The Child's Primary School

The Child's Primary School Photo #1 - Using art to learn about reptiles in the kindergarten classroom!
  • A San Diego private independent school offering a premier academic program for students in kindergarten, elementary school, and middle school (up to 8th grade). At TCPS, students experience a creative and dynamic academic environment that promotes individual success and a love for learning within a close-knit private school community.
  • Our small class sizes (12 students max in Kinder - 2nd grade; 16 students max in 3rd - 8th grades), dedicated teachers (90% have advanced degrees), and creative academic program make TCPS the best small San Diego private school.

Top Placements

The Child's Primary 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)
Religious AffiliationNonsectarian
Grades OfferedGrades Kindergarten-8
Year Founded1983

Student Body

Total Students98 students
Student Body TypeCo-ed
% Students of Color
State avg.: 45%
Students by Grade The Child's Primary School Student By Grade

Academics and Faculty

Total Classroom Teachers14 teachers
Student : Teacher Ratio7:1
National avg.: 13:1
% Faculty w/Advanced Degree
Average Class Size10 students
List of Courses OfferedLink to List of Courses
Matriculation DataMatric. DataLink to Matriculation Data
Classroom Dress CodeCasual

Finances and Admission

Admission DeadlineFeb. 1 / Aug. 1 / rolling
Yearly Tuition Cost$16,000
Tuition Notes$12,900 for K-2nd, $16,900 3rd-5th; $19,000 for 6-8
% on Financial Aid
Average Financial Aid Grant$5,000
Acceptance Rate
National avg.: 85%
Admissions DirectorSchuyler Twyman


Total ExtracurricularsTotal Extra-curric.12 extracurriculars
ExtracurricularsExtra-curric.Chess, Drama, Spanish Language Classes, Woodworking

Club or Organization:
Engineering and Robotics, Science Exploration

Arts and Music Programs:
Art, Art Classes, Chorus for Grades 1-3, Chorus for Grades 4-8, Music Memory

Recreational Athletic Programs:

School Notes

  • The Child's Primary School offers a consistent curriculum, beginning with the kindergarten program and culminating in eighth-grade graduation.  This success-oriented program was designed to be supportive and challenging, and to focus on teaching the student how to learn so the students can continue to learn effectively beyond TCPS.
  • Students feel safe to take risks in an atmosphere that nurtures their self-esteem and teaches responsibility for their own actions. Inherent in our program is a celebration of the wonders of life and the excitement of learning.  In-depth learning is encouraged, allowing for an exploration of both the abstract (theoretical) and concrete (hands-on) aspects of a subject.  In addition to the acquisition of excellent academic skills, The Child's Primary School promotes the learning of life skills (such as communication and problem solving) and developing positive interpersonal relationships amongst the students and the staff.We believe that a family should have a role in a child's school.  Therefore, we welcome our students' whole family and consider them an important addition to the school.
  • We guide each and every decision - whether it be in regard to curriculum, fundraising, or admission policy - by our basic values and philosophy... the child is primary.
  • Sign up for a tour today at: and we'll be in touch within 48 hours to get you scheduled. 

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  • School Location Miles Grades Students
  • San Diego
    Grades: PK-12 | 1227 students
    2.7 miles
    6501 Linda Vista Rd
    San Diego, CA 92111
    2.7 PK-12
  • La Jolla
    Grades: NS-8 | 230 students
    5 miles
    2225 Torrey Pines Lane
    La Jolla, CA 92037
    5 NS-8
  • San Diego
    Grades: K-6 | 152 students
    10.5 miles
    3975 Torrington Street
    San Diego, CA 92130
    10.5 K-6
  • San Diego
    Grades: NS-8 | 455 students
    6.7 miles
    4605 Point Loma Avenue
    San Diego, CA 92107
    6.7 NS-8
  • San Diego
    Maria Montessori School
    Maria Montessori School Photo
    Montessori School
    Grades: PK-8 | 173 students
    1.9 miles
    4544 Pocahontas Avenue
    San Diego, CA 92117
    1.9 PK-8

