The Primary School (TPS) is a new non-profit organization dedicated to dramatically improving health and educational outcomes for children. Fueled by the belief that the current model of school is too limited to close the achievement gap for our nation’s most at risk children, TPS is designing a new model of primary education and primary care which braids together education, health, and family support services starting at birth. In doing so, the organization will expand the traditional definition of “school” in order to prepare all children to succeed in college, career, and life. TPS was seeded by the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, a major national philanthropy.TPS’s innovative new model of support has three defining characteristics:
Provide integrated and comprehensive services: The new school will partner with an existing health care organization. Educators and health care professionals will provide integrated academic and health (physical, mental, and socio-emotional) services to students and families.
Begin serving children at birth: The school will admit students at or before birth, and will provide early childhood supports alongside medical care during the critical years of child development, ensuring that students are school-ready by the time they enter the elementary school grades.
Offer two-generation supports: Families will receive services, including primary care and intensive parenting education, to help them better support their children and become healthier themselves.
We opened our first site in East Palo Alto in 2016 and will serve 300 children and their families (age 0 to 5) by spring of 2017.In addition to our core focus on directly serving children and families, TPS is committed to designing a model that is replicable and sustainable on public funding in other communities. We are investing in design, research, evaluation, and dissemination that will allow us to replicate our model and/or transfer our learnings to others.