Today, we’re just one week away from the deadline for submitting first-round applications for kindergarten (and transitional kindergarten) enrollment in the San Francisco Unified School District (SFUSD) for fall 2014. As a reminder, San Francisco does not automatically assign children to a designated neighborhood school based on where they live, as is the case in most other school districts. Instead, children in San Francisco may apply for kindergarten at any of the more than 70 elementary schools in the district. But demand for many schools is higher than those schools can accommodate, so children receive their assignment through a complicated, modified lottery process.


The process can be hard to understand, but the most important thing to remember is that you must apply on time in order to maximize the chances for your child to attend a school of your liking (and you are strongly encouraged to have more than one in mind). Parents of children who turn five years old by September 1, 2014 should apply to SFUSD by Tuesday, January 21, 2014. Parents of children who turn five years old from September 2 through December 2, 2014 should also apply to SFUSD by January 21 for the same reasons, if they wish for their children to attend transitional kindergarten.


There are many excellent resources to help parents understand the kindergarten application and enrollment process, including support from one of First 5 San Francisco’s very own grantees, Parents for Public Schools. Here are just a few helpful links:


  • The SFUSD Educational Placement Center (EPC) is your first place to start. This is where you’ll get your application and ultimately submit it in-person, either at 555 Franklin Street or at a couple of alternate locations. EPC has multilingual enrollment counselors who can help parents better understand the application and enrollment process.


  • Parents for Public Schools can similarly counsel parents in multiple languages about the enrollment process and provide a bunch of helpful tips. The organization also has a network of parent volunteers who can provide a wealth of information about different schools and programs within the district.




Finally, don’t forget that you must apply in-person and provide your picture identification and proof of age and residency for your child! Good luck!