"We believe in educating the whole child, intellectually, emotionally & socially"
Students enrolled 245
Hours 8:30AM - 3:00PM
School leader Mr. John Fowler
Transportation options None
Before school Yes
After school Yes

Contact this school

2225 Torrey Pines Lane
San Diego, CA 92037

School website
(858) 454-0184
(858) 454-0186
Nearby homes for sale
Map of The Children's School address.

4 stars
Based on 105 ratings

Let others know what you
think about this school

November 13, 2014
If seeing your child grow up to be emotionally well-adjusted is as important to you as his or her academic achievement, you will find both goals are met with a TCS education. In our family, we have two older TCS alums who chose Duke University and the University of Chicago for their college years. We are fully confident that our current TCS student will have the same opportunities for higher education available to her. With experience at 3 different private schools over the years, we have seen disgruntled parents at all of them. Some with obvious good reason, others who may simply be gauging their child's progress against a set of priorities that differs from the school's. In today's world, people who have learned how to work collaboratively, who exhibit respect for themselves and others, and who find a real joy in learning will be the ones who are sought by higher education, and who will find the greatest success both professionally and in their personal life. For us, a TCS education through 8th grade is the surest way for our kids to get there.

- submitted by a parent
October 20, 2014
The teachers are great, the campus is beautiful, the class sizes are small, the kids are phenomenal. The big problem is here is a total lack of trust in the leadership. The Board doesn't hold the Head accountable, and the new Head is quickly making enemies of the parents. Such potential here. Sad to not see it realized because of a lack of real leadership.

- submitted by a parent
October 19, 2014
TCS is a poor excuse for a school. The "progressive" approach really only works through second grade, and even then it depends on whether you get the "good" teacher or not. The upper elementary and middle school are a hot mess and it is around this time that panic among parents sets in. There is so much uncertainty about what is happening and what is going to happen next (is my child receiving a solid education? why are the children losing confidence in themselves? why are there so many behavior problems at this school? why is there so much turnover in admin? why are board members pulling their kids out? are we really going to do this through 8th grade? what's wrong with this picture?). Parents are nervous and they should be. Listen to that voice inside - the one that keeps you up at night worrying, the one that makes you question everything. There are far better schools in the area and many of them don't cost tens of thousands of dollars. This is an overall poor choice because even if you have a few good years in the early years, you will have to uproot your kids and make a change in the middle of elementary school. The only thing certain about TCS is uncertainty.

- submitted by a parent
September 25, 2014
This is a school that most people dream of - a 6 acre campus with ocean breezes, a dedicated, highly intelligent and caring faculty, small class sizes, project-based learning and happy, confident and smart students. My husband and I looked at many schools before I toured The Children's School and fell in love with it. Our family has been at the school for 5 years and the growth I have seen in my children is incredible. The school's Toddler program is unmatched and I have been wowed by every year since. While the children in the early years think they are playing and doing projects, every piece of the curriculum is there for a very precise reason. That reason is clear now that our daughter is in Elementary school and is out-performing her peers at other schools (while still enjoying and loving school). The students in Elementary school have amazing teachers (with masters degrees in education), access to a state of the art music lab, a speciality science teacher, technology, art, PE three times a week, library, the list goes on and on. I cannot say enough good things about this school. We love it!

- submitted by a parent
September 24, 2014
The Children's School does an excellent job of living up to it's mission which is " to INSPIRE each child's unique potential and desire for life-long learning through a strong Academic, Social and Environmental curriculum. The Faculty thoughtfully and creatively teach material and skills relevant to the 21st century. The children approach learning with joyful anticipation.Children learn for the material, not the grade. Performance milestones are described , giving a more thorough and precise assessment. Given this, cheating is not learned and therefore non-existent. This was a big draw for me as it appears a huge problem elsewhere. Mutual respect is a value that resonates throughout the community. Children from the start learn how to get along with others. This is the foundation of future success in high school, college and career. As a parent of an Alumni I can attest to how my child's education at The Children's school has impacted our lives. My child is a happy, confident life-long learner who is ready for the next educational hurdle . It doesn't get better than this. But for those who can't think past the grade, yes, there are plenty of A's :)

- submitted by a parent
September 24, 2014
An absolute gem. My children have attended "TCS" for 4 years. I have two daughters, one in prekindergarten and the other in first grade. The innovative, hands-on, child-led curriculum is unparalleled. My daughters LOVE going to school each and every day. They are safe, seen, and nourished all while academically thriving. The gap between home and school is seamless as the teachers are constantly communicating about what learning is happening in the classroom. My two daughters learn very differently and both have flourished in at this school. I highly recommend this school. Additionally, the new head, John Fowler, will sell you on the absolute importance of a project-based learning environment for children and how it is essential towards creating tomorrow's critical thinkers. Our family couldn't be happier with our decision to enroll our children here.

- submitted by a parent
September 24, 2014
"Mommy, I love school." Such beautiful words to hear from a 2nd grader. All three of our kids started in the toddler program and have been part of the TCS family for the past 6 years. The campus of TCS is warm and inviting. TCS provides a place where each child is respected as a person and as a learner, and a place where parents can be involved with their children's learning. Teachers Teachers at TCS offer an environment that is caring, nurturing, and engaging. Through project based learning children are empowered to not only learn, but to be excited about learning. TCS also teaches each and every child to be a great citizen through respect for others, communication and problem solving. New Head of School Mr. Fowler is engaging with both parents and students. Mr. Fowler has taken the time, out of his busy day, to call me and let me know about a conversation he had with our first grader. What a great addition to TCS. 1 Star Review? Be real! You didn't get your personal agenda listened to, so that deserves one star? If TCS is such a horrible place why come back each and every year for ten years? Fundraising - TCS is a non-profit that survives on fundraising.

- submitted by a parent
August 31, 2014
I'm exhausted to read the reviews by the one parent with an ax to grind. This is a fantastic school that has gone through growing pains and is on a solid path. The teachers are loving and caring and extremely gifted. We have been at this school 9 years now and it pains me to read these lop-sided reviews that are vindictive and mean-spirited. And I'm offended the reviewer takes issue with current parents saying we don't face the facts. If that isn't a personal attack, I don't know what is.