School Reviews

  5.00 out of 5  (11 reviews)
This little school of ours stands as a bright and shiny beacon during these uncertain times. Under the guidance of TCPS faculty, our children continue to develop the strong critical thinking and social skills not only to survive but also to thrive in these challenging times. With each passing day, we see our children continue to grow as independent thinkers and global citizens. On the day schools around San Diego closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, TCPS students including our own came home with school-issued chrome books, regular books, rulers and other materials - ready to continue learning. The following week, the teachers confidently and competently jumped into the new brave world of remote learning. Teachers adeptly and quickly set forth a daily schedule that not only promoted stability for the children but also was of great assistance and relief for those of our parents crushed with Telework demands. At the direction of the head of school staff members individually called our parents several times for wellness checks and to obtain feedback about the remote learning process. The teachers ensured our children remained involved and engaged. When children including our own needed additional assistance with learning, teachers had a one-on-one session with them. The smaller class size also helped the children maintain their strong social bonds with their teachers and friends from different classes. In this time of turmoil, there is much to wonder and worry about what the future will bring. And yet, TCPS continues to show only empathy and compassion with our families. Thanks to TCPS, we remain optimistic about our children's future.
- Posted by
TCPS is the best school in San Diego! My son has been attending TCPS since 5th grade. He has blossomed under the guidance of the wonderful teachers. Due to the small class sizes, the teachers really know my son, how to motivate him, encourage him and challenge him. A few things that TCPS excels at: collaborative and integrative projects, explicitly teaching how to do reports, essays, and long-term projects, and executive functioning skills. My son is extremely organized with his school and homework. He graduates this week from eighth grade and we feel confident that he is well prepared for the ninth grade at Francis Parker. Best of all, he loves school!
- Posted by
You don`t come across a school like TCPS too often! Our daughter is in 5th grade and couldn`t be in a better environment academically or socially. Due to the small class sizes, if a child either excels or struggles with a lesson, he or she can be challenged or helped. Also due to the small class sizes and innovative teaching methods, the teachers have time to teach in a variety of different ways. Bullying is nonexistent...TCPS is like a big family. Kindergarten - 8th grade. You will see graduates from TCPS flourishing at all the top ranked high schools in San Diego. Gem of a school!
- Posted by
Our son started Kindergarten this year at TCPS. I wholly agree with the reviews posted here that describe a school that fosters community, instills confidence, and inspires learning. The teachers and the staff are what makes this school special. They are incredibly warm, nurturing and very attentive to each child's unique personality. I asked my son why he likes his school and here is a short list: "I like eating lunch and playing outside with big kids who are really nice; I liked baking gingerbread cookies with my teacher; The school librarian saved a book I like for me." Here is a short list we like the school: Our son started reading books and can't put them down, our son has taught me how to program code on a computer, he is excited to tell me about the "invertebrates" that live in tide pools. He knows all the teachers and staff in the school and likes to quiz me on their names. :) This school is a gem!
- Posted by
Our daughter`s pre-school teacher`s son attended TCPS K-8. Her pre-school teacher was adamant about the risk of our daughter`s creativity and intellect going "under-nurtured" in the public school system that she would be bored and grow to dislike school very early on. TCPS has provided excellence in education, nurturing her creative resources through each teacher`s individual interaction with each student (class sizes of no more than 14 students), without "common core". She is close to all her classmates (under 10 students in Kindergarten). She is learning "real-life" application of academic concepts not memorizing, but leaning "how" to apply what she is learning. TCPS teachers make learning "fun" and rewarding in a loving, yet firm learning environment. Our daughter has been able to see the fruits of her efforts and actually understands how much she has grown personally and with confidence that comes from accountability and achieving goals! She looks forward to school every day with enthusiasm as she is very close to her classmates and also close to friends she has made in grades 1-8 through daily interaction and cross-grade mentoring programs. Fast forward today 1st grade. To my daughter, school is fantastic because she has all her friends from last year and has made new friends. The school has only 95 students and cross-grade interaction is encouraged. She has PE, Spanish, chorus and art is incorporated and encouraged throughout her daily learning assignments. She is having even more fun this year and when I come to pick her up, she wants to stay and play with her friends. The class sizes are so small that we have also become close with not only the parents of her classmates, but also with many parents of children in other grades. This year they are also learning to code (program) a robotic mouse through a maze. It is high-level programming, but they are actually providing instruction sets to get the mice to a desired location on a board. They are learning "logic" and how to apply it 1st grade. Wow! My daughter, my wife and I LOVE THIS SCHOOL! Words cannot describe how positively this school, the teachers and Sherry the founder have impacted our lives. We are so grateful!
- Posted by
This is my son's fifth year at The Child's Primary School and he is so happy there. He has great friends as well as an atmosphere of family, since the entire small school works together frequently, so everyone knows everyone else, in all grades K-8, as well as all of the staff. The most important thing to me is that the teachers treat all students with respect and are never punitive, choosing and modeling "talking it out" instead. The academics and how they are presented keep my son engaged and confident in his abilities. We are so happy to have moved here from public school, halfway through kindergarten.
- Posted by
