Here you can find responses to some of the most
common inquiries we receive.
What is Spanish Infusion?
Spanish infusion is different than immersion. It is not sink or swim. Infusion surrounds our students with language and culture in Spanish, while core academics are taught in English. Half our faculty are native Spanish speakers, and at least one class a day is taught only in Spanish. All year, students learn about the diversity of Spanish-speaking countries through art, history, and cultural experiences. By 8th grade the vast majority of our students are conversationally proficient and will test into the advanced levels of high school Spanish.
How much time is devoted to formal Spanish language instruction?
45 minutes of Spanish class daily, taught by a native Spanish-speaking teacher in an immersion format.
1 hour of Spanish class daily, taught by a native Spanish-speaking teacher in an immersion format.
8 hours per week, which includes 5 hours of Spanish class and 3 hours of an elective class, both taught by a native Spanish-speaking teacher in an immersion format.
How does SÍ School differentiate teaching and learning?
With an average teacher-to-student ratio of 1 to 9, our teachers know their students well and provide classroom instruction at a pace and level appropriate to each individual learner. They recognize that students learn at varying rates and have different primary modes of acquiring information. Some students are more visual learners while others are more auditory learners and some need a combination to fully grasp the material. Lessons are taught using a variety of modalities, such as one-on-one instruction, small group work, and/or combined work with visual and auditory cues. A Learning Services professional works directly with students as well as mentors teachers in specific strategies to meet individual students’ needs. Our teachers approach all students and their learning with a growth mindset that helps children realize their full potential and develop a “can-do” attitude.
What is SÍ School’s homework policy?
At Sì School, we believe that there is a place for meaningful homework in elementary school. Meaningful homework serves several purposes: It can support learning, establish routine, provide extra practice, and promote timeliness, accountability, and prideful work. We believe that a gradual introduction of homework is developmentally the best practice for students. In kindergarten, children will read nightly with a parent/guardian for at least 15 to 20 minutes. The importance of developing the habit and enjoyment of reading is paramount to all learning. There may be occasional special projects during the kindergarten year in Math and Language Arts in addition to the daily reading.
Beginning in first grade, homework is assigned in core subjects to support student learning both as review and as preparation for the next day. The expectation of nightly reading will continue during every year at Spanish Infusión School. Homework increases each year in developmentally appropriate increments, allowing students to feel pride in accomplishing work at home and acquiring skills of organization, time management, and accountability. By the time students are in Upper School, there is often 20 minutes of homework nightly in each core subject.
Overall, Spanish Infusión School understands homework to be an important part of a student’s educational experience, as long as it’s also balanced with time for other extracurricular activities, healthy rest, and quality family time
How does SÍ School manage student behavior and expectations?
At SÍ School, we believe that school should be a safe, healthy, and respectful learning environment for all community members. The SÍ School educational experience nurtures each student’s academic, cognitive, physical, and social/emotional development. It is our expectation that students regularly display the values of kindness, integrity, respect, and responsibility.
We recognize that, at times, students may veer away from these expected behaviors. When this occurs, faculty and staff use Positive Guidance strategies to redirect student behavior. Positive Guidance utilizes positive tone and strategies, including reasoning, choice-giving, negotiation, and conflict resolution. The long-term goals of Positive Guidance are that students will internalize right from wrong, develop social competence and healthy peer relationships, and learn to self-regulate behavior while building self-esteem.
Positive Guidance focuses on helping students learn from their mistakes rather than punishing them for making mistakes. We want students to understand that consequences are a natural part of any behavior. However, there is a big difference between a “consequence” and a “punishment.” Whereas a punishment comes across as, “You were/are bad, therefore you are being punished,” a consequence provides an explanation around making an unwise choice. The student can learn from the experience to make a better choice next time. As part of this approach, we believe it is important for students, parents/guardians, and staff to have consistent, community-wide protocols in place to help redirect behaviors and drive follow-up conversations and progress.
What is the role of technology at SÍ School?
At SÍ School, technology is used to support and enhance learning in and out of the classroom. Our goal is for students to gain the skills and knowledge to learn effectively and live productively in a digital world. In the Lower School, teachers use SmartBoards, and students occasionally use iPads and MacBooks to support their learning. In the Upper School, teachers continue the use of SmartBoards to support teaching, and students are provided with a personal Chromebook.
SÍ School has partnered with Planet Bravo to provide students with a weekly technology class. Students are introduced to mouse and keyboard skills, online safety, academic games, 3D modeling, online creations, animation, slideshow creation, coding, podcasting, web design, and movie production.
What is the role of social-emotional learning at SÍ School?
At SÍ School, we believe that a sound academic program must be complemented by a strong social/emotional component. We use Responsive Classroom and Mindfulness on a daily basis in all grades to support making good choices and resolving conflicts and to guide students to be centered and present to learn. If a conflict arises, students are coached to be active listeners and express their feelings in a respectful way with the ultimate goal of achieving a resolution.
