Academic, Social, Emotional Development

Academics and Enrichment

DFES staff teaches the tools students need to be critical thinkers and problem solvers. Our educational program includes the core subjects as well as enrichment opportunities so that our students receive a well-rounded experience.


  • LANGUAGE ARTS - Standards-based and differentiated to meet students' needs. The program includes guided reading at students' assessed levels, small and large group instruction, and development of analytical skills.

  • MATH - Standards-based and uses hands-on practices and games to reinforce skills and make learning fun.

  • SCIENCE - Incorporated into every classroom. Hands-on science lessons use the scientific model of questioning.The science program culminates with an multi-day, standards-aligned field trip for fifth graders that provides an hands-on, experiential approach to science education and focuses on adventure, self-discovery and environmental stewardship.

  • ART - 16 weeks of art for each student, including visual, drama, hip-hop and dance.

  • MUSIC - SFUSD  music program for all grades. Kindergarten through 2nd grade: singing and ORFF; 3rd grade: recorders; 4th and 5th grades: optional instrumental.

  • PHYSICAL EDUCATION -  Taught by classroom teachers and a PE specialist. A full supply of PE equipment is available to our teachers for use in providing structured, thematic PE learning experiences for our students.

  • OTHER ENRICHMENT OPPORTUNITIES include gardening, celebration of our community's cultural diversity through family-led activities, SPCA Puppy Dog Tales reading program, PTA-sponsored assemblies, Student Council, and school-wide talent show.

Social Development

Every teacher has been trained to cultivate the Caring School Community within the classroom. the Caring School curriculum is a nationally recognized, research based elementary school program that focuses on strengthening students' connectedness to school -- an important element for increasing academic motivation and achievement.

Elements of the curriculum include classroom meetings, cross-grade "buddies," home-side and school-wide activities.

Restorative Practices

Restorative Practices involves the building of positive relationships and establishing a supportive environment that is fair, consistent and democratic. It involves interventions when harm has happened, as well as practices that help to prevent harm and conflict by creating a sense of belonging, safety, and social responsibility within the school community.

Emotional Development

Our staff helps students develop life skills for processing emotions. Techniques include:

  • Positive reinforcement of healthy behaviors through "caught being kind" tickets.

  • Emphasizing the values of compassion, trust and respect.

  • Training and supporting appropriate expressions of emotion using Kimochi dolls.