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Little School, The [CA]
1520 Lyon Street    
San Francisco, California  94115  
Private/Independent School
Coed Day pre-k pre-k 110 students


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Employer Description

The Little School is a nationally recognized, relationship-based, inclusive preschool program committed to providing individualized, quality education to young children. The San Francisco-based school is seeking an outstanding Executive Director to lead its unique program starting in July 2020.



At The Little School, we focus on the development of the whole child. We celebrate an individual’s strengths, encourage interests and support challenges. We believe that strong positive relationships and a robust, supportive community, where everyone feels respected and included, are the keys to a successful learning environment.

The pillars responsible for bringing our philosophy to life include: Quality Early Childhood Education

Early Childhood Education principles and best practices are the foundation of The Little School. Upon this foundation, the school has created its own inclusive, relationship-based approach.   This approach has received local and national attention; has been taught in local and national conferences, workshops and consulting engagements; and has been documented in a training film: “Relationships: The Key to Teaching and Learning in the Early Years” and a book “Including One, Including All: A Relationship-Based Guide to Inclusion”.

The Little School is committed to serving children with diverse developmental profiles including children with identified special needs. A range of children with unique strengths, challenges and interests both strengthens the social competence and empathy of every child in the school and encourages teachers to develop teaching strategies and learning tools that benefit every child.


The Little School strives to create a community with racial, ethnic, socio-economic and family- structure diversity as well as a range of life experiences and abilities. This rich assortment of families creates the potential for each individual member to stretch their cultural competence and communicate in new ways.

Excellent Teachers.

The school is fortunate to have an outstanding and tenured team of teachers. The success and long tenure of our teachers (approximately one-third have tenure of greater than 15 years  and one-third 6-15 years) is due to the individuals themselves, to the school’s commitment to professional development and guidance, to teacher involvement in the program’s development, and to the structure of the teacher work week (e.g. 5-7 hours per week off the floor to support the program, children and  families).

Parent – Teacher – School Partnership.

Parents at The Little School a reactively engaged in the school community. Parents, teachers and administrators collaborate to support each child and the community as a whole.  It is a culture of caring and contribution.  Each member of the community assists where  possible, whether chaperoning a field trip, attending a family share day, participating on a volunteer committee or serving as a Trustee. Parents also come together for Parent Education events focused on topics central to early childhood and The Little School’s core tenets.


The fundamental tools which support our educational approach include: The Sensory Lens. The Little School uses a sensory-processing lens as a basic tool for understanding a developmental profile, for regulating and organizing children, and for helping children understand themselves and others.

Social-Emotional Curriculum.

Social-emotional curricula (e.g. identification, processing and validation of feelings, as well as conflict-resolution) and regulation curricula(e.g. identifying our internal state and what tools help calm and organize us, such as those outlined in Zones of Regulation and The Engine Curriculum) are embedded in daily classroom life and conversation.

Emergent Curriculum.

Teachers are intentional in providing experiences that reflect the emerging interests of individuals and groups of children. The goal is to support overall development, be it cognitive, social, emotional, symbolic, physical or creative.

Other Key Facts

The Program.

There are 110-115 students enrolled with small class sizes and teacher ratios ranging from 1:4 to 1:8. Current individual programs or classes include:  two 2-3 year-old programs with classes on  two half-days per week; two 3-4 year-old programs with classes on three half-days per week; two 4-5year-old programs with half-day daily classes; one transitional kindergarten with half-day daily classes; four intertwined extended day programs; and a summer program.


The Little School has a stellar reputation. We have over 500 applications for approximately 25 spaces per year.

Diversity Mission Statement