News Release: SFPUC, San Francisco Unified School District Celebrate Opening of First Stormwater Schoolyard Project

Installation at Robert Louis Stevenson Elementary School in the Sunset District will provide educational opportunities about sustainability, water resilience and conservation

Posted Date:10/10/2018 9:30 AM

San Francisco, CA—The San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC), the San Francisco Unified School District (SFUSD), Supervisor Katy Tang, educators and students today celebrated the official opening of the City’s first jointly funded “Stormwater Schoolyard” at Robert Louis Stevenson Elementary School in the Sunset District.

The “Stormwater Schoolyard” is a pilot project with the aim of facilitating increased stormwater management and schoolyard greening initiatives to SFUSD schools. An example of green infrastructure, the installation at the elementary school includes permeable pavement, dry creek beds, plants and foliage. The project increases stormwater performance, provides opportunities for integrated outdoor learning and adventure play, and acts as a model for other local schools.

“With this project, we are improving drainage systems at schools, but most importantly, we are instilling a sense of sustainable environmental values for the next generation ofSan Franciscans,” said SFPUC General Manager Harlan L. Kelly, Jr. “These students will soon be the leaders of our City and the Stormwater Schoolyard can be their introduction to a lifetime of environmental stewardship.”

The green infrastructure at Robert Louis Stevenson Elementary manages stormwater runoff from approximately one acre of impervious surface by diverting it to a series of dry creek beds and a sunken amphitheater with a surface of permeable pavers. The installation is designed to be transparent, allowing students to “follow the stormwater” as it travels through the campus, all while providing a stimulating outdoor space for learning and playing.

“We are grateful for the generosity of the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission for their support in promoting sustainability practices for our students,” SFUSD Superintendent Dr. Vincent Matthews said. “The Stormwater Schoolyard is a great way to further instill a culture of environmental stewardship in our students and make the most of our water supply.”

“As a graduate of our public school system, I am happy to see that the students of RLS will have this opportunity to take their learning outside of the classroom,” said Supervisor Katy Tang. “This pilot program is not only great for making the school more environmentally sustainable, but also for getting students to start thinking about career choices within this field at an early age.”

The Stormwater Schoolyard Project is the first time that the SFPUC has worked with SFUSD on a large-scale, performance-based green infrastructure retrofit. The successful installation of the green infrastructure can be a model for other similar projects at local schools. The SFPUC is currently developing a large-scale green infrastructure grant program to support future stormwater schoolyards and other green infrastructure projects on public and private properties across San Francisco.

“The students, families and staff of Robert Louis Stevenson Elementary School are thrilled with the new Stormwater Schoolyard on our campus,” said RL Stevenson Elementary Principal Diane Lau-Yee said. “Not only will this infrastructure help to remove stormwater from our yard, it will teach students about the importance of sustainability and other outdoor learning opportunities.”

The green infrastructure installed includes 5,000 square feet of dry creek beds and 1,100 square feet of permeable pavers, which will remove more than 475,000 gallons of stormwater from the sewer system each year. Green infrastructure projects are a crucial element of the SFPUC’s Sewer System Improvement Program, a 20-year citywide investment to upgrade the City’s aging sewer infrastructure that will increase reliability and sustainability services for residents and businesses. Additionally, projects like these are an important component of the SFPUC’s long-term sustainability goal of capturing 1 billion gallons of stormwater with green infrastructure by 2050.

Continuing to install green infrastructure at local schools will help students learn about the hydrologic cycle, stormwater management and drought tolerant plants.

“As a graduate of SFUSD schools, I know firsthand how important outdoor education is for our students,” said SFUSD Board of Education President Stevon Cook. “While we live in a dense urban city, accessing nature and learning about the environment is essential to students’ wellbeing, academic achievement, and understanding of the world that surrounds them. This infrastructure is a wonderful addition to the sustainable practices we promote among our students.”

