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K-8
Public
San Francisco, CA
Students enrolled: 550
Before care: No
After care: Yes

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1541 12th Avenue
San Francisco, CA 94122

School website
(415) 759-2764
(415) 242-2507
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Map of Yu (Alice Fong) Elementary School address.

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January 18, 2014
This mainly refers to middle school at AFY. As a student, I constantly thought about how much I hated this school. The same can be said for many other students and alumni. I repeatedly reminded myself of how much homework I had and how hard school was. Years later, as now a graduating senior in high school, I understand why AFY methods are the best. Many people say it is outdated teaching and that students are taught to take tests.The "out dating teaching technique" pays off the most. It is so intense and rigorous that it makes high school seem like nothing, or even less, literally. At AFY we are taught to take tests, but this IS middle school. How many more tests will you take in your life? From high school placement to college exit exams, that's a lot of tests. When considering this school, keep in mind what type of learner your child is, it's like college, not every school is a bad school, but there is a different and unique touch to them and your kid. If I, a high school teenager, can understand and appreciate the different prod and cons of this school, so should each parent out there. Good luck too all the parents considering schools :) Love, JL C/0 '10

- submitted by a community member
October 31, 2013
My kids are lucky to have such a high level education at AFY! This school is clean, safe, the teachers are dedicated, very involved and super creative. They are teaching Cantonese, Mandarin and English and still managing to get some of the highest scores in California. The Principal is a strong leader, which has set this school for success over the years. We have a great parent community with many fun events and strong support for the school. My family loves AFY!

- submitted by a parent
October 28, 2013
Our school is led by a visionary Principal, who guides a team of dedicated teachers, who in turn drive the students to achieve amazing results, with the strong support of the parents. We are a true community, committed to raising our children to be multilingual and responsible citizens of the world.

- submitted by a parent
October 27, 2013
Alice Fong Yu Alternative School is an excellent. Both my children (one in middle school and the other in elementary), while very different in temperament and interests, have both thrived here. I initially had concerns that the school would be too rigid in but have found that it's AFY's structure that allows kids to thrive. The principal sets the standard with high expectations for all: her teachers and staff, the students and the parents! High expectations that every student can succeed and the support given (before, during and after school tutoring) so that this is attainable. The staff performs at a high level and there's plenty of homework (a necessity in order to learn the Chinese language). Parent participation is high which is a big part of why the AFY community is such a unique and vibrant place. My children are looking forward to their 8th grade class trip to China, the culmination of their education at AFY and an experience that will remain with them forever.

- submitted by a parent
October 04, 2013
Alice Fong Yu (AFY) is a K-8 school and is the nation s first Chinese immersion public school. Its mission is to prepare students to be caring, responsible, and competent citizens with global perspectives and English-Chinese bilingual skills who can face the challenges of the twenty-first century. AFY has a strong focus on high academic achievement and student leadership. Students have unique opportunity to acquire language proficiency in Cantonese and Mandarin. AFY prepares students to be responsible stewards of the environment. It provides a comprehensive tutoring and support program. There are enrichment activities, opportunities to develop leadership skills (student government, peer mediation, buddy programs), and team sports. All 8th graders have an opportunity to participate in AFY s US-China Cultural Exchange Program. They can participate in a two-week study tour to China, during which they use their language skills in homestays with their sister school in China. The exchange program includes reciprocal hosting of students from China who homestay with AFY. Students graduate understanding Chinese language and culture to participate in a culturally diverse world.

- submitted by a parent
September 24, 2013
My son is in first grade and every day we are thankful that he got into Alice Fong Yu. We do not speak any Chinese and were a little nervous initially about the immersion component but after seeing the amazing progress that he has made, not just in the Chinese language component but in math, science, English, etc., we know we made the right decision. The quality of teachers, the principal leadership, the parent involvement and the entire community at the school is excellent.

- submitted by a parent
July 28, 2013
Truth be told, I was hestitant to send my first child there due to its high academic standards. However, after being there long enough to have three of children attend, I would never have my children anywhere else. The school is filled with spirit and the parent participation is HUGE. This makes a TON of difference and I appreciate all of the teachers for their dedication and constant caring. Of course, "our fearless" principal is an amazing woman and makes sure that no child is left behind. She will recommend a free after school tutor for your children if they fall behind on any subject. There are plenty of after school activities to get your children involved in and grow into an outstanding member of our community. My only compliant is that it has to stop at 8th grade!

