San Francisco Coalition of Essential Small Schools

  • San Francisco



3750 18th Street
5th Floor at Mission High School
San Francisco
United States

About Us

Mission and Vision

The Mission of SF-CESS is to interrupt and transform current and systemic educational inequities to ensure all students have access to personalized, equitable and high performing schools that believe and demonstrate each student can, should and will succeed.

We achieve our mission by providing coaching, technical assistance and professional development to a network of school communities that share core values in high-leverage areas of:

  • Powerful and Effective Teaching and Learning
  • Explicit, Shared and Leveraged Instructional Leadership
  • Thoughtful School Design and Professional Development
  • Caring Community Connections for additional Student Support

It is our Vision that schools will function as sustainable learning communities in which every child is known well and whose practices, based in inquiry, are explicitly focused on equity and achievement.

  • A "learning community" requires ALL members of that community to be dedicated to lifelong learning.
  • Ensuring "every child is known well" requires our schools to focus on personalization.
  • "Inquiry focused on equity and achievement" demands our schools to be driven by results defined from the data of our students, their achievement and experiences, and our schools' success to serve them.

A clear vision also helps us to see HOW to reach our mission as it identifies our core values from basic design to daily decisions...

  • A "learning community" requires all members of that community to be dedicated to lifelong learning. This not only informs how our schools must hire and supervise staff but also necessitates a rigorous professional development program for the whole staff that both addresses the work of the school and models best instructional practices.
  • To ensure that "every child is known well" our schools must focus on personalization. From support structures to advisory programs to discipline policies, our schools' daily decisions, design, practices, and resources must support this effort.
  • "Inquiry focused on equity and achievement" demands that our schools be driven by results; results we define from the data of who our students are, what their achievement and experiences look like, and how well our schools do or do not serve them. Such a focused commitment to inquiry has tremendous influence over how our schools use time, develop relationships and choose tools and structures to deepen this work.

SF-CESS will share best practices for creating the conditions necessary for schools to be equitable and high performing. SF-CESS intends to make a significant contribution to achievement and the lives of children in the San Francisco-Bay Area, as well as throughout the nation.