Education and Schools in San Francisco

In true West Coast spirit, the San Francisco education and school system is a little left of centre when compared with the rest of the country.

There is also a host of private schools in San Francisco, which is second only to New York City when it comes to the range of options it offers parents.

Public schools in San Francisco

Unlike most school districts in America, children in San Francisco do not usually attend public schools based on their residential address. The city tries to maintain even demographics in each school based on income, race and language.

Despite these attempts at equalising schools, some have much higher test scores than others. Families can nominate seven preferred schools in San Francisco, which can be spread out over the city, and the school board assigns their child to one of them.

Most of the time, children can attend a school from among their top choices. For this reason, it is even more important than usual for expat parents to research the best options available when choosing a school for their child.

Private schools in San Francisco

Many expats opt to send their children to one of the many private schools in San Francisco. Choosing and being accepted into one of these is often a difficult process that involves testing and interviews.

Parents should begin to search for a school as soon as they are able, and it is recommended they do so at least a year in advance. Specialists can be hired to assist families with the process.

Private education is expensive in San Francisco. There are also loans that can finance children's private school education. Some of the Catholic schools in San Francisco could provide a less expensive option.

International schools in San Francisco

International schools in San Francisco are popular with expats as they can accommodate students previously studying in different curricula. This includes schools that offer French, German, Chinese and even Russian education.

The International High School, which is attached to the prestigious French American International School, offers the most comprehensive International Baccalaureate (IB) programme in the city. The majority of private and international schools in San Francisco do, however, provide a world class standard of education.

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