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Former Mayor Willie Brown, Jr., and Mayor Lee Tour Willie Brown Jr. Middle School

Press Release

March 19, 2015 (San Francisco) – Today Mayor Edwin Lee and former-Mayor Willie Brown, Jr. joined by Supervisor Malia Cohen, SFUSD Superintendent Richard A. Carranza and Principal Demetrius Hobson, toured  the construction in progress of the new Willie Brown Jr. Middle School.

In addition to the hands-on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) focused curriculum and part of the Mayor’s Middle Grades Leadership initiative, the new school will be the site of the City’s first new Beacon Center in 20 years, as part of the City’s Beacon Initiative started under former Mayor Brown.

“Education is the best investment we can make for San Francisco, and the new Willie Brown Jr. Middle School is the best investment we can make for the Bayview community,” said Mayor Lee. “The students at this school will see learning in a new way. This brand new state-of-the-art school will provide innovative education with a focus on learning 21st Century technology skills and hands-on STEM curriculum with supportive after school programing to prepare our youth for the 21st Century economy to help them succeed in our City.”

“The new Willie L. Brown Middle school represents the renaissance that is happening all over Southeast and will provide the opportunity to change hundreds and eventually thousands of lives in Bayview for the better, helping more students graduate and prepare for college and careers and closing the achievement gap ensuring that all students have access to high quality education in their own neighborhood, “ said District 10 Supervisor Malia Cohen, “As a product of the San Francisco public school system, I know firsthand the importance of a solid public school education.”

Demand is High

Superintendent Richard A. Carranza announced that 365 families applied for the 200 spots available in Brown’s inaugural sixth grade class.

“The strong demand to be part of the inaugural class shows that incoming sixth graders and their parents are eager to have interactive learning experiences that will spark students’ curiosity in a safe and nurturing school environment,” said Carranza.

The majority of students who were offered a seat at Brown live in the Bayview neighborhood and attend schools in the Southeast of San Francisco.  Nearly 70 percent are African American and Latino.

While students from across the school district were encouraged to apply to the new Brown Middle School, priority in the assignment process was given to students who currently attend Bayview neighborhood elementary schools such as Dr. George Washington Carver, Dr. Charles Drew, Bret Harte, and Malcolm X Academy, and to students who reside in the 94124 zip code.

Brand New Building and 21st Century Teaching and Learning

The former Willie Brown Middle School building was taken down in 2011 and the new one will open its doors to sixth grade students as promised on August 17, 2015.

The new school will provide a STEM -focused curriculum in a three-story glass building with a state-of-the-art science laboratory, a full digital media lab, and a “maker space” equipped with tools, materials and equipment that students will use to develop and design prototypes.

The school plans to offer a full array of socio-emotional, mental and physical health supports available to students and their families, including an on-campus health clinic, a dental facility, and opportunities for students to develop their personal health skills while working alongside health practitioners. Each student will have an advisor who manages his or her personalized learning plan, enabling students to develop their interests, skills and competencies.

Community Support for WBMS

Currently there is a city-wide estimated investment of $10M within Bayview Hunter’s Point, which supports over 70 programs. This includes over $4M to support nine Beacon Centers throughout the city. The Department of Public Health has committed to fund a dentist, nurse and behavior therapist for the school’s health clinic. 

The Sara & Evan Williams Foundation was the first to donate to Willie Brown Middle School - they made a generous investment before the new school even broke ground.  Salesforce.com Foundation is supporting in the tech integration through the Mayors Middle School Initiative. The SF Jazz Foundation is helping to buy instruments for the school’s music classes and other organizations have committed resources. The district has an ambitious vision for the new school and continues to seek donations to cover the start-up costs for the new school.

“While we have tremendous support from the City and several community partners, we are actively seeking the resources needed to truly make Willie Brown Middle School a new model for public education in San Francisco and beyond,” said Superintendent Carranza.

About Beacon Community Schools  
As a Beacon School, WBMS will also be a hub where children, youth and families of San Francisco’s Bayview neighborhood will gather to learn, support and celebrate one another. It is planned to be a place where all ages develop trust and therefore make WBMS a safe and fun space for the entire community.

The City’s Department of Children Youth and Their Families (DCYF) funds the San Francisco Beacon Initiative and eight Beacon Centers in schools throughout the city, for expanded learning, enriching activities and community building. It is a citywide partnership launched by DCYF, SFUSD, private funders and local community-based organizations in 1994, and is considered a model for schools and communities joining forces to prepare youth for a bright future.

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Today Mayor Edwin Lee and former-Mayor Willie Brown, Jr. joined by Supervisor Malia Cohen, SFUSD Superintendent Richard A. Carranza and Principal Demetrius Hobson, toured  the construction in progress of the new Willie Brown Jr. Middle School

Page updated on 03/19/15