This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
Milk (Harvey) Civil Rights Elementary School5
Posted March 25, 2015
- a parent
My daughter has special needs and HMCRA has been so wonderful for her to navigate. There are no special ed classes, all children with special needs are integrated in typical classrooms, which is amazing. The teachers are top notch. Everyone knows my daughter at Harvey Milk, even the 5th graders. I also have a kinder already enrolled for Fall 2015. I'm very excited for both of my kids to go to Milk. It truly is a community, with a diverse staff and students. We are on the cusp of a lot of great change with a new PTO in place with a great group of parents on the board. We are also hiring a new principal. We have had some really good interim principals to help us along the way. I am very excited for the changes but also completely happy the way things are because the staff is amazing.
My child has been at Harvey Milk for 5 years and we absolutely love the school. The teachers are all amazing, as is the community. It's very small and intimate, and everyone looks out for each other. They emphasize peace and restorative practices to handle any conflicts, and Coach Glenn does amazing work with the children (and the parents!) on confidence and self-motivation. It's an amazing community and I highly recommend it for any child and family. It's a very special place!
We have only attended Harvey Milk for one year and we love it. Our daughter's second grade teacher, Ms. Reynolds is fantastic - a truly dedicated teacher. The support staff is very friendly and Coach Glenn, highly respected by everyone, often leads an inspiring morning circle. On Friday mornings everyone dances. We appreciate the school's attention to civic awareness and responsibility and the opportunity and choice to be positive people within a local/global community. Our daughter has made many close friendships and we see wonderful growth in her as she moves through second grade.
Our son has been enrolled at Harvey Milk since kindergarten. His teachers are phenomenal, especially Ms. Francis and Mr. Nymark. He attends both the morning and after school programs, which offer early drop off and pick up to 6:30. Both are great work working parents. HMCRA is one of the city's most diverse schools--it's a nice parent community and easy to get involved. We also love morning circle and the many events sponsored by the school and YMCA, from movie nights, to potluck dinners, to roller skating events, to impromptu walks to the nearby park. It's a joyful, spirited learning environment. My son is thriving. I strongly would recommend Harvey Milk to any family in San Francisco.
I love Harvey Milk! I have a 1st grader and a new kinder going into Fall 2015. This school doesn't only teach my daughter about education, but how to value her self in today's society. I truly feel that Harvey Milk has tough my child how to respect others, but also how to respect herself. As parents our main concern is "what is my child going to learn?' without looking at the overall picture. If we have a child that is in a school where they feel proud of themselves and is able to help others out this is what represents a school! Harvey Milk for me is what represents love and especially respect. We need to start teaching out kids more about respecting themselves and other so they know how to face challenges as they grow up. I couldn't feel prouder of my child representing Harvey Milk. BTW! Harvey Milk by far is the only school that I know that LOVES to involve their families.
This is a small school with a great mission (social justice), teachers, community and true diversity. I have been so pleased with my child s education here. Her teachers have been exceptional. Recently, the school has added a Spanish language program to morning care, staff and parents have improved facilities, a group of parents are working with staff to increase grant writing, a parent and student-run farmer s market has started selling food from the school's garden, and the PTO group is taking action to increase their ability to fundraise.
The Castro neighborhood is vibrant, diverse, and charming... and this school fits right in with those same qualities. The mix of students in each class is broad and inclusive, representing much of what we value in San Francisco. The teachers are engaged, committed, talented and create an atmosphere to thrive. Daily morning circle the school comes together as a community to start each day. There are some really fun extra-curricular activities, a morning Spanish program, Movie/Pizza Nights, an awesome Halloween Dance, and parents coordinate group sports/teams and play at the field or rec center across the street. This school has a small town feel, but with all the benefits and access of a big city.
Harvey milk is an amazing school! We live in a country where racism us abound- 80% of whites in this country have a moderate to severe racial bias. we know this because Harvard was able to come up with a scientific test to measure it. Guess what - we are failing! My children are learning at Harvey milk how to transcend racism. Not only how to identify it when it exists in others- more importantly when it exists in themselves. A wonderful safe and thriving community at Harvey milk- the kids are flourishing because it's diverse and honest space where all kids soar. Where oppressed kids bring up priveledged kids-where disparity between learning is eliminated. my children would never assume that "middle" class kids are responsible for improved test scores or that they have more to bring to a school then others. They would recognize that as bias! They are more sophisticated then their parents which is how it should be if we are ever going to progress. It is very exciting and very successful.
This is in response to the March 1st post below. A neighborhood elementary school is not the place for a social science experiment. This school fails its community by focusing on reforming historical prejudice over the three Rs. Take it from a battle-scarred parent at HMCRA, Castro-area parents should look elsewhere for there are many better public school options.
I'm a proud parent of a Kindergarten student at Milk and couldn't be happier. My daughter's teacher Ms. Martinez is amazing (and she's not the only one). She's a rockstar who recently won the Teacher of the Month award from 826Valencia. She is a good example of what the school stands for and what they try to teach the kids besides the school curriculum. I love the fact that my daughter is aware of social issues, doesn't tolerate wrong doing against others and becomes a very independent thinker with her own opinions. HMCRA is all about community and you can feel it; Morning Circle, classroom projects and other school activities are in tune with the larger community and especially as a Castro resident, it's something that makes me very happy. There are some issues at the school that (we as the school community) are currently addressing. As a first step, an official PTO is on its way to be formed and we are hoping to have it in place by the new school year. Please visit the school and see for yourself why someone called it the hidden gem in the Castro!