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Transferring within/from West Contra Costa County
Hi, I'm looking for advice about moving. Our current house is zoned for Madera and we are very happy with the school. Our son is comfortable and we really like his teacher, the other parents, the after-care program, and MASEP. I currently serve as his room parent.
We would like to move into a bigger house farther up the hill. Of the houses that we are considering, several are zoned for either Mira Vista or Kensington. Some are in Berkeley. If we choose a house in the Mira Vista or Kensington district, how hard would it be to be able to stay at Madera? Our son has a hard time with change and he's comfortable with the routine at Madera. As he has two working parents, he spends a lot of time at after-care and the ability to sign him up for MASEP is very important to us. We would not be able to transport him from either of those schools to MASEP.
Does it matter when in the year we move? Would it be easier to stay at Madera if we move in the middle of the school year instead of over the summer? Would we have to petition to stay at Madera every year or could we get permission once to stay there through the end of sixth grade (assuming that we don't move again)? I'm also interested in hearing about the after-school options at Mira Vista and Kensington.
We aren't interested in playing games or lying about our address in order to stay at the school. But we truly believe that our son will be much better off at Madera than at a school without an enrichment program (while I'm a great organizer, I don't think that I have the capacity to start a program like MASEP at one of the other schools).
I assume that if we move to Berkeley (either North Berkeley or Berkeley Hills) that we will want to enroll him in Berkeley schools. But the lottery process scares me and I don't know anything about the after-school programs at Berkeley schools. Any input?
Any advice that you can give would be extremely helpful. If we need to limit our search to houses zoned for Madera we will do that. But it really cuts out a lot of very nice places! Thanks for your advice
If you insist on ''doing the right thing''--notifying the district of your move--you will have to register at the new school. You can then apply for a transfer. But the deadline for transfer application is in February. And in my experience, the district doesn't notify families of transfers until the 2nd week of school, when they know what schools have spaces available. It may help to speak to your principal, who can try to help bypass the transfer-office bureaucracy nightmare.
LOTS of people do address fraud to get in WCCUSD's top schools. Because this practice isn't as widespread as Albany or BUSD, WCCUSD just doesn't address it. But just know that when you cheat, your child is taking a space that then becomes unavailable for a child in need of a legal transfer (because of bullying, special needs, etc). anon
If you are happy at Madera, you will be happy at Kensington, the issue of any kid going thru the transition of changing schools notwithstanding. Good luck with your house hunting-- that may be the most challenging part! anon
The after-school program is a wonderful resource. It is free and available for students in 1st-5th grades; my older child has attended the after school program for the last 2 years. It is well organized, and offers kids time for physical activity, homework completion and enrichment activities. Is it perfect? No. I wish the kids had a bit more input on which activities were offered. But it is a life saver for our family (that also has two full-time working parents). I encourage you to come and learn more about Mira Vista (check our website for upcoming public events or contact the PTA to arrange for a tour). MV Parent
Hello! We are in the West Contra Costa school district and are interested in requesting a transfer to a different elementary school. Is it just impossible to get a transfer to Harding? If so, we are looking at Olinda, Hanna Ranch, Ellerhorst, Lupine Hills, Highland, Valley View... Does anyone out there know the chances of getting transfers to those schools, or have recommendations for a certain school or navigating the process? Thank you so much for any information or tips! New to all this
My son is assigned to attend De Anza HIgh School, in Richmond. (We are a few scant blocks from the El Cerrito High assignment, but close only counts with horse shoes.)
De Anza gets a Great Schools score of 4; we're trying to figure out our options. Does anyone know how one can request a transfer to a different high school - and get it? Meaning, I understand the process of going through the Richmond Transfer Office - but what kind of request will they honor? Will ''We want a better high school for our son'' cut the mustard?
If not, does anyone know of an East Bay public high school that teaches German? My son has taken German for the past three years in middle school, and it would be reasonable to ask to be transferred to a high school that offers German.
Thanks for your help! Hoping for a good high school
As for German, Campolindo High School in Moraga has an excellent German program. It is ridiculously good, in fact. I know kids have transferred in from Richmond and El Sobrante before, but I'm not sure it was for German. The commute isn't too bad if you take San Pablo Dam Road. The high school district out here has endured pretty rough budget cuts the past few years and have cut back course offerings and put teachers on furlough days. So, I'm not sure if they have the openings to accept kids from out of district. (Again, just giving you the background.)
I know a kid who was able to transfer into Miramonte from Oakland because she wanted her International Baccalaureate and no Oakland schools offered it at that time (that might have changed in recent years). If that would interest your kid and your district doesn't offer it, that could be an avenue for transfer. Berkeley High has an IB program as well.
Would renting out your house and then moving and renting in a better high school area for the duration of high school be an option for you? Many people do that.
