Transferring out of the West Contra Costa County School District
Archived Q&A and Reviews
Our boy is entering 4th grade at Madera Elementary in EC and I wonder if there is a way to legally attend Albany middle school in a few years. Has anyone here done that? Thanks El Cerrito family
The Albany USD website has a good description of how interdistrict transfers work.
Yes, they grant many transfers, but they give priority to parents who have some connection to Albany. Top priority goes to people who work for AUSD, then employees of the city of Albany, then to folks who own a business in Albany.
I live in El Cerrito and know many people who've sent their kids to Albany schools--but they've always fit in to one of the above-mentioned categories. I think it's unlikely that you'd get a spot if you aren't working in Albany in some capacity. EC mom
The answer is...it is hard. Legally, you need to live there with established residency and re-verify your address every year. Or, you can apply for an inter-district transfer with preference given to AUSD employees, city of Albany employees, Albany business owners, and then everyone else.
I'd like to invite you to listen in on our community, where we really have a lot of great things happening. email us at portolaptsa [at] gmail.com to be added to our e tree.
Is it perfect? No. But really, it isn't what you think it is. -Hoping you'll join us.
Hello! We are in the West Contra Costa school district and are interested in requesting a transfer to a different elementary school. Is it just impossible to get a transfer to Harding? If so, we are looking at Olinda, Hanna Ranch, Ellerhorst, Lupine Hills, Highland, Valley View... Does anyone out there know the chances of getting transfers to those schools, or have recommendations for a certain school or navigating the process? Thank you so much for any information or tips! New to all this
The availability of transfers/open spots seems to vary quite a bit from year to year in these schools, from what I've observed. Some years there are lots of spaces, other years not so much at the very same school (either because more local kids go that year, or because they reduce the number of classes that are open that year, etc.) So, I can't answer which schools in particular have openings this year. But I hope this isn't for the upcoming school year: the period for requesting transfers in WCCUSD is in February. If you are looking for the upcoming school year (2013-4), I'd contact the WCCUSD transfer office ASAP to find out what the possibilities are. --wccusd mama
My son is assigned to attend De Anza HIgh School, in Richmond. (We are a few scant blocks from the El Cerrito High assignment, but close only counts with horse shoes.)
De Anza gets a Great Schools score of 4; we're trying to figure out our options. Does anyone know how one can request a transfer to a different high school - and get it? Meaning, I understand the process of going through the Richmond Transfer Office - but what kind of request will they honor? Will ''We want a better high school for our son'' cut the mustard?
If not, does anyone know of an East Bay public high school that teaches German? My son has taken German for the past three years in middle school, and it would be reasonable to ask to be transferred to a high school that offers German.
Thanks for your help! Hoping for a good high school
I don't know how the process works to transfer out of Richmond into another district. My friends who have transferred out of Oakland first secured a place at another school, then went to the Oakland School District for a release. Sometimes the district doesn't want to release kids, and I have no idea how tough Richmond is on the score, so be prepared for that.
As for German, Campolindo High School in Moraga has an excellent German program. It is ridiculously good, in fact. I know kids have transferred in from Richmond and El Sobrante before, but I'm not sure it was for German. The commute isn't too bad if you take San Pablo Dam Road. The high school district out here has endured pretty rough budget cuts the past few years and have cut back course offerings and put teachers on furlough days. So, I'm not sure if they have the openings to accept kids from out of district. (Again, just giving you the background.)
I know a kid who was able to transfer into Miramonte from Oakland because she wanted her International Baccalaureate and no Oakland schools offered it at that time (that might have changed in recent years). If that would interest your kid and your district doesn't offer it, that could be an avenue for transfer. Berkeley High has an IB program as well.
Would renting out your house and then moving and renting in a better high school area for the duration of high school be an option for you? Many people do that.
We knew a family from El Cerrito whose son transferred to a high school in Orinda or Moraga around 2006 because it was the only local public high school they could find that offered German. Don't know if that's still true-- don't know if you want him to travel so far. Good luck with this!
De Anza is undergoing a major renovation and will have a brand spanking new school in a year or so. It might be worth staying, perhaps the new building will usher in a new culture and encourage good teachers and committed families to make De Anza their home. De Anza's score would be higher if families within it's attendance radius stayed on to support it. Also the score of a school doesn't necessarily mean your child will have a negative experience there. Focused students with strong family support can take advantage of AP classes and rise to the top. Think of a big fish in a little pond. Kids go on to very competitive colleges from there.
That being said, if you are bound and determined to go ahead with a transfer, academic accommodations are valid reasons. If there is a specific program offered at school other then your assigned one, that is important to your child's personal educational goals such as Latin, German, Public speaking, Architectural Drafting, etc, then that is a legitimate reason to be granted a transfer. You have to do a little research, call around, ask to see course listings. The district has a vested interest in keeping your ADA dollars within it's borders at any of its high schools. They would prefer that to having you leave the district all together via an inter-district transfer, which, incidentally, is a 2 step process, needing permission from the old district to leave and then getting permission from the new district to attend; or, gasp, pulling your child out of the public system all together. Good Luck Well wisher
Hi: Castro Valley High School has a healthy high school German program.
My son is a sophomore at Campolindo Highschool in Moraga and we transferred into the Acalanes school district, to which Campo belongs, from the MT. Diablo school district. Just like in your case, I wanted my son to learn German, so I thought it would be an easy process. Not so. It was a nightmare. First, MT. Diablo did not want to release our son even though he had never been in this school district because he had been in private school all his life; they denied our release. Their reasoning was ''we need every dollar in the district and learning German is a 'nice to have' not a 'must have'''. I appealed and literally went to the district offices and told them I would not leave untill they released him, so they finally did. Then it took a long time before I heard that he got accepted at Campolindo. They needed transcripts, attendance records, any disciplinary records, etc. from his middle school. We did not find out until right before summer vacation that he was finally in. My son loves it at Campo, and Mr. Blumberg, or Herr ''B'' as they all call him (head of the German department) is fabulous. It was well worth the fight but we ended up renting out our house and moving to Lafayette because my son wanted to be closer to his friends - he felt disconnected. Knowing what I know now I would have just moved. it gets harder and harder to get a transfer because schools don't want to loose dollars. Mom of German student