Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and his pediatrician wife Priscilla Chan‘s daughter-to-be will have the unique and privileged opportunity to attend an innovative school created by her parents. Named The Primary School and established to serve families in East Palo Alto and Belle Haven, California, the private nonprofit school will be free to the lucky families in attendance and, through a partnership with a local family health center, will also provide free healthcare services to students who attend the school from birth to graduation!
Priscilla Chan will serve as the CEO of The Primary School. Chan is a pediatrician who also previously worked as an elementary school science teacher and ran an after school program in a housing project. She has spent over a year developing The Primary School, which is geared towards low-income students. The first class at the school will be for four year-olds with the goal of adding a grade level each year. Support services for parents of infants and two year-olds will also be provided, along with dental care for students and families and an on-site health clinic. Mark Zuckerberg elaborated on the school’s mission in a statement on his Facebook page, “Health and education are closely connected. When children aren’t healthy, they can’t learn as easily. Many kids and teachers across the country deal with the consequences of poor health in classrooms every day.”
Among The Primary School’s ambitious plans are full-time school beginning at age three and prenatal support (which we assume means that the application process for the school will actually begin before its future students are even born)! With the philosophy that “healthcare and education are inextricably linked,” The Primary School will attempt to meet the holistic needs of children by supporting them and their families academically, socially, and health-wise. The Primary School, which will be funded by the Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan Donor Advised Fund is scheduled to open in August of 2016.