Friday, June 4, 2010

Hot topic: Alta Vista School opens its doors!

We are thrilled to announce the launch of The Alta Vista School – a new and innovative elementary school in San Francisco. Alta Vista offers a progressive learning environment with an emphasis on science, math and technology . The school opens in Fall 2010, with children entering Junior Kindergarten, Kindergarten and First Grade, and will grow to a full elementary school of Jr. K-8.

Following the tradition of other great independent schools in San Francisco, we are families who came together this past year to build a new community. We share a vision for an independent, non-profit elementary school that is focused on developing both the hearts and the minds of its students so they have a strong foundation from which to grow. We believe that small class sizes and talented and creative teaching methods are critical to this effort. We also saw room in San Francisco’s diverse education environment for a school firmly rooted in the scientific method and innovation that has enabled the talents and vibrancy of our San Francisco Bay Area. From these values, ideas and dreams, Alta Vista was born. As our Head of School, we have enlisted Ed Walters, who brings a strong background in educational leadership and science, creative and forward-thinking teaching techniques, and a dedication to cultivating a love of learning in children.

There have been some unfortunate misstatements circulated about us on SF K Files and elsewhere. We strongly believe that considering and embracing a diversity of viewpoints, experiences and voices leads to stronger ventures. Differences in opinion and vision do occur, however, and sometimes lead to a parting of ways. We don’t feel it necessary, appropriate or productive to dwell on past differences here. Our focus is now and always has been on building a great learning environment, and we look forward to joining with many others to build a strong school community cultivating collaboration, transparency, inclusion, curiosity, fun, innovation, and excellence.

We encourage you to check us out for yourself by exploring our Alta Vista website in the coming weeks or by contacting Head of School Ed Walters at ewalters@thealtavistaschool.org or (415) 407-2967.

98 comments:

  1. Gee, now we are going to be SPAMMED on this site?

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  2. What's the website url?

    And how much is tuition?

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  3. Err, where is it?

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  4. Why the advertising?

    And that stuff about "We don’t feel it necessary, appropriate or productive to dwell on past differences here" is creepy.

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  5. No address, no info, no website, not in any search results. Head of school that left Marin Prep in less than a year. Sign me up!

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  6. We will have a website up middle of next week. In the meantime, if you have any questions, contact head of school Ed Walters directly at:

    ewalters@thealtavistaschool.org

    or (415) 407-2967

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  7. "No address, no info, no website, not in any search results. Head of school that left Marin Prep in less than a year. Sign me up!" Ooh, yeah, and many thousands of dollars a year vs. free -- now that's smart consumer decision-making.

    You'll have a parent body consisting entirely of reckless and gullible spenders, the really rich who for some reason couldn't get into a "name" private school, and those who will do anything to avoid having their kids in school with "those" kids. Wow, that's appealing.

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  8. "You'll have a parent body consisting entirely of reckless and gullible spenders, the really rich who for some reason couldn't get into a "name" private school, and those who will do anything to avoid having their kids in school with "those" kids. Wow, that's appealing."

    What a bunch of bitter nay sayers.

    I suspect that the school will get quite a few people who would have happily signed up for Alvarado, Clarendon, Miraloma and Grattan, but were rudely suprised with a 0/14 result.

    Good luck to the Alta Vista organizers. Thanks so much.

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  9. 2:42, paying lots for private schools is the best place for those snobs who would only send their kids to certain schools. Yes, enroll now. Please do.

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  10. What a joke! Has anyone seen Ed Walter's record? He's currently involved in a lawsuit at another school for "wrongful termination", spent only a year at Marin Prep, and skipped out on a contract at Country Day (see thread on Marin Prep's Head of School). Do not be scammed by him/this school.

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  11. I can't believe this thread. Who cares if a group wants to start a new school? I've got a 1st grader happily enrolled in a completely unrelated school, but it's not like there are too many schools in this city! Private schools don't have enough spots, public schools leave families in a lurch and without a viable option until, what, September sometimes... there is PLENTY of room in SF for more schools. No need for such rudeness.

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  12. where is the facility?

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  13. Lynn AKA 10:30 & 8:23,

    Your histrionic syntax betrays you. I know you've just discovered the interweb. But stop posting. You're embarrassing yourself.

