San Francisco at a Glance
Living in San FranciscoiStockphoto
The iconic Golden Gate Bridge is San Francisco's most important landmark.
In the 1950s, San Francisco first became known for its liberal character due to Beat poets like Allen Ginsberg or Jack Kerouac, who were living in San Francisco at the time. The summer of love cemented this image in the 1960s, closely followed by the civil rights movement. But living in San Francisco is not just about this liberal lifestyle, the Hippies of yore, or today’s “hipsters”.
Living in San Francisco: Earthquakes
While living in San Francisco, you may occasionally experience earthquakes. This happens every now and then because the city is located directly at the San Andreas Fault. The San Andreas Fault is a continental transform fault which forms the boundary between the Pacific Plate and the North American Plate. The entire fault runs 800 miles along the length of California, from Salton Sea in the South to Cape Mendocino in the North.
Around the Bay Area several sister faults are running side by side. They can cause significantly destructive earthquakes. In 1906, for instance, a major earthquake and subsequent fires destroyed most of the city. People living in San Francisco became homeless or lost their lives. The USGS has a fault map for the San Francisco area and is also the place to refer to for earthquake warnings while you are living in San Francisco.
Life in San Francisco: Education
In the United States education is organized on three administrative levels. On the federal level, there is the Department of Education, which delegates most authorities to the various State Departments of Education. The latter often leave lots of the decision-making to elected Boards of Education on a local or district level.
Schooling (which may include homeschooling) is compulsory for all children living in San Francisco and elsewhere in the US. Aside from schools for children between the ages of 5 and 18, there are no government-sponsored childcare facilities. Private nurseries and pre-schools are available, of course.
Living in San Francisco: Public Schools
The San Francisco School district (SFUSD) is the eighth largest school district in California and hosts over 55,000 students each year. Visit the website of the San Francisco School District for a complete list of public schools, including early education schools, elementary schools, and middle and high schools. There, you will also find the contact information of all administration offices.
The interactive school selector will help you to find a school for your children while living in San Francisco. Here you will also find lots of information on enrolment requirements. For instance, all children living in San Francisco who are enrolled in grades 7 to 12 need to show proof of a pertussis (“whooping cough”) booster shot and other vaccinations.
However, the San Francisco School District is only one of nine school districts in the entire Bay Area. If you do not plan on living in San Francisco itself, your child may have to attend a school in a different Bay Area School District.
Life in San Francisco: Independent Schools
Aside from the many public schools, there are, of course, also several independent schools for children living in San Francisco, with some international schools among them. If you want your child to receive an international education or to attend a school with a specific educational concept while living in San Francisco, one of these schools may be the right choice: