What Services Are Provided
Early Education Options
The Early Education Department offers both school-day and full-time preschool options to choose from, including both subsidized and tuition-based enrollment slots; For more information, see section “Costs & Fees” and contact the EED Enrollment Office at (415) 241-6085 with any specific eligibility questions.
Full-time / Year Round Pre-K: SFUSD’s Early Education Schools (EES) provide young children with the caring and supportive school environment that promotes each child’s social, emotional, physical, and cognitive development through full-day, year-round programs. This option is also available at a select number of elementary schools. Please refer to the “Schools at Glance” section for a list of schools. Children must be at least three years old on or before December 1st of the academic year they enroll.
School-day / School Term Pre-K: This option, generally located in elementary schools, receives funding from both the California Department of Education as well as the federal government to provide a six-hour (school-day) Pre-K class during the academic year. These are designed to ensure all children have access to high-quality education and grade-level proficiency. Children must be three years old on or before December 1st of the academic year to be eligible, with priority given to 4 year olds.
Out-of-School Time Programs (OST): The EES work collaboratively with elementary schools to build on children’s learning and development to make the time between school and home life engaging, fun and productive in a safe and high-quality space throughout the entire year (including spring and summer breaks and teacher in-service days). Out-of-School Time uses project-based and experiential learning to promote physical, emotional, social, cognitive and creative development for children in transitional kindergarten through 5th grade. Students find the ideal balance between academics, outdoor recreation, enrichment activities and field trips, while receiving individualized homework support from an experienced staff. OST provides busing between some of SFUSD’s elementary schools and early education schools. Please address subsidized and tuition-based enrollment questions directly to the OST school you are interested in attending.
Special Education Services
If you have questions regarding Early Childhood Special Education (ECSE), please visit their website.
Our schools’ programs, educational approaches, and curricula are designed to maximize the success rate of our students, preparing them for kindergarten and an educational career as aligned with California’s Common Core Standards. To best support a young child’s skills and emergent development, we seek to integrate social-emotional development, physical/ motor development, math, science, language and literacy, and visual/performing arts—a constructivist approach to learning that aligns the district’s priorities and goals with the holistic development of the child.
The EED uses the California Department of Education’s “Desired Results for Children and Families” framework to support student learning and growth. For more information, please see www.cde.ca gov. Phonological Literacy Awareness Screenings and reading assessments are given to 4-year-old or 5-year-old Pre-K and TK students respectively. Additionally, classroom assessments are conducted to support teachers in creating rich educational environments and serve as tools to help parents monitor student growth and progress.
Since prioritizing early literacy development at every site, the EED has been particularly successful in designing curricula that support meaningful and age-appropriate reading, writing, listening and oral language development, while fostering classroom environments that inspire creativity and curiosity. In addition, our Dual Language Learning Program offers space for children who are native or non-native Spanish speakers as well for children who are native or non-native Cantonese speakers. This program celebrates their diversity and strengthens their language skills in both the home language as well as English.
The EED embraces the essential principles of early childhood development aligned with the California Preschool Learning Foundations and the “12 Principles of Child Development” of the National Association for the Education of Young Children. We design our school programs using four district-approved educational approaches as inspiration:
- The Reggio Emilia Inspired Approach: Developed by teacher Loris Malaguzzi in post-WWII Italy, this approach encourages children to learn personal responsibility, respect and resiliency through self-guided curriculum and a strong collaboration between children, parents and teachers.
- The Project Approach: Teaching strategies that encourage students to engage in hands-on learning about real- world topics as a small group or class, while supporting and developing the child’s sense of spontaneity, skill-building capacity, knowledge and feelings through long-term investigations and reporting in a community setting.
- The Creative Curriculum®: Early- childhood teaching strategies that use process-based learning to encourage observation and exploration, organization, communication and the connection of ideas, thoughts and images.
- The Montessori Method: Developed by Maria Montessori over a century ago, this educational approach nurtures a child’s natural sense of discovery and independence by using multi-sensory, hands-on techniques and emphasizing social-emotional skills through meaningful community activities, self- expression and collaborative work.