Clarendon Overview Community Arts & Science Day Clubs and Enrichment Inclusive Practices On-site Volunteer Opportunities Parent Community Involvement and Support Rainy Day Drop-off School Governance School Lunch Special Academic and Cultural Events Bus Schedule Car Pooling Clarendon Named a 2014 National Blue Ribbon School Computer Lab Counseling Integrating Computers into the Curriculum Mandarin Program Visual & Performing Arts
Clarendon Library Library Staff and Duties Volunteer Opportunities and Donations
School Tour Schedule
On-site Childcare
Clarendon JBBP
Second Community

Clarendon Overview

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The Clarendon Second Community program was founded in 1972 by parents who wanted to extend the cooperative nursery school model – in which parents are key resources on both the classroom and administrative levels – to a public elementary school.  Over the years, the school has developed a tradition of collaborative learning, built on strong relationships among students, teachers, families and the administration.  

Shortly after the inception of the general-education Second Community program,  the Japanese Bilingual Bicultural Program (JBBP) moved onto the campus, imparting the value of a multicultural education and offering Japanese language and culture to San Francisco elementary school children. For more than 40 years, Second Community and JBBP have flourished together as Clarendon Elementary School, becoming one of the most sought-after elementary schools in San Francisco with over 1,500 families vying for 88 openings in kindergarten each year.

At Clarendon we believe that the foundation of high achievement and joyful learning is a strong command of the core curriculum, combined with a high degree of engagement in challenging, relevant, integrated, and thematic lessons.  To this end, teachers at Clarendon promote critical thinking and interaction among all classmates using a variety of inclusive practices to reach all learners, including special education students with mild/moderate to moderate/severe disabilities, English language learners, ethnic minority groups, as well as general education students with a wide span of learning styles and emotional needs. Our inclusive practices target two major areas: a) social skills and social climate, and b) academic skills and the learning environment.

Considered a Foreign Language Elementary School (FLES), Clarendon offers Japanese and Italian to all students from kindergarten through fifth grades.  Japanese language and culture is taught by the classroom teachers with the assistance of two Japanese language and culture consultants and with parent participation.  All JBBP teachers are designated as bilingual and deliver the Japanese language instruction to their students, making this program a “Teacher Led” FLES program.  In Second Community, Italian is offered by upper-grade and lower-grade Italian teachers who deliver Italian language and culture instruction twice a week in every classroom.  We have strong cultural and financial ties with both the Italian and Japanese consulates, which participate in many joint activities throughout the year.  This support is augmented by the generous financial and in-person contributions of our two PTO groups, the Second Community Parents Association and the JBBP Parent Advisory Council.

Although each program has very separate and unique qualities, as well as being separately listed on the district application, Clarendon’s historical success is based on a model of joint governance.  Each program shares facilities and other school resources in a very open and transparent fashion, and joins in the other’s language and cultural opportunities.  Both programs participate in a Joint Council, a monthly meeting of two parents from each program and the Principal to review and discuss opportunities and challenges facing the school as a whole.  The School Site Council (SSC) includes three parents from each program along with six staff members, including the Principal.  Finally, the Principal meets monthly with each parent group organization as well as with the teaching staff at their own program meetings.  These venues, in addition to whole-staff and grade level meetings, make for a multitude of exciting teaching and learning experiences with opportunities for leadership development by all stakeholders.  Taken together, they have proven to be critical to the ability of Clarendon Elementary School to nurture and sustain an integrated community of diverse, critical-thinking and joyful learners.