12 Reasons to Love Sanchez Elementary School

A guest blog post from Sanchez Elementary parent, Fiona O'Shea, on why she loves her San Francisco public school.

6 years ago I wrote about our school search for SFKFiles, my eldest son is now moving onto middle school and many of the reasons we chose Sanchez still hold true, those are no longer relevant (FLES, DREAM School) are decided at a district level, not the school. I’m very happy that we chose Sanchez, and that we still have 3 more years there with my younger son.
SFKFiles Article


1. Small School Big Heart: With 250 students K-5, 40 students in PreK our small school site is a safe space where all students are known to all teachers and staff. Our children are joyful learners.

2. Commitment to diversity: The school is dedicated to ensuring all kids fee safe, welcome, and valued. All of our backgrounds are honored. GE classrooms are slice of San Francisco life, some parents even went to Sanchez and one of our sons teacher's grandmother taught at Sanchez.

3. Free lunch and breakfast for everyone: All children are eligible for free lunch and breakfast. There is also a share table for the children to leave untouched food (e.g. fruit) for others who may like to have 2 apples today.

4. Split playground time: Grades are separated for lunch, recess.

5. Parents room: the school has a room specifically for parents, with parent liaison to help parents with any questions or concerns they may have.

6. Openness: Many opportunities to give feedback and meet with Principal Ann - monthly coffee with the principal, Coyote Howler Newsletter. Our parent community welcomes parents to join our PTO, our SSC welcomes all parents to meetings and this year 4th and 5th graders gave input to what they would like to see from the budget.

7. Uniforms: Love them or hate them, mornings are so much easier with the same clothes every day for my children. I also grew up where every school has a uniform so its not unusual to me.

8. Food bank: the SF-Marin food bank comes to the school every Thursday morning.

9. Before and after care: Our school opens at 7:30 for breakfast. After care is provided on site by Mission Graduates (fees are income based), and Boys and Girls club does pickup to walk to Columbia House Club on Guerrero.

Horse Skeleton at STEAM fair at Sanchez this year, put it together like a jigsaw puzzle.

Horse Skeleton at STEAM fair at Sanchez this year, put it together like a jigsaw puzzle.

10. Additional classes: the school week includes library, STEM lab, gardening, art class, music for 3-5. Collaboration with Mission Science Workshop. We have a STEAM fair every year just before Spring Break, a Dance Festival tradition each May close to the time of Carnaval. A Dios de los Muretes alter each year. 

11. Weekly school assembly: Every Friday morning we have a school assembly on our futbol field, to recognize our Courageous Coyotes - Students who have excelled in our school values. The last Friday of the month also includes an art walk after assembly where students and parents get to walk the halls to view art and learnings from each class related to that months theme. (Themes include Black History Month, Women’s Month)

12. Location, location, location: Sanchez Elementary School is in the heart of San Francisco. A short walk from Church Station, or even Castro. The J stops just a block away. The 22, 33 bus lines have stops a block away. Next to Everett Middle School its feeder middle school. A short walk to Mission High School and Mission Science workshop.

Fiona O'Shea is a PPS-SF advocate and a mom to a 2nd grader and 5th grader at Sanchez Elementary School, where she also serves on the School Site Council. Want to share your school story? Contact us at info@ppssf.org.

The opinions expressed by guest bloggers are of the individual author only and not necessarily those of Parents for Public Schools of San Francisco or its staff or board of directors.