School continues to get better and better. Knowledgable and experienced teachers. Enthusiastic leader enjoying his second year as Principal. Very involved PTO! All working together to make Garfield a better school each year.
This is our first year at Garfield and so far, it's been beyond our expectations! It's a small, cozy, diverse school (about 240 students) on top of a hill, right beneath the Coit Tower, and has a gorgeous view of the Golden Gate Bridge. The principal is amazing - Mr. Owens pours his heart and soul in making this school better everyday. He truly cares about his students and staff. His endless enthusiasm and energy are greatly appreciated. The onsite afterschool program ran by CYC is wonderful as well. The hours are perfect for working parents(1:50-5:45pm) and the activities are endless. My daughter gets exposed to so many quality hands-on, critical thinking activities, on top of what she learns at school. Thank you Garfield for being a wonderful school for our family! We cannot wait until our younger child joins the Mighty Dragons in a few years!
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.
UPDATE: After spending three years watching this school climb, I have changed my review to 5 stars.
The teachers and staff go above and beyond for the school, students, and parents. My son always come home after school telling me about what he learned or what he did during school. When there's no school, he would say, "awwwww". The kids are so sweet and parents are so nice and willing to help.
Every Friday morning students are recognized for the helpful things they are seen doing throughout the week. Teachers and others recognize students by submitting their names when they have been seen helping others. Students receive "dragon scales" for acts of respect to others, being responsible, and helpful to others.
We are new to Garfield, but have not been disappointed. There is a wonderful sense of community and well-being there - students and staff feel valued and are genuinely connected to each other. The principal, Jason Owens, is engaged, approachable and fights tirelessly for students and staff. Garfield is small enough that is feels cozy and large enough that we are always meeting new faces. The Chinese immersion program is an additional "cherry on top" to an already great school, and the campus is nestled on beautiful Telegraph Hill, with fresh air and gorgeous views. Downsides are the hill (steepest in SF, but we are all fit because of it!), the early start time (7:50 is brutal for those late-sleepers, but the 1:50 dismissal is fantastic), a more old-school approach from some of the Chinese staff (we are getting used to it, and it the plus side is that Garfield kids are largely well-behaved!), and lack of funding because it is public (though an enthusiastic PTO brings quality arts programming, etc. to all grades). Overall, we love this school!
My son is in 5th grade. He has been to Argonne, Jose Ortega, Gratten, George Peabody and Garfield. This school is at the top of Telegraph Hill below Coit Tower. Modern school with caring teachers and approachable principal. Easy going PTO, when you see a great school like Clarendon and they raise $400K a year for the kids. Where do you think they get this $$$? They get it from crunching and squeezing all parents, at all times. Can be a little uncomfortable when money is a little tight. Garfield easy going with still a great after school program. Principal had been helpful and knowledgeable about helping my son for middle school. Cons: It's in the far northeast corner of SF, far from anybody. It's in North Beach, so parking can be a little funky. Little school yard. Pros: It's in North Beach, I take advantage of the neighborhood for great eats and atmosphere. All the kids seems to know one other and play well with each other. Very happy to be here, even though it take about 30 minutes from the Richmond District to get here.
Garfield is an AMAZING school located on Telegraph Hill in the North Beach neighborhood of San Francisco. We love Garfield because the teachers are dedicated, talented and engaging; the principal is warm and fun; and the community is diverse and involved. I have three boys who have attended Garfield in each grade, Kindergarten through 5th. We have had a wonderful experience and I highly recommend this school to anyone. Why pay for private school when you can get highly qualified teachers, small class sizes and a quality education at this outstanding public school!!
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.