When students feel physically and emotionally safe, they are in a receptive space to learn. When they feel an acceptance of who they are, and know that it is okay to make mistakes, it gives them the confidence and courage to fully participate in the learning experience
How many students are in a class?
Average 1:9 teacher-to-student ratio
- No more than 22 students per class in kindergarten through 4th grade, with two teachers in the classroom
- No more than 22 students per class in grades 5 to 8, with one teacher in the classroom
What high school admissions support and guidance does SÍ School offer to students and families?
We offer a full guidance program to every 8th-grade student as they search for the best high school fit.
High school support starts in the spring semester of 7th grade with a class-wide family meeting that provides an overview of the admission process. Our goal is to help parents navigate the process and begin the 8th-grade year with knowledge and confidence. In addition, the High School Counselor meets individually with families and students to learn about their preferences, interests, and goals, as well as to review the timeline of the admissions process.
During 8th grade, students will participate in a High School Prep class to review the steps of the process, receive support with their essays, learn test-taking strategies, talk about visit expectations, hone interview skills, and share experiences.
The High School Counselor is in close communication with students and families during the entire process, as well as with high school admissions directors.
How diverse is the community at SÍ School?
At SÍ School, we strive to welcome and celebrate families from all backgrounds and experiences. Our efforts remain focused on outreach to ensure that all families see SÍ School as an exciting option for their child’s educational experience.
- 24% of students self-identify as students of color
- 35% of students receive financial aid
- 50% of faculty are native Spanish speakers from countries all over the world
- 15% of students are native/heritage Spanish speakers
- 11% of families identify as LGBTQ
Does SÍ School offer extended care?
Además, meaning “in addition to,” is SÍ School’s before-school and after-school program. Además is offered to students each day that school is in session. It operates Monday through Friday, in the mornings from 7:30 to 8:30 a.m. and in the afternoons from 3:30 to 6 p.m. Families can purchase individual Además hours so students can attend as needed. Además students engage in a variety of fun and interesting extracurricular activities, including art projects, science experiments, games, cooking, and more. The goal is to provide educational experiences in a recreation-based environment, while tapping into our students’ natural curiosities and interests. In Además, teachers work closely with the students in a casual setting that is mutually rewarding and allows for long-term projects. Además is a place where students explore, experiment, and enjoy themselves. The afternoon program includes a snack, outdoor play, indoor activities, homework club, tech time, and more.
Spanish in Además: The Además program is a great opportunity for Spanish language enrichment. The teachers communicate with students primarily in Spanish throughout the program. At times, English may also be used by the teachers to provide instructions and guidance based on students’ language abilities.
Además Camp: Además Camp is offered from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. during many of our school holidays and vacation breaks for a daily rate. There are always adventurous projects and activities planned, often related to cultural celebrations or seasonal themes.
Club Activities: Clubs are also offered after school between the hours of 3:30 and 5:30 p.m. Club offerings may include Tae Kwon Do, school newspaper, flamenco dancing, cooking, private piano or guitar lessons, Acrosports, chess, jewelry making, etc. Club registration and fees are separate from Además.
Can you tell me more about SÍ School’s new building?
We will remain at our current location, 117 Diamond Street, for the 2019–20 school year. After working hard to find our future home, we decided that purchasing our own building will provide the best long-term financial security for our families and staff. As a result, we have signed a purchase and sale agreement (PSA) for a building at 3150 16th Street at Albion Street, in San Francisco’s Mission District. This building and the Mission Dolores neighborhood are the perfect location for us to fulfill our mission of providing a comprehensive K–8 education in English and Spanish.
How can parents be involved at SÍ School?
The Spanish Infusión School values parent/ guardian participation. All families are different in terms of time and talent, yet the school makes every effort to provide opportunities for parents/ guardians to be involved and engaged. In the early years, parents may volunteer to chaperone field trips, assist in classrooms with special projects, be a “mystery reader” in the classroom, and/or serve as a room parent.
As students move into the Upper School, there is a natural need to feel more independent and as such there are fewer opportunities for direct in-class parent/guardian volunteering. Attending sporting events or field trips, chaperoning dances, or assisting with the Science Fair are great ways for parents/guardians to be involved.
The Parent Advisory Committee (PAC) comprises a variety of subcommittees that contribute to the life of the school, such as the Garden Committee, Sports Committee, Book Fair Committee, and the Room Parent Committee. One of the most important committees, the Auction Committee, plans the spring auction that brings our adult community together to support our financial aid program.
What is Comunidad ? What does community look like at SÍ School?
At SÍ School, our strength is our community. Visitors to campus frequently comment on the school’s welcoming atmosphere. Families describe our school community as authentic, close-knit, and loving.
