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Archive for the ‘Schools’ Category

Dec-4-2014

Local links: Purple Skunk closing, BART to the beach?, MAFIA online, reclaimed furniture & more


Reindeer are back at the Academy of Sciences for the holidays. Photo by @calacademy

  • Lizzie, the owner of Purple Skunk Skateboard Shop at 6037 Geary wrote us to say they are closing their doors after the Christmas holidays. “After 21 years the Purple Skunk doors will be closing. Christmas week is our last retail hoorah. It’s time to retire, but on a good note. We will miss ALL of our customers that we have been serving throughout the years. We will always remember our little groms that got their first skateboard here.” The business is for sale so if you’re interested, contact the shop for more details. We’ll miss you Purple Skunk!
  • BART to the Beach? Don’t get too excited, but BART is “investigating” service expansions over the next decade that would include a second transbay tube and a new line out to the western part of the city. You can download the proposal here, which was presented to the San Francisco County Transportation Authority Board committee recently.
  • Domo arigato, Mr. Roboto. The Examiner reports that “Next spring, Washington High School in the Richmond is poised to produce one of approximately 3,000 teams to compete in an international robotics competition after students recently created the school’s first robotics club.” The 60 students who have already signed up will be broken into teams of four to focus on different aspects, including building the robot, developing its software, calculating the business and handling public relations. The program was supported by a $20,000 grant from Facebook.
  • Izakaya Ju-Ku on the corner of 19th Avenue and Clement closed a couple of weeks ago. That’s a nice corner spot but has always been challenging for restaurants. We’ll have to see what opens there next…
  • Arion Press, just inside the 14th Avenue Presidio gate, is hosting a free, holiday open house this Saturday from 11am until 6pm. Go on a tour, check out their gallery, and experience the historic bookmaking and letterpress workshop. See where their books are made, including their historic printing presses, 100-year-old machinery, and one of the largest collections of metal type in North America. Free tours of the typefoundry, press room, and book bindery take place at 12noon and 2pm.
  • Two Richmond District residents have started a new furniture business using reclaimed materials. “We started out small but then we quickly realized we have a love for working with reclaimed materials. We have now begun expanding our collection in hopes of sharing it with the community. We’re starting small with a few select pieces but will be expanding in the coming months.” You can check out their products on Etsy – we like that bathtub shelf!
  • Remember MAFIA Bags, a new business that set up a manufacuturing space in the Richmond District, making bags and accessories from recycled sails? Their online store is now up, just in time for the holidays.
4:30 am | Posted under Business, Food, Golden Gate Park, Museums, Schools, Shopping | 29 comments
Oct-22-2014

Lafayette Carnival, Burke’s Fall Festival this Saturday

This Saturday, October 25, two elementary schools in the neighborhood will be holding their annual fall festival fundraisers.

LAFAYETTE ELEMENTARY SCHOOL CARNIVAL | 12pm – 4pm
4545 Anza Street
Enjoy a huge inflatable bouncer for the kids, different classes selling food (pizza, baked goods, hot dogs, ice cream, spam masubi, and more), old school carnival games, a dj doing music, and a cake walk. Admission is free but there are tickets that will be on sale to play the carnival games ($0.25 each or $5.00 for 25 tickets).

KATHERINE DELMAR BURKE FALL FESTIVAL | 10am – 4pm
7070 California Street
Stop by for games, bouncy houses, shopping, a giant slide, festival treats, food trucks and much more. Admission is $5 per person and certain activities require tickets which can be purchased on-site. Note that dogs are not welcome at the festival and there is no parking along 32nd Avenue during the event.

2:02 pm | Posted under Events, Schools | Add comments
Oct-22-2014

Getty’s Playgroup preschool to open new campus inside Presidio 15th Ave gate


The Playschool Preschool Education campus, currently under construction. Photo by Miller Company

Back in 2011, the New York Times published a piece on the Getty family’s private preschool, or as their lawyer liked to refer to it at the time, “a private recreation group”.

“For the past 14 years, Ann and Gordon Getty have run an invitation-only, free preschool for the offspring of some of San Francisco’s most powerful families, including their own grandchildren. Families cannot apply for admission. They are chosen, in sort of a toddler’s version of being tapped for Skull and Bones at Yale,” the article begins.

