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Admissions Process: Preschool & Kindergarten

We loved the idea of a combined preschool and Kindergarten. The ability to engage with younger and older kids is so critical to their understanding of family dynamics, friendship and social interactions.”
-- Preschool and Elementary School parent

The San Francisco School Preschool & Kindergarten program consists of two classrooms each comprised of approximately 37 children ages 3 to 6, the oldest being our kindergartners.  There are four teachers in each classroom and about 12 students per age level.  Each year, 24 new 3 year old students join The San Francisco School preschool program.

Based on the teaching methodology of Maria Montessori, as well as more recently developed approaches to early childhood education, the SFS preschool & Kindergarten program fosters a strong foundation for future learning and growth.

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


The San Francisco School Preschool & Kindergarten 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.

Preschool tours for 3 and 4 year old applicants begin in October and occur on select Wednesday and Friday mornings through December. Unlike other preschools, we simply ask that you begin the admissions process the year before you wish to enroll your child. 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.

We begin accepting students at age three 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.

Don't miss our Preschool and Kindergarten Open House on October 24! Sign up here

Sign up for Preschool Tour or Kindergarten Tour

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.

Please note that we require all 3 year old applicants to be three 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.

Apply Online

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 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, 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 4, 2014 for the 3 and 4 year old program and March 14, 2014 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 4, 2014. A response from families will be required by 10 a.m. on March 11, 2014.

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 10 a.m. on March 26, 2014. 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 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