I am new to Garfield, and am coming from a private immersion experience (PKS) that was FANTASTIC. We had the option to stay at PKS, but despite loving it, we chose Garfield. In addition to the financial benefits (we can afford a trip to China now!), I love the size, the parents, the teachers, aftercare clubs, walking to/from school, grabbing dinner in NB after school, and going to school w/neighbors. When we got in to the imm. prog., I sent a msg to PPS to connect me w/parents there, & had 2 parent emails w/in 24hrs. The parent participation is AMAZING. The parents I spoke with were "my people," & I felt connected immediately. Yes, there are also Cantonese speaking families there to whom I cannot SPEAK, but I love that- more people for my child to hear the language from! That's immersion! I want to go on, but this character limit won't let me... I'm only giving 4 stars, just b/c I think this school has not reached its pinnacle yet- but it's already great. PS: For you immersion parents, though this is a new immersion program- they were a biliteracy school before, so they're experienced in language learning, and they did all of their homework when they designed the new program.
Garfield is an amazing school. The principal, teachers, and staff are all very dedicated to education and helping the kids realize their full potential. The community and families are supportive and helpful. The kids are respectful and have such wonderful bonds with one another. This school is safe and caring!
Garfield Elementary school is a gem and is located right beneath Coit Tower! Great principal and very supportive teachers. We are glad we chose this school for our child!
Our son is a kindergartener in the Chinese immersion program, and he is so happy at Garfield! We are amazed at how he is just thriving here, but really it's no wonder given the community at Garfield. The teachers and principal are incredibly dedicated to the children. There seems to be a great deal of individualized attention on the teachers parts inside the classrooms and on the principal's part in the community space. We always see the principal out and about mingling among the children, and she seems to know every one of them personally. The after-school program is also incredible! It is lead by a group of very dynamic teachers who keep the kids stimulated with various activities, including field trips, art projects, language and other clubs, theme days- complete with costumes and always some form of dancing, and low-cost group lessons including piano and karate. The school itself is a sweet intimate campus at the foot of Coit tower. Overall all we just get a sense that the experience for our son is akin to him having a big supportive school "family", and this has lead to him excelling in academics as well as building social confidence. Couldn't dream of a better scenario.
My child is in her second year at Garfield Elementary School. She could not be more proud of her school. Not only are the academics top notch, the enrichment programs such as the After School program are great too. My child loves her teachers, and I love that the school addresses social, emotional and academic development. The Principal is a confident and skilled leader who understands what good teaching is. This school is a gem.
Our son started Kindergarten at Garfield this year and we are thrilled with our choice! He is in Ms. Lun's Chinese immersion class and after two months is reading in English, understanding Cantonese and speaking some too. Overall, he is very happy at Garfield and confident in all his academic abilities. We are a family with no prior experience with the Cantonese language and as parents are very impressed with how much he's absorbed in a short period of time. The teachers at Garfield are a group of truly mission-driven people who know how to motivate students AND parents. And I could go on and on about Ms. DeArce, Garfield's excellent principal! She is smart, very well-informed, respected by students, parents and teachers and just inspires a great deal of confidence. We are very lucky to have her. Finally, our first two PTO meetings have been packed this year - as a team we are off to a great start!!
We moved to San Francisco from Florida and I was scared because most of the best schools that I had researched were on a wait list. So I put my daughter on the wait list for Lafayette Elementary and decided to research the few options available to me. I saw Garfield Elementary had an opening and although no one I asked knew about the school I went ahead and enrolled her here. I could not be happier, her teacher Ms. Bernardo is really sweet and seems to know what she does. My daughter is also taking Piano lessons at the school for a very low price. Today I received a call stating that Lafayette had and opening and when asked my daughter if she wanted to change, her response was no way. I think that my second grader is really wise. This school is a gem, has lots of warmth, and the teachers and principal seem to really love their job.
We are very happy with Garfield. The school has a beautiful, spacious campus with bay views, wonderful dedicated teachers, a regular P.E. teacher, music (weekly piano lessons), art, a partnership with the SF Symphony, an active PTO and a very diverse student body. The onsite afterschool program is very good and is free! Last but not least-an amazing, energetic, dynamic Principal who provides excellent leadership for the school. My child started learning on her first day of school and she loves it. Go Dragons!
Garfield Elementary is a tight-knit community of parents, grandparents, and other caretakers who want the best for our children. The teachers are kind but firm, and the kids' progress is noticeable as the school year goes by. We love it and our daughter does too.
This is our first year at Garfield. Our son is in Kindergarten and enjoys going to school. The school is small and intimate - the teachers know all the students. The principal and teachers are supportive and willing to work with the students to teach to the level of each child. The parents we are working with on the PTO are very involved, energetic and committed to supporting the school and the Principal.