About the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission

The San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC) is a department of the City and County of San Francisco. It delivers drinking water to 2.7 million people in the San Francisco Bay Area, collects and treats wastewater for the City and County of San Francisco, and generates clean power for municipal buildings, residents, and businesses. The SFPUC’s mission is to provide customers with high quality, efficient and reliable water, power, and sewer services in a manner that values environmental and community interests and sustains the resources entrusted to our care. Learn more at

About SFUSD Sustainability Efforts

SFUSD has a robust sustainability program that promotes student ecoliteracy while reducing the District’s environmental footprint. San Francisco voters have allocated over $17 million to fund green schoolyards, including outdoor classrooms for standards-based teaching as well as green schoolyard spaces that support interaction with the natural environment, water resilience, urban agriculture, and hands-on, nature-based learning and play. This year, SFUSD completed work on its first rainwater harvesting system to flush toilets in the new admin building at Starr King Elementary School.


Volunteers Needed for Stop, Drop & Go Program

Our school is under construction, during which time we would need to use the front of the school on 34th to drop off our kids. For the safety of our children, we need your help. We would like each classroom’s parents to volunteer for one week to help during the drop off time in the morning from 8:20 to 8:45 AM.  And this year, we are asking 2 parent from the designated class to assist the school staff each day.

Please click on the bottom below to sign up for a spot:

Click to View Volunteer Opportunities on

Field Day!

The kids had a blast today running and jumping through obstacles, tossing bean bags and doing the egg and spoon race! A big thank to our PE teachers for organizing the event and for all the parents who volunteered.  

Welcome New Families!

Dear Kindergarten Families,

Welcome and congratulations on becoming part of the Stevenson school community.  This letter is to invite you to a New Parent Coffee Social, Friday May 20, 2016 at 9 am in our Cafeteria.  Please sign in at the Front Garden Gate on 34th Avenue for a visitors’ badge.  This is not an orientation, but strictly a “Meet and Greet” time for parents (no children this time, please) to mingle with each other, as well as meet current Stevenson parents along with the Principal.

Our second opportunity to meet you will be at our Kindergarten Orientation Meeting on Friday, August 12, 2016 at 9 am.  Our kindergarten teachers will provide you with important information that will help to prepare you and your child for the first day of school, which is Monday, August 15, 2016.  You will also get a chance to meet other parents and get to know our PTA.

Our Kindergarten teachers are looking forward to meeting the parents and our newest little “Dolphins.”    Refreshments will be provided and the PTA will have school Dolphin T-shirts, sweatshirts, and hoodies available for purchase.  Kathy Tom and Mimi Sarkisian, Directors of the KEEP after school program, and a representative from the “Mandarin All Stars” after school language class will also be at the meeting.

Please allow me to introduce myself, Mrs. Diane Lau-Yee, the Principal of Stevenson Elementary School. It is my honor and privilege to serve this community and the needs of your children.  I am a mother of three sons who attend SFUSD public schools, and have taught in SFUSD for 17 years.  I was formerly the Assistant Principal of Gordon J. Lau Elementary School, a school named after my late father.  Stevenson, with its inquisitive student body, talented staff, active PTA, and National Blue Ribbon Award status, is definitely a school committed to student excellence and community service.  We can all be proud to be a part of it!

I am looking forward to meeting each one of you at our Coffee Social on May 20th and later at our Orientation on August 12th.  For parents who are unable to attend, handouts provided during the meeting will be available for pick-up in the office on the first day of school.  I am confident that your willingness to take an active part in our school will make this a stimulating and rewarding year.    Thank you in advance for your support of our school and your child’s education.  On behalf of the staff at Robert Louis Stevenson Elementary School, welcome to the family!


Diane Lau-Yee

White Zone Safety Reminder

Hello, Families!

GREAT JOB on the first day of construction!  The children were very respectful in staying away from the construction fence and keeping safe.

