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San Domenico Upper School FAQ


How many students attend the high school?

There are currently 210 students enrolled in our high school. We are growing to approximately 80 students per class level and expect to have 320 boys and girls enrolled by the fall of 2018.

Which geographic areas do your students come from?

Most of our day students come from Marin County, San Francisco, and the East Bay. Boarding students join us from all over the world as well as regions throughout California

Where do San Domenico graduates attend college?

San Domenico students attend an array of excellent colleges and universities. Please visit for more information.

How many different middle schools are represented in your incoming freshman class?


Which standardized tests are required when students apply?

The SSAT is required for all prospective 9th grade students. We will accept the ISEE, but prefer the SSAT.

If an applicant for admission also applies for tuition assistance, will San Domenico evaluate his or her application for admission differently?

Our work in admissions is to identify applicants that are the best fit for San Domenico, our values, and our mission. In our search for these students, our Admissions Committee does its work independently of the Financial Aid Committee.

Can students apply for their 12th grade year?

No, we do not accept 12th-grade transfer students.

What is the average amount of homework a freshman might have?

The average amount of homework for a freshman is approximately 1 ½ to 2 hours a night. However, depending on the student and the classes he or she takes, the amount of homework has its ebbs and flows.

I understand SD is an independent school founded by Dominican Sisters. Do you have to be religious to attend?

San Domenico is an independent school with a 167-year history of inclusivity. Our diverse community is comprised of families of many faiths including Catholic, Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, etc., as well as families who do not follow any particular faith but appreciate the value of discovering a sense of the sacred in its many manifestations.

In the Dominican tradition, we believe the purpose of education is not knowledge alone. The purpose of education is to use knowledge to shape a better world.

SD's dedicated faculty and staff support our students as they explore their own values and beliefs while learning about many different faith traditions in a spirit of open inquiry. San Domenico students develop character and integrity along with a commitment to social justice, service, and the principles of sustainability.

How many spaces are there in the freshman class and how many students apply?

Nearly 250 students, boys and girls, applied during this past admissions season. The freshman class is comprised of 72 students, 44% male, 56% female. We seek to enroll approximately 80 freshmen for 2016-2017.

Are sibling and legacy applicants given priority in the admissions process?

As a school that highly values community and the commitment that families have made to our school, we pay close attention to the applications of siblings and legacies.

What is San Domenico looking for in a student?

Academic excellence and joyful, inquisitive learning are at the heart of a San Domenico education. When schools become focused solely on grades and test scores, students lose their passion for learning, seeing each task as only a means to an end. At SD, our students have a strong academic foundation, are resilient, persistent, and continually involved in service learning, where students examine the context, policies, and cultures that have created a world where so many of us are in need.

Are interviews required for students who are applying to San Domenico?

We require interviews for applicants. For those who are international applicants and are unable to visit our campus for an in-person interview we will conduct the interview by Skype.

Is San Domenico’s application form the only application you accept?

San Domenico will accept our online application as well as the Standard Application Online (SAO) that is available through SSAT.


When campus is closed during certain holidays, will the school help arrange alternate living arrangements for a student if he or she is unable to travel home during that time?

The San Domenico campus is closed during Thanksgiving break, winter break, February break, and spring break. Boarding students are not permitted to stay in the dorms during those times, and are expected to secure alternative living arrangements, either with a friend, relative, or guardian. (All breaks are published on the school calendar).

If I plan to ship some of my belongings, where do I send them?

Please ship your items to the following address: YOUR NAME c/o San Domenico School 1500 Butterfield Road, San Anselmo, CA 94960 USA.

How is my room furnished?

The majority of our boarding rooms are set up as doubles. They include two twin beds, two desks, two chairs, and two closets.

Are there mandatory community weekends?

There are a small number of weekends when boarding students are required to stay on campus. These weekends usually involve exciting residential life activities like movie night out on the soccer field or a trip to San Francisco. We schedule two community weekends during the year - one each semester.

What is Regional boarding?

Regional boarding is a great option for students that want the experience of a boarding program, but also desire the option to go home on the weekends. Regional boarders stay in the dorms throughout the school week, and on weekends they retain the flexibility to go home. This option is often appealing to students that reside in the greater Bay Area, Please note: regional boarding tuition is the same as regular boarding tuition.

Are there any activities on the weekends?

Activities vary from weekend to weekend and reflect the desires of the boarding students and opportunities that arise in the community. There are activities on campus (e.g. basketball games, open gym, hiking, movies, games) and off campus (e.g. trips to San Francisco, the beach, local malls, museums). Day students often join in for weekend activities.

How do I get around if I don’t own a car?

Boarding students do not need a car and it is rare for a boarding student to have a car on campus. Resident Faculty offer planned trips to different locations on weekends and usually once during the week. In some cases, boarding students may get transportation to SAT sites on weekends or to and from the local transit center around the time of school vacations. School transportation for boarding students is limited and we ask students to make requests in advance. While not all requests can be fulfilled, Resident Faculty will work with a student to secure a taxi or other form of transportation.

Do boarders have roommates?

Most of the dorm rooms are doubles, with the occasional triple. Student prefects typically live in a single dorm room.

International Students

How many international students attend San Domenico?

We currently have 88 international students enrolled at SD. These students come to us from China, Japan, Thailand, Korea, and Mexico.

Does San Domenico offer English as a Second Language (ESL)?

We offer ESL in both 9th and 10th grades. Upon acceptance, international students for whom English is a second language will take a placement test to determine the need for ESL.

Do you consider students for spring enrollment?

Our admissions team works to enroll students to begin at SD in the fall of every year. Based on enrollment there are times when we can consider students for spring enrollment.

Is San Domenico’s application form the only application you accept?

We also accept the SSATB application – the Standard Application Online (SAO) - which can be found through this link:

What is the role of the guardian?

A guardian is a person that a family of an international boarding student appoints to serve as a local contact and resource for their child. A guardian’s responsibilities include but are not limited to:

  • Signing all necessary reports and documents pertaining to San Domenico School which require a parent’s signature.
  • Receiving confidential information regarding the student from the school.
  • Assuming all parental obligations with respect to school issues or concerns with the student.
  • Authorizing medical care in emergency situations.
  • Being available to transport the student to medical or dental appointments when the student is not in school.
  • Having the student live in the guardian’s home in the event of a contagious, prolonged illness, or disciplinary suspension from school
  • Assisting the student with travel plans and accommodations during school vacations when the dormitories are closed
  • Transporting the student to/from the airport during school breaks when other arrangements cannot be made.

Does SD issue 1-20s?

Upon admittance, the SD admissions office will issue international students their I-20’s. Admitted students will receive both electronic and hard copies of the document.

Can you assist us in obtaining a travel visa to visit your campus?

We are happy to write an invitation to the student and their families to visit our campus. However, we do not work with embassies or consulates in issuing travel visas for visits.

What score do I need on my SSAT and TOEFL exams to be eligible for admission?

During the past 2016-2017 admissions season, the average TOEFL score was 83 and the average SSAT score for 2016-17 was 1333. Please note that we look at all application materials as well as a student’s personal characteristics, talents, and potential when assessing the student.

Are international families required to visit San Domenico for their interview? / Can international students conduct their interview via phone or Skype?

We require an on-campus interview for all applicants; however, if international students are unable to come to our campus for their interview, a Skype interview may be scheduled in lieu of an in-person interview.

Interested in learning more?