The San Francisco public school system works a little differently than normal when it comes to enrollment. To help create diversity, enrolled families pick 7 public schools they would like their children to attend, and the final product is the result of grades and a lottery system. Here is a very timely article from today's Examiner:
Because of this system, private schools are very popular in San Francisco, and you must consider the added expense to your cost of living. The "burbs" have the traditional public school enrollment you are probably used to, but the trade off is not being close to UCSF.
I hope this information is helpful. Here are sites with additional information on schools:
All of the neighborhoods mentioned are correct. West Portal, Forest Hill Extension, Inner Sunset all good choices.
I have on daughter at Lowell High School and another that graduated from Lowell and is attending Boston University now. I'm involved with school issues as parent and as a Realtor. I recently had a member of the Board of Education and the public affairs officer from SFUSD come and speak to a group of other Realtors . Here is a link to my blog that reports on the topic. http://www.fogcityguide.com/ You will find the current criteria for admissions to SF schools there. We have two public schools that are merit admission. Lowell which is academic and School of the Arts (SOTA) which is arts based. All others are entered by lottery as laid out in my blog.
There are many good private high schools and some good public high schools. I am a firm believer in raising kids in the city. I believe from my own experienc and the experience of my sisters in the burbs that there is far less peer pressure in the city. The diversity allows for children to grow into individuals.
Feel free to contact me as I am also a spouse of a long time UCSF employee and have helped others make the transition into SF and UCSF.
Let me know if I can be of any assistance.
Well, if you plan at working at UCSF I would highly recommend looking at homes in the inner sunset which is where UCSF is located. This area pretty much meets everything that you are looking for in that you can find homes in the million dollar range and it is great for families. Other neighborhoods to consider would be forest hill, west portal, clarendon heights, ashbury heights, cole valley, twin peaks, etc. Depending on which neighborhood you prefer, you would have to adjust to tic or condos instead of single family homes however.
As for schools......San Francisco has a lottery system when it comes to picking schools. It's a generalization on my part and San Francisco's public schools are great, but I would pick private schools; especially if things like athletics are important to your family. Schools like St. Ignatius are very well respected for both academics and athletics. Here are a couple of informational links that will help.
If you have any questions please feel free to shoot me an email.