Rahul Sharma (Editor)

Chinese American International School

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Type  Private
Website  www.cais.org
Founded  1981
Established  1981
Phone  +1 415-865-6000
Head of School  Jeff Bissell (Chinese name: 毕杰夫 Bì Jiéfū), Ph.D.
Address  150 Oak St, San Francisco, CA 94102, USA

Class of 2015 graduation chinese american international school

Chinese American International School (CAIS) is an independent pre-Kindergarten through Grade 8 co-educational Chinese-English dual language immersion school located in San Francisco, CA. The CAIS program is oriented around the school mission: "Embrace Chinese; become your best self; create your place we in the world." To these ends, CAIS offers a Chinese-English dual language immersion curriculum with up to 50% of each school day in Chinese. The school was the first in the United States to have Mandarin immersion education.


CAIS also has international travel programs for current students, high school-aged alumni, and faculty and staff. The school organizes trips to Taipei, Beijing, and Qinghai in the fifth, seventh, and eighth grades, respectively.

Chinese american international school new mission statement


In 1980, San Francisco Supervisor Carol Ruth Silver searched unsuccessfully for a Mandarin-English school where she could enroll her Taiwanese adopted son. Not finding one in San Francisco she decided to start her own, with the help of deputy district attorney Mimi Luk, Justice Harry Low, Bernard Ivaldi (then Head of French American International School), Maurice Tseng, Yvon d'Argence (then curator of the Asian Art Museum), Mike Chiu, Donna Furth, Diana Chan, Francisco Hsieh, George Cheng, and Alice Carnes.

In September 1981 the school, then known as the Chinese American Bilingual School, began as a Mandarin-English school with an enrollment of 4 kindergarten students operating in the basement of the French American International School. Shirley Lee, a faculty member of the Chinese department at San Francisco State University joined as founding teacher and principal, and remained head of school until her retirement in 2000. In 1989 the school moved to the Presidio of San Francisco. In 1992, a middle school was added (which moved to a new campus in 2015.) In 1997 CAIS moved into its current main campus at 150 Oak St, the former Caltrans headquarters, in partnership with French American International School.

CAIS has received national recognition for its program. In 1987 the US Dept of Education designated CAIS the "national prototype for Chinese language education in elementary schools." In 2004, CAIS was awarded the Goldman Sachs Prize for Excellence in International Education.


  • California Association of Independent Schools (CAIS)
  • Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC)
  • References

    Chinese American International School Wikipedia

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