SFC is a small school where children can really be known and it s K-8, which means my child will be able to develop deep friendships and, as a Middle schooler, will hopefully be able to be a mentor to a younger student at school. My daughter s teacher is fantastic calm, knowledgeable, and so insightful in helping kids talk through social conflicts when they arise. Because the grades are looped she will be in this classroom for 2 years. The class is also undertaking their first big hands-on science project for the year, to be showcased in Dec. (Project Open House events happen twice a year). The overall feeling I have about SFC is that the staff is trying to make it work for everyone who is involved in the school. From what I have seen, they are very respectful of differences and do their best to make each child feel safe and recognized. They are very open to feedback, welcome new ideas and appreciate volunteering efforts. SFC feels like a really unique, special place. I feel lucky to be involved with it. p.s. I just heard that the play structure will be renovated during summer 2014.
My kids are in 2nd and 4th and are new to SFC this year. I was REALLY anxious about the transition from their old public school, which they'd both attended from kinder -- but SFC has been fantastic. Within a few weeks all the teachers & specialists (garden, PE, Playworks, library, dance, art, music, counselor) knew my kids, their quirks, and best how to work with them. My kids are both strong academically, and I was pleased to see the speed with which their teachers identified their strengths and found ways to engage them in lessons that covered material they already knew. For the first time neither of them say that school is boring. When asked what he likes about SFC my son says " I liked my old school, when I was there I rated it about a 7, but SFC is SO much better, I think my old school is really a 4 & SFC is a 9, I need to go a bit more and see if its a 10." When I asked what he liked best he said " the kids are really friendly & all the teachers really like teaching" And don't we all want our kids in schools where the teachers really want to be there? I know the focus on small classes, project based learning & community will serve my kids well through 8th grade.
My son is a new Kindergartner at this school. Going to kindergarten is a tough transition, but I've been surprised at how quickly my son made it through with the support of his teacher, great kids, and great parents. There's room for everyone to help and give back at this school and every year, there are more and more involved parents - making this school better every year. For a boy who wasn't interested in reading, I've been shocked at how much he's learned and how many words he can read now. We're excited our kid will get to experience project-based learning at its best, growing and thriving through eighth grade with his friends.
My son is in kindergarten at SFC, so we're about two months in. Before he started, he couldn't read or write anything except for his own name; now when we read together, he's reading about half of the words. He gets super excited about learning a new "sight word" each Monday, and he really likes his teacher. His favorite part of the day is the after school program, which has a new, really energetic director this year. I've appreciated how involved other parents are with the school, and how willing everyone is (including teachers and the principal) to talk openly about solutions when problems arise.
Sad to say this school is not good! We wanted it to be and we can tell a few teachers and parents are really trying... But overall this school doesn't have the means or support it needs to educate the students and its just not safe. The "justice" thats referred to at this school sounds good but isn't practiced, and honestly my priority is to get my kid to read & write!; Compared to another public school my older child went to, we're shocked how poor this is. Hoping to transfer by spring.... :(
Wonderful small school! Caring and dedicated staff and parents. My children have been there since kindergarten-now in 5th and 3rd grade. We feel blessed that we can stay through 8th! There are many wonderful extra-curricular activities-garden, sports, arts, choir. My family and I love Project Based Learning, restorative practices, balanced literacy initiative. The principal is so dedicated to the school, I swear she does not sleep! She addresses any issues that come up professionally and with aplomb. She is also incredibly approachable to both students and parents. I know that the school has gotten some "bad press" but we have only had positive experiences there.
I have two children at San Francisco Community one in 7th and one in 3rd. SFC is a small school that truly nurtures its students. In all of these years, my kids have only had the most dedicated teachers the types that pour everything into their classes. The project-based learning is the reason we chose the school and the reason we stay. It encourages the kids to truly think, instead of learn in a rote manner. In line with this thinking, test scores are not overly valued at SFC, which I also appreciate. SFC might not have the bells and whistles of other schools, but it's got heart, soul, and a fantastically talented staff. My kids have thrived here.
SFC is so great for kids on every level. The kids are encouraged to have/be Strong Minds, Strong Hearts, Strong Individuals and Strong Community. They are a project based learning school and a small school by design. Kids have the same teacher for 2 years in a row so there is a lot of personalized attention. My son thrives at this school and I'm excited for his future because of this school.
I have two children at SFC and our family has been at the school for four years. I won't deny that SFC has had problems, but I firmly believe that those problems are in the past. While I cannot speak to every family's experience, I can say that our family's experience has been excellent here. My children's teachers have been exemplary, focusing not only on academic achievement but also social development and conflict resolution. As a parent, I feel that my opinions and contributions are valued. On top of that, some of the things that make SFC special are: 1) Project- based learning allows for integrated and in-depth learning (One-third of our graduating class last year went to Lowell), 2) mixed grades and looping means students will have the same teacher for 2 years, 3) Garden program gives students hands-on experience (we recently received an Education Outside grant to extend our garden program even further), 4) K-8 structure means that students and families can form long-term relationships with staff.
The teachers at this school care about each child. I have a child who graduated from this school and is now attending a private school with a high GPA. If it wasn't for SFC helping her develop her study habits and encouraging her to be involved with the community, she would not be as successful as she is now in school. I also have another child who currently attends this school and she really enjoys going to school every day. She comes home every evening showing us what she has learned. This school has proven to be a great public school. Last year so many graduating students went on to private and high ranking public schools that speaks for itself.
