Reasons Why I Love Going Back to School in San Francisco

by Robin Dutton-Cookston, PPS-SF Director of Communications

Ah! A new school year begins, and we couldn't be happier in my house. Sure, I love the flexibility and freedom of the summer break, but I also look forward to each school year in San Francisco for many reasons. 

A respite from summer childcare stress.

As many San Francisco families with school-age kids are well aware, summer camps and childcare can be stressful to find, and often cost more than the rent of a two-bedroom condo in the Mission. I know many parents who have found that it is easier (and cheaper) to take time off of work rather than fight it out for a coveted spot at a popular day camp.

The weather will finally warm up.

I love Karl the Fog with all my heart, but sometimes a girl needs a break.

New (or cleaned up and cleaned out) backpacks and lunchboxes.

It's nice to have an excuse to finally clean out the crumb-filled book-bags and sticky lunch containers that have sat in the back of the closet since May. Or is that just me? Does everyone else take care of that chore over Memorial Day weekend?

Field trips!

We live in one of the best (in my opinion) cities in the whole world for field trips. Spectacular art exhibits, world-class musicians, jaw-dropping vistas, international cuisine, and more. If you are feeling like a jaded San Franciscan, just tag along as a chaperone on one of your kid's field trips and see the City afresh through the eyes of a child.

Seeing old friends and making new ones.

This goes for children and adults. I am forever thankful for the intelligent, hardworking, funny group of families I have met through my public school networks. Which brings me to...

Getting a chance to be involved and give back to our public schools.

No one can do everything, and everyone does what they can. But study after study shows that parents who are engaged in their children's school experience have kids who experience greater success. Find something that fits with your time and your skills, and have fun with it. Help stuff folders, shelf books in the library, volunteer to help with the school website, work at the school carnival, or take on a leadership role in the School Site Council or PTA. There are as many ways to get involved as there are families in public schools.


Robin Dutton-Cookston is the director of communications for Parents for Public Schools of San Francisco. A parent of three, Robin likes to read, write, and pretend to exercise in the four minutes of free time she gets every couple of days.