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420 Filbert Street,
San Francisco, CA 94133

(415) 291-7924

Garfield is a public elementary school located at the base of Coit Tower n- one of the most picturesque spots in the city of San Francisco. As one of the first public elementary schools in the city, Garfield has been providing a rich academic environment for local children for more than 100 years. Today, Garfield is a small, tight-knit community serving 240 children of diverse cultural and economic backgrounds in grades K-5.

Garfield Elementary offers general education classes for grades K-5; a Chinese Immersion program for grades K-1 (additional grades will be added every academic year through grade 5); a Special Day Class (SDC) program for children with high-functioning autism in grades K-5; and an after-school program from 1:50 – 6:00pm every school day. In addition to the music, art and P.E. programs that are offered throughout the district, Garfield partners with San Francisco community-based organizations to provide enrichment opportunities for its students. These partners include CUESA (the Center for Urban  Education about Sustainable Agriculture); the Chinatown Y.M.C.A; the San Francisco Opera Guild; LEAP Arts in Education; and more. 

For more information about Garfield, please visit the school’s Facebook page, Garfield’s San Francisco Unified School District page, and Great Schools . If you are interested in receiving the Garfield PTO newsletter, please provide your email address here.

Chinese Immersion program

Field Trip To Chinatown to look at the hanging ducks.jpg

Chinese Immersion Program

What is the Chinese Immersion Program at Garfield Elementary?

Garfield’s Cantonese Dual Language Immersion Pathway is designed to ensure English Learners and native English speakers develop high levels of both English and Cantonese language proficiency and literacy, as well as academic and cultural competency.


Who is eligible to enroll in the program?

All students in the San Francisco Unified School District are eligible for and invited to select Garfield’s Chinese Immersion Program during the district’s enrollment period. Cantonese-speaking and non-Cantonese speaking students are enrolled in about equal proportions in the immersion classrooms, where they enhance learning of their respective languages and cultures.


Who teaches in the Chinese Immersion classroom?

Garfield’s Chinese Immersion teachers are established SFUSD teachers who have BCLAD (Bilingual Cross-cultural Language Academic Development) certifications, California teaching credentials, and a great deal of classroom experience. 

Before the Dual-Immersion program started at Garfield, the school’s immersion teachers taught in the SFUSD Cantonese Bilingual Pathway program for many years. They are bilingual and bi-literate in Cantonese and English and instruct their classrooms in both languages. They provide a warm and supportive learning environment for their students. Teachers also use Specially Designed Academic Instruction in English (SDAIE), strategies to ensure access to the core curriculum and facilitate the development of academic English for Cantonese-speaking students. Similar instructional support is provided for English-speaking students while they learn the core content in Cantonese.


How much of the school day is taught in Cantonese?

In grades K-2, instruction occurs 70% of the time in Cantonese, 30% in English.

In grades 3 & 4, instruction will occur 60% of the time in Cantonese, 40% in English.

During the 4th grade year, Mandarin lessons will begin, although students at Garfield have some introduction to the Mandarin language via songs and poems starting in 1st grade. 

In grade 5, instruction will occur 50% of the time in Cantonese, 50% in English and also include a Mandarin language lesson. 

What about Chinese culture?

Garfield’s campus is just a short walk to San Francisco’s famed Chinatown, the largest Chinatown outside of Asia, and probably the most culturally-rich. All dual-immersion classroom instruction is enhanced through cultural enrichment activities including field trips in and around Chinatown, cultural celebrations and awareness days, visual and performance arts, media, and use of various computer technologies.


What is the history of the Chinese Immersion program at Garfield?

Garfield’s program is the newest SFUSD elementary Cantonese immersion program. The first immersion kindergarten class enrolled in the 2012-13 school year. Garfield’s Chinese Immersion Program teachers closely communicate with other Chinese immersion programs in the SFUSD to collaborate, share best-practices, and work toward continual program improvement.