Students enrolled 674
School leader William Hack

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3630 Divisadero Street
San Francisco, CA 94123

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(415) 749-3516
(415) 749-3431
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Map of Lilienthal (Claire) Elementary School address.

4 stars
Based on 37 ratings

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September 24, 2014
I was a student at Claire Lilienthal for all of the years (K-8). I really enjoyed going to the school until I hit 3rd grade. The teachers are very good at helping the kids hit the standard, as well as helping students who need extra help. As a student who generally had no problem understanding the concepts they were trying to teach, there was nothing to do. The teachers insist on teaching everything for the remedial students, but have no experience teaching students who accel in a given class. The school tends to focus most on the students who need help, along with the students who present behavioral problems. As a student who had neither issue, I coasted through the system, but was never challenged. That being said, it is a public school, and one of the better ones in San Francisco. The PTA does a tremendous job of fundraising, we have many all school events, and the teachers make an effort to connect to the students.

- submitted by a community member
November 17, 2013
Claire Lilienthal has become part of our family for the past 10 years. The teachers and administration have both challenged and loved my children every day. No wonder it is the best school in San Francisco and one of the best in the state of California. We love Lilienthal.

- submitted by a parent
April 16, 2013
I used to go to CL and i transfered to a private school which i absolutely love. This school has terrible teachers and is mostly for students that fall behind.

- submitted by a community member
December 05, 2012
It's true if you have a typical kid you might be A. O.K. but if your kid excels in a particular discipline, good luck getting any instruction targeted to your kid's ability. The principal seems to have mastered every way to say "your on your own" without ever saying so. Also and in the mean time be ready to empty your pockets with this, that, and the other thing, but not instruction to your or any advanced kid. Pitiful. Teachers seem good natured and generally agreeable but for the most part their hands are tied to CLA's that shoot toward advancing API scores directed by the Principal and Vice that keep your curious kid from shooting for the stars. Unfortunate and disappointing.

- submitted by a parent
November 27, 2012
This is an amazing school! Our daughter started kindergarten this fall and has been challenged and happy. She's progressing rapidly in her skills relative to preschool. Our teacher is very talented and committed, emails us all the time. Lots of opportunity for parent involvement which we have been able to take advantage of. Also, we enrolled 3 days in the after school program, CLASP, which our daughter LOVES! All of the parents I have met are highly enthusiastic about the school and committed to supporting it. Claire Lilienthal is a wonderful, wonderful place!

- submitted by a parent
September 29, 2012
This is a great school if you don t care if your kids learn anything. I have two kids in the school and last year they stopped teaching the minute they completed the standardized test. My daughter s class watched a Disney film while my son s class went bowling. Again at the beginning of this year my daughter s class watched another movie. CL strives for mediocrity. This appears to be a common problem with San Francisco schools where the goal is to integrate children regardless of their abilities and/or psychological needs. But with CL they fail to challenge the kids. As a result kids who may excel in one area such as math or reading are ignored. The school does have great teachers and the principle pays lip service to parents concerns. But what the school lacks is a standardized curriculum that makes sure the kids are on a path to learn the material but also a way to help both the kids who are above average as well as those who are failing behind or have psychological issues. In addition, they make it difficult to participate as a volunteer unless you have experience working in a sweat shop then you can help manufacture some bedspreads for the fund raiser.

- submitted by a parent
September 18, 2012
My daughter just started K and we are blown away so far. Caring, committed teachers and staff, highly involved parents, and a warm and respectful environment. We feel very lucky to be here.

- submitted by a parent
June 20, 2012
For an SF public school, CL is probably better than some, however, is is still a SF public school, they all have their unique problems. My 2 children are not pushed academically, rather shuffled through because they don't cause problems. Teachers are overworked and spend much of their time with the problem students. CL is supposed to be a parent participation school, but when I asked my 1st graders teacher on multiple occasions throughout the year to volunteer in the classroom, I was never given the opportunity. While there are outstanding teachers in every school, I would say there are teachers at CL need to be replaced. The split between campuses, while nice in a sense to keep the k-2 separate, creates a strange dichotomy with the school community. I would say that CL is still teaching to the test, doing the best it can with the curriculum, but there is enormous room for improvement.

- submitted by a parent
March 10, 2012
Sounds like one parent had one bad experience and wrote an extremely harsh review. Ouch! My experience of Mr Hack is completely different He is caring and a good communicator with an open door policy. Knows all the kids by name and tries to reach out to them.

- submitted by a parent
no rating May 21, 2010
We love the school!!! Great teachers and community!! Our son is VERY happy there, he has learned so much. His teachers keep him constantly challenged while fostering his self confidence and love of learning. The parent association is extremely involved and has done a tremendous job. We cannot recommend it more!!

- submitted by a parent
April 24, 2010
The parents and school staff work together to make a great school for the kids.

- submitted by a parent
no rating April 14, 2010
It is a great school with a wonderful reputation in San Francisco. The principal, teachers, and most importantly, Parents all understand and work together to ensure our children have a well-rounded education even if the government will not help pay for it. My kids have enjoyed it and I highly recommend it. Thanks Lilienthal!

