About Sanchez School

Dr. Raymond Isola as principal and his faculty at Sanchez School in San Francisco’s Mission District implemented organizational and instructional strategies over a 13-year period (1999-2012) to raise the academic achievement of low-income students from language minority backgrounds. During the period in question, Sanchez served more students whose family income qualified them for free/reduced lunch, more English language learners (over 60%), more students with learning disabilities (over 20%) and a higher percentage of Latino students (over 80%) than district- and statewide averages. When Raymond was appointed principal of the school in 1999, after serving as principal for seven years at two elementary schools in Salinas in California’s central valley, the school had all the characteristics of what has been characterized as “apartheid schools” (e.g., Darling-Hammond, 2013; Kozol, 2005). According to Darling-Hammond, such schools serve exclusively students of color in low-income communities and experience conditions of severe resource impoverishment similar to those in underdeveloped nations (2013, p. 33). Over the 13 years, there was a gradual transformation of the school from academic performance in the lowest quartile of California’s Academic Performance Index (API score of 499) to performance far beyond what would be predicted based on its demographics (API score of 700+).

Learn more about Sanchez School at SFUSD.