Cupertino School Lottery Sibling Priority works different for OLDER vs. younger sibling
The Cupertino Union School District has four special schools that anyone who owns or rents a home in the Cupertino Union School District can apply to. These special schools are Faria A+ Academic, Chinese Language Immersion, McAuliffe Alternative, and Portal. These schools are in high demand, thus parents need to apply to a lottery to try to get their children into those programs.
One of the concepts that sometimes gets confused is the sibling priority system. The Cupertino Union School District Lottery Sibling Priority rule works differently for OLDER siblings vs. younger siblings.
If the older sibling gets into the special lottery school, then the younger sibling automatically gets priority.
However, if the YOUNGER sibling gets into the special lottery school, the older sibling does NOT get priority that first year. The older sibling is treated like all the other applicants in that first year. However, the NEXT school year, the older sibling does benefit with a sibling priority that allows him to move up toward the top of the list with the other applicants who also have their own younger siblings to give them preference in that 2nd year.
Whether they get sibling preference of not, the older sibling will have a difficult time getting in because older siblings have to rely on existing students dropping out to get spots open in the older grades (grades 1 thru 5). The best shot to get your child into the special lottery school is at the very beginning (i.e. the Kindergarten level) because that's when a whole grade full of students move on to 1st grade and there is no predetermined set of new kids to take the spots they opened up in kindergarten.