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Parent Handbook Basics

Mission

At San Francisco Friends School, students learn in a community grounded in the Quaker values of reflection, integrity, peaceful problem-solving and stewardship. Our teachers challenge students with a dynamic curriculum that inspires curiosity, cooperation and hard work. We teach children to listen to all voices and trust their own. We engage with the world around us with kindness and conviction, working toward the Quaker ideal of a caring and just society.

Building & School Hours

The building is open from 7:45 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Kindergarten: 8:30 a.m. - 2:30 p.m.
1st - 3rd: 8:30 a.m. - 3:00 p.m
4th - 8th: 8:30 - 3:15 p.m.

*Students are dismissed early every Tuesday.
K - 3rd:  2:30 p.m.
4th - 8th: 2:45 p.m.

Students may be dropped off in front in the front yard starting from 8:05 a.m.
Morning childcare is available from 7:45 a.m. and afternoon childcare is available after school until 6 p.m. for an additional charge.

Peaceful Problem Solving

When a normal social conflict arises, we’ll work to solve it by listening carefully, proposing solutions, talking through possibilities, and building consensus. This Quakerly process takes time but produces a resolution that is sound and lasting. In the younger grades, children use the “Peace Table” to support the development of problem solving skills such as attentive listening, “I” statements, and assertive language. “Meeting for Business” is also used to discuss conflicts as a group with the guidance of a teacher. In middle school, peer mediators are trained to help students manage social conflicts of all kinds.

Behavior/Discipline

At Friends, expectations for behavior are outlined and continually reflected on in class, advising groups, and school gatherings. We expect that children will build relationships, practice kindness, have an "eye for others" and “learn how to learn” in various settings (i.e. Meeting for Business and the Peace Table) and among a variety of peers. We understand that conflict is a part of life and see conflict and upset as opportunities for growth. If a child is struggling to manage impulses, to listen or to engage at school in a positive and consistent manner, teachers will engage them directly in reflection and redirection. Teachers give direct feedback, which may include behavior plans and goal setting, and also enlist the support of the classroom culture and structures to help a child, or a group of children, reflect and grow. Rather than pushing children out, we bring them in closer and strive to build internal tools as guides for personal growth.

We also strive to restore a child’s standing within the class community when necessary. We collaborate with colleagues, the Developmental Support (DS) team, Lower or Middle School Head, Mental Health Consultant and other administrators and/or parents to understand how to best support a struggling student. We work to help parties in conflict of any sort—aggressors, victims, and/or bystanders—and emphasize the responsibilities of every child and adult at school to peacefully manage all kinds of conflict. At Friends, we do expect children to practice peaceful conflict resolution. While frustration and/or anger is normal, any act of aggression that causes physical harm (hitting, kicking, punching) will be followed by a protocol that includes administrators and parents, and may result in a student being sent home. Please do not hesitate to call your child’s teacher or advisor with questions or concerns about behavior or discipline.

Faculty/ Student Relations

Our teachers serve as the students’ role models, guides and mentors in learning as well as living. The purpose of this policy is to provide direction regarding appropriate conduct and boundaries between staff and students. Inappropriate relations with a student is strictly against school policy and is cause for immediate termination from SFFS. Since the line between friendship and inappropriate relations is often hard to discern, particularly for a student, and since student assertions of inappropriate behavior by a teacher or staff member are treated seriously at SFFS, SFFS staff members are expected to conduct themselves professionally at all times, on campus and off campus, in a manner that avoids even the appearance of inappropriate relations.

Duty to Report

When any employee becomes aware of another staff member crossing the boundaries specified in this policy, he/she must speak directly to this staff member if the violation appears minor, and/or report the matter immediately to the school administration. If the observed behavior appears significant, it is the duty of every staff member to immediately report the matter to the school administration. It is the duty of the school administration to thoroughly investigate and remediate the situation as necessary. Employees must also report to the administration any awareness or concern of student behavior that crosses appropriate boundaries, or where a student appears to be at risk of sexual abuse.