Star of the Sea School

Private | K-8


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Living in San Francisco

Situated in an inner city neighborhood. The median home value is $885,000. The average monthly rent for a 2 bedroom apartment is $1,670.

Source: Sperling's Best Places
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4 stars

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35 reviews of this school

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Posted June 29, 2012

We have 2 kids attending the school. We considered (and got into) some other private schools but decided on Star. The teachers are top notch. It is a loving and caring environment. At the end of the day, Star sends kids to the best High Schools in SF. Kids were accepted to all their choice schools (SI, SH, Lowell, etc). Principal is also the best!
—Submitted by a parent

Posted April 9, 2012

I have two twin children. Three years ago we moved into this area from Marin and I enrolled them into Star of the Sea. They had no religious background and I was a little concerned about them enrolling in this small Catholic school. I have to say that their experience has been the absolute best. They have changed so much physically and academically and they are much better behaved. This is due to the personalized attention that they have received. The principal Mr. Hanley has been there every step of the way for each of the students. The vice principal Mrs. Lundy has also been very instrumental in my children s academic and spiritual growth. I want to thank both of them also the Math and Science teacher Mr. Q for the exceptional job that they have done. I also want to thank my daughter's sports coaches. They have been mentors to my daughter, especially the volleyball coach. He was there for my daughter not only for volleyball related items but issues related to my daughter's future endeavors. Both of my children have gotten into good high schools and one of them got into the Lowell. They will be graduating from Star of the Sea soon. We will all genuinely miss this school a lot.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted April 5, 2012

Star of the Sea is a safe, happy, fun place! Academically it is top notch! But don't just listen to me, This is what my kids have to say about their home away from home. "I like Library, PE, Computer and Art. I was really proud and happy when my artwork was put up on the wall in the auditorium. I like hot lunch. All the teachers are really nice. I like the science lab because it is cool and we are growing Venus Fly Traps. I like ballet class and choir. The principal is really funny and nice. Star of the Sea is a really good place to make friends. I don't go to extended care but it looks fun. I really like it when parents come and help. My favorites subjects are Math, Science, Social Studies, Art and Computer. I really like that there are so many after school enrichment activities. Sometimes the principal wears funny ties. " Out of the mouths of babes!!
—Submitted by a parent

Posted March 31, 2012

When we researched schools for our children, I phoned every private and parochial school in the city. The principal at Star of the Sea was the ONLY principal to ask me what I wanted in a school. He took the time to listen to my expectations, learn about my children, and gave me his cell phone number in case I had any other concerns. All the other places told me who they were then set a tour appointment. Sometimes I never got past the secretary. During part of our tour of Star a couple students accompanied us through the facility, answered questions, and described their school experience. Their comportment, poise and love for their school shined. We were impressed that the students are trusted with the important task of showing off their school. For them it instills confidence, it is a learning tool and reinforces the idea that the school is their space. After visiting Star we canceled touring other schools; it wasn't necessary to look any further. Star has a terrific principal, excellent teachers, great kids, and a dedicated group of parent volunteers. All work, learn and come together to create a strong, supportive, nurturing, caring community.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted March 31, 2012

The principal's dedication to his students is outstanding. His prime focus is always the good of the students. He is approachable, receptive, supportive and promotes the idea that we are a family and a community. The teachers are dedicated, kind, and hard working. They teach strong academics, compassion, empathy, a sense of self, how to be stewards of the community and Earth. Art and Music round off an outstanding curriculum. The children perform exceedingly well on the IOWA tests and graduates attend excellent high schools. Star has a rich offering of after school programs and activities: CYO sports, excellent after school care, classes in foreign languages, golf, ballet, sewing, chess, newspaper, choir, drama, and homework club. The principal is always open to adding new classes. Star has a fantastic science lab, large gym, two stages and a spacious playground planted with several trees and flowers. The kindergartners have access to a well appointed play structure. Parent involvement is incredible. My husband and I are tremendously pleased with Star. Most importantly our children are happy. They love their teachers, have made excellent friends and are thriving academically.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted March 30, 2012

