An Innovative K-8 Lab School In the Heart of Silicon Valley

About Synapse School

OVERVIEW
OUR MISSION & PHILOSOPHY
FOUNDERS & HISTORY
SIX SECONDS
HEAD'S BLOG
WE ARE HIRING
OVERVIEW

Synapse School prepares exceptional learners to create lifelong success.

An independent elementary and middle school in Menlo Park, CA, Synapse offers an advanced academic curriculum fully integrated with social emotional learning. The program is carefully designed as a model school to demonstrate the power of blending Six Seconds’ emotional intelligence programs with leading-edge instruction (brain-based, project driven, constructivist learning in school-wide themes).

SYNAPSE IS DYNAMIC, EXPERIENTIAL, AND NURTURING.

A snapshot of Synapse students in their classrooms, no matter what the grade or who the teacher, would capture eyes shining with curiosity and fingers busy manipulating pencils, scissors, papers, clay or whatever else comes within their grasp. Each school year we choose an overarching theme for the curriculum that makes it meaningful and engaging for our students. This theme guides the students as they acquire knowledge and skills and work productively with their peers and mentors. This program envelopes each student in its creative and world-relevant themes, fully engaging their minds in the learning process.

 

headofschool“Spanning the foundational first decade of life, Synapse provides each child with a vigorous academic, social, and creative experience uniquely designed by our staff to inspire each child to use their head, heart, and hands in order to make positive change everywhere, all the time. I hope you will come visit our school in the heart of Silicon Valley to see our community of change makers at work.” Warmly,
Jim Eagen, Head of the School

OUR MISSION & PHILOSOPHY

Our Mission

Synapse School combines social-emotional learning, leading-edge academics, and the practice of innovation to develop gifted learners into the change makers of tomorrow.

mossion

mission2

Innovation joined with actualization

  1. Innovation, creativity, and design-thinking shall be practiced in core academics as well as fine arts and technology
  2. Innovation studios & mentors shall support students in concept exploration, iteration, and the pursuit of projects to completion
  3. Computer Science, an essential new medium for innovation in the digital age, shall be integrated into the curriculum

Outstanding academics that fulfill individual promise

  1. Maximize academic potential through continuous improvement, detailed assessment, and knowing each student as an individual
  2. Utilize a constructivist, integrative, and project-based approach that deeply engages students and has real world relevance
  3. Support the development of core academic skills with deliberate practice, consistent feedback, and focused instruction

mission3

mission4

Change Makers

 
  1. Impact the world in positive and authentic ways
  2. Are robustly prepared for real world challenges that require the integration of academic, creative, and social-emotional domains
  3. Are not defined by numbers or scale: To make a positive change in the life of one person brings positive change to the world

FOUNDERS & HISTORY

SYNAPSE SCHOOL IS PART OF SIX SECONDS: THE EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE NETWORK.

We are a global organization supporting people to create positive change by tapping the power of emotional intelligence. Six Seconds was founded by Karen McCown, Anabel Jensen, Joshua Freedman, and Marsha Rideout in 1997. We have offices in 10 countries and certified practitioners around the world working with educational organizations, as well as clients such as the UN, FedEx, HSBC, and Shell.

 

WHERE WE BEGAN

Synapse was founded in 2008 by Karen Stone McCown, Dr. Anabel Jensen and Gigi Carunungun. This dynamic team is known worldwide for their expertise in educating gifted learners and their pioneering work in the field of emotional intelligence.

Karen Stone McCown founded The Nueva School, an independent school for the gifted, in 1967. Under the leadership of Dr. Anabel Jensen, who served as the Executive Director for fourteen years, Nueva grew into an internationally renowned Blue Ribbon Independent School for the gifted and talented. At Nueva, Karen created the nation’s first emotional intelligence curriculum, Self-Science, a program she and Anabel facilitated for nearly three decades.

