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Lorie Hammond on "Insight" Discussing Reggio

Kindergarten Options at Peregrine


Preschool through eighth grade
Peregrine West - Early Childhood Center: 2907 Portage Bay West, Davis CA 95616 (530) 758-8845
Tours each Friday at 9:15 a.m.; Office hours 8:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Mon.-Fri.
Peregrine South - Elementary School and Early Childhood Center: 2650 Lillard Drive, Davis CA 95618 (530) 753-5500
Tours each Tuesday at 9:15 a.m. (ECC) and 10:30 a.m. (Elementary); Office hours 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Mon.-Fri.
Email: [email protected]

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Peregrine School is a nonprofit private school for the 21st century that strives to integrate the rigorous academics of a classical liberal arts education with child-centered, project-based learning. Our programs aim to strike a balance between creativity and critical thinking skills.

We teach children to love learning, to question and to think critically so they will thrive as adults and be better citizens. We apply current research about teaching, learning and brain development to what goes on in every classroom.

Arts and sciences, as well as Spanish, are taught daily through projects. Weekly enrichment classes include yoga, dance, music, and drama taught by specialists. Music, art, culture, play and other means of creative expression enhance a child's life and can enrich other subjects.

Health and nutrition are equally important aspects of the school, which includes daily physical education activities as well as gardens and a nutritious lunch and snack program. Peregrine School is committed to small size classes and very low student-teacher ratios.

Our families are actively involved in our students' education, frequently sharing their knowledge and actively engaging in school projects.

Our children receive lots of individual attention and have the opportunity to explore their interests deeply. They enjoy school!

Peregrine School was founded in 2007 by Co-Directors Lorie Hammond, PhD, and Elena Whitcombe, MD. Lorie and Elena are a mother-daughter team.


Early Childhood Center

Our Early Childhood Center programs in both west and south Davis serve children ages 18 months through six, and are comprised of three programs: Patitos (toddlers ages 18-23 months), Escuelita (ages 2-4) and Primaria (ages 4-6).

The Patitos program at Peregrine School is our newest and youngest program. Children who are 18-23 months at the beginning of the school year are invited to join a small classroom (12 students total) for an intimate, exploratory, play-based program.

Escuelita is a developmentally appropriate preschool program for two- to four-year-olds. Children are taught in small groups according to age for part of the day, and mix with others in a cross-age grouping for activities during the rest of the day. They receive daily instruction in Spanish and participate in a variety of projects in art, science, and other subjects. They also have time to play freely, inside and outside, in an environment that encourages social interaction. In addition, children participate in yoga, dance, and music classes delivered by experts. 

Primaria is a highly enriched, play-based pre-kindergarten/kindergarten program designed for four- to six-year-olds and centers on project-based learning in all subject areas. Children participate in Spanish instruction, thematic projects in all subject areas, and specialist instruction in music, yoga, drama, and dance. They are served a hot, family-style, natural-foods lunch each day, and have physical education every afternoon. Children who need day care beyond the school day can join the younger children in the Escuelita classroom from 2:00 to 6:00 p.m.


Elementary School

Our elementary school, serving ages kindergarten through eighth grade, launched in the fall of 2011. Building on the experience of Academic Director Lorie Hammond, PhD, who founded two schools previously (the Winters Parent Nursery School and Peregrine Early Childhood Center), and who has been working in education for over forty years as a teacher, curriculum writer, professor and researcher, the elementary school has been founded on tried and true principles. Project-based learning, our central mode of operation, builds on the work of American educational philosopher John Dewey, whose methods have been woven through American schools for about a hundred years. More recently, business leaders such as Daniel Pink (A Whole New Mind and Drive) and psychologists such as Harvard's Howard Garder (Five Minds for the Future and Frames of Mind) have written bestsellers on the need for a twenty-first century educational approach. One school that has applied these theories with great success is the UCLA Laboratory School, whose model of project-based learning combined with information literacy we are now adapting to our science and social studies curricula; we have been similary influenced by the creative schools of Reggio Emilia, Italy, which illustrate the power of the arts in education and of children as active creators of their own learning.


Proud partner of the Progressive Education Network

Links of Interest

Quarterly School Newsletter Archive 

"Notes from the Director" - Lorie Hammond's Blog 

Escuelita South Teachers' Blog

Blog of Carol Fonseca, Biology Scientist-in-Residence

"Peregrine Rocks" - Blog by Peregrine Students 

Reggio Emilia Alliance

Reggio Emilia Bibliography

Daniel Pink

UCLA Lab School