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PPS-SF School Fair Survival Guide.

Parents for Public Schools-SF started the first Enrollment Fair more than 10 years ago and we have been at every fair since. Below are some tips for Attendees.

SFUSD Enrollment Fair
Saturday, November 5, 2011;  10am to 3:00pm
San Francisco Concourse East Hall; 620 7th Street @ Brannan

  • Muni Lines 14 to 19.
  • Muni Lines 12 to 19, 10, 27, 47.
  • From Civic Center Station board the Muni line 19 at S. Corner of 8th and Market.
Free Shuttle bus service is available
  • Leola Harvard CDC (1520 Oakdale Ave): Pick up 9am,9:30am,10:30am
  • Cesar Chaves ES (826 Shotwell St.): Pick up 9:20am, 9:50am, 10:50am
  • Gordon J. Lau ES (950 Clay St.): Pick up 9:45am, 10:15am, 11:15am
  • Concourse pickups & returns to above locations: 1:30pm, 2:30pm,3pm


Free Childcare is available at the Fair for ages 3-7.
Register via email at


  1. Plan to spend up to 2 hours at the Fair. (After 2 hours your brain turns to mush and you won't be able to remember any more!)
  2. Use public transportation or shuttle buses (see schedule above). Parking is limited and the nearby lots and garages are expensive.
  3. This year Elementary schools will be clustered with the Middle School they will feed into.  Be sure to visit the Middle school table of the schools you are interested in.  See the Workshop Schedule & Concourse Map.
  4. Bring a tote bag to put all of the flyers and papers you'll pick up, including the Application, Enrollment Guide, Map, and Transitional K supplement guide.  
  5. Bring your calendar to schedule tours.
  6. Plan ahead!  Schedule in Parent Workshops you wish to attend to get more information.  See the Workshop Schedule & Concourse Map.
  7. The Enrollment Fair can be noisy and crowded. Small children may feel over stimulated by the crowds. If you can arrange childcare, it would free you up to focus on your school search.
  8. Arrange for a playdate and trade with a friend - take turns going to the Fair.
  9. Bring water - you'll be talking with a lot of different people.
  10. Bring snacks.  There is virtually no place to buy food except a small snack shop at the concourse.  
  11. Visit the PPS-SF table! We'll have Parent Ambassadors and staff that can give you even more tips on finding a school that works for you.  Pick up Enrollment Tips, information, and Resources.
Learn more at

Author Andrew Clements recently wrapped up an eight-state tour for his new series, Benjamin Pratt and the Keepers of the School, illustrated by Adam Stower, which debuted last month from Atheneum with We the Children. The tour took Clements to bookstores, schools, and libraries in Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, California, Washington, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Massachusetts; here, Clements visits with students at Sutro Elementary School in San Francisco. The series centers on a mystery involving Benjamin’s historic seaside elementary school; the second book in the six-book series, Fear Itself, is scheduled to be released in September.

My name is Ed Low, and I am Samuel Low’s father. Sam is in Mr. Illig’s third-grade class. I and eighteen other brave parents accompanied thirty-three students from the two third-grade classes to their annual three day, two night camping trip at Clem Miller Lodge in Point Reyes, California. This trip would be a first for me, since while I had accompanied both Sam’s and my daughter Sarah’s (Ms. Korp, Kindergarten) classes on field trips on previous occasions, I had never been exposed to so many different kids for such a long period of time. Needless to say, I was a bit nervous! In addition to the other parents and me, the adults included Mr. Illig, Mrs. Lau, Mr. Wong, Gerald Creed, and Gerald’s brother Chris--a sergeant with the San Francisco Police Department.

Mr. Illig, the other parents, and I all loaded up into the chartered bus and set off right on schedule at 9:00 a.m. on Monday, February 22, 2010 for the ride to Point Reyes. As we were pulling away from the school, Mr. Illig handed me a plastic bag for the “just in case” scenario. Great. For some reason, the theme song for “Gilligan’s Island” started running through my head as I contemplated the upcoming seventy-minute drive and two nights sleeping in an unheated cabin with a dozen eight and nine year-old boys….

I needn’t have worried though, as both Mr. Illig and Mrs. Lau had made advance plans to keep the kids occupied during the trip: hikes, math games, nature walks, craft-making, s’more assembly--you name it, they thought of it. Also, Mr. Wong, Gerald, and the other parents all stepped up and pitched in to make the whole experience a lot of fun for everyone.

Highlights of the trip: the expressions on some of the kids’ faces as we rode across the Golden Gate Bridge (some for the first time, it seemed) and took in the beautiful view of San Francisco Bay and the receding cityscape; doing yoga exercises with all of the kids and adults; watching the kids’ faces and listening to their comments as we made smokes in the rain. There’s so much more, but the biggest highlight has to be spending time with my son and his friends, and seeing how positively he reacted to being “unplugged” for three days!

 All too soon, it was time to pack up and go back to the real world. I brought back with me pleasant memories of my time at Clem Miller, and the satisfaction of making new friends with the other parents and getting to know them better. I will always cherish the time I spent with my son, and the trip took me back to my own youth—no video games, TV, or any other distractions; just making fun out of whatever might be found lying about. Oh, and we made it back to Sutro just in time for the 2:40 bell, no sudden storms or uncharted islands came up….

Our awesome principal, Mr. Poon wrote a grant for Physical Education and we got it! Whoo! What that means is that the PTA would not have to cover our school's PE program.  The grant is good for 2 years and it includes new equipment and a certified PE teacher.  This frees up some money that the PTA hopes to use to enhance the current academic and art programs that would help the children of our school.


Third graders have wonderful news!  Thanks to the nomination letters of our third grade parents and the third graders...Mr. Richard Illig has been honored as the TEACHER OF THE MONTH at 826 Valencia.  You can read all about him on their newsletter on the internet.
He is honored for his work not only in the classroom, but for all the other community work he has done for Sutro School.  There's Coastal Clean up Day, Family play days, bike to school day, nutrition/physical education teacher leader and of course our Sutro garden and composting program.
Congratulations to you and thank you Mr. Illig for all your hard work.  You really deserve this award.