Students enrolled 617
School leader Deborah Dorney

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819 Pinehurst Drive
Aptos, CA 95003

(831) 688-2053
(831) 728-6467
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Map of Rio Del Mar Elementary School address.

3 stars
Based on 24 ratings

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June 03, 2014
I was bullied, beaten up and picked on by not only the students but by some of the staff due to my origin of birth!

- submitted by a community member
August 23, 2013
awful! DO NOT ENROLL YOUR CHILD IN THIS SCHOOL! I had to pull my child out on the first week because of a bloody knee. She is so depressed from this school she has not talked to me since we left. I really wish I could rate it 0 stars. Everyone gets bullied there. Also most of the teachers yell at the students. This may seem childish but every word is worth listening to.

- submitted by a parent
June 19, 2013
We moved to Aptos from Sacramento this year. Rio Del Mar Elementary has been great! It is a high ranking school so I was worried it would be filled with entitled children and parents. It is casual an friendly as well as amazing academically! The kids arenice and respectful, the teachers are great and the principal is impressive We are very happy here.

- submitted by a parent
October 08, 2012
Unfortunately, we had to pull both our children out of Rio Del Mar Elementary because there was no opportunity for our sons to excel. Our oldest son was there through third grade but, because he was such a nice kid and strong student, he was constantly being seated between kids that caused problems in class as a "buffer" or his teachers counted on him to help explain concepts to struggling students. When we asked for this to stop we were ignored. Our younger son was about to enter kindergarten, but we received several very rude phone calls from the new principal telling us she "advised against" enrolling kids who are on the young-side into kindergarten. We told her he was already starting to read and understood basic math concepts, but in the end she was so aggressive with us we didn't want to put our child into a situation where he wouldn't be welcome. In the end both my kids flourished in the local private school - worth every penny. Kids there are kind, teachers attentive, and everyone is welcome to move at their own pace.

- submitted by a parent
July 20, 2012
The reason the children score high on tests is because the curriculum is pressed on them at a very fast pace. Worksheets galore. The teachers try to insert as much art as they can but they are frustrated because the fast pace of learning does not leave much time for it. The Spectra arts program leaves about one hour per week for art/music. What the school lacks is a program or game plan for teaching kids how to be nice to others. Kids are kids, and those who act mean or even violent toward others on the playground get away with it almost every time. There are no set consequences and the teachers are not on the playground during recess. It is a free-for all. If your child does not like rough play (verbal/physical), your child will be swallowed whole. More parents need to speak up when it comes to creating an atmosphere of peace. If more parents make this a priority, I think there can be a change.

- submitted by a parent
February 17, 2012
We really love this school because the teachers have been very kind and energetic and the principal is educated, thoughtful, very responsive and well spoken. It's in a really beautiful ocean view setting and parents are very involved. In our class we have about three volunteers a day so the teacher is always supported. The teaching is traditional/progressive and the classrooms are spotless, bright, sunny, cheery with plenty of supplies. I would say there is not a lot of diversity at Rio Del Mar, this is a predominantly affluent, white suburb, which is representative of the school.

- submitted by a parent
August 13, 2011
Yikes, this school is bad. Completely agree with the other reviewer about bullying. Also,in my experience, there are a select group of students who get selective treatment with the best teachers year after year.

- submitted by a parent
February 26, 2011
We pulled our child out of this school due to the overwhelming and relentless bullying he experienced here. The bullying is pervasive at all grade levels unfortunately. The girls are no more immune to this environment than their male peers. I have never seen such ruthless behavior in young children. The school is too large to effectively manage the problem and the parents seem more interested in socializing with one another than taking action.

- submitted by a parent
November 14, 2010
Though Rio gets the great blue ribbons, there is a well known fact in the community about RIO... Zero Tolerance bullying but that is just not the case. Victims are made to confront their tormentors. As anyone knows, kids (people) recant their stories for fear of retaliation. Rio does not follow their own rules of discipline. I have talked to other Unified school employees who have pulled their children out of RIO for the lack of action on the part of the principle(s). I have talked to many parents whose kids have been bullied and their tormentors rarely get suspended, expelled..just a colored note w/ a slap on the hand. Parents and kids are made to sign a contract (that lists the consequences for bullying - that are not enforced). There is 1 assembly in the beginning of the school year re bullying. Effective? If the Administrators @ RIO were in touch w/ the realities of the playground they might change things. But they are out of touch. The parents of kids that I have talked to are afraid to go to school at times. As my (bullied) child says: "School sucks". Their motto is: "Where open hearts and open minds rule". Really. 1 on 1 w/ rio admins do not work.

- submitted by a parent
no rating September 18, 2009
Rio Del Mar Elementary school is a top notch school, with an amazing Principal, Vice Principal, staff and volunteers. The children are treated with great respect by talented and caring teachers. Even though these challenging economic times, parents are doing their best to keep their many programs running, with much success! Their Star test scores are high and gaining. We couldn't be happier!

- submitted by a parent
May 05, 2008
Rio is a solid school with an incredible staff. Each grade level (K-6) has dynamic teachers that work very hard and put in many hours beyond their contracts. Many of the teachers are still on the campus after all the soccer and baseball practices are over. The administration is very available and willing to listen, as are the office personal. My children have gained so much from this wonderful group of educators.

