Why now?

The current charter options in SFUSD are consistently full with waiting lists, and there is a high demand from parents in San Francisco seeking another option for a small and personalized middle school.


How big is the new school?  What grades can attend?

Integrative Leadership Academy in San Francisco (ILA SF) will be a city-wide public charter school, serving a diverse population of students in grades 6-12 grade.  ILA SF intends to open with a cohort of 80 sixth grade students in fall 2019.


Where would the new school be located?

The new middle school will be located in San Francisco, and ideally within the neighborhoods of Potrero Hill, Mission Bay, Dogpatch or the Mission.


What makes this middle school different?

ILA SF emphasizes strong and personalized support systems for students, including small school and class size.  Each student receives daily and individualized support from an ILA advisor responsible for monitoring students’ social, emotional and academic success.  ILA SF is designed to be a low stress, high-challenge environment, and all students are taught strategies for self-regulation and stress management through the daily life skills advisory curriculum. 

ILA SF students will learn to meditate and practice daily meditation.  Two short periods (non-instructional minutes) for meditation are built into the daily bell schedule.


What kind of curriculum will the school have?

ILA SF intends to be an International Baccalaureate School (IB) and the charter petition is being written in alignment with IB principals, policies and practices.   ILA SF will apply for candidacy concurrent with charter authorization and the first cohort of 6th graders will experience IB-aligned curriculum and instruction. 


Would this be a public school?

Yes, this would be a public charter school and free to families living in San Francisco.


When would the school open?

If the charter is authorized by SFUSD, the school could open as early as August 2019.


If the District does not accept the petition, then what?

If SFUSD does not authorize the charter petition, we will submit the charter petition to the State of California for approval.


What can I do to support the charter school?

Sign our petition or send a letter to a SFUSD Board Member.  Please contact swati@ilapublicschools.org to sign the charter petition.


Why seek a charter through the SFUSD district?

We believe that a partnership between ILA and SFUSD to add another charter option to San Francisco will return private and out-of-district charter school students to SFUSD.  Because the existing charter programs are full with waiting lists, many parents feel they have no option except to leave the District for private schools options or homeschooling.  We are committed to recruiting from this population so that our charter school would have a net positive effect on SFUSD enrollment. 

In addition, this project will bring an already-committed one million dollars in philanthropy into San Francisco during 2018-2019 and over $500,000 each year thereafter.  This philanthropy is being spent on San Francisco students and could fund substantial revenue-generating contracts between ILA and SFUSD. 


What are the main features of an integrative education? 

ILA SF is built on the concept of integrative education, which is a comprehensive approach for middle and high schools that fosters whole human development.   In addition to the core classes of history, English language arts, mathematics and sciences, students at ILA SF are required to take classes in design technology, world language, athletics, and art or music, as well as participate in the daily life skills advisory.


Will the school have athletics?

All students will have a daily period of physical education.  The school will also offer after-school sports programs depending on student interest and school location.  Possibilities could include soccer, basketball, softball, swim team, gymnastics and cross-country. 


What’s advisory and what’s the role of the advisor?

An advisor is a staff member responsible for monitoring and supporting the academic, social and emotional growth and well-being of his/her students.  Each advisor is assigned a cohort of approximately 15 students and meets daily with these students from their enrollment in the school through their graduation. Students meet with their advisor during daily advisory periods to learn life skills, get one-on-one support and help with schoolwork, and to deal with any issues that may arise during the school day.  Advisors are the main point of contact between the school and families.


Will there be special education?

Yes, the school will have a special education program and will work with the school district to provide services to students with IEPs or 504 plans in accordance with CA state laws and regulations. 


How would the school be school funded?

The school is funded with public school dollars plus philanthropic funding.  The Board of Directors of Integrative Leadership Academy has provided $500,000 in start-up funds for the charter and have committed an additional $500,000 per year to support the school’s operations.


How did this project get started?

Parents in the Riverside Grove neighborhood near the former Redwood Elementary often talk nostalgically about the days when the site was full of students.  And because much of the neighborhood uses the fields and blacktops, the school has stayed present in our minds.  A group of parents started talking about the possibility of a middle school and connected with an organization (Integrative Leadership Academy) that pledged start-up funds and philanthropy to support the school in its early years.