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Mission Kids

1050 South Van Ness Ave
San Francisco, CA 94110

(415) 970-9027


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Mission Kids is a licensed, cooperative, mixed-age preschool located in the Mission District in San Francisco. We offer a rich curriculum that fosters respect for ourselves and others, love of learning, and community connections. We empower children by valuing their initiative. We grow children's natural capacity for cooperation and fairness through our teaching and curriculum.

Philosophy & Approach

School Philosophy

General Approach to Learning: Play-Based, Co-op

From the Director:

We utilize an emergent curriculum approach in a play-based setting, where community building is an integral part of our approach to teaching young children.

Curriculum & Teaching Approach

Learning Philosophy & Tools

  Play- based mostly teacher led not formally in curriculum conducive environment
Language       more

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  • Tracing paper and other writing instruments
  • A well-stocked bookcase
Oral language  
Nursery rhymes, poems, songs  
Storybook reading  
Emerging literacy skills  
Cognitive development
Math & number sense more

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  • Puzzles
Time & space more

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  • Calendars and clocks
  • Parquetry blocks, pegboards, and mosaic toys
  • Maps
  • Building blocks
Sci. reasoning/physical world more

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  • A place for science activities such as growing plants
  • Pets for children to watch and care for
Music more

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  • Musical instruments
Visual arts more

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  • Materials such as paint, ink, paintbrushes, crayons, markers, chalk, paper, etc.
  • Art work on the walls
Physical activity more

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  • Bean bags, balls, and other objects that children can throw, kick, and play
  • Tricycles
  • Enough room for children to move around and play and a suitable indoor alternative to the outdoor playground on rainy days
  • Sandboxes and/or water stations for play
Other subjects taught Dramatic Play: Dedicated area in classroom. Also play-based and play-based with some structure.

From the Director:

Community Outings: Mission Kids believes strongly in community integration. We bring children out into the community every day. Outings may include a walk to the local playground, bus trip to City Hall, or BART ride to the Ferry Building.

Quality of Teaching

Individualized Teaching: From the Director

Mission Kids welcomes children of all abilities. We have a low number of children for the number of teachers, so our children:teacher ratios allow for individualized teaching. We provide continual opportunities for open-ended projects can be done at different levels of ability.

Day in the Life

General School Mission

Mission Kids draws on philosophies of play-based emergent curriculum and peaceful conflict resolution to help children develop skills in six areas: Peace and Socialization, Curiosity About Our World, Imagination and Creativity, Health and Physical Development, Life Skills and Cognitive Skills.

A Typical Day

8:30-9:30 Indoor/Outdoor Free Play, Interest Areas, and Projects

9:30-9:45 Circle

9:45-10:15 Morning Meal (school provided)

10:15-10:30 Prepare for Outing

10:30-12:00 Community Outing

12:00-12:15 Return from Outing

12:15-12:45 Lunch (parent provided)

12:45-1:00 Story Time

1:00-1:45 Quiet time (Children may sleep as long as they like.)

1:45-2:30 Indoor/Outdoor Free Play

2:30-3:00 Pick Up

Home-School Connection

Home-School Connection: From the Director

Mission Kids believes strongly in the importance of open communication between home and school. Mission Kids provides many opportunities to foster this connection:

Written Daily Notes Sent Home to Families

Monthly Newsletter Including Curriculum Updates

Email Group for Info on Resources/Social Events

Monthly Parent Meetings Including Parent Education

Bi-annual Individual Parent-Teacher Conferences

Bi-annual Summaries of Student Learning

Parents Say They are Encouraged to:

  • Sit on the board of trustees
  • Hold social events at the school to build community
  • Fundraise
  • 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:

  • Home visits by teachers
  • Pre-entry meetings with parents at school
  • Extra staff dedicated to handle separation
  • Parents in classroom early on

Handling Separation: From the Director

We respect individual differences in children and families in how they experience separating from each other. An important way that Mission Kids helps support healthy separation is through strategizing with families about separation so that we take into account the individual needs of families as well as recognizing the developmental processes of children. Families are welcome to stay with their child during the school day for as long as they would like and ease their child into separation. We also support the need that some families have to separate from their children more quickly, by offering alternative strategies and providing feedback.