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University High School welcomes students of demonstrated motivation and ability to engage in an education that fosters responsibility and the spirited pursuit of knowledge. We are a school where adults believe in the promise of every student, and together we work to build and sustain a community of diverse backgrounds, perspectives, and talents. UHS challenges each individual to live a life of integrity, inquiry, and purpose larger than the self.

02 - Who We Are

03 - What We Value

04 - Inspired by Inquiry 06 - Grounded in Care

08 - Committed to Integrity

10 - Empowered by Agency

12 - Enriched by Interconnection 14 - Beyond UHS

16 - Applying to UHS 17 - Affording UHS

At UHS, we embrace education as a transformational experience, empowering our students to invent and sustain their own vision of success and sense of purpose, while also prioritizing wellness and self-care. They, in turn, grow into motivated learners and creators, excited to make their mark on the world. We believe that collaboration among people of diverse backgrounds and life experiences is essential to deep learning, and we challenge our community to engage in learning, reflection, and growth on all levels—not just for four years of high school, but for a lifetime.

Who We Are 410









year founded

1973 middle schools represented

faculty members

total students

of students from religiously affiliated and public schools

of faculty have advanced degrees

self-identified students of color

of students awarded $3.2M in financial aid for the 2019-20 school year


self-identified faculty of color

zip codes represented

languages spoken at home

Average number of years teaching at UHS


What We Value INQUIRY: Being curious, open-minded, and courageous; seeking out different

perspectives and learning from one another; and striving to deepen our understanding of the evolving world

CARE: Investing wholeheartedly in our work and in one another; cultivating empathy, compassion, mindfulness, and resilience; recognizing and seeking to address injustice


Being truthful, open, honest, and reflective; honoring the wholeness of each individual; acting to fulfill a purpose larger than the self


Taking risks and growing from the experience; pursuing our passions with confidence, creativity, and humility; discovering and making real our own distinctive and evolving expressions of excellence


Building and sustaining an intentionally diverse, equitable, and inclusive school; engaging as socially responsible citizens in communities both near and far; recognizing that we form a web through our common humanity: what affects one person affects us all

Inspired by


“Learning can look like magic: you turn around one day, and suddenly your young child is reading, catching a ball, or doing math in their head. Meaningful educational bursts occur within the context and confluence of interest, courage, effort, and guidance. This spirit of inquiry is a powerful engine at University High School – teachers can walk into the classroom on the first day expecting students to dive in, headlong.” Byron Philhour, dean of teaching & learning

e want our students to be inspired by both their teachers and their peers—to think critically, to ask tough questions, and to explore their own interests. Our program is built for students excited to delve into the more than 100 courses we offer, then forge their own path. University’s Independent Study Program is a prime example of how students can be the architects of their own education. Each year, over 100 students select a topic they’re passionate about, partner with a faculty advisor to plan a semester of work, and they’re off! And we’ve laid the foundation for their exploration: Our faculty are experts in both their subject area and working closely with adolescents, and our schedule encourages a healthy approach to pace and workload. The possibilities in the classroom are nearly endless (in fact, nearly two-thirds of our courses are electives) and the work we pursue is only possible because of the care that we show one another.

Numbers That Matter

Sample Electives

118 Courses Offered

Industrial Design

96 Electives Offered

Literature of Imprisonment

28 Advanced Placement and Honors classes

Chaos Theory

Average class size: 15 Each class meets 3 times weekly, for a total of 190 minutes 100+ Independent Study projects per year

Modern Middle East

Sample Independent Study Projects Electronic Music Printmaking The Female Experience Through Short Story

Magical Realism From the Global South and East

Writing in the Fantasy Genre

AP Computer Science

LGBTQ: What Does it Mean?

Contemporary French Cinema

Study of Python

American Sign Language

Grounded in


“My mentor and my peer advisors have been essential resources for me. The UHS community has many faculty and staff members who are willing to provide any help for you, and also students and friends are so caring and understanding of any situations.� Uma, Class of 2020

t UHS, students are known, cared for, and supported—it’s at the center of everything we do. To ensure that we encourage our young peoples’ various endeavors and their well-

each week for students to connect with their mentor.

