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John Thomas Dye

John Thomas Dye 

11414 Chalon Rd
Los Angeles, CA 90049

Grades: K-6

Enrollment: 335

Student Teacher Ratio: 14 to 1 (one lead teacher and one teacher’s associate in each class so its really like 7 to 1)


John Thomas Dye is not just Elementary school – it’s a Second Home!

John Thomas Dye school is affectionately called JTD by its students, parents, and teachers. It holds one of the top spots on the short lists for best Elementary schools in the whole city. It is a Co-Ed Traditional Private School which means rigorous academics- lots of homework, parent teacher conferences twice a year and quarterly narrative report cards.

John Thomas Dye is tucked away in an idyllic and rustic tree covered 5-acre canyon in Bel Air.  With the pristine beauty of the surroundings, John Thomas Dye feels more like a summer camp than an elementary school – maybe that is the reason students love going there so much. In one graduation letter a JTD student writes “sometimes I even sit at home alone and wish that I could be at JTD”.  I think that is pretty amazing! Many students echo the sentiment that JTD feels like home.

The school was founded in 1929 by husband and wife Cathryn Robberts Dye and John Thomas Dye II. They taught the first classes in the living room of their home. The first permanent facility was built in 1949 in the schools current location. Originally the school was named Brentwood Town and Country School, however the name was changed in 1959 to John Thomas Dye school in honor of the founders son John Thomas Dye III who was a fighter pilot in WWII  and was killed by the enemy in action.

I think the original values of the founders are still very much alive in the traditions and culture of John Thomas Dye today. There is an Honor Code that is taught to students that the administration takes very seriously.

They are focused on traditional family values, which might be a turn off for more modern families.  Each morning students recite a school poem and the pledge of allegiance to the flag before beginning the day.

Over the years many improvements have been made to the school facilities. Today the school has every amenities available to students that one could want.

There are two campuses. The Kindergarten is located across the street from the main campus. There are three Kindergarten classrooms and one science lab used for K-3 science program and a small out door amphitheater.

The Main Campus has the computer lab, concert hall, 10 classrooms, gym, library, art rooms, playing field, and the brand new Michaud Academic Center.

Children in grades K-3 are grouped into three classes of 14 and are instructed by two teachers in each class room, one lead instructor and an associate- this means class have a very low 7 to 1 student to teacher ratio! Children stay together in self-contained classrooms.

When students reach 4th grade, they start rotating classrooms for different subjects like they will in  middle school or highschool. The school does this to get students ready to graduate. Students are also permitted to play sports, write for the school paper, and participate in student government.

In addition to all these academics and programs, there are a bunch of annual events- like back to school picnic, Halloween, Spring Fair, the Candle Lighting Ceremony.

Parents who send their children to John Thomas Dye are very high networth. There is a natural connection between families that attend JTD and the local country clubs like Brentwood, Bel Air, and The Jonathan Club. They take exotic vacations to places in Europe and Martha’s Vineyard because they have more money than they know what to do with.


It is extremely difficult to get in. There are only 36 Kindergarten spots. The school adds some seats up to a class size of 40-48 in 1st grade so that is the second good entry point. Siblings of present students and children of legacy families who have maintained a good relationship with the school receive preference in admissions. This follows the schools family values- they do not like to split up families if it can be helped. Unfortunately this policy makes it even harder for new parents to get in. You definitely want to apply to multiple schools because it’s harder to get into JTD than Harvard!


Standard Private school tuition of approximately $30,000 a year when you factor in giving and other costs.


John Thomas Dye is a “feeder” school for Harvard-Westlake. John Thomas Dye also send a large number of students to Brentwood School. Almost all students Matriculate to another private school.


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