- submitted by a parent
August 30, 2014
Our children have attended TCS since 2005 and have never regretted it for a day. The teachers are enthusiastic and talented, and they make sure every student is comfortable and happy, while making progress both socially and academically. Our younger kids love going to school there and our oldest is now attending Bishops which has been an easy transition in every way. We are excited to see what the new head of school birings and are confident that the essence of what makes TCS great will continue for a long time to come.

- submitted by a parent
August 23, 2014
It is shocking that parents are still sending their children here. Most of the families still attending, are just comfortable, and not wanting to face the facts. Teachers are young and inexperienced, administration is a joke, overall the place is a mess! Good Riddance!!!

- submitted by a parent
June 28, 2014
A disappointment. Anything above preschool is very limiting in terms of quality of learning. Middle school program is particularly disappointing. Although school claims to support social and emotional learning the school's administration often do not reflect this value in their treatment of parents and children.

- submitted by a parent
June 10, 2014
We have attended this school for six years, and we love the progressive educational philosophy, and overall our teachers have been excellent. The class sizes are small, and the teachers get to know the children well. For the past four years, however, leadership has been lacking. There has been turnover in administration, a serious lack of communication and transparency, and a combative, defensive stance from both the administration and the Board when issues are raised by teachers or parents. My understanding is that a new Head has been hired for next year, and I am hopeful that this school will once again be able to live up to its potential.

- submitted by a parent
June 05, 2014
Great early education program. Perfect nurturing setting for pre-school through pre-K. The grounds are beautiful, the facilities age appropriate, the staff friendly and supportive. Unfortunately this is where it stops. There is no recognizable academic program; after watching our kindergartener make no progress with basic handwriting, reading and counting skills we had to step in and provide these core skills through a tutor at home. There is no cohesive content, no homework and no testing; my child was left bored and unchallenged.

- submitted by a parent
May 28, 2014
We toured four different schools a few years ago, and choosing The Children's School was a no brainer. The teachers are fantastic! Our kids love school, and this is reflected in their great academic strides. If you have any doubts, visit the school and see for yourself.

- submitted by a parent
May 24, 2014
The Children's School provides the environment, support, and love to each and every child. TCS fosters the love of learning, critical thinking, and creativity. Their social and academic curriculum is top notch and the teachers are amazing facilitators, mentors, and friends.

- submitted by a parent
May 09, 2014
The Children's School lacks structure and academia and needs a severe restructuring in order to prepare their students for any future education outside of the TCS " homework-free" bubble.

- submitted by a parent
May 05, 2014
The Children's School has been an amazing academic AND social experience for both of my intelligent and curious children. Both of our children started attending the school in Preschool and finished in the NMY middle school's 8th grade. There are many things we really love and appreciate about TCS's philosophy and academic environment. The school's social curriculum teaches all aged students how to resolve conflicts, be a good friend and be respectfully assertive. My kids learned how to advocate for themselves early on and this really paid off when they got into high school. We also loved the amazing teachers and the mentoring that happens in a small school. All my kids teachers knew and CARED about who my kid was academically and socially. They advised, guided and taught my boys in ways I never got in my public school education as a kid. No school is perfect! But for those parents who have said that there is not enough guidance and too much wasted time in class are very illl informed and narrow minded. As for readiness for high school, both my kids were amazingly prepared and are academically secure. I have a junior in a local public HS and he is getting very high grades.

- submitted by a parent
May 05, 2014
The Children's School has been a fabulous experience for my entire family. When my son was 3, he came home from class and informed me that the castle we were building wasn't "structurally sound" and we "need to widen the base". Fast forwarded to this year's "Great Artist" project: His class researched artists then gave an iMovie or keynote presentation. The class voted for David Lanham, illustrator/creator of the Twitter Bird & "Hatch", a virtual pet. (His twitter feed from Mar/Apr that mentions The Children's School can be found at https://twitter.com/dlanham). The class skyped, emailed and wrote letters to him (on "what art means to me"). There was a field trip to a nature preserve. The math, science, social studies, geography, painting, learning journals, drawing, geometry, comparison writing projects were centered on this artist & his art. Students even planned & built a walk-in tower. The finished products were amazing. It was a joy to watch students thrilled & exited to be at school every day, waiting to get started. What a wonderful & fun way to learn! I highly recommend The Children's School. We reviewed several schools. This school is the perfect choice.

- submitted by a parent
May 05, 2014
I am a teacher who has worked at amazing independent schools on both coasts and picked The Children's School because of its progressive model and commitment to our students. As a teacher who can work anywhere in our country, I do not regret my decision. I love working at TCS because we have amazing families and even more amazing students.

- submitted by a teacher
May 03, 2014
My school is a big disappointment. It was really good several years ago, but starting four years ago it's gone downhill and I wouldn't recommend it to anyone. It used to have a strong social curriculum but it does not now. It used to have really great teachers but they have left. I don't understand why one parent said all the graduates get into their first choice of schools. This year only one student got into their first choice school, the others got into second and third choice schools, and one person didn't get into any. This is not a good school to prepare you for going to a High School of your choice because it isn't strong academically, and now its social curriculum isn't strong either. If you care for your kids, don't send them here after Preschool. It's a nice campus and well located for people who live in La Jolla. But I can't recommend anything about this unprofessional and depressing place. There used to be a feeling of community but there isn't anymore. Like me, my family is sad and disappointed and so we are leaving. I'm worried if I'm too specific my rating will be taken down so I'll leave it at that. After 8 years, I cannot recommend at all to anyone.

- submitted by a community member
May 01, 2014
This school is a complete disappointment. There is no accountability of any kind beginning from the Administration. I pulled my kids out before school year was over as did many other parents.

- submitted by a parent
May 01, 2014
Our daughter has experienced both public and private schools and she loves being at The Children's School. Children are treated with respect, trust and appreciation for their learning styles and individuality. They learn through hands-on discovery and not rote memorization. Their critical thinking skills are developing alongside their social-emotional growth. The campus is a beautiful extended classroom, the teachers are talented and creative and the administration is dedicated and approachable. Parents are welcoming and there are lots of ways to get involved and continuing our own learning through the parent education events. While electives and the fine arts are going by the wayside at public schools, The Children's School has specialty classes (PE, art, music, science, library, technology) that are a part of the weekly schedule. There is even a dance academy and community garden on campus, along with after-school sports, enrichment classes and summer camps. We love TCS, and our only regret is we didn't find it sooner to enroll when our daughter was a toddler!