After experiencing, first-hand, the benefits of social emotional learning (SEL) curriculum in education, Karen and Anabel were compelled to bring this knowledge to businesses and other schools worldwide. They founded their second venture together in 1997, Six Seconds, and grew it into a worldwide firm delivering programs, assessments and training to enable schools and Fortune 500 companies to fully integrate emotional intelligence.

Karen and Anabel were dedicated to establishing a school that would redefine education: Synapse School. They teamed up with Gigi Carunungan and created a K-8 independent school dedicated to educating change makers of tomorrow by combining leading edge academic instruction with 6 Seconds Self-Science curriculum.

Like many Silicon Valley start-ups, Synapse School began in a Palo Alto garage before finding a larger space to accommodate steady growth. In just six short years, Synapse has grown from 8 to 190 students in mixed-age classes spanning K-8th grade.

SIX SECONDS


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Six Seconds is a global organization supporting people to create positive change by tapping the power of emotional intelligence. Now with offices and representatives in over 25 countries, seven validated assessment tools published, clients such as the UN, the US Navy, FedEx, HSBC, and Make-a-Wish Foundation, and top scientists on our Advisory Board, Six Seconds is a world leading resource for EQ.

Since its inception in 1997, one of the core goals has been integrating research-based social-emotional learning methods into schools. Just as Six Seconds equips adult leaders with the awareness and skills to become more effective, the organization is committed to developing the change leaders of tomorrows young people with the skills and mindset to shape the future, and the wisdom to make it one worth creating. So, in 2008, Synapse School was created as a thriving, rigorous, innovative model of education.

HEAD'S BLOG

PASSION VS. EXPLORATION

Like many parents this Spring Break, I am spending my

WHAT SHOULD KIDS LEARN?

This morning, I read this post in GSE and found

THE UNIQUE NATURE OF SCHOOLS

Lately, I have been reminded of a wonderfully insightful comment

WELCOME TO 2015

Hello Synapse Families! Welcome back from the winter break, holidays

THE CONCEPT OF INDEPENDENCE – JIMEAGEN

Let’s explore the concept of independence for a moment. Teachers

JUST LOVE YOUR KIDS. THAT’S IT.

In the recent article in the Economist, “Relax, Your Children

DISCONNECTING TO RECONNECT

I love being connected. In person or online, I get

ARE BOYS RIGHTS GOING TO BECOME THE NEXT CIVIL RIGHTS MOVEMENT?

There is more and more noise crescendoing around a “boy

WE ARE HIRING

WORKING AT SYNAPSE

Synapse School seeks dynamic educators who thrive in a collaborative community, work to stay at the forefront of their field, have a genuine love for children and a commitment to excellence. We consistently innovate to find the most thoughtful ways to reach every learner on our campus, to help them grow as people and scholars. Expectations are high for our staff as well as our students. We look for people who will bring a diversity of experiences to our collegial environment and soar when given the freedom to do what is best for students.

ADMISSIONS

“Deciding on a private school program is a major family decision”

Our Admissions Team is here to help during the exploration and decision-making process. Let us know how we can help you.

Contact for Admissions

 

ADMISSIONS OVERVIEW
ADMISSIONS DATES
PARENT INFORMATION NIGHT
APPLY
ADMISSIONS OVERVIEW

A NOTE FROM OUR DIRECTOR OF ADMISSIONS

 

Dear Families,

By discovering Synapse School, you have chosen an opportunity to provide your children with an inspiring, emotionally intelligent, rigorous educational environment that is truly unique in the Bay Area. I am delighted to introduce you to this exciting exploration.

As you attend a Parent Information Night, tour our classrooms, and share your child’s special qualities, interests, and challenges in the application process, please generate a list of five essential elements you are seeking in a school, and check them off. Ask probing questions, look beneath the surface, challenge your assumptions, and ours.

Synapse students are respected as individuals already in the process of finding their passions, developing their talents, and refining the skills that will help them become exceptional human beings who understand themselves, support their families and friends, and contribute to a better world. And parents, as integral members of the team, are encouraged to participate in many ways as we build the Synapse community together.

 

I look forward to hearing from you.

