BUSD Elementary school application advice (starting Kindergarten this Fall)

Hi all, I am hoping to get advice on applying to a BUSD elementary school that is not within our zone. We live in the Central zone, and have five schools that are available to us, however some are quite far out to where we live (I don’t drive, and I will be doing the school run). On my tours, I have already talked to PTA about the bus service, however, we wont know how long the bus ride  will take until we sign up (one parents who lives in the flats goes to Cragmont and the bus takes 1h 20mins). 

I have two questions :

1/ Have any parents chosen a school out of their zone and and had offered? Or had a second choice school out of zone offered?

2/ Are there any tips to increase chances in getting your school choice? We are attending tours and also going to information nights, if offered by the school.

Any tips /advice is appreciated! Thank you.

Parent Replies

New responses are no longer being accepted.

There isn't anything you can do to increase your chances of a 1st choice school. But, you can get on the waitlist and be willing to switch your kid part way through the year to your 1st choice school. 

I think some of this depends on what school you want to get into. We tried to switch our daughter all of her kindergarten year from a South Zone school to one of a few North Zone schools, because the other schools offered free busing to her aftercare program. The office told me that, in general, it is really hard to get into a North zone school. Last year, he said that the only option for us to switch was Craigmont, but with no bus option and a 9am start that didn't work for us. 

I have been through this process a few years ago. We are the LAST house in the central zone. I have ranked the schools based on the distance from my house. If you choose the school out of your zone, you automatically waive your right for a school bus. We have people from our class who drive 25 minutes to Cragmont from the flats, because they are out of the zone. I was assigned to the 5th choice on my application...The next thing to do (preferable the SAME DAY) is to go on waiting lists of all the schools that you ranked higher and did not get. I did get into 2 schools that I was on a waiting list, out of 4. This being said, I met parents who like the school bus, because they get more time without children. 1h 20 min...we ARE at Cragmont and I am surprised by this number, it is rather high...

You can always appeal you don’t get your first choice- of which you have a 70% chance. And maybe through that process you can explain what a hardship it might be re: drop off etc. but do it quickly. You don’t want your kid to get acclimated to where she ends up only to Ben moved again.