Enrollment FAQs

gateway teacher in classroom

Enrollment FAQs

9th Grade Lottery FAQs

What is a charter school?

Charter schools are public schools that are given increased freedom to be innovative in exchange for a higher level of accountability for improved student achievement.

In 1998, seven San Francisco parents formed a nonprofit organization that is referred to as the charter operator: Gateway Public Schools. Gateway entered into a contract with the San Francisco Unified School District for the right to operate Gateway High School. Because of the contract — or “charter” — we are called a charter school.

CHARTER SCHOOL CHARACTERISTICS: 
  • Charter schools are public schools.
  • Charter schools allow teachers to innovate.
  • Charter schools give parents choices.
  • Charter schools introduce accountability.
  • Charter schools are closing the achievement gap.

At Gateway Public Schools, we work in partnership with the traditional public school system, not at odds with it.

Who should apply for the 2021-2020 9th Grade Lottery?

If you’re going into 9th grade and think that Gateway could be a great fit for you, we encourage you to submit an application that will be available on October 1, 2020.  If you are trying to determine whether or not Gateway would be a good fit, we invite you to attend our Enrollment Events this fall. 

How does Gateway select its incoming 2021-2022 9th Grade class?

As prescribed by California law, Gateway conducts a lottery for the incoming 9th grade class. San Francisco residents, Gateway Middle School students, siblings of current students, children of staff and faculty, and families that qualify for free and reduced lunch are eligible for admission preferences.

How do I apply for the incoming 2021-2022 9th Grade Lottery?

You must complete the enrollment application by January 2020 (exact date TBD) to be included in our March lottery. The application will be available online and in paper form by October 1, 2020. The March lottery is the first and largest lottery for the 2021-2022 school year. This is when the majority of our incoming students get enrollment offers.

If you are not selected in our March lottery or apply after the deadline, you can opt into our wait pool and be included in wait pool lotteries. 

Do I apply to Gateway through SFUSD?

No. Gateway’s enrollment process is completely separate from SFUSD. If you are applying to SFUSD high schools, do not list Gateway as one of your choices on the District’s enrollment form. Rather, use that form to select the other SFUSD schools that you would like to attend. Please be aware that if you choose to attend Gateway, you will be given a SFUSD enrollment form to fill out. The form is then submitted by Gateway to the Educational Placement Center of SFUSD so that the district knows which students are attending Gateway. Gateway students are part of SFUSD.

Does Gateway have a separate enrollment process or lottery for students with identified learning differences?

No. Students with identified learning differences are enrolled using the same lottery process.

Wait Pool Applicant FAQs

How many students are in the wait pool?

The size of the wait pool fluctuates as new applicants join and withdraw from the wait pool. Throughout the school year, the 9th grade wait pool ranges from 100-200 students. The 10th-12th grade wait pools range from 20-40 students.

By joining the wait pool, you have let us know that you want to come to Gateway. Though contacting us will not impact enrollment decisions, we always appreciate hearing from you with any questions or concerns. Feel free to write us a letter or send an email to enrollment@gatewaypublicschools.org.

When will I be notified of enrollment decisions?

We offer spots to our wait pool as room becomes available in our school. As a result, there are no specific calendar dates for when we offer enrollment to wait pool applicants. 
 

What are some important dates that I should know?

Enrollment trends suggest that a handful of spots may become available during the start of the school year within the first few weeks of August. Spots may also become available for the second semester of a school year.

How long does the wait pool remain active?

The wait pool remains active throughout the entire school year. Students in the wait pool may be offered enrollment at any time. There are no specific calendar dates for when we offer enrollment to wait pool applicants. 

Should I accept placement at another school while I wait?

Yes. It is imperative that you and your family make concrete plans for high school enrollment, independent of Gateway. Please remember that Gateway's enrollment process is completely separate from the SFUSD enrollment process. Accepting placement at another school will not impact your status in our wait pool. 

What if we pay tuition for a private or parochial school and get offered a space at Gateway?

Most private and parochial schools require a non-refundable down payment. It is your family's decision whether to accept placement at Gateway once you have paid a down payment and/or tuition.

How do I complete my Gateway Wait Pool application?

The online wait pool application for the 2020-2021 school year is available here. There is no deadline for submitting your wait pool application, but you should submit it as soon as possible. 

Contact the Enrollment Department

If you have questions about the enrollment process at Gateway High School, please contact Andrea K. Tacdol, Enrollment Director, at (415) 749-3600 x 4457 or enrollment@gatewaypublicschools.org.