Elementary school
Admissions Process: Elementary School

“The preparation and work the faculty puts into the curriculum is obvious because it is transparent to the children, yet evident in their daily growth. This school is an incredible gift.”
-- Preschool and Elementary School parent

The San Francisco School Elementary School consists of 1st through 5th grade.  Each year, the two preschool Kindergarten classes combine to form one 1st grade class of approximately 22 students.  There is only one classroom for each elementary grade, with one full time head teacher and one full time teaching intern in 1st and 2nd grade.  There is one full time head teacher and one half time teaching intern for 3rd through 5th grade.

The physical, emotional and academic growth of 1st through 5th graders is a phenomenon like no other. From young 6-year-olds to pre-adolescents, the students' ability to learn, create and discover is a process that The San Francisco School helps nurture, guide and sustain throughout the Elementary School years.

For a snapshot of the school, download SFS By the Numbers (pdf).


The San Francisco School Elementary School Application Process

Step by Step Admissions Guide

Step 1: Get to know The San Francisco School

We would love for you to visit us so that we can get acquainted!  The best way to do this is by attending a daytime school tour.

Elementary School tours begin in late October and occur on select Mondays through December. Online tour sign-ups are made available every mid-September. Please note that school tours are for adults only.

Be sure to attend our Elementary School Open House!

Sign up for an Elementary School Tour Here

** We have added an Elementary-only tour on Monday, October 21st.
Please join us for a tour that features our lower school program!

Step 2: Apply for Admission

The deadline for September 2014 admission is January 7, 2014. Please complete your application before this date for equal consideration. Parents 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 or prefer to complete the application in Spanish, please call the school to request a paper application.

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.

Apply Online

Step 3: Submit a teacher evaluation/recommendation form

Teacher Evaluation Form: Preschool – 1st Grade (pdf)

Teacher Evaluation Form: 2nd Grade – 8th Grade (pdf)

Please complete the top portion of the appropriate form and submit it to your child’s current teacher.  This form should be completed and mailed by the teacher directly to The San Francisco School before the application deadline.

Step 4: Submit transcripts and test scores

Request for Educational Records (pdf)

Please sign and submit this form to your child’s current school registrar.  Your child’s current school will be responsible for mailing all transcripts, teacher reports and any standardized test results from the past 2 years of schooling directly to The San Francisco School.

These documents along with the teacher evaluation form must be received before the application deadline in order for your child’s application to be considered complete.

Step 5: 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, 29% of our families take part in 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 February 1, 2014.

Indexed tuition awards will be mailed out with general admission decision letters on March 19, 2014.

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

Step 6: Interviews & assessments

Admission into 1st – 5th grade depends on space availability.  Therefore, we are only able to invite a handful of families in for an interview and assessment based on the number of spots we predict will be available for the following school year.  Retaining the balance and integrity of class composition is very important to us.  Much of how we decide on which families to bring in is based on the current class composition. Therefore, if we feel as though your family is a good fit for a specific 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.  1st-5th grade applicants are invited to spend time at the school to meet their potential classmates and teachers.  Parents are interviewed on the day of their child’s visit.

Step 7: Admissions decisions

All K-8 independent schools in San Francisco mail their decision letters to families on March 19, 2014 and require that parents enroll their children by 10am on March 26, 2014.

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 gay and lesbian families, single-parent families, adoptive and foster families.

© 2008-2011 The San Francisco School  •  300 Gaven Street  •  San Francisco, CA 94134  •  Tel  415.239.5065  •  Fax 415.239.8550