Page 1


Upper School Handbook 2013-2014

San Francisco Day School 350 Masonic Avenue San Francisco, California 94118 Head of Upper School Michael Mancini 415-568-3605 Assistant to Head of Upper School Jason Tognetti 415-568-3606

Dear San Francisco Day School Upper School Families, As we remember all-too-well, middle school can be a time of transition, turmoil, growth, and self-discovery. We begin to see the world and ourselves in unexpected ways. Students are navigating new social dynamics, emotional development, and high academic expectations. The following handbook aims to outline expectations, support systems, policies, and programs to support the partnership between school and home while we collectively navigate these formative and transformative years as a community. Please take the time to read through the 2013-2014 Upper School Handbook and familiarize yourself with the programs, procedures, and practices that all upper school students are expected to follow. On behalf of the entire faculty and staff, we look forward to the partnership in the year to come. Best, Michael

Contents I. Policies and Procedures. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 Hours of the School Day Arrival and Drop-Off Dismissal and After-School Supervision Attendance Tardiness and Leaving Campus Lunch and Snack II. Behavioral and Academic Expectations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 Code of Conduct Academic Integrity Grades and Evaluations Cell Phone Usage Dress Code III. Student Services and Academic Support . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 Advisory Learning Resource Department Homework Learning Labs Counseling Affinity Groups Educational Records Bureau Integrated Technology IV. Co-Curricular and Extracurricular Programs . . . . . . . . . . . 11 Assembly Student Congress Outdoor Education/Global Education Service Learning Cornerstones Performing Arts Athletics Chorus and Jazz Homework CafĂŠ and After-School Study Hall V. The Role of Parents . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13 Parent Expectations No Rescue Policy Supporting Middle School Students Parent-Teacher Conferences Where To Go With Questions

Parent-Student Handbook San Francisco Day School Mission Statement San Francisco Day School educates, nurtures, and inspires girls and boys of diverse backgrounds to achieve their highest academic and creative potential, to embrace ethical values, and to become active contributors to their communities. • Academic excellence • Diversity and inclusiveness in our community • Strong partnership between school and family • Shared values of compassion, integrity, and responsibility • Active involvement with the City

Standards of Conduct San Francisco Day School educates and nurtures children according to the highest standards of academic excellence and responsible behavior. The school strives to help each student develop a strong sense of self-esteem balanced by respect and appreciation for others. Students are expected to help create a kind and supportive community. To ensure that SFDS is a safe place for everyone, all members of our community are expected to be honest, respectful, responsible, and kind. We depend on the goodwill and decency of each and every member of the school community. We require students and parents to be committed to the school’s health and well-being and to such basic values as courtesy and tolerance for the feelings, rights, safety, and property of others. We also expect students and parents to recognize their place in the larger community and to act responsibly and respectfully toward the school’s neighbors and property. As members of the SFDS community, all students are obligated to act in a manner that upholds the School’s values.


I. Policies and Procedures Hours of the School Day Monday and Friday: 8:00 a.m.-3:15 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday: 8:00 a.m.-3:30 p.m. Arrival and Drop-Off Students may be dropped off at school beginning at 7:15 a.m. Students will remain in the cafeteria and be supervised by an adult before school begins. Classes begin promptly at 8:00 a.m. There are a few drop-off options for parents: (1) drive to the white zone where your child will be met by security at the Golden Gate entrance; (2) park your car in the neighborhood and walk in with your child, either to wait with him/her in the Golden Gate lobby, or to escort him/her to the cafeteria; (3) if arriving on foot or by bicycle, follow the procedures above. Dismissal and After-School Supervision Monday and Friday: 3:15 p.m. dismissal (grades 5-8) Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday: 3:30 p.m. dismissal (grades 5-8) As teachers release students into cars outside the Golden Gate entrance, the line of cars will begin moving around the block to ensure a safe and efficient process. By 3:45 p.m. all students will have either departed with an adult or will need to check into one of the following activities: study hall, AEP, with a tutor or teacher, or in after-school sports. At no time may students wait outside the school building without the presence of an adult. Students must be in a supervised setting inside the school building after the regular dismissal time. Allyson Parker will be in charge of knowing where students are between the hours of 3:45 and 6:00 pm. Ms. Parker can be reached at 470-5024. Parents arriving to school after 3:45 p.m. to pick up their children may (1) pull into the white zone and tell the security guard whom they are picking up. The security guard will radio this information to adults monitoring the after school program or (2) park in the neighborhood outside of the white zone and walk to pick-up your child. (3) The Masonic Courtyard is for students and parents to meet one another to walk to their parked car. The Masonic gate closes at 4:00 p.m. Note: For parents with children in both upper and lower school, plan to pick up children at the later dismissal time. Lower school students waiting for an upper school sibling or carpool will wait in a supervised area until all siblings and/or carpool mates have arrived.


