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Transformative Preschool Landing at Pacific Beach Elementary School

Pacific Beach Elementary School Principal Marlene Perez knows the value of early learning experiences for kids. In the 2021-22 school year, PBES will take a major step forward in ensuring high quality preschool by welcoming a Bezos Academy to the community. “I’m so excited to help bring opportunities to the kids and families that I love so much,” Perez exclaimed, reflecting on her school being chosen for the next Bezos Academy.

In 2018, Jeff Bezos announced the Day One Fund to focus on making meaningful and lasting impacts in two areas: funding existing non-profits that help families experiencing homelessness; and creating a network of tuition-free, Montessori-inspired preschools in underserved communities. The first preschool opened in Des Moines, WA in October 2020, and Pacific Beach is one of three communities currently announced to open a Bezos Academy in the fall of 2021.

“We believe all children deserve the great start that an excellent preschool provides,” said Mike George, President of Bezos Academy. “We’re honored by the opportunity to nurture the potential in the children of Pacific Beach to become creative leaders, original thinkers, and lifelong learners.”

Bezos Academy ensures that a high-quality learning experience is offered to each child and that developmental outcomes meet or exceed the national standards for early childhood education.  The curriculum has four key areas: child centered, culturally responsive, standards-based, and Montessori-inspired. These four areas drive our decisions on what is taught in our classrooms.

Within the next month, Principal Perez will begin outreach to families within the Pacific Beach community to share more details about the school and the application process. According to North Beach Superintendent Andrew Kelly, one goal tied to the district’s improvement plan is “to offer high quality early learning experiences to all children beginning at age 3.” The Bezos Academy preschool will be housed on the Pacific Beach Elementary campus and is set to open in Fall 2021.

Principal Perez, looking forward to her third year in the lead role, has worked with her “Falcon Family” to create a school that values the backgrounds of each student. PB’s student population is 80 percent Quinault. Pacific Beach Elementary begins with an intentional focus on  social-emotional learning (SEL) and provides a robust instructional program aligned with both state and national standards. The addition of the Pacific Beach Bezos Academy will allow her to invite the earliest learners to “the nest” even sooner.

The Bezos Academy Montessori-inspired preschool program will be offered at no cost to parents (or North Beach School District), and it will operate year around, full-day, Monday through Friday. The program will partner with NBSD for food service and transportation.

“Every time we open a door for our children and families, we create new opportunities,” Principal Perez reflected. “This opportunity creates the probability that we fully alter the educational trajectory for many of our kids…and sets them up for a bright, bright future in school.”

Parents interested in “early learning” opportunities at Pacific Beach Elementary for the 2021-22 school year should attend our “Falcon Early Learning Roundup” on Thursday, May 13, in the school cafeteria. Dinner will be served at 6 p.m. and the program will begin at 6:30 p.m. RSVP by calling the school at (360)276-4512 or email Principal Perez at mperez@northbeachschools.org.

About the Montessori Approach to Early Learning,

Montessori education is student-led and self-paced but guided, assessed, and enriched by knowledgeable and caring teachers, the leadership of student peers, and a nurturing environment.

Within the community of a multi-age classroom—designed to create natural opportunities for independence, citizenship, and accountability—children embrace multi-sensory learning and passionate inquiry. Individual students follow their own curiosity at their own pace, taking the time they need to fully understand each concept and meet individualized learning goals.

Given the freedom and support to question, probe deeply, and make connections, Montessori students grow up to be confident, enthusiastic, and self-directed learners and citizens, accountable to both themselves and their community. They think critically, work collaboratively, and act boldly and with integrity. 

Millions of people across all sectors of life have benefited from their Montessori educations, including Jeff Bezos, the founder and CEO of Amazon.

About Bezos Academy 

Bezos Academy is a non-profit organization that is building a network of high-quality, tuition-free preschools. Our preschools offer year-round, full-day programming, five days a week, for children ages 3-5 years old from low-income families. Bezos Academy also provides students with all necessary educational supplies and services to set each student up for success, including Montessori materials, books, arts and crafts, field trips, and meals. For more information, please visit: www.bezosacademy.org.