What is The Primary School?

The Primary School integrates education, healthcare, and family support services to dramatically improve outcomes for underserved children. Our holistic model brings together parents, educators, pediatricians, and family support services starting as early as birth. We currently operate a flagship school in East Palo Alto.

How is The Primary School different from other schools?

A few core elements of our approach differentiate us from other schools:

  • We start early. We start working with parents and enroll children into our program as early as birth to reach them at their most critical stage of development.

  • We integrate multiple systems to serve the whole child. Our unique model unites health care and education, building a multi-disciplinary team and holistic system of care around a child’s full needs.

  • We work with - not around - families. We know that parents and caregivers are the most important people in a child’s life. We partner with them to enhance the education and health of their children.

What is the admissions process?

We actively recruit children and families who will benefit the most from our comprehensive health and education model through our relationships with the Ravenswood Family Health Center and other community partners in East Palo Alto. We then run an admissions lottery for spots in the school.

What is the cost to attend?

There is no cost for children to attend The Primary School.

Is The Primary School a charter school?

No. The Primary School is a private, tuition-free school developed in partnership with community organizations and health care providers.

How do you measure success?

Our ultimate goal is to prepare children to become healthy and productive adults, which means they have the opportunity to attend college, take advantage of different career options, positively impact their community, and support their own emotional and physical well-being.

Throughout a child’s experience at The Primary School, we focus on three outcome areas: academic, health, and socio-emotional.

  • Health: our students are successful if they can be healthy enough to attend and engage in school and learning, so we make sure to address, manage, and prevent medical problems early and promote healthy behaviors.

  • Socio-emotional: our students are successful if they can develop executive functioning skills and social skills.

  • Academic: our students are successful if they meet or exceed grade-level academic standards in ELA and math.

How is The Primary School funded?

In East Palo Alto, we receive public funding from the California State Preschool Program for our preschool grades, and we also receive public funding for our food program. The other costs of the program are covered by a grant from the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, and we are growing our support with other donors and partners who care about this community and this model.

How is The Primary School affiliated with the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative?

The Primary School is an independently run organization that is financially supported by the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative as a grantee.