Peregrine School Expands To New Location


Peregrine-Schoolby Carrie Fisher Stone

Non-profit independent school in Davis grows to accommodate toddlers, preschoolers, and elementary students this Fall – Today, Peregrine School announces its expansion to the former Merryhill School site on Lillard Drive in South Davis. The new preschool and elementary campus will be opening to students this September for the 2014-2015 school year.

Peregrine School integrates the rigorous academics of a classical liberal arts education with child-centered, project-based learning. At the new South Davis site, children will learn to be creative and critical thinkers, healthy in mind and body, and productive, capable members of 21st century society.

“Every morning my eight year old twins wake up excited to go to school and excited to learn,” comments Susan P. O’Hara, Ph.D, a Peregrine parent and the Executive Director of the UC Davis CRESS Center. “Peregrine School empowers my children to see themselves as active, intelligent contributors to the world. What a joy it is to see two such different personalities blossom.”

Peregrine School was founded in 2007 as a non-profit, independent school by Lorie Hammond Ph.D., a professor of education who has spent 40 years in public schools doing innovative projects, and her daughter, Elena Whitcombe M.D., a family physician interested in health education and environmental stewardship. After opening doors to the West Davis preschool in 2007 and the South Davis elementary school in 2011, Peregrine School quickly reached capacity.

To meet demand, Peregrine School South will consist of two programs: the Early Childhood Center (ECC) and the Elementary School. The ECC will serve children from 18 months through kindergarten in three types of classrooms: Toddler (ages 18 to 30 months), Escuelita (ages 30 months to four years) and Primaria—a transitional, play-based kindergarten program (ages four to six). The Elementary School will have an academic kindergarten program and also serve students from grades one to eight. In addition to more classrooms, the new site will feature a one-acre green play yard and garden, a full kitchen, and science, art and performing arts classrooms.

“At Peregrine School, children are protagonists in their own education, rather than passive recipients of information,” says Academic Director Lorie Hammond. “When they do science, they become scientists, exploring the natural world, conversing about what they learned, and compiling results.  When they do language arts, they become essayists, or poets, or dramatists, and their writings are shared with others.  Children like to come to school, because it is their school, their projects, their world.”

Peregrine School offers low student:teacher ratios, individualized teaching of math and reading skills, project-based learning in science, social studies and the arts, along with Spanish instruction (English/Spanish dual immersion in the preschool). The school also provides a nutritious lunch, physical education, full-day daycare options, specialty classes in music, drama, yoga and dance, and frequent field trips to Mondavi Center performances and other educational sites. These features of the school will continue at the new, larger site.

“The Peregrine elementary program is amazing!”says parent Tracey Dewees. “Our daughter is engaged, thriving, and most of all happy. The small class sizes and project-based learning model provide her with an enriched learning environment where her teachers have the opportunity to get to know her educational needs and strengths.”

Peregrine School is accepting applications now for the 2014-2015 academic year. The South Davis site offers preschool and elementary school programs; the West Davis site continues to offer preschool and kindergarten programs. For more information contact Carrie Fisher Stone,


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Disclaimer: the views expressed by guest writers are strictly those of the author and may not reflect the views of the Vanguard, its editor, or its editorial board.

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