Serving Preschool Through 8th Grade in the San Francisco East Bay Since 1962
These FAQs are meant to provide you with additional insights into our program. If you have a question that isn't addressed here, please feel free to reach out to us. Remember, the best way to discover Seven Hills is by visiting our campus for a tour!

To schedule a tour or apply to Seven Hills, please click here. For more information regarding admissions, please contact Director of Admission Susanne Goldman. We look forward to hearing from you.


List of 19 frequently asked questions.

  • Q: Is Seven Hills accredited?

    Seven Hills holds the highest accreditation possible by the California Association of Independent Schools (CAIS), a highly respected and valued organization within the educational community. Seven Hills is also a member of the NAIS (National Association of Independent Schools) and ISSFBA (Independent Schools of the San Francisco Bay Area).
  • Q: How is the Seven Hills curriculum determined?

    Our curriculum reflects the mission of Seven Hills. Administrators and teachers work cooperatively to craft innovative curricula designed to challenge students to achieve academic excellence while fostering a love of learning.
  • Q: Are academics taught in the Preschool program?

    The Preschool program for 3-year-olds emphasizes developmentally appropriate activities that allow children to grow socially, emotionally, physically, and intellectually.  Meaningful play, based on a child’s individual needs, builds these important foundations for the future. Learning is sensory-based, as a child gathers meaning from the world through the experiences of touching, hearing, smelling, seeing, and tasting. The classroom follows a Reggio structure in which a child is free to choose individual areas of interest and, in collaboration with teachers, learns about the world around them.  Please click here for a more thorough description of Seven Hills’ preschool program.
  • Q: In addition to the core curriculum, do Seven Hills students participate in specialty classes?

    The Preschool and Pre-Kindergarten programs visit the Library every week and enjoy music and Spanish with our specialty teachers. Kindergarten through 5th Grades take Art, Music, P.E., and Spanish, and spend time in the Library. The Middle School curriculum includes Performing Arts, World Languages, Seminar, P.E., and music. Technology is built into the day-to-day curriculum for all students and is not a stand-alone class. The practice of mindfulness is built into our classroom formats.
  • Q: How are the values of diversity and inclusion woven into the Seven Hills curriculum?

    Throughout all grade levels, and in age-appropriate ways, our curriculum incorporates a full spectrum of diversity and inclusion topics. Seven Hills’ developmental, hands-on learning model provides students with a safe and supportive environment to learn about their own uniqueness, explore that which they share in common with others and gain knowledge and insight about the community in which they live and the world beyond. Teachers provide a variety of opportunities for students to experience and learn about world cultures through lessons in language arts, history, world language, art, and music. Cultural diversity is an important aspect of our curriculum—to prepare our students for the world beyond Seven Hills, our teachers guide students to expand their knowledge and understanding of a range of social topics, e.g. equality and justice, conflict resolution, gender, sexual identity, environmentalism, and technology.
  • Q: How diverse are Seven Hills students?

    Diversity is a cornerstone of the Seven Hills community as we equip our students to become global citizens. In addition to students of color comprising 54% of our student body, our community is enriched by a variety of cultural, religious, social, and economic backgrounds, political views, and family structures. In our teaching and through our actions, we embrace our commonalities and model respect for and an appreciation of different experiences and perspectives.
  • Q: Do Seven Hills students go on field trips?

    Field trips are an important aspect of the curriculum at Seven Hills. They are carefully chosen and planned to enrich the classroom learning experience. Students go on several field trips a year. In the Middle School, students participate in multi-day trips to enjoy first-hand exposure to people and places and hands-on learning experiences. For example, the Middle School students go on an outdoor science adventure in 6th grade, Washington DC in 7th grade, and Ashland, Oregon in 8th grade. Our 7th and 8th grade students also have the opportunity to travel internationally to Europe and Japan.
  • Q: How can I get my child ready for the challenging academics of Seven Hills?

    In the younger grades, you can relax. Seven Hills teachers are quite adept at getting to know a student’s abilities at the start of the school year and differentiating instruction accordingly. In the older grades, your child’s new teacher may send a summer packet home for completion before school starts. In either case, we want to reduce your and your child’s anxiety about a new school – he or she will be welcomed and folded into the curriculum from the first day.
  • Q: My child is working above grade level in certain areas.  How will he be challenged at Seven Hills?

    We have a number of students working above grade level in specific areas. Because of a healthy teacher-to-student ratio, a stimulating open-ended curriculum, and experienced teachers, our students are engaged and appropriately challenged within their classroom. A majority of our 5th to 8th grade students qualify and participate in the Johns Hopkins University Center for Talented Youth Program, a national benchmark for high achievement.
  • Q: What is class size?

    In Preschool and Pre-Kindergarten, Seven Hills has a teacher:student ratio of 1:7 and 1:8, respectively. We target 2 classes of 18-20 students in Kindergarten through 5th grade; and our Middle School classes range from 6 to 22, depending on subject and project.
  • Q: What is the length of the Seven Hills school day?

