We are a military family and we move A LOT, so when we choose a school for our kids we need a pragmatic approach. When the Army said, ‘you’re moving from Germany to San Francisco in 6 weeks’, we drew a 3-mile radius around our new address and started calling every school in the circle. I wanted to find a place my kids would be safe, challenged and happy, and where they could get some individual attention in case the transition was challenging.
Luckily, I was only 4 or 5 schools into my phone list when I reached Zion Lutheran School, a small, diverse religious school in the Inner Richmond. After the call I hung up the phone and called to my daughter to ‘come look at your new school website!’ Sometimes it pays to go with your gut.
Zion is a tiny school, with an average class size of less than 20, but is packed with quality programming and an astonishing level of commitment from the teachers and staff. The academic programs are rigorous and challenging, and after school activities include additional languages, cooking, Lego engineering, art and music lessons, all offered through the school, which is no small thing for a working parent concerned with transportation. The school musical in the spring is the highlight of a tremendous music program, and is far better than many high school productions I’ve seen.
But even more important than the programming is that the teachers truly know and care about my kids. Before Christmas my oldest finished a dance class through the JCC- just a dance class she wanted to take for fun, and both her current and last year’s teacher arrived unannounced at the last class to see the recital! Each of the teachers routinely attends the girls’ soccer games, even though the team is run through a city program – they just care enough to come. And on my daughter’s birthday, both of the outside chaperones had wished her a Happy Birthday before they even shut my car door.
In a city where we arrived not knowing a soul, my kids found an instant family. To anyone looking for a wonderful, high-quality school with personal attention for your kids, I’d recommend calling Zion Lutheran.