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Applications numbers rise at SF Unified schools for first time in years

A shift is happening at San Francisco schools: Application numbers are on the rise recently after years of declining enrollment that has threatened school closures and layoffs.

It’s not yet clear if the shift will be enough to change the course of the district where officials have said there are more schools than needed.

The San Francisco Unified School District saw 14,000 applications this year, more than it has seen in recent years, which means interest is up, and the potential for more students is there.

Within the past month, district leaders have said there are more schools than required for the number of students enrolled, which means closing or consolidating campuses is not just possibe but almost inevitable.

How many and which schools has not yet been determined.

Application numbers at SFUSD went up this past placement season, specifically in transitional kindergarten, which means there’s potential for growing the district’s student body.

“We see an increase in about 300 applications for TK every year, or an increase of about 300 TK students each year,” said Lauren Koehler, executive director in the enrollment office. “What that means is every year we need to make 300 more seats, so we are opening TK at more and more schools every year.”

The district, however, still faces major challenges including a more than $400 million deficit; replacing an inefficient payroll system; and reforming school placement from lottery to zoning.

Families have until April 5 to accept their main-round schools.

As far as possible school closures or consolidations, the district says it is engaging communities in their discussions about realignment that will happen in the months ahead.

Source: NBC Bay Area

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