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Chinese Education Center Elementary School

School code number: 476
Grade level: K-5
Hours: 8:30 a.m. - 2:35 p.m.

657 Merchant Street, San Francisco, CA, 94111
Neighborhood: Financial District
Phone: 415-291-7918
Fax: 415-291-7965
School Loop:
Principal: Victor Tam

School Data

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Discover This School

The Chinese Education Center is committed to providing all students a strong foundation in academic subjects, especially English Language Arts, and an orientation to American culture in a positive and nurturing environment. Our entire student population is made up of newcomer students who are learning English for the first time, and adjusting to a new way of life and a new set of expectations in America. Most students stay with us for one year before they are transferred to another school. Students receive a strong foundation of basic skills in all core subjects. English language development, Chinese language arts, bilingual instruction in the core subjects, computer literacy, and extended learning activities in health and safety education. Field trips, dance, art, and music are also part of the curriculum. Because all students are beginning English learners, they receive two to three hours of focused English instruction daily, and English learning is integrated into other subjects throughout the day.

All students have equal access to learning and are given equal opportunity to succeed in school. By creating a safe and caring school climate, joyful learners feel comfortable speaking English and Chinese at school, not worried about making mistakes or afraid to ask questions in class, and are excited to share learning with their families at home. We will develop a culture of service by making sure that students' needs always come first and all students and families will be served equitably, so that each student will attain his/her highest potential.

This school feeds into:

Francisco Middle School, Visitacion Valley Middle School For our 5th grade students, they feed into Francisco Middle School OR Visitacion Valley Middle School. As a one-year newcomer program, the K-4 students have the opportunity to transfer to any District elementary school. Generally, grades K-1-2-3-4 newcomer students who enroll into CEC after JANUARY 1st are eligible to remain at CEC for another school year.

School Tours

Please call for appointment



Afterschool programs

2:35 - 6:00 PM. The Excel Afterschool Program is run by the Chinatown YMCA.  It is on-site and provides tutorial, enrichment, and recreational activities for students to extend their opportunity to learn and use English.  The program is fee-based but is subsidized for students who qualify.

Special Education Programs

  • Designated instructional services
  • Resource specialist program

Language Programs

  • Cantonese
  • Mandarin

Newcomer Pathway (Cantonese K-5, Mandarin K-5)

Student Support Programs

A School Social Worker coordinates counseling, mentoring, and intervention services. An active Student Success Team meets to address students' needs on a regular basis. A Family Liaison helps coordinate communications with families and an Instructional Reform Facilitator helps to refine instruction.

Arts and Enrichment

All students participate in the Visual and Performing Arts classes that are focused on DRAMA/MUSIC/and VISUAL ARTS.  In addition, we have the District Instrumental Program available to students in Grades 3-5.

School Day Academic Enrichment

All students receive 60 minutes of daily, intensive English Language Development in addition to studying all other curricular areas.  Students also utilize the computer lab program to support their English development and computer literacy on a regular basis.