Back to San Francisco Preschools

Chinese American International School

150 Oak Street
San Francisco, CA 94109

(415) 865-6000


22 parents took the survey TAKE THE SURVEY

Philosophy & Approach

School Philosophy

General Approach to Learning: Play-Based, Montessori

Day in the Life

General School Mission

We are a Pre-K - 8th grade Mandarin and English dual immersion program school where our students, beginning in Pre-K, spend half of their time in an English classroom and half of their time in a Chinese classroom with native speakers of each language. While learning both languages, our students are in a safe, fun, nurturing and caring environment. CAIS has a brand new Pre-K campus at 42-52 Waller street specifically designed for our youngest students. Pre-K starts at age 3 with a 2 year Pre-K program ( this is our main entry level) or at 4 years old where they will spend one year in Pre-K before entering Kindergarten.

A Typical Day

Half the day is spent with Chinese teachers and half the day is spent with English teachers. Activities include circle time, playtime, recess yard time, small group activities ( Chinese ), Montessori based English activities and afternoon nap time.

Home-School Connection

Home-School Connection: From the Director

There are parent teacher conferences held twice a year where teachers will discuss children's progress one-on-one with parents. At the beginning of the school year, there is a pre-school event for parents as well as a coffee morning to share classroom routine and activities for the parents. In addition, the staff are readily available to communicate via phone or e-mail. There is a weekly "Thursday envelope" containing information about school events and updates as well as a monthly curriculm information sheet from Chinese and English teachers. Parent involvement is welcomed and supported.

Parents Say They are Encouraged to:

  • Sit on the board of trustees
  • Hold social events at the school to build community
  • Fundraise
  • Are required to make donations ourselves
  • Are able to visit the school anytime we want
  • Go on field trips
  • Volunteer in the classroom
  • Receive newsletters

Modes of Communication

  • Notes
  • Phone Calls
  • Voice Mail
  • Email
  • Special Meetings
  • Two or More Regular Conferences
  • Drop-Off
  • Pick-Up
  • Regular newsletter/printed updates circulated to the whole school


Separation is Handled through:

  • Pre-entry meetings with parents at school

Handling Separation: From the Director

The teachers are very nurturing and well adept at handling separation anxiety on a case by case basis, from individual hand-holding to finding new friends for the children to finding activities to distract the children, as well as helping parents to handle this situation.