• Open to the World: At La Scuola, we educate the whole child - intellectually, physically, and emotionally - in a joyful and beautiful environment.
  • We believe that children learn through meaningful experiences and exploration of the world around them.
  • Our students are the protagonists in their own learning and we nurture their ability to learn across languages, across cultures, and across subjects.
  • We empower children to develop a life-long love of learning and become world citizens who care about their local and global communities.
  • At La Scuola International School - the only Reggio Emilia Inspired, International Baccalaureate (IB) and Italian language immersion school in the world - our mission is to inspire brave learners to shape the future..

Top Placements

Emilia places among the top 20% of private schools in California for:

School Overview

School Membership(s)School Assoc.European Council for International Schools
National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS)
Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC)
International Baccalaureate (IB) World School
California Association of Independent Schools (CAIS)
Religious AffiliationNonsectarian
Grades OfferedGrades Nursery/Preschool-8
Year Founded2002

Student Body

Total Students282 students
Student Body TypeCo-ed
Students by Grade Emilia Student By Grade

Academics and Faculty

Total Classroom Teachers40 teachers
Student : Teacher Ratio7:1
National avg.: 13:1
Average Class Size18 students
Classroom Dress CodeCasual

Finances and Admission

Admission DeadlineJan. 15 / Feb. 1 / rolling
Yearly Tuition Cost$34,980
Tuition NotesAffordability: 27% of students are on sliding scale tuition and pay between $1,000 - $33,000 per year.Tuition 2019-2020 including meal fee: PreK- $27-34K Kindergarten- 5th Grade $33K 6th-8th Grade $35K
% on Financial Aid
Admissions DirectorDunja Solari
Admissions AssociatePaola Barberi


Total Sports Offered3 sports
SportsBasketball, Soccer, VolleyballBasketballSoccer,


Total ExtracurricularsTotal Extra-curric.18 extracurriculars
ExtracurricularsExtra-curric.Club or Organization:
Chess Club, Cooking, Digital Lab, Italian Class, Jazz Band, Rock Band, Toyology

Arts and Music Programs:
Art, Choir, Design, Digital Music Lab, Music Class, Reggio Ateliers, Tech-Ed, Theatre

Recreational Athletic Programs:
Basketball, Capoeira, Soccer

School Notes

  • We offer an inquiry based immersive Italian language curriculum for Preschool-8th grade students. With Inquiry as the leading tool of our education, students foster critical and creative thinking skills, confidence, collaboration and empathy.
  • La Scuola is an International Baccalaureate World School and is recognized as an Italian Accredited School abroad by the Ministry of Education in Italy.  In our diverse and multi-cultural and multi-lingual school, students grow in a community that balances academic rigor with creativity and real life tools like cultural awareness and global citizenship.
  • When children are OPEN TO THE WORLD and are the protagonists in their own education, there`s no limit to their ability to learn, find beauty in life, and discover extraordinary answers.

Profile last updated:

Show me:
Show me:
  • School Location Miles Grades Students
  • San Francisco
    Adda Clevenger School
    Adda Clevenger School Photo - The Adda Clevenger School is an independent elementary school providing an accelerated academic and arts curriculum to San Francisco Bay Area students grades TK-8 since 1980.
    Special Program Emphasis
    Grades: PK-8 | 136 students
    0.7 miles
    180 Fair Oaks Street
    San Francisco, CA 94110
    (415) 824-2240
    0.7 PK-8
  • San Francisco
    Grades: K-8 | 335 students
    1 miles
    1555 Mariposa Street
    San Francisco, CA 94107
    (415) 861-8840
    1 K-8
  • San Francisco
    Presidio Hill School
    Presidio Hill School Photo - Our friendly and welcoming campus
    Alternative School
    Grades: K-8 | 232 students
    2.8 miles
    3839 Washington Street
    San Francisco, CA 94118
    (415) 751-9318
    2.8 K-8
  • San Francisco
    Grades: K-8 | 403 students
    2 miles
    350 Masonic Ave
    San Francisco, CA 94118
    (415) 931-2422
    2 K-8
  • San Francisco
    Grades: NS-8 | 300 students
    2.4 miles
    2938 Washington Street
    San Francisco, CA 94115
    (415) 931-2750
    2.4 NS-8

