Admission

FAQ

List of 14 frequently asked questions.

  • How are Admission decisions determined?

    The admission process is rooted in finding the best match between prospective students and St. Margaret's Episcopal School. A number of factors are considered in each admission decision, including academic records, teacher recommendations and assessment results. Student interviews take place for all Middle and Upper School applicants.
  • How many admission spaces are available each year?

    St. Margaret's enrolls approximately 40 new students in the Preschool each year. Kindergarten, First Grade, and Second Grade are important entry years at St. Margaret's. Approximately 15 new students are enrolled in Kindergarten and approximately 10 new students in First Grade and Second Grade. Because of our high retention rate, space in grades 3 through 5 is limited to replacing students who leave. We add 25 students in grade 6 and approximately 20-25 students in grade 9. New students are added at other grade levels on a space available basis.
  • How many people apply for the available spaces?

    There are currently more families interested in St. Margaret's than the number of spaces available. We receive approximately three applications for every available enrollment space. In the Upper School we have five applications for every enrollment space.
  • Does St. Margaret's give special consideration to siblings?

    We take pride in being a family-oriented school and therefore give special consideration to sibling applicants in the admission process. As in all admission decisions, the academic match between the student and St. Margaret's is of primary importance.
  • Are you required to be Episcopalian in order to attend St. Margaret's?

    No, St. Margaret's welcomes students from all faiths. At present, 18 different faiths are represented on campus.
  • What is the geographic representation of the St. Margaret’s student body?

    St. Margaret's students come from 28 different communities. Approximately 50 percent of our students live within a 10 mile radius. More than 130 students ride the St. Margaret’s School Bus every day. Click here to read more about the bus!
  • What school bus options are available for students?

    St. Margaret’s currently offers three bus routes with seven stops. The St. Margaret’s School Bus is a convenient and safe option available to students in kindergarten through grade 12. Bus routes are available from Newport Coast, Laguna Beach, Corona Del Mar/Crystal Cove/Emerald Bay, Monarch Bay and Laguna Niguel. Click here to read more about the bus!
  • How far in advance do I need to apply?

    The application process for competitive independent schools such as St. Margaret's occurs during the school year prior to enrollment. Application materials are made available on October 1, 2016. FORM 1 must be received by January 15, 2017 in order to be considered in the first round of admission decisions. All remaining documents required to complete an application must be received by Wednesday, February 1. 2017 Admission decisions are mailed in March 2017. Applications completed after the deadline will be reviewed on a rolling, space-available basis.
  • Are there birthdate guidelines when applying to Preschool and Kindergarten?

    Yes. Applicants for Preschool and Kindergarten should follow the below guidelines.

    • P2 – Three years old by December 1, 2017
    • P3 – Three years old by September 1, 2017
    • P4 – Four years old by September 1, 2017
    • Kindergarten – Five years old by September 1, 2017
  • What enrollment choices are available in the Preschool?

    There are two enrollment choices available in Preschool. Parents may choose from a 3 Day or a 5 Day Preschool option. The drop off for Preschool is 7:45-8:10 and the Preschool day ends at 2:30.
  • Is financial aid available?

    Absolutely. A family's ability to pay tuition is not a factor in admission decisions. Financial aid is offered to students (Kindergarten- Grade 12) who have earned admission and who qualify for need-based financial aid. Families submit confidential financial aid application forms through the School and Student Services for Financial Aid. Please access the Tuition and Financial Aid section of our website for details on how to apply for financial aid. St. Margaret's makes every attempt to assist all qualified families. However, on occasion, family need may be greater than the school's financial resources. 
  • How do new families transition into the St. Margaret's community?

    There are several opportunities that are helpful for new students and families to make a smooth transition into our community. Families are encouraged to refer to the Start of School webpage, which outlines important next steps for families to complete prior to the start of school. The Parent Teacher Fellowship (PTF) New Families Program coordinates a variety of welcome gatherings to introduce new families to current families in their respective divisions. Each division also holds a New Student Orientation, which includes a parent orientation, prior to school beginning.
  • What are your school immunization requirements? 

    In accordance with the California School Immunization Law SB277, St. Margaret’s requires all students to receive immunizations before entry into school.  Families are asked to submit up-to-date immunization records or a valid Medical Exemption issued by a family physician with the enrollment paperwork. If you have questions regarding immunizations, please contact Carol Keith, School Nurse, at (949) 661-0108 ext. 1203 or e-mail carol.keith@smes.org.
  • Does St. Margaret's have an English as a Second Language Program?

    No. We do not provide an ESL program. All qualified international students who earn admission are fluent in reading, writing and speaking English.

New Preschool and Lower School Parent, San Clemente

“The welcoming nature and attention to detail at St. Margaret's quickly made our family feel a part of the
St. Margaret’s family.”

Resources

List of 2 items.

  • School Bus Routes

    Safe, Easy and Fun! Your child can ride the St. Margaret’s bus to school and home every day from the communities of Corona del Mar, Laguna Beach, Monarch Beach, Laguna Niguel and Newport Coast. Learn More.
  • International Students

    International Students Application & Testing Requirements
    St. Margaret’s Episcopal School considers applications from families throughout the world looking to move to Orange County. Please know, all international applicants are required to complete the standard St. Margaret’s application process. It is important to note, St. Margaret’s does not offer an English as a Second Language (ESL) program. International applicants need to be fluent in reading, writing and speaking English in order to transition into the St. Margaret’s academic program. In addition, our expectation is that international applicants be enrolled in an English-based curriculum at the time of application and have at least two full years of English-based schooling prior to considering St. Margaret’s.

    Preschool and Lower School applicants must complete the required admission assessment at St. Margaret's.

    Middle School and Upper School applicants must visit campus and complete an interview, and must sit for the Independent School Entrance Exam(ISEE). St. Margaret’s does not accept the TOEFL in lieu of the ISEE. (St. Margaret’s ISEE School Code: 054114).

    I-20 Requirements:
    St. Margaret’s Episcopal School Admission Office is authorized to issue I-20’s to international candidates who have earned admission in order for families to acquire an F-1 visa. St. Margaret’s will only issue the I-20 once the student has formally enrolled at the school. International students attending St. Margaret’s must be living with their parents. We do not have a homestay program.

Independent School Questions?

Are you considering a private school education for your child for the first time? St. Margaret’s is an independent school and member of the National Association of Independent Schools and the California Association of Independent Schools. These trusted organizations have helpful parent resources available as you discover the benefits of a school like St. Margaret’s.
 
 

Contact Us

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us.
 
Office of Admission
St. Margaret's Episcopal School
31641 La Novia Avenue
San Juan Capistrano, CA 92675-2752
Telephone: (949) 661-0108 ext. 1248
admission@smes.org
An independent preschool through grade 12 college-preparatory day school in Orange County.
St. Margaret’s Episcopal School
31641 La Novia Avenue
San Juan Capistrano, CA 92675
949.661.0108