We know there are many excellent educational choices for families in San Francisco. However, Cathedral stands apart from other schools.
Many of the differences may seem quite obvious: boys wearing neckties, gathering as a full community in Grace Cathedral twice a week, handshakes in the morning, expectations of service, and a commitment to character education.
What may not be as obvious, however, are the reasons why. Our School is different because we want our boys to be different. Our approach is different because we want our sons to make a difference. Families send their boys to Cathedral, at least in part, because they are committed to the idea of their sons living lives of consequence and distinction. We want our sons to be able to take risks, fail, and get back up again in a safe environment. We want our sons to lean into discomfort. We want our sons to ask why. We want our sons to be unafraid to reach out and lend a hand. We want our sons to be culturally literate about themselves and the world around them. We want Cathedral boys to always be seeking to learn and do more.
Boys need time to move during the day; when they don’t, their ability to learn and contribute in school is compromised. Cathedral teachers understand this, enthusiastically taking on the challenge of teaching boys and deftly integrating movement into their classroom and curriculum design. Classroom activities are interactive, kinetic, require collaboration, and are driven by students’ questions. Every boy at Cathedral has both physical education and recess at least once a day, enabling them to burn off energy and better focus in the classroom. By harnessing boys’ energy into constructive, productive ways, Cathedral allows them to fully engage in school while remaining true to their best nature.
For over 60 years, Cathedral School has been nationally recognized for the quality, strength, and rigor of our educational experience. The School sets high academic standards for each student, and our small size allows us to support each student to meet and exceed those standards. This approach prepares our students to enter demanding secondary schools, both in the Bay Area and throughout the country, with confidence and success.
More than ever, boys need to feel connected to their community and the broader world around them. Our small size allows our teachers to connect deeply with each boy, allowing them to more deeply absorb the empathy, respect, and openhearted compassion that is modeled by our staff. Our weekly Chapel gatherings give us a space to come together and reflect as a community. And our Episcopal foundation guides us to think about how we can show compassion for others and be agents of change for good. With our sense of purpose, the strength of our community, and our spirit of collaboration, boys connect to the idea that opening our hearts and minds gives us all a sense of belonging.
It’s not enough to identify injustice and unfairness; boys must develop the tools to stand up for what is right and to learn how to constructively engage and respond. At Cathedral, teachers care as much about the content of a young man’s character as they do about his academic success, resulting in boys who look out for others, lean in when they see something amiss, and step up with moral courage.
Everyone wears the same clothing, not out of nostalgia but out of the belief that our dress code demonstrates a sense of purpose, and diminishes displays of socioeconomic status that run counter to our philosophy.
Located in San Francisco, CA, Cathedral School for Boys is an independent elementary school for boys in grades K-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.