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School leader Ms. Cindy Woo

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300 Gaven Street
San Francisco, CA 94134

(415) 239-5065
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5 stars
Based on 34 ratings

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May 21, 2014
This is a fabulous thriving school! My son is just completing his first year here as an incoming 6th grader after having attended private school in Marin since kindergarten. We cannot have asked for a better middle school for our son. It truly is an "urban school with a village feel"! A newly built 14000 sq ft community center/gymnasium on a 1.3 acre lot really adds to all the other reasons we love about SFS-- dedicated teachers/staff, fantastic academics, a proficiency level Spanish program, amazing music and arts, wonderful families, etc. It was no surprise to see my son had such an easy and smooth transition into this new school considering how friendly, nurturing and supporting the entire teachers and staff are. We are very fortunate to be a part of such a lovely community and fabulous institution!!!

- submitted by a parent
September 20, 2011
SFS is a fantastic school: The staff gets to know each child and teach to the individual child. We've had eight years here and love it.

- submitted by a parent
August 13, 2011
I am a student at the San Francisco School and am going into 6th Grade. My 5th grade teacher was awesome and was very fair and was great helping everyone out. I've been at SFS since I was 3 years old. I love the music program and how they welcome all kinds of music - also the art program is really good as we work on all kinds of art from a very young age. the community is great - its a small school and you get to know all the kids -- even the older kids. there is a sense of being part of a big family.

- submitted by a community member
April 06, 2011
The San Francisco School is phenomenal. I am a 7th grade student at this school that has been here my entire school life. Ever since I was 3, I have walked through the doors of this school every morning, feeling so confident and comfortable that I would have a good day. From the home-cooked meals and stellar music program to the fun art classes and challenging math lessons, this school's elementary and pre-k program is great. The middle school is amazing. The teachers start to give us larger boundaries to create schoolwork that is completely our own. (In preparation for high school). I would recommend this school to ANYONE who is in need of a great education.

- submitted by a community member
March 01, 2011
We entered SFS in 1st grade. The Admissions process impressed us in that the communication was open, and the procedure was transparent. The campus has a warm, summer camp feel, with a green, more modern development in the near future. I like the combo of progressive values, along strong academics. The hands-on, project based model is proven effective. We feel welcome and very happy here. My daughter is thriving in this casual and friendly atmosphere (something lacking in some private schools.)

- submitted by a parent
January 31, 2011
Our child (who is of color and from a non-traditional family) has been at the school for 6 years and is thriving emotionally and academically. The strengths of the school: *Very diverse for a private school, 50% of color, large percentage of LGBT parents. *Amazing music and art programs. *Outdoor space and environmental education is great. *Excellent teachers and staff *Language arts (reading, literature) is excellent. *Strong community *Highest rate of indexed tuition (assistance) in the Bay area They recently revamped the math program (which was strong before, but needed improvement) and it looks like it has a lot of promise so far.

- submitted by a parent
January 12, 2011
Simply said -- Not that great! Over priced and over rated. My child supposedly had an undiscovered "learning challenge" and was asked to leave the school. It took them five years to discover this "problem". Now at a new school, the teacher has command of her class and says my child is very bright, but had not been taught classroom etiquette. You can just talk and walk around when the teacher is teaching. My child now sits and listens and interacts at appropriate times. It is amazing the difference a little adult guidance has had. No learning specialist were needed. Just some good old fashion education.

- submitted by a parent
January 12, 2011
It's interesting reading the comments - the vast majority loves the school. And then there are very negative posts. What I can take from that is that it is important to find the right fit for your child and your family, whatever school you choose. If the fit is not right, it can be a difficult experience. We are extremely happy with the school. We have two kids and have been there for 6 years. We loved the preschool - great montessori program, and loving the elementary program now. It is a wonderfully diverse community, the most diverse - both racially and socio economically of any private school in SF. There is a joy at the school - a real love of learning - that is instilled by the teachers.