Warm regards,

Marsha Rideout

Director of Admissions

CONTACT

Marsha Rideout
Director of Admissions
Admissions Direct line: 650-468-2204
Front Desk: 650-294-4570
Admissions@synapseschool.org

Dana Story
Admissions Associate
dana.story@synapseschool.org

Lena Chane
Director of Outreach and Special Projects
lena.chane@synapseschool.org

APPLICATION TO SYNAPSE SCHOOL

Deciding on a private school program is a major family decision. Thus, we make every effort to share our mission, vision, and curriculum in the pre-enrollment process (see the application process). Given that we offer a unique program integrating rigorous academics with social-emotional learning, we want the families who join our community to be fully informed and eager to participate. We are accepting applications for mixed-age classes in the elementary and middle school levels. The elementary class maximum is eighteen students with two teachers in each classroom.

FINANCES

Tuition

Tuition for the 2015-2016 School Year is $27,800 if paid on a one-time annual basis. Payment plans can be arranged.

Fees (for supplies and diagnostic assessments) for the school year are an additional $1,000 for the lower school and $1,500 for the middle school.

- Field trip and travel fees are not included in the above fees.

- Each child (3rd grade and up) is required to have use of a laptop, with hardware and software required by Synapse School. Parents are responsible for all damage, repair, replacement, and upgrade of the computer.

Financial Aid

As you are considering your options for private schools, we understand that availability of financial assistance may be part of your consideration. Synapse offers partial scholarships; however, these small financial aid packages will likely be below the NAIS determination of need. Any requests for financial assistance will go through SSS by NAIS. Learn more and apply HERE. When signing up you will be asked for Synapse's school code which is 192429.

ADMISSIONS DATES

ADMISSIONS DATES

  • Prospective Student Applications are due: January 21, 2016
  • Decisions Mailed: March 10, 2016
  • Admissions Decisions Emailed: March 11, 2016 12pm
  • Accepted Student Enrollment Contracts & Deposits Due: March 18, 2016 10am

UPCOMING PARENT INFORMATION NIGHTS (PINs)

  • Wednesday, October 7, 2015 - 7:00-9:00pm
  • Wednesday, November 4, 2015 - 7:00-9:00pm
  • Wednesday, December 2, 2015 - 7:00-9:00pm
  • Wednesday, January 6, 2016 - 7:00-9:00pm

TOURS

Sign-ups for parent tours will be set up after you have attended a Parent Information Night.

Register for a Parent Information Night through Ravenna

 

PARENT INFORMATION NIGHT

The Parent Information Night (PIN) is the first step in the Admissions Process. PINs are designed to guide parents in deciding whether the Synapse philosophy and program are a fit for their child and family. The interactive evening presentation will provide information about our constructivist model and support a meaningful classroom tour. Attending a PIN is a required first step in the application process. The second step is a school tour which will offer a glimpse into student life at Synapse. We welcome parents and other interested adults to attend the PIN.

After an application has been submitted, prospective students will have the opportunity to visit Synapse for either a kindergarten admissions playgroup or a shadow day. Middle School applicants will also be invited for a Middle School Experience Day.

Upcoming Parent Information Nights

  • Wednesday, October 7, 2015 - 7:00-9:00pm
  • Wednesday, November 4, 2015 - 7:00-9:00pm
  • Wednesday, December 2, 2015 - 7:00-9:00pm
  • Wednesday, January 6, 2016 - 7:00-9:00pm

Click the button below to create a Ravenna log-in through which you can explore the Synapse admissions process and register for a PIN. The process only takes a couple of minutes. You'll be asked to create a student profile with basic information about your applicant. Once your basic information has been entered, you'll be prompted to start exploring schools. Once you've selected Synapse School, click on "Open Houses for All Grades" and pick the Parent Information Night date you'd like to attend.

 

Register now through Ravenna

APPLY

APPLYING TO SYNAPSE

Synapse is one of the many Bay Area schools using a web-based application called Ravenna for the submission of online applications. Ravenna allows you to efficiently apply to schools and track the status of your application online. Additionally, through Ravenna you will be able to schedule admission events and view decision notification.

