Students enrolled 503
Hours 8:00 am - 3:00 am
School leader Mr. Robert Buscher
Transportation options Yes

Contact this school

6269 El Fuerte Street
Carlsbad, CA 92009

School website
(760) 448-9820
Nearby homes for sale
Map of Pacific Ridge School address.

4 stars
Based on 26 ratings

Let others know what you
think about this school

September 06, 2014
great experience. If you want to send your child to a school where they are proud to aspire to college, and they look you in the eye when they talk to you, then PRS is the place. My child had started to check out at his public middle school. He is already coming home giving us the old..."guess what we did today". THIS SCHOOL is worth every penny.

- submitted by a parent
August 29, 2014
Wonderful school. Sure its not perfect. There isn't a school out there that is. But my child has had a phenomenal experience to date. Its not for everyone....small class size, teachers who "walk to Walk" everyday. Its expensive yes, but I have never regretted a single cent spent on this education. There are plenty of opportunities to be involved at the school is you want to make the effort.

- submitted by a parent
July 27, 2014
I have been attending Pacific Ridge since 2010. 7th grade was really good, but in the following years I became more aware of the community and therefore less comfortable. One bad thing about Pacific Ridge is that people are not open to trying new things or getting to know people. Once they have their own little group of friends, they become exclusive among those 4 or 5 people and that's about it. Some people say the school isn't clique-y, but it TOTALLY is. The school is welcoming to people of all social classes, but it is harder for students with less money to relate to the majority of the student body, which I have found uncomfortable. Most of the teachers are pretty good, but there are quite a few of them who display a lot of favoritism. The campus is very nice, but the students are rude in that they leave their trash around and expect others to just clean up after them. Somebody else said that there are no drug problems, but there are, even though it is nothing out of the ordinary really. If you do not make the Varsity team for sports, you receive very little support. Basically, the school does not stand up to the reputation it was started with and is going quickly downhill.

- submitted by a community member
May 26, 2014
I am currently a sophomore and am finishing up my third year at Pacific Ridge. Like the reviewer before me, I absolutely love the school and can honestly say that it has changed my life. The school's philosophy, curriculum, and extremely well-qualified faculty are truly special. Despite the fact that I came to PRS in 8th grade (the majority of students enter in 7th or 9th), my family and I were immediately welcomed into a wonderful community of great friends and families. My family is not nearly as well off as many of my peers', but unlike some of the other reviewers, I/we never experienced any snobbishness or socioeconomic discrimination. Pacific Ridge has allowed me to become exposed to knowledge, people, and opportunities that I would never have known exist. I am surrounded by a great mix of friends that have similar passions and drives to learn and have fun that I do, and I cannot stress enough what a great experience I've had. With all schools, what you put in is what you will get out, and I know that if you put in effort and want to succeed, Pacific Ridge is an amazing place to make your dreams come true. - Submitted by a student

- submitted by a community member
March 24, 2014
I have been at this school for 2 years and it is the best thing that has ever happened to me. Ignore the comments below about it being exclusive. I, myself have not grown up in a wealthy family. We have sacrificed a lot to go to this school, but it is worth it. I can't speak for other grades, but my grade is very inclusive and we do not have any bullying problems I have heard of. You are not bullied or looked down upon if you do not have money or you are there on scholarship. There are no benefits wealthier students have and there is not teacher favoritism. I don't know what these people are talking about and also, a fair competition is good for kids. You don't want your child to grow up and not have to compete for anything in life.

- submitted by a community member
February 05, 2014
I've been here since 7th (now 10th), & I've noticed many pros & cons. Socially it is hard. The school is small, & you basically know everyone which is good & bad. There are no parties (good for some people, but not those of us who want to hang out & have fun & a social life). Teachers are great, sometimes there's a sour in the bunch but thats ok. Sports aren't so hot... arts are amazing, my favorite part. I wish for more extra-curiccs for kids like me (not about college & academic league & MUN) We need more that is just for fun &not forced (things tend to be forced). The school's understanding &supportive. I admit it gets frustrating because things are repeated. "College,Step into discomfort,Does might make right"... reading these comments honestly won't give a taste of PRS, the best would be to visit & decide for urself because there are a lot of cons & a lot of pros, & it depends what you take from it. personally, I've been looking @ other schools because the stress of PRS has built over time, &it's a problem. Overall it is a really great school, just not for everyone. (and its not all tiffanies and juicy couture &"rich" or whatever... we wear uniform &converse &jackets) -student