- submitted by a parent
November 02, 2010
We love the San Francisco School! Our daughter is in her 2nd yr of preschool and is thriving, happy, loved & so proud of all her new skills & independence. We are so impressed with the teachers. There is a nice balance between years of experience, new energy & warmth amongst them. It s wonderful to feel so satisfied with your child s first teachers and know that such a solid foundation is developing within. We ve also been so impressed with the Montessori approach.Each child has their own desk starting at 3 giving them the comfort of their own space as well as the responsibility for it. It s so refreshing to see the children busy at their desks sorting, working on their letters, pouring water, using their fine motor skills all with such focus & determination. We are so grateful to be a part of this well balanced community. Thank you SFS!

- submitted by a parent
November 02, 2010
The community & staff at the San Francisco School are wonderful. It s a diverse community that is very grounded, good-natured, open minded, committed & participatory. The staff is excellent & Steve Morris the Head of School & the Admissions staff were top of our list for reasons to choose the SF School. Steve s a charismatic leader & his energy & vision are inspirational. We are very lucky to have him. I could go on and on why we are so happy with our decision to be a part of the San Francisco School. There's the teachers, preschool, Montessori approach, campus, organic lunch that is provided each day, outdoor space & environmental education that is incorporated in many different ways, the beautiful art on the walls, Spanish & the amazing music program that is like no other. We are so grateful to be a part of this school and warmly support it.

- submitted by a parent
November 02, 2010
Our daughter just started at SFS and we couldn't be happier. The school is steeped in tradition and has a strong vision for the future. Our daughter has been very happy with her teachers and her new friends. We've felt very connected to the school through conferences, get-togethers, pot-lucks and visits.

- submitted by a parent
October 12, 2010
I'm extremely surprised by the one-star reviews below. My daughter attends the school, and she couldn't be any happier. Almost daily, she comes home with an art project, a new song, and lots of sand in her shoes (the mark of a great time). Conflicts between the children are inevitable. I have been amazed by my daughter's development in this respect. Like other small children, she has used her hands to try to resolve conflicts. Recently, however, she reported that the class had done role plays involving conflict, and earnestly explained how important it is to "talk it out." I've even noticed a new ability to talk things out with me at home. In addition, the community that makes up SFS is unbelievably loving, kind, and supportive. And the teachers truly love ALL the children, which sets such a good example and makes me very grateful.

- submitted by a parent
October 12, 2010
SFS is a hidden gem. I have a child in elementary school and a graduate (now in High School). SFS has excellent leadership that responds quickly, decisively and responsibly to all challenges (including tricky subjects like peer bullying). In addition to having an excellent academic program (which places most SFS graduates in the top high schools in the Bay Area), SFS has an amazing community of staff, students and parents who all share a strong commitment to social justice. These people do not just talk about issues, they live and breathe them. One example would be the "Walking School Bus" which is run by parents and involves walking 40 to 60 people to the School once a week. While there are many fine schools in SF that will teach your child to be a good student, SFS will do that and teach them to be a fine person and world citizen.

- submitted by a parent
October 10, 2010
i graduated in class of '10, and i was just ready to burst out of the school, i'd attended from pre-k to 8th and i really couldn't take it anymore. Coming to school at sfs every day for my last 2 years there was dreadful and i was thinking about transferring out to aptos....or really anywhere else. The disciplinary system at the school, for lack of a better word, sucks. When anyone does do anything wrong, staff doesn;t do anything. They tell you to be better, but never say how to improve behavior or academics, or study skills. It seems like their approach is "instruct but do not teach"- if you know what i'm getting at. ill keep this short so i won't go on about EVERYTHING that was wrong with that school, but please do you child/children a favor and pick any other place than this one.

- submitted by a community member
February 04, 2010
Clear vision, dedicated staff. Wonderful music and art program. My son liked elementary school there but is loving middle school even more.

- submitted by a parent
November 18, 2009
We have a 1st grader at this school. It has a wonderfully supportive, diverse, and caring community. The focus is to teach kids to be problem solvers. The quality of the teachers, as well as the beautiful outdoor space, and all the enrichment classes makes this a fantastic place to send your kid. We're especially happy with the preschool-8th grade feature (the grads go onto the top High Schools.)

