"Brightworks students embark on interdisciplinary projects with adult mentors."
Students enrolled 20
Hours 9:30 AM - 3:30 PM
School leader no info
Transportation options None
Type no info
Before school Yes
After school Yes
Summer program no info

Resources:Looking for after school and summer programs? We can help »


Contact this school

1960 Bryant Street
San Francisco, CA 94110

(415) 701-8700
(415) 701-8702
Nearby homes for sale
Map of San Francisco Brightworks address.

5 stars
Based on 19 ratings

Let others know what you
think about this school

May 28, 2014
brightworks is a view into the future of education for all kids. today i watched 7 and 8 year-olds present solar ovens that they built themselves. they explained how the sun's rays reflect off a parabolic mirror, citing angle of incidence and ideas on insulation. the ovens cooked cupcakes, cookies and toasted marshmallows. 10 year olds described parabolic math, how they built their reflecting telescope, and what they learned from experts on memory mansions, african braiding, and creating busts out of clay. kids performed plays, built games, made movies, conducted interviews, used lasers, mirrors and rats (unharmed) to test theories. their projects didn't always work, but they all succeeded with huge glows on their faces and proud of their experiments successes and failures. when i see the exposition night presentations, and i am left in awe of these young inventors and scientists and writers and artists and curious minds and what they are able to accomplish. all kids should have their curiosity encouraged in this way.

- submitted by a parent
May 05, 2014
When my son entered fourth grade in the SFUSD system, we watched him start to fade. Every day he would come home crushed by the weight of the heavily regulated schedule, the constant task-switching, and the ever increasing burden of mindless homework. We had a friend whose child was at Brightworks and we decided to bring our son in for a day to check it out. At the end of the day he was excited, engaged, and didn't want to leave. He said, "I feel like I belong here." That was the beginning of a big adventure for us. This is now our third year in the school, and our son is truly at home there. He is in a place where he is comfortable being himself, and he is surrounded by life-long learners and creative people who treat each other with respect. I can't imagine a better place for him. The kids are taught and encouraged to do dangerous things in ways that are responsible and safe. They learn fascinating things, but most importantly they learn critical thinking and problem solving, things which seem to be sorely missing from other programs.

- submitted by a parent
April 30, 2014
I have watched this school grow tremendously in the last three years and have always been proud to call myself a member of its community and a member of its staff. One of the most important aspects that brought me here was Brightworks's emphasis on knowing and being known - students know themselves and in turn are known by each person here, whether they are other students or staff. Our students know how to have conversations with people they don't know, learn how to ask for help, and adopt language that is kind and caring and honest for those around them. As others have said, we are still learning, but I love that we can be honest about that and absolutely believe that we will never stop learning and changing, both to fit the needs of our students and the things they need and want to learn. We encourage students to be true to themselves, explore their passions, and question and wonder, and give them the time and space to do so. I'm so lucky to be a part of the journey and to know these kids!

- submitted by a teacher
April 29, 2014
Brightworks is definitely such a great place for me, maybe even close to a perfect fit, but being brand new, our school has its rocky edges, along with amazing ideas! I love the community, the staff are such a fantastic group of people, I am so delighted to see them right when I walk up to the school. Here, the teachers are called collaborators, which might sound slightly ridiculous to some people, (why change the name?) but the idea is a very good one, the collaborators collaborate with the kids and share the interest that energizes the child, working together, happily, collaborating. We aren't perfect, but I had to give five stars because, Brightworks is an extraordinary school.

- submitted by a community member
April 29, 2014
I've gone to this school for two years. I came from a catholic private school, and I told my parents on my visit day, "I learned more in two hours than I would have in two weeks at school!" Brightworks is project bases so it really challenges you to really use your freedom wisely. In my two years at Brightworks, I've opened a pop-up restaurant, made about five films, wrote a novella, and now I'm working on my sixth Brightworks film. All in all, Brightworks has done two things that are very important to me. By far, the first is make me into a better person, if not a real person, and the second would be since it's pretty small you learn to trust people a lot easier.

- submitted by a community member
April 29, 2014
My school is different than yours. It is special in ways. Yet people and kids might disagree. Before you judge me and my school. Know this. This school has a different way of learning. It has arcs that give us life skills we will NEED to survive and help our world. The rule is at Brightworks. Never say no. We always say YES and.... If i want to build a rock climbing area. They will say yes! Now lets design it and find what we need. If your school has things that are dangerous, it's better to learn about this and discover why it is dangerous. Than get to use the tool in a safe manner. If you break something at your house. You will most likely throw it away. At BWX we FIX it! If your exited to go to school. The school is successful and you know. That you want to learn.

- submitted by a community member
April 29, 2014
Brightworks has been great for my 9 year old son. Rather than me write a glowing review I suggest you go see it for yourself!

