FAQs | Mission Dolores Academy

1. Are there any additional enrichment programs?

Yes. We address the needs of the whole child through a unique extended curriculum for all students, including:

  • Physical Education Classes
  • Character Formation Program
  • Fun & Educational Field Trips
  • Community Service Projects

And extracurricular programs, including:

  • Violin Program
  • Team Sports
  • After School Program - Homework Club, Tutoring, Chess, Yoga and Art
  • Student Council

2. Is MDA accredited?

We are fully accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC),  a world-renowned accrediting association and one of the six regional accrediting agencies in the United States which works closely with the Office of Overseas Schools under the U.S. Department of State.

Accreditation is a voluntary dual-purpose process that schools (1) must be worthy of the trust placed in them to provide high-quality learning and (2) clearly demonstrate continual self-improvement.

An accredited school is focused on a mission and goals for students; it is student-oriented and examines its students’ performance continuously; it accepts objective evaluation from a team of outside peer professionals trained by ACS WASC; it maintains a qualified faculty within an effectively organized school; it collaboratively assesses the quality of its educational programs on a regular basis; and it plans for the future.

3. What grade levels do you serve?

K through 8th Grade

4. How many students are in the school?

Currently we have 259 students in the school

5. What high schools do your students get offers from?

Our students go on to attend some of San Francisco’s top independent, and charter college preparatory high schools. Our 2017 Graduates were accepted to:

  • Archbishop Riordan
  • The Bay School
  • City Arts & Technology
  • Convent of the Sacred Heart
  • Immaculate Conception Academy
  • Lincoln High School
  • Lowell
  • Mercy High School
  • Sacred Heart Cathedral Prep
  • Saint Ignatius College Prep

6. How many teachers per classroom?

Each classroom has two teachers. A Lead Teacher and an Associate Teacher. We also have specialist subject teachers for PE, Music, Latin and Art.

In addition we have a Reading Resource Teacher and a Math Resource Teacher who helps our students who come from homes where English is not the primary language and may need additional help with their reading skills, or students who need help with Math. 

7. What is the experience and background of your teachers?
8. Does the school have after-school activities?

Yes, we partner with several community organizations to provide after school activities to our students. Among these are:

  • Science Lab with YouthSF
  • Chess Club
  • Art Instruction
  • Martial Arts

We have recently partnered with YouthSF as they launch a science lab on 20th and Mission streets. Students in grades 6-8 meet one to two times a week to work on STEM activities where they can create, build, and explore through hands-on projects in software coding, science, and engineering.

All other activities take place during the afterschool program between 4-6pm. These programs are subsidized by MDA to provide the opportunity for students to take these activity classes at affordable prices. If your child is enrolled in the afterschool program these classes are free. We normally rotate a portion of the activities with different ones every year.

9. What standardized tests are given?

The Northwestern Educational Assessment (NWEA) test is taken by students three times a year. As we are technology driven school, we felt it was imperative to implement an adaptive, online assessment. NWEA (math and reading) is an adaptive test that generates accurate and comprehensive data so that we can optimize each student’s learning path. The administration also felt that the NWEA test curriculum more closely matches the common core standards, so it is correlates more closely to our classroom instruction.  

10. What are your school hours?

  • Doors open at 7 am with free breakfast
  • Extended school day from 8 am to 4pm
  • After school program until 6pm

11. What are the class sizes?

The average class size for the the 2015-2016 school year was 28 students.

12. How much is tuition?

One Child Two Children Three Children
$5,000 $7,500 $9,000

13. Can I come for a school tour?

Yes! If you are interested in sending your child(ren) to our school, we would love to have you come visit. We offer group tours with our bilingual (Spanish & English) Admissions Coordinator on Tuesday mornings. Please visit this form to book your school tour.

14. How do I apply?

Our application process is simple and straightforward, and our Admissions Coordinator is on hand to help guide you through it. You can apply online, or you can complete a hardcopy application and return it to the school. For full details on how to apply, please visit this page.

15.When should I apply? Is there an application deadline?

There is no deadline for admissions applications as we admit students until classes are full. To avoid being placed on a waiting list, we recommend you apply early. We begin accepting applications in September.

16. Do you accept new students during the school year?

Generally students join us at the start of the academic year. If you wish for us to consider a mid-year enrollment, please contact us at Admissions@mdasf.org to discuss your situation.

17. Do you give preference to siblings of students already at the school?

Yes, preference is given to siblings of students already registered at the school.

18. How do I contact the Admissions Office?

You can contact our Admissions Office at Admissions@mdasf.org or 415.346.9500

19. Do you require letters of recommendation?

For students transferring from another school we request that your child’s current teacher completes the Current School Recommendation Form.

20. Is there any fee assistance available?

Yes, we have several sources of tuition assistance available to help families who qualify. For further information please visit our page on Tuition & Financial Aid.

21. Is there a school uniform?

Yes, our students all wear a school uniform. We have both a school uniform and a PE uniform. For further information on our uniform guidelines, please visit our School Uniform page.

22. Does your school provide school lunch?

Yes, Mission Dolores Academy partners with Revolution Foods to provide nutritious, freshly prepared meals every day at affordable prices. For further information about our school lunches, please visit the School Lunch page.

23. How much is the admissions fee?

The application fee is $35. If your student is accepted there is a $250 enrollment fee.

24. Does the school have a parent organization?

Yes, the school has an active parent organization called Tiger PAC (Parent Action Committee) which meets once a month. Parents are also active as volunteers at the school in classrooms, on field trips, in fundraising and in arranging school events. For more information, please visit our Tiger PAC page.

25. Do you offer field trips for students?

Our students all enjoy regular fun and educational field trips. Recent field trips have included visits to the University of San Francisco, UC Berkeley, the Exploratorium, the Academy of Sciences, the Children’s Theatre, the San Francisco Symphony and many more!

26. Is testing necessary for my child to attend MDA?

As part of the Admissions process we have an entry test for children entering our Kindergarten and 1st Grade. The purpose of the testing is to ensure your child is at the appropriate grade level for entry so as to ensure they have a sufficient skill base to thrive in class.

27. Do you have athletics teams?

Yes. Our MDA Tigers are active in the Catholic Youth Organization Athletics league, allowing our students to compete with schools in San Francisco, Marin, and San Mateo counties.  We have different grade level teams in basketball, soccer and volleyball. For more information visit our School Athletics page.

28. Is there a summer program?

Yes we have a summer program that runs for 6 weeks for our 1st to 5th Grade students. Attendance is optional. For more information about visit our Summer Program page.