SFDS Athletics off to a Strong Start

September 19, 2014 

Our JV soccer team dominated Brandeis on Wednesday and the sixth grade Girls’ Volleyball team earned a hard-fought win Monday against International.  Go Dolphins!

Introducing Next Head of School, Mike Walker

June 13, 2014 

Dear San Francisco Day School Community Members,

It is our great pleasure to announce that the Board of Trustees has unanimously voted to appoint Michael T. Walker as our next Head of School, effective July 1, 2015.  Mike is a lifelong educator and learner who has spent the last sixteen years of his career as the principal of the Junior School (K-8) at Punahou School in Honolulu, Hawai’i.  We are thrilled that he and his wife Wendy will be joining the SFDS community.

Michael WalkerMichael WalkerMike’s appointment concludes an extensive and comprehensive national search that yielded an outstanding and diverse pool of over 150 candidates from schools across the country.  To those who met him, Mike stands out as an educator who works every day to inspire others and to change the lives of children.  As he noted in his letter to the Search Committee, “I am a storyteller at heart, and enjoy sharing my enthusiasm for how a school can shape, enrich and transform a life.”

At Punahou, Mike has led with both vision and intellect.  Mike helped create a robust faculty evaluation program that focuses on professional growth.  Working in collaboration with teams of faculty, parents, staff, and administration, Mike shepherded the restructuring of the curriculum in the middle school and grades K-1 to focus on interdisciplinary and inquiry-based learning that asks as its central questions, “What is best practice and what is best for children?”  Mike also provided the instructional leadership for the Case Middle School and the Omidyar K-1 Neighborhood, two new campus facilities built to LEED platinum and gold standards and both of which model innovative educational practices.

The Search Committee was impressed by Mike’s intense curiosity and willingness to challenge assumptions about learning and learners.  For the last three years, Mike has steeped himself in the neuroscience of learning through his studies at the University of Hawai’i.  Mike’s interest in applying what researchers are learning about the brain to what is happening in the classroom led to the creation of Punahou’s “Brain Symposium” which has teamed thought leaders like Daniel Siegel, Frank Kros, and Carol Dweck with independent and public school educators to talk about key new ideas in education.    

Mike’s colleagues and peers speak to his great integrity, the strength of his leadership, and his care for children.  Our own community observed that Mike is “funny, engaging, thoughtful, energetic, and smart,” “I loved that he talked about his own child’s struggles with learning differences,” “I like that he’s a leader who doesn’t assume he has the answer, but rather understands how to frame a problem so that the stakeholders can agree on the challenge that needs to be resolved.”  One second grade student summed up his visit with Mike by noting, “I feel like Mr. Walker cares about me.”

Mike graduated with a B.A. magna cum laude in English and social sciences from Western Michigan University, holds an M.A. in educational leadership from the University of South Carolina, and will complete his doctoral studies on the neuroscience of decision-making in school settings for an Ed.D at the University of Hawai’i in July 2014.  Mike began his teaching career at his alma mater, the American School Foundation in Mexico City, where he taught social sciences and English.  Mike served as a faculty member and later Middle School Director at the Hammond School in Columbia, South Carolina, and from there, Mike was appointed Middle School Director at the University School of Nashville.

Mike and his wife Wendy have been married for 31 years and first met as students in Mexico City.  They have raised their two sons, Christopher (25) and Matthew (22), in a bilingual and multicultural household.  In his spare time, Mike enjoys running marathons and surfing, and he and Wendy look forward to returning to the mainland and making San Francisco their new home.

In accepting his appointment as Head of School, Mike said, “I visited the school nearly twelve years ago and saw first hand that the school was committed to engaging with the wider community outside its doors.  Wendy and I both grew up in Mexico City and raised our family in Hawaii.  Our personal and professional decisions have always immersed us in multiethnic, diverse communities, which is why we immediately felt so drawn to San Francisco Day School.  I am thrilled and honored to be invited to lead a school community so focused on the needs of its students, the engagement and support of faculty, and the involvement of the parents.”

We are extremely grateful to the Search Committee, comprised of faculty and trustees, who spent countless hours over the past six months to find a visionary leader for our school and who created a process that allowed our community to contribute its input and feedback.  We would like to thank our faculty, staff, parents, students, alumni and trustees for their active and thoughtful participation throughout this search process.  Finally, we wish to thank our search consultants Aggie Underwood and Rayna Loeb from Carney Sandoe for their guidance and wisdom.