Numbers That Matter

Our belief in the promise of every student is epitomized by our

7:1 student-to-faculty ratio

being, we start school at 9:00 a.m. three days a week, build in hours of unstructured free time, and set aside ninety minutes

nationally recognized mentoring program. Grounded in extensive research on adolescent development and cognitive neuroscience, we’ve developed a four-year plan designed to help our students transition and thrive in high school—academically, socially, and emotionally. Every student is placed in a “cluster” and is matched with a faculty mentor trained in how to best support them and given the time to foster an authentic connection. The result? Confident students who know they are an important part of our community at University.

33 mentors who spend 100+ hours in training Average cluster size: 13 4 hours per week spent by ninthgrade mentees with their mentors 255 structured minutes per week provided to students to meet with faculty 34 Peer advisors, who are juniors and seniors who work closely with each cluster of younger students

Committed to


“People at UHS quickly begin to understand that the accomplishments themselves are less important than the ongoing pursuit of the things that you love. It’s an alternative way of saying, ‘it’s all about the journey.’”

Julian, Class of 2018

ome as you are and expand your thinking and your perspective. At UHS, integrity doesn’t just mean honesty and character—we consider it honoring the wholeness of each individual. We intentionally make time and space for students to think about who they are, their place

Facts That Matter Number of years students take classes in Human Development: 4

in the world, and how they can contribute in ways that hold

Human Development areas of focus:

significance for them. The Human Development Department

• Learning and metacognition

at UHS, a fully recognized academic department, is part of every UHS student’s experience for 100 minutes a week, throughout all four years of high school. The curriculum is designed to support the cognitive, social, and emotional development of each student by creating opportunities for experiential learning. By the time they leave University, students have a strong understanding of themselves, how they learn, and how they can create meaningful lives.

• Cultural competency

• Mind and body wellness

• Community engagement • College counseling

UHS Council on Honor and Integrity: A student-led group charged with promoting integrity at the school. Every student agrees to adhere to the UHS Honor Pledge at the start of each year.

Empowered by


“The most unique thing about UHS, in my opinion, is the fact that people are unafraid to try new things and explore what they are passionate about, while at the same time supporting others who do the same. I love and miss this part of UHS immensely.� Gracie, Class of 2017

e are a community of committed artists, athletes, activists, and volunteers— University High School is not a place for the complacent, and we encourage our students to experiment. Driven by their intellectual curiosity, our students take charge of their education, seeking out myriad perspectives and interests both in the classroom and beyond. Student leadership and initiative are at the core of our school, and it shows: Over 80 percent of students participate in interscholastic athletics each year; we put on three annual theater productions, perform four concerts, and host six art openings; and each week, over fifty student-led clubs hold meetings throughout campus. Our community is passionate, and that passion drives us individually in numerous varying and fulfilling directions, making for a rich and dynamic school.

Numbers That Matter 50+ student-led clubs 33 sports teams in 14 different sports 12 league championships won in 2018–2019 84% of UHS students play on at least one team per year 3 annual theater productions a year 80% of students take more than the two-year arts requirement

Enriched by INTERCONNECTION “UHS fosters compassion, raises students’ consciousness about local community issues, and supports students in connecting their interests, strengths, and passions with the greater community in numerous positive ways. The work is at the heart of the school’s mission to infuse a ‘purpose larger than the self’ in our students.” Mollie Crittenden, director of community engagement

e believe that the diversity of backgrounds, perspectives, and aspirations in our community are what make UHS extraordinary. We are proud to be a school in and of the San Francisco Bay Area, and we strive not merely to benefit from the variety of opportunities available to us, but also to contribute. With interconnection as one of our school’s core values, our students first gain a deeper understanding of the circumstances and context of our surrounding community, then get involved. We partner with over 150 non-profit organizations, including ALS Association, Glide Memorial Church, SF Marin Food Bank, and the YMCA. One of the organizations closest to the heart of our school is Summerbridge, which is located on University’s campus and is the founding site of the Breakthrough Collaborative, a national network of community-based organizations committed to educational equity. Over 100 UHS students volunteer as tutors with Summerbridge each year. By contributing to the well-being of the Bay Area, we are helping to shape civic-minded and responsible citizens at UHS.

