about us

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WHO WE ARE

We integrate education, health care, and family support services to dramatically improve outcomes for underserved children.

mission

Our mission is to foster each child’s well-being as a foundation for academic and life success by drawing on the strengths of the child’s entire community including family, educators, and medical and mental health providers.

 

VIsion

We envision a world in which every child, regardless of background, becomes a healthy and productive adult. Our goal is to create a game-changing system of care for children that can be replicated across the country.

 

WHY WE EXIST

Our siloed health and education systems are not positioned to solve the complex challenges facing many children today.

Many children face challenges such as poverty, family instability, and poor environmental conditions that put them far behind their peers before they even get to school, and, when they arrive at school, prevent them from fully engaging in the classroom. These traumatic childhood events can alter the body’s ability to stay healthy and promote optimal brain development. Research shows that nearly one in five children is at significant risk for poor health and educational outcomes due to these adverse childhood experiences.

Despite having similar goals, most schools, health care centers, social service agencies, and early childhood providers don’t have the time, capacity, or reach to address such complex challenges. In addition, the divisions between these systems mean that services aren’t coordinated — and at times are even duplicated — causing underserved children and families to fall through the cracks.

By creating an integrated model that can be replicated across the country, we hope to make a permanent, large-scale, and transformative impact within the public systems that currently serve children and families.

 
 
 

 OUR STORY

 
 
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After working as a pediatrician and an educator, Priscilla Chan realized that in both roles she was not able to provide the support that children needed to stay healthy and thrive in the classroom. In 2016,  Priscilla teamed up with Meredith Liu, who had worked in K-12 education for more than a decade, to rethink how these two systems could work better together.

They talked to teachers, health professionals, social workers, and people from diverse organizations who worked with children and families. These in-depth conversations validated their hypothesis that health issues and trauma were frequently preventing underserved children from thriving in the classroom, and that the education and health care systems were ill-equipped to respond. 

Fueled by knowledge that people within these systems were also hungry for change, Priscilla and Meredith launched The Primary School. The Primary School’s first site opened in 2016, and has grown to serve 250 families and children in East Palo Alto.

 
 

OUr TEAM

We are a diverse team with extensive experience working in early education, K-12 education, family support, and health care. We come to work every day ready to tackle new challenges and make an impact for our students and families. Learn more about our culture >>

central office

East Palo Alto School Site

 
 

Community, Operations, and Integration

Birth to Three and Parent Program

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JOIN US - WE’RE HIRING!

We’re looking for passionate people who are excited to work hard, have fun, and grow with us.

View open positions >>