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Preschool Admissions


We love the rich Preschool through Eighth 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 program includes two classrooms — one for three-year-olds and another for four-year-olds. Each classroom includes a team of three teachers and 22-24 students.

Each year, approximately 22 new 3-year-old students join The San Francisco School Preschool program. We also regularly add new students at the 4-year-old level depending on spaces available.

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

The San Francisco School Preschool Application Process 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

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 virtual Information Session, Campus Tour, 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: Attend an Admissions Information Session

The best way to start your process is by attending a virtual information session.

Virtual information sessions for preschool applicants take place on Mondays 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.

We know that seeing our unique campus will be an important piece of the decision-making process for many families and we are happy to offer campus tours to groups of prospective families to see our classrooms and beautiful outdoor spaces. Families can register for campus tours after they have attended an information session.

We also offer optional Curriculum Open Houses as a complement to our daytime information sessions, which offer a deeper focus on the community as well as academic and social-emotional programs. Our virtual Open House will take place on Thursday, November 16th.

We begin accepting students at age three and require that all children turn three on or before September 1 of the year they enroll. (For Fall 2024 admission, children must be born before September 1, 2021). This age cutoff also applies to our 4-year-old applicants (September 1, 2020). 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 2024 admission is January 5, 2024. Please complete your application by this date for equal consideration.

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.

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-K Teacher Evaluation Form (pdf)
Submit this form to your child’s current teacher only if s/he 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, 26% of our families pay reduced tuition through the indexed tuition program.

Indexed tuition applications are available online. Since the indexed tuition process may take several weeks, please complete these forms as early as possible. All necessary information is due by February 1, 2024.

Indexed tuition awards will be sent electronically along with general admission decision letters on March 5, 2024 for the 3- and 4-year-old program.

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 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. We will be in touch by early February with all applicants updating them on the status of their application indicating whether we will be able to move forward with a Family Interview.

Step 6: Admissions decisions

Admission decisions for the 3-year-old and 4-year-old program will be posted electronically on Ravenna on March 5, 2024. A response from families will be required by 10:00 a.m. on March 12, 2024.

A 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 (i.e., 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.