Admissions FAQ

Admissions FAQ

Below is a summary of frequently asked questions. If you don’t find the information you’re looking for here, please contact the admissions office, and we’d be happy to help.

Please note that the dates and deadlines listed below are specific to applications for 2024-2025. This information will be updated at the end of the summer for the next admissions cycle.

Applying to SJS

How to apply

The applications for 2024-2025 are now closed. Please contact our office if you have further questions.

To begin families first create an account with our online portal, then complete the appropriate application form. After our office has processed the application within 3 to 5 business days, you will be notified that their online checklist is available. At that time you will be directed to upload supporting documents.

There is an application fee of $300 for first-time applicants. If you are re-applying, the
fee is $200.

For a full breakdown of all the steps, please refer to the Grade tab here.

When is the application deadline?

JK, K, Gr 1 & Gr 4:     November 15, 2023

All Other Grades:      January 8, 2024

What supporting documents are required?

As part of the application, be ready to upload the following documents:

  • Previous grade (2022-2023) mid-year and final report card. Current grade (2023-2024) mid-year report when available.
  • The applicant’s birth certificate (translation required if not in English).
  • The applicant’s Canadian passport or Permanent Residency if not born in Canada.
  • A recent photo of the applicant.
  • A recent family photo.
  • Proof of Citizenship status for parent/guardian (passport, PR card, work or study permit).
  • Proof of BC residency (e.g. driver’s license, utility bill or tenancy agreement). For applicants not yet living in BC, this can follow.
  • Name and email of a referee to complete a Confidential Character & Family Reference Form (to be sent directly from SJS admissions checklist).
  • Psychoeducational assessment and/or IEP (if applicable).

To ensure a fair and consistent review of applications, only the specific documents requested will be reviewed. Please do not send additional reference letters, certificates or awards to the admissions office. These are the kinds of things we’d love to hear about during the admissions interview.

Does SJS provide financial assistance?

Yes! SJS is proud to provide financial assistance at any grade level, JK through Grade 12, to those families who might not otherwise be able to afford the full cost of tuition at SJS.

Click here for more information. Please contact Catriona Cheng, Director of Finance and Human Resources, at if you have questions about financial assistance.

What are your intake grades?

Junior Kindergarten (Half Day, AM & PM)28 (2 classes of 14)
Grade 14
Grade 48
Grade 116-8
All Other GradesBased on availability

Are there age restrictions by grade?

Students are placed in grades according to their birth year (January to December). Rest assured, admissions assessments for our youngest learners (JK, K, Grade 1) are norm-referenced, meaning applicants are assessed based on their age in months, not years.

Please apply to the grade according to your child’s year of birth. For 2024 entry, intake grades are as follows:

Junior Kindergarten  2020

Kindergarten              2019

Grade 1                       2018

Grade 4                      2015

In very rare occasions, if there are extenuating circumstances, the program principal may make an exception. This will be determined following the admissions assessment.

Do you accept international students?

Yes. SJS welcomes applications from international students, that is, students who are not Canadian citizens or permanent residents of Canada, and their parent/guardian will be joining them on a Visitor Visa, provided the student:

1. Will be living in BC with at least one parent or legal Guardian while enrolled at SJS.

2. Has a valid Study Permit at the time of attendance.

3. Pays tuition in full upon enrollment.

Proof of parent citizenship status will be required with the application. Proof of BC residency can be provided on arrival in Canada. An international students fee will be charged.

Do you enroll students mid-year?

No, we do not enrol students once classes have begun. We don’t typically have any openings by the time classes have started. As such, we do not enroll students mid-year.

Also, SJS operates on a linear timetable where students take the same classes from September to June. Transitioning mid-year can be particularly challenging for students.

Do you require reference letters?

Not directly. Applicants are asked to provide the name and email of a non-related adult who knows the applicant through academic, extracurricular or social activities. Our preference is that it be a teacher or program leader. However, when this is not possible, a neighbour or family friend will be fine.

To ensure a fair and consistent review of applications, only the specific documents requested will be reviewed. Please do not send additional reference letters, certificates or awards to the admissions office. These are the kinds of things we’d love to hear about during the admissions interview.

I know a current SJS family; should they be my reference?

You may have been referred to SJS by a valued member of our school community, parent, alumni or staff. The application form has a section to name the community member who referred you, if applicable. It’s wonderful to know how families know each other.

To ensure a fair and consistent review of applications, only the specific documents requested will be reviewed. Please do not send additional reference letters, certificates or awards to the admissions office. These are the kinds of things we’d love to hear about during the admissions interview.

Admissions Assessment

What happens at the admissions assessment?

Applicants will join other applicants and SJS teachers and participate in one-on-one and small group activities. Through these age-appropriate, engaging activities teachers assess the student’s current language, numeracy, literacy and communication skills within an SJS context. There is no preparation required.

When will the admissions assessments take place?

