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About Us


Our Mission

Educating a Community of Change Makers

Synapse School in Menlo Park, CA is an innovative K-8 independent, private school with a TK (transitional kindergarten) located in the heart of Silicon Valley.  Dedicated to rethinking and reimagining education and the whole child, our lower school and middle school focus on educating change makers by combining social-emotional learning, leading-edge academics, and the practice of innovation. 

Synapse draws students from around the San Francisco Bay Area. Because of Synapse's unique and exciting location, our school is influenced by the dynamic cultural, intellectual and ethnic diversity that permeates the region. Stanford University is minutes away, and provides an unparalleled intellectual community in neighboring Palo Alto. Synapse is a close neighbor to several high-tech and high profile companies such as Tesla, Facebook, Meta, Google, and Apple. We are conveniently located between freeways 101 and 280 and along Caltrain, a commuter railway system that services thousands of people each day from San Jose to San Francisco.

Synapse History
Like many Silicon Valley start-ups, Synapse School began as a great idea in a Palo Alto garage. In 2009, with just eight students, Bay Area educational pioneers, Karen McCown, founder of The Nueva School, and Anabel Jensen, president of Six Seconds, set out to create a school that would truly blend academic and social emotional development.
They created a lab school that would showcase the impact of a program that fully integrates an emotional intelligence program and a robust constructivist curriculum. Karen and Anabel redefined education by combining the latest neuroscience research with social emotional learning and the practice of innovation. Twelve years later, and after much iteration and perspiration, Synapse has 300 students spanning five buildings on its campus in Menlo Park. And in many ways, it still feels like we are just getting started.

Our Vision

To be an aspirational and inspirational model of a learning community.

Our Purpose

To be a leader in the teaching of leading edge academics, innovation and social & emotional learning.

To be a joyful, grateful, and humble community, “walking the talk.”

The Synapse Optimist