Monday, March 22, 2010

Why I love Starr King

This from a reader:

i just came back from the welcome breakfast at starr king. i am a first grade parent of a mandarin immersion student. i often take parents on tours as i did today. every time i do, i become even more proud of our little school.

in our yard today, incoming parents who were assigned starr king - because they wanted it or not - looked on as our community came together for monday assembly. we sang happy birthday in four different languages, listened to our principal call up one child from each classroom and heard about what that child did to excel last week, and celebrated the kids who came to school early to read. as all this was happening some mothers were selling home made tamales to raise money for the pta. (they raised $600 on friday, but sold out, so gave us another chance to enjoy the fruits of their labor.) we also learned that the pta has raised over $40,000 in our emergency fundraising drive. a goal reached in less than two weeks!

the incoming parents had breakfast and enjoyed some witty banter from principal rosenberg and then we set off on a tour. we saw classrooms full of kids from all backgrounds who were ENGAGED in their learning. wether it was a general ed teacher teaching in english, a mandarin teacher teaching in mandarin, or a mandarin teacher teaching in english (hard to keep it all straight!) the kids were all engaged. we then went on to the caffateria where members of the symphony played for small groups of children and went in to our garden where the kids are growing corn, snap peas, and all sorts of leafy greens. (the garden was conceptualized and executed by our amazing parent community.)

today, through the eyes of prospective parents, i saw a diverse student population, engaged learning, incredibly involved parent community, a funny and caring principal, and a truly great teaching staff.

and then..... i hear that there are 0 for 7 parents out there who were assigned starr king general education who won't consider sending their kids here; who were so upset by their assignment that they didn't even want to attend the welcome breakfast. parents who would prefer to move out of the city than to send their kids to starr king. i want to extend an invitation to all of those parents to come and tour starr king this thursday, 9:30. i would love the opportunity to show you all the wonderful things about starr king that i see.

sara foster
mom to grace at starr king elementary.


  1. And then there are those of us who WANT to go to Starr King and can't get in. Go figure.

  2. Ditto, 4:19. What a dumb system.

  3. i believe this tour guide is talking about people assigned to SK GE not SK MI. i bet if you want SK GE, you will get in.

  4. Why no capital letters? Why the unorthodox spelling "caffateria"?

  5. Because she wrote it in the heat of the moment, all fired up.

  6. It sounds like a lovely school, but I have to admit that the poster's casual approach to spelling and capitalization makes me wonder whether her criteria for educational success are the same as mine.

  7. Lighten up, 1:50. Some of the grammar over on the private school thread is just as cringe-inducing. I hate it too, but so what? It is a blog with anonymous postings, a notoriously casual medium. Should we judge those private-school thread posters as nouveau riche strivers who haven't yet mastered the Queen's English? Or the public school ones as undereducated louts from whose children our precious snowflakes must be protected?

    For my part I understand this blog to be a medium for the frantic and heartfelt late-night rantings of a bunch of hysterical moms and few overweening dads. Think of it as being like an intense group conversation in a bar right before closing time.

  8. 2:02 - 1:50 here. You're right, I'm a bit wound up; it's been a crappy 10 days. Apologies to everyone, including the original poster, for the bitchiness.

    (If only this were a bar; I could clearly use a drink.)

  9. hello 2:02? you sure read a lot into 12:24's no-caps comment. i didn't see any reference to public vs private punctuation and spelling. did you?

  10. It's been a hard few weeks for everyone, no doubt about it. We should all go out for a nice brisk walk in the sun, and then come home to a few stiff drinks...

  11. 4:18,

    2:02 here. I think I was clear that I was actually responding to 1:50's (not 12:24's) comment -- the one about whether we should read anything into the spelling/grammar issues about educational standards at Starr King. I was only saying--this entire blog: public, private, parochial, you name it, is filled with grammatical errors and spelling problems, so the answer should probably be no, don't judge Starr King that way--unless you want to judge ALL the schools in the city that way. It's an addictive blog filled with ranting parents who make typos and can't remember the difference between there/their, its/it's and you're/your .... ;-)

    I appreciated 1:50's mea culpa. We've probably all been there.

    Beth is right! Time for a sunshiny walk and a stiff drink.

  12. Any details on spots available at Starr King Mandarin Immersion? Any mandarin speakers not taking their spots?

  13. Yes, we've all been there, and appreciate the maturity of an apology (which is rare on this blog), but people should check themselves a bit more before the mean posts.

    The nocaps/loose punctuation is a common blog style - and this is a blog, right? No idea if the caffateria creative spelling is on purpose or not, but if it's not, I will just note that the hands-down smartest and most effective lawyer I know is the also one of the worst spellers. He uses spellcheck on his legal briefs, but I doubt he would on a blog post.

    I know the original poster and anyone on this blog would feel incredibly lucky to have her as a parent at your school.

  14. original poster is an awesome, involved mom with three kids under the age of 7.

  15. thanks starr king parents for defending my typo and me. goes to show what a great community we have!


  16. benefit night at Mad Dog (lower haight) for SK - this saturday!

    SK dad will DJ alternative 80s dance music. $3 suggested donation to help bridge budget cuts.

    march 27 - saturday
    8pm on...

    come join us or pass the word.