Policies and Procedures, continued Attendance We ask parents to adhere strictly to the following policy: if a child is to be absent for any reason, his/her parent should call the front office before 8:30 a.m. every morning the child is absent; otherwise, the absence will be considered unexcused. Medical appointments should be made outside of school hours whenever possible. Student absences due to family vacations may be considered unexcused unless prior permission has been granted by the head of the upper school. If you are planning to be absent from school for reasons other than illness, you must complete a Future Absence Slip at least one week in advance. Future Absence Slips need to be signed by teachers, parents, and the head of the upper school. Students will be responsible for all work missed during the absence. Tardiness and Leaving Campus Students are expected to be prompt to all classes. It is the parent’s responsibility to ensure the on-time arrival of students. Because the Golden Gate entrance will be closed after 8:30 a.m., you will need to enter through the Masonic entrance if you arrive after that time. Always remember to check in at the front desk when you arrive late. Any child who needs to leave campus during the day must provide his/her advisor with written permission or call the office of the head of the upper school. Parents who pick up their child during the school day must first come to the front office. Lunch and Snack Students must bring their lunches to school each morning unless families have enrolled in the lunch program. No candy, gum, soda, glass containers, or food requiring hot water or refrigeration is permitted. You should provide your child with a midmorning and afternoon snack if necessary. The School will no longer provide morning snack.


II. Behavioral and Academic Expectations Code of Conduct Our goal at San Francisco Day School is to establish a physically and emotionally safe learning environment. The entire community participates in this process: friends help one another make good moral and ethical decisions while the faculty and administration maintain respectful classrooms and strive for a bully-free campus environment. If a student struggles with behavior issues, faculty and administration support them with the necessary guidance, counseling, and/or consequences to correct the behavior to help students learn from mistakes and to reinforce the behavioral standards within the School community. Teachers give students reminders and warnings about minor infractions such as dress code violations, tardiness to class, disrespectful remarks, etc. Adhering to these school rules indicates a student’s expression of the ability and willingness to contribute positively to the community. Advisors or the fifth grade homeroom teachers will follow-up with their students who may be accumulating discipline notifications, and parents will be informed of the pattern of difficulty. A pattern of infractions will result in a consequence including, but not limited to, loss of discretionary time, removal from a position of leadership, or suspension. Repeated or extreme misbehavior of any student in the upper school may warrant more significant consequences, including suspension or expulsion. Situations that may lead to suspension or expulsion include but are not limited to: bullying and cyber-bullying, academic dishonesty, use of physical force to harm others or the building and grounds, in-person or online threats of violence, theft, use of illegal drugs, alcohol, or tobacco, disrespect of teachers, staff, and fellow students, and any words or actions deemed serious enough by the head of upper school and head of school. Because behavior outside of school often has a direct impact on our ability to build an inclusive community at school, the school reserves the right to address offenses, including disrespectful or harassing internet communications, that occur outside of the school day. Students must realize that the School’s values and standards should guide their actions and decisions even when they are not in school and that their behavior outside of school is a reflection of the school and its values. The decision to suspend a student is made by the head of upper school in consultation with the head of school and the teachers involved. A student who is suspended is not eligible to participate in school related after school events during the term of the suspension. The terms of suspension can vary from a day to a week and will conclude with a re-entry conference with the student, parents, head of upper school, and, when necessary, the head of school. In an effort to reinforce the core values and standards of the community and to support the individual students involved, aspects of major disciplinary actions may be discussed with the appropriate members of the student body. The head of school can expel a student when, in his judgment after consultation with all the involved parties, the student’s continued presence at San Francisco Day School is no longer in the student’s best interest or that of the School. Academic Integrity The School expects students to understand the nature and necessity of academic integrity and to uphold the rules of scholarship. A student who copies someone else’s work, seeks or gives improper help on an assignment or test, or obtains a grade through any fraudulent means is guilty of cheating. A student who makes use of someone else’s words or ideas without properly citing and crediting the source is guilty of plagiarism. Students are expected to abide by high standards of academic honesty. Throughout the year, teachers and advisors will hold discussions at each grade level to reinforce the importance of academic honesty and to provide guidance about the proper use of resources and source materials. Because academic dishonesty can involve many forms and degrees of severity, the School will determine consequences on a case-by-case basis. As part of this community, the School expects students to take pride in their own achievements and to be accountable for their own actions. By contrast, students who plagiarize or cheat create situations where essential learning may be missed and the efforts of scholarship misunderstood. At San Francisco Day School we believe it is essential that action be taken when cheating and/or plagiarism occurs. This action may include suspension and/or expulsion from the School.


