Tuition for Ranking – Pinewood School – Rank – 4
327 Fremont Ave,
Los Altos, CA, 94024
Grades: K – 12
When Gwen and Victor Riches moved to the rural community of Los Altos in 1955, they had no plans to start an independent school. Mrs. Riches spent most of her energy caring for five energetic children and tending to their home at 327 Fremont Avenue. Mr. Riches was a university professor, economist, entrepreneur, and firm believer in projects for his children. One of those projects was to plant one thousand tiny pine tree seedlings. As the saplings grew and developed, the family transplanted them around the perimeter of the property and distributed some to neighbors and friends. Today the pine trees tower along the borders of the appropriately named “Pinewood School,” the present location of our Middle Campus.
The school began in 1959 when Victor left for an extended business trip to Australia for the Stanford Research Institute. Gwen thought a “little school” for their children and other young acquaintances might be a good way to channel her talents and energies during her husband’s absence. She quickly earned a reputation for instilling confidence in children through training in public speaking and drama. As a result, friends in the community began requesting lessons for their children. When Mr. Riches returned three months later, he found sixty-five happy children and their teachers engaged in singing, painting, acting, and dancing in his home.