The school is essentially fed by the French American International School on the same campus. It was our experience that IHS is not equipped to handle many different types of diversity. While several of the teachers were quite good, we found that the administration lacked experience in knowing how to handle students who are slightly different from the "norm." We know quite a few others, who like us, left the school for other private high schools in San Francisco.
I am also surprised about how low I.H.S. is rated.
My name is Ricardo Bonilla and I am the Co-founder and Director of True Growth San Francisco (www.truegrowthsf.org). We have partnered with I.H.S. since 2011 to provide after school programming and all our staff have had an enjoyable experience with students and staff. I.H.S. has a welcoming and caring environment where staff are sincerely invested in the present and future of students. I have had wonderful conversations with students and staff about many topics and I must say that students feel supported at I.H.S. and enjoy their experiences there.
I.H.S. is a colorful school with students from many cultural backgrounds. It is a rainbow of languages and experiences that offers many opportunities to learn about the world.
I'm surprised to see how low we are rated. Our school is a small school with very dedicated teachers, a supportive administrative team and a loving community of students and staff. We strive to be student focused. This brings me to the next issue. What is the great schools rating based on? If it's based on our API, last year we had around 49% SIFE students (students missing formal edu). Also, we are composed of 100% new ELL's who struggle with understanding English phrasing of a question more than the content. With that said, our statistics show our students do better than EL students in other schools in the district. We may never have the same API scores as Lowell who selects incoming 9th graders by their GPA. Instead, we strive to give new immigrants the school skills they need to be successful in college and within US culture. We emphasize literacy and community. I LOVE my students and define my success by their success. I believe every student can graduate from high school and can succeed in a 4 year college. I assess all standards and reteach. However, any observer with a heart would see the work we do here goes beyond content. That's only a part of a much bigger picture.
As a SFIHS student I can totally say I felt welcome to the school. teachers and students are like a family. No matter were you're come or are from you feel welcome and it feels like you have never left home. Struggle is never hear or sad from huskies with our four values we put together our selfs to be the persons that we are and had we become over the days. And let's also not forget our brave and awesome teacher that never let us down. You do not need to be afraid Teachers are always there for you.
I am a teacher at the school and feel I have been completely supported by the staff and administration. I feel that it is an incredibly supportive place to learn how to teach EL students. There is also a lot of space to become a teacher leader and develop as a professional. The teachers here are excellent and push each other to teach better. There is alignment in so many ways through true authentic collaboration. The comments before are about a very specific case in which the admin had to make a tough call about who would be able to support our students the most. I do believe they were acting in the interest of the students.
I agree with the teacher review dated 5/18/12. It is an accurate picture of SF International. The school works well for resilient students who are motivated to learn English in this country. But, for those that struggle in any way, this is not a safe environment to challenge oneself to learn a new language/culture. It is true, there is no room for those students or staff members to express ideas outside what is deemed acceptable by the administrator. She has pushed out students and staff members she finds undesirable.
The school has some truly gifted and dedicated staff, and the students are the best I've ever worked with. Unfortunately, the administration chooses to not support staff and students as much as they deserve. This past year they chose to non-re-elect two staff members who had dedicated themselves completely to the mission of creating a place where immigrant students can adapt and thrive in the American educational system, and that process revealed some serious problems with what kind of autonomy and independence students and staff are given. It's the kind of place where if you follow the rules perfectly, you can do very well, and I do believe students can and do thrive there. But for those who want a place where they can feel independent and valued, or for staff who are looking for a place where they can do their best, find support and appreciation, and rely on a real team to have their back, best keep looking.
SFIHS is the best school for all new comer students who are an English Language Learner. They provide the necessary education and attention for the student. Students get self confident in meeting friends, having an understanding in academic subjects , courage and challenge in their daily activities in life. Even this school is new, they already developed students who are excellent Academically and as an English Language Learner. Congratulations to the Principal, teachers and staffs who make a big effort of participation for the success of the students and to the parents who are trusted their students in SFIHS. Congratulations to their new school location this coming school year 2011-2011. Keep up the good work. Good Luck
San Francisco International High School is accomplishing the difficult task of providing an academically rigorous education to students with limited English ability and interrupted formal education. Students at SFIHS are thinking, writing, and analyzing in ways I rarely see English learners being asked to do in school. While this is a new school and still developing, they are already providing a great service to English learners in SF.