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26278 Wood Canyon Drive
Aliso Viejo, CA 92656

(949) 349-9452
(949) 362-9108
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Map of Don Juan Avila Elementary School address.

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January 16, 2014
The principal of this school is rigid, not open to ideas and micro-manages even the way the kids play on the playground. She doesn't see the whole picture and doesn't understand real world day-to-day school function. Morning traffic was down to a science with the previous principal. Ever since she took over, 10 minutes in line and you still won't get into the parking lot. She only stands by the gate to make sure the adults have a badge to get into the school (where the badge you can obtain in the office by signing any name on the check-in book). She could've use her time effectively to manage school traffic. Put the old principal back. Majority of the kids don't like this principal and feel they can't trust her.

- submitted by a parent
May 12, 2013
The new Principal is wonderful! She is bringing so many great changes to this school. She sets high expectations for both teachers and students. She truly knows and cares about her students. She greets each child every morning by his/her name, and she is out on the playground during lunch and recess to ensure the rules are being followed. She is available to listen and answer any questions or concerns parents may have.

- submitted by a parent
March 21, 2013
Not a fan of the new principal. She can be rude in her email responses to parents, and I agree with the previous poster: She is rigid and autocratic and not open to suggestions. I received such bad service one day that I am considering transferring my child asap!

- submitted by a parent
March 02, 2013
The new principal is wonderful. She is a strong leader that has high expectations for her teachers and students. The principal is always available to listen and answer questions from parents. She works extremely hard to ensure learning is taking place every day! Both of my daughters have outstanding teachers that strive to create an environment which encourages learning. Both teachers communicate regularly with parents, challenge their students, and care about their well being.

- submitted by a parent
December 16, 2012
New principal lacks rapport with the students and parents. School environment has changed drastically. There is an air of suppression. Her leadership style is rigid and autocratic and leaves little room for suggestions, a far cry from the previous leadership.

- submitted by a community member
September 05, 2012
35+ kids in combo classes, terrible teacher quality. Look at teachers' websites, avoid this school if you can! I will definitely take my child to a better school, with less pupils in classes where she can get the education that she deserves! It's so hard to believe that there are combo classes!

- submitted by a parent
July 07, 2012
My kid was in 4th grade in a combo class. His grades declined towards the end of the 3rd tri-semester (from O to S-), as the teacher had family problems and brought these issues into the class. Kids were observing that the teacher constantly taking the days off due to marriage problems and problems she had with her own kids. Teacher s 17 years old daughter got pregnant and her teen-aged son missed school on many occasions because he was playing in the music band. Therefore the teacher used to leave in the middle of the combo class to call here and there to sort out things. It was unbelievable that kids were observing that their own teacher was lying to her son's school and told them that her son could not make the school because he was sick. Just lying on a daily basis!. This teacher used to target the kiddos and threatened them to send them to principal s office, because she could not manage the class because of her lack of personal integrity. The Principal himself supported the teacher and never asked her to leave personal problems at home and do her job properly. Most of the helping moms could not do anything, since they knew their kiddos could be targeted by the teacher.

- submitted by a parent
June 10, 2011
I have 2 sons that attend here, my eldest started in kindergarten and is now in 1st and I have a preschooler. My eldest was testing at the top in kindergarten has fallen behind this year due to the quality of his teacher, several of his peers from kindergarten are reading fluently and excel all around where as my son is struggling. His teacher misses A LOT of school and does not require much from the students. Many of the children in her class are struggling. The class size at this school is very high as well, all over 30 per teacher with no aides. If you have a choice I would go elsewhere. Mr Lohman is the un-involved principal, never smiles, never interacts with parents or students unless there is trouble. The drop off/pick up car line is a nightmare, anyone can cut in line or park in the teachers lots...there is no one to stop them only a teacher or two to wave cars up when the line moves. Overall, I am very disappointed with my experience here and am moving my children to a different school. The theme this year was "Maximum Output" shouldn't it be "Maximum INput" to the kids?! Also, not sure what the comment below if referring to b/c DJAE does not have 5 day "pre-k" maybe KG?

- submitted by a parent
April 12, 2011
My child has been attending their pre-K program for 7 months now, 5 days a week for 3 hours a day. From the very first day, she has never lost interest in going to school. Her teachers are very warm, patient, inspiring and supportive. She enjoys interacting with her classmates as well. I would say this group was a good blend of kids from 3 1/2 to 5 years old. Thank you DJAE school for having an excellent preschool program to build my child's confidence and prepare her for kindergarten. Thank you too to the parents for raising nice kids.