- submitted by a parent
April 30, 2014
Graduates from The Children's School are accepted at their school of choice. They are highly successful once they make the transition, even though they have little exposure to "multiple choice" testing or grades. TCS graduates are such confident and proficient learners that they soon master the skills necessary to be successful at ANY school, project-based or not. Our graduates are highly sought after in local schools, and are a source of pride for all of us. Alumni often return to stay connected and later enroll their own children at TCS, having experienced and knowing the value of project-based learning and the social curriculum that it unique to TCS firsthand. Highly recommend TCS to everyone, especially those who wish for lifelong learners.

- submitted by a parent
April 23, 2014
This has been a wonderful school experience for my son. They treat the children with respect and as individuals. He has learned an amazing amount of core academic skills but more importantly has remained engaged, developed a love of learning and learned to challenge himself. I also appreciate that social issues between him and classmates have been handled quickly and with thoughtfulness to encourage social learning. The small class size has allowed him to get individual teacher attention in areas where he was ready for a special challenge. I know he will be able to succeed in any academic environment with the skills he has learned here. Thank you TCS!

- submitted by a parent
April 22, 2014
No accountability, weak academics, so much wasted time. Lack of guidance, support, supervision, or assessments for teachers or students. Attrition rates are very high. Staff and programs are cut while tuition increases every year. Administration is totally incompetent and deceptive. I have a lot of regret and would never recommend this school to anyone.

- submitted by a community member
January 29, 2014
My three children are students at The Children's School. My oldest child is in second grade and in her fifth year at the school. The school blends real world learning with high academic standards. Students are able to apply what they learn in the classroom into their personal lives and community which allows them to own their work and gives the material meaning. The emergent curriculum is based on the interests of the group so the children are engaged and invested in their learning. The classrooms and school-wide community are infused with joy, compassion, respect, curiosity, and excitement. My children have developed close bonds with their teachers and peers. The school has become our home away from home. I highly recommend that you take a tour - you will discover a magical place.

- submitted by a parent
July 23, 2013
For two summers in a row, my daughter is enjoying the summer camp at the Children's school. Christy Dunn, the Activities Director, has done a fantastic job, offering a wide range of camps, from performing arts to sports and put a lot of effort into impeccable organization. Camps start on time every single day, the drop off and pick up is smooth and fast. The staff is very professional and helpful. I want to add, that my child has special needs and finding a camp that will be a good fit is tough. But not at Children's school. My child is included 100%, her differences are embraced and the teachers always make sure that activities are modified to fit her needs. Being at this school has been a wonderful, stress free experience. My daughter is looking forward to the next year to come back and enjoy summer with her friends.

- submitted by a parent
July 10, 2013
Great summer camp! Every two weeks they offer different themes! Love the options to pick and choose from every other week, allowing us to take vacations, etc. The camp director, Christy, is fantastic and the staff are wonderful! Christy went way beyond my expectations. She knew every child and parent by name and made an effort to touch base with everyone every day. She has a wonderful talent for bonding with the little ones! His camp teacher and camp counselor were also fantastic and were a comfort to him when he missed mom! I was very scared and reluctant to let my 5 year old attend the half-day camp, especially since he has never been to a camp away from his school. However, he had a wonderful time! He made friends with a few of the other boys there. We will definitely be back next summer!

- submitted by a parent
May 01, 2013
In my sixth year at TCS and still love it. ASlthough there has been flux in the Administration, the Faculty is outstanding there. Everyone knows and cares about each child. They work as a team to find and nurture the needs of each child, even when it may not coincide with parents and monetary needs. Dollar signs do not cancel out the best needs of the children. Kids are respected and appreciated for who they are, socially, emotionally, and academically. There is also a phenomenal support and specialty class and offering. I LOVE this school and more importantly, so do my children.

- submitted by a parent
May 01, 2013
My daughter has been flourishing in the early childhood program for the past 2 years. Thanks to her fabulous, nurturing teachers her transition from home to school was seamless! I am thankful for the amazing social curriculum and child-centered philosophy that has definitely contributed to my daughters overall confidence and love for learning. We are fortunate to be a part of the amazing TCS community!

- submitted by a parent
January 30, 2013
This school has some good qualities (better for young kids), but overall it is not worth the money. Lots of time and effort spent on fundraising and not enough on teaching and academics. Major disappointment.

- submitted by a parent
November 14, 2012
This school is a treasure. I feel so lucky to have found it. My child loves to go to school each day and loves his teachers. I was blown away at the conference to see how well the teacher knows and understands my child. Everyone at this school is professional, warm and caring. They practice their much touted social curriculum with the parents, students and each other...these teachers and this school are amazing!

- submitted by a parent
November 09, 2012
We left before the end of the school year as did several other children in our class. There has been significant change in leadership and staff which reflects the significance of the issues this school has been facing. There is no clear direction and no consistancy across the classrooms. Some teachers there are really great and if you are lucky to get the good ones you may be happy. The majority of the parents in our class raised valid concerns and they remained unresolved for the school year. We came from another progressive school and are very supportive of this philosophy. We had thought we found the perfect school for our child and were very disappointed in the reality.

- submitted by a parent
November 02, 2012
This school has some potential, but just can't quite make it work. The leadership has changed so much in the past few years that there is no consistency. Each teacher has different ways of teaching the "social curriculum" that the school is known for and the school policies change year to year - my kids are smart enough to realize this inconsistency and are affected by it. I had high hopes for this school, but have been disappointed over and over again. There are a lot of differing reviews on here - my suggestion would be to look at other schools, however, if you are still interested in this School go and ask questions. Print these reviews out and see how they respond. Everything looks okay from the outside, but once you sign your contract there is no backing out. Also, be prepared for another change soon, the current leader has made it clear to everyone that she will only stay through the 2013-14 school year.

