Everett Middle School, straddling the border of San Francisco’s vibrant Castro and Mission districts, is home to over 400 students. This pioneering school, under the auspices of Principal Lena Van Haren, is the sole middle school for the Mission Promise Neighborhood, a community initiative to help families succeed so that students achieve.
With a mascot that’s an owl, it’s a wise choice that Everett be a Mission Promise Neighborhood school, as it means many benefits. These include having a full-time nurse and social worker, community school coordinator and a family success coach acting as a connector to services.
How is Everett succeeding for its students? By offering its diverse student body a model for modern-day teaching. This includes incorporating a social-justice lens into the curriculum, ensuring student voices are heard and that critical thinking is employed, implementing restorative practices, offering additional academic assistance based on student need and having an after-school program that takes all sixth-graders.
These highlights exemplify the record of academic success:
Help for newcomer students
Everett offers additional class time for newcomers to help accelerate math and reading skills.
Everett features a Wellness Center that includes an Instituto Familiar de La Raza community mental health worker.
Communication with families
Everett sends out a monthly newsletter, plus offers an up-to-date calendar of the year on the school website.
School Loop to support students’ academic progress
Everett teachers are using School Loop, which integrates instruction, communication and intervention tools into one simple system so students and their parents know where they stand, what to do and how to do well.
Everett uses targeted outreach to Latino families – 55 percent of the school population – and education around college preparation, with Everett’s Spanish-speaking population outperforming the district average.
Everett gives teachers extra prep time, holds three retreats and lets teacher voices guide school leadership.
Help Applying for High School
Everett students all have an individual plan and assistance in applying for public, charter or private high schools. The Mission Graduates Beacon Center prepares youth mentally, physically and spiritually, nurturing young minds with education, support guidance and advocacy.
The Mission Graduates Beacon Center prepares youth mentally, physically and spiritually, nurturing young minds with education, support guidance and advocacy.
With all of the above in place, it’s no wonder that Everett is now the most-requested middle school in the SFUSD. Parents should note that Bryant, Cesar Chavez, Fairmount, Marshall, McKinley, Milk and Sanchez elementary schools get priority for their child getting into Everett Middle School.
Student Myrai’s experience showcases a typical day in the life of an Everett middle-schooler. Myrai’s story is best told in her own words.
“I’m part of the Black Student Union. We just did a really awesome Black History Month celebration where we didn’t celebrate only the famous people like Martin Luther King Jr., but also other people who aren’t known as well, but have done a lot. We have a lot of other clubs, too. I’m thinking of joining the book club because I read really well. I just passed level Z, so I don’t need to do the reading test any more since I passed the highest level.
“In my nonfiction studies class, we’re working on persuasive arguments. I’m answering the question, ‘Should animal poaching be illegal?’ We just finished learning about ethos, logos and pathos for that. If you asked any of my teachers – like Ms. Diaz or Mr. Garza – they would tell you that I absolutely love animals.
“Other than that, I have fiction studies, math, and there are other classes you can choose like Vocal and Computer Class. And PE is fun, but it’s hard. Even on our chill days we do work; we learn and take notes, and we just studied how to become a football player in college. Our teacher is really passionate about volleyball, so she doesn’t just exercise and do sports because she has to do it. She really loves volleyball, so we do a lot in PE.”
Despite her full days at Everett, Myrai also finds time to do a weekly swimming lesson. She also participates in Summerbridge, which provides tuition-free academic enrichment and advocacy to underserved middle schoolers, making the best educational opportunities available to students with limited resources.
Everett Middle School, 450 Church Street, San Francisco, CA 94110.
About Mission Promise Neighborhood
The Mission Promise Neighborhood is a citywide community partnership that was created to support kids and families living, working, and attending school in the Mission District. It brings together schools, colleges, community organizations and community leaders to help kids graduate and families achieve financial stability.