Star of the Sea School is a community of "People caring about people." The principal's open, kind and caring relationship with students, staff and parents sets the tone for the school. The exceptionally well qualified teachers share a sense of joy and mission that benefits all the students. Star is a happy place to work and learn!
—Submitted by a teacher

Posted March 30, 2012

Any parent who is fortunate enough to have a child enrolled in this school should count their lucky stars. Remarkable, caring teachers, excellent leadership from the principal and a focus on what is best for todays student in preparation for the next step....that is all one can ask. Tim McRitchie
—Submitted by a teacher

Posted March 15, 2012

We have two children at this school and we have been very happy here. The principal has an open door policy with parents and is always willing to listen. He may not give the answer a parent would want, but he does have the best interest of the total student body and school at heart. Regarding the parent comment on the school being run on fear, I wholeheartedly disagree. I doubt that they have a child at the school because if they did, they would know that only in extreme cases of class disruption are children sent to the principal's office. My oldest child is shy and quiet, and because of this school my child has grown to be confident and nurtured to learn. Both my children continually say how they LOVE their school and teachers. They both feel like all the teachers know who they are as people. There is no perfect school, but the leadership, community and the general caring atmosphere at the school make it a wonderful place for a child to learn. And the children here do very well on standardized tests as well as being accepted to the city's finest high schools.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted November 18, 2011

The Star of the Sea school is a fantastic school with amazing teachers, engaged parents, and strong administration. The teachers are adored by the kids and work well with parents to bring the instruction into the home. The families have developed a strong support network for the school and are active in improving the school. The principle has been steadily implementing improvements with the staff, academics, and facilities. The school has a strong record of high school placement and testing results. Of course, the school has areas for improvement including the additional facilities renovations, more challenging cirriculum, and individual instruction tailored to students abilities. The administration, parents, and teachers are working together to develop a strategy for addressing these challenges and adding more capabilities to the school. The commitment to improvement impressive and enrollment is increasing as a result.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted November 3, 2011

The school is run on FEAR. When you go to tour the school look into Kindergartener's eyes, full of fear. Ask them what kind of conflict resolution they teach their kids? NONE. Their policy is that kids should use their kind manners toward each other; however the kids approach to conflict is telling on each other to protect themselves. They have no play area for Kindergarteners and the teacher does not handle anything and simply sends the kids to the principal's office for every little thing. I would not recommend this school based on my observations. I should say that the preschool is wonderful... has nothing to do with the K-8 program!
—Submitted by a parent

Posted October 28, 2011

We have two children at Star and cannot say enough good things about it! My husband and I have very high expectations about academics, extracurriculars, and community. Star definitely meets - nay, exceeds! - our criteria for all three. Inspiring and compassionate leadership from the principal trickles down to creative, loving teachers who continually challenge and encourage....along with a talented administrative staff -- all of which is bolstered by a remarkably strong parent community. The children are benefitting greatly from such an all-around supportive environment. I find Star remarkable because most of the families are dual-career, and despite everyone's busy schedules, we all come together to contribute and provide the children with an optimal educational and social experience. The proof is in the happy faces we see every morning in the schoolyard. Aside from the fact that the school performs academically towards the top of the spectrum and sends its graduates to the city's TOP schools, it is, quite simply, a fun and nurturing place to be....for both students and parents. We have made lifelong friends here and are very optimistic about a bright future for our children.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted April 19, 2011

We tried our hand at the SFUSD (SF public school) "lotto" and Star of the Sea was our only non-public back-up. Why we chose Star was the great Richmond district location and excellent word-of-mouth. My kid shadowed for a couple of days (highly recommended!), I toured the school and met the very friendly, funny and compassionate principal. We felt so welcomed! Of course, we didn't get our choice for public, but thank GOODNESS because it worked out for the best! I am happy here, my kids are happy and thriving here. Most families are very friendly, and you do feel a sense of community here. Though its not quite 100%, parent involvement is impressively high; I love volunteering at school myself when time permits. By all means, whether your kid is entering Grade K or 4 or 6, contact the school, meet the staff and parents and students at the numerous open houses. It will be well worth your time! BTW, we are a non-Catholic family, but we feel totally welcomed here.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted January 31, 2011

I have several children currently attending this school and really feel that the school just keeps getting better & better. We've recently opened a brand new science lab which was built with donations & grants, and the parents AND staff continue to work towards continually improving all aspects of the school, curriculum, community & facility. All of my children have proven to be very different types of learners and this school has embraced each of them as individuals, whose strengths may be different, but which are all important. Looking forward to many more years as part of this wonderful community.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted April 28, 2010

There really is a strong sense of community. We all work together for the good of the children.