Choosing a school for your little one is a daunting task, especially when you have a child who is shy and tentative. We toured several public and charter school options, and didn't get a "good feeling" from any of them. We heard about TCPS through a friend whose child attends the school, and highly recommended we check it out. Let's just say that the tour immediately produced that "GOOD FEELING". Small sized classes of kids were enthusiastically engaged with their teachers, and each other. I didn't notice a single child staring off into space, quiet and reserved, not participating, or not being paid attention TO by the teacher. In the hallways, I saw middle schoolers saying hi to kindergarteners, whose faces lit up with excitement at being "friends" with a big kid (reinforcing that positive self esteem that's so important to young children!). And our conversation with the kindergarten teacher made it very obvious that she cared deeply for her students and their learning process and development. We applied for admission immediately.His kindergarten year could not have been more amazing. I watched him learn by doing, instead of just rote/memorizing/worksheets. I believe the future of education hinges on a much more project-based style of learning, incorporating STEAM along the way. And TCPS understands that, and does an incredible job of teaching core ideas through group project work. They learn by doing, together and one-on-one with their teachers. He got SO much individual attention from his teachers, that it was almost as if they were private tutors. He had a separate music teacher, PE teacher, and Spanish teacher. Every teacher and child in the school knows his name. He is friends with kids in every grade 1st through 8th, I didn't hear of a single incident of bullying. He felt safe at and excited to be at school every day. He was still a little shy at drop off, but I noticed that every day it got a little easier for him. The feedback and information we got from his teacher made me feel like we knew exactly what he was working on, what his current progress was, and what his goals were, as well as how he was doing in working towards reaching those goals. Not to mention what we could do to help and support him.That was last year. Now he's in 1st grade, and I already see the fruits of his first year at TCPS. He is reading on his own, and enjoying it! He has a designated science teacher now too, and LOVES doing experiments in their own science lab. His math skills are impressive, and I can see that he loves mathematical challenges. Every student at the school has a tablet for technology education, and they're learning coding! He has so many friends cross grades and is always saying hi to kids and teachers, and now HE is proud that he gets to befriend kindergarteners and be a good buddy to younger children. And the shift in his confidence is nothing short of amazing. No more shyness at drop off, or worry about talking to other kids or teachers, or being alone at school for the day. The trust and confidence that this school helped him build over the past year and a half is something I can never be grateful enough for. I attribute that entirely to TCPS' focus on community, which encourages everyone to work together, and their small class sizes, which allow the teachers to spend an incredible amount of time one-on-one with each student.I am so excited to see how much my son will continue to benefit from this atmosphere of positivity and community and STEAM/project learning in the upcoming years. We are so proud to be a part of this school and I cannot recommend it more enthusiastically. Truly.
- Posted by
My son and daughter, who have very different academic interests, found TCPS to be engaging, fun, enriching, and challenging. There has not been a single day they didn't want to go to school at TCPS. Not only have they acquired the academic skills for future academic success, but TCPS has helped them to think critically and creatively and also helped develop their social and emotional skills for a fulfilling, rewarding life. We are so thankful for TCPS and its intimate environment, and we believe in the school's mission! As an extra bonus, we discovered that the private SD high schools (Bishops, Francis Parker, Country Day) know about and highly regard students coming from TCPS.
- Posted by
After extensively researching all of our public, charter, and private school options, we toured TCPS and were immediately drawn to the school because of it's "tight knit community" feel and it's small class sizes. We saw each child getting one on one attention, and knew that is what we wanted for our daughter. We did not want her to "fly under the radar" in a large public school, but instead wanted her to be around teachers that personally knew her as an individual, rather than just another kindergartner. Hands-on learning was also very important to us. TCPS has been everything we have hoped it would be! She loves going to school every day, and feels safe and happy. The educational experience she is getting is uniquely personalized while being fun at the same time and is far superior, in our opinion, to anything she would be getting at other schools. And no other school can even come close to having the community feel that we feel at TCPS. Every teacher on campus knows our daughter by name, and it's so rewarding to watch her interact with the older kids as well as her own classmates. As kindergarten parents we are very impressed that one school can offer everything we had hoped for for our daughter, and more. We look forward to many more rewarding years at TCPS!
- Posted by
TCPS is a great school. The academics are strong, but that isn't why we send our kids here. It's the small, community feel, the social emotional curriculum, and the caring atmosphere. Our kids are getting a top notch education, but they don't feel stressed. Because the school is small, the kids have a lot of opportunity to mingle with kids across ages, and they literally do know all the kids in the school in every grade. They also know all the teachers. The school fosters a real sense of community and family, and teaches kids not just how to be good students, but how to be good people. Most important of all the kids love it. When people ask my kids what they love most about their school they say, without hesitation: EVERYTHING!!!
- Posted by
TCPS is THE school we were looking for. My son is thriving there. We have been with them for 3 years now. And my daughter will be going to K next year at TCPS. We could not ask for anything more in a school. They have a great philosophy and they are what they say they are. The teachers are awesome, loving and caring. One on one attention is great due to small class size of 12 students per class. My son does not want to leave school when I go to pick him up. After school daycare is great too. Very creative activities in after school daycare for the kids to be busy. Best part about TCPS is that - My son is excited to go to school every single day!!!!!
- Posted by

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Did You Know?
The average private school tuition in San Diego, CA is $8,272 for elementary schools and $24,175 for high schools (read more about average private school tuition across the country).
The average acceptance rate in San Diego, CA is 86% (read more about average acceptance rates across the country).