Peninsula Heritage School
Peninsula Heritage School (PHS) was founded in 1961 by a group of concerned parents seeking a high level of academic instruction in an environment where character qualities were taught and practiced. The school moved to its current campus in Rolling Hills Estates in 1976 and today serves kindergarten through eighth grade, with the middle school located on its own adjacent campus.
Tell us more about your school.
“Peninsula Heritage School was truly a pioneer in character education. In fact, this was one of the reasons for the school’s founding in 1961. Many years before public and private schools introduced character education, our nationally award-winning program was firmly established. We teach six character qualities with the acronym CAR GPS: Caring, Attitude, Respect, Gratitude, Perseverance and Self-Control. At our 2020 commencement, one graduate reflected, ‘The character qualities I learned here at Peninsula Heritage School will be my GPS for life!’”
How has PHS helped kids cope with the pandemic?
“Last spring when our faculty seamlessly pivoted to online learning, our students felt the love and concern of their teachers through well-crafted lessons, small-group collaboration, daily read-alouds, teachers’ office hours for individualized review, and social-emotional check-ins with every pupil. Students established a learning routine that enabled them to progress despite the challenging circumstances, and this continued through the fall. Now that most students are on campus four mornings a week with additional online classes, their engagement with teachers and classmates is further strengthened—increasing their sense of security and normalcy.”
What are some ways your school promotes equity and inclusivity?
“Leadership is critical in teaching and promoting any concept, and the diverse leadership of PHS strives to promote equity and inclusion. This past summer’s reading selections for all faculty and staff centered on creating a deeper understanding of identity and inherent bias. Students are encouraged to share their religions, cultures and traditions in class and with the entire school at assemblies so everyone can celebrate and appreciate the importance of diversity. Our admissions policies are constantly aimed at broadening the backgrounds, socio-economic levels and ethnicities of our Peninsula Heritage student body.”
How can parents best invest in their kids’ future success?
“Experience has shown that children’s education is truly an investment in their future. When adults invest in stocks or bonds, they look for a monetary return (income) from those investments. Choosing the right school for your child enhances the process of education, which will yield the returns of a child with intellectual, social, and ethical knowledge and habits. In the process, the ideal school nurtures each child’s natural talents, promotes growth and mastery across all academic levels, and fosters the intellectual curiosity to become lifelong learners.”