I have 2 children who have gone thru La Jolla Elementary; my youngest is about to graduate 5th grade this week. Our time at LJES has been a fantastic experience. I know many judge schools by test scores (which by the way are great) but I judge a school on a more personal level. My children have excelled both academically and socially. The school is driven by its Principal Ms. Trippi, who deeply cares about every student in her school. She is at the school 24/7 and beyond that she attends every event the school supports. No school can ever ask for a more dedicated leader. What makes LJES such an outstanding school is its staff. To the teachers, it is not just a job, it is their passion. We have been very happy with the education and environment our children have had for the past 9 years. The teachers and staff really care, LJES is a family. Lastly, Family is a key; the parental involvement is what makes this school a Village . From poetry readings to concerts to events at the school the parents are there every step of the way. Our family wants to thank everyone, Principal, Teachers, Staff and Parents on 9 fantastic years; we will deeply miss our Village!
A quick note on PE safety at this school. Our son in fifth grade two weeks ago broke his leg due to the PE teacher having the students play soccer without shin guards. In league play within La Jolla and the county, no coach would have a child play or do drills without shin guards. The school was cavalier about the injury and the accident is a sad symbol as our son graduates LJES in the face of a long hot summer while wearing a cast up to his thigh. The school is fine for over-achieving students and Gate Seminar children. The school is discernibly deficient and inconsistent with regard to children challenged by dyslexia, audio processing issues, and other common learning disorders. LJES pays highest attention to test scores and state rankings rather than community obligation to all children irrespective of their talents and aptitude. Our children had the benefit of the Gate Seminar program and the missing benefit of dyslexia strategies. Perhaps it is the school district too caught in this dysfunctional dynamic. Poway schools, by comparison, are looking finer than this.
The Principal has been at this school too long and needs to be transferred to another school. There are too many conflicting relationships and exclusions if you're outside her circle. This is a Public school that needs to function as one. The Foundation Fundraising needs to be audited on a regular basis. Checks and balances are missing. Monetary gifts to teachers, access to parents vacation homes, parents inappropriately hired to substitute teach - all need to be reviewed by the District. Quid pro quo thrives here.
If you complain about a teacher or close friend of the Principle you will be retaliated against and not a single parent can or will risk helping you for fear their child will be hurt in some way. Beware.
I have had two children go through La Jolla Elementary and have been very pleased. Both of my children seemed to thrive at the school and have done well academically in Middle School. I really liked the focus on visual and performing arts in the daily curriculum and after school science program. I also like the way most parents were involved at the school and in the classroom.
Quality depends on the teacher. The scores of the school are good because they teach to the test! We had a wonderful 4th grade teacher, but then 5th grade was terrible (Room 14), the perfect example of public education. Grammar was never taught, nor history, since these subjects are not "tested". The 5th grade teacher did not correct the weekly essays and returned them until the end of the year and never covered history nor grammar which is fundamental. The full day in school was spent reading with buddies..or practicing the answers for the tests.. Math was much better. When I compare the work my daughter is now doing in a private school, there is not even a comparison. The parent involvement is wonderful and a nice group of kids, but the level of education is mediocre. When we asked the principal whey there were no vocabulary, grammar books and history was not even taught, her response was because the district does not require it. Del Mar SD is much better, they teach vocabulary, grammar and history and use the books and workbooks even if not tested for it.Do not get impressed by the scores of this school, they teach to the test.
Great school. Wish the Principal would reply to our request to meet. We've met with the teacher. My impression is they would rather not deal with the parents... We've put three children through the school over the last 15 years. This is the first time we have asked Ms. Tripi for a brief meeting after meeting with the teach with some concerns about our child. She does not even reply or delegate someone to reply, or even bother to have some automated response stating she'd love to reply but is just too busy.. just something. It's not rocket science. Maybe she could use the hour a day she directs traffic and do actual principal work.
The principal is amazing. She has high standards for all kids -- which is demonstrated in the test scores. The person who complained about her use of the bullhorn clearly hasn't been at the school long -- and doesn't really know that much about what goes on there. The principal needs the bullhorn at pickup, when hundreds of parents are trying to pick up their kid at the same time. As another reviewer said, there is so much noise the kids wouldn't be able to hear their name if she didn't use the bullhorn. Pickup is stressful because the school has so many students -- and because some parents illegally park, do U-turns directly in front of the school, and disregard the safety of all children except their own. As for the comment about the principal's attitude toward other races, again, this reviewer doesn't know the principal or the school, because that is not true.
The reason the principal has a bull horn is that she is responsible for the safety of hundreds of children. There is a tremendous amount of noise during pick up and this is the only way for her to get everyone's attention. I have worked the pick up, and the current system is by far the best for the safety of all the children. As far as the attitude towards other races, I am completely blown away by this comment. What we love about this school is the feeling of community, and this feeling comes directly from Ms. Tripi! She cares about every child in that school, her passion is the driving force behind the success of La Jolla Elementary. It sounds like you are new to the school since you have a kindergartener. Please volunteer and get involved with the parents and teachers. I am sure you will then realize what a specail place our school is.
