Sadly, this school has not been the same since principal Jim solo left and Sarah ott took over. She is not experienced, not engaging, and just has brought the level of greatness this school used to have down to null.
School performs because of the students (they take the tests reflected in the API), parent volunteers and their financial contributions to fill budget gaps along with the parent's high expectations who value education and insist their children are prepared for the future. 80% of the teachers are amazing and the other 20% are the typical losers that exist everywhere (thanks to the union). Hopefully the new Principal will impact these slackers who teach so they have summers off. They look/act like their jobs are a joke and harrass the kids daily due to their own personal misery. The new Principal is a long overdue, welcomed change. It's unlikely she'll tolerate the staus quo and will fix whatever messes the previous principal ignored or was afraid to address. Doubt she'll participate in the quid pro quo that's been so prevalent nor teach to the test for the coveted, competitive school ratings while pushing the kids beyond reason. Cookies, candy, no bathroom breaks, teacher stapling arm, belittling, fear, humiliation, homework due to time wasted during the day and deliberate indifference. Yep, it's all here and hopefully gone with the new Principal.........
Its location is the best perhaps in whole California. Its name is great: Torrey Pines. The principal is great (Mr. Solo). Kids are great. Teachers are good. It is heterogeneous. It is the future of primary school in my opinion. I have 2 kids there and they are happy.
I am surprised to hear negative comments about the school and the principal. Mr. Solo is out every single morning greeting students by name, talking to parents, directing traffic, picking up items for the lost and found, etc. He is completely dedicated to the school and has high standards for his staff and students. The teachers are competent and compassionate. My son is thriving and is reading well ahead of other kids his age that attend other schools. The parents of the other students are involved and friendly. Each of them knows my child and we all sort of look after each other. It is a fantastic, positive atmosphere. I don't know of a school out there that is not focused on test scores... until we change this backward system, that is what it is going to be like. I feel really lucky to have my son here.
The school is outstanding in all ways with teachers/staff and parents and the principal dedicated to making it a strong learning environment while addressing the needs of the whole child. The children are learning in a dynamic way with lots of activities and resources, art, music, PE, and extra tech and science in all grades; the results are high scores, but that is not the goal of the principal. More importantly, the results are kids excited about learning and treated respectfully. They are creative thinkers and performing at the levels they can--which are high. The relationship the school has with the YMCA across the road enhances the PE, before and after school programs, and enrichment clubs. Perhaps another parent was turned off by the fund-raising, but without it we would not have such an excellent school and community, because the budget has been cut so much by the state.
Because of the principal, this school is not as great as it seems! The good is that the majority of teachers is well prepared and dedicated and parents are very much involved in the many activities and in their children's lives and education. Unfortunately the principal is a very insensitive, rigid and cold person, he is focused exclusively on scores and money and he doesn't take in consideration important aspects of child's psychology. I must say that a good school is not measured only by scores, from the number of Promethean boards and the amount of money raised by the foundation, other things are more important: the children themselves and their mental, emotional and social development, after all, don't forget that this is an elementary school, not a bank.
My daughter is in her second year at Torrey Pines, and so far, I'm very happy with the school. Aside from the outstanding academics (I am continually amazed by what she is learning), I really appreciate all of the "extras" the school offers from kindergarten up (pairing older "reading buddies" with new readers, class vegetable gardens, art, music, science, P.E., etc.). The fundraising required to do this is a little relentless, but worth it in the end. Another thing that has really impressed me is the focus the school places on good citizenship. My daughter attends on-site aftercare (K-5) and I'm continually impressed with the kindness of all of the kids I meet, and their willingness to help out the younger children.
This school's focus is on looking like an exceptional school, not necessarily being one. We have been here for two years. Things started well enough and many teachers are great. The trouble comes when your child needs something more or something different. The policy is "Fit in or get out". For the hundreds of thousands raised per year *by parents* to support it, this school is not nearly as exceptional as it pretends to be.