August 26, 2009

Cupertino School District Overflow information

Palo Alto Online : School district to cancel Garland re-opening | SF Bay Area Home Price and Mortgage Insanity Blog –
Herve Estater Says:
August 23rd, 2009 at 10:39 pm

Wow. I have seen the overflow down here and it’s bad. There are 3 CUSD elementary schools in Sunnyvale …, and the worst is Stocklmeir (in enrollment). CUSD kicked the resource people out of the adjacent set of buildings and moved grades 4&5 into that complex. I think Stocklmeir has around 950 kids in the K-5 school. 950!!! It’s like a million kids per classroom!

Chief problem is the other 2 elementary schools in the area … weren’t just closed when enrollment dropped in the 70s …. They were sold to developers who bulldozed the schools. So CUSD has nowhere else to send those kids. You should see the place; portable classrooms everywhere, and by portable I mean trailer park 🙂

Also from what I hear, anyone enrolling their kids in PA school dist who are older than kindergarten has zero priority on either the neighborhood elementary school or even *keeping siblings together*

I am seriously considering moving to Mountain View now. Cheaper yet better than Palo Alto, less pressure and fewer suicides).

Solid information. Thanks Herve.

By the way, does anyone know of anyone who has actually camped outside to get their kids into a school? That’d make a great post!

Comments (13) -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:13 am

June 8, 2008

How to get your kids into Cupertino Unified School District (CUSD)

One of the reasons the Bay Area is so successful is that we are always pushing the envelope of innovation. Our amazing minds have this amazing ability to take common things and innovate the crap out of them, dramatically changing them. If you live anywhere else, you’ll just have the same ol’ same ol’ year after year, and be boring.

Let’s look at how Silicon Valley has pushed the envelope and truly innovated in the design of enrolling your kids into the local public school:

How to get your kids into a good school in California – camp for days, punch out others, voluntary mandatory donations []
madhaus aka guitar hero Says:
June 4th, 2008 at 4:49 pm

How to get your kid into Cupertino Unified School District

If you live in CUSD borders:

1. Go to your neighborhood school during enrollment week, usually early February. District website has attendance area map and address finder.
2. Bring PG&E bill, birth certificate of kid, other ID
3. Child must be 5 by December 2nd of that year if enrolling in kindergarten.
4. To enroll in another neighborhood school or alternative program, tell enrollment person and get “lottery ticket” plus enrollment form.
5. Go to alternative school or other neighborhood school during alternative enrollment week, bring ticket and form to sign up. Some alternative schools have additional requirements to enroll. You should call the school well before enrollment to find out what they are so you can meet them.
6. Lottery is held at school district office. You can attend but what you see is meaningless. School by school, they call a bunch of names by picking them out of a hat and numbering them. But students with enrolled siblings are given preference, and you don’t know how many spots there are for each grade, so your number isn’t that useful. A kid with a sibling with #799 is ahead of another #1 and no sibling. Just wait for a letter from the school within 1-2 months.

If you want your kid to go to the intense homework factory with perfect scores on the API, there will be 700 other families trying too. Very few will make it due to sibling preference.

If you missed enrollment week:

Follow same procedure, knowing you are behind everyone who enrolled when they were supposed to. Schools are closed for 6 weeks in summer, you may have to wait until August to enroll, or call school district office.

This means your child may have to attend overflow school instead of regular neighborhood school. And this is why everyone enrolls the first day of enrollment week, first thing in the morning.

There is no transit provided to any CUSD school unless your child goes to a special education program.

If you do not live in CUSD and wish to have child attend:

1. One alternative school takes out of district kids, but makes it very tough. They will not let you know if you’re in until first day of school, since district residents always leapfrog you. None of the regular schools will take out of district, though.

Wow. Seriously. Is there any wonder how Steve Wozniak and Steve Jobs ended up creating the amazingly and devastatingly innovative Apple? (we’ll ignore most of the late 80’s to early 90’s)

Keep on taking ordinary things and innovating on them Silicon Valley. Let’s see some more innovation! How can we take school enrollment to the next level?

(For you folks not lucky enough to live in the Bay Area, how do you enroll your kids? Do you have to camp outside for a few days?)

Comments (28) -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:16 am

February 12, 2008

“Palo Alto Parents Lie For Kids To Attend Better Schools”

Some Palo Alto Parents Lie For Kids To Attend Better Schools – News Story – KNTV | San Francisco
Some Palo Alto parents are lying and cheating to get their children into the best schools possible.

Palo Alto Unified School District administrators said they carry out more than 200 investigations a year about parents possibly lying about their residence to qualify to attend a school.

“They do all sorts of different things,” said Steve Lawrence of the Palo Alto Unified School District. “We have people saying they are living with relatives that are really living someplace else.”

Margie Mitchell of the Palo Alto Unified School District said, “We have parents that come in and try and give us falsified lease agreements and property tax statements. We are on an overflow basis right now, especially in the elementary grades.”


One Palo Alto parent, who did not want to identify herself, said she does not feel bad lying about where she lived.

“Why should my daughter come home after the first day at school and be so depressed and sad?” she asked. “If my choice was to send my daughter to that school or and try and cheat the system I chose to try and cheat the system.”

The mother sends her children to a high performing school in the town where her relatives live. She uses their address.

“Why we don’t live there is economic reasons at this point in our life that’s where we want to live,” she said. “Under our circumstances we can’t.”

Palo Alto is not the only school district facing the residency-cheating problem. The Fremont Union High School District said it investigated about 200 fraud cases last year. Of those cases the district said it found about 10 percent of the parents cheated their way into the district.

This is the kind of stuff that makes the Real Bay Area special.

This is the kind of stuff that gives kids going to Real Bay Area schools the advantage.

Think about it… if kids weren’t exposed to these sorts of things, how would they ever become successful C-level executives? Would they even be able to fathom something as obvious as backdating options? Or getting their company to buy them a corporate jet, and pay them for using it?

Even worse – how would the kid learn that one should do things like that, and not feel bad about it?

Silicon Valley has always been about being an entrepreneur, about “asking for forgiveness is easier than asking for permission”, about can-do spirit. And this is how it all begins – by going to the right school.

No wonder Palo Alto real estate is so expensive. Actually… given the life lessons… it’s a deal.

Comments (26) -- Posted by: burbed @ 6:19 am

March 22, 2006

Getting busted for -GOING- to school… Residency Verification

So recently, all Sunnyvale (and possibly Cupertino) residents got a flyer from the Fremont Union High School District highlighting this:

Ah yes… in most places, you get busted for cutting school. In the Bay Area, you’re supposed to drop a dime on those who are going to the wrong school.

Considering that the median condo in Santa Clara is $500,000, and that the median home is $723,500 these days… isn’t it kind of strange that parents are pulling all sorts of shenanigans to get their kids into a better school?

Sure… maybe you bought a house in a cheaper neighborhood… like… only $600,000. At that price shouldn’t you get a school that you’re proud of? Instead of sneaking your kids somewhere else?

And why the crackdown anyway? The median home price of Sunnyvale-Cupertino ranges from $655,000-$920,000.

This explains it:


Of course! The local community where median home prices ranges from $655,000-$920,000 is having a financial crisis. Better budget an additional $15,000 a year to send your kids to private K-12!

Only in California.

Thank you Proposition 13.

Update 4/18: Some people have linked to this saying that this is due to illegal immigration. My sources say that it is not necessarily the case – that even citizens do it. Let’s say you own a house in East Palo Alto – wouldn’t you rather your child go to… say Gunn instead?

Comments (1) -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:00 am