Monday, September 29, 2014

Hello From Confused (but hopeful) Parents From Pac Heights!

Hi there SF K File Readers!

We are excited to start our year long journey to find and get accepted in the right school for our Small Fry. It seems these days we are lurking on this site and/or attending school tours. The talk all around is about K and K search ;) 

Before sharing the journey here, we wanted to introduce ourselves. We are your typical asian couple; raised in a solid educational foundation, middle class values and strong work ethic. Our parents drilled a love for arts and sports only as a means to "round" off our personality and not to become sportsmen or artists.  To them, that would have been too risky (in terms of employment)! 

We were raised outside US and hence are unfamiliar with schools and school systems here. Having lived here in US for a decade and having attended grad school here makes us value US education system. And we hope our Small Fry will learn to value it as well. 

We recently moved to SF and are now thrown in these tricky waters of unified school system and choice. It seems we settled him into a preschool not too long ago and here we embark on K search again. We currently live in Pac Heights but are open to moving closer to the school once we get accepted to aid with day to day life with kids. Oh, and we also have a Tiny Fry who will benefit from all this research and learning when its time!

Like most parents, we love our Fry but we don't know what kind of education styles will suit him. Also he is a late summer baby so we are torn between red shirting him or not. Our Asian background dictates we should send him to school and let him be. Modern parenting sensibilities want us to give him time to mature. So we are exploring public schools, private schools, parochial schools. Alternate Schools and Traditional Schools. We are exploring Arts curriculum and Science focused schools. 

Our hope is to understand more about education options and what kind of education we want for our Fry alongside of shortlisting schools and getting accepted in a school. 

There are a few things we know for sure:
  • We don't care about immersion schools. 
  • Arts is good but we need solid science/maths foundation 
  • We don't care for a trophy school. Neither of us attended one and we turned out OK. 
  • We definitely need after care. But don't necessarily want to fills afternoons with a bunch of activities. 

We have a few schools that we plan to tour/ have toured already. I will post my thoughts on them soon. I won't be posting statistical information ( like class sizes, school hours, extended care options etc ) unless there is something that stuck with me. That is something that can be easily googled anyways. I will be posting information on PTA and participation, school leadership, how the parenting community looked like to me, whether kids were engaged in various classrooms etc. 

Here is a list of schools that we are touring. We are casting our net wide and are working our way through this process.Hopefully we will have more clarity as December approaches.

1. Public Schools: Claire Lilienthal, Peabody, Sherman, Alvarado, Spring Valley 
2. Private Schools: Presidio Hill, Bright Works, Adda Clevenger, Alt School, Stuart Hall for Boy
3. Charter Schools: Creative Arts, Thomas Edison, New School 
4. Parochial Schools: St. Brigid, St. Vincent De Paul

Looking forward to your  feedback, advise and encouragement via comments! 

Confused Parents

Note: Updated 10/23 to link school tours/reviews and reclassify Stuart Hall as Private and remove Presidio Knolls from the list

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