On wait list at Chabot - zoned for Chabot

Hi all, 

In March of this year we decided to make a move from Marin to Oakland (for a variety of reasons).  We signed a lease for a house zoned for Chabot (in RockRidge) as we are actively searching to buy.  We applied in the second round (first round was in Feb - at which point we had not yet made the decision) for two of our three kids to get into Chabot (our third one is middle-school).  We received a response that they are both #2 on the wait list for Chabot - and #20+ for all the other choices of schools.  One of the kids did not get placed anywhere, and the other got placed in our no. 6 choice - which we then declined. 

If we do not get into Chabot - we will consider staying in Marin where they are both enrolled in a great public school.  However, our strong preference would be to move - though moving them from an amazing school to one that is much less so (and to one where we would have to commute, and not be a part of the neighborhood) seems much less than ideal, considering our current situation.  What are the chances of getting off the waitlist to get into Chabot?  We need to make the call by July 1st - unfortunately - as this also impacts our oldest middle school child.  Has anyone been in a similar situation?  Thanks so much for your help. 

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You will almost certainly get in. They are just beginning to move the lists for grades other than kindergarten, since the forms for current families to let the District know if you are returning or not were only due a couple of weeks ago at most schools. Those lists will move through the summer. Even for kindergarten, I would expect that you will get in by the start of school if you are #2. (That said, it is wise to take a place at another school you ranked just in case, given that you liked the school enough to put it on your list--you don't give up your waitlist spot for Chabot and you have something in your back pocket just in case.) Also call Student Enrollment if you have a child who was not assigned anywhere--that isn't supposed to happen (though you may well be assigned somewhere you aren't interested in attending). They can work with you to identify other schools that may have space for both kids while you wait on Chabot.

I've lived in Rockridge for over a decade and have two kids at Chabot. I think it's highly, highly likely your kids will get in. It is a big school (roughly 100 kids per grade), so there is lots of movement on the waitlist over the summer, and (as you know) neighborhood families get preference. You might have to wait until the last minute (or even the first week or two of the school year) to get the official offer, but it would be unprecedented if your kids didn't get in. 

We has a weird experience with OUSD waitlists Our son was #12 on our school of choice. We were told he would get in but over the course of the summer, he moved up to #18 as other in-district families registered, then back down to #10. He never got a spot. It was a stressful experience that seems to happen now and then. The most trusting part was the long wait - sometimes you will not learn of your spot until 2 weeks into the school year. I’d go into the OUSD office to talk with them to get a realistic perspective. 

Just a thought- the curriculum they are using is likely the same (I used to work for a well-known publishing company). The school rankings are derived from testing scores and have honestly nothing to do with the quality of the teaching. The location would be the only concern I would have. However, you will find that sometimes what looks rough on the outside is actually charming on the inside!