Pacific Academy

  • Pacific Academy is a private co-ed college preparatory school that offers small class sizes and has a 100% college acceptance rate.
  • 1:12 teacher student ratio and cross-curricular applied learning help students master content and apply it in the world.
  • We offer a UC approved curriculum, one-on-one college counseling, exciting extracurricular activities (such as golf and surfing), and standardized test preparation (SAT, ACT, etc.).
  • Pacific Academy is an International School and accepts students from all over the world in addition to local students.  Pacific Academy is accredited by WASC. .

Top Placements

Pacific Academy places among the top 20% of private schools in California for:

School Overview

School Membership(s)School Assoc.Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC)
Religious AffiliationNonsectarian
Grades OfferedGrades Kindergarten-12
ADD/ADHD SupportYes
Year Founded1997
Summer School OfferedYes

Student Body

Total Students75 students
Student Body TypeCo-ed
% Students of Color
State avg.: 45%

Academics and Faculty

Total Classroom Teachers13 teachers
Student : Teacher Ratio6:1
National avg.: 13:1
% Faculty w/Advanced Degree
Average Class Size12 students
Number of AP Courses16 courses
List of Courses OfferedLink to List of Courses
Advanced CoursesAP Biology, AP Calculus AB, AP Calculus BC, AP Chemistry, AP Computer Science, AP English Language & Composition, AP English Literature and Composition, AP Environmental Science, AP Macro Economics, AP Micro Economics, AP Physics 1: Algebra-Based, AP Psychology, AP Spanish Language and Culture, AP Statistics, AP United States Government and Politics, AP United States History, AP World History
Classroom Dress CodeCasual

Finances and Admission

Admission DeadlineNone / Rolling
Admissions DirectorMay Ho Lee


Total Sports Offered1 sport
SportsIntramural Sports OnlyIntramural Sports Only


Total ExtracurricularsTotal Extra-curric.11 extracurriculars
ExtracurricularsExtra-curric.Club or Organization:
ASB, Basketball Club, Chess Club, Cross Country Club, Ecological Club, Fashion Club, Music Club, Surfing Club, Technology Club, Yoga Club

Recreational Athletic Programs:
Ping Pong Club

School Notes

  • To facilitate mastery of each subject, our classes utilize Applied Learning (AL) as an integral component of the curriculum. Through field trips, and hands-on projects, our courses are designed to take learning beyond a book and apply it to the world. This approach covers from performing dissections in biology to building ukuleles in music theory to performing Shakespeare in English to snorkeling in the ocean in Oceanography.
  • Our English program brings literature and nonfiction to life. An example of AL English was when the class read Beowulf, researched the literary significance of the play, wrote their own lines that utilized the literary devices in Beowulf, created their costumes, and performed a rendition of the classic for the school. In addition, English courses encompass writing of scientific articles.  
  • Our Science program utilizes weekly science labs to bring learning to life and to facilitate students observing scientific phenomena in the real world instead of only theoretically engaging with the material. AL science can range from dissections to creating solar powered cars.
  • Our comprehensive Math program ranges from pre-algebra through AP Calculus and AP Statistics. However, our program does not just teach to the test. An example of AL math was when the geometry class constructed bridges using various shaped triangles to see which shapes and architectural bridge designs could hold the most weight.   
  • Our History program includes class-wide discussions and AL to empower students to engage with history. For example, students studied trench warfare in World History and U.S. History, presented to the school, and then performed a mock trench war on the beach with water balloons. The day culminated with a beach cleanup, highlighting our service program.
  • Our comprehensive Language program ranges from Beginner to Advanced Spanish. Additional Language programs are available. AL also reaches the language classroom. For instance, we offer an immersion Physical Education class in which students learn Spanish as they engage in various sports so they can put the Spanish they learn into use on a daily basis.
  • Our Art program includes artistic ventures ranging from creating murals on the school walls to painting canvases of our outdoor trips to practicing various artistic techniques. Students will begin the year with Piet Mondrian Gestures and Cross Contour Drawings before progressing to painting, including oil painting.
  • Our Physical Education program includes baseball, basketball, yoga, weightlifting, beach workouts, and Surf P.E. Through working out, our program instills a love of fitness and health, both mentally and physically. The program seeks to cultivate a lifestyle of healthy living through various physical activities. In addition, we offer a Spanish Immersion P.E. Program.
  • Our Music Theory program ranges from beginners to advanced musicians. We offer a guitar and ukulele building course in which students build a guitar or ukulele from scratch. They then decorate the guitar and ultimately learn to play on the instrument they created. Our program also includes students learning to read music and play a variety of songs, culminating in students composing their own music from various genres and performing.
  • We have a glogal Travel program. To promote appreciation for global culture, we encourage all students to participate in our travel program. The trips often include a community service component to help our students immerse themselves in the culture that they are visiting. For instance, in 2015 students visited Bocas del Toro, Panama and volunteered with Give and Surf; PAE students helped build a school for the local children in Bocas del Toro and made books in both English and Spanish to give to the children as gifts. In addition, students surfed local breaks and learned about Panamanian culture. This year students will visit Greece and Italy.
  • All students have the opportunity to participate in our Service program. Throughout the year, the entire student body volunteers in the community. Volunteering efforts vary from setting up for a tack sale at Helen Woodward Animal Shelter to gardening to remove nonnative plants at Agua Hedionda Lagoon Foundation to hosting food drives with Feed America San Diego to cleaning up local beaches.
  • Our school has a competitive Student Athlete program. PAE supports student athletes, specializing in students on track to join D1 colleges and/or pursue a professional athletic career. For those student athletes who travel both nationally and internationally for their sport, PAE brings learning to them via Skype, modified lessons, and remote teaching. In order to assure the student athlete meets the required hours of learning, PAE instructors work with the student individually to accumulate those hours while accommodating their athletic commitments. PAE has worked with all types of athletes, ranging from professional tennis athletes to soccer athletes to ice hockey players.