- submitted by a parent
October 24, 2012
My daughter attended The Childrens School from second grade through graduation in 8th Grade. She had previously had very bad experience with school and was performing with less than a stellar record. She did not like school and was struggling with her school work. We enrolled her at The Childrens School, mid year in second grade. She blossomed before our eyes and continued on through Middle School. The Childrens School taught her responsibility, an incredible love for learning, respect for her peers and teachers alike. She learnt to communicate with all, to become curious and adventurous and our biggest hurdle was getting through "school break" as she could'nt wait to return to her class. She is now on the deans list at The Bishops School and I cannot find enough ways to thank The Childrens' School for their constant caring, concern, and love of all our children. This is an amazing school and I highly recommend it to all. With Much Gratitude and Many Thanks,

- submitted by a parent
October 22, 2012
This school is really amazing. I would put my kids here in a heartbeat if I could afford to do it. It is child centered, with really small classes, and great teachers. I toured the campus twice, and was really impressed with what I saw. I have a lot of friends with kids there, and know a lot of other people who utilize the summer enrichment programs. Everyone I have ever spoken to, is in love with the place.

- submitted by a community member
October 18, 2012
Thinking about TCS get the facts: New this year No ERB texting (translate no teacher accountability) in elementary grades, homework reduced to appease parents/student extra curricular activities, Spanish in elementary grades is exploratory, music class has been reduced, last year went almost 2/3 a year without technology class. Social curriculum is not consistent throughout all grades so some teachers do a wonderful job while others fail miserably and the kids suffer from that. Budget cuts win over child safety - reduce school nurse to part-time. Head of school and assistant head of school left over the summer. If you are looking for lack luster and chaos this is a school for you.

- submitted by a parent
October 17, 2012
You couldn't find a better school. The Children's School is about the whole child and what it takes to be a life learner. My son is in the 5th grade and has been at TCS since preschool. He's truly the happiest kid alive...loves learning and most of all his teachers and peers. I highly recommend TCS.

- submitted by a parent
December 08, 2011
We have had a truly wonderful experience at The Children's School. I highly recommend it! Amazing teachers and awesome field, science lab, music lab, etc!

- submitted by a parent
December 06, 2011
My daughter is in her 4th year at this school. The teachers truly know my child. They are open, collaborative and engaging. When I see rants and lies written about the school, I must wonder about the writer. Signing "a contract not to say anything negative about the school," wow; untrue. If anything, the school is open to continued reflection, constantly re-evaluating themselves and the process of learning - from administration to teachers. I have great respect for a community striving to best itself and teaches our children to think critically, deeply and multi-dimensionally.

- submitted by a parent
December 01, 2011
The Children's School is something that has to be experienced to be believed. It's obvious, from the moment you step onto the campus, that this is a very place. My child wakes me up at 6:30 am wanting to go to school, and he never wants to leave! My only regret is not finding it sooner!

- submitted by a parent
November 17, 2011
This school has SERIOUS PROBLEMS!! It claims to be a progressive, hands-on education in a nurturing environment. This was definitely NOT our experience. Our child spent time doing repetitive worksheets followed by unguided hours upon hours of free time daily which became a problem. This lack of challenge left my child bored and miserable. We were threatened by our child's teacher when we expressed our child's unhappiness. You have to wonder about a school that has parents sign a contract stating you will not say anything negative about the school. We were then dismissed by the administration when we approached them with our concerns. The school claims to be very progressive on education yet they do not train new teachers nor do they communicate or follow through on the school's philosophy. Teachers are not monitored. My child often told me stories of teachers providing coloring sheets and then going off to "Facebook" on the computer. The school needs a major overhaul. I find it appalling that the need for the school to appear perfect is more important than the child!!!! Our child begged to leave the school. The Children's School is NOT what it claims to be!! Run away fast!!!

- submitted by a parent
July 02, 2011
We now have 3 kids at TCS and can definitively say it is the best experience academically and socially we could have hoped for. Our children love going to school, have done excellent on standardized tests, benefit from the great facilities and extracurricular programs (sports, music/dance, arts), and most importantly, are becoming good kids.

- submitted by a parent
June 21, 2011
The principal commutes from Newport Beach, and the head of the middle school home schools his own kids. In addition, the vast majority of the students in the 5th and 6th grade left the school. What more do you need to know?

- submitted by a parent
May 04, 2011
Great facilities and they are trying to improve many of their academic programs. They have many wonderful teachers especially in early years and elementary programs and the parents are very committed to the school.

- submitted by a parent
May 01, 2011
Wonderful teachers. Nice campus. Nice parents. My only complaint pertains to test scores. However this school has never been about tests and memorization. Great people, I cannot say that enough. My children enjoy going to school and that is priceless.

- submitted by a parent
April 27, 2011
What a special school! I have 2 children at this school and couldn't be happier with their academic success as well as their social development. My oldest has been here for 7 years and loves school and her report cards reflect that. Not only has she become a confident, intelligent young lady but has also learned to give back to her community and is a positive role model and leader to other students. My youngest is in the early childhood program and is flourishing. My child feels safe, nurtured and challenged to try new things and ask questions. She also loves coming to school everyday - what more can a parent ask for? The teachers are amazing, passionate and actually care about my children and know them very well; thank goodness for small teacher to student ratios. My children will graduate from TCS not only academically prepared but socially responsible and good people. Thank you TCS for making their school experience so special.

- submitted by a parent
April 27, 2011
I have been involved with The Children's School for many years and have seen my kids progress dramatically with the school's academic and social programs. While all of my children are different and excel in different areas and learn at different speeds, the individual focus on student's needs have been remarkable. That being said, the school is a progressive school - not a traditional school where students are lectures to and learn how to test well without learning how to apply their knowledge. The Children's School focus on critical thinking skills, creative problem solving and small group learning. Certainly different from what I grew up with, and also the kind of school I wish I had gone to. My children are learning something I had to figure out on my own later in life - how to think for myself, solve problems (and personal conflicts) and communicate effectively. The school may not be the right fit for every child or family (no school is). For my kids and my family - it has been the perfect fit.

- submitted by a parent
April 27, 2011
TCS Rocks!! I can't say enough about this wonderful school. I have 2 boys at TCS and in 4 years of attendance, my children have literally been transformed into excellent students with exceptional social skills. Teachers at TCS are paid well and therefore the best nationwide are recruited. Our fabulous new Head of School has jumped right in and is continuing the long tradition at TCS of academic excellence in a nurturing, student-centered atmosphere. I thank you and my children thank you!!

- submitted by a parent
April 27, 2011
This school breaks the mold in San Diego. It teaches kids beyond rote memorization, passive conveyance of rules, facts and formulas and merely teaching students just to test. The teachers and curriculum inspire kids to ask their own questions, help guide their own learning and, frankly, have excitement and joy about learning. State standards are merely a baseline - kids are motivated to go far beyond them. My son is 9, the age when many boys become blas about school and learning. He and his friends, on the other hand, still find school extremely cool!!