That being said, if you are bound and determined to go ahead with a transfer, academic accommodations are valid reasons. If there is a specific program offered at school other then your assigned one, that is important to your child's personal educational goals such as Latin, German, Public speaking, Architectural Drafting, etc, then that is a legitimate reason to be granted a transfer. You have to do a little research, call around, ask to see course listings. The district has a vested interest in keeping your ADA dollars within it's borders at any of its high schools. They would prefer that to having you leave the district all together via an inter-district transfer, which, incidentally, is a 2 step process, needing permission from the old district to leave and then getting permission from the new district to attend; or, gasp, pulling your child out of the public system all together. Good Luck Well wisher
I will be applying for an intradistrict transfer for my son, who starts Kindergarten next year. Our neighborhood school is Wilson (which I believe is a NCLB school, but there is conflicting info on the WCCUSD website). I'm hoping to get a sense of this process based on people's experiences last year. How long did it take to get a response from the district? Had the school year already started? Was the transfer request accepted? Was there anyone in the district office to answer questions, give updates on wait lists, etc.? Were you able to access any of the school-based aftercare, or was it too late? I'm very concerned about the uncertainty of this process, and the possibility that things will not be settled before school starts (to the point that we might just go the private school route ...). I'll be requesting Mira Vista or Olinda -- has anything been decided about Olinda's future? Thanks for any help. Anxious West County Mom
The transfer process is slow. We applied in January but because of the school board delays in deciding on school closures the transfer office couldn't do anything for most of the spring. We did not receive notice of our school assignment until mid June. I work in the district and have only heard quiet rumblings that more school closures are coming, but nothing official so I don't know if there will be simillar delays this year. Mira Vista mom
How long did it take to get a response from the district? applied for kindergarten and transfer in jan, got wait-listed in march and accepted end of april, last year it took longer for many for various reasons
Had the school year already started? for some, last year, yes
Was there anyone in the district office to answer questions, give updates on wait lists, etc.? usually there was someone - not necessarily very informative unless pushed
Were you able to access any of the school-based aftercare, or was it too late? yes but they fill up fast. I registered my son in after care before he was accepted to the school because I found out some had already filled up at other school. if you are going to Olinda - that is the one that filled up really early - 2 years ago.
I'm very concerned about the uncertainty of this process, and the possibility that things will not be settled before school starts (to the point that we might just go the private school route ...). I'll be requesting Mira Vista or Olinda -- if you are persistent, firm and patient you should not have a problem. I found it useful to volunteer at the schools I was interested in both to check them out and to get to know the staff. When I applied, they were very helpful and I already knew something about the system and who to talk to and that made things more manageble when I encountered bumps in the road.
has anything been decided about Olinda's future? my understanding is that Oinda's future comes under scrutiny every few years when they decide to close schools. it is smallish and theoretically easier to absorb those kids into surrounding schools. But they have a good PTA and el sobrante in general has a core of politically active people who are good advocates. good luck
We jsut moved here from the midwest. I did not know that I could not put my kids in a school close to my work and I rented a house in East Bay area and the closest school for my two teenage daughters would be Richmond HS. I have heard so many horror stories about this place and everyone we have talked to says do whatever it takes to put them in a different shcool (even the other neighborhood kids that should attend there tell us that!) We visited there a couple of weeks ago and it was horrid! I wanted to put them in John Swett HS in Crockett, as it is on my way to and from work. This school has good reviews and I think my kids would be happy there. We made a visit there had a terrific experience and we all felt good about it after. This school would have no problem letting them in ... the problem is Richmond releasing them ... I read the interdistrict transfer policy and it says it can take up to 6 MONTHS!!!! My kids are terrified to attend Richmond and I don't blame them ... it really is like a bleak prison setting and it is so miserable there. Richmond HS also does NOT offer the accademic courses that my daughters have been taking and want to continue with ... Physics, Calculus, Latin and Journalism ... I read the policy and it does state that this qualifies for ID transfer ... and I am trying to get my families estate settled so that I can purchase a home in Crockett ... but that may take a year or so and I do not have the energy or money to keep moving. I also have not found a house for rent in Crockett. I certainly do not want to keep uprooting the kids in the meantime ... How can I expidite this? There has to be a better way to go about this!
Does anyone have the scoop on intradistrict transfers in West Contra Costa County? My stepson is supposed to attend either Kennedy or Richmond High next year (where his mom lives & he is 60% of the time). His father & I would prefer that he attend Alhambra HS in Martinez (where we live). There have been several incidents that have occurred near his mom's house that have caused us great concern. He was severely beaten a few months for his $350 bicycle and has been mugged twice in the last 2 years -- once a few weeks ago for his $450 large gold necklace w/cross.
The former wife thinks this is "okay" because "it doesn't happen all the time." We, of course, think it is NOT okay. Unfortunately, the 13 year old son prefers to stay with his mom because she has far fewer rules and he has basically no boundaries or responsibilities with her. Thus a family court battle is not an option -- it would be very expensive & hard to win since he would defnitely side with his mom. The former wife has told my husband that the principal of the middle school has guaranteed that the boy will get to go to El Cerrito HS. I find that very hard to believe since I thought the standard for intradistrict transfers was the requirement to go to the district office and fill out the appropriate forms at an appropriate time. The mom has a history of not being truthful so we're a skeptical of her story. However, we're just trying to gather all the information we can so we can be as prepared as possible.
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