A few upper grade teachers lack any interest in communicating with parents. When they do it is negative and to remind them their opinions don't count. Example - end of year plays. In one class play there were presidential candidates and all were male, some students asked if there could be a female presidenti candidate and the 5th grade teacher said no that it was enough having them as reporters in the play. Parents asked after several of us heard about it from the students. We were told to no as well by the male fifth grade teacher. Fifth grade was a low point in our time at Alvarado. K-4 were great but tge last year was terrible.
Alvarado is a wonderful school, which we are proud to be a part of. We have 1st grader in SI, who comes from an English-only speaking family, but his Spanish language skills are already quite good, after just 2 years. He still struggles with reading and writing, but is getting the additional tutoring he needs via the school, paid for by the PTA. His teacher this year, Sra Rengifo, is amazing. She is firm yet loving with her students, and they all work very hard to please her. Although Alvarado is not without it's problems (loss of the vice principal position due to changes to SF-USD's attendance min requirements, 2nd new principal in 2 years, high turnover in the after care program), we still feel that the school is a very good place for our son, and our family. The PTA is very strong and active, and raises large sums of money to support extra curricular programs, including arts, math, science, PE, computer literacy, tutoring, music, outdoor garden education, etc. for the students.
My daughter is in SI kinder. I'm blown away by how amazing Alvarado is. Her reading and writing skills have improved tremendously and is now completely bilingual. The kids are also exposed weekly to science, art class, computer class, music, gardening and outdoor education, etc. It's amazing all the extra programs this school offers, the festivals, fairs and events are also really fun and great for the community. The PTA is amazing and parents are very involved and supportive. We haven't even been here for one year and already feel part of a strong, diverse and loving community. Both principals are wonderful, and the teachers are so inspiring. We are so lucky that we got into our first choice, very thankful for being part of Alvarado.
I am not sure where the previous reviewer draws his or her information, but Alvarado is not at an all time PTA membership low. That's silly. Moreover the PTA raised as much money as ever last year - money that translates into a wealth of excellent enrichment and remedial programs, including extra literacy and math tutoring for large segments of the school population.
Have doubts? Look at how Alvarado's test scores have come in over the past several years.
No school is without issues. Decisions about how to integrate and manage the after school program left some people bitter and anxious to criticize the whole community (I wonder if that is reflected in certain reviews). There are questions about "smart" kids being under-served as attention is steered primarily to kids that need more help - but I would say this has improved as well. And no, the two most distinct "communities" are not completely integrated. Welcome to the human race. But nor are there giant chasms between us.
Alvarado is a happy place with a caring, diverse community and a positive energy, and the school continues to improve and perform exceedingly well academically. We feel lucky to be there.
Jilma Ortiz is an incredible teacher and one of the highlights of my kids experience at Alvarado. She is the perfect combination of caring, dedicated and firm and brings out the absolute best in all of her students.
My two boys went through the Spanish immersion program at Alvarado and I couldn't have been happier with their experience as well as ours as a family. Wonderful dedicated teachers, diverse and engaged community, and really nice kids.
Strong Spanish-immersion program with very dedicated and inspired/inspiring teachers. Very diverse but divided community. It is hard to bring together such different groups: Spanish-speaking, low-income immigrant families who are struggling to survive in SF and the very wealthy Noe Valley homeowners who seek out the school because of its proximity to their million dollar homes or desire for Spanish immersion. (Yes, there are many families in between who often serve as a sort of "glue"...) Brand new principal and assistant principal seem out of their depth and haven't yet earned the respect of teachers and parents, but that may come with time.
Hay my name is Camille Personius and i am in 7th grade and i went to this school. It is a grate school for kids to learn and it has grate teachers as well, i would have never know the things i know now if i had not gone to this school.