San Francisco International High School 2016-2017 Innovation Awards

The Design Challenge

How might we design a satellite continuation school to better serve our unaccompanied, recently arrived immigrant students, who need to work full time?

San Francisco International High School will use an Innovation Award in 2016-17 to create a continuation school to better serve their recently arrived immigrant students who need to work full time.


A student’s zip code, home language, or country of origin should not determine their educational outcomes. However, at SF International, where all of our students are newcomer immigrants and English language learners, they recognize that too many of their students with interrupted formal education (SIFE) are not making it to graduation, to college, through college and into careers. The team at SF International wants to increase the number of students who graduate from high school and from college, particularly their SIFE students. At SF International, 100% of our students are newcomers, 97% of our students qualify for free and reduced lunch, 35% are SIFE, approximately 30% of their students are unaccompanied minors who are here in the US without their families, and about 15% of their students are working 30 hours a week or more. Year after year they have see the transformative potential of school for even our most at-risk students. Despite the challenges presented by their lack of access to previous educational opportunities and economic demands they are invested and happy in school. The team at SF International has identified that students like theirs are rarely centered in educational innovations and reforms. The landscape for English learners is rich with possibility and poses a critical opportunity to imagine new solutions and new ways to utilize current best practices. They will plan with care how their students will become the self reliant community engaged adults who will demonstrate graduation readiness.

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This page was last updated on June 3, 2021