The Primary School
Kaiser Permanente and The Primary School Partnership
The Primary School is an integrated early childhood education program that unites health, education and family support so multi-disciplinary teams can address a child’s full set of needs in one place. This new model brings together parents, educators, medical and mental health providers and community organizations in order to give families and children the best opportunities.
The Primary School opened their first school in East Palo Alto in 2016, and established relationships with the Kaiser Permanente Redwood City Medical Center to coordinate care for their shared patients’ population.
Kaiser Permanente’s support of The Primary School since grew and developed, culminating with the opening of the East Bay Site program in 2021.
The integrated preschool program launched in August 2021 for 48 preschool families from the Kaiser Permanente Southern Alameda County area. Families served reflect the rich cultural and language diversity of the community. Families are eligible if they meet income requirements for the California State Preschool Program. Families are eligible if they meet requirements for the California State Preschool Program, including income requirements. From an equity perspective, families who are eligible for Medi-Cal insurance meet the income requirements. Services are intended to holistically address the needs of families in meeting health and life goals.
Kaiser Permanente Support
Since establishing the partnership with The Primary School, Kaiser Permanente has remained committed to ensuring the program provides a long-term benefit for children and families in the community.
Kaiser Permanente Southern Alameda County and The Primary School East Bay team work closely together to manage the school population. The East Bay site partners with the Kaiser Permanente Hayward-Sleepy Hollow Medical Offices Pediatrics Department on care coordination, preventative screening and follow-up and healthy behaviors.
Dr. Paul Espinas, a pediatrician based at the Kaiser Permanente Hayward-Sleepy Hollow Medical Offices, serves as the site’s medical director. Staff based in the Hayward-Sleepy Hollow Medical Offices, including medical assistants, nurses, behavioral medicine specialists, social workers, and health educators, support the school’s health care program and provide services and connection for the students and staff.
The health program includes initiatives such as:
- Developmental and medical screenings and follow-up
- Multi-disciplinary team meeting and communication protocols
- Care coordination
- On-site telehealth hub
- On-site dental care
- Flu vaccination events
- Social health screening and resources
- Health education resources to foster healthy behaviors in school and at home
As part of the programming, families also work with a parent coach to provide support and increase protective factors for the parent and the child.
The East Bay site also works with Tiburcio Vasquez Health Center on providing access to on-site dental care and supporting children and families with Tiburcio Vasquez as a medical home. The Primary School’s flagship site in East Palo Alto partners with Ravenswood Family Health Center on a similar set of integrated health activities and works with the Kaiser Permanente Redwood City Medical Center Pediatrics Department to support care coordination and follow-up for any students who are Kaiser Permanente members.
Kaiser Permanente Clinical Team
Photos of the clinical team coming soon.
Commitment to Health and Education
The Primary School East Bay site is yet another milestone in Kaiser Permanente’s commitment to community health and wellness.
Kaiser Permanente’s focus on health and well-being in schools is deep and long-standing. It has funded school-based health programming, rebuilt playgrounds, installed water stations, revamped teacher break rooms, and helped upgrade school cafeterias with healthy meals that appeal to students and staff alike at schools across Northern California.
Since 2013, the Kaiser Permanente Thriving Schools Initiative has partnered with more than 300 public schools nationally to support programs on healthy eating, physical activity, and social emotional well-being of students, teachers and staff.
Milestones coming soon.
- March 31, 2022 – KQED: When Parents Melt Down, This School Hires a Coach to Help Them
- Sept. 16, 2021 – KCBS-Radio: Kaiser Permanente and The Primary School are Partnering to Open a Second School
- Dec. 11, 2019 – Patch.com: The Primary School Expands to Hayward; Kaiser Permanente Partners
Volunteer opportunities coming soon.
- The Primary School – East Bay
- Watch The Primary School video
- New England Journal of Medicine Catalyst Article on the Primary School: Fostering Enhanced Integration between Early Education and Pediatric Primary Care to Support Whole Child Health
- The Primary School Program Blueprint: School-Medical Home Partnership