Calling all neighborhood familes with children! Please join Russian Hill Neighbors for a free, fun-filled morning with the San Francisco Police and Fire Departments at Helen Wills Playground on June 4th from 10-12. There will be fire and police vehicles on the blacktop for the kids to explore and police officers and firefighters on hand to talk about their exciting jobs keeping us all safe! We will also have a bouncy house, snacks, and other activities for the kids. Please come out and join us, and bring your neighbors!
Neighbors: There are lots of exciting events and activities for families coming up!
Friday May 13 from 4-6pm: Please join us this Friday for a fun afternoon at Helen Wills Playground! We will have snacks and other activities for the kids, and it is a wonderful way to end the week and connect with other families with children in the neighborhood. This event is open to all, so please spread the word to any Russian Hill families who might be interested!
Saturday May 14th at 10am: Registration for San Francisco Recreation and Parks Summer Classes begins this Saturday at 10am. A catalog of available classes and instructions on how to enroll can be found at the following link: https://sfreconline.org/Start/Start.asp
Saturday June 4 from 10-12pm: Please save the date for what promises to be a really fun morning with the San Francisco Fire Department at Helen Wills Playground! We are hoping to have a fire truck and other equipment on hand for children to investigate, as well as a bouncy house. Details to follow…
SF Public Library Summer Stride 2016: Summer Stride 2016, the San Francisco Public Library’s summer program for children, will run from May 7 – August 14th 2016. Pick up a paper tracking guide with instructions at any neighborhood library or bookmobile.Summer readers of all ages can choose between the 2016 Reading Ranger Badge or the 2016 library tote bag as their finishing prize for Summer Stride. All ages will be eligible to receive the prize after completing 15 hours or reading, listening, or learning! For more information, check out http://sfpl.org/index.php?pg=2000790001
Potential Brief Closure of Michelangelo Park: Please see the following link regarding a potential, brief, closure of Michelangelo Park later this month while they repair the blacktop:http://hoodline.com/2016/05/russian-hill-s-michelangelo-playground-to-be-repaved-this-spring
Planning for Francisco Park: As you may have heard, progress is being made on efforts to turn the defunct reservoir above Ghirardelli Square into a public park. If you are interested in learning more or being a part of the planning process, please sign up for updates at https://www.franciscopark.org/
RHN is always working to plan fun and meaningful events and activities for families with children in Russian Hill. To get involved or offer your suggestions, please email email@example.com.
Also, follow us on Twitter @rhnsf to receive updates on community news and events!
We were thrilled to receive more than 100 responses in January from parents and guardians of children age 17 and under living in Russian Hill. You shared a wealth of information and we are committed to making your voice heard and working on ways to improve day-to-day life for families in our neighborhood.
Here are highlights of the results:
- Children living in Russian Hill are a range of ages, not just the very young. For example, 38% of parents/guardians reported having children 0-3 years old and 36% reported having children 10-15 years old.
- Families are not necessarily planning to leave San Francisco when their children are ready for elementary school: 65% of parents/guardians said they intend to stay through their children’s graduation from high school.
- When deciding whether to continue to live in San Francisco, parents/guardians site these factors as having the greatest impact: overall quality of life (38%), safety (36%), housing (36%), quality of public schools (34%), and cleanliness of streets and public areas (29%).
- 57% of parents/guardians believe their current housing in Russian Hill is not satisfactory for their family’s needs.
- 70% of parents/guardians feel they cannot relocate to satisfactory housing within San Francisco with 97% reporting “affordability” as the most significant barrier.
- 50% of parents/guardians are not sure if the public schools in Russian Hill provide an excellent education.
- 47% intend for their children to attend private schools in San Francisco. 33% do not, and 20% are not sure.
- 51% of parents/guardians believe a private school education is superior to a public school education in San Francisco. 24% do not, and 25% are not sure.
- 70% of parents/guardians do not feel the needs of families are a priority with San Francisco’s elected officials.
A majority of parents/guardians provided written statements to support their answers. Below is a selection of questions, themes which emerged in the answers, and supporting quotes. For a longer summary of the survey results, please click Families Survey Summary Results.
Do you believe the public schools in Russian Hill provide an excellent education?
Yick Wo Elementary is strong; Francisco Middle and Galileo High School are not optimal.
– “Our child attends Yick Wo Elementary. While we are happy enough with the academic quality there, we believe that district policies tend to favor the needs of disruptive students and the expense of a better education for the rest.”
– “At the elementary school level for sure. The middle school’s reputation is still recovering from years of problems and now some of the district’s new policies are making the schools even more unattractive both due to safety and academics.”
Do you believe a private school education to be superior to a public school education in San Francisco?
Private schools may provide better experiences, but there are exceptions in the public school system.
– “I don’t think all of the private schools are superior, they have more resources, they have more children from families with more resources but some of them are not actually as good as their price tags would indicate, compared to truly excellent private schools elsewhere. SF private schools are just hard to get in to, which makes them exclusive, which gives the illusion that they are “superior.”
– “Private school education may not be better in terms of actual academics. But in terms of safety and overall experience, it may be better. On the other hand, public school is better at exposing kids to the diversity of our real-life world.”
Do you feel the needs of families are a priority with San Francisco’s elected-officials?
“San Francisco would not have the lowest per capita population of children of major cities in the country if elected officials tended better to the needs of families.”
What would need to change, specifically, in order for you to remain living in San Francisco through your child/children graduating from high school
1. Improve the quality and access to local public schools.
– “All children should have access to “excellent” schools & childcare regardless of their income/status. It would be nice if the quality of public schools was in-line to the private options. And for pre-schools in general, if there were more options for all to have a good start in education.”
– “If we could count on the fact that our kids will get into a strong public school within a mile of our house, we’d be thrilled to stay in SF!”
2. Improve the affordability of housing.
– “We have rented for 13 years. We are stuck. We cannot afford to stay in San Francisco and move (to rent or buy) and keep our kids in great schools.”
– “We’ve lived in our current rent-controlled apartment for over 10 years but if we are evicted, we wouldn’t be able to afford anything else in SF.”
Do you have any recommendations on what RHN can do to help support your family?
– Advocate for areas for kids (soccer field, playground) within the new Francisco Park
– Plan more events for neighborhood families to connect and share information about schools, etc.
– Promote neighborhood resources for families
We are up to the task!
We are expanding our Russian Hill Neighbors’ Families with Children Committee to take action on the results of this survey. Among other activities, we intend to share the survey results with the relevant government officials in San Francisco, organize a forum on the state of Russian Hill schools, and actively work to help build a sense of connectedness here for families. We are eager for more members! Please email firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in joining RHN’s Families with Children Committee.
Watch for updates on the progress of the Families with Children Committee in future RHN e-blasts and at www.rhnsf.org.
We had a successful event yesterday at Helen Wills park! More than 50 parents and kids gathered to enjoy snacks, drinks, and bubbles from RHN and chat with each other about life in the neighborhood. Despite a few rain drops, it was a great afternoon. We collected 18 email addresses of families who are interested in learning more and hopefully joining RHN. Also, Moe Jamil from MPNA stopped by with his young son and enjoyed meeting other families from the area.
A BIG thank you to Sarah Taber for taking me on a Costco run yesterday morning, as well as Phoebe for helping with set-up and staffing the snack table.
Enjoy the weekend!