Admission Process: Making Decisions

Schools seek to create communities with a diversity of children and families depending on the school’s philosophy and criteria. ISSFBA schools generally make admission decisions in committees. The members of these committees vary but usually include staff members such as the Director of Admission, Division Head, Learning or Reading Specialists, teachers and sometimes the Head of School. The Division Head and teachers look to enroll children who will achieve success in their program. Committees make admission decisions based on the child’s school visit, assessment, transcripts and Student Evaluation Form from the child’s present school. Each school values these various components differently depending on their beliefs about their relative importance. In conjunction, they strive to create a diverse, well-balanced group of students who will succeed and feel affinity within their community. First and foremost, schools seek to make decisions with the child’s best interest in mind.

Notification Dates

Notification dates for K-8 Applicants for the 2021-22 academic year are:

All ISSFBA Schools (except select South Bay schools, see below) will mail notification letters on Wednesday, March 17, 2021. Some schools will email notifications on Thursday, March 18 at noon.

Enrollment agreements and deposits are due by Thursday, March 25, 2021 at 10:00 am.

South Bay Mailing Dates

Almaden Country Day, Hillbrook School, Mulberry School, St. Andrew’s Episcopal School, and Yavneh Day School will mail notifications on Wednesday, March 3, and/or email notification at noon on Thursday, March 4.  The due date for families to notify the schools is Thursday, March 11 at 10am.

Decision Week

Decision week is the week between the admissions notification and the enrollment contract deadline. The Bay Area Directors of Admissions (BADA) member schools agree to a set of guidelines during Decision Week to both recognize the time, effort, and challenges families face while making their decision, and also to put families and their decision-making processes above all else. We encourage families to reach out to the schools if they have questions during Decision Week, and once you have made your final decision, we thank you for your transparency and for contacting the schools to which you were accepted to let them know of your decision to attend a different school. This will allow them to provide opportunities to families on waiting lists.

Families may review a more detailed explanation of this best practice here.

Preschool Applicant Mailing Dates 

San Francisco and North Bay ISSFBA Schools will mail notification letters for preschool applicants on March 8, 2021; some schools will email JK/TK notifications on March 9, 2021 at noon. Enrollment agreements and deposits are due by March 16, 2021 at 10:00 am.

East Bay/South Bay/Peninsula ISSFBA Schools do not have a common mailing date for preschool applicants. Please contact schools directly for information about their timeline.

Please note that some schools will not mail JK/TK notifications until March 17, 2021 (with K-8 notifications).

Waiting Pools

Waiting pools are active during the notification period, particularly as the contract deadline approaches. Once parents have signed a contract with an ISSFBA school, other ISSFBA schools do not typically offer a contract.

If you have not enrolled your child in an ISSFBA school by the enrollment contract due date, you may wish to speak directly to those schools at which your child is waitlisted to find out if they will continue to keep an active wait list after the response date.

The Bay Area Directors of Admission have put together this short video to answer some frequently asked questions about the admission process.