    Preschool and Pre-K8:30am to 1:30pm
    Kindergarten-2nd Grade: 8:15am to 2:30pm
    3rd Grade:8:15am to 3:00pm
    4th and 5th Grade:8:00am to 3:00pm
    Middle School:8:00am to 3:20pm

    Seven Hills’ Extended Day program offers convenient, well-supervised programs that run from 7:00am until 6:00pm. Please click here for more information on Extended Day.
  • Q: Does Seven Hills have childcare before and after school?

    The Extended Day Program at Seven Hills shares the same mission and philosophy as the school day program. Careful consideration is given to the needs of the children it serves. Nutritious snacks are served, rest and nap times are provided for the youngest children, and a homework period is designated for children from grades one to eight. Extended Day is available from 7:00am until 6:00pm for Seven Hills students. Click here for more information.

    A variety of after-school classes extend and complement students’ learning experiences. Offerings may include Chess, Hip Hop Dance, Creative Writing, Drama, Somersaults, and Spanish.
    Each summer, Seven Hills hosts Shargel Science Camp for students ages 7-14. We also lease campus space to other camps, including Steve & Kate's Camp. Whether your child enjoys physical activity, arts and crafts, academic projects, or simply lots of summer fun and adventure, there is a full range of choices for children ages 3 to 13.
  • Q: Does Seven Hills have an after-school sports program?

    Seven Hills has a strong commitment to its Middle School athletic program for both boys and girls. Participation is open to all students who want to participate. We encourage participation among those who excel in sports and students eager to explore a new sport or enhance their existing skills. We compete with other Middle Schools in the area.
  • Q: Does Seven Hills offer before and after-school transportation for students?

    Seven Hills offers morning bus service from Danville, Alamo, Lafayette, and Walnut Creek. However, we do not offer afternoon transportation due to the diverse range of after-school activities our students engage in; one service would not serve their collective needs.
  • Q: Do students wear uniforms at Seven Hills?

    At Seven Hills we have three distinct approaches to student dress, based on the age of the student.

    The ECE is a hands-on program in which students engage in lots of messy play. We recommend sturdy shoes that allow the student to climb, run, and play freely and casual clothes that can come home “wearing the fun.” Because we go outside almost every day, we ask parents to provide warm clothes and send boots and raincoats on rainy days. Our students are on the move, and we want their clothes to move easily and comfortably with them.

    Our dress code in the Lower School has been developed for style, fit, price, durability, and suitability. Our students wear school uniforms Monday-Thursday and enjoy free dress on Friday. We recommend two sources for uniform clothing - our retail vendor, Lands' End, and our Second Time Around Shop on campus. Parent volunteers run the Second Time Around Shop, which features gently used uniform clothing at affordable prices. It is always chock full of clothes for boys and girls in Kindergarten through 5th grade. Proceeds from the Second Time Around Shop go back to Seven Hills for investment in our events and programs.

    The intent of our Middle School dress code is to provide education without distraction. Middle School students do not wear uniforms, but their dress reflects good taste. Middle School styles range as widely as the students who wear them; as long as our students are appropriately dressed and comfortable, we can focus on learning and growing together.

    New families are given our Parent and Student Handbook, in which more details on our dress code are available.
  • Q: What is your philosophy on discipline?

    Our goal is to create a positive learning environment that engenders the qualities of respect, responsibility, honesty, and compassion in our students. This environment promotes a cooperative approach to solving discipline problems at school, which is beneficial for students, faculty members, and families. On those rare occasions when a student cannot follow the school's common sense rules, disciplinary steps are taken. The school maintains a zero-tolerance policy for threats, harassment, or acts of violence against the school or people in the school.
  • Q: What world language instruction is offered and when?

    We introduce Spanish through songs in the Early Childhood program. Spanish begins in Kindergarten and continues through 5th Grade. In the 6th Grade, students decide whether to continue with Spanish or begin French, both offered in the 6th through 8th grades. Also, 8th grade students can participate in a Japanese language class to prepare for our Japanese cultural exchange program. This program entails hosting Japanese students on our campus for a week and traveling to Japan a few months later.
  • Q: Does Seven Hills offer financial aid?

    We are excited to offer a Seven Hills education to students from a variety of economic circumstances. We offer a modified tuition program for those with demonstrated need. Modified tuition packages include all areas of inclusive tuition. You can click here for more information about the modified tuition process for current and new families.
  • Q: How are parents involved at Seven Hills?

    Our partnership with parents has a long history at Seven Hills. The high quality and wide variety of programs are possible because of parents’ generosity and commitment. On average, our parent volunteers log a combined total of 9,100 hours! View information on the Parent Involvement Association (PIA).
The faculty, staff, parents and children have all been more than we ever expected. Being a part of the Seven Hills community has been very rewarding for our entire family. The curriculum, enrichment offerings and school gatherings are top notch. We want the best education for our children and truly feel this is the best school for them. Enjoying the learning experience now, but also lining them up for success in the future is most important to us. - Seven Hills Parent