Yick Wo is a small school with about 260 students. There are two Kindergarten classes and two 1st, 2nd, and 3rd grade classes. The 4th and 5th grade classes are split between three teachers and 100 students.
The principal has an open door policy and can easily be approached. Having a 4th/5th split class is an academic struggle for some students and parents. When it comes to “discipline”, some of the teachers opt to ignore a problem or just look the other way.
The art teacher and music teachers are amazing, and so are the PE coaches!
Extra after-school-activities include chess (3rd grade and up) or piano, which are held on the same day at same time. No language classes are offered; there is however a parent volunteer offering French lessons during recess, once a week.
There is Farmer’s Market on Wednesday’s, free to all families attending the school.
Students attending Yick Wo¬ are mostly from the North Beach neighborhood, Chinatown and Russian Hill.
Yick Wo is a hidden gem of a school. When we were going through the overwhelming process of picking a school between public and private, the parents, teachers, and Principal from Yick Wo were by far the most approachable, sincere, and genuine people we came across. Now that we are here, we can attest to the fact that they accurately represented the Yick Wo community. We consider ourselves very lucky to have a lovely, nurturing, and creative environment for our children, in a beautiful neighborhood with fantastic teachers and staff who put your kids first.
Yick Wo is really a wonderful school but the 4th and 5th grade classes have 32 or so students and the teachers are struggling to deal with the range of student needs. The school has a lot of great extra curriculars -- visual art, poetry (AMAZING new teacher), PE, Opera, playworks, chess, newspaper club (The New Yick Times :)but it needs to keep its priorities straight or I fear the school's academics will go down. The early grades are pretty wonderful with a lot of veteran teachers and team teachers who pour resources on their relatively small classes. The school needs to support the upper grades with an aid so that the kids are ready for middle school.
Yick Wo is a gem among SF public schools. It's small size is an asset. It has only 2 classes per grade in the lower levels, and because of it's small size, everyone knows everyone. All the teachers, coaches, and principal know my kids. I was first impressed with the school when I went for a tour: kids were actively engaged in learning math, science, music, and opera but weren't having to sit at their desks all day. Kids and teachers were so engaged in what they were doing that no one noticed our group observing them. Student-created art lines the hallways and is impressive. This is a late start school (9:30), and there is no before school option on campus. It's also very neighborhood-centric. There are limited-none extra-curricular options compared to other SF public schools. It partners with SF Opera, SF Ballet, and has a resident poet for half the year.
Outstanding Special Ed program! The principal is incredibly supportive of the Special Ed Program and the Special Ed teacher and staff are outstanding. I absolutely LOVE this school and my son is making huge improvements. Thank you Wick Yo and your amazing staff!
Yick Wo is a secret gem. The school is very small and its size creates a real sense of community. Everyone involved with the school, teachers, parents, administrative staff and students come to know each other well and to look out for one another. There is a strong emphasis on mentoring younger kids by the older kids through reading programs, math and a Peace Keeper program where the older children learn to mediate disputes between their younger peers. The warm, supportive environment encourages kids to develop their interests in multiple directions and the strong parent involvement and PTO bring opportunities into the school that other elementary schools lack. All classes take frequent field trips around the city and the bay area. Some of the special programs the children enjoy are: Opera with the SF Opera, Dance with SF Ballet, a Poetry program, an Orff music teacher, a Choral music teacher, Playworks (a program teaching organized play, co-operation and teamwork), PE, Art, Chess Club taught by a Grand Master from the Mechanic's Institute and this year they will have a Newspaper Club. The teachers are wonderful. The Principle is exceptional. I wish it extended through high school!
Yick Wo is a wonderful school!! It's our neighborhood school and was fortunate to be ale to attend. I tell everyone that it may be small but it has such a tight community of parents that are so involved that it makes it such a wonderful school. I read a comment that said that the principle is not experienced. I beg to differ. She has yet to display anything that is less than satisfactory. She goes way beyond of what I would expect. With her and the staff, they are great to the kids. The kids have fun and have fun learning and that because of the staff.
Yick Wo is simply a wonderful school. The principal is truly your "pal" .. you might remember that from spelling class when you were a child. Stephanie Young does an amazing job managing the school especially with tightened budgets and the parent organization is run by surfer dude Chris who is tremendous. Both are energetic, engaged and lead with their hearts and minds. Our daughter finished kindergarten last year with Mr Steve, THE BEST TEACHER any parent can hope for. The school did not "close" as described in prior review, the school moved for a year to a temporary location a couple blocks away while the campus is being refurbished. We feel blessed to be at Yick Wo and lucky to have gotten in.
Yick Wo has lost its special feeling over the past two years. The new Principal is not experienced and it shows. The school is closing next year for at least one year and maybe more years and parents have not received any details on how this will affect their children. It still has several excellent teachers and overall is a good school. There is still less than one hour a week for PE but Coach Robinson is great with the kids.