At a Glance

Alta Vista School (AVS) is an independent junior/transitional kindergarten through eighth grade school in San Francisco that prepares students to thrive as creative thinkers, innovators, and catalysts for positive change in the world.

 

With an emphasis on science, math, engineering, and the arts, AVS encourages students to go beyond a strong academic foundation to engage with their community and pursue their passions.

Highlights

  • A rich STEAM+ approach includes science, technology, engineering, art, math, and enrichment classes (i.e., Spanish, art & tinkering, drama, music, garden & sustainability, and physical education).

  • Social and emotional development is integrated with the daily curriculum to cultivate a community of respect and use of restorative practices to solve conflicts.

  • Collaboration, creativity, and risk-taking are a central part of the program.

  • Small class sizes and low student-to-teacher ratios.

  • Technology is thoughtfully integrated into the classroom with Google Chromebooks, SMART Boards, document projectors, video cameras, and more.

Core Stats

  • Alta Vista was founded in 2010 and graduated our first 8th-grade class in June 2018. AVS graduates have been accepted into top Public, Catholic, Boarding and Independent Schools in San Francisco and around the country.

  • Lower School has two classes per grade, each class with two lead teachers, plus specialists.

  • Specialist classes include garden & sustainability, music, drama, art & tinkering, Spanish, and physical education.

  • Junior/transitional kindergarten has a 6:1 student-teacher ratio. 

  • K-5 has an 8:1 student-teacher ratio.

  • Lower School progress reports, including a detailed narrative about how the child is learning, are provided three times per year.

  • Middle School has up to 40 students per grade, with 10 – 18 students in each academic class.

  • Middle School progress reports are provided four times per year and include both grades and detailed narratives.

Curriculum​

  • Our unique curriculum draws from California State Standards, Common Core, Next Generation Science, National Council of Social Studies Teachers, and National Council of Teachers of Mathematics.

  • Digital citizenship curriculum (safe and appropriate uses of technology) starts in second grade (when students receive Chromebooks).

  • Social and emotional learning is drawn from RULER, Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence.

Calendar (all grades) 

  • School calendar is designed to maximize student and teacher focus, retention, and overall educational impact.

  • School year begins mid-August and ends in late June.

  • Breaks: Fall Break (1 week), Thanksgiving (1 week), Winter Holiday (2 weeks), Mid-winter Break (1 week), Spring Break (2 weeks), and Summer (7 weeks).

Community & Special Events 

  • Active Parent Group supports over 22 different programs and events throughout the year.

  • Science fairs, expos, and current event presentations begin in Transitional Kindergarten to encourage public speaking skills.

  • Bi-weekly, campus-wide community meetings with STEAM demonstrations on Mondays and social-emotional learning on Fridays (optional parent participation).

  • Bi-monthly school-wide engineering and design challenges.

  • Seasonal drama and musical performances throughout the year.

  • Middle School sports programs are led by professional coach/athletics director and include basketball, futsol, and volleyball.

  • Member of SFIAL (San Francisco Independent Athletic League).

  • Member of SPEAK (San Francisco parent education coalition).

Lower School Campus (Grades JK/TK-5) 

  • 450 Somerset Street, in the Portola district.

  • School Day is 8:25 AM – 3:30 PM.

  • BookEnds (before- and after-school program) students may arrive as early as 7:30 AM and stay as late as 6:00 PM (extra cost separate from tuition for after-school care).

  • Lower School campus has a spacious outdoor play area with rock climbing wall, garden, and tinkering room.

  • Sports are parent-organized and typically include basketball and soccer.

Middle School Campus (grades 6-8th) 

  • 2558 Mission Street, San Francisco.

  • School Day is 8:45 AM – 3:45 PM.

  • Students may arrive as early as 8:00 AM and stay on campus as late as 6:00 PM. Students may participate in faculty-led clubs from 4:00 PM - 5:00 PM. Aftercare is provided from 5:00 PM - 6:00 PM for an additional fee.

  • Middle School campus has a student-designed commons area, 1200 sq. ft. sunlit art and engineering lab, indoor gym with a mini basketball and volleyball court, black box theater, theater-tech room, and music and practice room.

  • Middle School core values are responsibility, character development, integrity, and freedom.

Alta Vista School is proud to announce the following list of high schools who offered acceptance to our recent graduates:

Public Schools with Merit-Based Admissions

  • Lowell-4

Catholic

  • Bishop O’Dowd

  • Riordan

  • St Ignatius

  • Sacred Heart

 

Boarding

  • Andover

  • Brentwood

  • Choate

  • Cranbrook

  • Shawnigan Lake

 

Independent

  • Bay

  • Bentley

  • College Prep

  • Drew

  • Head Royce

  • International

  • Jewish Community High School

  • Lick Wilmerding

  • University High School

  • Urban

 

Admissions​

  • For the 2019-2020 school year (TK-8th), tuition is $31,000.

  • Admission is need-blind and focused on student fit and readiness.

  • As part of our commitment to economic diversity, 10% of the operating budget is set aside to provide financial aid.

 Apply to the Lower School >

 Apply to the Middle School >

Why I Love AVS

'' ... because the school's approach enables its students to develop socially and academically, while at the same time allowing them to be kids -- creative, fun, active, goofy, curious ... It's the school I wish I had gone to."

© 2019 Alta Vista School

for curious young minds 

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