- submitted by a community member
January 21, 2013
We have two sons, 6 years experience and a good understanding of PRS. Although not without issues, it's an exceptional school. Almost without exception, teachers have Masters or Doctorates. Most teachers are excellent, although there are some weak links. We have seen the school not renew sub-par teachers contracts- a nice change. The school admits bright kids, and it s becoming more competitive as its reputation grows. Some families have money and some don t, but most get some sort of financial aid. It is expensive, but worth the investment. Students become worldly, articulate and intellectual. They have intelligent, confident conversations (even arguments) thanks to the Harkness style teaching. I love my sons friends. They talk about politics, the economy, world events, and normal teen stuff. Concerns of drugs have been non-existent. Kids hang out but partying is not the emphasis. Socially, it can be very small- too small for some, but is NOT cliquey. Kids of all kinds go there and all hang out together. Small classes and Harkness teaching fosters a collaborative environment. Some activities waste time, but small complaint. Worth it to see if it fits your child.

- submitted by a parent
May 31, 2012
Pacific Ridge School is a unique and absolutely phenomenal place. The students are sharp and straight as arrows; the teachers are excellent, young, and enthusiastic; the new buildings are top-notch; and the community can't be beat. Don't let the focus on global engagement, ethical responsibility, service learning, and integration confuse you - while definitely present and important, those elements are largely subordinate to good old-fashioned academic excellence (and rightfully so). The Harkness round-table style of teaching is one of the most powerful educational tools I have ever encountered, and I don't know how anybody could ever learn any other way. And I don't know where some of these negative reviews come from - they sound so bitter! PRS is a financial stretch for my family, and we do get financial aid, and we don't contribute to the fundraising, and I can submit myself as Exhibit A that the school does not discriminate based on that. I have earned far more than my fair share of honors, awards, and positions without any consideration of money. PRS produces smart, well-traveled, aware, confident, students. There is no school in the world that I would rather call home.

- submitted by a community member
January 22, 2012
I couldn't disagree more with the last two reviews. PRS is a warm, inviting and incredible community filled with students of all different abilities. Their mission is to foster global engagement, academic excellence and ethical responsibility and I can attest that it certain fulfills its mission tenfold! The teachers are incredibly committed and personally invested in each student. The curriculum and the Harkness teaching approach keep my super bright child totally engaged in a way no other school has ever come close. Dinner conversations with our teen are remarkable to say the least! The depth of what our child is learning is amazing! Added off-site service learning adds a dimension to the school that is also impossible to find anywhere else. PRS is like having an East Coast boarding school right here in our own back yard. Kudos, Kudos, Kudos to the faculty and everyone involved in the special gem of a school. No school in San Diego comes even remotely close.

- submitted by a parent
April 26, 2011
I couldn't agree more than with the previous review. If you feel your student is full of themselves, and competition is priority, then they should fit right in. The teachers have not demonstrated the extra time and attention to communicate with us as parents. Even though our student is intelligent and a very good student, there were a few challenges. Communication about these challenges or student performance was disappointing; we often found out well after the fact - when it was too late to be proactive. We've witnessed awards given for so-called 'Ethical Responsibility' to students who weren't always deserving of these achievements, shall we say, honestly. I agree with the previous post regarding hypocrisy. Our students have come home to report many times that students were often promised things and then renegged by headmaster, administrators and educators alike. Sports was a huge disappointment. One of our students was told by an ex-employee that not only were the students who were chosen to play key positions chosen because of their parents' financial contributions but that they were treated was based on this as well.

- submitted by a parent
March 07, 2011
Pacific Ridge fosters academic excellence, ethical responsibility, and global engagement according to its mission. However, from my experience at Pacific Ridge, I can tell you that almost none of these aspects of the mission are fulfilled. One would expect a student body filled with bright, culturally and globally aware, and moral students. This is simply not true. When analyzing a random group of students, chances are that they don't have a clue about what is going on around the world, and they play games on their computers during service learning instead of actually helping their local and global communities. Furthermore, despite all of Pacific Ridge's efforts to be environmentally friendly, almost all of the students do not take advantage of Pacific Ridge's compost system. All of these contradictions... What do they tell you about the school itself, and how it is influencing its (rich) students? There are some students who I find hard to believe made it into this school, and yes, I agree that Pacific Ridge is certainly elitist, and that the tuition is overpriced. If you want a school full of hypocrisy, then this is the school for you.

