PULSE – Balboa High School

Balboa High School
Balboa High School, in partnership with all community stakeholders, will provide students with an educational experience of rigor and relevance; where all students are valued, have a sense of purpose, and are committed to making our school and society a better place to live. As a community of lifelong learners, we are guided by 3 essential questions:

What do we expect students to learn?
How do we know they have learned it?
What do we do if they don’t learn?

balboa high school
mission statement:
social justice • self-discovery • responsibility

social justice
students embrace learning to create a better, more equitable society
students experience learning as critical and creative thinkers
students value learning that is rigorous and meaningful

PULSE Pathway at Balboa High School (Peers United for Leadership and Service)

PULSE’s vision statement:
Our vision is that mixed-income, urban students of color and their allies achieve greater academic success and grow into an interconnected community of activists as a result of their engagement in a transformative educational model that integrates critical theory and transformational resistance pedagogy with ethnic studies and social justice principles.

PULSE’s mission statement:
PULSE provides mixed-income students of color and their allies at an inner-city San Francisco high school with an interdisciplinary academic program, which uses a critical theory framework, core activism projects, and community service activities to integrate peer helping, literature, writing, technology, and history within a curriculum that focuses on the experiences of people of color, women, immigrants, LGBTQQITP, people with disabilities, and other marginalized communities.

Critical Framework / Concepts
PULSE teachers seek to create an educational experience that develops our students to become critical, creative, conscientious, responsible and committed stewards of our community. We develop activities, lessons and curriculum that foster a culture of community, and that fulfills/addresses/exceeds State expectations in relation to teaching the Standards.

We accomplish this by framing all information in a way that 1. accesses student's prior knowledge by valuing, and anchoring instruction to, student identity, 2. places information within social/political/economic/cultural context, 3. demystifies the systems at the root of our lives and 4. identifies problems, all the while, inviting solutions.

Because PULSE lessons are crafted with key aspects of our student's lived experiences in mind, we can position ourselves to be more and more responsive to the needs of our students and our larger community.

3 I's of Oppression & Resistance
Institutional, Interpersonal, Intrapersonal (internalized)
Freire's Pedagogy of the Oppressed
dehumanization, prescription, internalization, fear of freedom, true generosity/false charity, true solidarity, horizontal violence, sub-oppression, praxis
Understanding Identity/kNOw history, kNOw self
Cross-Cultural Communication and Barriers
Critical Lenses
feminist/gender, Marxist/social class, reader-response, psychological, critical race, post-colonial/neo-colonial
Critical Causality
Haterisms / Power & Privilege / Male/White supremacy
Tara Yosso's Cultural Wealth
6 types of capital: aspirational, linguistic, navigational, social, familial, resistant
Thinking Critically Means...
Thinking Historically, Causality, Systems (of Oppression)
3 I's of Transformative Change Making
Institutional - Advocacy,
Interpersonal - Direct Service, Indirect Service,
Intrapersonal (Internalized) - Self-Help,
Ally-Building / Solidarity
Critical Media Analysis
Master and Counter Narrative

Contact Information

PULSE – Balboa High School
1000 Cayuga Avenue (Rm. 322)
San Francisco CA, 94112
Main Contact
Kristia Castrillo, English Teacher
Related Links
Brave New Voices

Brave New Voices