On top of the blue blood practices it revealed, the article also brought to light some of the concerning issues around the private organization, which hosts their two dozen wee attendees inside the Getty’s own mansion on Broadway.

At the time, the Playgroup had no official licenses for operating a preschool, and had never even been inspected by the fire department.

Concerns were also raised about The Playgroup’s director, Lonna Corder, who had informed some parents that their children had autism or some other developmental disorder – despite having no medical training or certification as a therapist.

Upset parents were hesitant to speak out for fear of offending their hospitable Playgroup hosts, the Getty’s, and risk being asked to leave the group which included perks like a Chez-Panisse trained chef on staff that prepared organic, multicourse lunches for their children.

Fast forward three years and The Playgroup is on its way to becoming a more visible preschool with an open admissions policy.

Just inside the 15th Avenue Presidio gate, on Battery Caulfield Road, sit two historic buildings where the new Playgroup Preschool Education will be located. Building 1818 and 1819, once the location of the Infectious Disease Research Laboratory and Offices of the old Marine Hospital, were built in 1932. The buildings have sat unused for 30 years and were magnets for graffiti and vandalism.

The Playgroup Preschool Education school is designed by architect Zack DeVito, who also designed the Lone Mountain Preschool, just a stone’s throw down the road from The Playgroup Education’s location.

Also part of the team is landscape architecture firm The Miller Company, whose design “features a new arrangement for student pick up and drop off, accessibility upgrades, and secure outdoor play and learning areas set within native plantings adapted to the soil, climate, and orientation of the site.”


The layout of the Playgroup Preschool Education campus by Miller Company. Enlarge

The buildings are relatively small – 6,000 square feet for 1818 and 1,600 for 1819 – but large enough for 60 students.

According to the Presidio Trust projects website, the scope of work for the construction of the school includes hazardous materials abatement, seismic upgrades, ADA improvements (including a limited use/limited application lift to service the basement of building 1818), a new deck to connect the two buildings, a new glazed entry vestibule at the rear of 1818, restoration of historic windows, and select tenant improvements necessary for preschool use (new floor finishes, paint, lighting, ceilings, bathroom fixtures, etc.).

The school will also have a fenced, outdoor play area and when completed, the buildings will be LEED Silver certified.

The Playgroup will also be lifting the veil on its private admissions process by offering the general public the chance to apply for admission. It has contracted with website KidAmit to accept, review and manage applications. The school already held their first informational meeting about the new campus on May 1st.

The school’s location and admissions process is changing, but the leadership is not. The new Playgroup Preschool Education will continue to be directed by Lonna Corder, who is listed as a co-founder along with Ann Getty.

According to the listing for Playgroup on KidAdmit, the school will be employing the Montessori approach with an emphasis on “a teacher directed experience in the year before Kindergarten in order to prepare them for the most competitive Kindergarten programs.”

Annual tuition for the Playgroup, which still lists its current 2880 Broadway location on KidAdmit, ranges from $13,000 up to $19,000 per year depending on the age of the child, how many days per week and hours of attendance. The school’s listing indicates that financial aid is available.

Just down the road, Lone Mountain Preschool’s annual tuition ranges from $8,250 up to $17,500 for pre-kindergarten class. Both offer a September to June school year.

We were unable to find the planned opening date for the Playgroup’s new Presidio campus, but most likely it will be September 2015 when the next school year begins.

Thanks to reader Jason S. for help with researching this story.

Sarah B.

4:10 am | Posted under Schools | 8 comments
Aug-19-2014

Mayor’s program seeking local job opportunities for high school students


Two MYEEP interns working at the Boy’s & Girls Club in the Tenderloin this summer.

I remember my first real job – it was selling (and sometimes nibbling on) Mrs. Field’s cookies on Chestnut Street, and then I moved onto Lombardi’s Sports on Clement Street where I worked in the shoe department. Those early jobs gave me important working experience where I learned how to deal with people, be professional, and take pride in my work. And it put a little spending money in my pocket.

The Mayor’s Youth Employment and Education Program (MYEEP) works to provide first work experiences for high school students throughout the city.

“Annually, over 800 young people are given the opportunity to develop work skills that will benefit them for the rest of their lives. In addition to paid work experience, each MYEEP participant also engages in a variety of learning opportunities such as workshops, community service projects and field trips to colleges and companies,” Selena Levy, Project Coordinator for the Richmond District, told us.

