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CDS at a Glance

2019–2020 Enrollment

  • Total enrollment – 476
  • Early Childhood Program – 84 
  • Lower School (grades K-4) – 218
  • Middle School (grades 5-8) – 174
  • Classroom teacher:student ratio in preschool is 1:8.
  • Classroom teacher:student ratio in kindergarten is 1:12. 
  • School-wide teacher:student ratio is 1:8, including classroom, specialist and after school teachers.
  • 48% of students are people of color
  • 8% of students are from LGBTQ-headed households
  • 6% of students are from single-parent households
  • 17 San Francisco zip codes are represented, plus Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, and San Mateo counties 
  • 42% of students are from Noe Valley, Castro, and Glen Park neighborhoods
  • 20% of students are from Mission and Bernal Heights neighborhoods

2019-2020 Faculty and Administration

2019-2020 Sliding Scale Tuition

  • Annual tuition ranges from $1,600 to $35,360
  • 27% of students pay sliding scale tuition
  • $9,644 is the average tuition of students paying sliding scale tuition
  • 19.4% of gross tuition supports sliding scale

Extended Program Fees

  • Before- and after-school programs: $3.50–$11.50/hour depending on sliding scale.
  • Enrichment classes: $75–$225 per 8- to 10-week class
  • Vacation camp: $20–65/day (9:00 a.m.–3:00 p.m.; extended care available)
  • Summer camp: $55–$350/week (8:00 a.m.–6:00 p.m.)

2020–2021 School Calendar

  • Wednesday, August 26, 2020 to Friday, June 11, 2021

School Hours

  • Before-school program: 7:30–8:00 a.m. (Early Childhood Program & Lower School); 7:45–8:15 a.m. (Middle School)
  • School opens: 8:00 a.m.
  • Preschool: 8:30 a.m.–2:15 p.m.
  • Transitional Kindergarten & Kindergarten: 8:30 a.m.–2:45 p.m.
  • Grade 1: 8:30 a.m.–3:00 p.m.
  • Grade 2: 8:15 a.m.–3:00 p.m.
  • Grades 3 & 4: 8:15 a.m.–3:15 p.m.
  • Grades 5-8: 8:30 a.m.–3:30 p.m.
  • After-school program: school dismissal–6:00 p.m.

Main campus located at 333 Dolores Street in San Francisco (between 16th and 17th Streets, directly across from Mission Dolores, behind Notre Dame Plaza building). Middle School campus located at 601 Dolores Street in San Francisco, at the corner of Dolores and 19th Streets, directly across from Dolores Park. 

Sunny, 1.2 acre main campus (home to the Early Childhood and Lower School Programs) with organic farm and garden (home to chickens and sheep), basketball court, swings, climbing structure, sandbox. Middle School campus of 18,000 square feet and rooftop garden, two science laboratories, and performing arts space.

Historic building at 333 Dolores Street partially renovated in 2007, 2008, and 2018, and three bungalow classrooms (26,000 total square feet); Internet connection and computers in all classrooms. One classroom and most administrative offices located in adjacent building added to main CDS campus in February 2008. Middle School campus at 601 Dolores Street (18,000 total square feet) added in 2015.

Volleyball, cross-country, basketball, indoor soccer (futsal); compete in Independent School Athletic League; students may participate starting in sixth grade.

Founded as preschool in 1983; incorporated as non-profit preschool to eighth grade independent school in 1996; graduated first eighth graders in 2006.

501(c)(3) non-profit organization governed by Board of Trustees.

California Association of Independent Schools (CAIS).


  • Association of Independent School Admission Professionals (AISAP
  • Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD
  • Bay Area Directors of Admission (BADA)
  • Bay Area People of Color in Independent Schools (POCIS
  • California School-Age Consortium (CALSAC
  • Children of Lesbians & Gays Everywhere (COLAGE
  • Educational Records Bureau (ERB)
  • Elementary School Heads Association (ESHA)
  • Independent Schools Business Officers Association of Northern California (ISBOA
  • National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS)
  • National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC)
  • National Business Officers Association (NBOA
  • National Middle School Association (NMSA)
  • Secondary School Admission Test (SSAT)