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  14. Who are these people?

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  15. The school isn't even open yet and people are at each other's throats. It's toast. Give it up and just go public!

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  16. I think there are lots of parents who would be interested in a science-focused school. But for me it would need to be either public or charter, or a fully accredited, not-for-profit member of the NAIS. It would need to be visible in some form or another (i.e., a building one could drive by, a URL, etc.), before being advertised. And there would be a transparent Q and A or FAQ on a bare-bones website (easy enough to set up via blogspot). I think people are right to be skeptical until further evidence.

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  17. Just go public?

    Let's see.

    What's left.

    Can anyone put up the list of K classes that are not full?

    How many open classroom slots are left?

    And where are they?

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  18. OK, the headline says "Alta Vista Opens Its Doors" ... but apparently WHERE those doors are is unable to be conveyed?

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  19. This city needs more independent private schools as demand is much greater than supply. I am not affiliated in any way with this school but good for these founding families who are committed to starting a new school. I hope for the children, it is a giant success.

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  20. Extreme haters are just covering up their own inferiority and pettiness taking to a whole new level
    Like a bunch of piranhas waiting for their next frenzied episode to vent their pathetic loathing.
    That hate day in and day out, it does get stale.
    Have they ever found out how utterly boring it is to carry the hate baggage 24/7 ?

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  21. Melinda Kanter-LevyJune 6, 2010 at 9:41 AM

    This is Melinda (Lynn) Kanter-Levy. A colleague from another independent school told me about the posting (9:05 pm) that they believed referred to me. For the record- I have NOT written one word on this thread of the sfkfiles website. I was in an exercise class at 10:30 am and at the Woody Gutherie's American Song performance at the Marin Theater Company at 8:32 pm. This type of attack-personal or otherwise-is so unnecessary and does not postively serve the children or families of San Francisco.

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  22. As opposed to the love shown in this comment?

    "Like a bunch of piranhas waiting for their next frenzied episode to vent their pathetic loathing."

    This presumably came from someone involved in the phantom Alta Vista School plan. I sure would look forward to being part of a parent group with you, "bunch of piranhas" poster.

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  23. I heard from someone at PPS that 20 SFUSD kindergartens still have open seats. Does anyone know how many?

    Also, has there been an actual count of how many total private/public school spots there in SF in relation to the number of kids? I would question whether there's really a shortage. There's probably a shortage in TROPHY public and private schools.

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  24. Look at any comments on this website.
    I would fathom a guess that there are a small minority of negative posters that flame anything and everything posted on SF K files.
    Most of these comments have nothing to do with the original thread.
    The piranha comment may not be to far of base

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  25. How much is the tuition for K? Anyone know?

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  26. Critiques of the comments aside, it still appears that this school is born of both hostility and instability, spinning off from another new school. Any parent who's paying attention would be extremely wary.

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  27. 11:39, I agree. People on each "side" of this are not behaving like people I'd want to hang out with, and both seem beyond-the-pale venomous, without actually stating a coherent explanation of what happened, and why.
    All they do is call each other names. What a mess.

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  28. I'm not involved in any way with the Alta Vista School.

    I don't know any of the people involved.

    However, I have seen venomous and untrue comments posted on the k files before about many other private schools that I do know something about.

    Often, when I talk to my friends that have kids in public school, schools like Rooftop and Grattan, I invariably hear about the number of parents volunteer hours required at the school. Parents express how stressful they are made to be by this constant demand on their time.

    Unlimited voluteer hours are not an option for many families where there are two people working nine and ten hour a day jobs.

    Also, if there are so many slots remaining in public school, why aren't these openly published? Why are families lining up all night long, only to be confronted with schools that they are not willing to sign up for? Why are families playing "guess a school" when they visit the school board office?

    If there are still twenty schools that have K openings, ten of these are on the federal must improve list.

    That probably leaves about 20 spots open at marginal schools. Many families have not yet signed their kids up for school. So what does that leaves in terms of "open" school slots? A big fat zero, that's what.

    I'm tired of the vitriol and suspended sense of reality that so many public school advocates have in this city against private schools.