- submitted by a parent
February 24, 2011
TCS is our family's second home. Our kids are growing into confident, creative critical-thinkers, and are able to collaborate with others and resolve conflict in a mature way. They are also ahead of their peers at other schools academically plus they love going to school. It is an amazing place and we love the nurturing & dedicated teachers and feeling like we are welcomed as partners with the school in our children's education. The new campus is a wonderful addition.

- submitted by a parent
February 09, 2011
A school that understands what it really means to educate children. The academic curriculum teaches my kids how to think for themselves, develop their own problem solving skills and explore their world with curiosity and wonder (not just how to take a test). The social curriculum teaches them all of the communication and conflict resolution skills necessary to thrive in a world where successfully dealing with a wide range of personalities on a daily basis is a requirement. Every morning I see my kids run into school with smiles on their faces and at the end of the day they are in no hurry to leave (exactly the opposite of how I felt when I went to school). Waiting for Superman? Not my kids.

- submitted by a parent
October 17, 2010
The school cares for the individual child, the whole child. Strong curriculum that doesn't teach what to think, but how to think.

- submitted by a parent
June 25, 2010
Sadly, we found the administration full of drama and not focused enough on education or willing to listen to parents' concerns. We decided to transfer to a school where the focus is on learning and families are valued by the school's leader. Below average overall, average academics, but most of the teachers are good and a couple are really good.

- submitted by a parent
May 15, 2010
TCS is an amazing place! TCS fosters an environment that instills the love of learning in its students. The teachers are very inspired and are able to draw the best out of the students. One of the core philosophies of the school is "just right" for the student. It is simply amazing what the students can do without ever sitting in a traditional class room. The parent community is equally inspired and impassioned about the education that the children are receiving. The school has hired an awesome new Head of School that I believe will take the schools to all new heights!

- submitted by a parent
March 03, 2010
My wife and I feel lucky that there is a school like TCS. It is a small school with a very close-knit feel. Parents are involved and care. The teachers really know their students. They just hired a new awesome Head of School to start 2010-2011 academic year- his energy is pretty infectious.

- submitted by a parent
February 28, 2010
We have been at TCS for six years. We came to TCS for their one of a kind Toddler program. Now, five years later we are still impressed with their social curriculum, academics, hands on learning, Spanish, music, science and computer programs. This has shown to be a wonderful school where our child has the freedom to grow and learn. I am thankful for the dedicated teachers and staff.

- submitted by a parent
February 20, 2010
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a parent
February 07, 2010
We have 3 children at TCS in 5th, 3rd and 2d grade. We have been at the school for 3 years. So we are currently immersed in the elementary program and preparing for our oldest son to enter middle school. We feel so fortunate that our son will attend middle school in a school that fosters intellectual inquiry, teaches personal accountability and respect for all individuals. Our children love the active learning environment, particularly the focus on arts and science. We are often awed by the level of knowledge and insight that they exhibit in discussions with family and friends. TCS is an exceptional school.

- submitted by a parent
no rating February 06, 2010
We could not be happier with our experience at The Children's School. We were drawn to TCS for its progressive philosophy, attention to social/emotional curriculum, and magical environment. But, we were unexpectedly surprised by how rigorous the academics are. The child-centered, hands-on approach to teaching is hardly fluff, but instead very advanced. As we hear about what the children are currently learning, we can't help but say again and again, 'If only I had been taught that way!' While our family makes sacrifices to send our child to a private school, we believe with conviction that it is absolutely worth it and that TCS sets the bar.

- submitted by a parent
January 25, 2010
We now have 3 kids at the school, and while each is very different, they all love the school and are progressing both academically and socially. The best part about the school is the teachers. They have great educational backgrounds and love to teach and be with the kids. From toddlers on up, we couldn't be happier with how our children are being prepared for high school, college, and most importantly, life. If only they could build more parking spaces, it'd be perfect!

- submitted by a parent
November 01, 2009
For us, the academics were so-so and we had to get tutoring to catch up. Maybe since they're hiring a new principal it will help? I hope things start turning around for them and they get some kids into the empty desks in the elementary part.

- submitted by a community member
October 22, 2009
My daughter has attended TCS for 6 years and is in the Nelson Middle Years program this year. She has thrived here and it is evident in her acadmic grades and self-confidence. The teachers have always been amazing, nurturing and positive mentors. I feel that TCS has prepared her and she can go on to a public high school with ease. I highly recommend TCS for parents that are looking for a school not only where they're child will succeed but will enjoy a love for learning, be respectful and a critical thinker.

- submitted by a parent
August 17, 2009
I was very disappointed in our experience at the Children's School. The art and dance programs are excellent, some of the teachers are very committed and the school is lively, but there are significant problems. I found the school academically lacking with math and science taking a back seat to art and children who are in any way outside the average seem to be lacking in support. Discipline feels chaotic. I also found the parents association terrifyingly overbearing with constant demands for donations and fundraising. Families seem ostracized if their parents don't contribute enough. I rarely saw the headteacher. The fees and donations seem exorbitant to me. While I love the concept of the progressive school, the implementation seems too vague and too based around the arts - and there are much cheaper, high quality alternative options out there.

- submitted by a parent
August 07, 2009
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a parent
March 12, 2009
My two daughters are very different from each other, but each is thriving in this special place. TCS teachers are the best and brightest applying the cutting edge in educational approaches, rather than simply teaching to standardized tests. In the four years we've been at this school, we're always amazed by the students - they all seem more confident, tolerant, intellectually curious, and socially conscious than the typical kids at other schools. i don't think that's the result of self-selection. I think it's the result of the TCS environment and curriculum. And we can't imagine any other place for our kids during the crazy middle school years!

- submitted by a parent
November 30, 2008
What sets TCS apart is it's approach to teaching. The school recognizes that a 21st century graduate will be entering a world that values a different set of skills than were emphasized during their parents school years. The teachers are excellent and are regularly introducing new teaching methods into the classroom to keep our kids challenged and engaged. Class sizes are small so students get lots of one-on-one attention. The curriculum is integrated so students might be learning geography through art or history during reading time. Each 6th grader gets their own laptop to use in class and for homework. My son has been at the school for over 6 years and has thrived in this close-knit school community.

