Award Year: 2020

Yick Wo Elementary School

2245 Jones Street
San Francisco, CA, 94133-2207

(415) 749-3540

Ms. Molly Jo Alaimo, Principal at time of Nomination

San Francisco Unified School District

School Website


Yick Wo fosters lifelong learning by providing enriching academic, social, emotional, and technologically artistic and physical development experiences to every student.

Student Demographics
  • Black/African American: 1%
  • White: 30%
  • Hispanic: 10%
  • Asian: 37%
  • Two or more races: 22%
Students learning together in our outdoor classroom

Students learning together in our outdoor classroom

"It takes a village to raise a child." This adage has never been more true than now. Just steps from San Francisco, California's iconic "Most Crooked Street in the World," is one of San Francisco's most precious resources: Yick Wo Alternative Elementary School. Home to one of the most racially and socially diverse public school communities in San Francisco, Yick Wo offers K - 5 programming with an emphasis on celebrating the arts, honoring neurodiversity through its mild to severe autism program, and instilling a love for learning and leadership in its student body. For students who have a passion for fractions and four squares, they receive effective and engaging math instruction while also learning about how to be responsible, safe, and kind, which are the school's three guiding principles. They learn these guiding principles through organized play at recess. For many students, exploring and documenting the wonders of nature are done through project based learning techniques which incorporate meaningful time in the school's expansive outdoor garden with academic subjects like science and literacy. Students with special needs receive individualized attention from caring and trained adults, and are encouraged to pursue their passions and engage with general education students. In turn, relationships are built, stigma is reduced, and a community that embraces the strengths of neurodiversity is cultivated. Yick Wo is a school that runs on community involvement, and in turn provides students robust educational experiences that will develop future generations of compassionate and critically thinking leaders.