Founding parent Erin Cooney tells the founding story of San Francisco Schoolhouse.
San Francisco Schoolhouse emerged from one mother’s quest to find a school that provided academic excellence for her children while being affordable for her family. With most private schools costing at the time over $25,000 per student, it felt like a high-quality progressive education was simply not attainable. But when pushed by the necessity to educate her children, and inspired by the well-educated students in one room school houses from around the world and in the past, Rebecca Dake simplified the definition of an excellent education down to two basic ingredients: a passionate, experienced teacher, and a safe and healthy room.
First a room was found, and then a teacher, Rebecca Schneider, and with that the Schoolhouse was named and began in February 2011. Later that spring a second teacher came on board, Jack Schumacher, and by summer a collection of families were interested, but so much needed to be done! The summer proved eventful with many families deciding to pursue established schools, save for one family: Erin Cooney and Ted Price, and their daughter Annabel. September began and so did the Schoolhouse with one teacher and one student - Moselle Dake; one student receiving an incredible education. Within weeks, Erin’s daughter came on board and the founding team was complete. Erin Cooney, Rebecca Dake, Jack Schumacher and Rebecca Schneider began teaching, organizing, meeting with parents and putting together the foundation of the Schoolhouse.
By the end of the first school year the Schoolhouse had 6 students, followed by an enrollment of 19 students in grades K-2 for the 2012-2013 school year. By the time 2013-14 came along, the first lead teacher (outside of founders Jack and Rebecca) had been hired. Bridget Curley was the new kindergarten teacher and the school year kicked off with 32 students in grades K-3. During the 2013-14 school year, the inaugural Winter Lights celebration took place and the Schoolhouse showcased its first annual school play. In 2014-15 we opened with 42 students, and the school has continued to grow from there. In 2018-19, Schoolhouse grew to 60 students enrolled in grades K-7 and twelve teachers, hiring its first Director of Operations, Jina Kim, and engaging Carol Swainson as Head of School. By 2019-2020, Schoolhouse had grown to its full scope of grades K-8, Jina Kim was appointed Associate Head of School, and our first 8th grade class graduated. In 2022, Schoolhouse moved to its current home on Fell Street, with 101 students enrolled and 15 teachers.