Question on Thousand Oaks elementary and BUSD waitlist

Hello, We just found out yesterday that we got into our fourth choice school of Thousand Oaks Elementary for my son for Kindergarten next year. We were very surprised since we got all of our forms in early. We are concerned about the school and reading recent BPN reviews suggest that some of our concerns may be valid. I would appreciate some additional feedback. I know test scores and school rankings are not everything, but it is concerning that the school has poor performance compared to other schools in the district, including having been on an improvement plan recently. My son is a somewhat reluctant learner in conventional settings - he hates worksheets and is easily discouraged. He really thrives if he can feel connected to the teacher. How are the teachers at engaging kids like that? Also, my son tends to be quite sensitive, and is easily derailed by behavior issues and noise in the classroom. He had an unfortunate experience in preschool with kids being aggressive/bullying, and it took a long time for him to recover from that. We don't want a repeat experience if we can avoid it! Are there lots of behavior issues at the school and how are teachers at managing bullying or other behavior problems? Are classrooms loud and chaotic or calm and organized? Another parent in a previous post said that kids are sent out of the classroom for behavior problems. When school was in person, was that still happening? Has the new principal changed the behavior management policies at all? Also, how is the after school program for behavior problems? I used to work in schools and the after school program was often where the worst behavior issues played out. 

Also, has anyone had success in getting into a different school through the waitlist process? We were really hoping for Rosa Parks since it is 5 blocks from our house, but would be open to other schools as well. Is it better to request to be on the waitlist for multiple schools? Is it better to request schools in your zone, or does that not matter for the waitlist? 

Thank you!

Parent Replies

New responses are no longer being accepted.

I am in the same type of situation.  We were given Rosa Parks, our 4th choice, and really wanted Thousand Oaks.  Admissions said the only option is a waitlist, but I wonder if there is anyway to switch?

My experience is only anecdotal but I've known several families who were on the waitlist and eventually got into the school they wanted, but not right away. It's usually several months into the school year, which is pretty disruptive for your child, especially if they've already settled in. I've never heard of an instance where a student gets off the waitlist right when school starts. It usually takes time to shake out the numbers, and even then it isn't a guarantee. I don't know much about TO since my kids went to Jefferson (Ruth Acty), but I really think all of the elementary schools are good. That's the beauty of the lottery. They're pretty equal. Of course COVID could change all of this, since I believe BUSD has seen a decline in numbers, so you may get off the waitlist right away. But as always with BUSD, it's a crapshoot.