This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
La Jolla Elementary School2
Posted September 19, 2014
- a parent
This is my son's 3rd year at LJES and he's now on 5th grade. It started really good on 3rd and 4th grade and went down hill. The homework that my son brings home is not even a page. Sometime just only 2 problems to solve and then he is done in 5 minutes top. Talk to the principal, impossible. I'm looking for another school so I can transfer him so he doesn't get behind and pe prepared for middle school. I want the best education for my son. Is that too much to ask?
The best thing about La Jolla Elementary is the sense of community. There are so many wonderful families and parents that volunteer. The School Site Governance has a good vision for the direction of the school and focuses on ways to make the students healthy, active, and engaged. My son likes to participate in the before school Run Club. The principal, Ms. Tripi, can be hard to reach but that is because she is busy being an instructional leader. She knows each of the students by name!
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.