Admission Process

Grade/Age Eligibility Requirements for 2022-2023 Applicants

  • Preschool: Children must be three or four years old on or before September 1, 2022. We have a mixed age Preschool comprising three- and four-year-olds. No knowledge of Mandarin is necessary.

  • Kindergarten: Children must be five years old on or before September 1, 2022. No knowledge of Mandarin is necessary.

  • 1st-8th Grade: Adequate levels of Mandarin and English are necessary to meet CAIS grade level standards.

Contact the Admission Office at  


Help Us Get to Know You

Please begin the process by filling out the online inquiry form


Get to Know CAIS 

We offer two events to get to know CAIS: our CAIS 101 and our Info Session. We encourage you to attend both.

CAIS 101 

Please enjoy this video of our CAIS 101 event. The four stories showcase our program from Preschool through to 8th grade and are shared with you as seen through the eyes of a student’s experience. We have The “Shoe Project” story from our full immersion Preschool, the “Kindness Wings” story from 2nd grade Studio Art class, the integrated Chinese and English “Immigration” story from 4th grade and the immersive two week “ChunFUN” story from 7th and 8th grade. We know you will gain a lot of insight into your child’s possible experience at CAIS through viewing these.

Info Sessions 

Our Info Sessions covering Preschool through 5th grade are a deep dive into various aspects of our program including our new campus, our Preschool full immersion program, and our culture of learning. 

See Our Campuses

Preschool Campus (Waller Street)

Please enjoy this video about a Preschool day at our Waller campus. 

Main Campus (Oak Street)

Here is a video about our main campus on Oak Street for Kindergarten through fifth grade.

Middle School Campus (Turk Street)

Please learn about our Middle School Campus and program here

Please note we are planning to move the whole school into our new home on 19th Avenue in the 2023-2024 school year.

Please contact for a follow-up conversation should you wish. 



Please apply here. After application, in your confirmation email, you will see a link to sign up for a one-on-one family meeting with Director of Admission Linda Vann-Adibe. 

An important piece of information for us 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 this form is February 11, 2022.

Preschool-K Student Evaluation Form 

First-Eighth Grade Student Evaluation Form  


Seeing Your Child

Getting to know your child is an important part of the process. 

For Preschool:

We will be hosting a 20 minute zoom playdate with your child. The dates for these are:

  • Saturday, January 22 
  • Saturday, February 5 

The playdates will take place between 9:00 a.m. and noon and you will be assigned a timeslot on one of these dates. In addition we would like to receive an eight-minute-long video of your child. We will be sending out guidelines on what we are looking for in mid-January. They will not be due until mid-February.

For Kindergarten:

We will be using the Shared Kindergarten Assessment Videos that many other independent schools are also using. You will only need to make one set of videos which can then be sent to all the schools you are applying to. Most independent schools in SF are using this shared assessment. Please see here for instructions as well as a helpful Parent Guidelines and FAQ. 

In addition we plan to host an in person outdoor playdate for your child at our Main campus at 150 Oak street, conditions permitting, on Saturday February 5.

This will take place in the morning.  At that time, parents will be able to tour our campus.

Notifications for the 2022-2023 school year admissions will be emailed in March 2022.

  • Preschool: Tuesday, March 8, 2022
  • Kindergarten-Eighth Grade: Thursday, March 17, 2022

Questions? Please contact us via