How Cantonese immersion resurrected a public school in San Francisco
How to resurrect a public school in SF
- JOEL ENGARDIO/SPECIAL TO THE S.F. EXAMINER
- Hsieh family left to right: Jack, Nicole, Tom, Emma
Elementary school graduations are cute, yet they hardly match the hat tossing euphoria of the U.S. Naval Academy or the pomp of an Ivy League procession. But don’t tell that to the first-ever fifth-grade class graduating from the Chinese Immersion School at De Avila Elementary this month.
With the mythological phoenix as their mascot, they deserve a celebration fit for rising from the ashes of public education in San Francisco.
De Avila is in the heart of the Haight-Ashbury and it symbolized the vicious cycle that destroys a school: low test scores, a lackluster PTA, a rough neighborhood that scares prospective families away. Eventually De Avila closed and became a shuttered eyesore.
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