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.
    School Year 2024-2025
    –  Turtle program (8:45-11:30am): Birthdates between 9/1/2021 and 8/31/2022
    –  Wildcat program (8:30-11:30am): Birthdates between 9/1/2020 and 8/31/2021
    –  Rabbit/PreK program (8:30am-1pm; Fri until 3pm): Birthdates between 9/1/2019 and 8/31/2020
  3. Do you offer an Extended Day Program (EDP)? Yes, we offer extended day hours for all our programs. While the program has its own routines (nap/rest, snack, circle, story time, 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 8:00am 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 – 18 children
    –  Rabbits/PreK program: 2 teachers – 18 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 9 years. All our teachers are fully licensed and qualified.
  6. Do you offer any 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 acquisitions class; Music with Teacher Barb; and Nature Connection, a 9-session ecological 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 three 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 2023-2024, the school year runs from September 6, 2023 to June 14, 2024. 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 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 responses to the SJP application questions. We send our acceptance letters on the same date as a number of other SF preschools. For the 2024-2025 school year, we will send acceptance and waitlist letters via email early March 2024 (exact Date TBA). Families accepted will have one week to respond and secure enrollment with a signed agreement and deposit.
  9. What is the school’s philosophy on diversity? We are committed to encouraging a diverse, caring, and inclusive learning environment. Cultural awareness is at the forefront of the school’s mission. We respect, honor, and celebrate differences of all kinds, and believe our community is enriched by these differences.
  10. Are you a Preschool for All? Yes, SJP participates in the SF Preschool for All, supported by the San Francisco Department of Early Childhood. To learn more, please visit
  11. Do you offer tuition assistance? Yes. SJP offers need-based tuition assistance. Families may apply once offered a place.
  12. What role does fundraising have at SJP? Each year, parents organize a number of fundraising events including an Annual Fund, book fair, wine raffle, and the Spring Gala. The funds generated go into school wide projects, professional development for the staff, and financing our music, physical education, and Nature Connection programs.
  13. 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.
  14. Do you assist in kindergarten placement? SJP has an extensive advisory process that begins a full year before kindergarten applications are due. We start with a general application orientation meeting and follow up with a series of individual family meetings and consultations. Both teachers and our 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.
  15. What schools do SJP graduating students go to? Our graduating students go to public, parochial, and private schools. Some of those have included Alamo, Cathedral School for Boys, Claire Lilienthal, Convent for Girls, George Peabody, Hamlin, Jefferson, Katherine Delmar Burke, Lawton, Marin Country Day, Marin Primary, Notre Dame des Victoires, Nueva, Rosa Parks, St. Brigid, St. Cecilia, St. Stephen’s, St. Vincent de Paul, San Francisco Day, San Francisco Friends, San Francisco Schoolhouse, Sutro, and Town for Boys.

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