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San Francisco, CA
Students enrolled: 434
Before care: No

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250 Valencia Street
San Francisco, CA 94103

School website
(415) 565-0400
(415) 552-8501
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Map of San Francisco Friends School address.

March 02, 2015
We have two kids enrolled here and we've been extremely happy with the quality of the education that they are receiving. The parent community is extremely active and supportive. The Quaker values are deeply woven into the curriculum and school culture. My seventh grader recently confessed to 'liking' the quiet every Wednesday during meeting for worship.

- submitted by a parent

November 02, 2014
I went here for 9 years and I loved every minute of it. The teachers were great as well as my classmates. Everyone was very nice and fun to be around. I came to school every day looking forward to learning new things and I would recommend this school to any parent.

- submitted by a community member

July 27, 2014
The school has an unpleasant attitude toward parents, strives to keep them at arm's length. Parents are unwelcome in the classroom except when there's a performance of some kind (or the school is looking for money. which it does with some frequency). The school does an extremely poor job of communicating. Teachers rarely respond to email in a timely fashion and the school newsletter is used for public relation - it has very little useful information. The teaching staff is a mixed bag - some exceptional, many are only adequate and quite a few are sub-par. SFFS promises much and delivers little.

- submitted by a parent

July 26, 2014
The disconnect between what is promised initially and the rigor of what is actually taught in the classroom has become a real problem for us. So much that goes on in the school academically is just not effective or challenging. Frankly, we had hoped that our kids would be given a stronger education.

- submitted by a parent

March 23, 2014
I am a grandparent whose grandchild has had a truly wonderful experience at this fine school.

- submitted by a community member

December 22, 2013
We are overwhelmed with the attitudes and underwhelmed with the education. There is a strong culture of wanna-be intellectual/progressive parenting. It has become exhausting to listen to people parents, teachers and even children talk about how diverse they are and enlightened they are. There is very little real educational instruction or skills building that we have seen. It just isn't a fit for our family. We want our child to be grounded in reality. This situation where every idea is over indulged just isn't the world we live in. All we seem to get for our money is a lot of "project based" learning. We have seen very little real skills learned. For us , some of the parent population is just exhausting. Because we aren't from the east coast nor did we go to school in the east coast (or Europe for that matter) we just don't feel like we fit in. We live in San Francisco because our parents had jobs here, not because we are super cool and urbane. Consequently, this probably wasn't the best fit for us. We are sticking it out, because our choices are limited. Everyone wants something different from a school. This school is okay, but it is not for us.

- submitted by a parent

July 07, 2013
Never again. The school's website is fantastic, looks like just what I want for my child. However my 5th grader has very low math skills and communication skills are abdominal. Try emailing a teacher - fine as long as you don't expect an answer. The staff and teachers are terrible at relaying important and informative information. The younger children in our family will not attend SFFS. No way.

- submitted by a parent

March 21, 2012
All four posts from Jan. 29 are inconsistent with our experience at Friends. The administration and environment are highly supportive of the students, and there couldn't be a more inclusive environment for kids. My child is thriving there and happy to go to school every single day. And as the Feb. 14th post noted - no one at Friends would ever call our Head of School the "Principal". It's a tip-off right away that the Jan. 29th poster is from outside the community. And why would anyone pay to send their child to a school where she's miserable - for 7 years??? It's absurd.

- submitted by a parent

January 29, 2012
My child had an extremely negative experience with the teaching style at this school, which went unaddressed by the unhelpful administration. There were also bullying problems and a problematic attitude around money within the parent community which made us feel pretty uncomfortable. :(

- submitted by a parent

January 29, 2012
I can totally groove with the intentions behind the creation of this school, but ultimately, its institutional nature overcame its noble ideals. While my child is not scarred for life, I do not feel that their education has been as creative and loving as it could have been. Specifically, I am disappointed in the middle school administration, who seem to value product over experience. However, I do appreciate the Quaker values and the Meeting For Worships held every Wednesday, as I feel my child has been instilled with superior spiritual knowledge from spending some time alone with their thoughts. Peace&Love ~~~~~~Larry

- submitted by a parent

January 29, 2012
U N S A T I S F A C T O R Y. No child should go here.

