Our son attended Presidio Hill School from kindergarten through eighth grade. We had sought (and found) a warm, nurturing environment where the students were known by the entire community (students, faculty and staff, parents). We got even more than we had hoped for. The community is warm, welcoming, multi-cultural, multi-lingual, and very involved as volunteers to support school activities. The progressive curriculum is experiential and differentiated, with authentic assessment (including self-assessment by the students) in lieu of grades and standardized tests, which encourages the students to think critically and without bias. The middle school really supports our young teens with a strong advisory program, life skills classes, and electives. And whether you come to the school in kindergarten or eighth grade or somewhere in between, your student develops close relationships with their peers as well as with their teachers, making PHS a very safe environment in which to explore and be creative. Our alumnus son felt that the transition from PHS to high school was easy. PHS faculty and staff prepared eighth graders well for any tests that they needed to take for admissions, wrote insightful recommendations, and matched our students to not just the best schools in The City but to the best schools for each kid. Our son now attends a rigorous International Baccalaureate program and is doing well because, as a product of PHS, he is confident, can self-advocate, is curious and creative and social, and knows himself as a learner and collaborator. Finally, the school has been around for nearly 100 years, and there are many fun and quaint traditions that bring the community together, plus the history of the school is rich. Our family really enjoyed our experience at Presidio Hill School.
We felt many conflict situations were poorly handled. They didn't take the time to sit all involved parties down, listen and inquire and then have a restorative session. Instead troublemakers remain labeled, blamed and then ousted from socialization both inside and outside school. It's club if you go along with it then I suppose it's great. If you're different then PHS acts unkind, unfair and most definitely is lacking in integrity. Tragic.
Our oldest child attended for three years. PHS only works for average kids, if you have a child with learning challenges or have a child who is exceptionally bright they push those outside their box needs back on to the parents. Imagine providing your own tudors or differentiated and gifted learning in addition to paying private school tuition. The school is quite chaotic, it's too small, has high teacher turn over and often teachers are too young, under paid, and inexperienced. The leadership runs like club if you disagree or take issue you're pushed out in favor of followers. Overall it was a very sour experience.
My daughter is in 7th grade at PHS. We have been at the school since Kindergarten. The community (parents, children and teachers) is amazing. It is an environment where children love going to school and are involved in how they learn. They have a structure for meeting all the benchmarks for each grade. How they get there is slightly varied depending on the interests of the children. PHS provides a well-rounded education that captures the fun of learning. If you're interested in the bottom line...they all go to the best high schools. PHS is very focused on giving the best possible education while respecting and involving the children. I've seen children come and go over the years. The parents that are unhappy are the people that don't trust that education can be fun and feel that hours of homework equals the best education. I've never seen a child who is unhappy at PHS. Take a tour and find out what you're missing. However, if you're looking for and environment where your child is sitting still all day working on worksheets and memorization it's not the school for you. PHS is not chaotic. But, children do get to be children is an extremely safe environment with no bullying.
My daughter has been enrolled in Presidii Hill School since TK and I am grateful everyday for all that this school has provided for her. She is now in 2nd grade. She wakes up every morning looking forward to be at school and she never wants to leave from school even after staying for after school care. Thank you PHS for your dedication to your students.
Presidio Hill is not only a WONDERFUL school, where the children learn in a fun, safe, warm, energetic, loving environment - it is like a second home, where the parents and teachers can collaborate in an open an honest environment and where creativity and education are combined. The staff is fantastic. We are incredibly lucky to have our child at this school. EK
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.
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..
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.
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.