The History of CDS

This year, 2023, marks the fortieth anniversary of our school’s founding. Over the past decades, Children’s Day School has grown from a small preschool into a highly respected institution spanning early childhood education through middle school.

The history of 333 Dolores Street did not begin with the founding of CDS. In 1856, the plot of land that is now our campus was allotted to the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur, who founded a girls’ school there. St. Joseph’s Hall was built in 1925, and the Sisters continued their work in the new building until they ceased operations in 1986.

Jim Robinson originally founded CDS as a preschool in the Excelsior district in 1983, but in 1987 he leased St. Joseph’s Hall and moved CDS there. Over the following years, the school increased in size, adding a lower school and middle school. In 2001, CDS purchased St. Joseph’s Hall.

More recently, we have also added three other buildings. In 2008, we bought the building that now houses our administrative offices and library, and from 2011 to 2015, we purchased and renovated a new middle school campus through the fundraising efforts of the entire CDS family. In 2022, we added more space by taking on a long-term lease of a studio adjacent to the campus.

We also continued with enhancements to the 333 Dolores campus, such as new classrooms to accommodate a larger student body, a kitchen that plays a major role in our farm and garden curriculum, and other upgrades.
In 2018, the “Elevating St. Joseph’s Hall” campaign renovated the building to make it more welcoming and accessible, preserving and protecting the place where our students spend most of their day.

St. Joseph’s Hall has been a fixture of CDS’ past history, and we remain committed to the essential values that have been nourished there: social justice, project-based learning, and a strong sense of community. 
Children's Day School admits students of any race, color, national and ethnic origin to all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the school.  Learn More