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Headed to High School: An Update from the Transition Team

Friday, May 11, 2018

Watching Riley R. welcome middle schoolers from around the city to our first Youth Summit highlighted the sheer energy and motivation possessed by this year’s graduating class. They are activists! Take a swing through the eighth grade morning meeting space and look at their work from this year. The learning they’ve done around the topic of those experiencing homelessness this year is deep and impactful. They’ve also taken notable action around gun control and #metoo. These teenagers have stepped outside themselves over and over again to engage in real world issues even throughout the long, stressful and emotional process of applying to high school—which is very much focussed on “self.”  Now it’s May, everyone has a place to go to high school, and the class is still planning more work; a subset will present what they’ve learned about city government’s role in homelessness crisis to the third grade and all will accompany kindergarten buddies to Mission Neighborhood Health Center at the end of the month.

San Francisco is unique among major cities in terms of the high school landscape. New York, LA, DC, and Chicago, for example, have many more K-12 independent schools and more parochial options. The capriciousness of our public school lottery system can be very stressful for families. Asking a 13 or 14 year-old to manage the high school application process in San Francisco while also juggling school, sports, activities, friends, and family, is a gargantuan expectation. To help manage the load, parents are essential partners. Seventh grade parents are just beginning the process now by completing questionnaires about their child(ren) and their hopes for high school. A few weeks ago, seventh graders took their practice SSAT and on May 17, they’ll gather to hear wisdom from a panel of eighth graders and their parents about their experience with the process.

This year’s SFFS graduates will attend 24 different schools next fall. The list includes:

Convent of the Sacred Heart
College Preparatory School
Galileo High School
Head Royce
Marin Academy
Marin Catholic
Mission High School
Sacred Heart Cathedral
Saint Ignatius
San Domenico
Stuart Hall
Tamalpais High School
The Marin School

Congratulations to the members of our eighth graduating class. At Friends, it means so much more to be an eighth grader than just applying to high school. The legacy of this class will be their ability to “let their lives speak” in such a powerful way in their final year at SFFS. We could not be more proud of the students who will represent SFFS at their chosen high schools.