838 Kearny Project

The Future For Sterne School

A New Home

At the intersection of three of San Francisco's most culturally rich neighborhoods, the new Sterne campus unites our programs under one roof in the bustling heart of San Francisco.

Sterne School New Campus: 838 Kearney Street. Photo Credit WRNS Studio
Adaptability & Efficiency

-49,450 square feet in total
-space to accommodate 250 students*
-four floors of new classrooms
-lower-level multi-purpose gymnasium and studio spaces (including a professional teaching kitchen)**
-science laboratory space**
-flexible spaces for media and arts**
-rooftop playground and outdoor corridors


-LEED for School standards
-Collaborative for High Performance Schools standards
-acoustics based on Sound Transmission Class ratings
-PG&E Savings by Design program participant; low-VOC materials used
-fresh-air filtration

*student enrollment to grow over time
**indicates space to build out in 2017

An Expanded Program

Building on our innovative education model that has been inspiring students with learning differences since 1976, the 838 Kearny Project will allow us to develop our emerging arts, athletics, and applied technology programs. Housing all programs and staff under one roof will enhance our resource efficiency and allow all students a cohesive and consistent academic experience.

-A full P.E. curriculum as well as a home court to host games
-A flexible performance/assembly space (dual-purpose gymnasium)
-Studios to house comprehensive arts & applied technology programs
-Science lab to meet A-G requirements
-Quiet learning center for study or small group work


To our Sterne Families:

In 2008 the Board of Directors adopted a Strategic Plan for Sterne School, which laid out the necessity of finding a larger campus in order to grow the school and further our mission of providing a top-tier educational program to students with learning differences in the Bay Area.

In 2012, we took the first important step in this journey with the lease of space at 245 Valencia Street. Our Valencia campus allowed us to both expand and refine our high school program, and in 2014 provided space for us to accommodate middle school students from our growing waitlist.

Despite our excitement at securing the Valencia campus, the Board has always been keenly aware that this dual-campus operation was not a permanent solution for Sterne School. The Valencia lease’s original 5-year term is set to expire in August 2017, so for the past 18 months the Board has been actively considering our options for a next step.

In August 2016, we were incredibly fortunate to learn of a school building available at 838 Kearny Street. The former campus of St. Mary’s School and Chinese Catholic Center was put up for lease by the Archdiocese of San Francisco this past summer, and after a competitive RFP process, Sterne School was selected to occupy the space.

The new campus can accommodate up to 240 students, with space for a full-size gymnasium, art and engineering studios, and a science lab. The majority of the building was completed in 2011, and the unfinished spaces are exclusively available for Sterne to build out.

Ed & myself, the entire Board, Melissa Myers, and the leadership team at Sterne have been inspired by the potential of this facility, and we have worked swiftly to assess the financial and logistical feasibility of moving our school downtown. And so it is with incredible excitement that we write today with the news that Sterne has officially secured a 99-year lease on the former site of St. Mary’s, and we will be relocating our entire program over the summer of 2017.

We know that every family will be impacted by this move. But we also know, with absolute certainty, that this decision will secure the future of Sterne School for thousands of students, and will finally give us the resources to provide a holistic, state-of-the-art education.

In the meantime, we welcome your thoughts. In the interest of expediency, please direct initial inquiries to Jaime Tollas, Campaign Director, at jtollas@sterneschool.org or 415.922.6081. Your questions will then be forwarded to the appropriate member of staff.

As ever, we thank you. We are grateful to the faculty and staff who have demonstrated bottomless reserves of energy and flexibility in building a community despite the challenges of crossing the city. We are grateful to the families at both campuses for navigating our unique configuration and supporting our teachers during our growth over the past five years.

We are grateful for the privilege of serving your student, and absolutely thrilled at what the future holds for all students at Sterne School.


David Bradlow - President, Board of Directors

Ed McManis - Head of School

FAQs and Contacts

838 Kearny Project: Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Why is Sterne School moving to a new location?

A. In order to fulfill our mission and serve more students with learning differences in the Bay Area, we need a larger space to accommodate our enrollment growth and evolving curriculum needs.

Q. When will Sterne School move into the new facility at 838 Kearny Street?
A. Sterne School will move into 838 Kearny Street over the summer of 2017. Sterne School will welcome all students in grades 5-12 for the 2017-18 academic school year at 838 Kearny Street.

Q. Are both Jackson campus and Valencia campus moving to 838 Kearny Street?
A. Yes. We are thrilled to unite both campuses under one roof. Housing all programs and staff under one roof will enhance our resource efficiency and allow all students a cohesive and consistent academic experience.

Q. What are the transportation options for my student?
A. The 838 Kearny Project site is centrally located to a number of public transportation options:

  • 0.6 miles/10-minute walk from Montgomery and Embarcadero Stations
  • One block from 1 California, 41 Union, 45 Stockton/Union, and 30 Stockton buses

We will pilot a shuttle service to the new campus for our Marin families (pick-up location on the north side of San Francisco to be determined)

There is a white zone in front of the building where we will conduct drop-off and pick-up.

Q. Will / how will school hours be impacted?
A. The back-to-school packet sent home in July 2017 will include detailed information about the school day and logistics.

Q. I just found out about the move. Why am I hearing so late in the school year?
A. Our Board of Directors has been searching for a new facility since 2008. The real estate market in the Bay Area is extremely challenging, particularly due to requirements for a school specific site. When a 99-year lease at 838 Kearny Street became available in Fall 2016, our Board of Directors worked furiously to secure the facility for Sterne. The negotiations were finalized in mid-April 2017.

Q. My child is enrolled in Sterne’s summer school. Will that still be happening and if so, where?
A. We plan to conduct our summer programs at the Jackson campus.

Q. My child is enrolled at Sterne School for the 2017-18 academic year. Is there a chance to see the facility before the start of school?
A. Yes! We are hosting an open house for our newly enrolled families on Saturday, August 12 and for our returning families on Tuesday, August 15. Due to construction over the summer we are unable to tour the facility before our August 12 open house date.

Q. Who can I contact for more information or questions?
A. We welcome all questions/comments about our new home at 838 Kearny Street, San Francisco, CA. The 838 Kearny Project point of contact is Jaime Tollas: jtollas@sterneschool.org or (415) 922-6081

For all admissions related questions, please contact Angela Gengras, Director of Admission, at agengras@sterneschool.org

838 Kearny Street (Between Jackson and Washington)

Photos Credits: Chris Linden and WRNS Studio

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