C Clean Client Showcase: San Francisco’s Remarkable Synergy School
One of the best things about living and working in the Bay Area is the terrific, talented people here. Working in the facility services business, we get the chance to work with a wide variety of different companies and individuals. That’s why we love doing client showcases. This time, we’ll be talking about Synergy School of San Francisco.
A private TK-8 school in the heart of San Francisco’s Mission District, Synergy School was founded in 1973 by a trio of progressive young teachers with an ambitious and fundamentally different approach to private education. As teachers, they saw the influence of administrators (non-educators) as the problem. They intuited that the educational environment should reflect the preferences of teachers rather than school executives.
And they were right. Founders Russ Messing, Jill Goffstein Stocks and Katherine Czesak managed to create an environment in which there are no full-time administrators, and all of the teachers participate in decisions. Children are encouraged rather than praised, and in this way spurred on in their own educational development. Also empowered are the teachers, who are given the genuine ability to mold both the core values and curriculum of the school.
The Synergy School is unique among Bay Area private schools. It’s essentially a teachers’ cooperative. Teachers all serve on the board, along with a selected group of parents, guaranteeing transparency and good parent-teacher communication. And Synergy’s commitment to diversity is unparalleled: not only is the ethnic makeup of the school exemplary, but when they opened 45 years ago, they were one of the few schools in San Francisco to embrace gay and lesbian families.
Impressively, due to their non-hierarchical structure, Synergy School is one of the most affordable private schools in the Bay Area. Their methods are progressive, and children learn through hands-on experience and experimentation, rather than memorizing facts from a textbook or a lecture.
As anyone who has visited the school can attest, they have a terrific music program, and kids have the chance to spend blocks of time outside the classroom on regular field trips. Starting in fourth grade, students travel to River’s Bend Retreat Center in Philo for remote studies, and that’s just the beginning: eighth graders get the opportunity to spend a week abroad in Costa Rica, being mentored by the guides from social services nonprofit Global Works.
C Clean has been working with Synergy School for 12 years, and they are one of our most valued clients. As an integral part of the San Francisco community, they offer families from all walks of life the valuable chance to give their children a truly progressive education in this wonderful city. And they do it all in such a natural way that they seem like one big, happy family.
These and so many other things make San Francisco’s Synergy School a true Bay Area treasure. As fellow San Franciscans, the team at C Clean is very proud to work with them, and look forward to working together for years to come!