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Mission - Vision - Philosophy

Synapse is a TK-8 independent school in Menlo Park, CA with a mission of Educating a Community of Change Makers. Synapse is a leader in the teaching of leading edge Academics, Innovation and Social-Emotional Learning and an aspirational and inspirational model of a learning community.

Leading-Edge Academics

Synapse inspires and engages students' love of learning through hands-on, project-based learning utilizing our HEARTS curriculum framework and brain-based research. 

Social-Emotional Learning

Social-Emotional Learning is the foundational pillar of Synapse and fully integrated in the TK-8 curriculum and community. Students  learn 8 competencies of the EQ model of Know Yourself, Choose Yourself, Give Yourself, empowering them for the future.


Synapse is an aspirational model of education that embodies the practice of innovation in the curriculum and culture. Using the Innovation model - Explore a challenge, Envision potential solutions, and Execute on their vision, students learn critical thinking and problem solving skills.


Synapse's caring community is inclusive and celebrates all differences. We love to connect and have fun with opportunities for all to participate in school activities, social gatherings and parent education. 

Change Makers

Synapse's mission is Educating a Community of Change Makers. Synapse empowers every student and community member to impact the world in positive and authentic ways.

Synapse Learning Outcomes

All Synapse students develop the practices and habits of mind: Communication, Creativity, Perspective, Feedback, Follow-Through, Inquiry, Iteration, Advocacy, and Risk.

What Sets Us Apart

SEL through Parent Education

Parent education is a central part of the Synapse family experience and it supports the school’s mission of “Educating a Community of Change Makers.” Parent education at Synapse aims to help parents navigate the challenges and celebrate the joys of parenthood. This is achieved through various opportunities for parents to learn from experts, each other and themselves.

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Change Makers

Our school's mission is Educating a Community of Change Makers. Synapse empowers every student and community member to make positive change in the world. 

Each year, the Synapse community identifies a Change Maker who embodies that school year's theme and can be a lens through which we view our curriculum and projects for the year. Every class, Transitional Kindergarten (TK) - 8th grade,  learns about the life and work of this Change Maker

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8th Grade Exit Tickets

The 8th Grade Exit Ticket is the culminating project for Synapse students. Each year, graduating 8th graders participate in a unique mentorship and reflection project that allows them to celebrate their learning, practice leadership, and prepare for their transition to high school. Working with a faculty mentor, each student designs and implements a leadership, passion, and/or service project.

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11,000 sq ft Makerspace

To enrich and elevate the TK-8 Synapse School experience through explicit practice of hands on and embodied learning, thinking big, and practicing maker mindsets. We go big, think differently, and are creating the most inclusive, integrated, and innovative Makerspace in any TK-8 school!

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Aspirational & Inspirational

Bold Ideas @ Synapse Speaker Series

During the 2022-23 school year, we kicked off our Bold Ideas events, which aim to highlight uniquely dynamic thinkers sharing their big, bold ideas related to our school’s program priorities: Innovation, SEL, and leading-edge academics. We were fortunate to host two current Synapse parents and one alum parent as our first three speakers.

We're looking forward to hosting speakers this year from outside our community to share their bold ideas as well!

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SEL through Middle School Expeditions

Each spring, Middle School students embark on a weeklong expedition with Middle School teachers. These trips are intentionally designed to create social and emotional growth opportunities for students outside of their home and school environments, and to create a rich, authentic learning experience that includes activities that may otherwise not be available to students outside of the trip. 

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BLC Research Assistants take Top Honors

Six 8th graders actively participated in all stages of the research process as part of the BLC's Middle School Research Assistant Program in 2022-23. Throughout the school year, these students assisted in ongoing Stanford research studies, then built off of this knowledge to drive independent research projects on a variety of cognitive science topics.  

To disseminate their scientific insights, they submitted their projects to the San Mateo County STEM Fair. All three projects received high honors, receiving first and second place awards! “How Sleep Affects Memory” also secured the first-place award in the Behavioral Sciences category at the California State Science Fair and advanced to the Thermo Fisher Scientific Junior Innovators Challenge at the national level!  

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