- submitted by a parent
April 29, 2014
I love this school. Honestly, it's the best thing that's ever happened to me. I can't express how amazing it is.

- submitted by a community member
April 29, 2014
Brightworks has been a remarkable school for our son and daughter. The school's unique approach to learning that emphasizes individual and group exploration is supported by active involvement from outstanding teachers who are attuned to individual students learning styles. The project-based curriculum is exciting to students, teachers, and families. But beyond the educational philosophy, even more important is the dedication and commitment of the school leadership and teachers. They genuinely care about how each student is doing, and are endlessly creative in developing novel ways to engage students in the love of learning! Brightworks has created a wonderful environment--as a parent, I find myself drawn to spending time in the unique space and being a part of a special educational community.

- submitted by a parent
April 28, 2014
Brightworks has turned my now 12 year old son into a voracious learner with seemingly limitless intellectual curiosity. He has become a creative problem solver, a leader and a collaborator while learning to persevere through challenges and take deep dives into areas of interest. We've been at Brightworks since it launched and it's been wonderful to see it refine it's pedagogy and develop a framework that effectively gives the kids the light-weight structure they need to then branch out and explore. It's a school that teaches kids to LOVE LEARNING.

- submitted by a parent
April 28, 2014
Brightworks truly is re-imagining education. In this social-constructivist model in which we co-construct curriculum with students, outside experts and parents, students gain so much more than the basics. We find ways to teach in which creativity and imaginative thought are not in opposition with academic learning. Working at Brightworks has its challenges; at just three years old we are still so new, with much to do! We are fine-tuning our pedagogy, organizations, and physical space. Uncertainty can be uncomfortable. But there's a lot to love. What I love most about our school is the relaxed vibe you can feel when you walk in the doors. From staff to student, there is so much respect for the individual, and it permeates the culture. Social-emotional wellbeing is a top priority. Students and collaborators quickly develop a voice in our learning environment. We learn that failures and problems are helpful for achieving a new breakthrough idea or solution. We authentically support and appreciate one another within the nurturing walls of a small community. We work hard to create a school that embodies the beautiful, potential-filled life we want our children to live.

- submitted by a teacher
April 28, 2014
We are a first year Brightworks family (tho we tried last year too) whose lives have vastly improved thanks to the effect this learning environment has had on our son. He is a very bright 13 year old who was just disappearing in his large middle school. In the Brightworks environment he is more confident, happier and engaged than he has been in years. This environment is allow him to become his true self and grow as a learner and a human. It is a beautiful thing to see.

- submitted by a parent
November 25, 2013
This is the greatest school. * For my children. I am a life long learner, I educate adults and I'm on my second career in a high tech field. Your school is never going to teach you everything, your curiosity is going to cause you to seek it out. For most parents seeking a special experience driven with goals of bringing out each child's greatness, you owe it to yourselves to check into Brightworks. Once you reach outside of the public day care system we call public education, your needs can vary. This might not be the school for your dedicated ballerina or a mathematician phenomena that is going to require NASA engineers to even understand him never mind relate to her. I'm not normal and neither are my children, they are exceptional, but we live inside some normal boundaries and I don't personally know anyone to whom I would not recommend Brightworks. Honest Engine!

- submitted by a parent
November 13, 2013
My son is in the youngest band at Brightworks, and we couldn't be happier. The community is wonderful. The mixed-age classes and small size means that he plays, works and is friends with kids from 5 to 15. The kids have embraced him as part of their community and he loves belonging. What he is learning is similar to any K-1 class. How he is learning is different. At Brightworks, the kids tend to delve deep into topics they find interesting and important. The math, science, literacy, is woven in. At a given time, all the kids in the school are focused on learning around an arc topic. But, the actual the work they do is developmentally appropriate for them. For example, during the Clock arc, the youngest were putting together see through pendulum clocks, playing with the springs, gears and pendulums to see how they worked, while the oldest band was studying the physics of pendulums. My son loves seeing the various projects that are parallel to his, but more advanced. My son loves Brightworks so much that he does not wants to leave at the end of the day. He also wields a mean drill. He's grown so much in his first 2 months, I can t wait so see what s next.

- submitted by a parent
October 08, 2013
We made the decision to enroll our son at Brightworks because we wanted him in a learning community that would help him grow into an active, engaged, and curious participant in the world, and because we view education as a support to those goals rather than education being the end goal itself. We want our son to attend college, but more importantly, we want him to understand why he needs to go to college. We want him to pick a major because he has curiosity and passion about that subject, and has actual experiences with experts working in that field before he arrives at college. We want him to know who he is, what he wants, what he is good at, what he is not good at, and not be afraid of who he really is. We want him to engage with people of all ages as equals, and to develop deep empathy for people different than him. We want him to spend his days around people who know him and love him for who he is, who model curiosity and learning in their own lives, and who develop deep meaningful relationships with students as real people and not an audience. Those are our primary goals as parents, and Brightworks is an amazing place to watch our son's path towards achieving them.

