Pacific Ridge School

  • At Pacific Ridge School, caring and experienced teachers provide students with the best of both a traditional and innovative education, preparing them to meet the demands of an ever-changing world.
  • With harkness learning, a comprehensive service-learning program, and yearly global travel experiences, students become articulate, compassionate, and confident world citizens ready to drive and design their success in the 21st century.
  • Pacific Ridge is located in North County San Diego and educates 620 students in grades 7-12.

Top Placements

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

School Overview

School Membership(s)School Assoc.National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS)
California Association of Independent Schools (CAIS)
Religious AffiliationNonsectarian
Grades OfferedGrades 7-12
Year Founded2007

Student Body

Total Students616 students
Student Body TypeCo-ed
% Students of Color
State avg.: 45%
Students by Grade Pacific Ridge School Student By Grade

Academics and Faculty

Total Classroom Teachers85 teachers
Student : Teacher Ratio7:1
National avg.: 13:1
% Faculty w/Advanced Degree
Average Class Size15 students
Number of AP Courses15 courses
List of Courses OfferedLink to List of Courses
Advanced CoursesAP English Language and Composition, Art History, Biology, Calculus, Chemistry, English Literature and Composition, Environmental Sciences, Graphic Design, Photography, Physics, Psychology, US History
Matriculation DataMatric. DataLink to Matriculation Data
Classroom Dress CodeCasual

Finances and Admission

Admission DeadlineFeb. 1 / rolling
Yearly Tuition Cost$32,150
Tuition NotesPacific Ridge offers more than $3.1 in tuition assistance for about 30% of its families, as well as offer several payment options to help all families manage tuition expenses.
% on Financial Aid
Average Financial Aid Grant$17,670
Admissions DirectorJennifer Bjornstad
Admissions AssociateLettie Minor


Total Sports Offered14 sports
SportsBaseball, Basketball, Cross Country, Dance, Flag Football, Golf, Ice Hockey, Lacrosse, Soccer, Surf Team, Tennis, Track and Field, Volleyball, Water PoloBaseballBasketball,
Cross CountryDance,
Flag FootballGolf,
Ice HockeyLacrosse,
SoccerSurf Team,
TennisTrack and Field,
VolleyballWater Polo,


Total ExtracurricularsTotal Extra-curric.47 extracurriculars
ExtracurricularsExtra-curric.Club or Organization:
A Cappella Vocal Music, Academic League, Art & Literature Magazine, Astronomy Club, Badminton, Baking & Creation Club, Chess, Classic Films Club, Creative Collaboration, Creative Writing Club, Culinary Club, Dance Club, Drawing Club, Dungeons and Dragons Club, Engineering Club, Finance & Investment, Firebird Research Institute, Football Club, Frisbee/Sport, Gardening Club, Improv Theater, Instrumental Music, Lacrosse Skills, Martial Arts, Math Tutorial, Meditation Club, Middle School Choir, Model United Nations (MUN), Music Appreciation Club, Open Art Studio, Photography Club, Ping Pong Club, Reading Club, Robotics, Rock Band, Science Olympiad, Spanish Club, Spanish Conversation Club, Speech & Debate Club, Student Affinity Groups, Student Council, Study Hall, Sustainability Council, T-shirt Design Club, The Flock, Writing Tutorial Club, Yoga Club

School Notes

  • Pacific Ridge School`s curriculum emphasizes  college-preparatory study, ethical development and global engagement. Classes are conducted using the "Harkness" style of teaching, in which 15 students and a teacher are seated around an oval seminar table, encouraging the exchange of ideas and opinions as course material is covered. Studio and performing arts are a standard part of the curriculum and all students have the opportunity to play on either a developmental or a competitive athletic team. Students in every grade level put ethics into practice, locally and globally, in a year-long Service Learning program. During a weekly class period, students gain academic, teamwork, leadership and problem-solving skills to apply in real-world service situations. Global engagement is built into the daily curriculum, and the final weeks of the school year are reserved for student trips. Students learn about communities and cultures other than their own through academic enrichment, cultural and linguistic immersion and service work. Since the school`s founding, students have traveled to over 55 countries on six continents.

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  • School Location Miles Grades Students
  • Encinitas
    Grades: 7-12 | 169 students
    5.6 miles
    1500 El Camino Real
    Encinitas, CA 92024
    5.6 7-12
  • Encinitas
    Grades: K-12 | 75 students
    4.8 miles
    679 Encinitas Blvd.
    Encinitas, CA 92024
    4.8 K-12
  • Vista
    Grades: NS-12 | 704 students
    5.9 miles
    302 North Emerald Drive
    Vista, CA 92083
    5.9 NS-12
  • Carlsbad
    Grades: K-8 | 441 students
    6.1 miles
    3820 Pio Pico Dr
    Carlsbad, CA 92008
    6.1 K-8
  • Canoga Park
    Grades: 9-12 | 1275 students
    110.1 miles
    7500 Chaminade Avenue
    Canoga Park, CA 91304
    110.1 9-12