- submitted by a parent
April 07, 2010
We are now in our fifth year at CLS. Overall, the quality of the instruction that we have experienced has been excellent. The teachers we are dedicated and honoring of each child. The students' families work hard to contribute where and what they can to help make up for what is no longer covered by the state budget, from PE to the Arts. From our experience, it continues to be a great public school. And, of course, there's always room for improvement.

- submitted by a parent
no rating April 06, 2010
As a African American Parent who's child attends Claire Lilienthal, the missing piece is lack of diversity. There is only one African American staff member (teacher's aide). I would like to see more staff diversity to meet the needs of minority students. The teachers are mediocre. The teachers are very receptive to parent participation in the classroom from my experience. This was one of the reasons I choose this school due to the model of parent involvement. It appears to be a class system of the haves and have nots. The wealthy parents seem to be more respected than the regular working class parents.

- submitted by a parent
January 25, 2010
I have been in this school K-8. (I'm in 8th grade now) and I would like to say how this is the best public school in the bay area for any child to go to without a doubt. The school is simply outstanding with what it does with parent involvement despite outrageous budget cuts by the state. Yes, im only 13. I am applying to the top high schools with the great preparation this school has given me.

- submitted by a student
September 25, 2009
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a parent
September 23, 2009
I agree with the last parent to write about Lilienthal. This school is in an extremely desirable/safe part of S.F.. I wanted my child to go there for that reason, as did the other parents I came to know at Claire. Safety is a priority in S.F.. Claire was in transition the whole enrollment of my child-7 years. Going through 3/4 principals. I feel there are teachers that really care and give their best, I felt overall there were more that did not. Sadly. Hooray for the parent involvement, they are welcomed,needed, and be prepared to give! Unfortunately, some teachers fought against music class, and we had no art classes. No AP classes in middle school. FYI: gifted students are not given more challenging work, than the other students, the 'Honors' that show on report cards, is there if they have good grades from regular curriculum. More high school/college prep is really needed here.

- submitted by a parent
September 15, 2009
I read the review posted most recently and I am assuming it is not written by a parent as it suggests. or, it is written by an enthusiastic parent, one who appreciates their child attending a school that is safe, clean; where children are generally respected and parents are able to participate in making it a better school than were parents discouraged from helping. But the school is still in transition regarding the quality of education at the Middle School level. By contrast, there are no AP offerings at the school as one would find at a significantly larger school, such as A.P. Giannini or Presidio, where students who have achieved a level of excellence can prepare for matriculation in a better high school in the SFUSD system. That is simply not the case with Claire Lilienthal.

- submitted by a parent
September 15, 2009
Claire Lilienthal s high test scores get better each year. The teachers are magnificent and motivate the children to learn and explore through hands-on activities. Parent involvement is strong and enhances opportunities for the children and supports the teachers in daily projects. Claire Lilienthal ranks at the top with top private schools in San Francisco which is one reason the demand for a seat is high. The school offers strong academics, a wonderful art curriculum, over-qualified yet passionate teachers, a language immersion program, a variety of sports for grades K-8, AP middle school classes, a safe environment and diversity. I'm glad I pressed to get my children into CLS. It was worth every ounce of stress. Good luck future parents!

- submitted by a parent
October 07, 2008
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a student
September 18, 2008
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a student
September 04, 2008
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a community member
July 19, 2008
I will be entering 7th grade in the fall, and I have to say, my curriculum has been mediocre. I am a certified GATE student and I have gone to Center for Talented Youth summer camp for the past two years. The elementary school is pretty good. Most teachers are nice and enthusiastic. Once you reach middle school, though, it gets worse. I was not challenged at all. There is no GATE program, although supposedly there is. I spent most of my 'oh-so-fun' days of 6th grade doodling and staring at the wall. The middle school teachers are ok for mediocre to low scoring students, but teachers are supposed to recognize the needs of every student. Despite these problems, there has always been a sense of community at school. If you are planning to send your kid to a rigorous high school, I would suggest outside help, such as tutors.

- submitted by a student
January 24, 2008
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a parent
November 18, 2007
Goling primarily by test scores and location, I set my heart on Claire Lilienthal, and after many false starts, finally got both of my kids in. Sadly, however, I find the greatest advantage of this school is the involved parents, rather than any inspired teaching or great curriculum. Probably like most public schools these days, there is great emphasis on test scores, and particularly, any areas in need of improvement. Unfortunately, this comes at the expense of celebrating and fostering any areas of strength. Very middle of the road instruction and some of the teachers are very rigid.

- submitted by a parent
November 14, 2007
I have two children enrolled at Lilienthal and their educational experience has been outstanding. Their teachers have been outstanding and caring. My oldest daughter, now in college, was well prepared for her private high school experience. She still visits Lilienthal regularly and has stayed in touch with many of her teachers. I would not hesitate to highly recommend this school .

- submitted by a parent
November 11, 2007
My child is a kinder this fall and so far I have seen satisfactory results in her learning. I will probably withdraw her and enroll her at the school I am working at since we have much more to offer.