Behavioral and Academic Expectations, continued Grades and Evaluations In grades 5-8, student evaluations are sent to parents twice each year, in early February and in June. Parent-teacher conferences take place in November and February. Letter grades are provided in academic subjects but are not given in art, music, performing arts, or physical education, where effort grades replace a letter grade. The teachers’ narrative comments and marks on the Practices of an Effective Learner provide a broader range of assessment of student learning and growth. (Fifth graders do not receive letter grades in their academic subjects in the first semester.) SFDS adheres to the following grading scale: A+

























0 -59% and below

Dress Code The School’s standards make clear that we expect students to dress in a manner appropriate for school. Clothing with slogans that belittle the beliefs or rights of others or that contains hostile, vulgar, or sexually suggestive expressions is not acceptable. Neither is clothing that is inappropriately revealing, or that condones or makes light of drug or alcohol use. Students may not be barefoot on campus. Parents are responsible for ensuring that their children wear proper footwear to school. Cell Phone Usage Students who bring cell phones to school must abide by strict guidelines. Cell phones may not be used during the school day. Cell phones must be turned off and left in backpacks during the school day. If you need to get an important message to your child, you may call the front desk at 931-2422. Please do not call your child’s cell phone during school hours. Parents should leave phone messages for students only in emergencies. Students may ask for permission to use the school phones in case of emergency. If students need to make a phone call during the day, they should ask permission to use a school phone. The Masonic lobby phone may be used with the permission but the phone at the Golden Gate entrance should not be used by students. Students waiting for their parents after school hours may turn on their cell phones as they wait in the Golden Gate lobby. 5

III. Student Services and Academic Support Advisors Each student in grades six through eight is assigned a teacher who acts as the student’s advisor. The student meets regularly with the advisor to review and plan his/her academic program, to discuss academic and personal concerns, and to lead a socialemotional skills curriculum. When academic or behavioral concerns arise, parents should contact their child’s advisor as the first line of communication with the school. Advisors lead parent-teacher conferences. Learning Resource Program SFDS recognizes that students bring unique learning profiles to their studies. The LRP staff work alongside teachers, advisors, and administrators to address the individual needs of students in a variety of ways, which may include referring students for tutorial assistance, educational assessment, and/or therapy. LRP provides direct services as well as helping to coordinate efforts to strengthen learning. The School expects that families provide in their admission application, and throughout their child’s career at SFDS, any information about a student’s learning or personal characteristics that may be relevant to an understanding of his or her academic and behavioral profile and that they assume responsibility for the cost of any professional support, including educational testing or other forms of assessment, the school may suggest or require. If necessary, SFDS offers financial support for essential services consistent with the School’s financial assistance policies. If you have questions, contact Melissa Brown, Director of the Learning Resource Program at 415-568-3690. Homework It may take a little while for your child to adjust to the type and amount of homework each school year. Assume that there is homework in each subject each day, even if it means studying to review material. Students should expect to have homework in most subjects every night. Students should work on long-term assignments and read over the weekend even if a daily assignment has not been assigned. On rare occasions, a teacher may schedule a test or due date for a long-term assignment on a Monday. This is usually done to avoid students having too many tests or assignments due on the same day later in the week. Homework should take about a half hour for each subject. Please contact your child’s teacher if you feel that your child is spending too much time on each assignment. All students are responsible for recording assignments and completing homework. All makeup work must be completed in a timely manner. Students will be expected to use the student planner to keep a record of daily and long-term assignments. Parents and students should consult the ‘Teacher Site’ on the SFDS website for information about assignments and due dates. Questions about homework should be directed to the appropriate teachers and/or advisor. Learning Labs Learning Labs are applied study sessions proctored by advisors. It is a time for students to complete class work, meet with teachers for review and support, and develop learning strategies with their advisors in a structured forum. Counseling The school counselor supports upper school students, nurturing and supporting the emotional health of each child. The counselor supports a breadth of developmental, cognitive, social-emotional, and behavioral needs. A collaborative approach involving students, teachers, and parents is the cornerstone of the counselor’s work. The counselor works with classroom teachers, the learning resource department, and division head to evaluate and address the needs of individual students or groups of students. The counselors are qualified and experienced in addressing issues around crisis intervention, protective services, and critical medical and family situations. 6