    I'll add that I started from a very pro public school stance two years ago. However, reality has set in. The SFUSD seems set upon a path to a parallel universe. Most of us however, have to deal with reality.

    I'm not surprised that the Alta Vista folks are dealing with a lot of animosity. I hope they power through and provide this city with another private school.

    Frankly, the private schools could also use some competition in order to encourage them to contain their costs.

    Go Alta Vista School!

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  29. Can anyone put up the list of K classes that are not full?

    How many open classroom slots are left?

    And where are they?



    Sheridan is a good and high-scoring option that is left. It's a functional school in the SW of the city not far from the 280. Its test scores are way higher than some popular, trophy schools that people clamor for--despite more adverse demographics. It also has a cool facility with computer lab, library, real auditorium. And an art program.

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  30. What is the reason for the dramatic improvement in CST scores in this school in the last year?

    How many slots in K and 1st grade are there?

    Thank you for the information.

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  31. Anyone who has gone through the private school process will readily be aware that demand exceeds supply for private school spots. This is not about public schools, which there are likely spots at schools that are either geographically, time wise or for other reason do not work for a lot of parents who can afford private school. Good for the parents at Alta Vista (don't know a single one) for rallying to create a school that they see will benefit their kids.

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  32. Who are these Alta vista parents?

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  33. Dear 7:13
    You have been misinformed. We have gone to Grattan for five years and zero hours of volunteerism isrequired.

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  34. I must say most of the support pieces that have been written on these comments do have the feel of some PR person behind them (who may truthfully say he or she do not know any of the families "going" to the school because that writer is just a hired hand) .

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  35. PR?

    Nope.

    However, on this blog, I very frequently get the impression that the entire blog is a PR venue for the public schools.

    No voluteering in public school? Right, all those PTA dollars I keep hearing about just raise themselves.

    I guess that's why Grattan's test scores drop in grades 4 and 5. Not enough PTA fund raising.

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  36. "Anyone who has gone through the private school process will readily be aware that demand exceeds supply for private school spots."

    No, only TROPHY private school spots. You can walk into any number of lesser-known private schools. Adda Clevenger will take you on the spot if you have the cash and pass their screening, and that's just one example.

    In response to 9:04, of course volunteering is *needed* and *encouraged* in public school. Volunteering is not REQUIRED in public school.

    To be upfront, Grattan's test scores drop in grades 4 and 5 because it was a struggling school that turned around, and the changing student population shows up first in the lower grades. The lower scores in grades 4 and 5 reflect that. The same thing has been seen at many other schools in the same situation, such as Miraloma.

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  37. OMG!! We are now labeling certain private schools as "trophy privates" yet can only name a single school where apparently once you pass a test you can get in. Ironically it is the same scholol that this year I know several families that applied and did not get in (perhaps their test scores were not up to par). Clearly, not even those that applied to Marin prep got in this year. I also know that schools which might be off the radar of the Pac Heights crowd had wait lists this year, for example, CDS. If there are independent private schools (not parochaial) centrally located in the city or even in the North part of town that have spots for this year, then please let us know. If you have not noticed this year was a very bad year to apply to private schools for kindergarten. Ooops...that is because you were not applying so you have no idea.

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  38. Volunteering is not mandatory at ANY public school. Encouraged, yes. Required, no. That would probably be illegal.

    It may *look* like everyone is volunteering, but I think you'll find there is a small but incredibly active minority at most schools.

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  39. So neither Alta Vista nor Marin Prep will be Spanish immersion?

    What a missed opportunity.

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  40. There are many privates you could walk right into if -- IF -- your child and family pass the screening and you can afford them. They're mostly not the schools that would impress your friends; they may not be the schools you like; they may not be conveniently located in your neighborhood. But they are there and they have openings.

    For families who can't afford tuition without assistance, and for families and kids who aren't appealing applicants to private schools -- they may have trouble finding a spot. That's not because there's a shortage. Go check out Cornerstone or West Portal Lutheran, or many lesser-known Catholic schools.

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  41. I'm curious where the school will be and how much it will cost. I like that they have a preK or transitional K. With the public school cut off most likely moving from Dec to Sept there is going to be more demand for these programs in the next few years.