School Reviews

  5.00 out of 5  (15 reviews)
My daughter has been at the preschool campus for 2 years (+spazio giocco for 1 year before that). We are crazy about La Scuola and can't say enough wonderful things. The teachers are so enthusiastic and dedicated to the mission of the Reggio Emilia approach. We get a weekly bulletin with photos from class and transcribed conversations in both English and Italian to update us on what the kids are learning that week, that the teachers want us to review weekly with our kids to solidify their learning. The idea is that they have certain core curricular topics (part of the IB requirements) and then pose some questions to the kids about the topic, but let them decide how to explore. When our class was learning about "who we are", many of the kids in the class had pregnant moms with babies on the way. They ended up making a placenta in class (because the kids wanted to), had an ultrasound machine in the class while a physician dad showed the kids the baby in a pregnant mom's belly, and then tied it all together with eggs that hatched in to baby chicks. The kids then had to take care of the chicks as part of understanding the responsibilities that come with having a baby and the circle of life. They have a dedicated music teacher, a digital arts teacher, a garden teacher, a social-emotional and a child development specialist, etc, etc, etc. The food is outstanding, healthy, and served family style, and I am amazed at what my daughter will eat. I can not say enough amazing things about this school. Check it out at one of the many open houses, you can see for yourself!
- Posted by
My daughter has been at La Scuola for nearly 8 years. She has attended the pre-school, the elementary school and is now at the new middle school. Last year, we tried something different. We went to Italy for the year for a cultural experience. Simply stated, La Scuola totally prepared my daughter for her Italian 4th grade experience abroad. She had very few language issues due to La Scuola's wonderful language immersion. Her only struggle was that she was not excited about the pedagogy they used lots of memorization. She missed the collaboration and team approach to learning. She even commented that they don't do science because they only memorize scientific facts. "It's not science if you are not doing experiments" she used to claim. She is excited to be back at La Scuola where the joy in learning is real and she can use both her heart and mind, not to mention getting her hands dirty in both the garden, art and science room!
- Posted by
We started with La Scuola in preschool for pragmatic reasons: the hours were good, the proximity to our home was good, she would get language immersion our daughter doesn't get from us at home, and they make organic, healthy meals for the kids so I didn't have to make a lunch or snack. Now in our 5th year, just starting K, it's a remarkable time to watch the seeds of our daughter's preschool experience blossoming. She's a critical thinker, unafraid to try new things and speak her mind. It's surprising to her when the adults in some environment she's in don't want to hear her opinion. I love that because her family and her teachers respect her, she asserts her place in the world. Moreover, as a family, we value the international-mindedness of the education she's received. The world will not go back to one of homogeneity, but a continued mixing of cultures and ideas. I think it's irrefutably valuable to be challenging children to learn concepts and ideas that are relevant to humanity, how to assess situations and the broad implications of their actions. That's what happens here. (And I still don't have to pack a lunch!)
- Posted by
Our 3-year old daughter just started and loves every every day. She leaves in the morning with a smile on her face, and comes home talking about her teachers and classmates. She's so proud of what she learning and appreciates all of the patience and support provided by the teachers. The environment is exactly what we needed to stimulate her curiosity and help her learn. We also love the fact that they use the environment around them to educate the students and plenty of time is spent outside in the gardens and play area.
- Posted by
We just moved to San Francisco from Rome, Italy, where our children, aged 10 and 7, were attending an Italian public school. Their transition to La Scuola has been seamless thanks to the warmth and intelligence of everyone who works there. It is a first-rate place run by wonderful staff and teachers that offers a welcoming environment of an international community coupled with small-town friendships. From the language immersion program to the IB curriculum to the emphasis on thinking "out-of-the-box" creatively, it is the kind of place parents dream of for their child and the sort of school the kids can't wait to return to after a holiday. I honestly cannot praise the school enough. Run don't walk is all I can say.
- Posted by
My son has attended La Scuola for three years and is currently in first grade. He started at the preschool when he was four, and at first we were a little worried because he didn't speak any Italian and most of the other kids in his class had been at the school since they were 2. He loved it from day one, and it was like he didn't even notice they were speaking a foreign language. The teachers are so skilled at engaging the children and bringing the units they are studying to life. Our son never felt left behind, and today he speaks the language fluently. The social-emotional skills that they foster are top-notch. Children at La Scuola are confident, curious, and they demonstrate an incredibly high level of empathy for such a young age. Our son loves going to school every. single. day. We have never had a battle or tears in the morning-not once in three years-and most days he does not want to leave, even at 5pm in aftercare. After one year of preschool, we did not even bother applying to any of the other Kindergartens we toured. Nothing comes close to the level of education, the quality of teachers, and the thoughtfulness of the curriculum and philosophy at La Scuola. One last thing I love about the school are the extra-curricular activities they offer in addition to music, art, environmental/garden studies, and digital/coding. Students and parents can choose afterschool programs in soccer, chess, theater, capoeira, Italian language, digital lab, hip hop and more on a rotating schedule. SO helpful for working parents to not have to drive your kid all over the city!
- Posted by
Our son started La Scuola preschool this year and he loves it! He`s made many friends and all of his teachers are terrific - extraordinarily dedicated and caring. My wife and I do not speak Italian and we were initially hesitant about applying to the school for this reason. But after our first visit to the campus in Dogpatch it quickly went to the very top of our list of potential preschools. The campus is beautiful and the school's emphasis on the Reggio Emilia learning philosophy offers a richly nurturing learning environment. Our son has embraced his Italian immersion and already enjoys correcting my limited Italian word pronunciations! Getting to know the other parents has also been a great experience. I highly recommend La Scuola.
