Frequently Asked Questions

I heard there are 2 programs at Clarendon?

Clarendon campus houses two distinct programs, JBBP and Second Community. Each program strives to provide an enriched curriculum for their students. While the specific goals of each program are different, both programs benefit by sharing the school site. Resources, such as the library and the computer classroom are shared. Costs of the art consultant, P.E consultant and others are also shared between the parent groups. Both programs participate in some shared fundraisers and holiday celebrations. Staff members often work across programs to organize field trips and other programs. Enrollment is handled separately. It is possible to list both JBBP and SC on your application list. 

How many students do you have?

Clarendon JBBP has around 260 students. The Second Community program that shares the site has an additional ~260 students.. 

Is JBBP an Immersion Program?

No. The JBBP is based on a nationally recognized model called Foreign Language in Elementary Schools (FLES) Like the Immersion Programs, the teachers are the primary instructors of the Japanese language and cultural curriculum. Unlike Immersion, all core subject classes are taught in English. 

What is the core curriculum?

Like all other public schools, the JBBP adheres to the subject requirements dictated by the state of California and the San Francisco Unified School District. All core curriculum subjects such as math, science, and language arts are taught in English. 

How much time is spent on Japanese each day?

The amount varies from day to day and from class to class depending on the day's activities. The goal is to average 40 minutes each day. Sometimes this is accomplished during a set time for Japanese instruction. Sometimes, the Japanese lessons are integrated through the day's activities and cultural celebrations. 

Do all the teachers speak Japanese?

Yes. All our JBBP teachers have Japanese language proficiency. Some are native speakers, some grew up speaking Japanese as a second language and some have learned as adults. Our teachers are excellent role models for language learning. 

Will my English speaking child be fluent in Japanese when they graduate?

The goal for English speaking students is to acquire a foundation of Japanese proficiency and a basic knowledge of Japanese culture. The teachers smoothly integrate Japanese language and culture throughout the day using a content-based, thematic unit approach. The JBBP community inspires children to love learning Japanese and motivates them to become life-long learners of Japanese language and culture. 

How will my Japanese speaking child have their Japanese language supported?

Japanese speaking students maintain their heritage language skills as teachers extend the Japanese curriculum to challenge them using thematic-units that incorporate higher-level vocabulary, spoken and written language (including hiragana, katakana and kanji). 

What options are available to continue Japanese in middle school and high school?

Hoover Middle School and Presidio Middle School offer Japanese FLES programs. These programs are designed for students who graduated from K-5 Japanese FLES Programs, but are open to all students. Lincoln High School, Lowell High School and Washington High School offer Japanese as one of the World Language options.

How do you promote Japanese culture?

Throughout the year we celebrate many Japanese events such as Oshogatsu (New Year's), Undoukai (Sports Day), Otsukimi (Harvest Moon Viewing), Hinamatsuri (Doll Festival) and enjoy participating in or watching mochi pounding, sushi rolling, tea ceremony, Shamisen (Japanese traditional instrument), Noh (Japanese traditional performance), Cherry Blossom Festival, Taiko (Japanese drums) etc, etc, etc... JBBP is also engaged in activities such as Shuji (calligraphy), Chigiri-e (paper tearing art), Kiri-e (paper cutting art), Origami (paper folding art), Warabe Uta (children's songs) and Shibori (tie-dye).

Do students need to have Japanese heritage?

No, approximately 15% of our students are Japanese speakers. Some of the students have Japanese heritage but many others represent many other cultures.

Besides Japanese, what enrichment programs do you offer?

Please reach more about these programs here. Our very active parent group also supports many field trips including overnights for the upper grades, trips to the De Young, Monterey Bay Aquarium, Japanese Tea Garden, Academy of Science and more. Art is provided every other week, PE every week and computer every week. Upper grades learn Taiko drumming in addition to the district provided music instrument instruction beginning in 3rd grade. All children go to the symphony and both the symphony and ballet come to the school. We partner with students at UCSF medical center for some additional science. We also bring in additional consultants for workshops with the children such as shibori (tie-dye), Taiko (Japanese drum) and others.

Do you have a Librarian?

Yes, we have a Librarian on-site everyday. Each class visits the library for story time each week and they can check out a book. Children are welcome to return and check out books more often if they wish. Our librarian also coordinates Read Aloud Day, Pajama Day, Picture Day, and our annual book fair that raises substantial funds to purchase new books. The non-fiction side of the library shares the space with our Computer Lab which houses both Macs and PC laptops.

What is the tax code ID for Clarendon JBBP?

Our tax ID is 94-2783933.

How active is the parent involvement?

Parent involvement is extremely high at Clarendon. Parents and families play a critical role in maintaining the integrity of the JBBP. It is necessary that parents commit to active involvement. Parents can be involved in a wide variety of activities from helping in the classroom to planning cultural events to fundraising to serving on the PAC (Parent Advisory Council) and School Site Council as Officers.

How much does the parent group raise?

The JBBP PAC (Parent Advisory Council) annual budget is about $200,000. We fund raise through various means such as the Auction, Annual Fund, Walkathon, Cherry Blossom Festival Udon Booth, etc. We use the proceeds to fund additional staff and our enrichment programs as well as field trips, teacher professional development, and supplies. Note that Second Community (the other program in which half of Clarendon’s student body is enrolled) has a separate budget, and we pool funds to pay for certain shared resources and programs.

I want to enroll my child in your school. What can I do?

The enrollment is handled through the SF Unified School District. The school has no control over the enrollment process. For more information, please visit Parents for Public Schools is also a very helpful site.

Is Clarendon a neighborhood or attendance area school?

It is important to remember that there are two programs at Clarendon, JBBP and Second Community. JBBP is a city-wide program which means that preference is not given to students living within a specific attendance area. Second Community is a neighborhood or attendance area program and preference is given to students who reside within a specific attendance area.

How many Kindergarten classes will you have for students entering in the Fall?

Clarendon's School Site Council (consisting of representatives from staff, teachers, parents and the Principal) evaluate our school's student population, space, and financial needs in the early spring and work with the District to determine the number of kindergarten classes for the subsequent school year. There will be either 2 or 3 kindergartens in each program (JBBP and Second Community) with no more than 5 kindergartens at any one time at the school.

What buses or carpools are available?

Bus schedule is managed by San Francisco School District. For more information about the bus system in general, please check the San Francisco School District school website. For carpools, consider checking

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