As we look to the future of San Francisco Day School, we feel privileged and excited to have Mike Walker as our next Head of School.  Working together, we will continue to make San Francisco Day School a place where curiosity and childhood can flourish.


Carl Kawaja                                           Laura Spivy
Co-President, Board of Trustees       Co-President, Board of Trustees

Grace Won,
Chair, Search Committee

2013-14 Board of Trustees
Carl Kawaja
Laura Spivy
Katie Albright
Lesley Bunim '91
Reed Colley
Tommy Davis '96
Sandy Dean
Humberto A. Galleno
Fif Ghobadian
John Hayashi
Malcolm John
Janet McKinley
Ken McNeely
Gabrey Means
Alicia Nogales
Jenny Pearlman
Ann Roberts
Topher Solmssen
Christy Tripp
Grace Won
Molly Wood

Ex Officio
David E. Jackson, Head of School
Dawn Hartman, President, Parents Association

Head of School Search Committee
Grace Won
Cathy Aragon
Sue Collentine
Reed Colley
Sandy Dean
Humberto A. Galleno
Dawn Hartman
Ken McNeely
Meagan Nye
Su-Moon Paik
Laura Spivy
Molly Wood
Joel Young

More Info

NEW! Student Newspaper is HERE!

December 03, 2013 

On Friday, September 20, a group of SFDS eighth graders launched the first online student newspaper. The Day School Courier will feature articles, opinions, creative expressions, and news by our students, for our students. All upper school students are encouraged to submit articles and ideas for the publication.

Check it out!

Update! 2013-14 Family Directory

July 22, 2013 

Dear Parents,

Please take a moment to ensure that San Francisco Day School has up-to-date home and emergency contact information for your family.

Using the email from SFDS, please update or confirm your information by MONDAY, JULY 22 to be sure you are listed correctly in the 2013-2014 Green Book, which will be mailed to you shortly before school starts. To find your information on the PDF, you may hit "ctrl-f" (PC) or "command-f" (MAC) to search for your name.

If your information is the same, no need to do anything. If your information has changed, please reply to this email with your correct address/phone number/email, or email Michelle Phillips (

If you do not want your information published in the Green Book, please let us know that as well.

Thank you,


Raise Your Paddle for Science

May 03, 2013 

At SFDS, we are more excited than ever about science! Our passionate and talented teachers have designed a rigorous curriculum to ensure our students are prepared for an increasingly complex world where scientific innovations drive change and progress.

However, we cannot move forward with the science classrooms of yesterday.  It is critical that we update our science lab to provide the space, organization, and accessibility necessary for engaging, student-centered, and project-based learning.

Inquiry.  Exploration.  Experimentation.

Now is the time to support rigorous scientific inquiry and dialogue for our curious students and thoughtful teachers.  An updated
science lab that offers mobility and fosters collaboration is essential.

On May 4th, RAISE YOUR PADDLE at JazzFest and ignite our future scientists!
If you can’t attend, you may also give online:

April is Poetry Month!

March 31, 2013 

Mark your calendar! SFDS is participating in National Poetry Month with the following events:

  • Poem in Your Pocket Day - April 22
  • Poetry Assembly - April 22

Detailed schedule for April 22:

8:00-8:30am – Ms. Adler’s poetry students will be greeting families with morning poems (outside the GG entrance).

8:30-8:45am – This day will now be our own SFDS Poem in Your Pocket Day

11:45-1:15pm – Open Mic During Lunch Time – Grades 3-8. We will have poems on hand for students to read and/or they can bring their own.

1:25-2:15pm – Art N' Poetry Assembly…The art department will begin our assembly by introducing Mexican artist and speaker, Betsabee Romero.

(Please note: Due to our shortened annual Poetry Assembly, many students and teachers’ poems will not be shared. We appreciate your flexibility this year.)

Sign up for daily poetry inspiration here:

SFDS Website Tutorials: Jan. 29-31

January 12, 2013 

We are thrilled to present the re-designed SFDS website. For instructions on how to login and navigate the parent portal, please download this pdf, or email: Website tutorial sessions will also be offered for parents next week (all meetings take place in the Library Media Center):

  • Kindergarten-2nd grade: Tuesday, January 29 at 8:30am
  • 3rd - 5th grade: Wednesday, January 30 at 8:30am
  • 6th - 8th grade: Thursday, January 31 at 8:15am

Please RSVP to!

