View Full Version : All SF Chinese immersion preschools - Presidio Knolls vs CAIS?

11-11-2010, 11:09 AM
We don't speak Mandarin but are interested in exposing our daughter to the language. We figured the best way is to send her to a Chinese immersion preschool. The two we're looking at are Presidio Knolls in the Marina and CAIS - can you share what you know about these two programs?

11-12-2010, 01:28 PM
We had looked at Presidio Knolls and CAIS - PKS is Reggio Emilia-based whereas CAIS is Montessori-based. Even though both are Mandarin immeresion, you'll get a very different feel. You'll find more free spirit at the play-based PKS while CAIS is certainly more structured and teacher led. Which one is better really depends on your child's personality - can she handle the structure (and pretty long day) at CAIS? Another thing to consider is that CAIS continues through 8th grade so once you get in, you're pretty set until high school. Hope that helps.

11-17-2010, 08:09 PM
Have you looked into NiHao kids by Language in Action as well? They're located at Cow Hollow Playground. All three of these Mandarin immersion schools are very different so depends on what you are looking for in a preschool. Only NiHao kids offers program for 2.2, unlike the other two that start at age 2.9.

12-09-2010, 08:18 PM
Presidio Knolls is actually moving to south of Market (250 10th St) for 2011. This is what the school said in its Expansion Flyer (http://www.presidioknolls.org/program/Expansion%20Flyer.pdf):

In the last 3 years, we had the wonderful opportunity to experiment, develop and fine tune our best ideas in a small setting. In this process, we made significant achievements in the world of language immersion and early childhood development and with our previous size of 39 children, we were able to quickly implement great new ideas into the classroom, where our children could immediately benefit. We exist today thanks to the dedicated and generous group of parents, teachers and educational field experts who joined us to transform this school from a virtual ideal into a high-quality, unique institution. Now, we look to move to our next stage and expand into a new location. This new facility will allow us to offer:

Music/Art Programs
Parent & Me Classes for Infants
Classes for 2 years to 6 years, including a Pre-Kindergarten Transition Program
Large Outdoor Private Play Spaces
More Classrooms for Specialized Programs
On-Site Hot Lunches, Cooking Classes
Mandarin Afterschool Classes for Elementary School Age Children

The 20,000 sq ft campus will include:
Atelierista (Art Workshop)
Tactile/Gross Motor Room (Indoor Mini Gym)
Six well lit classrooms overlooking the outdoor play area
Two Outdoor Playgrounds
Commercial Kitchen/Nutrition Center
Parent Resource Center
Outdoor Lounge
Parking Lot

For more information, please contact Simona or Ruth at Presidio Knolls School (415) 202-0770 www.presidioknolls.org.

02-17-2011, 07:43 AM
Any Presidio Knolls parents on? Where do you send your kids for elementary school after preschool? The reason I'm asking is that CAIS has its own preK feeding into K so there are not that many spots available for K entry. Are Jose Ortega and Starr King the only other Mandarin immersion options?

Jeremy Liew
09-19-2012, 10:47 AM
Presidio Knolls has now expanded to an Elementary School. Parents want to maintain the combination of meaningful language immersion (80% vs 50% at CAIS) and a progressive, child-centric educational approach, and that isn't available elsewhere in San Francisco. This approach instills a real love of learning among the kids while ensuring that they are indeed learning a lot. The first Kindergarten class started in Aug 2012 and the school will add a grade at a time through 8th grade.

Note that Ni Hao Kids has since shut down.

There is a good story on Chinese immersion in the Bay area in the WSJ in Aug 2012 - http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10000872396390443855804577600021401451132.html