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  42. For all you struggling families out there that still don't have a school assignment, don't sweat it.

    Hopefully, Alta Vista will work toward becoming accredited.

    In the meantime, if you are still struggling with what to do about Kindergarten, I'd highly recommend Stratford school.

    Please don't be fooled by all this anger against parents who are not willing to sign up for the bottom of the barrel of what is left at the public schools.

    Sure, there may by a few spots at Sheridan. However, the school is practical in Daly City and is not very accessible. Most of the people continuing to excoriate the Alta Vista school likely have their kids happily ensconced at Rooftop, Clarendon, Sheridan or Alamo. They just want you to keep buying into the while public school racket. Most of all, they want you to keep paying, even when you can't get a school slot.

    Don't buy it. The whole thing is corrupt! Unfair!

    It's unfortunate that you will be forced to pay for private school, on top of the taxes you pay.

    Good luck to you and I'm so sorry for everything the school board has put you through.

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  43. Where will Alta Vista be? It could end up near Daly City for all we know. Location does matter.

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  44. For those parents who signed up for Marin Prep- based on a vibrant headmaster who was staying, and a kindergarden class that was essentially (except two) staying, we're wondering where we are left... It seems obvious that the leaving parents and Ed (and maybe Bright Horizons) agreed not to make this new school/massive student exodus public until after interview season was essentially over... saving the school, a little, but making the new sign ups a bit lost- tho' I guess a 4 person 1st grade will get lots of personal attention...
    Will one of the leaving parents please make themselves avaailable to talk to the new parents- via phone or email- to let us know which parts of the relationship became problematic, or about the philosopical or administrative issues, so we can try to make things "different" this second time around for the school? I bet Bright Horizons is a bit shocked, and maybe will reorganize a bit to make sure parents and the new head are happier? No...?
    please email me at hornikbatgmaildotcom thanks...

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  45. 6:47 a.m. with all due respect the schools you mentioned are all religious which underscores that demand out strips supply for inpendendent non-religious schools in San Francisco. Vague references to other independents with openings really is just another way of saying you don't know of any. I assume your reference to geographically undesirable would be to Stratford which is practically in Daly City.

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  46. "This city needs more independent private schools as demand is much greater than supply."

    Umm, BS. There's definitely surplus capacity at some of the Catholic schools, and at some of the non-trophy but perfectly decent schools like Clevenger.

    However, even if Alta Vista opens, you'll still have to donate a kidney to get into Hamlin.

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  47. "So neither Alta Vista nor Marin Prep will be Spanish immersion?

    What a missed opportunity."

    In fairness, the privates would probably do a crap job of Spanish Immersion.

    The eight public SI programs would suck up most middle-class Spanish speakers who could afford to pay for an independent private, and with few exceptions (CAIS, AFY) one-way immersion just sucks at getting proficiency at the target language.

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  48. Personally, I don't put to much "stock" in Marin Day Schools. They don't even "google" their preschool teachers to see what type of "extra" curricular activities that they do on the "side" before they hire them.

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  49. I'm 10:30, not Lynn (have no idea who she is).

    I imagine most of the "hostility" is that this thread was started as a press release. Alta Vista has not "opened it's doors" - if it has it would have at least provided an address. There's no info here except marketers pap, so parents have a right to be suspicious, yet they're expect to immediatly jump aboard and cough up $20K (or whatever, as there's absolutely zero actual information about the school, if it even exists). I thought Marin Prep was out of line last year charging so much for a new, unproven school, and was right as it already seems a shambles after the first year.

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  50. Melinda (Lynn) Kanter - Levy runs Marin Day schools

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  51. "with few exceptions (CAIS, AFY) one-way immersion just sucks at getting proficiency at the target language"

    What are the other one-way immersion programs in SF -- the ones that suck?

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  52. Here are the 15 SFUSD schools that don't have kindergarten wait lists. This doesn't mean they have space, it only means they don't have wait lists as of 5/28. Great Schools rankings are in parentheses after the school name.