- submitted by a parent
October 02, 2008
My children are in their fourth year at TCS and the whole family loves it. We came for preschool and frankly did not intend to stay for the elementary program b/c of the cost but it's hard to leave a place where your children know everyone, skip into school and learning in exciting, interesting ways. Faculty and staff are top-notch and the parent atmosphere is collegial, warm and supportive. TCS s approach to learning differs from traditional schools by giving kids plenty of opportunities to dig into work through hands-on projects and experiments. My children love it. The recent test scores show it s a method that not only keeps kids from getting bored or burned out in school, it s incredibly academically successful, too.

- submitted by a parent
September 13, 2008
Confident kids and Challenging Academics. From studying science to conversations about social justice, this school has it all. Their annual Great Artists is amazing.

- submitted by a parent
January 27, 2008
We are a previous family at TCS. We thoroughly enjoyed the early years - pre-school through kindergarten. As we progressed, we found the main focus to be on fund-raising. There was a total lack of discipline in the classroom, the children were not being pushed or encouraged to push themselves. We finally removed our daughter when she expressed concern that she was behind in several subjects that would get her to the next stage. We tried several times to express our concerns with the teacher and administration but these issues were not resolved. We also tried to address the social atmosphere of the school and were just told that this how children learned to deal with problems. After discussing with parents at other children, we decided to pull her and the change has been extraordinary. She is now in a classroom where children are helped to work through their social conflicts!

- submitted by a parent
August 29, 2007
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a parent
January 05, 2007
Boy, our family loves The Children's School. Our two children graduated from here and have moved on to be highly successful, self-motivated and compassionate middle schoolers with a strong self image. They think critically, solve problems, and tend to question the status quo as they make decisions for themselves. Their education was well-rounded from the core academics to the extra curricular and specialty classes. And as parents, we found that everyone, from teachers to school leaders to other parents, was supportive and there for us. What more could anyone want in a school? And the faculty seem so happy with the school that not a single teacher left the school last year! The word is quickly getting around that The Children's School is the place to go for the best elementary education in San Diego. If you haven't checked it out yet, why not?

- submitted by a parent
December 13, 2006
Our family has been at The Children's School for quite a few years now, and the atmosphere on campus has never been more exciting or energetic. The buzz around campus is extraordinary as everyone eagerly awaits the addition of a middle school in the next couple of years. Parents are excited, kids are excited, and teachers and staff are excited. What type of families should consider The Children's School? Families who value strong academics, a challenging curriculum, an unparalleled social curriculum, motivated and involved parents, and staff that go above and beyond to make sure every child learns. Our children love learning and we have no doubt that they will continue to be successful with the solid foundation they've acquired at The Children's School.

- submitted by a parent
December 11, 2006
Great school! Our child is thriving and is academically way beyond his peers that attend the local public school. He is challenged and motivated to question and think critically about things. In addition, the specialty classes are phenomenal. His appreciation for art is amazing and when we visit museums together, he usually ends up teaching me something I didn't already know. We also love the summer camp program. Quite simply, it's the best one around.

- submitted by a parent
December 04, 2006
As a second year family, I can say that we are happy to be at The Children's School and are looking forward to many more years here. As another parent mentioned, there are so many great programs going on at the school. The curriculum is hands-on, project-based and integrated across the disciplines. The teachers arrive at school at sun-up and often stay until sun-down preparing for their classes. As for extracurriculars, whereas many schools are slashing programs to save money, at The Children's School they keep adding programs to enhance the students' experiences! Where else will you find music, dance, art, PE, technology and Spanish as part of the weekly schedule? If you are looking for even more variety, they offer a plethora of afterschool enrichment classes such as chess, robotics, musical theater, fencing, etc. Not surprisingly, our children look forward to every day at The Children's School.

- submitted by a parent
December 04, 2006
Excellent academics. Superior social curriculum. Wonderful faculty and staff. Involved parent community. We were invited to The Children's School by another family that has their children at the school, and boy are we glad that they invited us. For our family, kids and grown-ups alike, being a part of this school has made learning fun all the way around. Our children love going to school and are extremely successful. They tested into our district's gifted and talented program, but there's no way we'd leave to go to public school. Why should we when they're receiving an education that exceeds what other area schools can offer?

- submitted by a parent
December 04, 2006
Our child entered The Children's School in second grade performing at grade level but not really happy with school. Since entering TCS, we've seen a complete turn-around and we credit the professional, caring teachers and staff. We've seen our child blossom into an avid reader and learner who easily tackles problems with a can-do attitude. We've also seen him grow socially as he navigates the usual student dynamics that all children face. These social skills have even carried over to such activities as his play in the local soccer league! We are proud to be parents at The Children's School, and we encourage anyone looking for a new school to stop by and visit. There's nowhere else like it!

- submitted by a parent
December 03, 2006
Some of the teachers there are excellent, though others are very, very green. The Great Artist program is wonderful. So is the Fall Festival. But you can enjoy these events without being a student there and you may be better off.

- submitted by a parent
November 29, 2006
Wow! That pretty much sums up our five years at The Children's School. Our children are challenged every day by a faculty that is professional, well-educated and well-prepared, and just plain smart. The school actually cares about our kids! I have no doubt that it is because of this school that our kids love learning. In addition, the school offers extracurricular activities that no other school around can rival. In fact, the after school classes always have kids from other area schools who attend! Finally, parents are encouraged and expected to be involved in their children's education here. We're definitely not a 'hand-off-let's-see-what-happens' kind of family. We feel extremely fortunate to have found a place where we are welcomed by everyone, from faculty and administration to other families.

- submitted by a parent
November 28, 2006
In our fourth year at The Children's School, I can only say that every year has gotten better for our child. The teachers are top-notch in their preparation for teaching and their passion. When our daughter needed additional academic support, the teachers formulated a plan for success. Two years later, our child is performing above grade level. As a parent, I realize that I, too, have a role to play in my child's education rather than leaving it all up to the school. The Children's School welcomes and values my involvement in my child's academic growth, which is not what we found in other public and independent schools. In addition, the extra-curricular classes are beyond compare and we often have difficulty deciding among them! This school is a great place for smart kids who need to be challenged and for families who want to be involved in their children's education.