- Posted by
Our son is in his second year of preschool at La Scuola and we couldn't be happier. There are many reasons we love the school, but our top three would be: 1) it is a warm, nurturing place -- from the school environment to the teachers, the school exudes warmth. The kids are hugged and kissed. 2) they focus on child-centered learning -- true to the Reggio/IB approach, La Scuola has a high image of the child and believes in guiding children through a learning journey. As a result, kids can be imaginative, creative, and follow their interests. 3) the language immersion program is awesome -- neither of us speak Italian, but we wanted our child to have a second language. It's amazing to see our three-year-old singing in Italian and "translating" words like "fragola" for us. We highly recommend La Scuola to any family considering it.
- Posted by
La Scuola is a truly unique school. The Reggio philosophy strongly emphasizes the environment as the third teacher so great care is put into the classrooms, common spaces, playgrounds and the magnificent ateliers- mini tinkering labs within the school. The campuses are beautiful! Language immersion is done beautifully. Since Reggio emphasizes learning by doing and allowing children to pose the questions about what they're interested in learning, it all happens as part of their day. They are not talked to, but with, ergo they are invested in the learning. They sing, count cups as they set their table, read stories- all in Italian in preK and they use the Montreal model in K8. Our kids have an Italian parent but there are many non speakers whose kids are fluent and translate for their grown ups-- it's very cool to see. The teaching staff at both the preschool and K8 is super qualified. The IB is taught from age 3-13. It emphasizes some global themes: empathy, responsibility, cooperation, respect. Subjects are taught within contexts called units of inquiry, rather than framed separately into 'math', 'science', reading. The teachers are all so warm and nurturing; the HOS warns parents that there will be hugs, Lots of them, and she is right. There is so much joy and the school is truly international with lots of nationalities and languages spoken and celebrated. This school gives one hope that the next generation will grow to be more open minded, civil and cooperative than ours.
- Posted by
My son started at La Scuola 3 years ago in 1st grade, we couldn't be happier. The school is a gem, the teachers and staff love their jobs, deeply care about the kids and have a really high image of every child. The integrated curriculum and project based learning approach is really effective. Kids are learning everywhere, in the garden, classroom, the city on field trips, art room. It is all connected & well planned, and they truly learn how to become passionate learners. We are not Italian, but we wanted a good international education and the IB program really appealed to us. While our son started relatively late with the Italian, the school was very supportive and he is now fully fluent in Italian. Since this is a startup school, I believe the leadership is a very good predictor of how well the school will continue to do as it grows. The head of the school is a brilliant, dedicated and energetic woman, she really understands kids and cares about what's best for them. She is very creative and resourceful and always finds solutions to any problem. The staff and the teachers are very competent, energetic, work very well together and engage the parents in meaningful ways. In my kid's previous school parents were treated as free resources, not at La Scuola. The community is very tight and each of us bring a different expertise. Most importantly my son loves going to school every morning, nothing beats that.
- Posted by
My son is now in his third year of pre-school (Grandissimi) and our whole family loves La Scuola - both from our perspective as parents and from that of a 4 year old kid who adores being there full-time every day.My wife is approaching the end of her PhD in Education at UC Berkeley, and her academic expertise is what put La Scuola on our shortlist; the Reggio Emilia teaching style (that evolves into IB as they get older - a very important point from my perspective given I'm a Brit) aligned with bilingual teaching from day one. We don't speak Italian at home but seeing (hearing?) how our son is already bilingual is jaw-dropping.We looked at other language-immersion schools (JCC Brotherhood Way and PKS were the two other short-listed schools) but La Scuola stood out from the moment we visited on a tour. The school facility is amazing - both indoors and outdoors, despite being in such an urban area of the city - and the warmth & joy of both teachers and the rest of the staff is infectious. And if you get to taste what the kids eat for lunch everyday, eating around communal tables with real cutlery, you'd try to get yourself personally enrolled!We were part-time for the first year as we were concerned (unnecessarily in hindsight) that a 3 year old couldn't handle that time at school. The breadth of what the kids do, as well as the joy infused throughout it all, means that if we could send him there 7 days a week we would. (Half joking.)
- Posted by
So many preschools I toured were talking about Reggio but La Scuola really knew it. As a teacher of 20 years, with a Master's in Education I was impressed. Many schools get caught up in buzzwords and trends but La Scuola is deeply rooted in well established practices and you can see it in how they've used Reggio to support their IB structure. Each class has clearly outlined units of inquiry with defined skill, content, and socio-emotional outcomes - and student interest often inspires class projects and content. That's a pretty high standard of curriculum design. My daughter is now in first grade at the K-8 school and my son is 4 and in his last year of Pre-K. My kids have been well cared for, nurtured, appropriately challenged, and always, always happy to be at school (even if they cried sometimes at drop-off they rarely wanted to come home at the end of the day!). An example of how teachers attend to socio-emotional learning: Almost every day last year I picked up my son during afternoon snack time. The teachers were seated at the table with the children, helping them serve food and helping maintain a calm dining scene. My son would always run to me and hug me but usually returned to his seat to finish his snack (the kid likes to eat), happily chatting with buddies and including me in the conversation. When snack time neared its end, teachers started inviting kids to take their plates to bussing stations and then sit in a line in preparation for walking in a 'treno' or train as they headed off to playground time. The kids knew what to do as a result of the routine and the calm, nurturing instruction of their teachers. In addition to helping the kids become socialized at the table and in the classroom. I've seen warm and effective behavioral guidance on the playground. The teachers intervene when they see concerning behaviors and work with children on them. For instance, if a child has been behaving in a way that's not