This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
San Francisco Community Alternative School5
Posted October 31, 2013
- a parent
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.