Student Services and Academic Support, continued Affinity Groups Affinity groups are one way to enable children to see their identity reflected in the school community, to know that people “like me” are full citizens at school. Affinity groups are open to all students. There are currently five affinity groups: African-American, Latino, Asian-American, adoptive families, and LGBT families. Educational Records Bureau (ERB) Comprehensive Testing Program Each fifth through seventh grade student takes a series of tests measuring reasoning skills and academic achievement, designed by the Educational Records Bureau. These standardized tests provide information which can be helpful in understanding individual learning styles and in assessing our curriculum. Parents wishing to discuss test results may request a conference with the LRP department or head of upper school. In lieu of the ERB exam, eighth grade students take the College Work Readiness Assessment (CWRA). CWRA assesses critical thinking skills and real-world problem solving. Integrated Technology At San Francisco Day School, technology is integrated into the curriculum as part of our commitment to helping the students of today become the critical thinkers and creative problem solvers of tomorrow. For us, technology devices and software are tools that support what we do every day in pursuit of academic excellence. Our program will always be evolving to respond to the needs of our students. In 2013-2014, our integrated technology program features one iPad for each student in grades 6-8. Our program will begin very deliberately and carefully. The iPad itself will be “handed out” to students for daily work beginning in mid-October. In advance of that moment, students will receive digital identity instruction on effective and safe use of technology in age-appropriate ways. We will partner with parents at events scheduled before then so that all families may feel prepared. This Acceptable Use Policy (AUP) is a tool to help us, as a community, realize our expectation that all technology use remains consistent with the school’s behavioral expectations and policies. Ultimately, the details of this Acceptable Use Policy can be modified by the administration as technology and technology use changes. Academic and behavioral policies and expectations are applicable to all technology use on and off campus. Each student in sixth through eighth grade must agree to abide by this Technology Acceptable Use Policy (AUP) in order to have access to San Francisco Day School’s networks, technology, and Internet services and to be assigned a tablet. We are here to help. Please ask us questions. Students are encouraged to seek out support from teachers and the technology team as appropriate. Our web site has more information on our department and work. Our helpdesk at has a number of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs). E-mail us at


Student Services and Academic Support, continued Integrated Technology -- Acceptable Use Policy Standards of Conduct Students and parents are reminded that each student is a representative of the school when online. All students abide by standards of behavior. These standards include, but are not limited to, the following: • Courtesy: Users may not send, or encourage others to send, discourteous or abusive messages. Remember that humor and satire are subject to misinterpretation. • Use of Appropriate Language: Vulgarity, obscenity, and other language that might be offensive or harmful to others are strictly prohibited. • Being Considerate: Users should be mindful of their responsibility to avoid practices which may disrupt or disturb others. •

Honesty: Academic integrity, online citizenship, and individual responsibility are cornerstones of appropriate use.

Privacy and Monitoring SFDS will monitor tablet and other technology use using a variety of methods — including electronic remote access — to ensure compliance with the School’s legal and ethical use policies. Our goal is to have a safe community. Students expressly waive any right of privacy. Student technology devices, including mobile phones, may be reviewed. Personal Technology Brought to School The School assigns tablets to students for their use on school projects and assignments. The use of personal laptops, mobile phones, or other technology devices on our campus may be permitted in some circumstances and must be consistent with this AUP. Security Security and digital safety is a high priority in our community. If a security problem is found, a teacher should be notified at once. Students should never use another individual’s account or device. Students should never reveal their home addresses, personal phone numbers, or the addresses and phone numbers of other students and members of the SFDS community. Plagiarism and Academic Integrity All student work should represent the student’s own thoughts, interpretations, and conclusions. All references to the work of others should be cited accurately and completely. The school’s academic integrity policy extends to all forms of online information gathering and use; copying other people’s work, whether intentionally or unintentionally, is considered plagiarism and will result in academic and disciplinary consequences.


