After touring two private schools, one charter school, and two public schools, we chose John Muir, our neighborhood school. There are only two classes per grade so the school feels like a village, not a small city. The small size also means that the entire teaching team coordinates closely. We have a very intellectually curious child who loves learning. She is doing great here, and has loved all her teachers so far. Like all the SM schools, the curriculum uses CGI math and Readers and Writers Workshop. Muir students also have P.S. Science, P.S. Arts, and music almost EVERY week, which is awesome. (Recently our daughter brought home art inspired by the sculptor Giacometti.) Homework is not excessive-- it seems to vary by teacher but in 2nd grade it is to do at least 20 minutes of reading every weeknight, and on Fridays turn in a list of the titles of the books you've read. Kindergarten was homework optional in my daughter's class. After school, our daughter takes Musical Theater and Chess, which are two of the CREST classes offered to Muir and SMASH students. We also love how global the school is – in addition to English, Muir has students who speak Swedish, French, Spanish, German, Russian, Arabic, Hebrew, Bulgarian, Portuguese, Amharic, Finnish, and Czech! Last but not least, walking to school (and to play-dates in the neighborhood) is a huge bonus in terms of quality of life for our whole family.