Now, I need your help regarding the White Zone for cars.  
Please follow these safety rules:
1) Please do not open your car door unless the parent volunteer or safety monitors have signaled you to do so.
2) Please keep your car moving forward as space allows so that we are opening the car doors at the front of the line. If you open your door in the end of the line, you are holding up the entire line of cars behind you.
3) Please do not park or exit your vehicle in the STOP DROP GO lanes. If you must exit your vehicle to assist your child, please find a nearby parking spot.
4)  Dismissal times are Kindergarten 2:30 pm; 1st-5th 2:40 pm.  If you arrive earlier than these official times and your child is not yet dismissed, you may be asked to circle the block so we can keep the line moving.  Please do not come early and park in the white zone.  If you would like to come early and park, please find a legal parking space.  
5) PLEASE, DO NOT BLOCK DRIVEWAYS.  A very upset neighbor drove by to yell at me today!
7)  Please do not double park and drop off/pick up your kids from an illegal lane!  It is very dangerous!
8) DO NOT DISRESPECT, TALK BACK TO, OR INSULT OUR STAFF and VOLUNTEERS.   We are there for the safety of all. 
9)  Above all, tickets and fines are expensive.  However, our children's lives are priceless.  Please be safe!

Thank you for your cooperation!

Principal Lau-Yee







1) 在未收到家長義工或過馬路安全督導員指示前不要打開你的車門.


3) 請不要在白線範圍泊車落車. 如果你一定要落車協助你的孩子落車,請在附近找車位停泊.

4) 放學時間幼稚園二時半、一至五年班二時四十分. 如你在正式放學時間前己到達,  你的小孩子未下學,我們可能會要求你駛離再折返,以便譲接送車龍保持流動,請勿提早到達泊在白線上, 如你希望提早到達及停車等候, 請在附近找車位停泊.

5)請切勿阻塞別人屋前車道, 單今天已經有很不满的隣居投訢! 


7)請切勿雙重泊車讓你的孩子在馬路中心上落車, 這樣非常危險!

8)請尊重我們維持交通秩序的教職員,義工, 過馬路安全督導員,不要向他們吵駡或侮辱他們, 他們是在保障你的孩子安全。

9)最後謹記,交通罰款非常昂貴, 但是你小孩的性命更是無價的.請注意安全!



Rainy Day Protocol

Dear Parents, 

Here are the new Rainy Day Protocols in case of rain! A hard copy in English and Chinese will be passed out shortly! 


If it rains before INTAKE, all pupils will report directly to the: 

Cafeteria (K,1st, and 2nd graders) by 8:40 am.   
Auditorium (3rd, 4th, 5th graders) by 8:40 am. 
Please do not send your children directly to the classrooms. 

Please keep the Breezeway clear in order to serve as a passing lane. Parents will be asked to leave in order to avoid congestion.   Teachers will arrive to the designated areas by or before 8:40 am as it is always a little bit hectic on rainy days.   

The morning Yard duty teacher and Ms. Mastrangelo will help supervise the Auditorium (3rd, 4th, 5th graders).  Ms. Low will dismiss classes in order of teachers arriving to pick up classes in the Auditorium.  Students only, please. 

Ms. Phoebe and Ms. Purita will supervise the Cafeteria (K, 1st, 2nd graders).  Ms. Lau-Yee will dismiss classes in order of teachers arriving to pick up classes in the Cafeteria.  Students only, please. 

K parents will line up in the Main Office Hallway and classes will come out to parents with teachers.  Please do not crowd the classrooms but wait until the teachers lead the students to you. 

1st and 2nd grade parents will line up directly outside their child’s classroom for pick up in the hallways along the walls.  Please keep the center aisles clear for passing and do not linger to allow for easy access. 

Bungalows B1, B2, B3, B4 will dismiss directly from Bungalow doors. 

101, 102, 103, 104, 105 will meet under the Breezeway for guardian pick up. 

CAR pick up in white-zone on 34th:  Please be patient as we wait for the students with car pick up to walk to the main office breezeway.  It takes some time, and they will arrive around 2:45 pm.  We will help load them in the cars; please do not park and block our white zone.  If you are early, we may ask you to circle around the block or you can park your car in a non-white zone spot and walk in to pick up your child. 

KEEP in the Cafeteria
EXCEL in the Auditorium
Mandarin in Bungalows

PACE, HUL, and Meijia students will wait in the Main Office Breezeway for car pick up. 

Thank you for your patience and cooperation!