The program is currently looking for local businesses in the Richmond District to host MYEEP interns and provide them with work experience.

Levy says the guidelines for how a business can participate are flexible, but they typically look for opportunities where a MYEEP youth can work 6 to 8 hours during the school week in the afternoon hours (3-6pm).

“Most work sites take anywhere from 1-3 interns depending on the work site’s capacity to supervise the youth and how much work they have for the youth to complete while they are there,” Levy said.

In addition to work experience, MYEEP provides support to youth as they transition towards successful adulthood by strengthening their understanding of the connection between employment and education as well as the responsibility of adults to contribute positively to society.

If you own a local business and are interested in hosting some MYEEP youth interns, contact Selena Levy at selenal@cycsf.org or 752-9675 for more information.

Sarah B.

5:15 am | Posted under Community, Schools | 3 comments
May-29-2014

Congratulations to the Class of 2014 at George Washington High!


Photo by @sfturkeytrot

You can’t beat that backdrop for a graduation ceremony! Congrats to the Class of 2014.

Sarah B.

4:50 pm | Posted under Schools | 3 comments
May-20-2014

Local links: Unimpressed Bison, free summer staycations, Skee-ball suit & more

Good day, Richmond District’ers! Here are some local links to kick off your Tuesday…

  • Even the Golden Gate Park bison got a taste of the Bay to Breakers madness on Sunday when a participant leaped the fence and began taunting them in their paddock. As you can see from the video above, he got pretty close and despite previous reports, was fully clothed. The man was arrested according to this funny tweet from the Richmond District station: “@sfpdrichmond: Officers just arrested a naked man in the bison paddock in GG Park. The bison seemed unimpressed.”
  • The Richmond District Neighborhood Center has published their Summer Staycation Schedule, which includes kayaking in the bay, camping at the Presidio, an overnight at the Zoo and a Bike Day in Golden Gate Park. They’re also adding two two Craftcations to the agenda, one for families and one for older youth and adults. All programs are free but space is limited so get all the details here (PDF).
  • Now covering the Inner Richmond: New app Washio claims people spend 13 hours per month doing laundry, so they want to reduce that to “just seconds” so you can get back to having real fun. Load up their app, place an order, and they’ll come pick up your laundry or dry cleaning from your home or office, and return your clean clothes back to you within 24 hours. No word yet on whether they lose a sock every load like the rest of us.
  • Game on! Skee-ball’ers that play in a national league at the Buckshot Bar on Geary are locking horns with the makers of Skee-Ball, who allege that the league name – Brewskee Ball – is infringing on their trademark, despite giving them permission to use the name in 2005. This has prompted a Skee The People drive to raise money for legal funds to fight the company. They’ve raised $22k so far. Can’t we all just skee along? [via SFGate]
  • Star of the Sea School (345 8th Avenue) is hosting their 41st annual festival on Saturday, May 31st from 10am to 4pm. The popular festival features food, games, crafts, a bouncy house, live entertainment and the always popular Touch-A-Truck when city agencies bring their police cars, fire trucks, street cleaners and other manner of big trucks for kids to hang out on. Admission to the festival is free but there is a $7 fee for entry to the Touch-A-Truck area.
  • Do you love all manner of flora and fauna? Do you love telling other people about it? Then we have just the opportunity for you. The Conservatory of Flowers in Golden Gate Park is recruiting volunteers to lead group tours and conduct school visits. The annual 7-week training session runs every Wednesday from August 6 through September 17 from 1-4pm, and costs just $60 cost. If you’re interested, contact Erika Frank, Director of Volunteers & Education, at (415) 637-4326 or efrank@sfcof.org.
  • Green Apple Books was honored at City Hall last week during Small Business Week. Oddly, the cute little girl in the photo with Supervisor Mar and Green Apple owner Pete Mulvihill is holding a RED apple… Name change coming?


