Thursday, October 9, 2008

San Francisco Public Schools

Like many good San Francisco parents, I spent a lot of time last year learning about the public school system here in the city. First you learn about the lottery and placement system, and then you spend your time touring the schools and choosing your favorite seven for your wish list. Also, like many good San Francisco parents, I did not receive any of the programs on my list, so my son was given our neighborhood school. Luckily, our neighborhood school is Leonard Flynn. There are two programs at Flynn; the Spanish Immersion Program (which was on our list) and the General Program (which was not on our list but what we were given). The very last week of summer, we received a phone call saying that Octavio (my son) was chosen to be in the Spanish Immersion Program, so in the end we ended up exactly where we wanted to be. There just happened to be an emotional roller coaster leading up to it!

We are now a little over a month into the school year, and we are very happy with the school. It turns out that we would have been happy with the General Program as well; the teachers are great, and all of the kindergarten teachers work closely together to come up with the curriculum for the year. It also helps that the school is a block away from our home. We step outside our door and can hear the first bell...ooohh better run so we can make the light and get there by second bell!

Leonard Flynn is one of the neighborhood public schools that has really risen up through the ranks in the last couple of years. The creation of the Immersion Program has helped, and parental involvement and fundraising is key. Last year they raised over $30,000, and their goal this year is $55,000.

With all of the uncertainty in the economy, and the flawed budgets both at the state and federal level, it is important that we take care of our schools. The quality of our public schools directly affects all of us, whether we have children or not. Shall I quote Whitney Houston? For those of you who don't know, she believes that children are our future!

As a new parent in the San Francisco public school system, I wanted to get involved. Because my son is in one school, and Anja's grandchildren in another, we decided we would like to give back to the schools. For each sale from now until the end of the year, we would like to donate $500 to your child's school. If you do not have children, that money can go directly to the school in your neighborhood, and if you have another worthy cause you are passionate about, we can point the donation in that direction. On top of the $500, Zephyr has agreed to donate an additional $250, bringing the grand total to $750 to the school with each sale. These numbers can add up quickly, and our schools, children, and community can benefit.

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