about us

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OUR PURPOSE

All families want their children to access opportunities and achieve their potential. And all families rely on health and education systems to help them achieve this vision.

At the same time, many families are facing economic hardship, instability, and other stressful and traumatic experiences. Because of systemic racism, communities of color are disproportionately affected by these challenges. Yet our country’s systems struggle to sufficiently address these inequities. Despite having similar goals, these systems - schools, social service agencies, early childhood settings, and health care systems - often lack the connection, capacity, or scope to address a family’s interrelated challenges.

We are creating a comprehensive approach that integrates services and builds family well-being throughout a child’s development, so children can lead healthy, happy, and productive lives.

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.

 
 
 

ABOUT OUR SCHOOL

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We currently operate one program site in East Palo Alto, California, and will be opening our second program site in Hayward, California, in 2020.

272 CHILDREN

were served by our program during the 2018-2019 school year.

18 MONTHS - 7 YEARS OLD

are the ages of children we serve through our program

100% OF INCOMING FAMILIES

have a family income below 65% area median income for San Mateo County ($95,350 for a family of four in 2018).

47% OF SCHOOL-AGED STUDENTS

have an Individualized Education Program (20%) or receive specialized support services (27%)

 
 

 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

 
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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

 
 

 JOIN OUR TEAM

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

 
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