- submitted by a parent
December 05, 2010
Everyone outside the AFY has an unsolicited opinion about this school. Some say it's too much pressure at a young age. Others claim it's too much emphasis on homework. The truth is AFY is what the students and parents make of it. AFY is an alternative K-8 school. It's an EXCELLENT SAFE school that offers students academic challenges with a non-traditional curriculum and methods. 80% of instruction in kindergarten is in Chinese! Students and parents must embrace not only the Chinese immersion but culture wholeheartedly in order to seek the many opportunities AFY has. THIS IS NOT THE SCHOOL FOR EVERYONE. This is not the school for and English learner kid. The principal and staff are fully committed to the school and it isn't all cracking the whip. Success in public schools in not often reported; bashing public school education, however, is a national hobby in this country. As a parent, I strongly believe what AFY has accomplished, its best qualities, its culture of high expectations and emphasis on academic achievements, could serve as a model for other schools.

- submitted by a parent
November 22, 2010
this school, alice fong yu is a school i atten. it is fun and easy to make friends but also easy to make enimies for life. yes, some of the teachers are very strict but some are very kind.some will brib your kids to be good by giving them no homework or feeding them.if your kid comes home fatter then usawal then they etheir ate their friends snack or the teacher bribed them.this is a real student

- submitted by a community member
November 11, 2010
AFY is an amazing school. If you have any doubt about the value that public schools can bring, your faith will be restored by the education provided at AFY. My child is a 3rd grader. The quality and dedication of the both the teachers and principal is unrivaled by any private school based on what I know an heard about other families experience. When you consider how much budget pressure has been placed on the school in the last 4 years, it is amazing how the "body and soul" of the immersion program has been preserved. I have no complaints about the school and after 4 years and trust that the Principal will maintain the high quality of the faculty and curriculum that she has put together of the last 10 years. (I might add that I consider myself a very tough critic.)

- submitted by a parent
April 06, 2010
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- submitted by a parent
March 19, 2010
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- submitted by a parent
February 03, 2010
I Love this school.Their teachers are excellent!

- submitted by a community member
October 14, 2009
AFY is K-8 school. The homework load increases a huge amount around 4th grade. Don't expect much vacation time. The teachers give enough homework during spring, winter, summer vacations/breaks so that the kids are doing homework most of the time. It's not unusual for the kids in middle school to have 4+ hours of homework each night. This is not just a few kids, but a large majority of them. The school gets high marks for preparing the kids, granted, but balance is missing.

- submitted by a parent
September 15, 2009
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- submitted by a parent
September 02, 2009
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- submitted by a parent
August 18, 2009
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- submitted by a parent
April 24, 2009
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- submitted by a student
March 17, 2009
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- submitted by a parent
November 05, 2008
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- submitted by a parent
no rating November 03, 2008
school test scores show perfection. actual school has a lot to be desired. children are taught with outdated techniques and current american standards are ignored. Children are taught to pass tests, but not taught to 'learn' beyond the standardized testing, and my children were told not to look further into answers beyond what they were taught. I'd go elsewhere if I knew this earlier.

- submitted by a parent
October 31, 2008
After nine years at AFY, my daughter (who didn't particularly work up to her potential at AFY) got 5 As (1 A+) and a B in ceramics at Lincoln HS on her first report card. And she spent a LOT less time on homework at ALHS than at AFY! She (a freshman) tutors an upper classman Geometry. AFY's API scores have been No. 1 of ALL SCHOOLS in the SFUSD until the most recent period, when Lowell HS barely edged it out. Expect lots of homework--even over summer vacation! The Immersion System is a wondeful way for a child to become fluent and literate in a foreign language. For any language, it is a priceless opportunity to give to your child. Graduating 8th graders have the opportunity to visit China for two weeks during their final semester. I am glad I learned about AFY and was able to send my daughter there!

- submitted by a parent
May 21, 2008
Definitely meets and exceeds my expectations for a public school. Actually, it feels as if it is a private institution. Teacher involvment is of high standard. And parental participation is second to none.

