I have to say that I love West Portal, however, there are a few subjects at the Jr High level where the teacher requires an unreasonable amount of unnecessary memorization. Plan on staying up extremely late doing worthless homework and wondering why . . . Very good families have left this school because of the unreasonable workload that doesn't prepare the child for high school or life in general. It is disappointing that no one in the administration listens. I'm hoping that someone from the school reads this post and understands that the situation needs to change. It is not fair to the children or their families. Moreover, their practices aren't keeping up with the core curriculum expectations in high school. So, sad that such a great school refuses to adapt. . .
We transfered our child here from a local Catholic school for logistical reasons primarily, and couldn't be happier. Once we got here, we realized how much she was missing at the other school. Everything about the school is better, from the attractiveness and maintenance of the buildings and grounds to the wholesomeness of the food to the educational philosophy. The two teachers our daughter has had have both been outstanding - caring, skillful, insightful, experienced. We have found the administration very open minded, innovative and progressive. Graduates seem to move on to top SF high schools. Although we are not Lutheran, the church has been very welcoming and we are becoming more active there. I agree with the comment that the school is not highly diverse (mostly Asian), but there is nothing about it that is unappealing to other ethnicities (I am not Asian) and it may be a reflection of the ethnicity of the neighborhood where it is located and the cost (which is very reasonable, but of course is more than public school). I highly recommend this hidden gem if you want a solid, respectful, nurturing K-8 environment for your child.
Three years ago, we transferred our children out of a high-performing San Francisco public school into West Portal Lutheran. They were in 1st & 3rd grades at the time, and we are SO glad we made that decision. West Portal Lutheran is definitely more academically rigorous compared to the API 10 public school where they used to attend. (Our kids went from being one of the most advanced in their class to needing to catch up at WPL). Although some of the teachers are a bit on the strict side, I have to admit they do an amazing job with classroom management. As the After-School Enrichment Coordinator, I've repeatedly gotten feedback from our after-school class providers that our kids are the most well-behaved that their organization has EVER worked with! Best of all, the teachers genuinely care about their students. As a result, our kids LOVE going to school and love learning. We couldn't ask for anything more! Our primary wish is that the school was a bit more diverse (it's mostly Asian), but I think that's probably a reflection of the neighborhood where it's located. All in all, we love this school and highly recommend it!
WPL definitely prepared me for high school. I found the math program to be excellent, and now as a high school junior I am taking calculus. Another aspect of WPL that prepared me for high school was being able to use a locker in seventh and eighth grade. Most of the Catholic schools in SF just have traditional desks from K-8, and so the students don't learn how to manage their time in between classes. The spiritual foundation at this school is incredible, and all the teachers are loving and can be trusted.