San Francisco is our classroom ... 

We believe some of the most important and memorable learning occurs outside the four walls of classrooms. Our vibrant city of San Francisco offers endless opportunities to engage our students in a variety of environments and activities. That's why Alta Vista Adventures – our program for getting students out into the community and bringing the community into our school - is an integral part of the curriculum. In addition to the incorporation of field trips and visitors into our classroom teachings, our unique extended-year calendar provides breaks throughout the year where students can engage in fun and deep local exploration. 

Guiding Principles: 
  • To use the surrounding community, including San Francisco’s unique resources and nature, as an important extension of the classroom 
  • To focus on learning directly within the local environment through experiential, meaningful investigations that relate to current units of study 
  • To incorporate interdisciplinary activities while on adventures, with literacy, science, math and social-emotional components



Alta Vista Adventures During School-Year Breaks

Just because classes aren’t in session doesn’t mean that the fun at Alta Vista School ends! Alta Vista Adventures are planned for the vast majority of school closure days. (See our School Calendar for dates.)

Having a whole day together provides us the perfect opportunity for an Alta Vista Adventure - connecting with people, places and projects across San Francisco. Each journey and destination ties into an overarching curricular theme to be explored. The Adventures are designed to be interdisciplinary, experiential and FUN!!! While on an Adventure, AVS students get to be AVS Ambassadors, practicing life skills such as social responsibility, respect and cooperation. In addition, Adventures build community across grade levels and provide older students with leadership opportunities as they support the younger students!

Adventure themes and excursions have included:
  • Alemany Farm 
  • The SF Ferry Building Farmer’s Market 
  • Chinatown
  • North Beach
  • Mission
  • Japan Town 
  • Exploratorium
  • Center for the Book
  • SCRAP 
  • Art and Architecture 
  • Yerba Buena Center for the Arts 
  • Contemporary Jewish Museum 
  • Green Building - SF Public Utility Commission 
  • The Art of Performance
  • The Symphony
  • Jazz
  • Ballet
  • Marching Bands
  • Circus Arts
  • SF Watersheds 
  • The Presidio
  • Crissy Field
  • San Francisco Bay
  • Ocean Beach
  • Golden Gate Park




Adventures offers two tracks: one for students in grades JK-1st, and a second for students in 2nd-5th grade. The separation is designed to offer age-appropriate programming tailored for the unique needs of our growing student body. Both tracks will connect to the same theme and have points of intersection where the two groups meet and share discoveries throughout the week.