- submitted by a parent
October 18, 2007
AFY is challenging, all classes are somewhat advanced, and the teachers don't shy away from assigning homework, even at an early age, on weekends and vacations. Although their parent involvement is extraordinary, the principal has the last say on everything, AFY can hardly be called a democracy; but it is a viable system nonetheless. Teacher quality fluctuates greatly year to year. There were definitely bad teachers, but a few great ones as well. Class size is tiny, so overall the graduating class is really close, but if you don't get along with someone, you just have to deal with it. Most cons are outweighed by the unique chance to learn a difficult language in a small-school setting.

- submitted by a former student
October 10, 2007
Students do well in school because of parents involvement. They only acknowledge their efforts but the parents put in more. They use parents to help support the school. The school likes smart kids. If your kids need help in any subject, you need to look for help elsewhere. Elementary teachers are more friendly and willing to help students. Choose at your own risk. Overall the school is great if you do not care for any extracurricular activities. They do not have much!!!

- submitted by a parent
June 29, 2007
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- submitted by a parent
June 15, 2007
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- submitted by a community member
June 05, 2007
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- submitted by a parent
June 04, 2007
I think this school is a great school! Friendly teachers, happy kids and another language. personally, my child teachers me some of the Chinese words she learns.

- submitted by a parent
May 30, 2007
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- submitted by a teacher
May 28, 2007
Bottom line is the performance and behavior of the students, which history has shown is exceptional. They are consistently well-prepared for high school and have the incredible and unique opportunity to learn Chinese language and culture in an immersion environment. Standardized test results reflect tremendous success, especially notable given that most of curriculum in Cantonese or Mandarin. Traditional teaching style not for everyone. Most teachers are very effective and committed, though admittedly not all are. Parental involvement very strong for public school, but leaves room for improvement. After 9 years, we would still send our kids to AFY if we knew then what we know now.

- submitted by a parent
May 27, 2007
I think AFY is a pretty good school. It's always well organized, and if you want your child to be smart, it has AP courses for everything. AFY is great!

- submitted by a student
January 14, 2007
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- submitted by a parent
June 12, 2006
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- submitted by a parent
May 09, 2006
AFY is not as great as a school as it s boosted to be. Appearances are deceiving. Very old fashion - this is America not China.

- submitted by a parent
no rating October 22, 2005
Pros: -Bi-lingual -Nice facility -Strong Academics -K-8 program, no conversion neccessary Cons: -80% of instruction is in cantonese until grade 2 when it goes to 50/50. If you are a non-cantonese language speaker you cannot help your child or follow the progress -Limited arts edication available

- submitted by a parent
October 03, 2005
1.Very organized curriculum. 2.Clean all time. 3.Strong community. 4.Well communicated among teachers, the school and parents. 5.Clear, achievable expectations.

- submitted by a parent
September 15, 2005
The school is excellent academic-wise. The teachers take time for all students and spend extra time with students who need special attention. The principal is very supportive and knowledgeable. In extracurricular activities, there are music and art courses but sports-wise, it is lacking in choices. There is only basketball, no volleyball, tennis or other popular school sports. And the students' sports participation is limited, probably because of lack of choices and encouragement. The Parents Association is sadly lacking in new faces as the same parents attend the meetings every month. Wish we can involve more Chinese-speaking parents.

- submitted by a parent
August 17, 2005
It is a great school that has high API and you could learn mandarin and cantonese there. There's also a china trip for the eighth grade.

- submitted by a former student
no rating May 06, 2005
School activities are great. Nice librarian, building.

- submitted by a parent
May 26, 2004
AFY is a bad school. Teachers are on emergency credentials. Principal doesn't care that if the children fall behind or not. Group of parents approached her with no avail. Unless you want your child to learn only chinese and fall behind in other aspects which will hurt them in HS, go for it. Teachers can't speak or teach the english component. Many parents pulled their child(ren) out. Teachers gave my child D's and F's for no apparent reason. They could not justify the reason when I ask why the grades. I pulled my child out into a private school, higher standards and the next semester my child got straight A's. go figure what the AFY teachers are doing. For sure not teaching properly. Beware of the school.

