School Program

While children are in the hospital we encourage them to continue their education through the hospital's School Program. UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital's Marie Wattis School serves children in kindergarten to 12th grade. The school, operated by Child Life, is part of the San Francisco Unified School District and is staffed by credentialed teachers.

Our regular and special education teachers provide instruction in the classroom and at the bedside, offering school activities and special programs in math, science and art. They work closely with each child's school to ensure that class requirements are met, and students can receive attendance and school credit for time spent in the classroom.

Part of our team includes an educational liaison, who serves as a link between your child's home school to provide a continuation of schooling. Your education liaison may provide written advocacy for special education and can help determine if a home tutor is appropriate for your child.

School Re-Entry

When your child is ready to return home, we can provide your child's teacher, other school staff and classmates information about your child's illness and experiences in the hospital.

The UCSF School Re-Entry Program assists with this transition. Teachers, child life specialists, social workers and nurses provide educational materials and make presentations about your child's treatment and possible physical, social and emotional needs. We also suggest classroom modifications and ways to adjust the curriculum to meet your child's needs.

Individual Class Time

Patients who can't attend the schoolroom with other kids due to immunosuppression or seizure-monitoring equipment can receive one-on-one tutoring in the schoolroom. This is available for students from kindergarten to the 12th grade.

Time slots for individual class time are on Monday to Friday:

  • 9 – 10 a.m.
  • 1 – 2 p.m.
  • 2 – 3 p.m.

To sign up for a time slot, please call between the hours of 10 a.m. to noon at extension 3-1310, or (415) 353-1310 from outside the hospital, Monday to Friday. A school teacher will receive the request and ensure that a time and staff member is available.

Special Programs

Teach TV

Patients and their families can access educational programming 24 hours a day on our dedicated closed-circuit school channel, Teach TV. Teachers broadcast a minimum of one live show each month from the classroom, for which they're joined by members of the San Francisco Police Department. The police officers assist students in the classroom and also help patients at bedside participate in our live programming.

Music Program

Students visiting the School Room can participate in music lessons during the school year. The hospital's musician-in-residence is in the schoolroom two days a week. He engages patients in one-on-one or group lessons on electric and acoustic guitar, electric and hand drums, keyboard and bass guitar.

Film Making Program

In partnership with UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital, the nonprofit organization BayKids helps young patients express themselves and have fun by helping them make their own movies. This program teaches kids new skills and provides a venue for children facing serious medical challenges to tell their personal stories.

Community Visitors

We've partnered with local organizations to provide ongoing educational programs for children in the hospital. Most of these special guests pay monthly visits to the classroom to provide hands-on learning for our students.

Our regular community visitors include:

  • Asian Art Museum — Storytelling
  • Exploratorium — Science
  • De Young Museum — Art
  • First Exposures — Photography
  • San Francisco Police Department — Classroom assistance and closed-circuit television shows
  • Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) — Dog Safety

School Location and Hours

School services are provided throughout the academic year and during the summer months, excluding holidays.

Morning Hours
Monday to Friday
9:30 a.m. – 12 p.m.

Afternoon Hours
Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays
1 – 3 p.m.

Location: UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital San Francisco, 1975 4th Street, Room C-5433
Phone: (415) 353-1310, or extension 3-1310 within the hospital

Read more about Child Life Services and what we offer young patients and their families.

Related Information

Ways to Give

How to Reach Us

To contact the School Program, call (415) 353-1310, or extension 3-1310 within the hospital.

See our online bookstore for books written or recommended by our hospital staff.