FAQS

Admissions Questions

What's the main difference between a Christian school and a public school?


At West Portal Lutheran School (WPLS) we are able to offer not only an academically challenging curriculum but a Christ-centered environment. West Portal Lutheran School ministers to the spiritual and moral, educational and physical, relational and aesthetic needs of our students who are in Kindergarten through the 8th grade. While keeping an academically challenging curriculum, we seek to enable our students to excel to the best of their abilities in a Christ-centered environment. The love and forgiveness of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, is evident each and every day at West Portal Lutheran.




When did West Portal Lutheran Church and School open?


West Portal Lutheran Church began worshiping together on July 11, 1943 in the Empire Theater on West Portal Avenue. The Church building at 200 Sloat Boulevard was dedicated in 1948. West Portal Lutheran School is an extension of West Portal Lutheran Church and has been in existence since 1951. Our school has grown to two campus locations with over 500 students. Read more about our history.




What is the relationship between the church and school?


West Portal Lutheran School is a vital component of the ministry of West Portal Lutheran Church. The church plays an essential role in supporting the school children and parents. West Portal Lutheran Church helps the partnership through Bible classes for all ages, youth ministries, music, and a family ministry.




Is West Portal Lutheran School accredited?


Yes, West Portal Lutheran is fully accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) and has also received National Lutheran School Accreditation (NLSA) from the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod.




Are teachers in your school required to have certification, like in public schools?


All homeroom teachers have obtained either a State Credential and/or a Lutheran Teaching Diploma from one of the Concordia Universities of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod.




What does it mean to be a Christian school parent?


We pray that West Portal Lutheran parents will train their child in the way of the Lord, nurture the development of their child’s faith by encouraging their child through instruction and by example to live a life of faith, prayer, worship and service to Christ, that they would pray for family, church and school, and take an active and involved interest in the education of their child.




What does it mean to be a Christian school teacher?


The West Portal Lutheran faculty and staff are committed to working with families in helping to nurture the development of the whole child. It is the purpose of the school to be an extension of the home in Christian training. We wish to work with children and parents who are willing to walk with us in oneness of spirit and purpose. This oneness is based on a common value system, support for one another and cooperation. The strong partnership between the school and the home is an essential element in educating the whole child.




Do you give school tours?


Yes! Please contact us for a tour of either (or both) of our campuses by calling us at (415) 731-3000 or emailing admissions@wplsf.com. We also invite you to come to our open houses for a more formal introduction to our school.




How are applicants accepted?


West Portal Lutheran School is glad to accept all qualified applicants when space permits. Active members of the congregation and siblings of currently enrolled students have priority, however, families do not need to attend West Portal Lutheran Church or be Christian to apply and be accepted. All students are taught Christian values which are vital to the education at West Portal Lutheran School.




Is there an interview or testing process?


There is a short assessment that will be scheduled for each new student entering our school. In additon, there is a teacher recommendation form to be filled out by the school in which the child currently attends. These recommendation forms are confidential. This recommendation needs to be returned in order for the application to be complete. Students transferring into West Portal Lutheran School will need to be evaluated by our school prior to acceptance and come for a shadow day with the class that he/she is entering. A review of current Progress Reports (Report Cards, Achievement Test Scores, and conduct) will also be completed for transfer students.




Is there an age requirement for kindergarten?


Our general practice is for incoming kindergarten students to be five (5) years old by September 1 in the year they wish to enter West Portal Lutheran School. However, we believe in determining the individual readiness of each child, so we encourage incoming kindergarten students who do not meet the cut off to still apply.




How does your curriculum differ from that of area public schools?


West Portal Lutheran follows not only California State standards but national standards as well. The curriculum for West Portal Lutheran includes those subjects commonly taught in elementary and middle schools as set forth by the State of California including Math, Reading, English, Language Arts, Science, Social Studies, Chinese (Grades K-5), Spanish (Grades 6-8), Computer, Art, Religion, and Music. Our students are also one year ahead in our math curriculum as compared to public schools (e.g., 2nd graders are doing 3rd grade math). A strong emphasis is placed on basic traditional academic subjects as well as on religion. The MAP test is given three times a year to to all students in grades 1-8 to assess growth, what they're ready to learn, and the specific skill gaps they need to master.




