Solis School eying former bank building for flagship private school


A new private school is hoping to find a new home in the Rancho Santa Fe village.

Rancho Santa Fe resident Nia Stefani and her business partner Cara Day believe they have found the perfect location for their flagship Solis School at 6051 El Tordo, in an empty former bank building. The building is currently for sale and Solis School is prepared to purchase or lease the space.

Stefani is a mother of three and the founder and CEO of Xnergy Financial, an investment banking firm and venture capital fund. For the new school venture, she partnered with Day, a lifelong educator who runs Day Prep in La Jolla. A teacher, psychologist and educational therapist, Day has been serving children and families since 1996 and opened her first school in 2009. Day Prep now has five locations including Laguna Beach and Beverly Hills.

“Many venture-backed companies are born out of need,” said Stefani, presenting an informational item to the Rancho Santa Fe Association board on Oct. 6. “We have identified a need to open a school that provides educational opportunities to children that are not available today.”

As a resident of The Crosby, she knows there are many families with young children looking for a private school option that is closer to their homes: “We feel that there is a demand for this type of opportunity and this is the perfect location.”

The Rancho Santa Fe building has a capacity for 120 students and the school would likely start small with about 50 students, perhaps only the middle school grades. The plan would be to turn some of the parking at the back of the building into a grassy outdoor area; Solis would also provide transportation for students.

The school will have Western Association of Schools and Colleges (W.A.S.C.) accreditation and aim to “reimagine education,” providing individualized learning opportunities. Students write and publish their own scientific journals and can select elective courses in subjects such as coding, engineering, information technology, arts and business. Their integrity curriculum teaches students about emotional regulation, interpersonal effectiveness, communication skills and mindfulness.

“We are super excited about the possibility of providing what we believe is a much-needed opportunity here in Rancho Santa Fe,” Day said. “We just feel it’s a great pairing. It would benefit Rancho Santa Fe to have more options for kiddos.”

Day and Stefani’s intention is to open the flagship school in Rancho Santa Fe in fall 2023 and then expand nationally. The project would need to go through the county approval process. Their next step will be holding informational meetings for parents and prospective students.

To learn more, visit