- submitted by a community member
November 04, 2010
This school is the greatest I have yet been to. I've moved a lot and gone to many different schools, but none off them hold a candle to this one. All the teachers have bachelors degrees, and most have doctorates, and they have great personalities.The students don't have to be geniuses to get in the school, but in every case I've seen, the students feel that they've grown exponentially since attending here. The school is only just starting, so nothing is really concrete yet. The foundations and traditions of this school are only just being laid down, and if the student body wants something to change, we can do it relatively easily. I probably can't fit all the great things I have to say into here, so I'll just end with saying that my one and only complaint, is the workload.

- submitted by a community member
July 11, 2010
Our son has been at PRS since the beginning in the founding 7th grade class. Not only has he grown, but the school has grown as well. The new high school building is spectacular and worthy of a school of this caliber!

- submitted by a parent
no rating March 23, 2010
Deceptive and overrated. I've tried to post three other reviews and somehow they disappear. If you don't have something good to say about this school, the staff and the founding parents will make sure no one hears the negative remakrs. The school is insular and caters to very wealthy kids. There are middleclass students but the plums go to the rich kids, who get the leads in the musicals, star in the sports teams, and many get good grades for little more than being good public speakers which the school values highly.

- submitted by a parent
March 01, 2010
Pacific Ridge is everything that I could have hoped it would be, and more. My son entered in 9th grade and was immediately accepted into the community. Now, only two-thirds of a year later, he is a leader and has many friends who share the same interests. The sports program is increasing exponentially - next year there will be 50 different teams! The extracurricular activities and student government are also wonderful, and there are all sorts of resources available to both. The school emphasized having an alternative approach to learning (including lots of service) but in reality, I find that it really excels in academics - without compromising the service. The teachers are incredible - they give countless hours of their own time to help students and run events, are always available to talk to about anything, and are some of the most motivated and inspirational people I have ever met.

- submitted by a parent
February 09, 2010
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a parent
January 22, 2010
Does not compare to the other independent schools in San Diego. When considering cost, this has far less to offer. Limited extracurricular, very limited sports. It needs a few years to grow into a top quality school.

- submitted by a parent
July 24, 2009
For all those rich families who have straight 'A' children...good for you. For those of us who aren't super rich or wear our skirts super short with Juicy Coture socks and Tiffany's necklaces...well you are socailly outcasted. Look at these reviews from parents. And how many of thousands of dollars do you give the school each month? You children get prefferential treatment if you support the 'funding' or 23 or 24 thousand dollars a year without financial aid, its the school for you. the classrooms are in trailers and the teachers are...well...if you don't pay their bills they really don't care about what grades you get. if you are not rich and dont have mommy's who drive you to the mall every night and buy you diamonds and designer socks... Chose your school wisely.

- submitted by a student
June 04, 2009
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a community member
May 27, 2009
PRS is a terrific school, dedicated to helping students reach their full potential. They are given numerous opportunities to grow, from playing a sport they've never tried before, to acting in a play without any drama experience. I know that my child would not have these opportunities in one of the very large, over-crowded public schools. It is expensive, but education is the best investment I can make in my child's future.

- submitted by a parent
March 30, 2009
This is our first year at PRS and we couldn't be more pleased with everything about the school. Our son is in 7th grade and has been academically challenged thoughout the entire year. Getting 'A's' has always come very easy to him and the difference we see this year is that he really has to work at home and has to participate in class and become involved. Most of the teachers we have experienced are very motivating and introduce thought-provoking ideas to the kids. As for extracurricular activities, I agree with another post. Our son would have never participated in afterschool clubs or sports with over 400 kids in his grade. At PRS he has participated and has become a more well-rounded individual. Great school to get kids to open up and get involved!

