In 1990, Primavera Preschool became the first school in Prescott to be accredited by the National Academy of Early Childhood Programs (NAEYC). Today, our preschool, pre-kindergarten, and Kindergarten classrooms have maintained the NAEYC accreditation for 28 years! From 1993 until 1997, new buildings were added to the campus and major moves were made to expand and remodel the existing buildings.

Fundraising events took off, and 4th and 5th grades were added back into the school. 6th grade was added for the 2015-2016 school year. The arts, music, physical education, computers, foreign language, and especially field trips became an integral part of a Primavera education. Today, in 2018, a new pre-kindergarten classroom was added, and the 5th/6th grade classroom was dropped, making Primavera a pre-k through 4th grade program, emphasizing early childhood education.

The education of the Whole Child is valued and demonstrated as we strive to keep children healthy, safe, engaged, supported and challenged.

Life-long learning and valued friendships result from the sense of community found at Primavera School. Students and families, both past and present have “Discovered the Primavera Difference!”


Primavera School opened on September 11, 1972 with an enrollment of 20 students, ages 5-8, on a 15 acre parcel bordering the Prescott National Forest.

The land was donated by Cynthia Earl to Rebecca Ruffner, one of the founders of the school, and was originally a goat farm. The farmhouse was remodeled into useable classroom space, and through the years, other buildings were added as enrollment grew.

Primavera School was started as a private, independent elementary school and still is today, 43 years later. Rebecca Ruffner, upon opening the school, was quoted as saying that “Primavera offers a basic primary school curriculum with emphasis on the individualized instruction of the core subjects.”

She went on to say that “Primavera does not intend to compete or conflict with Prescott’s public schools; rather it intends only to augment the educational opportunities of the community by presenting an alternative style of education.”

In 1980, the preschool program at Primavera was born and with it, the Montessori-based curriculum for young children.

In 1982, the Solar Building was completed to provide much needed classroom space for the 73 students enrolled in preschool through 6th grade! Becky Ruffner retired as Director, followed by a series of new Directors until 1990, when the current Director, Carol Darrow, took over the position.

The school became an oasis for developmentally appropriate early childhood education, preschool through 3rd grade.

Today Primavera School continues to prepare children for the future as life-long learners by encouraging high academic standards across a progressive curriculum within a small classroom setting.