"Our school is the oldest continually operating progressive school in California."
Students enrolled 200
Hours 8:20 AM - 3:30 PM
School leader Kelly Dees
Transportation options None
Type no info
Preschool capacity no info
Before school Yes
After school Yes
Summer program No

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3839 Washington St
San Francisco, CA 94118

School website
(415) 751-9318
Nearby homes for sale
Map of Presidio Hill School address.

4 stars
Based on 21 ratings

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think about this school

July 03, 2013
PHS is an extraordinary school. We've had two kids here for the past 3 years years, and we couldn't be happier with the quality of the education, the warmth and brightness of the children, and the connectedness and intelligence of the parent community. We looked at -- and were lucky to be accepted at -- many schools in San Francisco, and PHS was the clear winner. Scott Duyan, the head of school, is a true leader and his vision is setting the tone for the future. As someone who attended a broad range of private schools as well as great public schools growing up on the East Coast, I felt a certain amount of trepidation as we embarked on the journey of finding the right school for our kids. But PHS quickly put those fears to rest. And so far our children have blossomed here.

- submitted by a parent
June 09, 2013
Curriculum is uneven. PHS has poor leadership so some teachers do a wonderful job (with little support) and others collapse and allow disorder. The students have told me that their hippy teachers tell them to be free and then lose their tempers when the kids go too far. The kids get rough and there is a lot of bullying..

- submitted by a parent
March 19, 2013
I am a doctor, and I was looking for a very strong academic program that embraced progressive education, as well as provided a warm, nurturing environment for my two sons. Both of my children have attended this school since they were in the pre-K program. My oldest son graduated in 2005 and is now graduating from college. My younger son will graduate PHS in 2015. I am continually impressed by the caliber of teachers that instruct the students. I have watched the school grow over the years and PHS has managed to maintain its mission statement and provide an exemplary learning experience for its students. Over many years, I have seen the results of a PHS education: the graduates are upstanding, confident, poised, articulate, empathetic individuals with a world view toward other people and a love of learning, and they are fully prepared academically to excel in their high school and then college educations, and from there their choice of career. It is not easy for me financially to send my children to PHS, but I have been so impressed with the students who have attended and graduated from this wonderful school that it is a sacrifice I have been willing to make.

- submitted by a parent
February 05, 2013
My son started fifth grade this year, and overall he is quite happy. His teacher is excellent. The families are wonderful, and the other kids are all very interesting and diverse. The class seems to get along really well with one another. Homework - which used to be an issue - is now much better. Only nits: The physical size of the school is quite small in relation to the number of kids. It would be great to have PE more than twice a week, and it has to be a nearby playground. Hopefully a planned expansion will help alleviate the space problems.

- submitted by a parent
December 16, 2012
A school with inadequate supervision, inconsistent discipline and weak defensive leadership. Attracted by the promise of an experiential program and its great reputation, we are very disappointed. The message is strong but our middle school experience is characterized by chaos in the classroom, bullying, vandalism and demoralized teachers. In this liberal, progressive school parents are patronized and marginalized rather than included in the process of education. However, the parent community is wonderful and some of the teaching is superb. There are some dedicated and caring teachers, while other teachers are weak. Areas of excellence are humanities, science and the art program. Bottom line my child was not prepared adequately for High School, especially in Math. My child reported after a summer camp that the kids @ PHS are known to be 'Spoilt & Mean'. A shame that poor leadership allows a few out of control kids to destroy the reputation of a great school.

- submitted by a parent
November 04, 2012
Last year my child entered Presidio Hill with high hopes borne of a year in SFUSD middle school. For the first month or two he was pleased and relieved to find classes half the size of those in the public middle school, but soon he began telling his mother and me he felt school at PHS was like "being in a madhouse." While discipline in classrooms and the library can be so lax as to allow a chaos that interfers with curriculum, the kids are lectured about community, freedom and responsibility. His experience, and mine, is that the kids are then infantilized when they try to act responsibly independent and want to be treated as if they are in a community instead of in a typical hierarchical structure.

- submitted by a parent
no rating October 03, 2009
This school teaches progressive education in a beautiful, nurturing, warm environment, by the best teachers in the city.

- submitted by a parent
September 29, 2009
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a parent
no rating September 24, 2009
PHS is the best school ever. I am a struggling parent and PHS has made my son's experience absolutely amazing. My son has demonstrated his understanding and attentiveness through PHS. GREAT SCHOOl!

- submitted by a parent
January 30, 2009
PHS Rocks! I can't say enough about this school--and I am very picky. My children are in K and 2nd and I would like to have had every teacher in the lower school for a teacher when I was a kid (Don't know Upper School well). The school draws the perfect line between being nurturing and loving, on the one hand, and intellectually challenging on the other. What is my favorite part about the school? I have so many I have to list three: (1) It is a very inclusive, nurturing and generous environment for all members of the community (students, teachers and parents alike); (2) they handle the problems that invariably arise with openness, intelligence and wisdom; (3) everyday it gives me a deep sense of joy to know that my children are going to a school that is just right for them. PHS is a dream come true.