- submitted by a parent
November 28, 2006
My child has attended TCS for 3 years and has only had wonderful experiences. The hands-on and project based learning has helped my child blossom socially, emotionally and academically. The teachers are amazing and really care about their students. My child loves coming to school, feels safe and loves learning. TCS has a wonderful community of families that are genuine and down to earth and here because they're priority is the education and happiness of their children. The enrichment programs are phenomenal and there are always new and exciting classes for all ages. We are so excited that there will be a middle years program here and plan on having her stay at TCS until she completes 8th grade.

- submitted by a parent
November 28, 2006
We love The Children's School! Our two children have been here for a couple of years now, and we could not be happier with the quality of education they are receiving. We visited many schools before choosing TCS, and we decided that the most important factors were the strong and challenging curriculum and future success of graduates at both public and independent middle schools. If you're looking for a school that stands above the others, then The Children's School is for you.

- submitted by a parent
November 26, 2006
My kids left TCS totally unprepared for middle school. What's worse, my son had a learning disability that went undiagnosed the entire 5 years he was there! I am a believer in progressive education and sent my kids to TCS because I thought they did, too. But the truth is that they have no curriculum plan, no continuity from grade to grade and little ability to academically prepare children for the next step. The sad thing is, my wife and I didn't realize this until it was too late. We spent the next year shuttling from tutor to tutor, trying to help our kids play catch up. I can say that the kids were happpy there and had a lot of fun. I just wish they would have been better prepared for 'real' school.

- submitted by a parent
November 16, 2006
We had such high hopes when we sent our kids to The Children's School. Unfortunately, we were sorely disappointed in just about every aspect. The administration spends more time back-stabbing and spinning their wheels than they do attending to their students and teachers. The teaching is generally unstructured. The quality of instruction is very uneven and discipline is almost non-existent. You'd think these people would get it together. When our kids went to their new school, they were at least a year behind. Thankfully, they are now caught up- no thanks to the Children's School.

- submitted by a parent
November 12, 2006
Our child has been in preschool here recently. He is happy in the classroom, the teachers are very positive people, and the classroom is beautiful. However most days there are almost 20 children with three teachers, which is too many for this age range according to the research on preschool quality, and too many for much one-on-one teaching to happen. I was under the impression the teachers prepared personalized educational plans, but this has not happened. Enrichment activities are good, but cost extra even when they happen during regular school time. Our child produced more interesting artwork, more frequently, when he was younger and in daycare elsewhere. The school is rather a club for parents. Every week there is at least one activity for them. This is called 'building community' but I'd like more focus on education for children and less on fun for parents.

- submitted by a parent
March 07, 2006
Our child went to Preschool at the Children's School. The child-centered curriculum does not ask much of the students. Facilities are nice and teachers ok. Parents very active. If you child is born between september and december, you will have to wait an extra year to go to Kindergarten. We were unhappy with this (we feel its a trick that private schools use to help them achieve higher test scores) and decided to send our child to a good public school instead.

- submitted by a parent
February 28, 2006
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a parent
February 28, 2006
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a parent
September 27, 2005
We had a wonderful experience at this school! Our children graduated as intellectual, thinking, academically prepared and socially aware students prepared for the rigors of independent secondary education. From the academics to the social interactions to the caring, loving environment, the teachers and staff made sure to reach each of our children where they were rather than forcing them to fit a state-mandated pre-determined mold. Did our children memorize answers to standardized tests? No. Did our children learn how to think for themselves and ask the right questions? YES! Did our children perform at the top percentile on standardized tests that they did take? Absolutely. Would I want any other education for my child? Positively not. I highly recommend The Children's School to any family looking for a forward-thinking environment that produces the leaders of tomorrow.

- submitted by a parent
June 09, 2005
I was disappointed in this school on many levels. My child's teacher was uncommunicative to the point of not even replying to emails. The other children were very bonded and unwilling to welcome someone new. When a problem arose, I was not informed or involved until far too late. Nothing positive or unusual was done in spite of the much-touted social curriculum. My child came in bright, loving school, and eager to learn, but was met with exclusion by the children, blame by the principal, and was relegated to minimal roles in all things by the teacher. Furthermore, few of the teachers have degrees from outside the CA state university system (make of that what you will), and TCS's library is, contrary to its claims, very small and there is no class time for children to use it. Even extracurriculars taken were joyless. One plus--very involved parents. Bring $$$$$$.

- submitted by a parent
June 23, 2004
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a parent
June 09, 2004
This school has been a big disappointment. It is probably fine for some kids but if your kid doesn't 'fit the mold' then there is a great chance that he will not thrive in this environment.

- submitted by a parent
June 07, 2004
Our situation has been unique. Our child attended La Jolla Country Day School for 3 years, and I've taught in the public schools for 6 years. Coming to The Children's School was the best move we could have made for our children academically, physically, emotionally, and socially. We couldn't have asked for a better environment for both of our children who have different learning styles. Teachers are nurturing, yet have clear visions of each of their students. The social curriculum allows children to feel safe around their peers as there is a common moral understanding. They also learn conflict resolution early on as TCS knows the importance of this in the world outside of our school. The director is a solid businesswoman who we trust and who takes charge of important decisions for our school's future. The small, family like atmosphere has been great for our children and we are thankful!

- submitted by a parent
June 05, 2004
We have 2 children at the school and have been a member of the TCS community for 5 years. Our children have both thrived in this environment even though their learning styles and personalities are very different from each other. Their teachers have truly taught them to love learning. The child-centered approach has been fantastic for them both. Our daughter is in 6th grade this year and was accepted by both of the top private schools in the area for Junior High. TCS develops children with a strong academic foundation, a love for learning and a true sense of self.

- submitted by a parent
June 04, 2004
As a parent at TCS, I couldn't be happier with the curriculum and the environment that my children get there. The hands-on learning along with the social curriculum, give my children so much. In an environment where schools teach to a test, it is wonderful to know that TCS students do wonderfully on the standardized tests and they have a full curriculum of special classes as well as core curriculum based on the state standards. My children cry if they can't go to school. They get mad at me when I pick them up and they are learning to be learners as well as great people. I would definitely recommend The Children's School to anyone interested. It is a wonderful place for children.