What about your graduates' high school placement?


West Portal Lutheran School graduates attend the most desired schools in the Bay Area. These schools include Lowell, School of the Arts, Lick-Wilmerding, St. Ignatius, Sacred Heart, University, and Stuart Hall. View our recent high school acceptances.





General Questions

I understand there is more than one campus. Where are the school and church located?


Our kindergarten through grade 3 classes are at our Sunset Campus at 3101 Moraga Street located on the corner of 37th Avenue and Moraga Street in the heart of the Sunset district of San Francisco. Our Sloat Campus for students in Grade 4 through 8 is at 200 Sloat Boulevard, located at the cross streets of 19th Avenue & Sloat Boulevard. Our church adjacent to the Sunset Campus at 200 Sloat Boulevard. School Locations




What are the school hours?


School begins promptly at 8:25 AM at each campus. We strongly encourage families to arrive by 8:20 AM so students can acclimate before beginning the day. Classes end at 2:45 PM for Kindergarten Classes end at 3:00 PM for grades 1-3 Classes end at 3:15 PM for grades 4-8




Is extended care available?


West Portal Lutheran offers extended care -- Early morning care (7:00 AM – 8:00 AM) and after-school care until 6:00 PM. In addition, our school offers a wide variety of after school enrichment programs.




What are the class sizes and student to teacher ratios?


West Portal Lutheran School limits its class size to 25 students assuring attention to all. Our K-3 classrooms have teachers’ aides as well as parent volunteers who help regularly. We have specialized teachers for physical education, computers, and music. For upper grades, we have specialized teachers for science, math, physical education, music, and foreign language.




Does the school offer financial assistance?


Yes, West Portal Lutheran School does provide financial assistance. Information on scholarships and grants are available through our church and school accountant. For more information, contact Howard Scully, (415) 661-0242 ext 225, or email him: howard.scully@wplsf.com.




Are there annual service hours to complete?


West Portal Lutheran School encourages parental involvement from each school family. Parental involvement benefits your children and the school. Parents are expected to volunteer 20 hours of service (for one enrolled child) or families will be charged to cover those services. Additional hours are required for enrolled siblings. Completion of these hours is required annually.




Are there annual fundraising requirements?


No, there is no actual fundraising amount required for the school. However, each time family participation does occur, it assists the school in keeping operating costs at a minimum.




Is there a hot lunch program?


West Portal Lutheran School has contracted with Choicelunch, an online lunch program in the San Francisco Bay Area. Lunch may be pre-ordered by the parent to have it delivered to the school daily. Parents have the convenience of ordering online.




What kind of competitive sports does the school offer?


The school sponsors numerous programs including an active team sports program for boys and girls in grades 4-8. Membership in the Catholic Youth Organization provides considerable opportunity for boys and girls to learn a sport and compete against other schools in basketball, volleyball, and track. Instructional basketball and volleyball clinics begin in grade 3.




Are after-school activities available?


We offer after-school enrichment activities such as piano, violin, and other instrumental lessons. Orchestra, handbell and school vocal choirs, art classes, science classes, scouting, and Mandarin classes are available also.




Where can West Portal Lutheran School’s uniform be purchased?


Classic Designs is the provider for our school uniforms. Approved school jackets, sweatshirts and sweaters are also available outerwear. West Portal Lutheran offers a used uniform program to offset some costs. We also have a Parent Teacher League (PTL) Recycled Uniform Coordinator.




How do school families communicate?


Much of our school communication is centralized using ParentSquare. Our monthly Notes from the Principal’s Desk, annual and monthly school calendars, Parent and Parent Teacher League (PTL) Handbooks, forms and all the latest and greatest news are posted within ParentSquare.




Is there a Parent-Teacher organization?


All parents are members of the Parent-Teacher League (PTL) which assist with the funding of field trips, class parties, evening programs, campus lunch tables, gymnasium improvements, team uniforms, etc. We strongly encourage parents to be active in the lives of the children and West Portal Lutheran community. Our PTL hosts various activities and fundraisers for our school. Communication from the parent-school community is shared through this group.