Back to San Francisco Preschools

The San Francisco School

300 Gaven Street
San Francisco, CA 94134

(415) 239-5065


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Philosophy & Approach

School Philosophy

General Approach to Learning: Play-Based, Montessori

Quality of Teaching

Individualized Teaching: From the Director

Teachers have a wealth of experience and offer differentiated instruction for students based on their developmental level. Teachers meet daily to collaborate and discuss the individual needs of children in the classroom.

Day in the Life

General School Mission

School Mission Statement:

The San Francisco School cultivates and celebrates the intellectual, imaginative and humanitarian promise or each student in a community that practices mutual respect, embraces diversity and inspires a passion for learning.

For more information about school programs and philosophy, visit

A Typical Day

Preschool & Kindergarten Daily Schedule

Morning Daycare

Work Time
Children choose materials and activities in the classroom, guided by the teachers: practical life, sensorial, math, language, writing, art, science, dramatic play, puzzles, and manipulatives.

Indoor/Outdoor Time
Children may choose to continue working inside. Free choice of outdoor activities, crate building, parallel bars, sand toys, garden, structure, ball play, trikes.

Morning Circle or Group Time
Music, stories, games, problem solving, presentation of materials, sound of the week, opportunities for verbal expression in a group.

Handwashing & Snack Time
Snack provided by The School.

Outside Time
All children have the opportunity for outdoor physical activities and play. Teachers offer art projects and other activities. Music, Art and P.E. are offered at this time.


Hot lunch provided by The School.

The youngest group retires to nap/day care room.

Indoor/Outdoor Time
For the two older groups.

Afternoon Circle
Focus on Science, Social Studies/Culture, Math, Calendar, etc.

Afternoon Work Time

Indoor/Outdoor Time

Wake Up Time for the Nappers

Home Time
Getting ready for dismissal: communal jobs, announcements, or songs.

Children await pick up on benches in South Yard.

Afternoon Daycare
Children attending daycare are given a snack.

Home-School Connection

Home-School Connection: From the Director

Teachers and parents stay in close contact via phone calls, email and personal contact.

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
  • Extra staff dedicated to handle separation

Handling Separation: From the Director

In May, before the end of the school year, all new families are invited to spend time in the classroom with their children during a wecloming event. Over the summer, teachers send home postcard photos of themselves so that children can begin to familiarize themselves with their teachers. At the start of the school year, the school offers a "Preschool Separation Talk" for the parents to provide them with the skills and education on how to appropriately handle the separation process. Part of this transition is the school's "phase-in" process. On the first day of school, only returning students are invited to attend class. After the first day, new students starting with the oldest (5 year olds) to the youngest (3 year olds), are phased-in 1-2 at a time so that extra attention can be paid to the new students in the class. The benefit of this process is that 1) the new students come into school seeing a fully functioning classroom 2) teachers can spend more time with the new students helping them with the transition process and 3) returning students can buddy up with the new students to help orient them to preschool life.