Peninsula Heritage School

Peninsula Heritage School was founded as a nonprofit school in 1961 in Torrance. The school purchased its main campus in Rolling Hills Estates in 1976 and opened its nearby middle school campus in 2016. Peninsula Heritage School is now in its 63rd year of educating South Bay students in grades K–8.

Describe the unique characteristics and strengths of your community

Our dedicated teachers assess each child’s academic, social and emotional profile to create a personalized learning plan. The average class size is 14, with two teachers in each class and a student-to-teacher ratio of 7:1. Our advanced mathematics program and our reading and writing workshop format provide differentiated instruction and opportunities for students to progress and achieve excellence. Highly trained specialist instructors teach coding, Spanish, physical education, art, laboratory science, library, music and theater arts.

How do you empower students to take on leadership roles?

Our leadership program is open to all students who wish to join in grades 4–8. This year’s leadership students, with their faculty advisor, voted to focus on community, environment and animals. Among their recent projects, they led the flag pledge at a Rolling Hills Estates City Council meeting, help manage our student store and are planning a beach cleanup. The students created holiday thank-you cards for local law enforcement personnel, which prompted a visit by a Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department deputy. They learned about the details of a deputy’s daily work and engaged in a meaningful Q & A session. 

What is your character education program?

Character education has been emphasized in all aspects of school life since Peninsula Heritage School’s founding. Our six character qualities—Caring, Attitude, Respect, Gratitude, Perseverance and Self-Control—are the focus of our all-school assemblies, and teachers continually include these qualities in academics including essay writing, reading analyses and social studies discussions. Feedback about the effectiveness of this character education program can be heard in the compliments we receive from high school teachers and administrators about the outstanding character of our graduates.