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 Services, 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 schoolroom 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 the work they've completed in the hospital.

Video: Gina Ditto

Meet Gina Ditto, one of our school teachers.

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
Monday to Friday
1 – 3 p.m.

Location: UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital San Francisco, 1975 4th Street, Room C-6451
Phone: (415) 353-1310, or extension 3-1310 within the hospital

Individual Class Time

Patients who can't attend the schoolroom with other kids due to immunosuppression 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 available Monday to Friday:

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


The Exploratorium, a San Francisco based science museum, has designed and installed hands-on exhibits throughout the UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital. This gives patients and their families the opportunity to engage in scientific exploration and discovery. The Exploratorium also makes monthly visits to the Marie Wattis School to help guide students through science and engineering activities.

Poetry Program

In partnership with the Marie Wattis School Program, the nonprofit organization California Poets in the Schools helps young patients and their siblings express themselves by helping them bring voices to their ideas, emotions and creativity.

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 schoolroom to provide hands-on unique learning experiences for our students.

Our regular community visitors include:

  • Play-Well TEKnologies — LEGO Engineering
  • San Francisco Police Department — Assistance with Closed-Circuit Television Quiz Show
  • — Insect Discovery Lab
  • Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) — Dog Safety and Puppy Dog Tales

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.

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.