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School Reviews

  5.00 out of 5  (6 reviews)
We took our son out of public school in fourth grade and sent him to Pacific Academy mid-year. I felt that the IEP program was hurting his confidence, that it wasn't effective, and they were having him do work that was totally uninteresting well below grade level. The class size was way too large for any type of personalized help and I had no idea what they did each day. He was falling behind a full year or more and our son seemed to lack motivation and/or interest. In public school, with a class size of 35, I had only one 10 minute meeting with the teacher to review my son's progress in a five-month period. The entire meeting was taken by a scripted overview that my son read. It was useless. I only found out by mail that he had fallen behind over a year. Contrast that to sometimes weekly calls, texts and e-mails from his teacher and an open line of communication to talk to the Principal anytime I want. Our son also tells me what he is doing now with excitement. In starting at Pacific Academy, I was astonished how quickly (the first week) he immediately had a different attitude about learning, school, and his confidence soared. It was like he was a different kid. He now believes he is intelligent, he is interested in learning and has confidence. My son's teacher at Pacific Academy is outstanding- gifted I would say. The class size is only six kids so she is able to take him where he is now, and help improve that to the next level. He comes bouncing home every day telling me what he learned, what his goals are and how much he is improving. He is learning material that is far more advanced than anything he was doing in public and quite stimulating. He wants to read at night and has started to do writing at camp on his own. I about fell over when I learned that. For PE they go to fencing, boxing, yoga etc at real gyms,....he loves all of that too. They have field trips that are included as part of the tuition. He he looks forward to and fun activities like Pancake morning today.A Spanish immersion program is also part of the day. My son is teaching me Spanish words, where before he had no interest. I have found that the kids in the class are so kind and welcoming; all harbored by the fantastic leadership of the school. It isn't a "religious school," but they enforce being kind, thoughtful and good to everyone. I HIGHLY recommend Pacific Academy for parents who are looking for a small class size, and an attentive, personalized program. It is an incredible program. I will forever be grateful to the school as they are quickly helping our son fall in love with learning, have confidence in himself, and excel to his full potential. What more could a parent ask for from a private school.
- Posted by
My son Danny never loved to go to school since he was young. But Pacific Academy's principal and teachers have discovered his music talent and inspired him. Dany has become more confident, motivated, and love school. I didn't expect Danny could go to college. Thanks to Pacific Academy that Danny got into UC Davis.
- Posted by
We recently moved our son over to Pacific Academy after spending 4 years at another very small private school in San Diego. It was a HUGE decision for us but we couldn't be happier. Our son is thriving, happy, and making friends. No drama from the school or the admin. Thrilled!
- Posted by
I'm so happy with Pacific Academy my grandson loves going to school .. The teacher are amazing and very aware if each students needs and they nurture there strength as well as areas they need help .. It's the best ., I highly recommend it .
- Posted by
Pacific Academy is an outstanding school that caters to each students individual talents. The small class size combined with excellent teachers has enabled my son to excel in high school. The focus on both academics and extra-curricular activities has focused my sons abilities and prepared him for college. I highly recommend Pacific Academy to anyone searching for a great school with small class sizes.
- Posted by
We are so grateful to have found Pacific Academy. Our son receives such personal attention from teachers and administrators, the teachers are great and even the students like them! Our son is getting an excellent education, it's a creative environment AND he is being supported and encouraged by the staff. I highly recommend this school!
- Posted by

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Did You Know?
The average private school tuition in California is $11,437 for elementary schools and $19,936 for high schools (read more about average private school tuition across the country).
The average acceptance rate in California is 84% (read more about average acceptance rates across the country).