Student Services and Academic Support, continued

Quick Tips for Monitoring at Home

Integrated Technology -- Acceptable Use Policy

• Agree on a time limit (20-30 minutes), use a timer and stick to it. Kids pay attention to what you say you’ll do and what you actually do. Wireless Network and Internet Use • Use one device at a time and have your kids do the same. If you are watching a family movie, Students will have access to the School’s wireless network. Student use of the make sure all family members are fully engaged wireless network must be consistent with the School’s educational purposes in the movie, and not texting or checking email. and school standards. • Have a Cell Phone Computer Curfew (CCC). Agree as a family or with a group of families on Even though the School’s internet is filtered and monitored, we recognize a set time each night to shut down devices. This that anyone who logs on to the Internet has potential access to (1) a could be at 9:00 p.m. and could be called “9CCC.” worldwide network of computer users (through email, social network sites, etc.); (2) public and private databases; (3) a vast array of library and academic • Review email and social network settings as a family to make sure adequate privacy boundaries resources; as well as (4) various kinds of offensive or dangerous material. are established. Remind your child that life Although all network access is subject to monitoring and regulation by online is “public by default, and private through effort.” the Technology Department and administrative staff, the school cannot guarantee that its supervision measures will prevent improper student • Check and recheck search histories (even usage or student access to objectionable online material. Our goal is to if your child knows how to clear the search history). develop students’ internal judgment by educating them about responsible and appropriate use. When in doubt about content, students are asked to • Discuss media creation vs. consumption. Kids need to understand and monitor their use of immediately seek assistance from their teachers. digital media and distinguish between creating and consuming. There is a difference between playing “Xbox” and making an iMovie. E-Mail and Social Media • Recognize that digital media is social. For Student should use their SFDS-provided email account for all school example, “Minecraft” is a social experience communications. and offers engagement. Just because your child is on a screen does not mean that they are not During instructional activities, electronic communication (email, social interacting with their peers. networking, electronic chatting, instant messaging, or video chatting) is to • Text and email as a family so that your child be focused on the activity at hand. Non-school related e-communication sees you modeling appropriate language and is not allowed during the school day unless a student specifically obtains information sharing on electronic devices. permission from a teacher. • Have your child teach you about new Students who post inappropriate material about other students or applications and programs. Play the novice, and individuals on social networks and personal web pages, whether in or out allow your child to be in the driver’s seat. of school, are violating our standards of acceptable behavior. Students • Be open with where you stand on safety and are responsible for all that they say and do online. Posting personal privacy. Have your child place their passwords communications without the author or subject’s consent is not acceptable. in a sealed envelope. Tell your child that if you become worried about their safety, you will open the envelope and look at their accounts. School Community • Be up front with your child that you will read Students will be held responsible for anything they post on the Internet that and check their email, in the same way that you will be sitting next to them in a few years when involves the School and its community. The School may take disciplinary they learn how to drive. Make it clear that you action as a result of inappropriate or offensive postings, even if this activity are there to support and guide your child as he or has occurred off campus. she learns how to email and text. • Talk to the parents of your child’s friends. Agree on a set of norms to be used on play dates and sleepovers. If you are uncomfortable with your child seeing a PG-13 movie or playing an M-rated game, tell the other parent. Better to be open in the moment than frustrated later. 9