- submitted by a parent
March 05, 2009
Read the review below and wondered if they are talking about the same school my kids attend. I want a school that does not succumb to parental input (would parents agree on everything?) but does invite it for relevant areas. How many adults do you know who are qualified to give this kind of input? I defer to professional educators. Not sure what 'majority' of parents they know since this also does to reflect my experience but yes, buyer beware and check it out for yourself. Visit Pacific Ridge and it will be hard to ignore seeing kids with such a passion for learning and where pursuing your personal best and how you fit into the larger world is at the core of the school's success in just two years. PRS cannot compete with offerings in established schools but what it does offer cannot be found so readily either.

- submitted by a parent
February 13, 2009
Extremely disappointing. I am glad to read that others on this site have had such good experiences at the school that they can rave as they do--but the majority of parents I know are not thrilled. The school is too small to offer much extracurricular activity, and there are few honors courses. The ability level of students varies a lot, so 'one size does not fit all' in terms of class levels. Staff and teachers are not interested in parental input on any level, and work to exclude parents from being part of the community. Be very careful when investigating this school. It has fantastic PR, as witnessed by the glowing reviews below. It is obviously much better than public schools in the area, but doesn't compare to similarly priced independents. Buyer beware.

- submitted by a parent
January 22, 2009
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a parent
no rating January 18, 2009
This school is amazing. It is transformative, compelling, and enriching to the students, faculty and staff. Creating something from nothing is a profound experience. The thought leaders that formed the vision for this school are to be cheered and thanked. Hiring the Head of School that took the preliminary vision and crystallized it with passion and input has been fabulous. The quality of the faculty and the sheer brilliance of the students that allows them to live up to their highest potential brings joy to the hearts of all. The size of the school that allows for individual attention, the compelling brilliance of the Harkness model, and the breadth and depth of theatre, music, dance, and athletics is amazing for any school - let alone one that is only 2 years old. There is a legacy being built here - come see and join in...

- submitted by a parent
no rating January 18, 2009
The heart and soul of the faculty and staff is amazing. Their dedication is unparalleled. Our children participate in sports teams they would never have had access to in a 4,000 student high school. The programs are vast and the commitment to education in a purposeful way that prepares them for college and to become contributing members of society is worth every dollar - and more. What a gift to our region.

- submitted by a parent
January 13, 2009
Pacific Ridge is an wonderful school. Our children have been there for 2 years as founding students. Like being an entrepreneur, students learn to take initiative, to take intellectual risks, to invent, and to work hard. Under the amazing leadership of the head of school, students are truly engaged in learning. Some teachers are more charismatic than others, but they're all committed to a challenging, integrated curriculum and supporting students in achieving their best. It is certainly as rigorous an academic curriculum as any other independent school in SD County. New AP and Honors classes, sports and activities are added each year as the school grows. I have not seen any division among the kids as to economic status. Some kids live in big houses, and some don't but in my experience, the kids have been remarkably inclusive. Sometimes, it's the parents who have a chip on their shoulder.

- submitted by a parent
January 13, 2009
I have been going to Pacific Ridge for 2 years now, and it is the best thing that has ever happened to me. The teachers are helpful and they make sure that every student is on the same page. I have made so many friends there and I enjoy going to school. I'm a current student there, so believe me when I say that we are not split up by our economic status, where we live, or how much money our parents make. Everyone is friends with everyone. There are plenty of activities at our school. We have sports, clubs, and different types of arts. I love this school, and to see parents of my fellow students simply trashing it makes me sick to my stomach.

- submitted by a student
no rating January 10, 2009
I am surprised to read the two comments written below. My son and daughter have been at the school for both of the school's first two years, and I couldn't be happier. The teachers are fabulous, the staff is helpful, and the students are friendly and welcoming. What I like best are the dinner table conversations we have now. It seems like we are always talking about a new issue or skill they learned at school. Fantastic! The school has exceeded my already high expectations, and I know that a large number of the families receive tuition assistance because we do, and many of my kids' friends do too.

- submitted by a parent
December 01, 2008
Not as focused on academic excellence as they claim to be. Some excellent teachers and a few clunkers as well. Very limited activities because of the small size. Kids are very happy but broken up largely by economic status--which varies wildly, from low middle income to super wealthy.

- submitted by a parent
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Pacific Ridge School
6269 El Fuerte Street, Carlsbad, CA  92009
(760) 448-9820
Last modified Pacific Ridge School is a Private school that serves grades 7-12
Pacific Ridge School Rating: 4 out of 5 based on 30 reviews. Top