Creating and sustaining a diverse, inclusive, and supportive community is central to our program. We strive to ensure that every student feels safe at school. Our teachers are trained in social-emotional pedagogy and display a deep sense of love and caring. It is our intention that everyone feels welcome and part of our dynamic community.
We create time for our students, teachers, and parents/guardians to gather on a regular basis, at Comunidad. Each Monday, the Lower School formally comes together at Comunidad to showcase their learning. All grades present their work to the rest of the Lower School throughout the year. This is also a time to share announcements and school news. Upper School students and their teachers gather monthly for Comunidad and, on occasion, the entire school will meet.
It is common for parents/guardians to walk their children into school and arrive a little early for afternoon pick-up so they can socialize in the lobby. Students make friends not only in their own grade but also in the grades above and below. Parents/guardians also create friendships across grade levels. Involvement in the Parent Advisory Council (PAC) and on parent/guardian committees furthers these community ties. When students see their parents/guardians engaged, they actually do better in school.
What do you mean by “parent partnership”?
The partnership between school staff and parents/guardians is a key factor in a student’s positive educational experience and success. Open communication between home and school will greatly enhance the school’s ability to support students as they grow socially, emotionally, physically, and academically. It also sends a powerful message to the student to see their parent or guardian invested directly in their learning environment, well-being, and academic progress, as well as foster relationships with other important adults in their life: teachers, coaches, advisors, counselors, and learning specialists
What is the cost for tuition? Are there other fees?
Tuition covers all expected fees for the school year with the exception of optional TRP (Tuition Refund Program) and optional tech insurance for Upper School students. Seventh-grade students have traditionally participated in a Costa Rica trip to further support their Spanish language acquisition, service learning, and cultural competency. The cost of the trip is an additional fee and throughout the year students participate in a variety of fundraising activities to help offset some of the costs.
- Transitional Kindergarten: $28,685
- Kindergarten: $28,685
- Grades 1–8: $30,710
What are the admissions deadlines?
For the 2019–20 admissions season:
- Admission Application:
Due Jan. 10, 2020
- Financial Aid Application:
Due Jan. 10, 2020
- TK Admission Decision Notification:
Emailed March 10, 2020 (12 p.m.)
- K–8 Admission Decision Notification:
Emailed March 19, 2020 (12 p.m.)
- TK Enrollment Contract and Deposit:
Due March 17, 2020 at 10 a.m.
- K–8 Enrollment Contract and Deposit:
Due March 26, 2020 at 10 a.m.
Does SÍ School offer tuition assistance to families?
Spanish Infusión School values economic diversity. We believe it enhances the educational and social experience for both children and adults, and it is vital to sustaining a healthy and inclusive school culture.
Our financial aid model supports our commitment to making a SÍ School education accessible to a wide range of families. SÍ School assesses each family’s ability to pay in order to determine an appropriate tuition. The process involves filling out a financial aid application, submitting an online application to SSS by NAIS (National Association of Independent Schools), and providing requested tax forms and documentation. This is followed by an in-person meeting with our Director of Admissions to discuss specific family considerations.
Financial support for tuition assistance is derived from a portion of our operating budget, proceeds from our annual spring auction, and our annual fund.
Will there be other requests for money throughout the year over and above tuition?
Like at most independent schools, tuition does not cover the full cost of a SÍ School education. We rely on support from parents, grandparents, alumni families, faculty, staff, and friends to invest in our students. There are a number of fundraising events throughout the school year, including an Auction Party and a request to contribute to the Annual Fund.
The Annual Fund supports our school above and beyond tuition dollars. The money raised by our Annual Fund directly enhances the operating budget for the school, ensuring additional funding for field trips, teacher professional development, tuition assistance, assemblies, curricular materials, technology, and a host of many things that make SÍ School a wonderful place for our students and families. Ideally, we look for 100% participation from the school community. The 2018–2019 Annual Fund goal of $1900 average per family was surpassed and speaks to the strength and commitment of our families. However, we recognize that not everyone can give at the same level so we ask that each family contribute at a level that is comfortable for them.
Our Auction Party brings together our adult community to celebrate each other with a fun evening and to raise funds to support our financial aid program.
What are the age requirements to apply to transitional kindergarten (TK) and kindergarten (K)?
- TK requirement: applicant must turn 5 by Dec. 1 of enrolling year.
- K requirement: applicant must turn 5 by Sep. 1 of enrolling year.
Do you have to speak Spanish to apply to the Upper School?
The foundation of our school is our unique Spanish Infusion model. Students who have been with us from the earliest grades are quite proficient in Spanish by 6th grade. Students applying to the Upper School program with prior Spanish speaking experience or instruction transition easily into the program, academically and socially. Incoming students with no prior Spanish language experience will be considered for admission, but they typically require summer tutoring and additional support throughout the school year. In the past, students entering our Upper School program without prior Spanish instruction have done well and, with hard work and support, have displayed proficiency in Spanish by the 8th grade.