School Vision

2012 California Distinguished School awards.

New Traditions is a school committed to multiculturalism, diversity, creative arts and the development of our students into responsible, active participants in the world.

New Traditions encourages creativity and independent learning. We have a tradition of providing school-wide music and arts programs which are crucial elements that contribute to our student's academic success.

We stress cooperation and independent learning, reinforcing an atmosphere of friendship and mutual support with school-wide projects.

New Traditions Creative Arts Elementary

FAQs & Topics


A California Distinguished School

New Traditions became a California Distinguished School in 2012. This four-year honor is awarded by the State of California to schools that "narrow the achievement gap"--meaning that students in all demographic groups perform above district and state averages.

On-Site Before & After Care

Daily Before Care (7:30am-9:30am) and/or After Care (3:30pm-6:30pm) for K-5 students is provided on New Traditions' campus by the Buchanan YMCA.

Before and After Care programs meet in the New Traditions cafeteria, are fee-based, and guaranteed to every interested family.

There is no waiting list, no one is ever turned away, and full and partial scholarships are available.

For more information please contact the YMCA's New Traditions Site Director, Jackson Livingston by e-mail at: or visit:

School Size

With a maximum enrollment of 275 students in 11 classrooms, New Traditions is one of smallest public elementary schools in San Francisco.

Class Size

All SFUSD elementary schools have a maximum of 22 students in K-3 classrooms and a maximum of 33 students in grades 4-5.

Inclusive Practices

New Traditions chose to become a full, K-5, Inclusive Practices school in 2012-13, several years ahead of the SFUSD's district- wide schedule. New Traditions believes that inclusive practices provide extra classroom resources that help all students succeed.

Outdoor Education

Our Outdoor Educator (made possible through a partnership between Education Outside, New Traditions and our PTA's Greening Committee) uses New Traditions' gardens and the city of San Francisco as outdoor, hands-on classrooms to teach science, math, language arts, nutrition, stewardship, conservation, and ecology to every New Traditions classroom every week.

Arts Education

New Traditions believes that our Arts program helps our students excel academically, socially, and emotionally. In addition to teaching the Arts standards, New Traditions integrates the arts into teaching key curricular concepts in language arts, math, science and social studies.

The PTA partners with the school to provide funding for two Arts Consultants (Visual Art and Vocal Music and Movement) so every student (K-5) at New Traditions has Art in the art studio and Music on the stage in our cafeteria every week, all year long.

In addition to PTA-funded art and music, New Traditions students have (thanks to district funding made possible by CA voters) weekly classes with an SFUSD Credentialed Art Teacher and grades 2-4 graders have fall or winter Dance units (of 9-10 classes each) through SF Ballet's wonderful DISC (Dance in Schools and Communities) program.

Like all SFUSD schools, free, optional instrumental music instruction (flute, clarinet, trumpet and violin) is available during the school day for 4th and 5th graders.

Physical Education

Like at every school in the SFUSD, PE at New Traditions is never less than 200 minutes in any two week period.

New Traditions has an SFUSD coach who works with students one day a week. The rest of the week our students have teacher-led PE.

Teachers are trained by the SFUSD coach to develop gross-motor skills, encourage individual effort, and foster team-building within and across grade levels.


New Traditions New Traditions most recent statistics can be found in our School Accountability Report Card


New Traditions recognizes that every student has different gifts, needs and learning styles and strives to create curricular themed-projects with an emphasis on creativity, arts, and outdoor learning. We are a Caring School Community that builds connections within and between grade-levels and follows BEST curriculum (the main principles of which are respect, responsibility and safety).

Partnerships, Field Trips, and Events

UCSF Scientists (in-class projects), USF (America Reads tutors & student teachers), SFSU (student teachers), Urban High School (tutors), SF Ballet (on-site dance classes and field trip to see SF Ballet perform), SF Symphony (grades 1-5: hosts 2 field trips to the Symphony and performs 8 grade-appropriate concerts in New Traditions' cafeteria), Exploratorium (field trips and an on-site New Traditions Exploratorium Night for K-2 students and their families), California Poets in the Schools (in class workshops), Academy of Sciences (field trips), Conservatory of Flowers (field trips), Bay View Boat Club (3rd grade boat trip with our Art Consultant to draw marine life and San Francisco from the bay); SF Zoo (field trips), Presidio Trust and Fort Funston (overnight camping trips for 3-5), SF Fire Fighters (school visits, safety education, and K field trip); SF Police Officers (school visits, safety education, Lunar New Year Dragon Dance performance), Martin Luther King Essay and Poster Competition, 826 Valencia (field trips), Randall Museum (field trip), 3rd grade Science Fair (visited by all grades), De Young Museum (field trips), Asian Art Museum (field trips), SFMOMA (field trips), Aquarium by the Bay (field trips), CUESA (farmer's market field trips), ODC Dance (3rd grade field trip to The Velveteen Rabbit), the Young at Arts Youth Arts Festival (performances (drama and music student) and student art on display in a major San Francisco museum (formerly at the De Young and, as of 2013, at the Asian Art Museum), Black History Month Performances (school assemblies), Winter Performance (evening performances at Roosevelt Middle School), Talent Shows (winter and spring assemblies), Art Show (showcasing art from every student in the school) End of the Year Performance (evening performance at Roosevelt Middle School).

After School Enrichment Classes

The PTA arranges for after school classes to be taught (either on school grounds or nearby). These classes (which are determined by community interest) tend to be one day a week for 1-2 hours and are for-fee (with need-based scholarships available). Students who are enrolled in on-site YMCA after care will be escorted to the YMCA program after their on-site enrichment classes end. For current PTA-sponsored offerings please see:

Kindergarten Camp

A free, optional, on-site, two-day program run by the YMCA and New Traditions that is open to all enrolled, incoming kindergartners. It takes place the week before school begins from 9:30am-12:30pm at New Traditions. Kindergarteners are the only students on campus while they learn what to expect, make new friends, get to know their teachers and explore their classrooms and school. Our K teachers meet and assess their students so that they can provide for the individual social, emotional, physical, and academic needs of every child from the first day of school.


Only SFUSD Special Education School Buses serve New Traditions.

General Education SFUSD School Buses do not serve New Traditions.

Nearby MUNI lines: 5, 6, 7, 21, 31, 33, 37, 43, 71.

New Traditions' parking lot is available to enrolled families at drop-off and pick-up only.

Parent Volunteer Opportunities

Parents are encouraged to volunteer in every area of school – arts, classroom, greening, enrollment, fundraising, grant writing, library, school governance, teacher appreciation and more. You can view a list of parent volunteer committees at

Volunteering is never required, but always welcome.