5:04 am | Posted under Business, Golden Gate Park, Schools | 3 comments
May-8-2014

Local Links: Mayfaire Carnival, grad research, fundraisers, Green Apple & more


The labyrinth at Lands End. Photo by Stan-the-Rocker

Happy Thursday everyone! Here are some local links to distract you from the fog…

  • Argonne School’s Mayfaire Carnival fundraiser is this Saturday, featuring bouncing castles, a climbing wall, a dunk tank, crafts, games, a used book sale, raffle tickets for prizes, a silent auction and food. It runs from 11am until 4pm on the Argonne campus at 18th & Cabrillo. Admission is free.
  • A Stanford grad student is conducting a research project that investigates social interactions, specifically among neighbors, in the neighborhoods of Richmond District and North Beach. If you’d like to help her out, take the short online survey here (Richmond Dist or North Beach residents only!).
  • Back in April, a 3-year old boy named Nikita was hit by a truck while riding his bike across Fulton Street near 43rd Avenue, leaving him with critical brain and body injuries. Family friends are asking for financial help from the community to cover medical costs via an online fundraiser, which you can donate to here.
  • In other fundraising news, the George Washington High School baseball and softball teams need to raise $40,000 for a new batting cage facility, which the coach describes as “a first-in-class, enclosed, steel-structured cage” that will be permanent. Learn more and donate online here. P.S. – If you want the chance to win a signed bat from Giants player Hunter Pence, go to the end of the video for details.
  • Green Apple announced the winner in their t-shirt design contest. Congrats go to neighborhood resident Carrie Niziolek who is a scientist by day and part-time artist. She won $250 plus a $200 Green Apple gift card, and soon her design will grace hundreds of t-shirts and bags. Check out her winning design and runner-ups here.
  • There will be an open house meeting about the Ocean Beach Master Plan this Saturday in Golden Gate Park. The plan recommends ways to improve coastal access, restore ecological function and protect critical infrastructure in the face of chronic erosion and sea level rise at Ocean Beach. To find out more about the three projects that are underway, attend the meeting at the County Fair Building from 9am until 12noon.
9:27 am | Posted under Business, Ocean Beach, Schools | Comments Off
May-2-2014

Local Links: Romo pitches school, Aziza 2.0, plant sale, Saturday events & more


Sergio Romo speaks to students at Lafayette Elementary. Photo by Juan Pardo / SF Examiner

Here are some local updates to start your weekend. Have a good one!

  • Reminder: This Saturday the SF Botanical Garden in Golden Gate Park will host its 47th annual plant sale from 10am until 2pm, featuring over 20,000 plants. This year’s theme is drought tolerance hundreds of beautiful natives, succulents, and plants perfect for SF’s many micro-climates are for sale. The event also serves as a fundraiser for the garden.
  • If pampering is more up your alley, head to outer Balboa on Saturday for an open house at Elevation Pilates and Sweet Cheeks Skincare. Sweet Cheeks will be offering free Hand Treatments demoing all of the latest and greatest skincare technology, selling some skin care items at 50% off, and selling a Mother’s Day Gift Certificate that include a free gift with purchase. Elevation Pilates will be offering free classes, special pricing on class packages, and hosting an art show. The open house runs from 11am until 3pm at 3425 Balboa Street.
  • The community garden at the Richmond District Neighborhood Center is going strong. Some students from Katherine Delmar Burke School paid a visit recently to plant some kale for the community.


Burke’s students plant kale in the community garden at the RDNC. Photo by Kinder Musings.

  • Giants pitcher Sergio Romo was at Lafayette School (4545 Anza) on Tuesday to talk to students about the importance of education. It was Romo’s fourth visit for such an event, put on by Washington High School’s Athletes in Math Succeed program, in which high school students and professional athletes cheer on students to succeed in school. “It’s more personal to me,” Romo said of visiting the school, where he high-fived kids and signed their baseball paraphernalia. “I can relate to this program.” (SF Examiner)
  • The Chronicle reported this week that Aziza owner and cookbook author Mourad Lahlou is moving ahead with a second, downtown restaurant in the former Pacific Telephone Building (140 New Montgomery). He’s looking to open the Moroccan-themed, 6,000 sq. ft. restaurant in late 2014/early 2015. No word yet on Aziza’s future.
  • A writer at SF Weekly lamented over the forgotten era of the Tiki Bar when he journeyed out to Trad’r Sam’s on Geary, one of the first in the city. After hearing Warren G. coming from the jukebox and listening to patrons order chilled vodka shots instead of Tiki-themed rum drinks, he concluded that Trad’r Sam’s is “now just another bar”.
12:15 pm | Posted under Business, Community, Golden Gate Park, Green, Schools | 7 comments
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