A solid foundation.

Horizons at SFFS students spend at least 2.5 hours each day on reading, writing, math, and science instruction led by experienced independent and public school teachers. A 5-to-1 student-teacher ratio and 2 reading specialists who provide individual literacy support ensure that no students fall through the cracks. Bilingual classrooms build upon the work that many of our students are doing in their immersion classrooms during the year. And a Curriculum and Instructional Lead ensures the delivery of quality literacy-focused instruction.


Horizons at SFFS' curriculum has been specially designed by our teachers, our Academic Program Director, and our Curriculum and Instructional Lead to build upon the California Common Core Standards while incorporating the rich cultural context of the Mission District. In Summer 2018:

+ Kindergarten students studied insects in science.

They worked collaboratively to research and demonstrate their knowledge via a nonfiction book, a clay model, a detailed construction paper life cycle poster, and a 3D habitat built in a box. Each item utilized skills they've practiced and reinforced in science, reading, and writing, starting with more teacher-directed strategies, like close readings, and moving into student-directed ones, such as building models.

+ First grade students learned about seeds.

They also learned about fruits and how plants grow. Students dissected four different types of fruits to see how many seeds they each had. First graders also presented a video, a group song about plants, and clay sculptures that showed the interior and exterior parts of different fruits.

+ Second graders experimented with energy.

They explored potential, kinetic, mechanical, light, electrical, and chemical energies. They focused on making connections to their reading, practiced various addition and subtraction strategies, and reflected on the choices they made in different situations. At the end of the summer, they hosted an energy science fair where they presented their questions, hypotheses, data, and conclusions.

+ Third graders reflected on poetry.

They explored their own interests, curiosities, and passions by creating heart maps and thinking about what really matters to them as writers. They learned strategies for bringing their poems to life for an audience by including comparisons, sensory images, personification, line breaks, and action. Each third grader composed original poems that they compiled into a beautiful anthology with their own illustrations.

+ Fourth grade students explored theater.

They learned about Frida Kahlo, played improv games, projected their voices and enunciated, practiced new vocabulary around scripts, theaters, and productions, became their characters, and memorized their lines. Watch their play here! They also read many mysteries this summer, explored mystery vocabulary, and became story detectives themselves. Students used what they know to write their own mystery stories, full of clues, suspects, detectives and more!

The guiding questions for our 2018 program were:

  • What qualities make me a superhero?

  • How can I learn from the people I look up to?

  • How can we work together to use our superpowers to improve our community?