« Back to compare
Public district
Huntington Beach, CA
Students enrolled: 642

Contact this school

20661 Farnsworth Lane
Huntington Beach, CA 92646

(714) 378-1515
(714) 378-1520
Nearby homes for sale
Map of John R. Peterson Elementary School address.

August 12, 2014
Full-time G.A.T.E class in 2nd grade and up. This school is awesome. Could use a little more challenging math curriculum.

- submitted by a parent

February 16, 2013
This school blows me away. My expect ions weren't very high for a public school, but the teachers my kids have had are just hands down amazing. If your child gets Voss or Hunter for kinder, or taranova or Crain for 2nd, or zamiska for third, or Garton for fourth, then count your blessings. The principle is always out of her office being very involved with teachers, parents, kids. The office staff Claudia, Renee, and nurse Cathy are wonderful. I really have no complaints. Even the parents here are very involved. Down to earth school with caring smart teachers.

- submitted by a parent

February 03, 2012
This is a fine school. It isn't the richest and the campus is old, but there are many terrific teachers. They used to have a terrific principal who had the best interest of the students at heart, but she retired in 2008 or 2009. Now they have a seat warmer.

- submitted by a parent

April 09, 2011
I have been very pleased with my experience with Peterson Elementary. Though this is my daughter's first year here (grade K), so I speak only of my experience with her teacher, I think it is wonderful! The teacher is so wonderful at pointing out each child's special talents despite their struggles. She is firm but loving and the children are really drawn to her. She teaches creatively and I always see her write nice things to the children on their work. The math, reading and other assignments are spot on for the age group while still promoting critical thinking. The PTA is very involved and the reading program has excellent volunteers. I visit for lunch sometimes and my daughter loves the cafeteria staff. My daughter doesn't buy lunch because she is a picky eater but the lunches seem to havea variety of foods with milk and fruit being served with all meals. Sometimes its a pain to park so we park down the street but it was like that at Perry when we were there for Preschool and I have seen the parking lot packed and backed up at Seacliff as well so I think this is pretty normal. I wish the school was completely gated but that's really my only gripe.

- submitted by a parent

September 19, 2010
My daughter recently transferred from a private school to the GATE program. Her teacher is amazing, warm, caring, friendly. There are a lot of kids in the class but she runs it so well that my daughter is learning more there in a few weeks than in a year at her previous school with 14 in the class. For the first time, she is eager to run to school and soak up everything and at night, she happily tells me about her day. Highest praise for a school that embraces curiosity and the individual child.

- submitted by a parent
no rating
March 27, 2010
A great school with lots of caring and involved staff and a firm responsive principle. Class size has increased recently due to budget cuts so they've become more creative in raising fund including sponsoring local businesses. Their efforts to raise funds is a great sign of determination beyond budget cuts and slow economy. nevertheless, the staff pushes students for academic achievement with lots of feedback to parents about students progress. Expect to be asked to get involved in your child's education and discipline. The school is a bit older but completely functional and very safe with lots of safety procedures including loading and unloading your kids.

- submitted by a parent

February 05, 2010
I have a child in the GATE program at Peterson and every experience I have had with the teachers and staff has been extremely positive. My child is constantly challenged without all the busy work I would have had as a child. Every teacher I've spoken with is extremely positive and focused. I highly recomend this school and especially the centered GATE classes.

- submitted by a parent

December 03, 2009
I was very disappointed in this school. We came from Newport-Mesa district. Teachers are not involved. The overall school lacks alot.

- submitted by a parent

July 10, 2009
We moved to this area from the east coast. This school appeared very highly rated when we checked it out on the web. The campus has no fences or security to speak of. There is no free transportation to the school with the parking and drop off area looking like a nascar race before and after school. There is no cafeteria! Lunches are basically shipped in 'lunchables' with low nutritional value. Expect to have your child run several fund raisers during the school year due to low funding. Special Ed is a joke, with little or no staff. Programs like Art, Phys Ed, and Music are Ala Carte, and must be paid for! The school will sometimes combine classes for certain subjects with ratios reaching 35 kids to 1 teacher!!!! The majority of teachers there try hard but are overwhelmed by lack of help and money.

- submitted by a parent

March 31, 2009
As the parent of a Kindergartner, this is my first experience in public school. I am thrilled with all three K teachers, having a chance to meet each one and work on projects together. I am pleased with Peterson, its leadership, staff, teachers and student body.

- submitted by a parent

September 18, 2008
Peterson has a wonderful atmosphere and my son's teachers have been great. I couldn't recommend this school enough.

- submitted by a parent

May 28, 2008
I love Peterson! They have a wonderful art program, every teacher I have met is great! My daughter has been there 2 years and my son will be starting kindergarden in the fall. My daughter loves school is learning above her grade level, I can't ask for more then that.

- submitted by a parent

December 22, 2007
This is an alright school. It is a little run down. Fine GATE program, but many underachievers at campus. Less than satisfactory faculty and scores.

- submitted by a parent

August 15, 2007
This school is just awful! I agree, nasty location, academics are below standard, large population of english learners. Transfer out of this school! HB has better schools to the north, but this southside school is just subpar in a subpar area. The GATE program is decent though, but the school itself is a -1 out of 5 stars hands down!

