Preschool & Kindergarten Admissions

We love the combined Preschool and Kindergarten classroom. The ability to engage with younger and older kids is so critical to their 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 37 children ages 3 to 6. There are four teachers in each classroom 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 in the 4-year old and Kindergarten level.

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: Get to know 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

Step 1: Get to know The San Francisco School

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

Tours for the Preschool and Kindergarten Admissions Process have now been completed. Tour sign-ups to apply for the 2018-2019 school year will be available in September 2017. Please contact the Admissions Office with questions.

Tours for 3 and 4 year old applicants begin in September and occur on select Wednesday and Friday mornings through December. Unlike other preschools, we ask that you begin the admissions process the year before you wish to enroll your child and do not have waiting lists before then. Therefore, preschool tour spaces are reserved for parents/guardians who wish to enroll their children the following year. Online tour sign-ups are made available every mid-September. Please note that school tours are for adults only.

Tours for our Kindergarten applicants occur on select Mondays in the fall. 

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 27th and Saturday, December 3rd. 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 potty trained before their start date.

Step 2: Apply for Admission

Online Application

The application deadline for September 2017 admission is January 3, 2017. Please complete your application by this date for equal consideration. A parent 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.

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. This date also applies to our 4 year old and Kindergarten (5 year old) applicants. Additionally, all children must be potty trained before the start of school.

An $90 application fee is due with the application. Please mail the application fee separately when applying online and be sure to write your child’s name in the memo of the check. Checks can be mailed on the application due date. All applications received after the deadline will be reviewed in the second round.

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 child is presently attending a school or daycare program on a consistent basis. This form should be completed and 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, 25% 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 19, 2017.

Indexed tuition awards will be mailed out with general admission decision letters on March 7, 2017 for the 3 and 4 year old program and March 15, 2017 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 a letter 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 mailed on March 7, 2017. A response from families will be required by 10 a.m. on March 14, 2017.

All K-8 independent schools in San Francisco mail their decision letters to families on March 15, 2017 and require that parents enroll their children by 10 a.m. on March 23, 2017. Therefore, all decisions for Kindergarten applicants will be mailed on that date.

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 families, adoptive and foster families.