Applying to Kindergarten amid COVID (BUSD)

Hello parents and caregivers, 
We have a child who will be old enough to start Kindergarten in the fall, and we aren't sure how the process is going to work right now amid COVID and schools still operating remotely right now. Does anything have experience with the process (pre-COVID) that they can share some advice? Do you typically reach out to the school individually within your district to express interest and ask for a tour (which we assume will be virtual for now)? We have the applications and were hoping that it would be possible to meet potential teachers that our son could have, as we care less about the overall school/location itself, and more so that he will have a supportive teacher and environment to help him thrive as SIP and distance learning has been such a challenge for the past 7 months. He had just started preschool for a few weeks before SIP happened, and has had a hard time with transitioning to new people, which he never did before. We hope that whichever school he places at can be a steady one to make things more consistent. Any advice would be great! So hard to keep planning for things during this uncertain time!


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I don't know what is happening with COVID but usually the schools post their tour schedules (led by PTA parents) and each school has an evening open house where you can meet teachers. Of course, the teachers can change from year to year. So, even if you meet someone in the spring they may not be there in the fall or may not be teaching kindergarten in the fall. Also, you will have no control over which teacher in a school your kid gets. You won't even know which teacher they get until after the school year starts. 

One thing to consider more than the teachers is the principal. Throughout elementary school the teachers will be a mix, some will be a good fit for your kid and some won't. The principal is the person you will deal with if you have a problem. 

BUSD also has a lottery system, so you need only look at the schools in your zone. Since the schools have similar approaches to many things and you have no control over the teachers your kid gets... I would rank based on start time, how easy it is to get to, the principal, and potentially the size of the school if you think that will matter for your kid. 

Hey Thao,

Do not worry too much about the school tours. In any case, your child will be ASSIGNED to the school in order to balance the school in terms of race, gender, income, education level of parents, special education status, siblings already in school, and a host of other factors. YOUR school preference would the the least of their concerns. During school tours you have a chance to observe classrooms, not to talk to teachers. One a few of teachers come out to say a few words to touring parents. You do get to meet the school principal during the tours. In my school, parent volunteers conduct these tours. All teachers are highly qualified and experienced as these jobs are coveted for. The curriculum in all classrooms and school is the same and in centrally determined by the district. In December the applications open up at the district. This is the key thing not to miss and collect all the documents required. I would suggest you do that early. I have seen many parents rejected on the first attempt....Best of luck and stay safe...