Hollywood Schoolhouse was established in 1945 as the Hollywood Little Red Schoolhouse by Ruth Pease in response to the country’s request to help meet the childcare needs of the post-war community. Ruth grew up in an environment where she was the subject of prejudice and social exclusion, so from the beginning she envisioned a school where all children were accepted, loved, and welcomed for who they are as individuals.
Together with her husband Robert, she set out to create a nurturing learning environment where students were encouraged to explore their world creatively, socially, and intellectually. Ruth believed that if you instilled children with self-confidence and curiosity, they would become lifelong learners.
For more than 23 years, the Hollywood Schoolhouse served the area as a warm and loving preschool. In 1970, Ruth passed the school onto her daughter Debbie Wehbe, who carried on her mother’s traditions and educational philosophy. Together with her husband Ferris, she expanded the school in the coming decades to meet the community’s evolving academic and social-emotional needs.
In 1984, the Elementary Division was established, followed by campus improvements including a swimming pool and expanded classroom and administrative facilities. This expansion laid the foundation for Hollywood Schoolhouse’s beloved art, technology, science, performing, and athletic programs.
In 2002, Hollywood Schoolhouse was granted nonprofit 501(c)(3) status under Debbie’s leadership and became an independent school. Today, Hollywood Schoolhouse serves the families of more than 300 children.
Hollywood Schoolhouse was founded as a community school and has always enjoyed a close relationship with its immediate neighborhood. Through its participation in Big Sunday, PALS, ongoing neighborhood clean-ups, and much more, the Schoolhouse has enjoyed its role in the recent renaissance of Hollywood.
The school continues to be a driving force within the local community, providing opportunities for neighborhood meetings, play for neighborhood kids, and events.