10th Street Preschool Front

Our School

10th Street Preschool is founded by childhood development expert, Cindy Wasson, who has over 40+ years of experience. Nestled in a residential enclave in Santa Monica, 10th Street Preschool has been one of Southern California’s leading preschools for 30+ years.

Formerly owned by Hal Ashby and his family, our campus, just a few miles from the ocean, includes historic craftsman bungalows, lush flowers, and expansive, vibrant murals by Peter and Nancy Turner-Alvet.


Our Philosophy

Come from kindness, learn from play.

Parent Participation

We believe that parent participation is a key ingredient to the success of our school. The younger the child, the more important the bridge and bond between home and school. There is time for Family Cooking. Time for sharing family traditions, rituals and hobbies. Telling our stories to one another is another essential tradition in our school and crucial as we work together towards developing a sense of belonging and how to be a citizen of the world.

We provide opportunities for busy parents with busy schedules. We believe if there is a will, there is a way. We welcome parents, grandparents and special friends; they too are an integral part of daily life at 10th Street. This rich sharing, bringing the outside into our Red Door is the frosting on the cake.

Parents are invited to serve on our parent association board and to join one of our parent committees that include: Admissions, Angel, Community, Events, Family Friends, Fundraising, Group Parents, Kindergarten Liaison, Library, Parent Education, Secretary and Treasurer

Parents Participation

Community Service

Each year, 10th Street families make a positive impact within the preschool and the Santa Monica community at large. Our Scholarship Fund has served over 300 families and granted almost 2 million dollars, enables us to increase the social and economic diversity of our school while making a lasting difference in all of our lives.

Our outreach programs support carefully chosen programs in our community including Violence Intervention Program, Toys for Tots, City of Hope, the Santa Monica Food Drive and packing/delivering lunches every month for a local shelter.

Since the SandyHook tragedy in 2012 parents and firefighters have been tying ribbons on our front gate to honor loved ones and mark personal and public milestones. Children tie ribbons so our school is more beautiful for our neighbors.

Our Founder and Executive Director

As a mother of two adult children and an educator for more than 40 years, I am acutely aware of our stunning responsibility to care for, raise and educate children.

Allow me to tell you a very short story about my children before talking about my school and your children. My children are my best resume, not only for what they have accomplished in their young lives, rather for being kind, caring, compassionate and highly ethical human beings. Personal best was always our expectation. It’s in their connective tissue. Sam is a writer and film historian. Sophie is a psychotherapist who specializes in children, adolescents and young adults.


Thanks Giving Event
Halloween Event

The three of us were born and raised in the same zip code (where I continue to live), played at the same park, learned how to eat an ice cream cone at the same shoppe, got our library cards from the same library and our driver’s license from the same DMV. My son who is 42 continues to have hair cut by the same barber who gave him and his sister their first haircut, and who cut mine for over 20 years.

My children attended the same preschool and elementary school and went their individual ways for middle, high, college and post graduate studies. While we share the same work ethics, morals, and values, and while all three of our careers are devoted to communicating and connecting with others, we are uniquely different. This is crucial and as it should be.

The way we raise and educate our children cannot be in the same way. We may play in the same park, and we do not play in the same ways. We may learn to read at the same library, and we do not read in the same way. We are not robots or carbon copies. Every child loves in different ways and every learner learns in different ways.

Our most honorable job as grown-ups is to be skilled watchers and listeners, to be flexible and ego-less. Only then we will know how to best meet the needs of our children as they present each day, throughout the day. That is our mandate for caring, raising and educating children. At 10th Street Preschool, our goal is to nourish each child and each family, individually, and meet their changing social and emotional needs every day. Our guiding philosophy is love. We are comfortable including classic positive proven pedagogies to help grow each child. Children learn best when they are engaged in meaningful, mixed-age play.

Whether in the sandbox, pretend room, art bungalow, or play yard the children of 10th Street achieve cognitive, physical, and psychosocial skills which is how well-being is built. This is when we know our children are ready to walk out of our Red Door and into the new door of their elementary school. Eager, confident, curious, and kind.  They know they have a right to be heard and a responsibility to listen. They believe in personal best and consider themselves to be serious learners. They do not compete with their classmates, instead they are cooperative and kind.

Our thirty-two-year history of placing students locally and nationally in the most respected elementary schools—from the most traditional to the most progressive—attests to their desirability, eligibility, and readiness. Our 10th Street children and their families are known in the community as being proud and playful learners who model the essence of personal best. They are strong listeners and communicators with ethical empathetic behaviors, open-mindedness, curiosity, and solid self-discipline who possess the intellectual curiosity to learn, read, discuss, and explore. They have gained the self-confidence required to take emotional risks that are essential in challenging oneself to learn how to do something new or something hard. They can think from the perspectives of others, have acquired the ability to view issues from someone else’s point of view and cheer for one another rather than judge or compete. 

A large majority of our students matriculate from high school into universities of higher learning, on the national and international stage , and many earn post-doctoral degrees. Just as impressive is how they choose to stay in touch with us, returning often to give me the graduation hug that I taught them so long ago, (lean into the hug with both arms and give a little squeeze), and to visit their graduation photo and graduation tile. When they stand in front of their very first cubby, they don’t need to stand on their tippytoes anymore. They don’t need step stool either.

After three decades, I have honor of educating multigenerational families; children who graduated when they were 5 or 6 years old are now bringing their children to 10th Street. I see their 3-year-old faces in the faces of their 3-year-olds. They are walking through the Red Door as parents and in turn, their parents are now grandparents!

Once you walk through the Red Door your family will always belong to our family.

When I began with 8 children, I never imagined a life as meaningful and rich as this. 

My children do not belong to me anymore. They belong to themselves, to one another and to the world. The way I care, raise, and educate my children is the way I hope to partner with you. My life and my career are devoted to caring for families; mine, yours and theirs. 

I hope you will discover your home away from home at 10th Street Preschool and I look forward to teaching your children the graduation hug. 


Meet Our Staff



Cindy offers private consultations re Kindergarten admissions and placement, parenting and family issues.



Our beloved Director, Lacie found her way to the 10th Street sandbox in 2017. A kid at heart, you can often find her having a tea party in the Pretend Room or gleefully reading with the children.



Our Assistant Director, Heather joined the 10th Street family in 2011 as a mother and then a teacher in 2016. She has had the joy and honor of teaching in our Little School, Toddler, JPK and Preschool classrooms.



Our Little School teacher for the last three years, Oshena is a dedicated educator with endless patience, presence and fun for our littlest learners and their families.



We welcome Kim to 10th Street as our new Pre- K teacher! She comes to us with a deep love for helping children learn and grow, with a degree in Child Development and Family Studies and more than 10 years experience.



A dedicated and enthusiastic teacher with a degree in Early Childhood Education and a BA in Social Work, Roxie is committed to making a lasting positive impact in the lives of children.



A passionate advocate for bringing magic, creativity, love and kindness to early education, it would seem as though Briana was born to teach at 10th Street.

Dr. Sophie

Dr. Sophie

Sophie is a licensed clinical psychologist who provides psychotherapy to children, adolescents, and adults. With her extensive training in child and adolescent development and her work as the Upper School Psychologist at Harvard Westlake School in Los Angeles from 2017-2023 we are happy to have her join our team as a School Consultant.