appropriate, I've seen teachers gently but firmly bring the child to stand with them and hold hands with them, giving the child a break from the playground and time to cool off and 'reset'. Similarly, teachers may gather children together who are having a conflict and help them talk through it. I like this approach as it builds awareness and mindfulness in children but allows them to step out of any challenging situation and cool off. It also doesn't label the behavior negatively when it may simply have been impulsive, excited, curious, and/or unaware behavior. And as for Kindergarten -my daughter had caring, skilled, dynamic, creative teachers who carried out the IB program with remarkable ability. I love how the curriculum builds on essential questions and is inter-disciplinary (using math, literacy, and language skills, for ex.). There's lots of movement-based activities and hands-on work, balanced with appropriate circle time and individual work. And the fieldtrips were pretty fantastic. My daughter LOVED her Kindergarten year. And 3 days into 1st grade, she is just as happy. I'm impressed at how her literacy skills seem to be blooming. This is another instance of how La Scuola has used research on cognitive development to guide their practice of teaching. As for my kids' language skills - it's so fun and amazing to watch them grow. My daughter was reluctant to speak Italian for the first few years but that's changing. She actually asks to speak Italian now when she and I are running errands. At Target the other day she said it was 'our secret language'. My younger son jumped right in and has some words/phrases that he only speaks in Italian. We support their learning by reading Italian books and trying to learn the songs they sing at school. And I speak Italian but we don't exclusively speak Italian outside of school. There are many families who don't speak any Italian but whose kids are gaining fluency from their time at Scuola. Finally, I love the pre-K and K-8 weekly newsletters we get - they're full of pictures and details about what's happening in class. I forward them to grandparents who love seeing inside their grandkids' daily lives - they are consistently impressed.I've spent a lot of time with the teachers, leaders, and community members of La Scuola over the last 4 years. They are incredibly caring and skilled professionals. La Scuola is something
- Posted by
My daughter attended the preschool for 4 years. At the preschool, I found all (yes, all) the teachers to be extremely professional and sincerely interested in the development of the children. There is an authenticity of spirit at La Scuola that is unmatched. Of course, I loved the fact that hugs were freely given and part of the culture of an Italian/International preschool. I was very impressed that the teachers listened intently to the children as the children fully participated in their own learning. The social development component of the curriculum is amazing. Children are allowed to fail and reflect upon what they have learned from all their experiences. My daughter always felt safe there and would run to the gate in the morning. The challenge was always prying her away from her favorite place at the end of the day. The Reggio approach put the child at the center of the learning process. I must admit, I think I have become a better parent as I learned myself about the Reggio philosophy and incorporated it into our household.After preschool, I made a large search for the right elementary school for our family. I went to a couple of Catholic schools, a number of public schools and many independent schools. During my exhaustive search, I was trying to find a school that offered both the curriculum, teaching expertise, community and environment where my daughter could thrive. I did not find one and my daughter has now entering the second grade.La Scuola talks a lot about creating curious learners where students look at an issue through multiple lenses with an interdisciplinary approach. The outcome of such learning helps to deepen their understanding and providing a more comprehensive mechanism for all students to learn. It sounds a bit utopic, but it is really true. My daughter is usually excited about doing her homework and is learning with both her heart and her head.You can feel that La Scuola is a special place the minute you walk through the doors. It's not just the fact that many languages are spoken. Rather it is due to the fact that the staff and community are committed to learning and creating something unique in San Francisco. If you don't believe me, stop by for a visit. I know you will be impressed.Richard BargettoParent of La Scuola Second Grader
- Posted by
3.5 years later and we still love and adore La Scuola. It's been such a great environment for our daughter to thrive. I am continually impressed by the dedication and commitment of the teachers. She is now fully fluent in Italian, despite neither parents at home speaking the language. She has made so many friends there and we have truly become part of a great community in San Francisco. Honestly, at one point we had considered leaving SF as so many families do, but it was the community, friends, and top-notch education from La Scuola that kept us close -- so close we purchased a home next door the school. We're looking forward to many more years at La Scuola, both in elementary and middle school.
- Posted by
We currently have two kids at La Scuola, and our 3rd one will go as well once she turns 2 next year. Our oldest has been at La Scuola for 6 years and we couldn't be happier! Our son is a first grader at the K-8 school, our daughter is in her last Preschool year, and both thoroughly enjoy being at their school: The teachers are incredibly caring, passionate, highly motivated and highly trained regarding the RE philosophy. The classes have a great student/ teacher ratio and our kids especially enjoy learning in small groups, i.e. in the school garden, in the (digital) atelier, at music classes or in the school library. We're always impressed by the interdisciplinary learning and how much coordination it requires among the involved teacher - their collaboration is just amazing and the kids feel this great vibe. Due to the curriculum, the staff, the respectful and caring atmosphere at school the kids become very aware of the importance of a good social environment and how to maintain it. For example, my son's class developed - selfdriven - their own conflict managing rules to help other students to solve a conflict. And as a a parent we see the huge impact on our kids social behaviors and personalities in general. Creating curious learners is also a focus of the RE approach. Providing very well maintained facilities with child friendly colors, furnitures, toys, arts and crafts supplies help the kids to establish a creative way of thinking and problem solving. Helping the kids to trust their own solving skills builds up our kids self confidence - and our kids have been surprising us with their creative and caring suggestions. It's amazing to observe this!It's a warm hearted and safe place to have your kids go to school with a fantastic community. This is a very special school and we're proud and happy of being part of it!
- Posted by

