Advice for researching OUSD schools for TK for 24-25

Hello, my son will be TK age for next school year 2024-25 and am looking to do some research to inform doing the lottery this winter (although I think there’s also a chance i may end up sticking with our preschool one more year). I have been able to identify a list of schools (based on location convenience relative to husband's commute), including some that do not appear to typically be oversubscribed and am looking to do things like: visit the school, connect with parents from the school, and find out if aftercare is typically available at that school. The websites don’t seem great. My next step would be to contact each school directly to ask such questions, but was wondering if there is something else I am missing, like a typical time each year that schools hold events for interested families, or other advice? The list of schools I am looking at are (Lincoln, Emerson, Piedmont Ave, Hillcrest, Peralta, Sankofa, Chabot).

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The enrollment period typically goes from December to February (I think -- something like that). Most schools hold tours and/or info sessions starting shortly before the enrollment period starts and throughout the enrollment period. However, depending on the school the dates and times of the tours aren't always advertised well. I would suggest checking websites for those dates regularly starting in mid-late October. 

Most schools will begin to have tours at the end of the calendar year. Definitely go to those! They are so helpful in getting to know the school and get a feel for it. They will be on the websites but sometimes you need to call. They probably don't know at this point though when they will be. They will be able to answer about aftercare now though as that doesn't change much from year to year. 

Hello! I went through this process last year. It starts in Nov/Dec with a BUSD Kinderfaire event (Dec) and a schedule of tours for each school, followed by a schedule of open houses for each school (Jan), then the application window (Jan-Feb) and assignments mailed in mid-March. Hope this helps!

My son was eligible for TK in OUSD this year, thanks to the expanded age range. In case you weren't already aware, every year TK eligibility is being expanded to satisfy the move to universal preschool access in CA. However, what I learned during tours and the application process this year, despite a much larger pool of eligible children, OUSD added only a few additional classes, I think only 2 or 3. I also discovered during tours that many parents were applying for Kindergarten having spent the entirety of the previous school year on a waitlist for a TK place. So there was already a disconnect between the number of available classes and demand, then the pool of eligible children increased and OUSD (from what I saw) did not add sufficient additional classes to cater to that larger pool. I have no idea what OUSD's plans are for next year - perhaps they are planning on adding sufficient additional classes -, but I say that to caution you that getting a place in anything other than your neighborhood TK is not guaranteed. I'm not even sure that getting a place at your neighborhood TK is guaranteed. 

We did get a place at our neighborhood TK but declined it because it would not be a good fit for my kid and compared to staying at his preschool for another year it would have definitely been a bad move. We are still #9, #24, and #25 on the waitlists for our 3 other priority schools, so I'm assuming we will be one of the families that will remain on the TK waitlist for the remainder of the year, and will be applying for Kindergarten from scratch next year. 

In terms of your questions about websites and how to find out about tours, etc, my recollection from this past year is that tours and info sessions took place in Nov/Dec/Jan/Feb, and that  - as you said - school websites were hit and miss. There was a central calendar of tours and information sessions on the main OUSD website but it did take some digging to find it. I believe everything was posted to this calendar: (you can scroll back to Nov/Dec/Jan/Feb to see when the schools you're interested in held their tours last year. I don't know if tours this year have posted yet.) In summary, I wouldn't be concerned yet - I plan to start looking in October to find information for Kindergarten tours this year. The deadline for TK applications for this school year was Feb 10, so it'll likely be around that time next year for your son's TK application. 

Thank you to all who responded, very helpful!