Albany schools - any experience changing your assignment?

One of the main reasons we recently moved to Albany was so our kids could go to their neighborhood school and walk to school w/ friends. We are super disappointed and sad that we got assigned to a school that we have to drive to and a start time that doesn't work with our jobs. Has anyone had experience appealing or changing / transferring their assignment, whether it be the school or start time? Any tips? I am so disappointed that I can't help but imagine moving again. My kids are disappointed too because they had imagined walking or scootering w/ friends too. Thank you in advance for any advice or solace.

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Hello! I wish I could offer advice or help. We moved from Colorado and it is feeling like the biggest mistake of our lives! We purposefully chose to be "house poor" so our daughter could attend her neighborhood school: Hilltop. We were told there was a spot for her, registered her in May immediately after we signed our lease only to arrive the first week of June and be told there was no space for her. I WAS LIVID. We now are at Madera, which is a fine choice, but has no after-care spots available and she is 20th on the wait list for THE ENTIRE YEAR. I am alone as my spouse is readying our home for rental back in Colorado and suffered a major mountain biking accident so that is indefinitely delayed, working a demanding job at Cal, with no family or friends... I can't pick her up and I am freaking out. Should we just plan to move back to Colorado?! I am for the first time in my life considering quitting with nothing lined up just to get back to a more civilized place to raise kids. This area is not it. LOL. Again, sorry I have no advice. I just wanted to commiserate. 

I hope your kids at least got assigned to the same school as each other. 

You have a better chance of getting your start time changed than getting your school changed. The school site administration and teachers can move kids from one start time to the other. Cornell is full and has a long waiting list. Marin's waiting list might move. Everyone is trying to transfer out of Ocean View and you'd be behind all of those kids on the waiting list. 

Good luck. 

I know 2 kids that moved from OV to Cornell; however, they had to spent a full year of kindergarten and then moved to Cornell at start of 1st grade. So you can submit your request and they will reallocate your kids based on availability spot. 

I don't have any experience changing schools -- and you should certainly try -- but do know that many kids do walk or ride bikes to schools that aren't the closest ones to their homes since Albany is such a small town. If that's not an option, and you don't have success changing schools, know that all of the elementary schools have before and after school care programs available that may allow you and your kids to get where you're going on time.

Good luck.

Hi there!

We lived in Albany throughout my son's K-12 years, and I am having a hard time envisioning a school route in Albany that would mean the kids couldn't walk there. Are they assigned to a school on the other side of San Pablo from where you live? I could imagine that this could be a little unnerving, but the school has crossing guards in place, or at least they did, to assist with crossing. It should not be an absolute hindrance in that case. Nothing in Albany is more than a mile away, so I would stick with the idea of walking or scootering. I don't know about shifting assignment, because I never tried to do that, but walkability sounds to me like a better reason than many others people would come with. Good luck!

Can you wait until after the end of September to enroll them? They won't be moving kids off the wait list by then and you might have more options. 

To the person who moved from Colorado, I am so sorry for what you are going through.  We had good luck with hiring UC Berkeley and Berkeley City College students for after-school pickup help during elementary school.  UC Berkeley has an online job posting service (now called Handshake) that I used to post positions, and we always got several replies.  The cost was higher than aftercare, but the flexibility was great.  Our sitters shuttled our kids to piano lessons, sports practices, ETC.  One even tutored them in math.  They would also start dinner, or even feed them and do bedtime if we were running very late.  The downsides are the costs and the fact that students are transitory, so we had to hire a new student periodically.  I also know a family whose son started kindergarten at Harding, but got off the wait list at Hilltop on day 3 of the school year, and he transferred.  They were pretty far down on the wait list originally.  I think the other families higher up on their list were loathe to transfer their child after they already started elsewhere.  Our friend's son handled the transition well, but it depends on the kid, I know.  Best of luck if you choose to stay.