Our middle schooler has been at SFC since kinder and we love this small, warm, special school. Because the school is teacher-run, it has many extraordinarily talented teachers; sometimes, teachers don't work out with the extra demands. Sometimes SFC is not a good fit for every family either, take a tour to get a sense of this. My son has thrived with the projects, the small community, the individual attention, and the outdoor education. The free after school has been a life saver for us. As he has gotten older he switched to the adjacent Boys and Girls Club, and now like other older kids walks across Mission St to the library to do homework after school. He is well grounded in academics and has high test scores - but what he has gained from his SFC education goes far beyond what is measured on a standardized test. The school places an emphasis on critical thinking and community values, and views each student as gifted, talented, and valuable.
All these sudden 5 ratings have to make you wonder! The same small group of parents (almost clique-ish) strive so hard to make this school "look good" but let's get real...this school in an area where most true locals barely even have an email address!! Please don't be fooled by a fancy internet presence! My peeves with this school - 1) little supervision after school and some kids repeatedly flock to Mission Street when they should be at afterschool care. Safety risk! 2) "project based" learning= less "homework" lacking reinforcement of lessons learned everyday. Kids need consistency some form of good old pencil pushing at home! The vision is good, but needs a little fine tuning.
I have two kids at SFC, one in the sixth grade and one in second grade and I have never had a bad not even a mediocre teacher. They've all been truly amazing, devoted, big-thinking educators. We were drawn to this school because of its project-based learning philosophy and it hasn't let me down. I've witnessed my children learn in the most engaging ways, from projects on roller coasters and how they work to baking and the science and math of it. I don't believe in rote learning and I feel like my children have been challenged to apply the basic tenants of education to real life experiences. Also, anyone who has fear of their kids having to transfer in the tender tween years to big middle schools can take solace that their children will be able to stay here through 8th grade in a nurturing setting with a small group of students.
We have been part of the SFC community for the last 5 years and are big supporters of the school. We like the small school approach, the K-8 system, project based learning and the support we receive from the very dedicated staff. All the teachers so far have been excellent and very experienced. Yes, unfortunately the active parent group is small, but all involved parents are very dedicated and committed to the school. Parents of 5th grader
We're loving SFC. My daughter is in K and we feel so very lucky that we landed here. Because the school was founded as a Small School by Design, they have some curricular freedom to teach through projects, which was very attractive to us. Go to the school on a Project Night and you'll see very proud and engaged students showing off their impressive, multi-disciplinary work. The school has so many of the things we were looking for--strong, experienced, kind teachers who know how to set personalized goals, engage students, and who make it a priority to nurture and sustain children's innate curiosity, as well as a diverse student body and staff. We also really liked the practice of "looping" grades--each child has the same teacher for 2 years. We love the small size of the school, as well as the K-8 model, which creates opportunities for older students to be mentors and reading buddies and eases or eliminates the transition to middle school. Homework for K/1 consists of reading only, which fits in well with our priorities. Most importantly, though, our daughter adores her K teacher and loves P.E., library day, and the garden class. Come visit SFC and see for yourself!
Our son has been here for 4 years, and we love it. The school is very focused on academics and our son has excelled. Teachers are first rate. Like all public schools, it has faced funding challenges lately, but with the help of involved parents the school has continued to provide music and PE classes, and a free after-school program. There is a great sense of community between parents and staff. Communication is facilitated by the school's small size. The student body is friendly and diverse, which makes for a very enriching learning environment. All students are treated equitably and are appropriately challenged academically. When problems have arisen, staff have been very quick to address issues in an open and effective way. Many students come from the local neighborhood, but a number of parents actively seek out the school because of the project-based learning program, mixed-grade class options and community ethos. Because of its location, the school is less competitively subscribed to than some. I believe it would be a lot more popular if it had more of a central location. However, it is a great asset to the neighborhood. I'm very glad we have it on our doorstep.
our two older kids are navigating large high schools with aplomb after their time in the small, nurturing SFC environment. our youngest is thriving with the extra transition to middle school SFC provides in grades 5 and 6. our kids have received an extraordinary amount of individual attention and love at SFC. some of the things we particularly appreciate are project based learning, outdoor education, free after school program, and the school's emphasis on equity, social values and restorative practices.
Our family has been at this school since our son began kindergarten and he is now finishing up 5th grade, ready for middle school at SFC. We pulled our son out of a preschool-8th private school after we visited SFC and found it to a wonderful learning environment, especially for bright, curious, and compassionate children and families. The teachers and students create a lovingly supportive place in which kids can learn and the expectation that all kids can thrive with support and guidance keeps the school focused on equity and genunie learning (not just focusing on raising test scores). Parent involvement is appropriate not overbearing (I want professionals teaching my kid and running his school not parents, but parents are an important, supportive part of the community). We hope many other students have the benefit of attending this small school by design where all children are seen as gifted, talented, and teachable. I encourage folks to visit and see if it is a good fit for them.
SFC has an excellent teaching staff and they are willing to go above and beyond to help the children succeed. Due to increasing costs, I took my daughter out of private and I selected this school because of it's small size and great location. The school is located next door to a Boys and Girls Club which is great for homework help and after school help. My daughter and I have not regretted our decision. It is a K-8 school and my only regret is that my daughter didn't go there from the beginning of elementary school. There is a diverse student population which is always a plus and a majority of their eigth grade graduation class will be going to some of San Francisco's top public and private schools.
My son has thrived here. He is in 2nd grade and wants to get to school early and doesn't want to come home. He's developed great conflict resolution skills, and is reading far above grade level (Harry Potter in one week, Lemony Snicket the next). He likes to learn, which is a hard thing to teach. Projects on the human body, birds, health, etc. have enabled him to learn a lot more than would be taught from a textbook. It suffers from lack of resources like any other PS, but it has committed teachers, and an overall positive vibe. Some parents have not found it to be a good match for their kids, but this even happens at well-reputed schools like Clarendon and Rooftop b/c everyone has different values. Make your own decision. Check it out for your self.
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