Gillispie School

Independent school and pre-school in La Jolla, CA. Inspiring joyous learners Age 2 - Grade 6.

Gillispie School is an independent, coeducational day school serving students from Age 2 through Grade 6 in downtown La Jolla. We view learning as a collaborative journey, encouraging active participation from our students. In partnership with our dedicated teachers, students engage in a holistic approach to academic, creative, and social development. Our child-centered philosophy respects the pac

Operating as usual


We are so happy to have our students back on campus for Summer Explorers! 🌞 Watch our stories for fun video clips and photos! πŸ‘€


πŸŽ“βœ¨ Congratulations to the Gillispie Class of 2024! βœ¨πŸŽ“

We wish you a wonderful summer filled with joy, laughter, and new adventures. As you embark on your next journey, remember that no matter where you go, the Gillispie sun will always shine on you. 🌞

Here's to the incredible future ahead of you! Keep shining bright, Class of 2024! 🌟


🌟 This year, students in Ms. Cohn’s Grade 4 class set out to help endangered animals and children in hospitals. They asked themselves one question: "How do we help people and animals?" With the guidance of Mr. Edwards, Mr. Belsha, and Ms. Cohn, they embarked on a year-long entrepreneurial venture!

They created three wonderful heart-filled businesses:
🐾 Furry Friends: Dog toys from recycled materials
🐒 Knick-Knackers: Jewelry and knick-knacks inspired by endangered species
🍲 Taste of the World: A cookbook with family favorites from around the globe

At our Arts & Design Showcase, these young entrepreneurs sold their hand-made creations for donations and presented $1,000 each to Rady Children’s Hospital and San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance! πŸ‘

Way to go, Grade 4! πŸ™Œ


πŸ’™ 🧑 Today we celebrated creativity and innovation at our Spring Arts & Design Showcase! ✨ Families and friends were invited to enjoy wonderful musical performances 🎢 , amazing artwork πŸ–ΌοΈ , innovative science and design projectsπŸ’‘,and even entrepreneurial ventures! Watch our stories for a glimpse!

Bravo to our dedicated teachers and staff who brought this stunning event together! πŸ‘


πŸ“£ This month's "Gillispie Gem" is here! πŸ“£

In the May issue, discover how:

✨ We measure success
✨ Good citizens are nurtured on and off the field
✨ Our Grade 6 graduates are leaving a mark on our school and hearts
✨ Families bring the world to our classrooms
✨ One Gillispie student was inspired and won a national poetry contest!

Go to read the "Gem"!☝️


Happy Friday, Gillispie! 🌞 As the school year comes to an end, don’t forget to check the "Sun" for important dates and follow us here for reminders.

Key dates for next week:

Monday, May 20, to Wednesday, May 22 - Gently Used Gillispie Uniform Drive πŸ‘•
~ Drop off gently used Gillispie uniforms, with current logo and free of stains and tears, for next fall's Used Uniform Sale. All sizes are welcome!

Friday, May 24 - Spring Arts & Design Showcase 🎨🎢
~ Go to for the flyer with music performance times.

Photos from Gillispie School's post 05/16/2024

🌱πŸ₯•πŸŒΏ Today, Pre-K friends had a wonderful time harvesting carrots and peas that Dr. Mindy planted a few months ago. Due to the limited sun, it took longer than expected for them to grow, but they finally made it!

Among the carrots, we found a rolly-polly and a small green caterpillar, which we carefully relocated to the butterfly garden.

After washing all the carrots and beans, we got straight to work peeling! Most friends enjoyed both the carrots and the beans. Once they figured out how to split open the pod, they became more adventurous in trying them.

Thank you Dr. Mindy for allowing us to harvest these delicious πŸ₯• and beans!

Photos from Gillispie School's post 05/15/2024

🎭 Last Friday, Grade 6 students delivered a wonderful performance of Shakespeare's "The Tempest" in front of proud parents and families. The audience was captivated! Bravo to these young stars for their fabulous portrayal!


🎨✨ SAVE THE DATE! We're thrilled to invite parents and family members to the 2024 Spring Arts & Design Showcase on the morning of Friday, May 24. This event is a celebration of performing arts, visual arts, and science and design at Gillispie! 🎡

Join us for musical performances in the MPR, displays of elementary art in the gym, EC art in the atelier, innovative design projects on the sandbox deck and the entrepreneurial spirit of our 4th-grade business sale in the art garden. 🌷

We can't wait to share the creativity and talent of our students with you! See you there! 🌟

Photos from Gillispie School's post 05/06/2024

Embarking on a journey through time with our Grade 1 adventurers! ⏳ From dressing like a pioneer to learning about the daily lives of children 150 years ago, our students experienced history up close.

