It is our goal to provide you with clear and concise information about our student assignment system so that you and your family understand all of the options available to you. Visit our website for quick access to information and forms or call, email or visit the Admissions Office so our staff can assist you.
Here are some of the most frequently asked questions about our waitlist procedures.
How do I get on a waiting list?
After placement letters are mailed out, parents may apply in writing or via email (email@example.com) for a place on one or more waiting lists, including schools outside their zone. Priority is given to students within their attendance zones.
How are the waiting lists made?
The first round of requests for placement on a school’s waiting list must be made after the student assignment letter has been received by the family (mid-March) and before the waitlist deadline (last business day in March). Through a lottery, students are given a waitlist number. Any school offering from the waiting list will conform to the student assignment policy. Information on this policy and its implementation is available on the Understanding the Elementary Student Assignment System webpage or in the Admissions Office.
How do I find out if my child got placed into a school or where my child is on a list?
You may contact us after the waiting list has been compiled (late April) to find out what number your child is on a waiting list. Please leave a phone message with your child’s name, your phone number, and the schools you have wait-listed, and we will contact you with that information. Unless you call requesting your child’s number, you will not be contacted regarding the waiting list unless you are being offered a spot.
How do I apply to the Two Way Immersion waitlist?
Two Way Immersion waiting lists are separate lists from the regular school list. If you want to be on the waiting list for a two way immersion class, please specify that in your waiting list request. More information on the TWI program is available on the Bilingual and Two Way Immersion Programs webpage or by calling or visiting the Admissions office.
When can I apply to the waitlists?
Once a student’s school assignment letter has been received, parents/guardians may file a wait list request. Request for a waitlist placement must be made by the last business day of March in time for the first waitlist lottery. This request must be provided in writing and clearly state the student’s name and school(s) requested for the waitlist and can be given to the Admissions Office or submitted via email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
How many waitlists can I apply to?
You may place your child’s name on as many waitlists as you wish. Each waiting list is mutually exclusive, so your number on one list is not connected to your number on another waiting list.
How are waitlist positions determined?
Waitlist(s) positions are determined by lottery for K-5 schools. Because school assignments must be made in accordance with diversity categories and in line with district policy, a student who is number 7 on a school waitlist may be offered a spot before a student with number 3. More information on the definition of the diversity categories is available on the Understanding the Elementary Student Assignment System webpage.
Waitlists for a middle school placement are determined by your address. Students who live in either the Willard or King attendance zone can request placements at Longfellow Magnet Middle School. Student assignment to Longfellow are made by random lottery.
Can my child’s position change on the waitlists?
Yes. Positions on an elementary school waitlist are also affected by the diversity categories and zone of residence. For example, a student who is number 7 on a school waitlist may be offered a spot before a student with number 3 due to the student assignment policy.
How and when do I renew my child’s position on the waitlist?
Waitlists are established once student placements have been made. Families who applied by the registration deadline on the first Friday in February normally receive school assignment letters by mid-march.
Do the waitlists expire?
Yes. Waitlists do not stay active from one grade to the next. You must re-apply to the waitlist the following year if you were not given a space at the school of your choice. Please be sure to update any change of address and phone number at the Admissions Office to make sure you receive important mailings.
When will I be offered a transfer opportunity and how will I be notified?
When a space seat becomes available, we will offer the seats off the waitlist. You will be contacted by phone and you must respond or risk loosing your spot on the waitlist. Your child’s name will only be removed from the waitlist for the school we are offering you. During the summer months, we ask you to leave any vacation contact number. Also, we will accept a letter in writing stating that you will accept the transfer should it become available and we are unable to contact you. This letter must be very specific if you are on more than one waitlist. Note: After the start of school, only one transfer a year is allowed.
When will my child be transferred?
If you are offered a transfer once the current school year has already started, your child will transfer within a few days after the acceptance of the transfer. If you are on the waitlist for the next school year, we will start offering transfers from mid-June and continue through the summer months once available spaces are identified. Your child would then transfer at the beginning of the next school year.
Can I apply to the waitlist(s) if my child does not currently attend a Berkeley Public School?
Students can get on the waitlist(s) only if they are currently enrolled in a BUSD school and are Berkeley residents or BUSD employees. If they leave, they forfeit their spot in their current school as well as their spot on the wait list.