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Nova, Other/Just Looking in 94087

Understanding school district system

Asked by Nova, 94087 Mon Jan 12, 2009


Can someone explain how does school district system work?
1. if your house falls under a particular school district, does that guarantee that your kids can go to that school? Are there any exceptions?
2. I keep hearing about "applying to a particular school". If answer to question 1 is yes, what does it mean?
3. What is open school district like santa clara? can anyone go to any school in santa clara?
4. heard that for higher education only 12% of a highschool district get selected. Is that correct?
5. any other special cases to consider about schools in bay area? Any website of reference would be great.

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Hi Nova,
Roland is correct, 94087 is one of the most complicated zip codes for school districts. Here is a quick over view.

1. If you live in a particular school district, let's say the Cupertino school district, you are guaranteed to be able to send your child to a school in that district, but it may not be the neighborhood school. All districts have their own policies about individual schools, but one thing is almost uniform. You can not send your child to a school in a different district unless there are some extenuating circumstances, such as a special needs program, or sometimes a charter school. So, when it comes time for registration, which usually happens in January or Feb. you go to your neighborhood school and apply. If there is room, they let you in, and if not, they need to find another school in the same district.

2. See the above answer. Some puplic schools also have lotteries to be admitted. These are usually schools that have some specialized program, like Manadarin Emersion or conceptual, project based learing. You would apply to these schools, but only if they are in your district.

3. Unfortunately even though Santa clara has an open school district, not everyone gets into the 2 most popular schools, Milliken or Washington. You would need to speak with the school district to see if your child can attend there and what the process is.

4. The University Of California has a policy that the if you are in the top 12% and have taken the required classes you will be admitted to at least one UC. This does not mean only the students in the top 12% get in, but that if you are in that catagory you will get inot at least one of the schools. There are thousands of kids with gpa's over 4.0 who do not get into UCLA or Berkely, and thousand who are not in the top 12% who get into multiple UCs.

5. As I said in 1, 94087 is a very complicated zip code, with homes in the Cupertino district, the Santa Clara Distict, and Cherry Chase. If you find a home you like you should go to the web site for the school district and plug in the address of the home to make sure it feeds into the school you want. Do not rely on what the seller or seller's agent says, they have been known to make mistakes.

I like the website for information about individual schools and districts. Santa Clara County has some excellent schools so you should be able to find the right one for your child.

Good luck!

Web Reference:
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jan 12, 2009
Let me try and answer your questions to the best of my ability

1. If you home falls under a particular school district the school district must accomdate your child. School districts can handle enrollement as they please. San Francisco for instance has a diversity program so they will send children to schools across town even thought they may live right next to a school.

In most cases school districts have school boundries within the school district area, as is the case for schools in Santa Clara Valley. The school district usually does not guarantee a particular school even though a student may live within that school's home boundries. The district may send that student to a different school due to over crowding. If you live in the district however, the district must accomodate you at one of their schools.

2. I'm not sure about applying, but you must enroll your children in the school. Some schools require the parents to enroll their children every year, and provide proof of residency within the approved boundries every quarter.

3. Most school districts have an open enrollment policy. That means if you live in the district you can have your child go to any school provided their is space for your child at that school, and children who live in that school's boundries get priority over children who live out side. Santa Clara has an open school district. It also has two open schools Milikin and Washington. These require a lottery system and application/qualification process.

4. Not sure what your asking here, but if you need any more clarification feel free to contact me.

As for websites you may want to try the individual websites for the school districts you are considering. If you are interested in test scores and demographic info you can stop by my website where there are links to state information about schools and school districts.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jan 12, 2009
School policies vary from district to district. The best source of accurate information is to contact the school's main office directly. They will be able to answer your questions.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jan 12, 2009
Nova, in my experience I can answer #1/#2, which are: 1) No, and 2) n/a..

As a Fremont City Council candidate in 1998 I came across a major statewide systemic issue when it comes to schools and housing, which still exists in many areas. Assuming a General Law city that follows the State’s rules (as opposed to a Charter City that can make rules by having the populous vote), when a new housing project goes before a City Council you will never find a sitting Council turn down a project due to the impacts on schools – no matter how many worried parents fill the Council chambers.

The determination of impacts on public schools is the purview of the local School District. A School District will not inform a City Council that it will be unable to handle the influx of children from a new project for two primary reasons: 1) the District is paid on a “headcount per day basis” (the value of which is different for each city based on its incorporation date, I believe), and 2) if a District were to state that they are unable to handle the new students this leaves them open to being run by the State. Hence, this completes the loop of the basic systemic problem.

In today’s budget-weary environment, a School District is forced to do “load-balancing” of the student population. While this can dismay parents who long for the “neighborhood school”, the fact is that busing, boundary changes, lotteries, and portable “temporary” classrooms are tools to maximize the utilization of school capacities and avoid over-crowding on campuses.

Best Regards, Steve
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jan 12, 2009
Hi Nova - There are a number of school districts that are in 94087, so without knowing your address, it's difficult to answer your questions. Each district may have different policies. Even with knowing the address, some people may have opinions, but there is no one more reliable than the district personel. In my experience, they are very helpful. You can start online, but you may have to go to the district office in person.

Here are some links that you may find useful.……

Good luck,
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jan 12, 2009
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