The Urban School

San Francisco

Private School
380 students
Phone: 415 626 2919
1563 Page Street San Francisco, CA 94117

Parent Q&A

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  • My daughter is applying to several high schools, but loves the Urban School in San Francisco. We love the school, too, but our biggest concern is the commute. Are there any east bay families out there whose child went to Urban? Could you please share your experiences with commute, how they liked the school, how hard their social life was being in the East Bay, and overall satisfaction with your/their decision to pick Urban? Our daughter also applied to Lick-Wilmerding, Drew, and two east bay schools. Any comparisons to Lick and Drew are welcome as well. We'll be hearing if she was accepted on Friday, March 22, 2019, so timely responses welcome!

    We live in Berkeley, and my daughter graduated from The Urban School two years ago.  The commute was actually fine.  At the time, there were carpools from North Berkeley and South Berkeley/North Oakland.  The carpools worked well.  I would be happy to discuss the academics and social life.  Feel free to contact me, karenzukor [at]

    My daughter is a current junior at Urban and we love the school.  The commute is real -- she is in a teacher carpool with 2 other students in the morning, and takes the shuttle to BART at the end of the day -- but worth it.  Happy to get into more detail, feel free to contact me:  LHanson111 [at]

Parent Reviews

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Our Queer-identified and quirky kid had a great experience at The Urban School in San Francisco. As parents, we were impressed with how well teachers really knew our kid. They graduated several years ago now, but still have regular conversations with one of their former teachers, who has been an important mentor to them.

a school that attracts a similar student body is Lick Wilmerding. You might take a look there as well.

SF Mom

I have one child at Bentley and another at Urban.  We choose to send our son, who was admitted to both, to Bentley over Urban.  

We find Bentley to have very good academics without having quite the homework load of Urban.  There are definitely differences in homework load at the schools on your list! For example, CPS and Urban have more homework than Bentley.  At this level of school, there really isn't any busy work at all.  So those CPS/Urban students are actually learning more during those extra hours of work.  The question you have to ask is how much homework do you think would be good for your child. We find that Bentley has been much more willing to consider and often honor our requests in term of things like class schedules.          We find that Bentley is much more open to meeting with parents, while Urban insists that students advocate for themselves,  This sounds good in theory, but when confronted with a panel of teachers/administrators who have all the power, it is extremely difficult for a lone 14-year-old to argue with them.  (This occurred because the student wanted to take a higher level science course, not because the student had done anything wrong.)   There is also the issue of the commute.  Not only does this take time from the student's day, it impacts their social life.  My son gets to spend more time with his Bentley friends because they are all in the East Bay.  If you send your student to school in San Francisco, most of their friends will be less accessible. Feel free to contact me if you have more questions.

Archived Q&A and Reviews

Feb 2008

My daughter graduated from Urban last year. We live in the east bay too and the commute was a consideration. I have to say it was an amazing experience for her and worth the hassle of commuting. We joined a carpool and I only drove once or twice a week at the most. The kids took bart/bus home in the afternoons. TA