Admission Process


Still accepting applications for limited openings in select grades. Email for more information.

Grade/Age Eligibility Requirements for 2023-2024 Applicants

  • Preschool (No knowledge of Mandarin is necessary):
    • Two-year-old program (P2): Children must be two on or before August 15, 2023
    • Three- or Four-year-old program (P3 or P4):  Children must be three or four years old on or before September 1, 2023.  
  • Kindergarten (No knowledge of Mandarin is necessary): 
    Children must be five years old on or before September 1, 2023.
  • 1st Grade: Adequate levels of oral and aural proficiency in Mandarin (but not reading and writing) are necessary to meet CAIS grade level standards.
  • 2nd-5th Grade: Adequate levels of Mandarin and English are necessary to meet CAIS grade level standards.
  • 6th-8th Grade: 
    • Mandarin Immersion: Adequate levels of Mandarin and English are necessary to meet CAIS grade level standards.
    • NEW Mandarin World Language Pathway: Mandarin proficiency is not required; only adequate level of English necessary to meet CAIS grade level standards.

Contact the Admission Office at 

STEP 1 – Help Us Get to Know You

Please begin the process by filling out the online inquiry form. By completing this brief form, you will be able to create an account and gain access to the CAIS Admission portal. Once your account is set up, you will be able to sign up for the events listed below and begin the application process.

STEP 2 – Get to Know CAIS

We offer a variety of events for you to get to know CAIS: our CAIS 101Campus Tours, and the student panel discussion we call Face to Face with CAIS. Attendance is optional, but certainly encouraged as these are the ideal way to learn about our school’s mission, values, programs, and people.

CAIS 101

CAIS 101 brings to life our values and the CAIS experience. During these events, teachers and administrators will share firsthand stories of learning in the classroom. Our CAIS 101 events have all been completed for the season, but please enjoy a recording.

Take a Tour

We are so delighted to be resuming in-person tours of our campuses this admission season! Come see the classrooms in action and experience our school life for yourself! Tours will be held on our Preschool (Waller Street), Kindergarten through Fifth Grade (Oak Street), and Middle School (Turk Street) Campuses. These tours will include a deep dive into various aspects of our program such as our new campus, our Preschool full immersion program, and our culture of learning.

  • Parents must attest that they are up-to-date with vaccination for entry to all the campuses. Parents who attend the Preschool Tour will need to wear a mask.

Face to Face with CAIS

One of the best ways to understand the power and impact of a CAIS education is to hear from our students themselves! This event features a student panel of our current eighth graders, whose candid answers give unparalleled insights into the CAIS experience and the inspiring possibilities for your own child.

Please note we are planning to move the whole school into our new home on 19th Avenue in the 2024-2025 school year. Questions? Please contact us via

STEP 3 – Application

After Inquiring and creating an account, you will be able to submit an application. The deadline to submit an application was Thursday, January 12, 2023. We will accept applications after the deadline. Please email if you plan on a post-deadline application.

An important element of the application is the evaluation form. Below are the links to the recommendation form to be completed by your child’s Preschool (if they attend one) or school. The deadline for submitting this piece of the application is February 10, 2023.

Notifications for the 2023-2024 school year admissions will be emailed in March 2023.

  • Preschool Decision Date: Electronic notification Tuesday, March 7, 2023, at noon
  • K-8 Decision Date: Electronic notification Thursday, March 16, 2023 at noon

Questions? Please contact us via

CAIS follows the Principles of Good Practice in Admissions of the National Association of Independent Schools. More information about admission to Bay Area independent schools is available at Independent Schools of the Bay Area.