SAN FRANCISCO — On Tuesday, December 8, the San Francisco Board of Education voted to approve a new assignment policy for elementary school students.

Confirmed in a 6-1 vote, the San Francisco Unified School District (SFUSD) announced in a press release on Thursday, December 10 that the new policy would not start until at least after 18 months, which is around the time of the 2022-2023 school year.

The goal, according to the press release, is to have “diverse school enrollment” as well as a “predictable school assignment within reasonable geographic distance to where families reside.”

There will be numerous changes.  One example mentioned is limiting the number of schools in each zone, which the SFUSD says will “make the assignment process more predictable.”

There will also be tiebreakers, which would occur when “more students request a particular school than there are seats available.” An example of a tiebreaker is siblings.  Students will most likely be assigned to the same school that his/her older sibling is currently in.

The vote comes after the board passed the “Developing a Community Based Student Assignment System for SFUSD” resolution two years ago in December 2018.

The resolution looked into “concerns that the current district-wide school assignment system has not reversed the trend of racial isolation, is complicated for families to navigate, and not sufficiently predictable or transparent,” according to an SFUSD document.

Since December 2018, the board engaged in a “development process,” which the SFUSD said was filled with meetings, workshops, “virtual community information sessions, dozens of additional conversations with San Francisco families and community groups, case studies from other districts, and policy simulations conducted by Stanford researchers.”

The SFUSD hopes that the new policy will begin no later than the 2022-2023 school year.