Vision and Goals
Public Engagement for Public Schools (PEPS) envisions a city where civic commitment to public schools is ignited and citizens are fired up and proud of our public schools. We’ve spent over 3 years asking diverse groups of San Franciscans how we can best support our public schools. Through individual interviews and community dialogues, PEPS uncovered 3 goals that everyday San Franciscans want to stand behind:
- Connection. People want to have a relationship to their neighborhood schools so that schools are assets to their neighborhoods as much as neighborhoods are assets to schools.
- Funding. People want our public schools to be equitably funded so that fundraising at school sites does not depend on the wealth of the parents.
- Good stories. We want to celebrate success stories and promote the power of public education.
PEPS is ready to put this collective vision into action. We are launching 2 pilot projects to demonstrate how these 3 goals can be realized at school sites. The pilots will increase the number of neighbors that participate in activities on school sites, increase the local investment in schools, and create a positive image of the school in its neighborhood.
Pilot Sites – John Muir Elementary School and Cleveland Elementary School
Our pilot sites were chosen because they represent very different opportunities and challenges in neighborhood engagement. Both schools serve underserved youth and their families. John Muir is located in Hayes Valley/Lower Haight, a relatively wealthy and organized neighborhood. Cleveland Elementary School is located in the Excelsior, a traditionally working class neighborhood that has seen a recent influx of homebuyers priced out of nearby neighborhoods.
John Muir serves 258 students; 91.5% are socioeconomically disadvantaged, 41.4% are English language learners, 13.2% are students with disabilities and 53 students are homeless. John Muir does not have a PTA. Their parent leadership group raised a total of $300 last year. The median home price in the neighborhood $1.2 million and the median rent is $4500. Cleveland serves 346 students; 95.4% are socioeconomically disadvantaged, 72.5% are English language learners and 10.7% are students with disabilities. Cleveland’s PTA raised $5,000 last year. The median home price in the neighborhood is $734,000 and the median rent is $2300.