Numbers That Matter 150+ non-profit community partners 100 senior community engagement projects completed annually 6,000+ community engagement hours completed by UHS students in 2017–2018 100+ UHS student volunteers at Summerbridge annually

Beyond UHS y the end of their time at UHS, our graduates are inspired, confident, and ready for their next adventure. With the support of our experienced and supportive college counselors, students map out a path forward that best matches their values, passions, and aspirations. While we take pride in the broad range of excellent colleges and universities our students choose to attend, we are most proud of who they are when they graduate: individuals ready to live lives of integrity, inquiry, and purpose larger than the self. Below is a list of colleges where five or more UHS students have matriculated between 2015-2019: Claremont McKenna College


Cornell University


Northeastern University


Princeton University


Oberlin College of Arts and Sciences


Tulane University


University of Pennsylvania


Duke University


University of Puget Sound


Boston University


Bates College


Northwestern University


Georgetown University


Brown University


Middlebury College


University of Southern California


Pitzer College


University of California, Los Angeles


Scripps College


Columbia University


Wesleyan University


Stanford University


Whitman College


Yale University


Williams College


Washington University in St. Louis


Carleton College


University of California, Berkeley


Vassar College


New York University


Amherst College


Harvard College


Colby College


University of Chicago


Colgate University


Tufts University


In mapping out our future, UHS has taken a bold step in committing to becoming a national leader in shifting high school culture from one that is limited to grades and scores, wins and losses, to one that prizes the journey of discovery, the commitment of care and community, and the value of diversity of perspectives and experiences. Rather than conforming to a fixed definition of excellence, UHS students are afforded the agency to invent and sustain their own vision of excellence. We see this play out as our students engage in independent intellectual pursuits, discover their dramatic and political voices, and help value leadership and sportsmanship over victory. Time and time again, UHS alumni tell me that they credit their years at UHS for inspiring them to live a life of the mind, as well as to lead lives of creativity, consequence, and commitment to the greater good. Julia Russell Eells, head of school

Applying to UHS e hope you consider learning more about UHS and the opportunities that abound here. Come to an open house, sign up for a campus visit, or check out a play or an athletic event. Here’s how to get started: • Visit sfuhs.org to learn more about our school community! • To see important dates and deadlines, sign up for an open house or campus visit, or to start the application, you must create a Ravenna-Hub account by visiting ravenna-hub.com, and complete the Student Profile. Find UHS in the School Directory and click, “Apply.” • Hear directly from UHS students about their experiences in our community on the Admissions Ambassadors blog. Visit ‘On The Courtyard’ at sfuhs.org/admissions. For details and updates on our application process, please don’t hesitate to be in touch with the Admissions Office by phone (415-447-3101) or email (admissions@sfuhs.org). We look forward to getting to know you!

Affording UHS t UHS, we are committed to access and affordability. We work to build and sustain our community by intentionally seeking, enrolling, and fully supporting a student body representative of the Bay Area, regardless of financial means. Varied perspectives, backgrounds, and experiences among our students and faculty are critical components of a UHS education. To fulfill this commitment, UHS maintains a strong financial aid program to meet the demonstrated need of our families. For the 2019-2020 school year, UHS awarded nearly $3.2 million in need-based financial aid to 24 percent of our students; the average grant was $34,064, covering 69 percent of tuition.

We encourage you to learn more about financial aid at UHS by visiting the Affording UHS section of our website at sfuhs.org/affording.

Office of Admissions and Financial Aid San Francisco University High School 3065 Jackson Street San Francisco, CA 94115 Tel: 415.447.3101 Email: admissions@sfuhs.org sfuhs.org/admissions Printed on 30% Recycled Paper

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UHS Viewbook 2019-20  

UHS Viewbook 2019-20  

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