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Children's School

Application Process for the 2016-17 School Year

As the laboratory school for Mills College School of Education, the Children's School strives to create balanced classroom populations that represent the greater community. To that end, we gather a pool of applicants each year, rather than keeping a waiting list or admitting students based upon dates of application. We value diversity and ask, in our applications, for you to provide information that reflects the unique nature of your child and family. Mills College Children's School (MCCS) does not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, creed, color, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin or physical challenge.

In our admissions process, we give priority to the children of Mills College faculty, staff, and students, which typically make up about 20% of the school's enrollment. The siblings of currently-enrolled children make up another 10%, with the remainder coming from throughout the East Bay.

We appreciate the opportunity to give you information about our philosophy, curriculum, and mission. We recognize that the decisions you make for your child’s education can have important consequences for your entire family and we hope you will find this process both informative and helpful.

Here’s how to apply:

1. Take a tour. 

The best way to learn about our wonderful laboratory school is to attend a morning tour or weekend open house.

Space is limited, so please REGISTER ONLINE

2. Complete an application.

Review the information packet provided at one of our admissions events or download the application below. Return your application to Mills College Children’s School (MCCS) along with a non-refundable $65 fee ($100 for two siblings applying in the same year). 

Elementary School Application 

  • Priority deadline for Elementary School applicants is January 14, 2016.* Applications submitted by this deadline will be scheduled first for our student visits in February.
  • If you are applying for siblings to both the Elementary and Preschool programs, please submit both applications by this deadline.
  • Secondary application deadline: January 29, 2016. Applications submitted by the end of January will be scheduled next for our student visits in February.

Our Early Childhood Application will be available in December

  • Priority deadline for Infant/Toddler & Preschool applicants is February 19, 2016.*

*Applications for Financial Aid are due on the same date that you apply for admissions. 

3. Elementary only: Submit a recommendation form 

Ask your child's teacher to complete the applicable recommendation form for the grade your child will be entering. 

Kindergarten recommendation

Grade 1-5 recommendation

These forms are confidential and should be sent by the teacher directly to our school at the mailing address below. Please give your child's teacher enough time so that the recommendation can reach us by the deadline above. Most teachers also appreciate a stamped addressed envelope, as well. If your teacher prefers, s/he can email or fax the recommendation, but please ask that a hard copy is dropped in the mail, too.

4. Elementary only: Come for a visit! 

When all the above steps have been completed, families will be contacted to arrange for their children to visit the school in February, 2016. Kinder applicants will visit on Saturday, February 6, 2016, for one hour between 9 am and 2 pm, so please reserve that date on your calendar. Applicants for grades 1-5 may be scheduled to visit on a school day.


For Elementary School applicants: 

  • MCCS mails decision letters on Thursday, March 10, 2016. Email confirmation will be sent the following day at 12 noon.
  • Signed acceptance of the offer of enrollment must be received with a non-refundable $1,000 deposit by 9:00 am on Friday, March 18. This deposit applies toward your child’s tuition and holds their spot for the 2016-17 school year.
  • If an Elementary applicant has a sibling who is also applying to our Early Childhood program, we will notify the family about placements for all children on this timeline.

For Infant/Toddler and Preschool applicants: 

  • MCCS mails decision letters on Friday, March 18, 2016. 
  • Signed acceptance of the offer of enrollment must be received with a non-refundable $1,000 deposit by 9:00 am on Monday, March 28. This deposit applies toward your child’s tuition and holds their spot for the 2016-17 school year.

Any subsequent openings will be filled from the pool of remaining applicants on the basis of maintaining balanced and diverse classroom populations. 


Contact our Admissions Director:

Whitney Walker
Mills College Children's School
5000 MacArthur Boulevard
Oakland, CA 94613
510.430.2053 ph
510.430.3223 fax


About MCCS

What is a Lab School?

Infant/Toddler Program and Preschool

Elementary School

Application Process

School Tours

Admissions Calendar


Financial Aid

School Calendar


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Contact Information

P: 510.430.2118
F: 510.430.3223

Last Updated: 11/23/15