JazzFest was a SUCCESS!

January 06, 2013 

THANK YOU for making JazzFest a huge success! Together, we've met our goals and raised over $300,000 for discounted tuition and over $100,000 for science!

If you didn't get a chance to raise the paddle for science, it's not too late!  The more we raise, the more we can do this summer to fix up our science rooms so they can meet the needs of our curriculum. To give online, just visit:

We had an unforgettable time with you on Saturday night! From Lavay Smith at cocktail hour, to an exciting live auction, to beignets and ice cream at midnight...we had a blast channeling New Orleans and the Age of Jazz!  Missed the event?  Take a look!

Videos from the event are also online!
(Password is the usual "mathematical equation." Need a hint? Email:

And last but not least, COUNT-ME-INs are still available...just CLICK HERE to find more inventive and memorable experiences for you and your family!


Scott E. Case and Regan Pritzker
Co-chairs, CultureFest 2013

Have You Checked Out the Teacher/Classroom Sites?

January 01, 2013 

If you have FIVE minutes, be sure to check out the new teacher/classroom sites!

Teacher/Classroom sites are private, so make sure you're logged in to the SFDS website first. Here's how to log in:

Logging into the new San Francisco Day School website:

  • Go to the homepage at
  • Click on the ‘Log In’ tab at the upper right hand corner, next to the Parents tab, and login with your email/password. If you do not have a password or have not logged in before, then follow the instructions below.
  • Once you’ve clicked 'Login, ' you will be directed to a new screen that says “User Account”. Because you do not yet have passwords, select the 'Request New Password' tab next to the 'Log in' tab.
  • Enter your email address on file with SFDS and select the 'Email new password' button.
  • Within seconds you will receive an email from "SFDS" with a one-time login link at your email account. Go to your email account and select the long link in the middle of the message.
  • Click the “Log in” button from the ‘reset password’ page.
  • You will be directed to your account information, and from this page - may select and confirm a new password for future logins. You may also change your 'Username' from this page if you choose to do so.
  • Once confirmed, scroll down to the bottom of the page, and select Save.

Navigating ‘My SFDS’

All of the teacher-created sites that you currently belong to are displayed in the 'My SFDS' tab, located beneath the search bar from the home page or from the parent portal. With one click, you will be directed to your customized view of teacher sites, which have been pre-selected for you based on your children's grades/classes at SFDS. If there are other classes/grades you would like to join, please with your request.

  • Once you have logged in, click on ‘My SFDS’ from the home page. You will be directed to “My SFDS News,” which houses all of your teacher sites, which are called “groups.”
  • If you click on the drop-down menu under “My Groups Home,” you will see all of the groups to which you are currently subscribed.  
  • New updates are indicated with a pink dot in the upper right hand corner of the Group square.
  • To open a specific group, click on the Group Name or Post that you would like to see.


Navigating a Teacher “Site” or “Group”

Once in a Teacher “Site” or “Group,” there are six sections to navigate via tabs (see below). Note that each group is searchable – type in a key word or phrase into the search bar to pull up corresponding information.

1)      Posts – Posts are categorized by topic, such as “Class Update,” “LRP Update” or “Weekly Newsletter.” There is a list of each post organized on the right hand for easy access.

2)      Calendar – Group calendars contain events specifically pertaining to your grade or class. The upcoming events are also visible on the right hand side and can be imported into your personal calendar if desired.

3)      Galleries – Photo and video galleries for your grade or class. The most recent galleries are also displayed on the right hand side.

4)      Pages – Pages contain various types of information that typically will not change throughout the year, such as “Meet Your Teachers.”

5)      Links – Links to sign-up sheets and website links.

6)     Files - PDFs, word documents, and other useful documents.

To get back to the "home page" of the site, click the green square that reads "Group Main Page" on the left hand side.

If you have any questions, please email: We have additional instructions for using the SFDS website posted online at:

Thank you and happy surfing!

Annual Report 2012-2013

January 01, 2012 

The SFDS annual report for 2012-2013 has been mailed to our community - if you do not receive a report this week, please reach out to the Development Office or contact Michelle Phillips directly at