    Chinese Education Center (2)
    Cleveland (2)
    Cobb (4)
    El Dorado (2)
    Garfield (7)
    Longfellow (6)
    Malcolm X (2)
    John Muir (1)
    Jean Parker (7)
    Rosa Parks General Ed (3)
    Redding (5)
    Sheridan (7)
    Spring Valley (7)
    Tenderloin Community (4)
    Willie Brown (1)

    Interestingly, though they were at least initially on the march-or-die list and perhaps still are, Bryant, Cesar Chavez and Paul Revere have waiting lists.

    There are some good SFUSD schools with short wait lists, but not everybody's situation is conducive to riding out the wait list until after school starts.

    The Rosa Parks GE strand may be more problematic than indicated by the ranking of 3 since the school's overall ranking is pulled up by the middle-class educated families in the JBBP strand.

    I gather lack of available after-care for non-low-income families is a problem at several of these schools.

    Another poster gave the impression Adda Clevenger is full, which surprised me. Is that true? It's not as high priced as the Pac Heights/Live Oak/Friends/Brandeis category of schools but it's a lot more expensive than the parochial schools. There does appear to be a market for secular private schools, especially if the available after-care offers certainty to families where both parents work full time. Some of the church-affiliated schools have space, but the religious component is unacceptable to many families as was made obvious by some anti-Catholic tirades posted on other threads.

    I have heard many people say that both FAIS and the Lycee, which are both 1-way immersion to my knowledge, produce kids who are fully fluent in French--is there contrary information?

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  53. Sorry I think I misunderstood 1-way immersion. In that FAIS and the Lycee admit native French speakers, I guess they are not 1-way. I gather AFY allows English-speakers only, or tries to. But CAIS says that "a majority" of students enter without speaking Chinese, which implies a fair number of kids do speak Mandarin when they enter. I'm confused . . .

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  54. RE: Melinda (Lynn) Kanter - Levy runs Marin Day schools

    This is no longer the case. The Marin Day Schools non-profit organization contracted out the entire operations management of their schools (including the employment of administrative staff and teachers) to Bright Horizons. Bright Horizons - an international, for-profit corporation, headquartered in Massachusetts - "runs" all the Marin Day Preschools and also "runs" Marin Prep. Melinda (Lynn) Kanter - Levy's role at Marin Day Schools and Marin Prep is neither administrative nor managerial. I believe Melinda (Lynn) Kanter - Levy's current role is of a promotional, rather than operational, nature.

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  55. Who says Adda Clevenger is less expensive. Here from their website:
    2010 – 2011 Tuition and Fees
    • $20,000 per student
    And Stratford is very academic. Far away from play-based.
    But still, HORRAY, to Alta Vista. The kindergarten situation in this town (both public and private) is more than crazy, so there is plenty of room for another school!

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  56. Adda Clevenger is less expensive than the Pac Heights/Live Oak/Brandeis level schools and tuition pays for a full day of school from 8:30 to 4:30 or 5:15 (dismissal varies with age of kids), and it is more expensive than parochial schools.

    Stuart Hall: $22,500 09-10
    Brandeis $21,735 (not sure if this 09-10 or 10-11)
    Town: Not clear from the web site
    Hamlin: $$23,475 09-10
    Cathedral: $23,375 10-11
    Live Oak $21,150 09-10
    Burkes: $23,400 09-10
    Friends: $22,665 09-10
    SF Day $23,540 09-10
    Children's Day $21,190 09-10
    Chinese American: $21,110 10-11


    Some schools in the same range as AC:
    Waldorf
    Presidio Hill
    San Francisco School (based on last year's numbers)
    French American
    Marin Prep

    Some less expensive schools that are secular and not as costly as parochial:
    Stratford
    Kittredge
    Synergy
    Katherine Michiels

    Parochials typically run in the $6,000 to $8000 range as does Hillwood Academic Day.

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  57. Sorry I meant to say that Stratford, Kittredge, Katherine Michiels and Synergy were less costly than Adda Clevenger but more costly than parochial, I think mostly around $13-$15K.

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  58. "I have heard many people say that both FAIS and the Lycee, which are both 1-way immersion to my knowledge, produce kids who are fully fluent in French--is there contrary information?"

    The Lycee is not strictly one way immersion.

    Yes, I would say that almost all of the Lycee kids end up being fully fluent in both English and French.

