FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

What are the advantages of an independent school?

Independent schools, like San Francisco Pacific Academy, tend to function as a complete community. At SFPA, the students, the faculty, and the parents work together with the shared goal of preparing students for secondary school, and for life.
In a community like San Francisco Pacific Academy, students are known and valued as individuals. As a result, students develop a stronger sense of identity, while gaining tolerance and respect for different backgrounds and viewpoints. Each faculty member at an independent school is a life-long learner and invests an enormous amount of time and care into his or her curriculum development. As a result, independent school faculty members are passionate about their program, and their passion for learning is contagious. 

What does SFPA look for in a student?  

Though there is no one profile for a typical student, SFPA students tend to be intellectually curious, friendly, and active. We usually look for balance in a child’s life and for a student who will fit well into our community. Our students are comfortable accepting new students into their midst, and we like to see a level of warmth and friendliness in our applicants as well. Since an Admission Test can be intimidating to some children, we also look to teacher recommendations, parent observations, and testing information to evaluate potential candidates. The bottom line is that we want students who are a great fit for SFPA, and we want SFPA to be a great fit for the students that we invite to join our community. 

Do all SFPA families live near the school?

No. SFPA families come from all over the Bay Area. Most of our families live in San Francisco, although we have a significant number commuting from the North Bay and some from the East and South Bay. All these families have chosen our school not because of its geographical convenience, but because of the programs our school offers to its students. 

When does world language instruction begin?

We offer the Russian language instruction beginning in Kindergarten for all students. Our bi-lingual curriculum is designed for grades K through 6. Beginning in 7th grade more world languages will be introduced to our students. 

Do siblings get preference?

Siblings applicants are considered first on their own merits, and second on their relationships to current or former SFPA students. We do have quite a few siblings, but we urge families to consider each child as an individual in deciding whether SFPA would be the right fit, just as we do in evaluating siblings.  

When is the deadline for applying?

Families are encouraged to submit application materials for the following school year beginning November 1st of the current year. In order for applications to be considered during the first round of admission committee review, candidates should submit their materials by January 17th.

When will I know if I'm accepted?

The decision letters are mailed within a week after the test date. Families will then a have a week of quiet reflection to consider their options.

What does it mean to be placed on the waiting list?

Being placed on the waiting list means that we may be able to offer you enrollment if space becomes available. Normally, we will know if any spaces are available shortly after the April 17th , but sometimes a few spaces open up during the spring and summer (e.g. if a current family moves). The Admission Office will contact you if a space should become available (provided you have requested to stay on the waiting list). 

Are parents welcome to become involved at SFPA?

Parents are an integral part of the school, and we encourage all of our parents to become involved with the SFPA community. Through the Parents Association, parents prepare for numerous SFPA community events, organizing community service projects, or helping with school fundraisers. You can also find parents driving on field trips, sharing a particular expertise as a guest speaker in the classroom, and so much more.  

How old does my child have to be to apply for Kindergarten?

Applicants for Kindergarten must be five years old by September 1st of the year they would be entering.   

Are letters of recommendation required for entrance?

Teacher evaluations from your child’s present school are required as part of the application process. Additional letters of recommendation in support of your child’s application are neither expected nor required.

   

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