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In The Classroom

Curriculum Guide

Our progressive approach to education encourages children to develop self-reliance, solid academic skills, integrity, and a sense of social values.

The San Francisco School is respected for its strong academics, vibrant community, and personal attention to students. SFS graduates are academically prepared, inquisitive, compassionate, and eager for the challenges ahead.

The Preschool program is child-centered and grounded in an experiential, hands-on approach to learning. While the classrooms are single-age, throughout the week a variety of mixed age experiences are created to bring the three- and four-year-olds together for play and learning. Classrooms involve a high level of student choice within thoughtfully prepared, developmentally appropriate activities and place an emphasis on personal responsibility and awareness of others.

The Elementary program is thoughtfully designed to embody our mission and lay the foundation for critical academic skills in Reading & Writing, Mathematics, Social Studies, Science & Engineering, Spanish, Music & Performing Arts, Visual Arts, and Health & Wellness. The program is founded on the belief that children must have meaningful experiences to learn deeply. It takes into account students’ developmental stages and individual learning paces, seeking to differentiate instruction wherever possible, and crafting lessons that incorporate multiple modalities as well as social-emotional learning and themes of social justice.

The Middle School program builds on the foundations laid in the Preschool and Elementary programs, with age-appropriate increased academic expectations layered with the same joyous sense of learning that infuses the younger grades. Middle Schoolers take deep dives into integrated Reading & Writing and Social Studies (Humanities), Mathematics, and Science & Engineering classes, alongside Spanish, Music & Performing Arts, Visual Arts, Health & Wellness, a wide variety of electives, and social-emotional learning experiences through supportive advisory groups and class meetings.

As the School strives to help each student reach their potential, it works to equip students with the essential skills and qualities of life-long learners: the ability to persist when challenged, to ask and consider difficult questions, to problem-solve both independently and cooperatively, to communicate effectively, to self-reflect, and to advocate for themselves and others.

This Curriculum Guide outlines the academic program from Kindergarten through 8th Grade. (The Preschool program is not described here, as the focus of the three and four year old experience is as much about social-emotional development as it is exposure to the foundational principles of academia). This guide is a snapshot of the School’s ever evolving program that documents current curriculum, but cannot fully capture the depth and breadth of the program. The School’s talented master teachers continually refine the curriculum in response to the latest educational research and best practices.

Curriculum Guide