Forms and Resources For School Principals

About the Project

The Shared Schoolyard Project is a partnership between the City of San Francisco, the San Francisco Unified School District, and San Francisco’s neighborhoods and communities that envisions and provides for a place for children and families to play and gather within walking distance of every child in San Francisco. Through this unique joint partnership, the City and the School District are able to open schoolyards to the public across the city, with at least one in each of San Francisco’s 11 Supervisorial Districts.

The Shared Schoolyard Project was revamped under the leadership of District 2 Supervisor Mark Farrell, who has led in the fundraising efforts for the project, Mayor Ed Lee, Superintendent Richard Carranza, the San Francisco Unified School District, San Francisco’s Recreation and Parks Department, San Francisco’s Department of Public Works, San Francisco Police Department, and 311 to increase more open space for our children and families to play and gather.

Currently, 28 public schools citywide are enrolled in the Shared Schoolyard Project. The Shared Schoolyard Project is working to enroll all of San Francisco’s public schools, so that every child and family in San Francisco can have a clean and safe place to play and gather on the weekends.

Enrolling your school in the Shared Schoolyard Project provides so much more than just an open schoolyard for a place to build community.

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Our Mission

The Shared Schoolyard Project’s mission is to create more accessible and safe spaces for our children and families to gather and play throughout the City of San Francisco. The Schoolyard Project will encompass every supervisorial district and will succeed through collaborative partnerships with the City of San Francisco, the San Francisco Unified School District, Neighborhoods and Communities, the San Francisco PTA, Corporate Sponsors, and other Non-Governmental and Community Based Organizations. We envision providing a place to play within walking distance of every child in San Francisco.

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    News & Media

    Mid-Summer Celebration at MLK Middle

    July 16 was a beautiful mid-summer day in the Portola neighborhood, and neighbors took full advantage to gather for the grand opening of the schoolyard at Martin Luther King Jr. Middle School.

    The entire lower yard was full of activities for parents and children alike. Children ran in to play on the big bounce house and slide combination provided by the Bayview YMCA. They squealed with laughter as they slid out of the jumper and ran right back around to jump even more. On other side of the yard, kids shot hoops and scored goals as neighborhood kids took advantage of the basketball hoops on the yard and SF Youth Soccer helped kids of all ages improve their kick.  On the upper yard, firefighters from Engine 42 gave tours of their firetruck. Children were able to talk to their local firefighters, see their equipment, and even sit in the driver's seat. As the event went on, the yard became increasingly bright and colorful as kids stopped by the Little Artistas table and painted on the blacktop. By the end of the event, there was a mosaic of hearts, butterflies, cows, and whatever else came to the minds of Portola neighborhood kids.

    mlk-paint.jpgIn the middle of the yard, tents were set up for even more neighborhood organizations. The Martin Luther King Middle School PTA had a table telling families about their group. One Degree engaged families with a fun ball-toss carnival game, while Portola Family Connections had a table set up with a prize wheel. The Portola Branch Library, a close neighbor of MLK Middle School, informed the public of the programs and services they offer while handing out some free books.

    mlk-bounce.jpgThe highlight of the event was the speaking program where Principal Essien addressed MLK neighbors and Supervisor Mark Farrell spoke of his motivations for starting the Shared Schoolyard Project and sharing it throughout the city. 

    mlk-ribboncutting.jpgThe schoolyard at Martin Luther King Middle School is open to the public on weekends between 9:00 am and 4:00 pm. The schoolyard will be opened by San Francisco Unified School District security staff and cleaned by the San Francisco Department of Public Works. For any questions or specific information about the Shared Schoolyard Project, please contact Chris Sally at chris@sfsharedschoolyard.org.

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    Growing the Community's Playground: Alvarado Elementary

    On Saturday June 18th, crowds of community members streamed through the gates of Alvarado Elementary School. Attendees flocked to the school, which is nestled amongst the rolling hills of Noe Valley, to celebrate access to a public place for safe play in the neighborhood.

    Beneath a nearly cloudless sky, the grand opening boasted a range of activities for both parents and kids to enjoy. Event partners engaged kids in interactive activities while illustrating the various uses of the space for the community.  

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    Super Soccer Stars challenged kids to perfect their shots against child-sized nets, while offering a lucky raffle prize winner a coveted soccer coaching session. Directly behind the soccer field, SF Tots gave kids a shot on the court with basketball hoops. GLO coupled football with carnival fun, challenging kids to throw a football through wooden hoops. For kids who wanted to flex a different kind of muscle, Little Artistas had them roll up their sleeves and get creative with arts and crafts projects. At a neighboring table, Bricks 4 Kids provided Legos and STEM-based activities for children to challenge their growing minds.  

    Amongst all the fun, partners introduced themselves to parents with community-building opportunities and information on how to utilize the new, free space for years to come. Throughout the day, neighbors and kids alike enjoyed healthy and delicious tacos while dancing along to kid-friendly music.

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    Supervisor Mark Farrell, who has spearheaded the effort to open schoolyards across the city, joined Supervisor Scott Wiener and PTA co-President Fred Spitz to address the celebrating community. After a few short words, Supervisor Farrell welcomed the kids to gather round and help him hoist the honorary scissors for a ribbon cutting ceremony. With that, the Alvarado Elementary playground opened to the community amongst the laughter of children, the flash of parents’ cameras, and the steady clap from the crowd.   

    Ribbon Cutting

    The schoolyard at Alvarado Elementary School is open to the public on Saturdays between 9:00 am and 4:00 pm. The schoolyard will be opened by the San Francisco Parks and Recreation Department and cleaned by the San Francisco Department of Public Works. For any questions or specific information about the Shared Schoolyard Project, please contact Chris Sally at chris@sfsharedschoolyard.org.

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Mayor Edwin M. Lee Supervisor Mark Farrell SF Parks Alliance SFUSD SF 311 SFPD SF DPW SF Recreation and Parks