This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
Garfield Elementary School5
Posted September 24, 2014
- a parent
Garfield is a wonderful tight knit community of students, parents, teachers and staff. Before our daughter started kindergarten, we had a number of the basic concerns and questions that I expect are common to parents with kids starting elementary school. We were very happy to find that Garfield is a small enough school that from the youngest students to the oldest kids know and look out for each other. The general education and Chinese immersion tracks are both great and the teachers in the two programs work together to promote a common school spirit and identity as the Garfield Mighty Dragons. Our daughter settled right into Garfield and got down to the business of learning, growing and having fun!
My daughter is in the first grade Cantonese immersion class. Though we only speak English and I can't help her study, I am glad she has this opportunity to learn another language. She loves learning Chinese. Most importantly, I find that the teachers are excited and empowered, the principal is a fearless leader, the PTO is active and involved, and the kids are happy. It seems to be a secret how wonderful this school is, but I wanted to share with other parents considering sending their child to Garfield.
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!
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!