This interactive presentation brought history to life for our students through engagement, active participation, multi-sensory learning, real-world connections, critical thinking, collaboration, memorable experiences, and personalized learning.

Photos from Gillispie School's post 05/04/2024

Exploring the joy of reading and friendship together! Today our Grade 6 students were outside reading with their Book Buddies from early childhood. Each week they get together to read, play games, and learn about each other, building lasting friendships and memories one page at a time. πŸ“šπŸ’«


πŸŽ“ Former Gillispie students, graduating from high school this year, are invited to join us for our Graduating Seniors Alumni Event on Thursday, May 23 from 3:30 – 5:00 p.m.

Each alumnus may bring up to two guests from their household (parent, sibling, etc.) Wear something that tells us what you will be doing next year!

RSVP at by May 16, 2024.
β €β €

Photos from Gillispie School's post 04/26/2024

🐝✨Gillispie students participated in last night's Coastwise Spelling Bee in La Jolla Shores! Competing against peers from local schools, our spellers performed well, with one student securing a top-four spot.

What truly stood out was their unwavering support for each other. From cheering on successes to offering encouragement after missed words, they demonstrated true camaraderie. Our spellers exhibited resilience and determination throughout the competition.

Congratulations to all our spelling bee participants for their hard work and dedication! πŸ‘

Photos from Gillispie School's post 04/22/2024

🌎 Earth Day is every day! In the April issue of the Gillispie Gem, we spotlight the tulip garden next to the Art Cottage. It is a beautiful reminder of the interconnectedness between nature, art, and community. 🌱🎨

🌷 Students planted and cared for the tulip bulbs, witnessing the transformation from bulbs to blooms. The shared experience of admiring and enjoying the natural beauty around them is significant for our students. It brings them together, fostering a sense of belonging and unity while serving as a reminder of the collective effort invested in cultivating these beautiful tulips and caring for our environment.

Read the whole story at

Photos from Gillispie School's post 04/15/2024

πŸ‘’βœ¨ Thank you to everyone who made Boots & Bling a success! 🌟 We're still buzzing from the laughter, dancing, and incredible generosity shown by our Gillespie community.

πŸ“’ OUR SILENT AUCTION IS OPEN! Don't miss your chance to bid on over 100 amazing items, πŸ–ΌοΈ including these stunning pieces created by our early childhood friends! Our silent auction is open until Wednesday, April 17, 8 p.m. Bid now at!


Making a difference one apple at a time! 🍏 Last Saturday, Gillispie families came together to volunteer , sorting and packing 3,753 pounds of apples for various programs like the School Pantry Program that serves local San Diegans experiencing hunger. Way to go, Gillispie!

Want to join us in giving back? Visit or follow them to learn how you can get involved. Together, we can make a difference!

Photos from Gillispie School's post 04/09/2024

πŸ‘’βœ¨ Boots & Bling Live Auction items are here, and they're incredible! Here's a sneak peek at three amazing packages we'll be bidding on:

⚾ Step up to the plate with our exclusive VIP package for 4 at a San Diego Padres game! You'll enjoy the luxury of the Owners Box at Petco Park, complete with gourmet food, drinks, VIP parking, and more! This is a rare, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, usually reserved for the Padres' ownership group! Expires July 31, 2024. Our thanks to Tom and Josie Seidler for this generous donation.

⛳️ Bid on our Augusta Final Rounds package for a chance to attend the 2025 Final Rounds on April 12th and 13th. This bucket-list item includes 2 nights in a luxurious two-bedroom condo or house near Augusta, Georgia, and more! The Masters is an exclusive sporting event, and tickets are notoriously hard to come by, making this a truly special opportunity!

🌴 Escape to paradise with our Kauai luxury 6-night vacation package! Stay at the stunning Anini Beach House, once owned by Sylvester Stallone, visited by the Grateful Dead. With 4 bedrooms, 6.5 bathrooms, a gourmet chef's kitchen, panoramic ocean views, and more this home is the epitome of luxury. Thanks to the Kleinbub family for sharing this week in paradise!