- submitted by a parent
March 22, 2004
Alice Fong Yu (AFY)is a great school (great academics, diverse, safe and clean) because of the dedicated Principal, staff and parent/guardian community. While it is a Chinese Immersion school, the students also learn proficient English, and they have the highest English and Math API k-8 scores in San Francisco. However, AFY school is not for everyone. The students get double homework in Chinese and English, which is a ton of homework (during the school year, weekends and often vacations). The phys ed and arts programs are adequate for the small size of the school, but not to the level of one of the bigger k-8 schools given the focus on Chinese Immersion studies. There are parallels between AFY and Lowell (the top SF high school); students and parents who come to AFY should both expect to work hard for the student's success and the continued success of the AFY community.

- submitted by a parent
March 01, 2004
Our son is currently in 1st grade and so far we are very pleased that we chose AFY. It is a big happy family. Teachers work well with each other and collabrorate their work with each other. Parents involvement is very high comparing to other public school. I would consider AFY to be the first class public school. Just wish the play ground/yard to be a bit bigger.

- submitted by a parent
February 09, 2004
We chose this school because the principal runs such a fantastic program. Everyone is on the same page, though some parents used to typical public schools might find good strong leadership challenging, it is the source of the school's consistent level of excellence. Some parents want more English, which is odd since they chose an Immersion Program. Others may find the high expectations as surprising, if they were educated at a typical public school of the 70's with little expectation of excellence. I raised 3 older children in those days, and all I can say is that I wish I could have gone to this school, and enrolled my older kids, too. It's not for everybody, so you should meet the principal and teachers first. Visit the school. Ask any parent on the playground what they think. Almost every one will tell you they truly feel like they won the Lotto.

- submitted by a parent
January 18, 2004
I'd rate the school as good, not great, a solid good. Of course, in offering an immersion program, the emphasis is on learning Chinese somewhat at the expense of other subjects, such as English, math and science. In the middle school, example, the math teacher makes the kids work in small groups, which holds back the smarter students. Still, the students who attend AFY are bright, a fact which accounts for one of the highest API scores in the city and the parents are very, very active, which further helps the school in all its endeavors. The principal can be difficult to deal with, but on the other hand, she doesn't tolerate any nonsense. The school offers a very safe and protective environment.

- submitted by a parent
January 03, 2004
I did a lot of research before choosing Alice Fong Yu Alternative School. I am very pleased with my choice. In a school district where it is not uncommon for principals to come and go, I really feel that this school is great due to the principal's longevity and consistency throughout the years. If you really, really want your child to become fluent with another language, if you want your child to embrace chinese culture, and if you and your child can handle the additional school work/parent involvement, then this is the school for you. For anyone interested in possibly enrolling your child to this school, I would recommend you first get really acquanted with chinese culture before your child is accepted. So far, I know that my daughter takes pride in the fact that she can speak Cantonese while her English reading skills are 'off the charts.' I also think that it's very cool that she can speak Chinese when both of her parents speak only English. It's also very cool that she knows that she is my teacher for Chinese.

- submitted by a parent
December 05, 2003
Not all students and parents love this school. It is indeed wonderful that our children are learning Chinese, but many have learned at a sacrifice. Most parents have enrolled their children in after-school learning programs such as Score. Often the Chinese teachers are of the old school teaching style or Hong Kong style and are prone to getting angry very quickly and a lot of yelling, which is not conducive to learning or at least the love of learning. However, it is an extremely safe school, it does have some excellent teachers, there is an effort to infuse the kids with Chinese cultural arts (at an additional cost). Not a lot of visual art in the school, and if the PTA has paid for an art teacher, they are not skilled. There is the Performing Arts Workshop there which is great. The parent body is exceptional. The school is fairly new and is a comforting place to be. So, there are as in most schools, pros and cons. Because it is K-8th, the students are like family. Thus, the middle school students are well-behaved and a close-knit group of teens. There is an after-school on site and K-5 starts at 9:30 which is a blessing for those who like to start slower in the morning. The Principal rules with an iron-thumb, a bit of a controller and it's her way or often not at all. If there is a problem with a teacher, it will not help to go to her. Lots of principals are like this. You will need to go to the SFUSD for help.

- submitted by a parent
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Yu (Alice Fong) Elementary School
1541 12th Avenue, San Francisco, CA  94122
(415) 759-2764
Last modified Yu (Alice Fong) Elementary School is a Public school that serves grades K-8. It has received a GreatSchools rating of 10 out of 10 based on academic quality.
Yu (Alice Fong) Elementary School Rating: 4 out of 5 based on 47 reviews. Top