Mission and Values
San Francisco Schoolhouse is an intentionally small school community where young people are deeply known as individuals; where the academic, social, and emotional development of students is paramount; and where children are encouraged, and empowered to realize their full creative and engaged selves. At Schoolhouse, talented and dedicated teachers foster students’ agency, nurture their curiosity, and ignite their passions through meaningful experiential learning.
We Honor Childhood
We value the experience of being young and believe that children learn the best when they’re allowed to be kids. We work to create an environment where the qualities of childhood – among them wonder, curiosity, irreverence, creativity, and boundary-testing – are fostered. We give our students room to learn, to grow, to make mistakes, to try new things, and to play.
We’re Anchored in Community
We value fellowship and commitment. We champion the whole student-faculty-family body. We practice gratitude and stewardship. We honor the places we inhabit, and we understand our role in caring for them. We take our responsibilities to each other seriously. We care about our city and our neighborhood because it’s where we live, and we know we have a significant responsibility to nurture and improve it. It takes a village; we are a village.
We Value Individuality and Celebrate Difference
We have a full awareness and understanding of each student and insight about them as a special and unique human being. We honor the beauty and promise within each one, and we support and challenge each student as they grow at their own pace. We are grateful for the vast range of experiences, philosophies, methods, beliefs, histories, and narratives of human lives, and we believe that by tapping into these, we super-charge our understanding of ourselves and our existence. Distinction matters.
We Foster Agency
We believe in freedom, and the ability to act on one’s own. We recognize and honor the agency of teachers and children in shaping decisions large and small, from the design of the school year to daily activities and tasks. We believe that the group becomes stronger as a body when self-directed behavior is carefully nurtured and guided by community norms. Within the framework of an intellectually engaging curriculum, our teachers capitalize on student interest and inspire them to go beyond the lesson plan.
We’re Committed to Exceptional, Collaborative Teaching
We recognize that a school community is only ever as strong as its teachers. We empower our educators to design learning experiences that are innovative and engaging, we challenge them to hone their practice intentionally and continuously, and we prioritize hiring, retaining, and developing the most exceptional teachers in the Bay Area. Our teachers care about children deeply, and they are partners to them and to their families in the lifelong journey of learning and discovery.
We’re Powered by Simplicity
We value being thoughtful and wise about the use of precious human and capital resources. We’re an efficient school that’s careful to leverage the abundance of our community resources as well as the vast available public resources of San Francisco to enhance the student experience and to keep the school accessible to a wide array of families. Our city is our classroom. Our parks are our playgrounds. The local library is where we go to explore and discover. Gratitude – for the gifts of nature, our city, our teachers, and all of the simple things that make a difference – is our emphasis.
-Approved by the Board of Trustees September 17, 2018