Leadership Development

At Cathedral School for Boys, everything we do — from academics to Enrichment to spiritual development — is done with the intention of raising the bar on raising boys.
Faculty and staff are well-versed in the realities of raising boys today. For our community, this is not an “of the moment” topic. It is core to who we are, in keeping with our school values, and has been for over 60 years.
Character development is part of choir rehearsal, athletics, community service settings, and is practiced throughout the halls we walk each day. We actively seek opportunities to reflect on and encourage dialogue about becoming a young man of integrity. By the time our boys leave Cathedral, they have a true understanding of how to be strong, just, kind people.
When teachers leverage the teachable moment not only to make the lesson stick, but also to intentionally integrate valuable life lessons into the conversation, boys succeed academically and as humans. Character education is a requirement at Cathedral, and it’s part of everything we do: modeled, discussed, and encouraged in every thought, word, and deed.

Selected Programming

List of 5 items.

  • Day of Service

    In the meaningful Day of Service tradition, Cathedral School for Boys plans a school-wide day of service to others each November. The day begins with our regular chapel service in Grace Cathedral.
    After Chapel, the boys partner up in their Big Brother / Little Brother pairings and volunteer together at locations around the city. Following is a snapshot by grade of a typical November Day of Service:
    • Kindergarten & Grade 4: Our Kindergartners and Grade 4 boys create cards for the guests who attend Thanksgiving at Grace Cathedral, as well as thank-you cards for firefighters fighting local fires. In the afternoon, the boys make desserts for the Thanksgiving dinner at Grace Cathedral.
    • Grades 1 & 5: Our Grade 1 and 5 boys serve at the community garden in Visitacion Valley Greenway, one of the many beautiful parks in our city. The day involves a beautification project.
    • Grades 2 & 6: Our Grade 2 and 6 boys volunteer at Bayview Mission, the same organization that benefits from our Giving Tree. The day involves assembling Thanksgiving Day food bags.
    • Grades 3 & 7: Our Grade 3 and 7 boys volunteer at City Hope in the Tenderloin. They have hands-on service opportunities, as well as an opportunity to see the background work that goes into making City Hope such a vital ministry in our city.
    • Grade 8: Our Grade 8 boys volunteer at San Francisco City Impact in the Tenderloin, preparing and serving lunch at the soup kitchen.
  • Big Brothers / Little Brothers

    Our emphasis on character is rooted in our Big Brother / Little Brother program, where mentorship, role modeling, and friendship support leadership skills and develop empathy. Boys in Kindergarten through Grade 3 are paired with an older Big Brother, and throughout the year these pairings engage in curriculum-related activities, lunches, play, and field trips. As leaders of the Lower School, our Grade 4 students become Big Brothers themselves to the Kindergartners.
  • Social and Emotional Learning

    Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) is a style of learning that is used in all of our classrooms here at Cathedral School. Boys learn SEL tools through Friendship Groups starting in Kindergarten, which help them learn to express their emotions, understand conflict resolution, and strengthen communication techniques. Boys continue to use these tools throughout their time at Cathedral in classroom lessons, small advisory meetings, as well as larger community meetings.
  • Advisory

    Advisory in the Upper School (Grades 5–8) serves as a student’s primary “family unit.” Advisories consist of one or two faculty advisors and between eight and 10 students. Students spend the first 10 minutes of each day with their advisor, and this time is used to help instill a feeling of belonging and connection from the first moment a boy is on campus. Attendance, announcements, and informal check-ins take place during this time. Once a rotation, advisors meet with their advisees in a class setting, and through these meetings we deliver our Advisory curriculum. The Advisory curriculum comprises three domains: Academic Behaviors, Cultural Humility, and Social and Emotional Learning. Our curriculum draws from many nationally renowned programs (such as Teaching Tolerance, Responsive Classroom, and Institute for Social Emotional Learning), but we revise their content to make it population-specific and to provide our boys with relevant support and information that meets them where they are in their development.
  • Chapel

    When boys spend time in quiet reflection while listening to the wisdom of peers and teachers, they have space and time to think about their place in a bigger world. When they join together in song, they are united in a language that crosses all barriers and opens the door to joy in their school day. Members of the Cathedral School community kick off each week listening as Grade 8 students share life and learning experiences during Chapel Talks and sing together at the end of each week during Hymn Sing.

A Kind Word From Grade 2

Cathedral School for Boys

Located in San Francisco, California, Cathedral School for Boys is an independent elementary school for boys in Kindergarten – Grade 8. Our mission is to provide an excellent education through intellectual inquiry and rigor that is centered in the Episcopal tradition and is respectful of and welcoming to people of all religious traditions and beliefs.