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Academics & Pedagogy


that integrates the Chinese emphasis on knowledge acquisition and skills mastery with the American emphasis on critical thinking and creativity


enabled by AI-technology assisted assessment and instruction combined with 1-on-1 teacher guidance and tutoring


achieved through bilingual and bicultural education

(daily morning exercise and Chinese idiom, weekly Chinese History class, daily American Pledge of Allegiance, outdoor learning through weekly field trips and farm visits, etc.)


of integrity, self-discipline, resilience, respect, gratitude and service through daily and weekly chores (washing dishes, gardening, cleaning classrooms and school yard, etc.)


English Language Arts Curriculum

We believe students should not only learn and master the mechanics of the English language, including listening, speaking, reading, and writing, they should also be able to think critically about what they have heard and read, research and verify what they have learned, work well in teams, and express clearly their own thoughts through speaking and writing. In order to do all of the latter, they need to accumulate a core base of knowledge in literature, history, geography, science, current events and through first-hand life experiences.


We at Bert Hsu Academy follow the curriculum outlined by the Core Knowledge Foundation which includes a large vocabulary and a broad substantive set of general knowledge that is delivered coherently and systematically. We complement that with first-hand life experiences gained outside of the classroom, through daily play and gardening and weekly field trips to parks, museums and places where people work, so that students become well rounded independent thinkers who can manage their own lives and contribute to society.

We also have adopted Afficient, an AI-based technology platform, to reinforce skills such as vocabulary, grammar and reading comprehension to grade level proficiency while the teacher focuses on teaching writing and leading students in discussing what they've learned.

Math & Technology Curriculum

While we follow the Core Knowledge curriculum for English, History, Geography and Science, we depart from it for Math. In the K-2 grades, we teach Math the Chinese way, encouraging mastery of the fundamental skills of arithmetic through practice and memorization. We also connect mathematical concepts to real life such as shapes, measurement, time and money.

Starting in the 3rd grade, we use Afficient, an AI-based technology platform, to enable our students to learn more abstract concepts at their own pace with 1-on-1 teacher guidance. Afficient assesses students' levels and pinpoints their proficiencies so they may review and master previous concepts before adding on new ones. For students who adhere to weekly assignments, a grade level worth of Math can be learned in 18-20 weeks. We allow and encourage students to learn beyond their grade level as far and as quickly as they can.


To complement the individualized learning, we have weekly collaborative math projects that bring math concepts to the real world (building things at scale, collecting data, representing data with visuals, unit conversions with manipulatives, etc.).

With technology permeating our daily lives, we introduce the concepts of technology literacy, programming and robotics to students as young as kindergarten so that they can become savvy consumers of technology as well as creators if they so choose in the future.

Building a Robot

Art, Music, Physical Education, Gardening/Farming & Home Economics Curriculum

Beyond the core academic subjects, we offer a variety of classes that enable our students to become well-rounded individuals with diverse interests and skills.

Our Art classes include drawing, painting, crafting and other hands-on activities. Our Music classes include percussion, singing, piano and other Chinese and Western instruments. Our PE classes include units on ball sports, net sports, team sports, individual sports and Chinese martial arts.

In addition to our Gardening class that enables our students to learn to take care of plants, grow vegetables and work as a team, we venture to the Florence Fang Community Farm on a biweekly basis to learn about agriculture and urban farming.

We also teach our students to make and serve food, wash dishes, cleanup their classrooms as well as cleanup the school. These are important skills they will need for the rest of their lives.

Chinese Language & Culture Curriculum

As a bilingual and bicultural school, we not only teach students the Chinese language but also teach them Chinese history and culture in both Chinese and English. We assess students' Chinese proficiency levels and teach them the language accordingly:

  • K-4 grade level proficiency students learn Mandarin with Pinyin and simplified Chinese characters

  • 5-12 grade level proficiency students may add Cantonese and traditional Chinese characters as options

  • Celebrate traditional Chinese holidays with accompanying ceremonies and foods

  • Read Chinese classical books (Three Kingdoms, Journey to the West, etc.) in Chinese and/or English

  • Play Chinese musical instruments (erhu, pipa, guzheng, etc.)

  • Make Chinese classical art (calligraphy, water color, etc.)

  • Learn Chinese folk dances (lion dance, ribbon dance, fan dance, etc.)

  • Learn Chinese martial arts (kungfu, wushu, qigong, taichi, etc.)

  • Play Chinese sports (ping pong, badminton, dragon boating, etc.)

  • Study Chinese traditional approach to health & wellness (meditation, herbs, Traditional Chinese Medicine, etc.) in Chinese and/or English

  • Study Chinese history and philosophies (Daoism & Confucianism) in Chinese and/or English

  • Compare and contrast Chinese & American traditional and contemporary cultures in English

  • Study Chinese & Asian American history in English

Building a Robot

After School & Weekend Programs

As a good neighbor, we bring our academic and cultural program elements to the Potrero Hill and surrounding neighborhoods via our After School program open to non-BHA students.

We also offer a Saturday Program that serves students from across San Francisco and beyond.


In the future, we intend to bring together various service providers scattered throughout the City to our school to provide after school and weekend, on-site and fee-based enrichment programs.

Please see our website's After School and Saturday Program pages for more details.

2023-2024 School Year Calendar

Tuition includes year-round programming for the 2023-24 school year as follows:

  • First Day of Fall Semester: Tuesday, September 5, 2023

  • Veterans Day holiday: Friday, November 10, 2023

  • Thanksgiving holidays: Thursday & Friday, November 23 & 24, 2023

  • Last Day of Fall Semester: Friday, December 22, 2023

  • Winter holiday break (2 weeks): Monday, December 25, 2023 to Friday, January 5, 2024

  • First Day of Spring Semester: Monday, January 8, 2024

  • Chinese New Year holiday: February 9, 2024

  • Presidents Day holiday: Monday, February 19, 2024

  • Spring/Trip break (1 week): April 15 - 19, 2024

  • Memorial Day holiday: Monday, May 27, 2024

  • Last Day of Spring Semester: Friday, June 7, 2024

  • Summer early break (2 weeks): June 10 - 21, 2024

  • Summer Session (7 weeks): June 24 to August 9, 2024

  • Fourth of July holiday: July 4-5, 2024

  • Summer late break (2 weeks): August 12 - 23, 2024

2024-2025 School Year Calendar

Tuition includes year-round programming for the 2024-25 school year as follows:

  • First Day of Fall Semester: Monday, August 26, 2024

  • Labor Day holiday: Monday, September 2, 2024

  • Veterans Day holiday: Monday, November 11, 2024

  • Thanksgiving holidays: Wednesday - Friday, November 27 - 29, 2024

  • Last Day of Fall Semester: Friday, December 20, 2024

  • Winter holiday break (2 weeks): Monday, December 23, 2024 to Friday, January 3, 2025

  • First Day of Spring Semester: Monday, January 6, 2025

  • Chinese New Year holiday: Wednesday, January 29, 2025

  • Presidents Day holiday: Monday, February 17, 2025

  • Spring Break (1 week): April 14 - 18, 2025

  • Memorial Day holiday: Monday, May 26, 2025

  • Last Day of Spring Semester: Friday, June 6, 2025

  • Summer early break (2 weeks): June 9 - 20, 2025

  • Summer Session (7 weeks): June 23 to August 8, 2025

  • Fourth of July holiday: July 4, 2025

  • Summer late break (2 weeks): August 11 - 22, 2025

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