- submitted by a teacher

August 19, 2010
I think overall this is a great environment to be a kid! Great teachers and facility. What else is there to say? Back to school....

- submitted by a parent
no rating
April 22, 2010
My kids love their school. The school fosters a love of learning, among all the other obvious positives.

- submitted by a parent
no rating
April 14, 2010
I am a parent of 2 children at this school. There are so many reasons why I love this school. The Quaker education and values are taught throughout, the teachers are passionate and innovative, the head of school is a true leader and there is a real sense of community among the parents.

- submitted by a parent

November 28, 2009
I agree completely with the previous review. Friends is a wonderful school in every way -- the leadership, faculty, the new facility, the kids -- everything! Cathy Hunter is an open-minded and open-hearted Head of School with a great sense of humor, and her faculty is first-rate. Apparently, the one nay-sayer in this forum is not familiar with the long history of Quaker Schools' classroom management techniques, and I believe that he or she sadly underestimates what children are capable of. I have heard no other complaints about this in my eight years of close association with the school.

- submitted by a community member
no rating
October 18, 2008
Don't go by one negative opinion - check this school out yourself. We've had completely the opposite experience at Friends. We love it! We've been there for years and have never ever seen children have to sit still and be quiet in a punitive way. That's the most ridiculous thing I've heard! My own child is definitely a wriggly chatty type and the beauty of the school is they embrace all types of kids. He's never been 'called out' as the previous poster said. We, like the other posters, couldn't be happier, and are really happy with Cathy Hunter and the administration, especially this year with their addition of new academic deans, I think this school is only getting better and better. Perhaps the previous unhappy poster (who incidentally admits their child is doing well) should find a school that won't disappoint him/her so much!

- submitted by a parent

September 04, 2008
I'm the June 29th poster. I am not disgruntled, rather I am disappointed. I expected a school that assessed each child strengths and weaknesses and then adapted its teaching style accordingly. I found many children languishing (mine is doing well, fortunately). Classroom management is, I believe, age-inappropriate in the lower school. Children must sit still and silently or they are called out in front of their peers. (Of course, the wigglers and chatterers are those not well-served by the teacher.) Any attempt to question the teacher or Cathy Hunter on curriculum or methodology is met with a general defensiveness. The faculty and administration do not want to engage with parents in a thoughtful manner. As you might have guessed, I have more than a passing knowledge in K-8 education and wanted to pass along an informed view to other parents.

- submitted by a parent

March 29, 2008
This school is great! I go there and I learn about a zillion things a day. I even look forward to going to school! They have afterschool classes and lots of extra programs. It's a very safe place, too. I can't name one bully!

- submitted by a student

March 21, 2007
SFFS is a mixed bag. On the plus side, some of the teaching staff is exceptional and the class size is small. On the down side, there is little opportunity for parents' voices to be heard. The mood of the school is very formal and doesn't feel open or warm. For some families, this can make it a tough fit.

- submitted by a parent

May 08, 2006
SFFS is a great school with a tight knit and growing community of families. It's a clean, bright, safe environment with small class sizes. Teachers are young and enthusiastic and parents are very involved. Since the school goes only to grade 3 (adding a grade every year, eventually through grade 8) I'd say the jury is still out on academics, but knowing the leadership, there is little to fear. There is a lot of emphasis on social consciousness and extracurricular activities and a breadth of enrichment classes. Unfortunately it's quite expensive, but if you can afford it (or qualify for aid) it's a wonderful school.

- submitted by a student

April 10, 2006
We love everything about SFFS-- the individual attention our kids receive is unparalleled, the academics are very challenging, and the teachers are 100% engaged and excited to be teaching. Best thing about the school-- the Quaker curriculum which encourages kids to take responsibility for their education and see their responsibilities in the world.

- submitted by a parent
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San Francisco Friends School
250 Valencia Street, San Francisco, CA  94103
(415) 565-0400
Last modified San Francisco Friends School is a Private school that serves grades K-8
San Francisco Friends School Rating: 4 out of 5 based on 34 reviews. Top