Frequently asked questions

  1. Is SJP faith-based? No. Although we have a strong community bond with St. James Episcopal Church, we are a separate non-profit (501)(c)(3). As a continuing tradition, we do have a 15-minute weekly chapel service for the school, conducted by the Reverend John Kirkley. (Families may opt out if they wish.)*
  2. At what age do you admit children? We provide programs for children two to five years old.
    For 2022-2023
    –  Turtle program (8:45-11:30am): Birthdates between 9/1/2019 and 8/31/2020
    –  Wildcat program (8:30-11:30am): Birthdates between 9/1/2018 and 8/31/2019
    –  Rabbit/PreK program (8:30am-1pm; Fri until 3pm): Birthdates between 9/1/2017 and 8/31/2018
  3. Do you offer an extended day program? *Yes, we offer extended day hours for all our programs. Afternoon in “The Den” is a family-grouping program with mixed ages. While the program has its own routines (nap/rest, snack, circle, storytime, outside play, activity time), children can also work on projects that emerge from their morning activities. We offer various choices including 2-, 3-, and 5-day a week options with drop-off as early as 8am and pickup by 4:30 or 5:30pm.
  4. What is your class size and teacher ratio? We pride ourselves on our low student to teacher ratios.
    –  Turtle program: 2 teachers – 8-9 children
    –  Wildcat program: 2 teachers – 16 children
    –  Rabbits/PreK program: 2 teachers – 16 children
    –  Extended Day program: 2 to 3 teachers – 12-22 children
  5. How long has your staff been at the school? The average tenure of the staff is 10 years. All our teachers are fully licensed and qualified.
  6. Do you offer extracurricular classes? *We offer a variety of special classes as part of our regular program offerings; no extra fee is charged for these classes. They include Playball, a phys-ed skills acquisition class; music with Teacher Barb; and a Nature Series, a 9-session environmental education class based in the Marin Headlands (preK class only.) Additionally, SJP parents run our Great Books Project, a literacy program whereby our children take home three specially selected books every two weeks. Over the course of two years our children (and parents) are exposed to approximately 100 exemplary picture books.
  7. How long is the school year? We follow an academic year schedule. For 2021-2022, the school year runs from September 8, 2021 to June 17, 2022. We observe all public holidays and have a 5-day Thanksgiving Break, a 2-week Winter Break, and a 5-day Spring Break. We also run a separate summer session at the school.
  8. Do you offer tuition assistance? Yes. SJP offers need-based tuition assistance. Families may apply once offered a place.
  9. Are you a Preschool for All? Yes, St. James Preschool participates in First 5, San Francisco’s Preschool for All. To learn more, check out their website or call 415-354-3873.
  10. What opportunities are there for SJP families to volunteer at the school? *We anticipate that all families will be involved in helping out and building the SJP community. Involvement can range from classroom presentations, to hosting social get-togethers to co-chairing our major fundraisers. Whatever talents and time you have, we’ll use them wisely.
  11. What role does fundraising have at SJP? Each year, parents organize a number of fundraising events including a book fair, wine raffle, and our major fundraiser, the Spring Gala. The funds generated go into schoolwide projects, professional development for the staff, and financing our music, physical, and environmental education programs.
  12. Do you have an admissions waitlist and what is your selection process? All interested families who apply by the January 31st deadline are put in a wait pool. All are on equal standing irrespective of how early they apply. After placing siblings, we select on the basis of gender, age and response to the SJP application questions. Along with a number of other SF preschools, we send our acceptance letters on the same date.For the 2022-2023 school year, we will send acceptance and waitlist letters via email early March (exact date TBA). Families accepted will have one week to respond and secure enrollment with a signed agreement and deposit.
  13. Do you assist in Kindergarten placement? SJP has an extensive advisory process that begins a full year before K applications are due. We start with a general K application orientation meeting and follow through with a series of individual family meetings and consultations. Both teachers and director visit a full-range of SF grade schools and thus are able to advise on the optimum fit between a child and a prospective school.
  14. What schools do SJP graduating students go to? Our graduating students go to public, parochial, and private schools. Over the last 5 years these have included Alamo, Cathedral School for Boys, Claire Lilienthal, Clarendon, Convent for Girls, George Peabody, Hamlin, Katherine Delmar Burke, Lawton, Marin Country Day School, Lycee Francais, Marin Primary, Notre Dame des Victoires, Rosa Parks, St. Brigid, St. Cecilia, St. Vincent de Paul, San Francisco Day, San Francisco Friends, San Francisco Schoolhouse, Sherman, Town School for Boys.

Please contact us with any questions you may have that are not answered on this page.

*We are following, and will continue to follow, current San Francisco Department of Health guidelines for enrollment until we are able to return to pre-COVID class sizes and programing.