    "Sorry I think I misunderstood 1-way immersion. In that FAIS and the Lycee admit native French speakers, I guess they are not 1-way."

    Can't speak for FAIS, but at the Lycee, about 10 to 20 percent of the starting class are French speakers only, 20 to 30 percent are English speakers only and the rest are bilingual.

    Most of the French speaking teachers, and even those running the extra-curricular activities, are native French speakers. Also, virtually all of the native French speakers also speak English.

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  59. Interesting these schools could have open spaces now (no waitpool 5/28) and have Great schools of 5 or higher:
    Garfield (7)
    Longfellow (6)
    Jean Parker (7)
    Redding (5)
    Sheridan (7)
    Spring Valley (7)
    And these schools are full with waitpools:
    Sunnyside (6)
    McKinley (6)
    Moscone (7)
    Carmichael (4)
    Monroe (6)

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  60. Re: Katherine Michiels -- I know they have a "transitional" K program, but do they REALLY have an up-and-running elementary school? I had the impression that they've tried to set something like that up over the years, but that, apart from a couple of kids, it is really not a fully-functional elementary school program, but more of a transitional K program. Am I wrong?

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  61. FYI:

    Careful with the angst about transitional K:

    Some private schools have a formal December birthday cutoff. Kids born after september 1st start K with their older peers. If they're not at grade level by the end of the year, they repeat K. No fanfare or fuss.

    All this agony about redshirting and birthday cutoffs is really overdone.

    Ask. Not all SF private schools do the September 1st cutoff.

    And the only reason public schools are moving to a September 1st cutoff is to save money.

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  62. The nature of public school is that it will never be based on the developmental level of individual children. Public schools don't have the luxury of evaluating individuals prior to admission. Based on my conversations with parents who have late-in-the-year birthdays, especially boys, a September 1 cutoff makes developmental sense for most kids most of the time. Really young kindergarteners can have a hard time with sitting still, fine motor skills etc. If they are pushed to hard too fast, it's easy for them to get discouraged and feel defeated by school--hardly an attitude you want to instill in a four- or five-year-old. Kindergarten is a full-day full-on academic program these days. For struggling families who have to pay for another year of child care, or for those who have an unusually mature child who's ready to jump in with both feet, it's unfortunate, but the best SFUSD can do is do what's best for most of the kids most of the time. I expect it will also make classroom control a bit easier on the teachers. I applaud the change.

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  63. We are a happy public shcool family. Like others we feel lucky to be at our school. But we worry about budget cuts, class size and limited resources. So I am interested in any new school. Reading the comments from the people starting Alta Vista School made me wonder why any parent would consider sending their child to this school? These people are outright nasty. Doesn't seem like it will be a very happy place for children.

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  64. 8:25, I agree. And it isn't just Public School families who are thinking that, the misgivings are also shared by families looking for private schools.

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  65. "Reading the comments from the people starting Alta Vista School made me wonder why any parent would consider sending their child to this school?"

    I did not see any comments from parents starting Alta Vista school in this thread. Can you quote them?

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  66. If not the parents making the comments, then who are making them? A paid PR person possibly? (HORRAY)

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  67. To which comments are you referring?

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  68. Is it true that California is changing the kindergarten cut off date to September?

    That has been a rumor FOREVER, but are they actually doing it now?

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  69. The new age requirement would be phased in over three years beginning in 2012.

    http://www.senatorsimitian.com/entry/sb_1381_kindergarten_age/

    So phased over three years:

    2012/2013 - cut off Nov. 1
    2013/2014 - cut off Oct. 1
    2014/2013 - cut off Sept. 1

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  70. If a child with a late birthday does kinder at a private or home school, what happens when they start kinder in public? Will they be moved up?

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  71. If you can't post about a new school on a blog devoted to school admission, what can you post about on SFKfiles?

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  72. If you can't tell us where those supposedly open doors actually are, even in cyberspace, perhaps it's premature to be posting at all.

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  73. The school is at 245 Valencia right across the street from Friends. The Waldorf school was at this site while their new school was being built.

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  74. You mean at the Greek Orthodox cathedral on Valencia near 14th? (OT: It's a relic from when that little area had a community of Greek immigrants....now its members commute in from elsewhere....).