Student Services and Academic Support, continued Integrated Technology -- Acceptable Use Policy Using the iPad Day-to-Day iTunes Account and Apps. In partnership with the School’s Technology Department, parents and students will create an iTunes account for use on the school-assigned iPad. We encourage you to explore new apps that will enhance your learning, curiosity, and passions. Videos and games are not used during the school day except at the direction of a teacher. Games and other non-school apps may not be downloaded or installed while on campus. You may only install games in conversation with your parents. More details on iTunes accounts at SFDS: iCloud and Backup. You should back up your iPad to iCloud. This will enable periodic backups so that if your iPad breaks or is lost, your data may be recoverable. You will use eBackpack as permanent storage for your schoolwork. SFDS cannot be responsible for lost work but we will work with you to create good strategies for managing your data. More information: Management. iPads are configured by SFDS. In order for the school to provide resources to students, management profiles are installed. Under no circumstances should a student remove these profiles. If a student discovers that these profiles (see Settings> General>Profiles) are missing, he or she should speak with the Technology Department. Jailbreaking or other unauthorized modifications of the iPad are not permitted. Photo, Videos, and Audio Recording. iPads are equipped with a camera and microphone, allowing student content creation through video, image, and audio capture. At no time should a student record anyone without permission from the individuals involved. In addition, you must receive permission from the parties involved before publishing content. Content and Communication. The iPads should be used to access and store appropriate materials only. Students should be aware of the potential for their communication to be shared and/or misinterpreted. Any use of the iPad that involves inappropriate, unkind, or mean behavior will result in disciplinary action. Responsibility for Damage. The student is responsible for maintaining a 100 percent working tablet at all times. The student shall use reasonable care to ensure that the tablet is not damaged. In the event of damage not covered by the manufacturer’s warranty, the Student and Parent will be billed for the cost of the repair by the school. Whenever possible, the Technology Department will work to provide a “loaner” tablet. Responsibility for Loss. In the event the Tablet is lost or stolen, the Student and Parent will be billed the cost of replacement. Actions Required in the Event of Damage or Loss. Report the problem immediately to the Technology Department. If the tablet is stolen or vandalized while not at SFDS or at a school-sponsored event, the Parent shall file a police report. Balance. Do not use your iPad during recess and break unless you are doing work in a classroom required by your teacher. Carrying and Storage. Keep iPads stored securely in your locker when not needed. Do not store iPads in backpacks weighed down by books. Charging. You are expected to come to school everyday with a fully charged iPad. Make sure that you set up a charging station at your house that will help you easily charge the device and remember to bring it to school each day. There is not enough time in the day for you to charge your iPad at school. You are still responsible for doing your work even if your iPad is not charged. Cases. You are required to use the school-provided case. You can customize your case so that you can recognize it when it is closed. If you require a case with a keyboard, speak with the Technology Department first. More information on approved alternative cases:


IV. Co-Curricular and Extracurricular Programs Assembly Program The School offers a community-wide assembly program that primarily centers on issues of cultural competency and celebrates the diverse backgrounds of our students. Holidays are a good opportunity for this exploration. For example, in November we celebrate our families of Indian descent with a Diwali presentation, and in January, we celebrate our families of Chinese descent through our celebration of Lunar New Year. Student Congress Members of the Student Congress have opportunities for leadership, structured and purposeful collaboration, and studentdirected initiatives. In fifth through seventh grade there are six students from each grade elected to the Congress and eight students elected from the eighth grade, two of whom will be Co-Majority Leaders. All students elected to the Congress will serve on one of five mixed grade level committees, each one with a distinct focus. This approach fosters working partnerships across grade levels. To be eligible to run for and serve in Student Congress, students must be in good academic and behavioral standing. Mr. Young leads Student Congress. Outdoor Education/Global Education In grades five through eight, the school provides a unique and comprehensive outdoor education program as part of the students’ educational experience. Full participation is expected of all students. Mr. Manton directs the Outdoor Education program. •

Fifth Grade: Marin Headlands

Sixth Grade: Point Reyes

Seventh Grade: High Sierras

Eighth Grade: Puerto Rico

Service Learning As stated in the School’s mission statement, we strive to “educate, nurture, and inspire girls and boys of diverse backgrounds to embrace ethical values and to become active contributors to their communities.” To that end, the service learning program provides opportunities for students to become active members of the San Francisco community while working for the common good. Because the school seeks to instill a sense of stewardship and good citizenship, service learning is a vital part of the academic program at all grade levels. Through active involvement in their various communities (local, state, national, and international), students learn the importance of civic engagement and responsibility as well as some of the ways that social, political, and economic factors shape community life. Students at all grade levels are expected to contribute to the larger community through six service learning projects a year. Mr. Wilcox is the Director of Service Learning. Cornerstones Students participate in a leadership and citizenship course during the upper school years. Units of study include cognitive science labs, learning portfolios, digital identity, global citizenship, diversity and cultural competence, and habits of mind. Performing Arts In sixth through eighth grade, students participate in semester long Performing Arts electives. Examples of areas of study include filmmaking, musical theater, guitar, rock band, theater, dance, open-art studio, chorus, performance writing, cello, poetry, and jazz -- among other offerings. 11