School Reviews

  5.00 out of 5  (5 reviews)
Great school academically AND socially for my kids. The Teachers are committed to imparting that It is cool to be smart. It is cool to go to college. It is cool to be nice to others. Many kids are on financial aid, and those kids are treated just the same; at least they are in my kids friend groups. ASB president from last year was on a scholarship and his speech at the end of the year was a wonderful tribute to PRS. The athletic teams are getting better every year and rank at the top of the small schools in San Diego county. KIDS that might have to share time on oversized varsity team at other schools, can be starters here, and get a great education at the same time. The arts and drama are outstanding. I never have to worry about where my kid is going after school, which from what I hear, is half the battle with teenagers! Socially they do lots of events with the parents, so you can stay connected with the school community. It is a pretty neat atmosphere..
- Posted by
There is no "one size fits all" school. If you want your child to gain a well rounded education that includes solid academics, intended character development, relevant real world discussion and personalized interactions with teachers/staff, PRS is the school for you. "Only wealthy, spoiled children" go to PRS is both incorrect and very misleading. Those "types" of kids are at every school and often people perception can be a self-fulfilled reality. Yes, there is a financial component/investment required for attending PRS, yet there are a considerable number of financial aid recipients and average income household students who choose to invest in education and attend. PRS culture is one of acceptance of others, shared values of kindness, empathy and respect -- disruptive, negative, unmotivated students should consider an alternative. Many families choose PRS because of the positive "peer group" --a deeply influential factor in adolescent lives. Athletics and performing arts are available to everyone rather than funneled to just a few. Teachers and staff at PRS are engaged, energized, current, and relate/adapt well with the student body each year otherwise they are asked to leave. Students gain confidence at PRS in participating/speaking up through the Harkness program - especially introverts (I have one) - what a priceless lifelong skill. Modifications to student experiences are available and needs based. A public school in no way guarantees a better grade let alone retained learning. Colleges understand the difference in GPAs earned at different high schools and factor that AMONG MANY THINGS into decision making. College guidance and counseling resources at PRS are exceptional and extremely personalized. Given the choice between a balanced college prep curriculum delivered in a positive environment where the outcome is a well rounded student who has been exposed to challenges and has put forth the time effort in understanding oneself and becoming a better version of him/herself versus an 'easy ride', socially busy experience is a decision every family gets to decide for themselves - both with high school choices and beyond. There is a reason why so many pictures of PRS school life are riddled with smiling faces... even if learning to learn is an acquired taste for some.
- Posted by
I have been attending Pacific Ridge School for 5 years now and am currently a junior (11th grade). Ever since I was in 7th grade, I have always felt that I had a place here on this campus. Whether it be on the field, in the dance room, or in the classroom, I feel that I have always play a significant role in the community around me. I came from a big public elementary school and was at first reluctant to attend PRS because I was afraid of the transition from going to a big school to a smaller one. However, after the first week of school, I decided that I could not imagine myself anywhere other than Pacific Ridge and am so glad that I made the transition. As I got older and grew in the school, I quickly began to realize and appreciate what this school has to offer to their students. Something that I have really taken advantage of is the service learning program that this school offers. In 10th grade, I took the opportunity to create and lead my own service program that now works with the homeless youth in our community, and I am so grateful for my school for giving me that opportunity which would be hard to find at any other school. Also, something that I find unique about this school is that there is passion where ever you look; if you are passionate, then Pacific ridge is the place for you because at this school, passion is highly respected. Something that this school emphasizes is global travel; I have learned lessons on my global travel trips with this school that I would not have been able to learn by sitting in a classroom. Lastly but most importantly, the teachers at this school are not only teachers, but also mentors. Being able to meet with my teachers on a regular basis has significantly impacted my learning experience. The teachers encourage you to meet with them which makes it easy for me to constantly get one on one help from them. Going into senior year next year, I feel more than prepared for the college application process and appreciate the step by step plan that the school already has preplanned out for me, making me less stressed. Overall, I can not ask for a better high school experience, because I feel that I have found a purpose and a role in my community.
- Posted by
The Faculty at this school is incredible! They are all purposeful and intentional. The school does an amazing job staying true to its mission statement. The teachers are knowledgeable, accessible and deeply invested in supporting students growth. There's a great variety of Arts Theater and sports that everyone can engage. The service and global programs that the students do helps them grow in profound and meaningful ways. My kids have been thriving at the school
- Posted by
The academics are outstanding! The social life, not so much. I attended Pacific Ridge and graduated last year. Just going to say it, the school consist of many spoiled, wealthy children. If you are not considered wealthy would are seriously outcasted. Also, if you are an artsy person, this is not the school for you. If you are very into getting a good education and learning go here. Another thing that I was thinking about when applying to college... You learn a lot at PRS, but it's definitely a lot harder to get an A like it is a public school. But if I did go to public school I would get A's and, therefore, having a higher GPA which means better colleges. So there's the catch, good education or good grades to good college. Another thing is if your child is introverted, he will never succeed here unless he changes his ways. Harkness is huge here, everyone sits at a large table and talks their thoughts, which Removeds if there are people talking over you. Also, PRS seems like that school parents put their kids in so they don't get bullied at public school. PRS definitely feels like you in a comfort bubble and they are always watching you. Overall, academically, PRS really prepared me for college, I am much more extroverted than when I went in freshman year. But the social aspect, was ok.
- Posted by

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The average acceptance rate in Carlsbad, CA is 85% (read more about average acceptance rates across the country).