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  75. Yes, Alta Vista will be at the Greek Orthodox Annunciation site. It has a huge gym, classrooms, and loads of parking. The complex was rebuilt in the 90's after the Loma Prieta earthquake.

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  76. "It's a relic from when that little area had a community of Greek immigrants....now its members commute in from elsewhere...."

    Yeah, like Bernal and Noe Valley.

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  77. By the way, the Orthodox Church is not a "relic" in that location. Before the area went upscale, the Church decided to stay there, to be among the poor.

    The Annunciation Cathedral has been fund raising since the Loma Prieta earthquake to rebuild the Cathedral.

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  78. Is this true?

    June 5, 2010 8:23 PM wrote:

    "What a joke! Has anyone seen Ed Walter's record? He's currently involved in a lawsuit at another school for "wrongful termination", spent only a year at Marin Prep, and skipped out on a contract at Country Day (see thread on Marin Prep's Head of School). Do not be scammed by him/this school."

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  79. Stuart Hall: $22,500 09-10
    Brandeis $21,735 (not sure if this 09-10 or 10-11)
    Town: Not clear from the web site
    Hamlin: $$23,475 09-10
    Cathedral: $23,375 10-11
    Live Oak $21,150 09-10
    Burkes: $23,400 09-10
    Friends: $22,665 09-10
    SF Day $23,540 09-10
    Children's Day $21,190 09-10
    Chinese American: $21,110 10-11

    Lot's of inflation here!

    When my daughter was accepted at SF Day (2002, we decided to go public), the tuition was $12,000, as I recall.

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  80. "By the way, the Orthodox Church is not a "relic" in that location. Before the area went upscale, the Church decided to stay there, to be among the poor."

    Like serving the "poor" kids of Alta Vista, eh?

    Snark aside [sorry], it's a nice church and their Greek festival is a cool event in the neighborhood. It's a shame that the Greek shops around the area have left though.

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  81. There's an awesome Greek food wholesaler in Daly City:

    http://www.greekimportsinc.com/

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  82. What proportion of kindergarten families are leaving Marin Prep then? Is it a 50/50 split?

    Will either school increase their Spanish-language program?

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  83. I'm a little surprised by the vitriol here. Our first-grader attended kindergarten at Marin Prep and had a great experience. The parents from Marin Prep who have founded Alta Vista are a very committed, dedicated group of people. We hope Marin Prep and Alta Vista do well. Folks should not underestimate the founding families of Alta Vista. If anyone can pull off founding a new school, they can.

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  84. 10:59
    A bunch of unqualified parents with an equally unqualified principal (you seen his resume?)building a school! LOL! What kind of Kool-Aid are the AV parents drinking?!

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  85. @ June 11, June 5th here and yes, that is all true. We visited Marin Prep this past school year when going through the kindergarten process and were really turned-off by Ed's arrogance (I truly believe he thinks he is god's gift to education), so I have to admit that I was more than happy to come across that dirt elsewhere on SF KFiles, personally confirm it, and then and post it here! I would be shocked if Alta Vista gets off the ground with him in charge. I have no doubt as to the parents' commitment, but potential applicant families should be aware of his track record.

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  86. ""I have heard many people say that both FAIS and the Lycee, which are both 1-way immersion to my knowledge, produce kids who are fully fluent in French--is there contrary information?"

    I've heard complaints about FAIS' ability to really inculcate fluency.

    Haven't heard the same about Lycee: Lycee probably benefits from more native French speakers because of the French government subsidy.

    For CAIS, I don't think there are a large
    proportion of native Mandarin speakers: it also does just 50% immersion, but apparently makes it work. AFY theoretically is one-way, but in practice >25% are ELLs, with maybe another 25% being bilingual to some degree.