- submitted by a parent
September 01, 2009
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- submitted by a parent
March 01, 2009
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- submitted by a parent
February 13, 2009
A wonderful school that teaches social skills, celebrates cultural differences, encourages thinking outside of the box, nurtures individuality. A wonderful community for the parents as well.

- submitted by a parent
February 03, 2009
This is one of the most progressive schools in S.F. They have a zero waste program and was the first independant school to install solar panels. It is a very nurturing atmosphere and focused on the individual child and their learning style. Academics are strong and the kids gain confidence with each grade. A strong parent community and staff with a focus on diversity, academics and affordability.

- submitted by a parent
January 26, 2009
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- submitted by a parent
January 17, 2009
I grew up in SF private schools (Hamlin and University High) and didn't know much about the San Francisco School. Both my kids go to the San Francisco School and we feel as though we found the best gem in the city!!!! I could not be happier with this school. It has made a strong academic push in recent years and it has one of the most diverse community in the Bay Area. My kids come home happy, singing songs in multiple languages, and eager to learn more. I am confident my kids will get into the best high schools in SF.

- submitted by a parent
July 06, 2008
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- submitted by a student
June 17, 2008
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- submitted by a parent
October 17, 2007
The school achieved 50% students of color this year which makes it one of the most racially diverse private schools in the city. Additionally, The San Francisco School school provides more financial aid than just about any school in SF. Although it is true that you will be hard pressed to find another school stronger in arts and music we have been pleased with the schools strong core academic programs (we have been at the school for 10 years). A dozen amazing teachers have been at the school for over 20 years. This school is a wonderful community for the parents, teachers and children.

- submitted by a parent
July 19, 2007
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- submitted by a parent
May 02, 2006
One of the most progressive programs out there. They really are trying to put together a program that instills social justice in the kids, and it's obvious in the way the kids talk and what they talk about (middle school). Diverse teaching staff and socially diverse families. Ethnic diversity, economic diversity still a work in progerss, obviously (like lots of other private schools)

- submitted by a parent
March 27, 2006
We love this school. The vision is clear. Great principal. Parents should know that the preschool is very different from the elementary. Preschool is strict Montessori (great for most kids). Elementary is not and is far more traditionally structured.

- submitted by a parent
March 13, 2006
Outstanding Montessori Kindergarten program with very strong music program. The Middle School is very progressive and perhaps not as academically rigorous as other schools but does instil students with a love of learning without undue pressure and competition.

- submitted by a parent
January 03, 2006
love it - excellent, commited teachers, involved parent community. our daughter is very happy here.

- submitted by a parent
August 16, 2005
The San Francisco School's preschool is a wonderful, supportive, loving and very enriched environment. My 4-year-old loves it so much she's been wondering all summer how quickly school will start again. The teachers are astoundingly loving and creative in how they teach.

- submitted by a parent
July 11, 2005
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- submitted by a parent
January 16, 2005
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- submitted by a parent
May 18, 2004
Our kids have been through the preschool and the elementary school. There is tremendous parent participation, a caring staff and devoted faculty. The strongest aspects of the school are the art and music programs -- fantastic! Paintings and sculpture fill the hallways, and song fills the air. We have been very pleased with exposure to science, literature and special projects. Our children have not done as well with math, spelling or spanish, but perhaps it's just our kids. There is limited outdoor space, and no gymnasium, although the kids make the most of the undeveloped slope and grassy area, but we wish there was space on-site for baseball and soccer. The elementary P.E. teacher is an absolute genius! I've seen 20 kids go out at recess and organize themselves into a spontaneous game of whatever it is they are learning at the time. There is a nice balance of competitive sports, cooperative games and skill building. We would highly recommend this school for preschool - fifth grade, but are undecided on the merits of the middle school. It is very small, in terms of numbers and available space, and we haven't heard much about the teachers.

- submitted by a parent
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San Francisco School, The
300 Gaven Street, San Francisco, CA  94134
(415) 239-5065
Last modified San Francisco School, The is a Private school that serves grades K-8
San Francisco School, The Rating: 5 out of 5 based on 34 reviews. Top