Dates vary by grade. Attendance is required to be considered for admission. For families not living locally, a virtual assessment may be arranged. Please mark these dates on your calendar. Unfortunately, we are unable to arrange an alternate date.

Grade ApplyDate
JK & KTuesday December 19, Wednesday December 20, or Thursday, December 21, 2023
Grade 1Saturday, December 2, 2023
Grade 4Saturday, November 18, 2023
Grade 11Friday, January 12, 2024
All Other GradesSaturday, February 10, 2024 (shortlisted only)

How can my child prepare for the assessment?

The best thing you can do to prepare your child for the assessment is to help ensure they come healthy and rested. Otherwise, no preparation is required. In fact, the less pressure they feel about it, the better.

Is there an English language requirement?

Due to the academic rigor of the IB Program, all SJS students must be fluent in both written and oral English. We do not offer an EAL program; however, some language support may be available to students. English language proficiency will be determined through the various admissions assessments and report cards.

Is the SSAT required?

For all Grades 6-11 applicants, the SSAT (Secondary School Admission Test) is required. Scores must be available to admissions by January 8, 2024. The Character Skills Snapshot is not required. There are no minimum scores required, and the SSAT is only a piece of the application.

Click here for more information about the SSAT or to register. St. John’s School code for submitting the scores through the SSAT portal is 6531.

To ensure a fair and consistent review of applications, we do not accept alternative standardized tests in place of the SSAT.

Will there be a parent or family interview?

Parents/Guardians of shortlisted candidates will be invited to schedule an interview with the Director of Admissions. The interview is an opportunity for SJS to learn more about your child and family and to answer any remaining questions you might have about SJS or the admissions process.

Interviews may take place remotely via Zoom by request. Who attends the interview varies by grade.

JK to Grade 3:                       Parent/Guardian only

Grade 4 to Grade 10:            Applicant, followed by parent/guardian

Grade 11:                               Parents/Guardian only. Applicants interviewed by principals.

Admissions Decisions

How are admissions decisions made?

We seek to enrol students who will thrive at SJS. Not only academically but also as an engaged member of the SJS community. The Admissions Committee reviews all applications holistically, including report cards, in-house assessment results, application information, SSAT scores (Grades 6-11 only) and the admissions interview (if applicable).

Applicants are reviewed individually and then as an overall cohort.

How is the shortlist determined?

All applicants to intake grades (JK, K, Gr 1, Gr 4 and Gr 11) will attend the in-house admissions assessment. Following this assessment, the Admissions Committee reviews all applications, including information provided in the application, report cards, SSAT scores (where applicable) and results of the assessment, to create a shortlist.

Shortlisted candidates will be invited to continue to move to the next stage of the admissions process and schedule their parent or family interview.

For all other grades, only shortlisted candidates will attend an in-house assessment and admissions interview.

The shortlist size will be based on the predicted number of spaces we expect to have after re-enrollment for 2024-25 is completed in January.

When are decisions released?

Grade ApplyShortlistFinal First-Round (Then Ongoing)
JK & KJan 12Mar 1
Grade 1 Dec 8Feb 1
Grade 4Nov 24Feb 1
Grade 11Jan 18Feb 1
All Other GradesJan 26April 12

Decision dates vary by grade. Please refer to the table above. Students offered a place will be asked to accept and secure their place with the payment of the new student registration, enrollment fee and tuition deposit.

Do SJS siblings or children of alums have priority?

Yes. SJS values community and is committed to keeping families together. We warmly welcome applications from siblings of current SJS families and children of alumni. Providing the applicant meets the admissions requirements, priority consideration will be given to them.

SJS offers a 5% family tuition discount for each additional family member enrolled at our school.

My child is in the waitpool. What does that mean?

Your child being placed in the waitpool means they met the admission requirements for SJS, but we are limited in the number of spaces we can offer. We ask that you keep their file up-to-date by sending us their most recent report cards and let us know if you wish their file to remain active for the following year.  Should more spaces open up, all applicants in the waitpool are reviewed. Families considered for the second round of offers will be contacted directly by the Admissions team. The waitpool remains open until the end of August.


Does SJS offer aftercare?

Yes. We offer aftercare for Kindergarten to Grade 7 students from 3:30 – 5pm on school days. Additional fees apply. We do not provide before-school care.

Do you offer a bus service?

Yes. SJS is pleased to provide a one-way morning bus service. There are currently two routes: Burnaby to Vancouver and Richmond to Vancouver. We welcome both regular and occasional riders. There is no fee for the bus service.

Does SJS offer a lunch program?

Yes. We provide a fee-based hot lunch program for Kindergarten to Grade 7 students.

How can I learn more about SJS programs and see the campus?

We are so proud of the breadth and depth of an SJS education and all the school offers. We invite you to learn more to see if it’s a match for your child and family.

A great starting point is here, on the school’s website, where you’ll find dedicated pages for each IB Program (PYP, MYP, DP) and an outline of the wide variety of clubs and athletics offered.

We also invite you to register for a virtual Open House or an on-campus Group Tour.