Co-Curricular and Extracurricular Programs, continued Athletics In fifth through eighth grade, students participate in competitive volleyball, basketball, cross-country, and soccer. These teams compete against other schools in the Bay Area Independent Athletic League (BAIAL). Sports are available for both boys and girls and consist of multiple teams so that every child has the opportunity to play. The athletics program offers team sports to learn fundamental skills while emphasizing sportsmanship, teamwork, and fun. The program is designed to complement the School’s academic program by challenging each student through active participation and commitment; specifically students who play on a team are expected to attend all practices. Coaches will assign students to teams based on skill level and may group players from different grades on the same team. After a practice or home game ends, the coach will supervise athletes for fifteen minutes and after that time students will be required to attend AEP. Participation in sports is contingent on satisfactory performance in academic classes, good citizenship, and trustworthy behavior. If you have questions about the athletic program, contact Jason Tognetti, the athletic director. Chorus and Jazz Early morning jazz band and choral studies electives are offered. Jazz band is open to seventh and eighth grade students with instrumental music experience. Students in fifth through eighth grade may attend chorus. Classes start at 7:15 a.m. Students participating in early morning classes should go to their lockers before class and be prepared to go to the first period class immediately after being dismissed from practice. By so doing, these students will avoid being tardy for first period classes. Homework Café and After-School Study Hall The school provides an after-school tutoring program, Homework Café, for students needing individual support for homework and skill remediation. Homework Café is a fee-based program. The library is also available for after-school study hall from 3:15-5:00 p.m. on Monday; 3:30-5:00 p.m.Tuesday-Thursday, and Fridays from 3:15-4:30 p.m. Students must be signed into one of these offerings fifteen minutes after school dismissal. Students are never allowed to be unsupervised after school.


V. The Role of Parents Parent Expectations The School relies on an open and constructive working relationship with all parents. SFDS reserves the right to terminate or not renew a student’s enrollment agreement if the School reasonably concludes that the actions or conduct of a parent or guardian make such a relationship impossible or otherwise seriously interfere with the School’s operations, neighborhood relationships, and/or educational purposes. No Rescue Policy In an effort to promote independence and responsibility, the School encourages a policy based on the premise that choices have natural consequences -- both positive and negative. Students often learn best when they learn from their mistakes. If a student forgets an item at home or fails to complete and assignment, for example, parents are asked not to bring items to school. Allowing students to work out solutions to their challenges on their own or with a caring adult at school builds confidence and resilience. Supporting Middle School Students •

Assume there is homework every day.

Encourage your child to use his or her planner for all assignments, tests, projects and meetings. Review the planner with your child to keep in the loop.

From time to time, help your child clean out the backpack and file papers.

Set aside an area at home for homework that is well-lit, free from distractions, uncluttered, and stocked with supplies.

Help your child to be focused on homework by not permitting your child to do instant messaging and text messaging while working.

Keep a large calendar posted on the wall for marking long-term projects and tests.

Look over your child’s notes. Help your child learn to take quality notes. The goal is to summarize and write down the most important information. Ask your child to tell you in his/her own words what they learned in each class.

Don’t panic if your child receives a low grade on a test. The demands are quite different than they were in lower school, and your child is learning different strategies for preparing for these exams. You may wish to contact your child’s teacher or advisor for additional techniques and help for your child.

Parent-Teacher Conferences Formal conference days with classroom teachers and/or advisors are scheduled twice a year. In addition to the parent-teacher conferences, parents are encouraged to keep in contact with their children’s advisor when questions or concerns arise. Where To Go With Questions Your child’s advisor is the best resource for questions about your child’s life at school (eg. curriculum, academic expectations, personal and social concerns). Upper school parents who have spoken with the advisor and need further assistance, or who have questions about a particular class, should contact the teacher directly.


San Francisco Day School | 350 Masonic Avenue | San Francisco, CA 94118 |

Upper School Handbook 2013-2014  
Upper School Handbook 2013-2014  

This handbook aims to outline expectations, support systems, policies, and programs to support the partnership between school and home at SF...