How to start

To begin your application, go to Ravenna and create an account. Make sure to create your account using an email address you will have access to throughout the admission season as this will be your primary email contact with our school.

Support or Help

If at any point you should have a question about Ravenna and your application, please contact them at customercare@ravennasolutions.com. Ravenna is happy to answer your inquiry by phone, however, they require that all support inquiries are initiated through the email address you used to create your Ravenna account. It is important that they are able to validate your access to any information about your applicant’s account to protect your privacy.

Application Process

1. Attend a Parent Information Night (PIN)
Please register for a PIN through Ravenna here This is a required first step in the application process. For information, visit the
Parent Information Night page.

2. Sign up for a School Tour
After attending a PIN, our Admissions office will contact you to schedule a school tour.

3. Submit an Application through Ravenna by January 21, 2016
To begin exploring the admissions process through the Ravenna system, click here

You will be required to submit the following with your application.

  • Child and family photo
  • Release of Records form (1st through Middle School)
  • Teacher Recommendation form
  • $90 application fee
  • IQ test and any additional assessments available

4. Parent Interview
Once you have submitted your preliminary application and fee, our Admissions office will contact you to schedule a parent interview.

5. Schedule a Play Group through Ravenna (Kindergarten Applicants)

6. Shadow Visit (1st through Middle School)
Once you have submitted your preliminary application and fee, our Admissions office will contact you to schedule a shadow visit for your child.

7. One-on-One Student-Teacher Meeting

  • K-4th: will be arranged by Admissions office
  • Middle School: conducted during Shadow Visit

Need Help? Feel free to contact us at Admissions@synapseschool.org for assistance in the application process.

Email customercare@ravennasolutions.com for questions about Ravenna.

Applications for the 2016-2017 school year will open in September 2015.

Synapse School admits students of any race, color, national and ethnic origin to all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the school. It does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national and ethnic origin in administration of its educational policies, admissions policies, scholarship and loan programs, and athletic and other school-administered programs.

 

Support Synapse

From the start, Synapse School has relied on the generosity of donors who have given their time, talent and financial support for our mission. Almost all independent schools rely upon charitable gifts, beyond tuition income, to support school programs. The special attributes that set Synapse apart are costly.

Rather than raising tuition even further, we solicit tax-deductible donations through various initiatives which help the school and allow families to give based on their ability.

We invite you to join the many parents, faculty, and friends who have helped us in our mission to educate children to be change leaders. Please contact advancement@synapseschool.org to learn more about giving strategies that will allow you to make a meaningful charitable gift to Synapse.

  • Competitive salaries for faculty of the highest caliber
  • A personalized curriculum with rich extracurricular activities
  • A talented and diverse student body
  • 9:1 student-to-teacher ratio
  • Premier fine arts and SEL programs

Meet the Synapse Team

The teachers do an incredible job of implementing innovative projects
for the whole class while paying individual attention to each child.” – Synapse Parent
LEADERSHIP
LOWER SCHOOL TEACHERS
MIDDLE SCHOOL TEACHERS
SPECIALISTS
STAFF
LEADERSHIP