- submitted by a parent
November 13, 2007
this is a really good school i love it!

- submitted by a student
no rating September 29, 2007
Sorry to see that the principal has decided to leave. He really has been a great asset to the school. However, I'm happy that he is moving on as it seems like his hands have been tied with regards to several issues in the school.

- submitted by a parent
no rating September 22, 2007
Sixth grade is in the mud as teachers go. You can have a pleasant male teacher, but not learn a heck of a lot, except for computer technology. Or, you can have one of the majorly overbearing, unapproachable female teachers who walk around with frowns on their faces and give tons of homework, even on the weekends. If I had a child who was getting ready to reach the sixth grade, I would seriously think about transferring to Valencia where I have been told that the sixth grade teachers are more much more reasonable and patient. I think there should be a law where teachers should not be able to have a classroom more than five years as it seems like they either burn out or get too set in their ways. Anyway, I wish all sixth grade students luck. I really do mean that.

- submitted by a parent
February 06, 2007
I agree with the comments below on work outside the classroom, and long term projects that cannot possibly be done without complete participation of the parent, thus taking up their weekends as well! Also, nothing seems to be done about teasing.

- submitted by a parent
January 13, 2007
I find that there is way too much homework in the upper grades. I think, there should be more emphasis on core academics and less fooling around in school (excessive parties, field trips, etc.) so weekends will not be so flooded with work and projects that could be done during school hours. Teachers have our children all week and they should use that time wisely. When weekends roll around, students should have the opportunity to relax, be kids, and enjoy family life without having homework hanging over their heads. In addition, there is too much of an emphasis on grades. The honor roll and principal's list assembly each trimester seems a little unnecessary and unfair, especially when teachers grade differently. Anyway, it makes for too much competition and labeling. Please note: my child is on 'the list' and I still feel this way.

- submitted by a parent
June 29, 2006
Way too much focus on test scores. GATE students are neglected as they already bring the scores up. Special needs students are neglected as they have little to offer the test scores. Social Studies and Science are given a very basic and excessively boring once over. Creates great testers, but not great learners. I agree with the focus on mediocrity for all! Teacher quality declines as you get into the grades 4-6. Parents are a bit over the top in participation.

- submitted by a parent
May 26, 2006
This school provides a great academic program. Parents stay constanly involved and teachers encourage this involvement. The only draw back has been my daughter's classrooms. Over the past five years, she has been reassigned teachers three times due to various reasons.

- submitted by a parent
April 25, 2006
The positives- Safe campus, affluent and well educated parent body, great website and communication to the home, spirited principal and state awards. The negatives- School prize incentives for good behavior, smelly restrooms, poor GATE program, small library and not alot of invovative teaching practices.

- submitted by a teacher
December 02, 2005
Great school...above average parental involvement. Wonderful principle & teachers are top noch! There is a great positive feeling all around. This school is definately all about the kids and making sure that no child is left behind.

- submitted by a parent
November 27, 2005
Wonderful! The teachers are amazing and the students are incredible.

- submitted by a parent
October 14, 2005
Homework load is over the top. Bathroom facilities need to be better manintained. Too much bullying on playground. Other than that, pretty nice school for this area.

- submitted by a parent
September 17, 2005
Great school with some outstanding teachers. However, I think several teachers may be overloading the kids with way too much homework. It's fine if students need extra practice, but busy work or work that a child already knows can be a waste of time for everyone involved. These poor kids need to have time to be kids Anyway, what good is a distinguished school if you have children who are stressed out/ burnt out/miserable from too much homework?

- submitted by a parent
August 29, 2005
This is probably one of the best schools in the district as far as scores go. Parental involvement is high. In other words, teachers and students take a great interest in seeing that children learn. And, the kids seem like happy campers! I think this school is a success!

- submitted by a parent
August 15, 2005
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a parent
August 15, 2005
My son has attended Rio for the past three years. The school is greatly lacking in after school programs or any type of enrichment programs for the kids. And good luck if your child is advanced or special needs. Their curriculum is designed to encourage mediocrity from the most talented of children. However, the families are nice and it is a relatively safe environment. Just don't expect a lot regarding academics.

- submitted by a parent
March 18, 2005
My son attended Rio from K-2nd grade. Those three years were a very positive experience for him. The teachers were extremely caring and patient and academically I was very pleased with what was being taught. The class sizes in the lower grades were very good, I believe it was 15 to 1. That changed when he started 3rd grade, the class sizes were increased dramatically. We ended up taking him out of Rio and putting him into a private elementary school. Overall I liked Rio for him, but my son definitely needs the more individualized attention that a smaller class size requires.

- submitted by a parent
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Rio Del Mar Elementary School
819 Pinehurst Drive, Aptos, CA  95003
(831) 688-2053
Last modified Rio Del Mar Elementary School is a Public school that serves grades K-6. It has received a GreatSchools rating of 9 out of 10 based on academic quality.
Rio Del Mar Elementary School Rating: 3 out of 5 based on 27 reviews. Top