Alta Vista at a Glance

School Founding and Composition
    • Independent, non-profit/501(c)(3), co-educational, day school 
    • Opened Fall 2010 
    • Building to full lower (JK-4) and middle school (5-8), one class level added each year
    • 2016-17 classes: JK through 7th grade 
    • Diverse community of students, faculty and families coming from throughout San Francisco and beyond 
    • Accredited by AdvancED, an agency that accredits public, private and independent PreK-12 schools 

    • Innovative, progressive curriculum grounded in scientific method and hands-on, experience-based learning 
    • STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, & math) emphasis 
    • Small class sizes (lower school target class sizes of 10-12 for Jr K and 16 for K-4th grade with 2 teachers; middle school class target sizes of 10-12 with 1 teacher) 
    • Individualized academic program that incorporates play and social development 
    • Breadth of subject matter: art, dance, drama, language arts, math, music, physical education, public speaking and presentation, science, social and community studies, Spanish, technology, tinker 
    • Strong emphasis on community service 
    • School day: 8:25 am to 3:30 pm (plus Bookends before and after school program) for Lower School, 8:45 am to 3:45 pm (plus Clubs after school) for Middle School 

    • Energetic, supportive, team-based teaching 
    • Team includes Head of School Ed Walters, Assistant to Head of School, curriculum director, instructional coordinator, two teachers in each lower school classroom, reading specialists, counselors, Bookends guides, dedicated "Specials" faculty for art, dance, drama, music, physical education, Spanish, and technology 
    • Approximately 60% of our faculty hold Master degrees 
    • Spanish fluency among faculty
    • 2016-17 faculty:student ratio approximately 1:5 


    • Site designed for diverse, project-based learning: Library, Tinker Studio, Multipurpose Room with Performance Stage, Music Room, Gymnasium, large Outdoor Area with Organic Garden and Playground 

    • Technology tools integrated into teaching and learning: Apple/Mac and Google Chromebook computers, SMART Boards, Elmos, video cameras, digital cameras
    • Chromebook for each student in 2nd grade and above
    • Scratch programming from MIT 
    • Wireless throughout the school 

Bookends & Alta Vista Adventures 
    • Program for before and after school + school closure days 
    • Varied enrichment activities, e.g., music, dance, map-making
    • Alta Vista Adventures – San Francisco is our classroom