- submitted by a parent
March 24, 2010
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- submitted by a parent
May 28, 2009
My child is a first grader and I didn't think he learned as much as we expected in school. We felt that we had to work with him so much at home like every day and every weekend for 3-5 hours ourselfs and hiring private tutors in order for him to learn everything the first grader must know. The marks system is all messed up and awful making a lot of parents dissapointed and confussed. Very dissapointed and considering changing school.

- submitted by a parent
March 30, 2008
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- submitted by a parent
September 11, 2007
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- submitted by a parent
May 25, 2006
The principal of this school is wonderful. I have had a great experience with the administration and teachers. You will find that the school is very well maintained and that the academic curriculum is outstanding, the extra curricular activities and sense of community is nice too.

- submitted by a parent
May 22, 2006
Don Juan is a new school, only 6 years old. The school is Blue Ribbon school. The school has very high standards and the teachers for the most part are very good. The only real negative is that is it a large school.

- submitted by a parent
May 13, 2006
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- submitted by a parent
May 06, 2006
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- submitted by a parent
May 04, 2006
We have had some outstanding and very caring teachers here, but also had some who did not know how to bring out the best in our aaa/gate child. Some of the teachers were set in their ways and not open to suggestions from us. The music and art programs are outstanding, with instrument lessons starting in 3rd grade and general music from kindergarten on. There are lots of opportunities for extracurricular activities, including a science night where the kids got to do experiments which were taught by other students. The parents are very involved, which makes a somewhat large school seem small.

- submitted by a parent
February 26, 2006
The quality of academic programs is good, it's a distinguished blue ribbon school. The current principal, Mrs. Samuels, is very involved and good. They do offer music education in grades 4 & 5, not too impressed with sports and extracurricular activities. Parents are quite involved, more so than other schools I've seen.

- submitted by a parent
August 16, 2005
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- submitted by a parent
June 19, 2005
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- submitted by a parent
May 29, 2005
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- submitted by a parent
March 31, 2005
My children attended this school for 3 years. They gave up an incredible principal, and I was not happy with the new one. The original principal was very involved and atttentive to each individual student. This had a positice affect on our children. They felt individually important. He was consistent with policy and disipline, while at the same time genuinly loving. The new principal seemed more concerned about pleasing district administration and very distant from the children. I had a child with special needs, and she was not much help with getting her into appropriate programs. She just didn't seem to care as much about the individual as much as the scores and the masses. A new school opened closer to our home and we were very happy to switch.

- submitted by a parent
February 08, 2005
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- submitted by a parent
February 08, 2005
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- submitted by a parent
February 05, 2005
This school goes strictly by James Fleming Superintendent imposed 'rules' board policy 1250 which I find can hinder the level of parental involvement. Classroom visits need 48 hours notice. Visits are limited to 20 minutes unless principal belives compelling circumstances for a longer visit. A District employee has to accompany visitor. Visits are limited to one individual in addition to the District employee. I wish comments in regards to my child's academic performance were more natural instead of so correctly worded. The school is a beautiful school although the playground does not have any swings for children to swing on at recess.

- submitted by a parent
January 31, 2005
I has been a wonderful experience, good child to teacher ratio. Teacher genuinely care for chils education

- submitted by a parent
May 07, 2004
Don Juan Avila is a wonderful school. What isn't obvious from statistics about the school is that the teachers are so caring, compassionate and positive. They do so many extra things for the kids, little celebratory parties for class acheivements, they participate in the talent show with the kids, they have pajama-reading Fun Friday parties. You can tell it's way more than just a job to them. The principal is very approachable...she greets most of the kids and parents by name in front of the school each morning as she helps direct traffic. The school curriculum is very academic, but also there is a major program for the kids called Character Counts, which helps develop good citizens and good people. Parents at this school care deeply about their children's education, which also contributes to the high levels of parental involvement in the class and in the PTA.

- submitted by a parent
January 05, 2004
Our son has attended Oak Grove from kindergarden to 5th grade. Principals and teachers are excellent (skilled, innovative, sensitive, etc.). Curriculums show real thought (and results). National, state and county test scores are high. District and parents push overachievement.

- submitted by a parent
September 24, 2003
The teachers, principal and staff at this school are the best available. Everyone is available and willing to help with ANY issues or concerns you may have with your student(s). The facilities are both beautiful and efficient too! With new buildings close enough together for quick access, plus a beautiful view surrounding the school, it makes for the perfect atmosphere in which to obtain an excellent education!

- submitted by a parent
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Last modified: October 28, 2014

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Don Juan Avila Elementary School
26278 Wood Canyon Drive, Aliso Viejo, CA  92656
(949) 349-9452
Last modified Don Juan Avila Elementary School is a Public school that serves grades K-5. It has received a GreatSchools rating of 8 out of 10 based on academic quality.
Don Juan Avila Elementary School Rating: 4 out of 5 based on 30 reviews. Top