Endorse Emilia. Endorsements should be a few sentences in length. Please include any comments on:

  • Quality of academic programs, teachers, and facilities
  • Availability of music, art, sports and other extracurricular activities
  • Academic or athletic awards

I am a:

Name or Alias:

Your review:

Endorse this school:
Recent Articles
The admissions essay is an important part of your child's admissions profile. Noodle Pros essay expert Kate Fisher offers some valuable tips about writing the admissions essay.
This article aims to show you where to look for information about school reopening protocols, school reopening communications, schools that have closed, and schools with COVID-19 cases, among other COVID-19 related issues.
The COVID-19 has turned our lives upside down. Sending your children back to school raises all sorts of concerns for their safety and education. We answer some of your questions here.
Request Information
I am a:      
Name of parent:
Student First name:
Student Middle name:
Student Last name:
Student date of birth:
Student is:
Currently in grade:
Seeking entry for grade:
Target start date:
Name of current school:
School type:
Applying for financial aid?:
Please briefly describe academic, athletic, and extracurricular interests of the student:

(enter "N/A" if not applicable)
Did You Know?
The average private school tuition in San Francisco, CA is $19,986 for elementary schools and $32,381 for high schools (read more about average private school tuition across the country).
The average acceptance rate in San Francisco, CA is 65% (read more about average acceptance rates across the country).