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Wah Mei School

1400 Judah Street
San Francisco, CA 94122

(415) 665-4212


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Philosophy & Approach

School Philosophy

General Approach to Learning: Play-Based

From the Director:

Wah Mei School was the first Chinese American bilingual preschool to be established in San Francisco. Since our first class in 1974, our program has successfully promoted multiculturalism in developmental activities that emphasize both learning and playing for our young students. Each child's individual strengths and needs are recognized, valued and integrated into the program. Classes are conducted in both English and Chinese, so the children develop proficiency in both languages.

Curriculum & Teaching Approach

Learning Philosophy & Tools

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

More Information

  • 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
  • Games, measuring tools
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
  • Observation tools, shells, magnets, etc.
Music more

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  • Musical instruments
  • CDs
Visual arts more

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  • Materials such as paint, ink, paintbrushes, crayons, markers, chalk, paper, etc.
  • Art work on the walls
  • Materials for 3-Dimensional art
Physical activity more

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  • A playground with climbing equipment
  • 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
  • Indoor gross motor equipment
Other subjects taught Regular field trips and library experiences are also important features of our program.

From the Director:

Our qualified teachers and staff members are dedicated to the development of the 'whole' child within a bilingual framework. The goals of Wah Mei School's curriculum are to facilitate the child's growth and development in all areas, and to instill in them the appreciation of different cultures. Our child-centered curriculum is developmentally, culturally and linguistically appropriate, designed to encourage exploration, hands-on experiences, creativity, imagination and social interaction. They are incorporated in activities of art, music, fine and gross motor skills, reading and math readiness, nutrition, health, science and social skills. With a low 1:7 teacher-child ratio, Wah Mei School offers a balance of individual, small and large group activities.

Quality of Teaching

Individualized Teaching: From the Director

The teachers maintain high standards for each child, while recognizing that every child has unique strengths and learning styles. The teachers tailor their daily curriculum to make it beneficial to all students.

Day in the Life

General School Mission

Wah Mei School recognizes the unique strengths of each child and is committed to meeting the needs of the individual child and their families. Children learn best in a safe and nurturing environment which helps them to grow and develop their abilities and skills to the utmost potential. We believe that bilingual and multicultural experiences are important parts of the development of children.

A Typical Day

Sample of Full-Day Preschool Schedule:

7:30-8:30 Arrival Time

8:30-9:05 Breakfast

9:10-9:30 Large Group (English)

9:30-10:25 Small Group and Center Activities

10:25-10:35 Rest Time

10:35-10:55 Large Group (Chinese)

10:55-11:40 Outdoor Play

11:45-12:15 Lunch

12:15-12:30 Brush Teeth and Choice of Activities

12:35-2:55 Nap Time

2:55-3:10 Wake Up, Bathroom, Prepare for Snack

3:10-3:25 Snack

3:25-4:00 Outdoor Play

4:00-4:20 Large Group, Chinese/English (2 days), Small Group (2 days)

4:20-6:00 Free Choice of Activities

Home-School Connection

Home-School Connection: From the Director

Orientation for new parents takes place in September. Following it, the school annual picnic and Open House occur in October. Two individual assessments are conducted twice a year. Parent-teacher conferences will follow for parents and teachers to discuss the children's current progress, future goals, and reinforcement methods. Newsletters are distributed to parents monthly and inform parents of special events, parenting workshops, field trips, etc.Specialists from SFUSD are invited to conduct a workshop on the kindergarten enrollment application and appeal process. Alumni families from public and private schools are also invited to share about their schools with current Wah Mei families.

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
  • Parents in classroom early on
  • Abbreviated schedule at start of school year

Handling Separation: From the Director

We encourage parents to bring their child for brief visits before attendance, to discuss and prepare their child for school. We also recommend the parents say 'good-bye' and leave the first few days of enrollment.