- submitted by a parent
June 04, 2004
We are the parents of a fifth grade student and a third grade student. Our family has been at TCS for 7 years, beginning in the preschool. We have nothing but good comments about the faculty, administrations,school curriculum and philosophy. Our children have thrived in The Children School's child centered-learning environment and have done extremely well on standardized tests. Our 5th grader will not be attending TCS next year, because of our decision to start middle school in the 6th grade with peers. We support and understand the administrations decision regarding the 6th grade class. If parents do not turn in contracts pledging enrollment new teachers can not be hired and new classrooms can not be put together. We also understand that TCS will have a 6th grade classroom next year if enough parents and students make the committment. TCS is a wonderful school and we highly reccommend families attend!

- submitted by a parent
June 04, 2004
Our daughter started at TCS four years ago as a kindergartner. In those four years we have seen her blossom into an intelligent, thoughtful, passionate young girl. In second grade we had our daughter tested for the California GATE program (gifted and talented education) and she scored in the 99th percentile for her age. However, I would rather pay thousands of dollars in tuition for the quality of academic and social education my daughter is experiencing at TCS than send her to my local public school, which is rated one of the best in the County, if not the state. That is how fond I am of the teachers, staff and administration at TCS and how confident I am in the job they are doing.

- submitted by a parent
June 04, 2004
As a parent, chair of the last major fundraiser and member of the Board of the Parent Association, I feel extremely positive about the direction and stability of this wonderful caring school. I am extremely confident that the administration and the Board of Trustees act in the best interest of the children and will continue to lead us in the most positive manner. The decision to not continue the 6th grade is a strategic decision that makes most sense for the children's success in their middle school years. The teachers that my daughter has had have provided her with the most enriching environment and have challenged her to become a better individual. I am excited to see how more years in this great school will impact her!

- submitted by a parent
June 04, 2004
With a PhD in artificial intelligence and learning, and as a Director of R&D in the same field, I am quite well-versed in Human Learning and Cognition and can spout theories a la Piaget and Gardner with the best of them. Addtionally, my wife has a master's degree in education from Harvard and several additional years of post-graduate studies and research in cognitive and developmental psychology. So when we decided to select a school for our daughter, we approached the task very methodically - and The Children's School was a no-brainer for us. Our daughter has been in the school for the past year and it amazes me how she has blossomed both intellectually and as a person, all under the guidance of wonderful and caring teachers, administration and board. The blend of a developmental curriculum that is focused on the child, coupled with intellectual rigor, provides the best education.

- submitted by a parent
June 04, 2004
The word that best describes our experience at The Children's School is 'unparalleled.' The education that our daughter is receiving, guided by a rigorous set of academic standards and a strong social curriculum, is unmatched. The relationships that we have built with other members of the TCS community play important roles in our lives much as an extended family. The support, involvement and commitment that permeates the school from the faculty members to the administration to the board of trustees is second-to-none. When my child needs a little extra assistance with her academics, she gets it. Just as importantly, when she needs someone to hold her hand and help her navigate the complicated social structure of just being a child, she gets it. I am confident that the foundation that TCS is providing my child will help us achieve our goal of raising a respectful, sensitive and caring citizen.

- submitted by a parent
June 03, 2004
Unfortunately, due to a lack of capable management, vision and basic business skills, TCS will probably fold within the next few years. The fallout of students and teachers has been significant, primarily attributed to the hostile relations caused by the head of school . Now, without notice, the sixth grade for 2004/2005 has been disbanded. The head of school blames the parents for not committing by contract in a timely manner. The parents withheld commitment pending a clear understanding as to how this grade was going to be reorganized (new teacher, new make-shift classroom, and potentially just 2 or 3 children in the entire class). Evaluate this school with caution. Based on this fiasco, one or more grades may not be there when your child is! A school must be an 'institution'! Respect has been lost as a feeder school.

- submitted by a parent
February 23, 2004
I went to this school in the 70's. I now have 2 children enrolled. I love the way this school works. My kids love to go to school, and hate to leave. There is not a lot of 'forced' education and the class sizes are small. It is pricey, but all privates tend to be now.

- submitted by a parent
November 04, 2003
We've had both our daughters currently attend TCS and love it! The school staff is warm, friendly and knowledgable. They make learning fun and the kids just cant wait to go to school. The methods they use to stimulate a child's curiosity really work.

- submitted by a parent
October 08, 2003
The Children's School has always had an excellent reputation for pre-school, however, the year my daughter attended 3rd grade, (5 years ago) both teachers abandoned the class and school in the midst of a controversy which was never clearly defined to most of us. The elementary school lost an astonishing number of its students that year as well as the principal and other valuable contributors. Parents were forced to go to court for refunds. It was a total disappointment and we lost more than just money.

- submitted by a parent
September 08, 2003
We have been a part of The Childrens School community since preschool. The atmosphere at TCS is what I remember as a child - happy, exciting, fun, creative and very safe. The children learn how to communicate clearly and how to problem solve a variety of solutions to any one problem - essential skills for long term success in this ever changing world. The children at TCS are guiding into thinking rather than memorizing.

- submitted by a parent
August 15, 2003
We have been at The Children's School for 5 years- starting with their fantastic toddler program. The academics (in K and up) are top notch, with a focus on having kids fall in love with learning as well as being self-motivated learners! The school is a real community and is full of wonderful people.

- submitted by a parent
Need help choosing a school? We can help »

Media Gallery

Media missing

Uh oh! No photos. This frame will look much better when you upload photos »

What does this school offer? Arts? Sports? Share what you know »

Student diversity


About this school

We are a community that values diversity and promotes the development of character, critical and creative thinking, communication and leadership skills, intellectual curiosity and social responsibility.

4 / 10

Rolling deadline

Facebook


Nearby homes for sale

     

Last modified: November 13, 2014

Sign up for email updates

Connect with us

Translate this web page

About GreatSchools

Our mission is to help millions of parents get a great education for their kids. GreatSchools.org is an independent nonprofit and the leading national source of school information for families.


GreatSchools.org 1999 Harrison Street, Suite 1100, Oakland, CA 94612

©1998-2014 GreatSchools.org All Rights Reserved. GreatSchools is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization | Ad Choices

The Children's School
2225 Torrey Pines Lane, San Diego, CA  92037
(858) 454-0184
Last modified The Children's School is a Private school that serves grades PK-8
The Children's School Rating: 4 out of 5 based on 106 reviews. Top