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, 30 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

    Community Gathers at Rosa Parks Elementary

    On Saturday, July 30, the Western Addition community gathered at Rosa Parks Elementary school to celebrate the grand opening of the schoolyard for neighbors to use on weekends. The wide variety of community partners at this event demonstrated the full diversity of the Western Addition neighborhood. 

    The participants who entered the schoolyard from Ellis Street were greeted by a large fire engine, which firefighters from SFFD Station 5 were happy to give tours of. Near the fire truck, neighborhood kids were able to play cops and robbers in a squad car provided by SFPD Northern Station. Meanwhile, on the yard, adults, children, police officers, and a few public officials all joined together to play some basketball with SF Tots. On the opposite corner of the basketball court, SF Youth Soccer helped neighborhood kids refine their kicks with soccer activities.

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    The Rosa Parks PTA set up a table representing the school and the work their association does for the Rosa Parks community. Meanwhile, Mo MAGIC and neighborhood families discussed various resources available for neighborhood kids. Leah's Pantry had tasty and nutritional snacks for event participants, and provided a demonstration showing the amount of sugar that is actually in popular drinks. Kids learned to play a traditional Korean game with the Korean Center, who also brought a few snacks for people to try. Handful Players worked to recruit more kids for their free musical theater program in the hopes of bringing out every child's inner thespian. Participants also learned of the incredible health and environmental benefits of bike riding with the San Francisco Bike Coalition.

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    In the second row of tables, Experience Corps spread the word about their fantastic program which utilizes the help of senior citizen volunteers to teach literacy to young children. The Western Addition Branch Library brought a prize wheel and spoke of the various programs hosted out of the library branch closest to the school. Kids watched in awe as Infinite Martial Arts Studio provided a few demonstrations of martial arts movements. This studio also graciously donated a full free month of martial arts classes to one lucky winner at the event. Right next to the martial arts demonstrations, children were able to add their own creations to the blacktop with chalk provided by the Buchanan Branch YMCA, who also brought delicious fruit for neighbors.

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    The highlight of the event was the speaking program, which started off with Principal Paul Jacobson, who explained how the San Francisco Unified School District mission statement is embodied in the Shared Schoolyard Project. Supervisor Mark Farrell spoke about his motivations for starting the Shared Schoolyard Project and sharing it throughout the city, followed by Board President London Breed reflecting on her childhood days hopping the fence at that very school to play on the yard. Now neighborhood kids can play and enjoy the space freely. 

    The schoolyard at Rosa Parks Elementary School is open to the public on weekends between 9:00 am and 4:00 pm. The schoolyard will be opened by the San Francisco Recreation and Parks 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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    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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Mayor Edwin M. Lee Supervisor Mark Farrell SF Parks Alliance SFUSD SF 311 SFPD SF DPW SF Recreation and Parks