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Preschool & Kindergarten Admissions


We love the rich Preschool through Eight Grade community. The ability to engage with younger and older students is so critical to a child’s understanding of social interactions and helps them learn so much more.”
— Preschool and Elementary School parent

The San Francisco School Preschool & Kindergarten program includes two classrooms each with 36 children ages 3 to 6. Each classroom includes a team of 5 teachers and about 12 students in three age levels. Each year, 24 new 3-year-old students join The San Francisco School Preschool & Kindergarten program. We also regularly add new students at the 4-year-old and Kindergarten levels.

Based on the teaching methodology of Maria Montessori, as well as more recently developed approaches to early childhood education, the SFS Preschool & Kindergarten program gives children a strong foundation to thrive in school.

The San Francisco School Preschool & Kindergarten Application Process Admissions Guide
    •    Step 1: Visit The San Francisco School
    •    Step 2: Apply for admission
    •    Step 3: Submit a teacher evaluation form
    •    Step 4: Apply for indexed tuition (if applicable)
    •    Step 5: Interviews & assessments
    •    Step 6: Admissions decisions

Getting Started

The first step is to create an account with Ravenna, a web-based application system used by many Bay Area Independent Schools. 

Once you have created the account, you will be able to schedule a Campus Visit, register for an Open House, access the required forms for the application process and see all of your application forms that have been submitted. If you already have an account with Ravenna, please use the same login information. There is no need to create another account.

**If you have limited web access or would prefer not to create an account on Ravenna.com, please contact the Admissions Office at 415.239.5065 or admissions@sfschool.org and we will do our best to accommodate your family.

Step 1: Visit The San Francisco School

Come visit! The best way to get to know the school is attending a daytime school tour.

Tours for Preschool 3, 4, and Kindergarten applicants take place on weekday mornings from September through December. Unlike some other preschools, we ask that you begin the admissions process the year before you wish to enroll your child and do maintain waiting lists before then. Therefore, preschool tour spaces are reserved for parents/guardians who wish to enroll their children the following year. Please note that school tours are for adults only.

We also offer optional Curriculum Open Houses as a complement to our daytime school tours, which offer a deeper focus on the academic and social-emotional programs. These will take place on Thursday, October 24th and Saturday, December 14th. Please note that these events are also for adults only.

We begin accepting students at age 3 and require that all children turn 3 years old on or before September 1 of the year they enroll. All children must also be fully potty trained before their start date.

Click here to access Ravenna and sign up for tours and Open Houses.

Step 2: Apply for Admission

The application deadline for 2020 admission is December 17, 2019. Please complete your application by this date for equal consideration. A parent/guardian must attend a tour before applying.

We prefer that you submit an online application. However, if you do not have reliable access to the Internet, please call the school to request a paper application.

All applications, including form submissions, may be completed online using Ravenna - you may start the form and return to it at any time. Your application will not be received by our admission team until you press the “Submit” button.

Please note that we require all 3-year-old applicants to be 3 on or before September 1 of the year they wish to enroll (date of birth on or before September 1, 2017). This date also applies to our 4-year-old and Kindergarten (5-year-old) applicants.

A $100 application fee is due with the application. We offer fee waiver codes upon request.

Click here to access Ravenna and complete your application.

Step 3: Submit a teacher evaluation form

Preschool-1st Grade Teacher Evaluation Form (pdf)
Submit this form to your child’s current teacher only if he/she is presently attending a school or daycare program on a consistent basis. This form should be completed and sent directly via Ravenna or mailed, emailed, or faxed by the teacher directly to The San Francisco School before the application deadline.

Step 4: Apply for Indexed Tuition

The San Francisco School values diversity in all respects and is committed to the accessibility and affordability of a quality education. We strive for an economically diverse student body and offer indexed tuition to families who may need support while attending SFS. Currently, 28% of our families pay a reduced tuition through the indexed tuition program.

Indexed tuition applications are available in early October and can be requested during a school tour or on our website. Since the indexed tuition process may take several weeks, please complete these forms as early as possible. All necessary information is due by January 16, 2020.

Indexed tuition awards will be sent electronically along with general admission decision letters on March 10, 2020 for the 3- and 4-year-old program, and on March 17, 2020 for Kindergarten.

Please visit the indexed tuition area of our website for more detailed information about the indexed tuition program, process, and policies.

Step 5: Interviews & Assessments

Although we would love to invite all applicants and their families back to the school for an interview and assessment, we are only able to invite a handful of families based on the number of spots we predict will be available for the following school year. Much of how we decide on the families to bring in is based on current class composition. Therefore, if we feel as though your family is a good fit for a particular space, we will contact you in early February for an interview and assessment. All families will receive notification by early February with an update on your child’s application status.

Step 6: Admissions decisions

Admissions decisions for the 3-year-old and 4-year-old program will be sent electronically on March 10, 2020. A response from families will be required by 10 a.m. on March 17, 2020.

All K-8 independent schools in San Francisco send decisions to families on March 19, 2020 and require that parent/guardians enroll their children by 10 a.m. on March 26, 2020.

A $1,100 non-refundable one-time enrollment fee is due at the time your child is accepted.
All applications remain active for two years. Therefore, if admission is not offered the first time around, you may reactivate your application the following year. Simply contact the admissions office in the Fall and update your existing application with any new information that will be helpful to the process (ie: a new teacher evaluation, if applicable).

The San Francisco School values the richness of its diversity and actively seeks students from racially, socio-economically, and culturally diverse families, including lesbian, gay and transgender families, single-parent/guardian families, adoptive, and foster families.