- submitted by a parent
January 30, 2009
I am lucky enough to have two children at PHS. The class sizes are very small and the kids get a lot of individual attention. Both of my children's current teachers have over 20 years of teaching experience and are true professionals. They have seen a lot of kids and they know what they are doing. That puts us at ease!

- submitted by a parent
no rating January 29, 2009
My daughter is a seventh grader at Presidio Hill School. We were fortunate enough to have her transfer there for middle school. Her experience there thus far has been exceptional. From the first day she arrived, she has thrived in the PHS community. The faculty, administration, and staff are amazing. They are responsive to the needs of all the children. The faculty is excellent and provides a challenging curriculum, but balances it with nurturing and responsivenes to the individual learning styles of each student. The school community is one of inclusion and acceptance. I believe that my daughter is getting an excellent education without being burned out. She is being taught to think critically, to self-advocate, take personal responsibility and to look beyond herself to serving the greater community. I cannot think of a finer placement for her. She is happy to go to PHS every day.

- submitted by a parent
January 29, 2009
PHS addresses all aspects of a child's education. The academics are rigorous yet flexible enough to allow each child to learn in the way that works best for them, to really master the information, and the faculty is truly amazing. PHS also has a really effective 'social curriculum,' something a of other schools lack, which helps kids learn how to behave, how to treat each, and how to grow into socially responsible people. The school is full of great kids, and part of the reason they are so great is that they learn how to be that way via the social curriculum. If you haven't seen PHS, you should visit. You'll feel the difference the minute you come in the door.

- submitted by a parent
January 29, 2009
PHS is a wonderful, small-sized independent school with a very intimate feeling, where children are encouraged to develop a love for learning and truly learn HOW to learn. Contrary to the No Child Left Behind program - which in reality has become the No Child Left Un-Tested approach found in the majority of other schools, the PHS teaching community excels in fostering and nurturing the individual child and prepares students for the realities of the world that surrounds them. At Presidio Hill School, children are encouraged to develop as kind, global citizens and independent thinkers, with a strong sense of confidence and a profound ability to express themselves in public. I couldn t be more satisfied with a K-8 program in the San Francisco area; see it for yourself when you visit the school.

- submitted by a parent
no rating November 14, 2008
Participation of the parents are really amazing and every students have confidece for themselves for being who you are.This is a very unique,special school to encourage strength of every single student.

- submitted by a parent
October 28, 2008
I do not recommend this school because the curriculum is not really focused and organized although the school discusses their commitment to interdisciplinary studies, it does not really happen. The homework assigned is not stepped up in Middle School to prepare the students for the challenges of high school. The students are largely an undisciplined group and the teachers do not issue the bright lines of behavior expectations. They advertise themselves as an accepting environment but that only holds true if you are part of 'their' part of the spectrum of cultural beliefs.

- submitted by a community member
March 15, 2008
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a community member
July 04, 2007
PHS has what many schools lack: a sense of connection for the kids to 'their' community and relevant learning that is not scripted. Kids are allowed to develop at their own pace, and develop a sense of social responsibility and their love of learning is fostered, not forced and irrelevant - like doing tons of pointless worksheets.

- submitted by a former student
January 03, 2007
This school is the best you can do and there are really great teachers and staff all very friendly and generous. The math teacher is the best teacher and the humanities teacher rocks my socks and the other classes are great. Also you can talk to anybody you cant to better than presidio hill school

- submitted by a student
December 28, 2006
My daughter attends and she loves going to school everyday school. Teachers are dedicated and loving. Parents are all very supportive.

- submitted by a parent
May 21, 2006
Excellent academics in lower grades; Small and loving environment. Very high parent involvement. Middle school in transition.

- submitted by a parent
September 19, 2005
Strong academic, similar to Montessori, and excellent high school enrollments.

- submitted by a parent
January 26, 2005
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a parent
January 24, 2005
Great School for self esteem. Not much happens on the playground (ie: bullying) that the teachers do not hear about and address with the students. Wonderful exciting curriculum. One class per grade is wonderful but can be a problem if your child develops a problem with another student . They tend to be in each others face all time and simple problems can escalate. Sometimes it ends up well, other times the parent feels the need to change schools.

- submitted by a parent
August 19, 2004
My son is in his second year at Presidio and the faculty has been the best we have ever seen. Highly recommend this school, the best private school in the area.

- submitted by a parent
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Presidio Hills prides itself on its inclusive culture and commitment to reflecting the diverse mosaic that is San Francisco.

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Last modified: June 25, 2014

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Presidio Hill School
3839 Washington St, San Francisco, CA  94118
(415) 751-9318
Last modified Presidio Hill School is a Private school that serves grades PK-8
Presidio Hill School Rating: 4 out of 5 based on 25 reviews.