2 of 2 Reviews regarding Peanut Allergy. Principal Ana's good friend is an emergency room chief at CPMC. She even talked to the ER cheif regarding our daughter. After only the first week of school, Garfield's principal Ana created a designated peanut table and monitor those students to wash their hands immediately after eating lunch. Good habits and hygiende too! Our classroom parents are very helpful and considerate of this matter, and they even learned how to use EPIPEN from us for our daughter! When we were going on school tours, we were very concerned to send her to a public kindergarten, but now we feel very safe to bring our daughter to Garfield!! Thank you very much to all parents, teachers, and special thanks to Principal Ana!!!!
I was very inpressed Garfield's school curriculum. At kinder level, they not only study and learn English, Math, PE, but also there are social studies, Science, Music, Art, Cooking, Journal class using a computer. All children get along very well, and also parents communicate very well, too. After school program is quite enriched, such as art, basketball, science, poetry, origami, cooking, volleyball, Chinese, Spanish, French, Italian, Hawaiian, Japanese, Dance, Gardening, Yoga, Girls soccor, and so on. Our daughter is taking a piano lesson once a week. She really enjoys school and playing and studying with her friends!!!!
1 of 2 Reviews regarding Peanut Allergy. Our daughter has a life-thretening Peanut allergy. I went to visit more than 40 SFUSD schools, and I found out some schools had a designated peanut table. Only a few schools would allow to have EPIPEN in the cafeteria. Most schools hold EPIPENs in their office only. Very few schools would allow to hold EPIPEN in the classroom at teacher's desk. In case of emergency, our daughter can't wait that long time to go get EPIPEN to the locked cabinet in an office. Garfield is the only school that would allow to carry EPIPEN on our daughter's person, in a fanny pack. Also at the Garfield school office, the administrator holds an EPIPEN for her, and Kindergarten classroom teacher Ms. Kelly holds for our daughter as well!! Principal Ana informed the entire school teachers and staff how severe of a peanut allergy our daughter has even before school started this Fall. Principal Ana even contacted the Fire Department in advance of school starting to alert the local fire station and gave them our allergy note we made. So when she went to school 1st day, everybody knew about and were aware of our daugher's condition!
I made a sudden and unplanned move to SF in March 2011 with my kindergarten-age son from Japan; I went to the Board of Education at 555 Franklin St to see which schools had immediate openings for my son. We got a list of 6 or 7 schools. Of course, none of the highly sought out schools (Alamo, Clarendon, etc) were on the list. One of the schools was Garfield. I visited with my son, and first, we fell in love with its locale - it is literally at the foot of Coit tower, with a spectacular view of the Golden Gate Bridge. Magical. I decided to enroll my son in Garfield for the remaining 6 weeks of school, and then try getting him into a "better" school for the fall. But, during those 6 weeks at Garfield, I became a huge fan of the school. I think the biggest factor is the principal: she has a clear vision for the school, and she is patient, a fantastic listener, and respected by the children and teachers alike. Garfield is like a diamond in the rough. As another parent wrote, it doesn't have all the clubs and after school activities of other "hot" schools; but it has a lot of potential, and North Beach is a very nurturing community and a great place to raise children.
Wonderful home-school communication. All the teachers work together to ensure our children are doing well. I also love the way the integrate the regular ed with the special ed kids on a daily basis. They really celebrate diversity!
Garfield Elementry was awesome! I was there for only the first year in 5th grade after moving from Daly City. The first year I learned alot. I learned more then the schools in Daly City. The teachers were awesome! Go Dragons! =D
The curriculum is full speed ahead. Children learn fast at higher levels than most kids there age. My child always has way too much homework. Depending on your expectations in a school it could be good or bad. The bad side of having too much book work is that there young creative sides are not only deprived but are also not able to grow and explore. Garfield is a small school. Between being a small school and having very few as far as parent participation don't expect much more than the basics, if even that. There is no after school clubs, nor sports. Just two after school baby siting type programs. If you need to settle for something that's 'ok for now' to stay clear of something worse, than this is a good school. Otherwise keep looking for something with more stability, art, clubs, sports, and parent participation.
Garfield is a great school, my son is in 1st grade and is benefiting from a solid education. He is taking free Mandarin Chinese lessons after school and is learning his regular curriculum rather quickly. If there is one thing that we would benefit from it is more parent involvement although the numbers seem to be growing this year.
Garfield elementary school is one of the 'hidden gems' in the public school system. My son is in second grade but is doing fourth grade work. I have been very pleased with the Garfield teachers, administration, and staff.The student body reflects a broad cross section of San Francisco.It's a cheery environment to learn.
My son attended Garfield after we were declined from Alamo. At first, this selection was based primarily on the rising test scores achieved by the student body. The student body is comprised of many local residents who implant the importance of academic success early in the child's life. The staff and administration (Principal is a Harvard alumn) at Garfield appear to have a clear and pragmatic viewpoint regarding their circulum; score well on the standardized tests. There is not a lot of fluff here, if you abide by the philosophy of first learning your ABC's and 123's and then working on humanities, then this is the place. If not, look for Claredon, Clare Lienthal, etc as a better option. There is a core philosophy here that serves the focus group- immigrant children who aspire for the American dream.
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The Community Rating is the school’s average rating from its community members (e.g., parents, students, and school staff). The highest possible rating is five stars; the lowest is one star.
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