Breakthrough SF

breakthrough school day

Breakthrough supports San Francisco students on the path to college and trains outstanding college students for education careers. In the 2019-20 school year and ensuing summer, Breakthrough will work with 244 hard-working students in grades 5 – 12; 32 college students exploring the challenges and rewards of a teaching career; and 150 volunteers ranging from adults to eighth graders at SF Day.

We are proud that 100% of students in the Classes of 2018 and 2019 - our first two graduating classes - are currently attending college, including 88% at four-year schools. Meanwhile, 63% of Teaching Fellows who graduated from college since 2011 are now working in the education sector, most as classroom teachers in urban public schools.

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Breakthrough has been a community involvement initiative of San Francisco Day School since 1993, when a steering committee comprised of parents, administrators, and trustees explored options for broadening the school's impact. SF Day Summerbridge launched that year under Founding Director Al Gonzales and then Head of School Jim Telander. The school has preserved and deepened its commitment in the two decades since; Sally Rosenblatt and Barbara Scavullo, founding families at SF Day and two of the steering committee members, remain involved today. 

Breakthrough & SF Day

Breakthrough is closely aligned with the SF Day's mission and values. The SF Day community supports the program in a number of ways, providing intellectual capital, financial contributions, and in-kind support. Roughly two dozen eighth graders also volunteer each year as tutors in Breakthrough’s after-school program – a unique and very meaningful service learning opportunity; some even return after graduation to volunteer in Breakthrough’s school-year and summer programs.

8th Grade Tutoring at BT - Spring 2020

SF Day eighth graders are eligible to tutor in Breakthrough's after-school program in spring 2020, working directly with one or more of our hard-working fifth and sixth-grade students.

The commitment is one afternoon per week, either Monday or Wednesday, from the week of February 10 through the week of April 27. Volunteering for the first hour (3:30 - 4:40 pm) is required; the second hour (4:40 - 5:30 pm) is optional. Tutors must commit for the entire semester, including a training session the evening of February 5, a one-on-one mid-semester check-in, and weekly follow-up work. This is a significant responsibility that requires tutors to put into practice the school's values and apply what they've learned over the course of their own education. It's also an opportunity to build new relationships and grow as individuals and leaders.

Mr. Duryee-Browner, Breakthrough's Director of Curriculum and Instruction, will present to all eighth graders about the tutoring opportunity in December or in early January. The application will be available then and will be due January 17, 2020. Because the admissions process is selective, completing a strong application is essential. Questions can be directed to him at or (415) 568-3662, or by stopping by the Breakthrough office (near the Lower School Music Room).

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