Nora Houseman does an amazing job leading the entire school given limited rescourses. Teaching and being a principle is a job of passion and dedication. She and the teachers are making a difference every day!
SFC focuses every day on the emotional health and development of their kids. They really practice restoritive practices every day with community circle and engaging the kids in how they feel in resolving conflict and promoting and inclusive environment for all kids.
I can't believe we get to be a part of this amazing community! My son is thriving at SFC and couldn't be happier. Being a teacher myself, I had many requirements, and SFC has met those. Curriculum is project-based, which is extremely important for different types of learners, class sizes are small (k-8 and less than 300 students), grades are blended (K-1st, 2nd-3rd, 4th-5th, 6-7-8), and there's a high focus on social-emotional intelligence. My son is challenged and supported. He was bringing home books he had written and illustrated in kinder! And the principal and staff are wonderful. It really does feel like we're part of a community.
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.