Breakthrough SF at San Francisco Day School

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. Day School 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 SFDS and two of the steering committee members, remain involved today. 

Now called Breakthrough, the program supports San Francisco students on the path to college and trains outstanding college students for education careers. In the 2016-17 school year and ensuing summer, Breakthrough will work with 219 hard-working students in grades 5 – 11, and is expanding to support students all the way through their matriculation at a four-year college. Breakthrough will also work with 32 college students exploring the challenges and rewards of teaching, and 150 volunteers ranging from adults to eighth graders at SFDS.

Breakthrough is aligned with the School’s five cornerstones, particularly diversity and inclusiveness in our community; shared values of compassion, integrity, and responsibility; and active involvement with the City. The program’s presence on campus attests to the seriousness with which the School approaches these aspects of its mission. The SFDS 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.

For more, please visit

Eighth Graders - Tutor at Breakthrough, Fall 2017

SFDS students who will be eighth graders in 2017-18 are invited to tutor in Breakthrough's after-school program in fall 2017, working directly with one or more of our hard-working fifth and sixth grade students. The commitment is one afternoon per week from 3:30-4:40 p.m., either Monday or Wednesday, from early October through early December 2017. All tutors must commit for the entire semester, including two afternoon or evening training sessions, two lunchtime educational equity workshops, and a one-on-one mid-semester check-in.

The application for fall 2017 will be available at the start of the fall semester. Because the admissions process is selective, completing a strong application is essential. Questions can be directed to Ms. Mungal, Breakthrough's Director of Volunteer Programs and Community Partnerships - contact her at, (415) 568-3667, or by stopping by the Breakthrough office. The spring 2017 tutor application is available here, for your reference; applications for spring 2017 are no longer being accepted however.
For more on the tutoring experience, please view this video, filmed on site at Breakthrough in fall 2015.