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  87. My family and I attended a q&a session at Marin Prep last week, and I am not sure that I understand what everyone is so unhappy about. It seems to me that one good man quit his job because it was not the right place for him. Some families decided to follow that man and start a new school. Other families decided that they were happy with the current school. We are only talking about a few kids that had only been at a school for one year. Shouldn't every family seek out the environment that works best for their particular family? As I have been able to ascertain, the 1st grade class at Alta Vista has roughly 6 kids. The 1st grade class at Marin Prep has roughly 6 kids. I am sure that lots of families this summer will find that they are not happy with their current options and will look at these two schools. I am sure that both will be very successful, even though they will be different. What is the big deal? Why on earth do all of these people on this blog care so much about what 12 other kids are doing? Any parent out there that is more worried about someone else's kid, than about what they know to be the right fit for their kid, is on the wrong path. To quote Mr. Spock, "live long and prosper".

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  88. All I care about is a positive and forward moving environment for my child. I will wait to hear more about Alta Vista's mission. I haven't heard enough concrete info yet to be wooed.

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  89. I was at the Marin Prep Q&A also, and they were very positive about a forward direction. Also, it is a spanish "infusion" curriculum that they admit was not as strong last year as they had hoped. They have since hired a native spanish speaking teacher to take over that aspect of the curriculum for next year. I want my daughter to have a strong math/science program, but have to admit that Spanish is a criteria for me. Both seem interesting, I guess I'll have to keep digging!

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  90. Bravo to the poster who wrote: "It seems to me that one good man quit his job because it was not the right place for him. Some families decided to follow that man and start a new school. Other families decided that they were happy with the current school. We are only talking about a few kids that had only been at a school for one year. Shouldn't every family seek out the environment that works best for their particular family?"

    What is so painfully obvious is that the negative posters are one or two parents (or teachers) who are staying at Marin Prep who feel betrayed by those who left. As the poster above wrote, what's the big deal? It is not a personal attack, it's not a betrayal, it's a personal decision.

    I admire the Alta Vista founders for pursuing their dream. They love Ed Walters, which is great. They've found space for their school, which is great. Presumably the main difference between them and the Marin Prep school is that the Alta Vista school will honor its commitment to small class size, which is apparently why Ed Walters left Marin Prep (he wanted to insist on small class sizes whereas Bright Horizon could not accept that due to bottom line issues).

    To the negative posters here, shame on you. When your identities become known and it's seen that you're still associated with Marin Prep and feeling betrayed, your efforts will backfire. Instead of trying to sink Alta Vista before it even opens, you'll undermine Marin Prep .

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  91. "To the negative posters here, shame on you. When your identities become known and it's seen that you're still associated with Marin Prep and feeling betrayed, your efforts will backfire. Instead of trying to sink Alta Vista before it even opens, you'll undermine Marin Prep ."

    This seems pretty negative and accusatory to me...

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  92. Geez! We are still deciding what our family is going to do. But, a good friend of mine went to Marin Prep last year and told me all about going out for dinner last weekend with nearly every former Marin Prep and current Marin Prep family. It sounded to me like they are all still great friends. I am starting to think that the grumpy people on this blog aren't involved at all! Get a life!

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  93. We are the founding families of Alta Vista School.

    We are thrilled to be involved in the creation of a bold, progressive, new school in San Francisco. The strength of and interest in our community is already evident, and we welcome you to learn more by checking out our website
    www.altavistaschoolsf.org
    and contacting us in person at 415/407-2967.

    We look forward to sharing this exciting opportunity and continuing to meet the many interested families, including at our upcoming Open Houses.

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  94. Open House - Saturday, July 17th, 10 am - 12 pm

    Welcome to Alta Vista!
    Please join the founding families and faculty of Alta Vista to learn more about us, this exciting new school, and what we have planned for the coming school year. Children and families invited.

    Alta Vista School
    245 Valencia Street (at 14th Street)
    RSVP or more info:
    Tel: 415/407-2967
    Email: info@altavistaschoolsf.org
    www.altavistaschoolsf.org

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  95. Did anyone attend this open house? Feedback? I've heard a few good things...

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  96. Does this school have a Jr. Kindergarten program? Does anyone know who the teacher would be if so? The website looks like they have one teacher. What grades are going to be served? Does anyone have curriculum details?

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  97. Alta Vista has hired more teachers - posted on the website faculty page - and more open houses in August

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  98. From their website, it appears that Alta Vista's class size will be the same as others - around 18. If so, this is about the same as everywhere else.

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