- submitted by a parent
October 07, 2013
My daughter has been at Brightworks form the very beginning, and it has been wonderful to watch her and the school evolve. At its heart, Brightworks promotes learning in its truest form, encouraging experimentation, tinkering, iteration, and even failure as a means to gaining knowledge. True to its mission, the school itself has experienced the highs and lows of learning as it has been established, modeling for students the way to augment, correct, reconfigure, dismiss, and ultimately triumph from myriad lessons. The experience of being a Brightworks family has made all of us more alert to and aware of possibilities in the world of learning. My daughter is a conscious and active participant in her education and is being taught how to be a passionate, lifelong learner. Brightworks doesn't look like other schools ("tried and true" and "well-worn" don't fit here and for good reason), but the innovation and curiosity which shape it infuse every aspect. Here she has learned to read, handle power tools, ask interesting questions of just about anyone, collaborate, do math, hypothesize, revise, seek challenge, make her voice heard and, most importantly...learn.

- submitted by a parent
May 09, 2013
My 9-year-old daughter has been at Brightworks since opening day. While there have been bumps as with any startup, it's been a an incredibly powerful experience for her. She's met and overcome more difficult challenges in her self-directed projects than she would at a middle school level in a typical program, and completed projects from performances to builds to research papers. I love the public speaking requirement as well, especially for a girl who might be able to get away with excelling quietly in a corner. The administration is sloppy at times (they would say so themselves) but they're working on it and what happens in the school's best moments is unavailable anywhere else. Brightworks is experimental not only in it's curriculum but in being set up as an experiment - it's evolving, and because of the topic-arc structure, every 3 months there's an opportunity to re-evaluate and improve. Like anything in its beginnings, it's not for everyone, but I can't recommend it highly enough if you want your child seriously challenged, taught to collaborate, and spending their days solving interesting problems...and of course if you enjoy experiments yourself.

- submitted by a parent
February 18, 2013
Don't believe the hype. There is an enormous difference between running day camps, and running an educational institution. Note what the reviewer who gave the school five stars said, "As hyper-involved parents we make sure the basics are covered." I expect that any school will provide my children with the "basics" of education. The school believes that reading will happen just by being exposed to books. If you are seriously considering Brightworks, think long and hard about how interested you are in paying $21,000 a year to have your child be a guinea pig for a curriculum and structure based on pipe dreams, not on "well-worn and innovative progressive education methods." Examine the credentials for the administration and the Board of Directors. There is one educator on the board. Then there are practical matters. Don't hold your breath waiting for someone to pick up the phone or answer an email. The sole upside to the school is that there are some real gems in the community of families. But that isn't a reason to stay. We will not be back for the 2013/2014 school year.

- submitted by a parent
August 30, 2012
My 10-year old has blossomed at Brightworks (curiosity, love of learning, autonomy). It's a brand new school incorporating both well-worn and innovative progressive education methods. As a new school all families are partners in helping it evolve, and it does not look like the school most of us grew up in. But just because the students aren't lined up in desks and watching the teacher give lessons all day, doesn't mean there isn't profound learning going on. Math, science, writing, reading, history are all incorporated through hands-on projects that make the subjects come to life. A 3 stage "arc" incorporates a) the exploration of a subject, including field trips, curated experiences and engagement with subject matter experts, b) child-led project formation and execution, and c) the presentation of projects to the community. Projects for my son included building a dwelling, inventing a virtual currency and marketplace, engineering a trebuchet, filming a stop-motion movie, producing a theatrical play, assembling a Makerbot from scratch. As hyper-involved parents we make sure the basics are covered. What Brightworks provides are invaluable real-world, maker-oriented experiences.

- submitted by a parent
Need help choosing a school? We can help »

Media Gallery

Media missing

Uh oh! No photos. This frame will look much better when you upload photos »


Rolling deadline

Nearby homes for sale

     
Last modified: May 28, 2014

Sign up for email updates

Connect with us

Translate this web page

About GreatSchools

Our mission is to inspire and support families to champion their children's education - at school, at home and in their community. We are a national non-profit with offices and programs in Oakland, Milwaukee, Washington D.C. and Indianapolis.


GreatSchools.org 1999 Harrison Street, Suite 1100, Oakland, CA 94612

©1998-2014 GreatSchools.org All Rights Reserved. GreatSchools is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization | Ad Choices

San Francisco Brightworks
1960 Bryant Street, San Francisco, CA  94110
(415) 701-8700
Last modified San Francisco Brightworks is a Private school that serves grades K-8
San Francisco Brightworks Rating: 5 out of 5 based on 19 reviews.