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Q: What qualities does Adda Clevenger look for in applicants?

A: Our expectations of both new and current students are curiosity, intelligence, enthusiasm for learning and a high level of respect for their peers and teachers. Adda Clevenger students have a great deal of autonomy throughout their school day and school year. Students of all ages mix freely between and outside of classes, and also participate in many cross-grade collaborations. The freedom and variety found in our program depends on Adda Clevenger students embracing the accepted behavioral norms of our community so that all students can enjoy a safe, respectful, fun and fast-paced learning environment.

Q: At what grade levels can students enter Adda Clevenger?

A: We accept applications for students entering grades from Transitional Kindergarten through 8th Grade. 

Q: Where do Adda Clevenger graduates go to high school?

A: Almost all Adda Clevenger graduates are accepted into one of their top choice high schools. Our most recent graduates were accepted to the following high schools:

  • Choate Rosemary Hall
  • Convent of the Sacred Heart
  • Crystal Springs Upland School
  • Drew School
  • International High School
  • Jewish Community High School of the Bay
  • Junipero Serra High School
  • Lick-Wilmerding High School
  • Lowell High School
  • Marin Academy
  • Mercy High School Burlingame
  • Oakland School of the Arts
  • Ruth Asawa San Francisco School of the Arts
  • Sacred Heart Cathedral Preparatory
  • Saint Ignatius College Preparatory
  • San Domenico School
  • San Francisco University High School
  • Stuart Hall High School
  • The Bay School of San Francisco
  • The Branson School
  • The College Preparatory School
  • The Hotchkiss School
  • The Urban School

Q: What is the Adda Clevenger parent community like?

A: Adda Clevenger parents don't follow the herd, which is why they also value their children learning early to have fun taking and managing risk. It is no surprise that our parent community mirrors the creative, innovative and entrepreneurial spirit that makes San Francisco the place to be if you're someone with talent and ideas. As an Adda Clevenger parent, you join a group of parents who are almost as fun and dynamic as their children!

Q: Does Adda Clevenger have an arts focus?

A: The focus of the Adda Clevenger program is the optimal academic, physical and social development of our students. The arts are an important and effective component of a well-rounded education, as are daily physical activity, a consistent and intentional approach to character development, and an academic curriculum that builds solid conceptual mastery across all subject areas. The arts (visual, dance, music and drama) receive the same time, attention and focus as every other component of our program, with the exception of English language arts, which is allocated two periods per day at every grade level. 

Q: How old does my child have to be to apply for kindergarten?

A: We do not have an absolute cut-off date in terms of age. If we feel your child is physically, emotionally and academically ready for kindergarten, he or she will be considered.  However, we consider applicants who are five by September 1st of their enrollment year to meet the age average for the Kindergarten class. Parents with younger students may also wish to consider one of our Transitional Kindergarten programs (see below).

Q: Do you allow mid-year transfers?

A: We operate on a rolling admissions basis.  If there is space available in a class we can accept applications at any time.  As availability is limited, it is best to send an email to inquire about availability for a specific grade.

Q: Why do you ask that a transfer student visit for 2 days?

 A: There are several reasons for this: our faculty needs adequate time to evaluate the student for academic and social fit; our grades have different schedules for each day of the week, requiring a visiting student to be present for two consecutive days to attend all of the classes; and we have found that this longer visit allows for prospective students to “settle in," allowing for a more accurate assessment for both the school and the family.

We consider the student shadow an absolutely critical and indispensable component of the admissions process. Its effectiveness as an indicator of the likelihood of a successful enrollment and educational experience for the student, family and the School has been validated over many years. Not only a strong predictor of success, the shadow visit is also a major contributor to a successful start in the event of enrollment, since the new student is not “new” any more after having spent two days with the class. On the contrary, the start of the new school year is a return to familiar surroundings and faces. Even before the new school year begins, students often start socializing outside of school with friends they made during their visit.

Q: My child does not enjoy performing. Will he or she be a good fit for the school?

A: The performing arts curriculum, together with regular performance opportunities, develops confidence, discipline, self-assurance, creativity and flexibility of mind. Students learn at least as much from the process that leads to successful performance as they do from the experience of success itself. For this reason, all students are required to participate in all classes, regardless of any native talent or affinity.  The performing arts at Adda Clevenger are not considered extra-curricular or recreational activities. Each class is an integral part of your child’s curriculum, school day and elementary school experience.

Q: What support can Adda Clevenger offer students with learning differences?

A: Adda Clevenger does not have  specialists on staff to provide support to students with substantial learning differences, but teachers will work closely with any specialists, tutors or therapists providing outside support to our students with special needs. 

Q: What is Transitional Kindergarten (TK)?

A: Since its founding in 1980, the Adda Clevenger School has incorporated an academically oriented transitional kindergarten program for 3 and 4-year-old students who are developmentally and academically ready for the kindergarten curriculum but are otherwise too young for mainstream kindergarten programs. TK students follow a developmentally appropriate kindergarten curriculum that incorporates elements of academic preparation and arts exposure, while ensuring their physical, social and emotional developmental needs are given highest priority. The TK program includes math, language arts, music, dance, PE, science, social studies and art. TK2 students graduate seamlessly into our K-8 program without requiring new application. We place our TK students in two groups, TK1 and TK2, based on a combination of factors including students' age and developmental needs. Each student is placed in the group that best meets his or her needs. The average age of the TK1 class tends towards 3 years; the average age of the TK2 class tends toward 4 years. TK students must demonstrate school-readiness and may also be considered for mid-year entry if developmentally appropriate.

Q: How is Transitional Kindergarten different from preschool or pre-K?

A: The Transitional Kindergarten students follow the same curricular pattern and school day as the K-8 students, adjusted for their developmental needs and at an age appropriate academic level. The younger TK students' school day incorporates nap time, and optional or occasional early dismissal is possible, too; older TK students have the same academic and arts subjects as their Kindergarten peers and participate in many of the same events as older students. Our TK programs are a great choice for younger students who are maturing more quickly, may be ready to move on from a daycare-style or heavily play-based program, and are showing early signs of academic and social curiosity.