- submitted by a parent

June 26, 2007
Peterson is an awesome school in just as fabulous a location. My child's first year at Peterson as a kindergarten student was rock solid. Mrs. Anderson is a wonderful teacher. What makes this school special are the parent volunteers, the PTA and of course the school staff. I have 3 more children that will attend Peterson and they can't wait.

- submitted by a parent

May 15, 2007
We love Donna Fetta who teaches a 4th-5th combo class. She has taught my child strong writing skills and continues to focus on the individual student and their strengths. She is positive reinforcement and because of this, my child has thrived. Great school with a lot of parent involvement with the PTA-bringing more programs to the school.

- submitted by a parent

May 13, 2007
This school is a very well kept campus, and in a great part of south Huntington Beach. The GATE centered program is only one of many that keeps all students at this school challenged. This school has an outstanding parent and teacher participation level that you don't see at many schools. Keep up the great work teachers!

- submitted by a parent
no rating
March 28, 2006
Great school, strong on math.

- submitted by a parent

August 31, 2005
This is a great school to work at. I teach 2nd grade here and can't imagine working anywhere else!

- submitted by a teacher

August 16, 2005
Peterson is a school where the teachers are dedicated and professional. The academic programs are very good. Peterson uses the Beckman program for science, giving the children many hands-on experiences. The school has several programs that are mostly run by parent volunteers, including a reading incentive program and Meet The Masters. The process of writing does not seem to be taught by very many of the teachers. It would help if the school would adopt a school wide writing program such as South Basin Writing. This school is fortunate to have a computer lab and two libraries. The GATE centered program at this school offers the children a chance to be challenged and to work at a faster pace.

- submitted by a parent

March 31, 2005
Peterson is a fantastic school. My daughter transferred here in the 3rd grade after she passed the GATE test, and I have been nothing but impressed. Exceptional teachers, standards and activities including a large volunteer taught band, chorus, science fair, after school art and science classes and more. We have been extremely happy to have had 3 years at Peterson.

- submitted by a parent

February 17, 2005
Under the leadership of the brilliant Dareen Yonts, Principal of Peterson Elementary, and the cohesive teaching team she has assembled, my experience at this school has surpassed even my highest expectations of elementary education. It is a spectacular school!

- submitted by a parent

September 09, 2003
Peterson is a great school. My son is in the centered GATE program. The teachers are outstanding. Our children learn and enjoy learning. Reading is a large component in all of the classrooms. Chidren read at levels well above their age and grade levels. Parents, teachers and staff all work together. The Principal goes beyond her duties to ensure success for all of the students. Parent involvement is a priority at this school. We all work together for our children.

- submitted by a parent

September 02, 2003
The principal really runs a tight ship at Peterson and she is great. I couldn't love the teachers any more. The teachers are well qualified and are especially good at handling difficult students. There are a lot of fun grade specific activities that the kids really enjoy. There are tons of parents volunteering on campus ALL the time. The are very strict about the children's safety and even have two teachers stand out on either end of the parking lot to supervise potentially unsafe situations for cars and those walking. My son transferred here in 2nd grade and I thought we loved our other school! This is a GREAT school.

- submitted by a parent

May 13, 2003
I have a child in the GATE program in this school. His teacher is excellent and this is the first year of his academic life he has actually enjoyed school. He attended a very expensive private school for 2 years prior to attending Peterson and the curriculum is equally challenging. The Principal at this school has a great head, hands and heart . I highly recomend this school for any child that can qualify for GATE.

- submitted by a community member

Profile Completeness


Want to improve this school's profile?

All schools on GreatSchools begin with BASIC completeness, which includes important information like contact details and test scores. It’s up to the school community to take the next steps. As a parent or community member, you can share what you know with other families by writing a review or answering a few questions about what the school offers. As a school leader, you can upload photos, describe school programs, and more with an Official school profile.

The completeness meter moves to INTERMEDIATE, then ADVANCED, and finally HONOR ROLL as you complete the following: 10 or more reviews, at least 1 photo, and 9 program questions parents find helpful.

Want to improve this school’s profile? You can!
for Parents
for Schools
Need help choosing a school? We can help »

Media Gallery

Media missing

Uh oh! No photos. This frame will look much better when you upload photos »


Find out what parents are saying about John R. Peterson Elementary School


Nearby homes for sale


Last modified: October 28, 2014

Sign up for email updates

Connect with us

Translate this web page

About GreatSchools

Our mission is to help millions of parents get a great education for their kids. GreatSchools.org is an independent nonprofit and the leading national source of school information for families.

GreatSchools.org 1999 Harrison Street, Suite 1100, Oakland, CA 94612

©1998-2015 GreatSchools.org All Rights Reserved. GreatSchools is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization | Ad Choices

John R. Peterson Elementary School
20661 Farnsworth Lane, Huntington Beach, CA  92646
(714) 378-1515
Last modified John R. Peterson Elementary School is a Public school that serves grades K-5. It has received a GreatSchools rating of 10 out of 10 based on academic quality.
John R. Peterson Elementary School Rating: 4 out of 5 based on 40 reviews. Top