thats a pretty dramatic move in API scores in 3 years. The reason the better parts of San Jose had such bad scores for so long is that busing was mandated in the 70s. Was that some sort of federal mandate that expired recently? Busing has fallen out of favor even with minority advocates.
01-23-2013 09:43 AM
No scores are migrating up in nearly every location for a number of reasons in the Bay Area. The current crop of middle school kids and HS kids in the Bay Area and SJ areas come from higher numbers of highly skilled and trained Professional parents who bought homes which were not cheap but may have been in previously less desirable areas. As a result their kids enough of them attend the schools and nothing impacts school API scores faster than kids raised with very supportive and highly educated parents. In the grand scheme of things for a number of reasons including the lack of low level jobs California has seen a large increase in students not only graduating but also graduating with much higher GPA's than seen in the past 30yrs.
01-23-2013 10:36 AM
Since charter schools are sprouting all around, specially in San Jose, the API is raising dramatically. My kid attends the charter school Rocketship. People drive from RWC or other towns to San Jose only to get their kids in those schools because they are in the 880's and getting 900's. I am talking about elementary school.
So, check online for Rocketship schools.
01-23-2013 10:45 AM
Elementary schools are more location specific than HS for obvious reasons. If all your elementary and middle schools feeding into the HS are in the 800 - 900+ range you will find the HS is also in that range. Very simple concept if the feeder schools all averaged together result in lower scores so will the HS they feed into.
01-23-2013 10:59 AM
Willow Glen San Jose is one of those SJ neighborhoods that has outstanding(900 etc) elementary schools like Booksin but then their middle and high schools were much lower because the feeder schools from the surrounding areas are much lower socioeconomic neighborhoods vs Willow Glen. I also know that historically (the 70s era), willow glen had great schools but San Jose was sued and forced into busing which then destroyed the good schools in the SJUSD.
But then, recently, the middle and high schools in WG and Cambrian are rising dramatically for whatever reason.
Personally I think all this relentless focus on API scores is a little misguided anyway. I only care because as a real estate investor, local school API scores matter to property values. But the truth is, most of the CEOs I know send their kids to Valley Christian - even if they are not christian themselves. Sports programs are critical in leadership development and these asian dominated high API schools tend to have very little of that. If you want your kid to be an engineer in a cube, look only at API.