Posted April 26, 2010

I am the Extended Care Director. And Star is a great place to be. It has a family atmosphere. I have worked at Star for 6 years and love it. There is no better school.
—Submitted by a teacher

Posted June 29, 2009

i am currently enrolled at star and i LOVE IT. star is the best school ever and you won't regret sending your children there. the teachers are great, though the education could be a little more chalenging. the students there are wonderfull, star is like my second home. i love it!
—Submitted by a student

Posted November 30, 2008

Star has been an incredibly great match for our family. After trying public school, we switched to Star because we needed a safer environment for our children. It has been wonderful to witness our children thrive and love academics at this school. The staff our accessible, nurturing, and open minded. The principal has been in elementary education his entire career, and creates an environment of academic and social expectations for the children. Parental involvement is high, and always welcome.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted March 5, 2008

I really love this school. In such a big city, it's nice to have a neighborhood Catholic school that embraces a small school culture, and provides a nurturing environment where my child is thriving. The parent community is really great, and parent participation and new ideas are welcomed and encouraged. The K teacher is outstanding, and I am so pleased with the stories and learning that my child shares with me from class. The principal is a caring and supportive leader of this school, and makes a point to be personable with the kids, even giving the little Kindergarteners High 5's every morning before they head to class. The Iowa Test Scores are some of the highest in the archdiocese, which goes to show what a supportive environment and high quality teachers can do.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted February 20, 2008

Our children transferred into Star of the Sea and both they and we could not be more pleased. The teachers are dedicated, caring and committed to academic excellence. The Iowa Test scores (Catholic schools standardized tests) are consistently in the top 25% in the state, but there is also a real emphasis on developing well-rounded students. We really like the ethnic and religious diversity in the school, and the fact that it fosters good values and citizenship. Our children love the team sports (starting in grade 3) and the fact that the majority of the games are held at the gym contributes to the sense of community. Involved parents and a growing offering of after school programs in languages, music and more.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted January 13, 2008

I am very pleased with the extracurricular Chinese language offerings at Star of the Sea. My fourth grader has taken Cantonese for two years and looks forward to the switch to Mandarin next year. The class meets every day after regular school hours and Fridays are a special 'fun' day with songs and food. No one in our family speaks Chinese, so I am especially thrilled that my daughter's interest was so taken by the topic and the excellent teachers.
—Submitted by a parent

Community ratings and reviews do not represent the views of GreatSchools nor does GreatSchools check their accuracy or verify the reviewers' identities. Use your discretion when evaluating these reviews.

About these ratings

The Community Rating is the school’s average rating from its community members (e.g., parents, students, and school staff). The highest possible rating is five stars; the lowest is one star.

We currently do not have any test score information for this school. Unlike public schools, private schools are not always required to report data about their schools or not required to take the same tests as public schools. Many private schools take different standardized tests; however, that information is often made available only to families of enrolled students. We strive to acquire additional private school data whenever available.

Student ethnicity

Ethnicity This school
Asian 32%
White 32%
Two or more races 23%
Hispanic 8%
Black 4%
American Indian/Alaska Native 1%
Hawaiian Native/Pacific Islander 0%
Source: NCES, 2009-2010

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School facilities
  • Computer lab
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  • Coed
  • Roman catholic
  • NCEA


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  • Religious


School facilities
  • Computer lab
  • Library
Partnerships with local resources and organizations
  • Archdiocese of San Francisco
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360 9th Avenue
San Francisco, CA 94118
Phone: (415) 221-8558


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