Photos from Gillispie School's post 04/08/2024

πŸ“šβœ¨ First graders at Gillispie are authors in the making! We invited families to witness our students’ opinion-writing journeys after five weeks of hard work. Students learned to express their opinions, provide convincing reasons, and use interesting synonyms to persuade their readers. πŸ’« It's always a joy to welcome families and share our students' work with them.

Photos from Gillispie School's post 04/04/2024

πŸŒŸπŸ§˜β€β™€οΈ Our Early Childhood program has added a new weekly yoga class with Ms. Sarah. Friends in Willow were introduced to Ms. Sarah and yoga during a morning indoor exploration, and it was a hit!

Ms. Sarah guided the children through a breathing exercise, inviting them to envision their favorite color while focusing on their breath. They also explored fun yoga poses, pretending to be caterpillars transforming into beautiful butterflies. It was a magical experience that sparked their imagination and engaged their bodies.

To end the session, the children relaxed as they listened to the soothing sound of Ms. Sarah's unique drum, leaving everyone feeling calm and centered.

Our friends in Willow loved their time with Ms. Sarah and can't wait for more yoga adventures. These classes will be a special opportunity for children to explore movement, mindfulness, and self-expression.

Namaste! πŸŒΈπŸ§˜β€β™‚οΈ

Photos from Gillispie School's post 04/02/2024

🌸 Introducing Juniper’s β€œFloral Echos”! 🌿 Juniper explored cyanotype printing to create this masterpiece for the Boots & Bling Silent Auction. Cyanotype is an antique photographic process where light-sensitive fabric captures anything that casts a shadow into blue monochromatic prints.

Working together, the children collected flowers from the gardens around the school and arranged them on the cyanotype fabric. Excitement filled the air as the fabric transformed under the sun's rays. But the real magic happened when the children rinsed the fabric in cool water!

Juniper collaborated with Mr. Royer to craft custom wood frames, adding a captivating 3D effect to their cyanotypes.

Don’t miss the chance to bid on β€œFloral Echos” and other early childhood artwork at the Boots & Bling Silent Auction on April 13th!


Welcome back, Gillispie families! πŸŽ‰ We hope everyone had a fantastic spring break. Here's what's happening this week:

πŸ“š Grade 2 Book Drive: Donate gently used toddler-teen books in our red and blue bins until May 9th.

πŸƒβ€β™‚οΈ Running Club: Join us Tuesday, April 2nd at 7:30 a.m. (weather permitting).

πŸ‘©β€πŸ‘§β€πŸ‘¦ Early Childhood Parent Check-in: Tuesday, April 2nd at 8:30 a.m.

πŸ‘©β€πŸ‘§β€πŸ‘¦ Elementary Parent Check-in: Wednesday, April 3rd at 8:30 a.m.

πŸ‘’βœ¨ Tickets to Boots & Bling are almost sold out! Go to to buy yours.

Looking forward to a fantastic week ahead!


🎨✨ Get ready to bid on Willow's stunning multi-media piece, "Everything Grows and Grows." This masterpiece, along with many others, was created by our early childhood classes for the Boots & Bling Silent Auction! Join us on Saturday, April 13th, and stay tuned as we spotlight more EC art!

πŸŽŸοΈπŸš€ TICKETS ARE SELLING FAST! We have just 25 tickets left and expect to be sold out. Get tickets at


πŸ“° This month's gems! The March issue of "Gillispie Gem" is here! This month we're talking about the magic of mud, using forensics to solve a mystery, Generation AI's tech-powered learning, and more!

Read the March 2024 edition at

Read the mobile version at

Photos from Gillispie School's post 03/15/2024

☘️✨ Luck of the Irish at Gillispie! Wishing our wonderful families a fantastic weekend filled with joy and good fortune. Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Photos from Gillispie School's post 03/14/2024

🍎✏️ Celebrating our Amazing Teachers! 🌟 Because of our incredible parents, this week we celebrated our dedicated teachers and staff. Each day, they have been treated to special breakfasts, coffee, and snacks to start their day. Today, students arrived with flowers, cards, and even balloons. We extend our sincerest thanks to all our teachers and staff for their tireless efforts in shaping and nurturing the minds of our students, making a lasting impact on their lives every day. ❀️


🎨✨ The outdoor art classroom nestled behind the cottage is a gem! 🌷 Kindergarteners' tulips are in full bloom, while fruit and flower trees, along with sails, provide shade. Sturdy blue stools invite young artists to collaborate and create at spacious tables. With the sun shining and seagulls soaring, today was a perfect day in our outdoor art classroom!