- submitted by a parent
August 31, 2007
Teachers are partial to students. Some give bad grades without any documentation or supporting material. When asked to produce supporting materials, some get offended and defensive. This in addition to the heavy politics that exists there makes one question whether the school really have the kids interests at heart. Just take a look at the kids used books, many have missing covers, bad binding, horrible shape.

- submitted by a parent
March 27, 2007
Lilienthal has educated and inspired my three children in myriad ways. My two sons are currently juniors at Lowell, their college prospects excellent. The teachers and the student peers at CL equipped them well for their academic, creative and athletic pursits. Meanwhile, my daughter, a 4th grader, never wants to miss a day at CL. She is very happy socially (the teachers do an excellent job fostering a healthy, friendly climate); she is learning great history and reading up a storm. The school is gradually adding more electives (budget willing) and several parents are involved but more volunteers are needed. The afterschool program (free for elementary ages) is another jewel in the school's crown, and Ms Hadley's middle school athletic program is superb.

- submitted by a parent
September 18, 2006
I have two sons in this school and my first son was admitted to Lowell High School. The school is an oasis in the San Francisco area. The teachers are approachable and personally involved with each child - at least that is how they made my children feel, special, cared for and were expected to meet high standards. I am thankful for having both of my children in this excellent school!

- submitted by a parent
May 01, 2006
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a parent
March 11, 2006
Our child is in kindergarten in the Korean Immersion Program. We cannot be more satisfied with the teacher involvement and enthusiasm, the great kids participating in the program and at the school, and the enthusiastic parent support. A terrific alternative to private schools with a great location in Presidio Hieghts for the K-2 grades and a terrific campus in the Marina for 3-8. Don't be scared off by the Korean Immersion curriculam; the children become proficient in a second language which only reinforces their English language sutdies. Great after school program and terrific parent support for after school sports(from soccer in the fall, to basketball in the winter and baseball in the spring--all co-ed) I would highly reccomend Claire Lilienthal as a terrific public school.

- submitted by a parent
October 28, 2005
My 2 kids have gone here from kindergarten to 8th grade, and I have felt truly blessed.The school has had its ups and downs due to principal turnover and growth pains since adding the middle school, but overall it has been an excellent experience. The staff is so caring, the academic work rigorous but taught very well, and the parent involvement is amazing. I wish there had been a bit more in terms of extracurricular activities, however, but overall it has been a truly great school for my 2 daughters.

- submitted by a parent
August 31, 2005
Both my children have gone to Claire Lilienthal since they were 5 years old. Claire Lilienthal is a school where the children come first. Each child is encouraged to do their personal best without being labeled as the smart or dumb kids. The teachers are highly skilled and work hard to bring out the best in each child. The principal is kind and knows each child by name. She is a great example of a leader and I will miss seeing her everyday as my daughter graduates this year. Thank you Claire Lilienthal for bringing out the best in my children and giving them the encouragement and confidence they need to go out into the world!

- submitted by a parent
August 19, 2005
Cl has strong academic, extracurricular and environmental programs. One of the best elem. Schools in sf. C.Lilienthal requires students do a lot of homework. Fine,if the student has the academic tools to meet the challenges. For those students who are having academic difficulties, it can be a stressful and even negative experience. Parents, too, get depressed when their child tries but struggles academically. I speak from personal experience here. However, the school/district provides help here.Thank god for that. The outdoor ed program is first-class and is relatively inexpensive. Great rewards for the students. Parents need to be encouraged to go into the classroom as observers. The right to do this is not advertised. Why not? One elementary teacher seemed very unresponsive to my legitimate parental concerns, and became confrontational. Yes, there are some like that. Finally, I have never seen a daily, or semester, lesson plan. Why is this?

- submitted by a parent
August 16, 2005
This wonderful school has two campuses, a K-2 campus on Sacramento Street and a 3-8 campus on Divisadero. We are pleased with the consistently superb quality of our child's learning experience. The teachers at the elementary level are highly competent; administrators are committed to giving every student whatever is needed for success. Parent participation is especially strong here, and clearly key to this school's excellence

- submitted by a parent
July 06, 2005
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a parent
April 27, 2005
Quality of academic programs is outstanding. Teachers are knowledgeable and children love the school.

- submitted by a parent
January 03, 2005
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a parent
November 22, 2004
I'm so thankful and happy to be a part of CL. Not only is the environment impressive, but the teacher, staff and children are outstanding. My child has learned so much in such a short time and can't wait to get to school. The parent participation and welcoming feel of the community has really been inspiring and I feel very fortunate to be a part of it. We are fortunate to have such outstanding teachers, to really make the learning experience for our children fun and challenging! I only wish all the schools could be so well rounded and embracing!

- submitted by a parent
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Lilienthal (Claire) Elementary School
3630 Divisadero Street, San Francisco, CA  94123
(415) 749-3516
Last modified Lilienthal (Claire) Elementary School is a Public school that serves grades K-8. It has received a GreatSchools rating of 9 out of 10 based on academic quality.
Lilienthal (Claire) Elementary School Rating: 4 out of 5 based on 40 reviews. Top