JIM EAGEN

HEAD OF SCHOOL

LIZ DAVIS

ASSISTANT HEAD OF SCHOOL

FEDERICO CHIALVO

DIRECTOR OF MATHEMATICS

STEPHANIE SETO

DIRECTOR OF STEAM

KATIE MORGAN

DIRECTOR OF HUMANITIES AND LITERACY

MARSHA RIDEOUT

DIRECTOR OF ADMISSIONS

LENA CHANE

DIRECTOR OF OUTREACH & SPECIAL PROJECTS

LOWER SCHOOL TEACHERS

JEN BEES

LEVEL III LEAD TEACHER

ANJALI PATHAK

LEVEL II CO-TEACHER

JENNIFER BOURQUE

LEVEL II LEAD TEACHER

DEVIN MACRAE

LEVEL II CO-TEACHER

KAREN GREGG

LEVEL I LEAD TEACHER

LEANA LEE

LEVEL II CO-TEACHER

KEIKO SATO-PERRY

LEVEL I CO-TEACHER

CHERILYN LEET

LEVEL III LEAD TEACHER

EBEN LAPIER

LEVEL III CO-TEACHER

HANNAH GALLAGHER

LEVEL III CO-TEACHER

SARAH CARR-BERRY

LEVEL I LEAD TEACHER

PAIGE CAREY

LEVEL I CO-TEACHER

YVONNE KUNSTENAAR

LEVEL II LEAD TEACHER

JAMIE WHITE

LEVEL II LEAD TEACHER

TOBY EYRE

LEVEL II LEAD TEACHER

MIDDLE SCHOOL TEACHERS

CHELSEA MEYERS

SCIENCE SPECIALIST & MIDDLE SCHOOL ADVISOR

JEAN ADAMS

MIDDLE SCHOOL MATH SPECIALIST

DANIELLE OLLIVER

MIDDLE SCHOOL TEACHER: ADVISOR, SPANISH

STEVEN CHANAN

MIDDLE SCHOOL TEACHER: MATH

JOHN GREGORY

MIDDLE SCHOOL TEACHER: ADVISOR, HUMANITIES

JEN BEES

LEVEL III LEAD TEACHER

JIMMY CAPPELS

MIDDLE SCHOOL ADVISOR, ROTATIONAL TEACHER AND STUDENT ACTIVITIES COORDINATOR

JESSICA JASKOT

MIDDLE SCHOOL TEACHER: ADVISOR, MATH

ANNE CHANG

MIDDLE SCHOOL TEACHER: SCIENCE/STEAM

BRIAN BICKNELL

MIDDLE SCHOOL TEACHER: ADVISOR, SCIENCE/STEAM

BRIAN LUCETT

MIDDLE SCHOOL TEACHER: ADVISOR, HUMANITIES

HOLLY CAMPBELL

MIDDLE SCHOOL TEACHER: ADVISOR, GIVE YOURSELF (SERVICE LEARNING)

SPECIALISTS

BRITNEI MERCKLE

ART SPECIALIST AND COORDINATOR OF AFTER-CARE INNOVATION STUDIOS

ADNAN IFTEKHAR

TECHNOLOGY AND INNOVATION SPECIALIST

CHELSEA MEYERS

SCIENCE SPECIALIST & MIDDLE SCHOOL ADVISOR

JIMMY CAPPELS

MIDDLE SCHOOL ADVISOR, ROTATIONAL TEACHER AND STUDENT ACTIVITIES COORDINATOR

FEDERICO CHIALVO

DIRECTOR OF MATHEMATICS

NATALIE EINHORN

PERFORMING ARTS SPECIALIST, DIRECTOR OF INNOVATION

DANA KUPER

LEARNING SPECIALIST

PEGGY MCLEAN

LOWER SCHOOL MATH SPECIALIST

NOA MENDELEVITCH

DIRECTOR OF INNOVATION - VISUAL ARTS & DESIGN

NICOLE STONE

AFTER-CARE SUPERVISOR

KATIE MORGAN

DIRECTOR OF HUMANITIES AND LITERACY

JEAN GOULD

SEL SPECIALIST

STAFF

DANA STORY

ADMISSIONS ASSOCIATE

HILARY CUTSINGER

HEADS' ASSISTANT AND FRONT DESK

 

Contact Us

OUR ADDRESS

Synapse School

3375 Edison Way

Menlo Park, CA 94025

FOR ADMISSIONS INQUIRIES

Marsha Rideout

Director of admissions and student life

Admissions Direct Line: 650-685-9885

admissions@synapseschool.org

GENERAL INQUIRIES

Lena Chane

Director of Outreach & Special Projects

Lena.Chane@synapseschool.org

FOR PRESS INQUIRIES:

Lena Chane

Director of Outreach & Special Projects

Lena.Chane@synapseschool.org

Contact Us To schedule a visit