Starting Schools Is the Next Hot Thing in Silicon Valley

PK-12 School Models

Starting Schools Is the Next Hot Thing in Silicon Valley

Oct 27, 2015

WHICH SCHOOL WOULD YOU SEND YOUR KIDS TO? Ever since former Googler Max Ventilla started AltSchool and raised over $100 million from big investors, starting schools has become the latest cool obsession for many tech entrepreneurs. The latest effort comes courtesy of Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan, who are starting a private, tuition-free K-8 school called “The Primary School.”

Described by the Facebook founder as “a new kind of school that brings education and healthcare together,” the school, based in East Palo Alto, CA will serve students in low-income communities. Integrating education and health services is key to its vision. According to the San Jose Mercury News, each family “will have a health and education coach who will work with parents to set a growth plan for their children.”

The school will launch in August 2016 with two toddler and one preschool class, and will add one grade level each following year up to eighth grade.

Further down the 101 freeway, a different kind of school is already underway. The Khan Lab School, named after Khan Academy’s founder, costs $22,000 a year and doesn’t come with health coaches—but offers students the freedom to design their learning experiences. Wired takes a long, meandering look at a school where “elementary students [talk] about things like ‘rapid prototyping’ and ‘design thinking.’”

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