LJES is a great school. Yes, the principal can be tough on people who are trying to get into the school when they don't live within the boundaries set by the district. She has to be. People are frequently pretending to be residents in order to get their child enrolled at La Jolla public schools. In the past, if you have a highly gifted child, it used to be that people who lived elsewhere could send their child to LJES for its special "Seminar" program. But now, because of the influx of neighborhood children, there is only room for La Jolla children in that program. The downside of the popularity of LJES is that the school's enrollment has risen dramatically in recent years. There are now 620 children. Dropoff and pickup is very difficult and requires patience on everybody's part. And finally, yes, there is an amazing kindergarten teacher. She is a legend and everybody wants her. Can every child be in her class? Of course not. The other K teachers are really good. One of my kids had the famed teacher, another did not. They both loved their teachers and learned a lot.
I find it funny that a parent claims to be turned away from a school where by law, they have to take all children that live IN THE DISTRICT. I am certain that if any child was turned away, it is because so many residents who pay taxes to attend LJES see it as an outstanding education and community and CHOOSE to send their children to the school because it is their LEGAL right. Both LJES and Donna Trippi are amazing. I pinch myself everyday for the opportunity to send my child to a school with such an incredible community and outstanding parent involvement. This is NOT a private school. If you are looking for 15 kids in a class, minimal diversity in socio-economics, art every day, gardening, catered lunches and the ability to be a non-participating parent, then LJES is not the right place for you...spend the $10,000+ at a private school and get the same eductaion...but don't come with negativity, complain and not offer your help. LJES strives to be a positive community where the childrens' best interests come first, not the parents' social networking and absent behavior. LJES...I love it. I treasure it, and I am thankful for it.
My child attends La Jolla Elemtary after not being able to read in the 2nd grade at a private school. I hesitated to make the change because it was Nov. of 2007. La Jolla Elementary has been a breath of fresh air! I been pleasantly surprised, the teachers are much more experienced ,and the level of academics is far superior than all the other private schools my child has been (3 others). Donna Trippi, the principal is great! She is a gifted educator, a master problem solver, a great person and a true professional. She attracts and retains the best caliber of teachers. The resource educators are excellent! Mrs. Cirullo and Mrs. Zeinchner are goal oriented, they focus on achiving positive results . In just a few months my child is reading very well, eager to do homework and math, and exited about learning and school. La Jolla Ele. is excellent!
I have had my three kids in La Jolla Elementary since we arrived from another country almost four years ago. My kids and I have been really happy with the school, the teachers, the principal and the parents involvement. It is a great community.
Our son just finished Kindergarten. It has been a fantastic year, our son has thrived and we can not believe how much he has learned in 1 year! His teacher Ms. Jessica is fantastic, as well as everyone else at this school. There are so many activities and events which involve the whole family; we feel this is not just our school but also our community. I know in La Jolla there are a lot of choices of where to send your children, and we looked at them all. To those parents who are looking at private schools, we have friends who have made that choice, but I can not imagine they can have a better experience as we have in the past year.
This school academically is less than to be desired. Students seemed to be pushed through regardless of grades. Coming from a private school to this public school institution was quit an eye opener. Although, in an affluent neighborhood, I found the children wild, unruly, and worldly. I opted not to finish the year due to all the disturbing things I saw and heard. I for one cannot understand how this school obtained its reviews and rating. My experience has been a complete and utter nightmare.
Ms. Tripi is absolutely wonderful and is truly an exceptional leader. She is totally dedicated to the children and to the school. She is approachable and friendly and sets high standards. The teachers are excellent and available to parents after school. I feel my children are receiving an incredible education and I really couldn t happier. The schools PTA organization puts on some incredible events that really create a sense of community. The parent involvement is awesome! It is a great school all around!
Fantastic School. Principal Tripi is firm but well-respected and does a great job of managing the school. The teachers are excellent. This is our third year with the school (two children) and we are thrilled with the caliber of the teaching. Teachers are readily accessible after school in person, and daily via e-mail. The fund raising foundation raises a huge amount of money to finance Art and Computers and many wonderful 'extras' you don't expect to find in Public School.
One wonderful thing about LJES is the Foundation which raises substantial funds for the school. It provides art, music, PE, landscaping, additional teachers, etc. It's almost like a hybrid public/private school. Also, the community of families is great.
The principal has worked very hard to bring the test scores up in this school. Which is good and bad. The test scores are high but the teachers seem to teach to the test. It is a very affluent neighborhood so there is quite bit of extra funding. There is art once every two weeks which could definitely be increased given the funding that exists... However none fundamental (math, reading, writing) are not a priority here. P.E. is once a week, music once a week and no language or focus on Spanish despite being right near the border. It also has a pretty homogenous core of families (primarily white uppper class) and consequently there is not a lot of sensitivity to other cultures or economic class. The primarily Spanish kids who are bussed in are mostly overlooked... Its a pity because there culture and language could really enrich the school.
We love this school. Tons of parent participation and involvement. Opportunities to help are great. The teachers are wonderful. We have been very happy with all of them so far. The principal is very hands on, sometimes stern but always fair. There is an art class 1 X week, music and PE also. Brand new library and upgraded technology in all classrooms and library. Using special math course 'Everyday Math' also the MARE science kits. All purchased through PTA and parent contributions.
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The Community Rating is the school’s average rating from its community members (e.g., parents, students, and school staff). The highest possible rating is five stars; the lowest is one star.
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