Photos from Gillispie School's post 03/12/2024

πŸŽ™οΈ Grade 4 students have been creating podcasts! 🌟 In collaboration with Ms. Hasler Waters, Director of Technology, Ms. Cohn's class presents "Peace of Poetry," where they explore famous poets, genres, and create inspiring poems. In Ms. Haas' class, "Golden Poppy Podcast" takes listeners through California's rich history to the present day, inspiring connections to the Golden State. Stay tuned for more about these podcasts in our March issue of the Gillispie Gem! ✨


🌟 Double Your Impact for Boots & Bling! 🌟 The Scher family is generously matching sponsorships up to $10,000 until Monday, March 18! Join us in supporting all Gillispie students at our spring fundraiser. Let's make every dollar count, TWICE! πŸ’«

Photos from Gillispie School's post 03/08/2024

Exploring Nature's Wonders 🐌✨ Friends in Magnolia were excited to discover a snail in the garden! They asked questions like, "Why is it so slow?", "What does it eat?", and "Why does it have a hard shell?" When the snail retreated into its shell, they decided it was sleeping. πŸ₯°

Our early childhood teachers embraced this fascinating encounter with their class. ✨ Learning experiences inspired by the children’s interests and questions foster deeper thinking and understanding.


REMINDER! CALL FOR WINE TOMORROW 3/6!πŸ‘’ ✨ Drop off a bottle (or two!) of your favorite wine to Gillispie during drop-off and/or pick-up for the Wine Toss at Boots & Bling.

Volunteers will be available curbside to take the wine from you. As a thank you, you will receive a Boots & Bling treat and be entered into a drawing for a $100 gift card to the newly reopened The Whaling Bar at La Valencia Hotel!

➑️ WHEN: March 6 and 13, during drop-off and pick-up

➑️ WHERE: Girard and Fay

Visit our event website for tickets and sponsorship opportunities at πŸ”—

Thank you to SD Cookie Guru for the treats!

Want your school to be the top-listed School/college in San Diego?

Click here to claim your Sponsored Listing.

Our Story

Gillispie School is an independent, coeducational day school enrolling 265 students from age two through Grade Six. Our campus is located in downtown La Jolla.

Learning is a journey in which children are active participants. Our Preschool through Grade 6 students partner with teachers to further their academic, creative, and social growth. We balance a child-centered approach that does not rush childhood with well-researched academic programs that demand higher-level thinking. We focus on social emotional learning that develops strength of character, kindness towards others, and openness to diverse ideas and cultures. To become positive contributors to society, students must become joyous learners, empathetic citizens of the world, articulate communicators, and independent and confident problem-solvers. At Gillispie, we partner with families to provide the best opportunity for children to achieve these goals.

Videos (show all)

Today, the campus was buzzing with excitement for Boots & Bling! πŸ‘’ ✨ Students, teachers, and staff came dressed in their...
πŸ‘Ÿ With every STEP… we LEARN, we GROW, we meet the FUTURE. ✨Let’s be READY!Support Gillispie students' unique journeys an...
✨ At Gillispie School, the future arrives... Every. Single. Day. Let's be ready! While tuition covers most of the expens...
πŸΊπŸ•πŸ· We had so much fun at Brew, Bites & Vines! Here are a few pictures! We look forward to seeing you at our next Gillis...
πŸ»πŸ”πŸ‡ Don’t miss Brews, Bites and Vines! We will have delicious sips and bites generously sponsored by some of our favorit...
Learning about sequencing in Kindergarten and early childhood is an important readiness skill that helps young children ...
The Halloween Parades this morning were so much fun! We are getting the videos edited and ready to send to parents, so c...
Happy first day of school, everyone! We are so excited to have our students back on campus! ❀️❀️❀️
Per our last post, check out this magical video! Ms. Fleming brought in these chrysalises so our campers could watch the...
There is nothing better thank a bike (or trike!) ride with friends :) 🚲 ❀️
Silent Auction





7380 Girard Avenue
San Diego, CA

Opening Hours

Monday 8am - 3pm
Tuesday 8am - 3pm
Wednesday 8am - 3pm
Thursday 8am - 3pm
Friday 8am - 3pm
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