Although Alta Vista is an academically focused school, our experiential, project-based approach keeps students active and involved in the process of learning and allows them to develop at their own individualized level and pace. We integrate play into our own curriculum and are fans of play-based preschools, which allow children to focus on socialization and the gross and fine motor development that they will use in Junior Kindergarten/Kindergarten school activities.
What is the homework philosophy at Alta Vista?
We view homework as a way to connect school and home. Like our curriculum, our homework is activity-based, not worksheets. For example, playing a math-skills card game together, finding objects that start with a certain letter or sound, or interviewing a family member on a particular topic. Our innovative teacher-developed curriculum and integrated homework assignments are posted weekly on our website under "This Week at Alta Vista." Check it out!
Enjoy this video of our students having fun with their "Make Music From Water" homework assignment:
I see that many of your faculty members are Spanish-speaking. How is Spanish integrated into the curriculum at Alta Vista?
Alta Vista is not an immersion school nor do we approach foreign language as an academic subject in the lower grades. Instead, our philosophy is to introduce a second language, Spanish, in the lower grades as something interesting and fun. We present it in a very natural setting – play. We also speak in Spanish during transitions and at snack, lunch and recess. In Kindergarten, as the year evolves and the students become more acclimated to school, a Spanish vocabulary and oral language component is gradually introduced reflecting our class lessons. In first grade, Spanish starts to be used as a natural part of everyday school activities early on.Does Alta Vista have an active parents group?
We are proud that Alta Vista is a school of families, for families. Our parents are very active in creating and participating in our school community. One of the tenets of our school is that every family has something valuable to add to our community. Alta Vista wants and values the ideas, contributions and participation of all of its families. That comes in many different forms. We do not mandate participation. Families become as involved as they like, or as their time permits.
How diverse is Alta Vista?
Alta Vista School is committed to developing a school community as diverse as the San Francisco community it serves. Creating an environment that is accepting of and welcoming to a variety of views and backgrounds is important to us. You can see that abundantly in the curriculum developed by our faculty, from social studies and art projects to ball games from other countries and cultures. We are proud to have a vibrant community welcoming to a diversity of backgrounds, including ethnicity, sexual orientation, race, and socio-economics. Many of our families are multicultural and multilingual, and some of our families/parents originate outside of the United States, including from Denmark, Ghana, Germany, Mexico, England, Italy and Guatemala.
What is the growth plan for Alta Vista?
We have grown a full lower school and are building our middle school. Our Somerset location once housed a full elementary school and offers great facilities and space for our vibrant program, as well as substantial outdoor space that we are progressively incorporating. Our long-term facilities planning is underway for purposes of accommodating the fully grown school in the future.
We are very interested in Alta Vista School, but would need financial aid. What tuition assistance is available?
Alta Vista School is committed to building a community of families who share common values, irrespective of financial means. As part of that vision, the school reserves a significant portion of its operational budget to support need-based financial assistance. We strongly encourage families who may need assistance to apply.
Can I see Alta Vista in session?
Absolutely! We truly enjoy showing our school in action and welcoming families to experience Alta Vista "hands on". Please complete an inquiry form
to schedule a tour while classes are in session.