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Mt. Helix Academy

Private | K-9 | 182 students

We are best known for high academic achievement.
 
 

 

Living in La Mesa

Situated in an urban neighborhood. The median home value is $265,000. The average monthly rent for a 2 bedroom apartment is $1,270.

Source: Sperling's Best Places
 
Last modified
Community Rating

5 stars

Community Rating by Year
2014:
Based on 1 rating
2013:
Based on 1 rating
2012:
Based on 7 ratings
2011:
Based on 2 ratings

Teacher quality

Principal leadership

Parent involvement

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28 reviews of this school


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Posted September 19, 2014

The academics are the best because group sizes for math, spelling and reading are so small. My child is working way ahead of grade level and she loves it! The teachers are really nice and positive and you can tell they love the kids. It wasn't like that at our old school. We love MHA!
—Submitted by a parent


Posted September 10, 2013

We brought our kids to this school for the academics and the small class sizes and great student/teacher ratios - Our first child had 3 Kindergarten teachers here! Not only have our kids flown sky-high academically and have loved every minute of it, we have also been pleasantly surprised about the incredible feeling of family that exists at MHA among teachers, staff, parents and students. It's unusual in this day and age to find so many people who genuinely care about each other. If I were a parent thinking about visiting MHA I would come at about 7:45 to watch the morning drop-off and see what I am talking about.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted September 12, 2012

MHA is an amazing school! My son advanced 3 grade levels in his academics in one year. We have just started our second year there. The academics are challenging and kids learn in small groups at their own pace. The school rewards good behavior and teaches the kids the importance of respect and good character. The art teacher and music teacher are fantastic. My son has social skill delays and the teachers and staff have been wonderful in helping him. The entire school is small enough that it is like a family--everyone works together to help the kids learn and excel--in all aspects! I am amazed at how well my son is doing--both academically and socially. This is truly an outstanding school!
—Submitted by a parent


Posted August 24, 2012

My twin boys have been attending MHA from Kindergarten to now. This year they will be attending 6th grade. My children often amaze not only me but other family members with their knowledge of math, social studies, history, art, and just anything in general we may discuss. They are so smart and I am so lucky to have such great kids who learn many skills at MHA including social skills. They know how to settle issues with peers by talking and thinking things out before acting. I am amazed with my children. I thank MHA for the scientific methods that they use! Paying for their education is not always easy but my kids are worth every penny and I'm thankful to have found a great school that makes me feel comfortable about spending money for tuition.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted July 17, 2012

MHA is perhaps THE best education value/investment in San Diego County. My daughter attended beginning in 5th grade. Prior to that she was at a Montessori school. She just graduated from the 8th grade and was accepted into the top high schools in San Diego. While the Montessori education was great through pre-school and kindergarten, knowing what I know now, I would definitely have considered starting her much earlier at MHA. The teachers are outstanding and provide the attention that each child needs to excel. The elementary school has a process-oriented approach to teaching that makes it easy for children to learn. The school also nurtures creativity. The art program is especially outstanding with a wonderful wonderful art teacher- check out the masterpieces as you walk through the school. Music is also available as well as a fabulous theatre program. Good behavior is constantly rewarded and children are taught to be respectful to the teachers and each other. There is no such thing as bullying at this school. The administration is always available to listen to support the kids and always has the best interest of the individual student at heart.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted March 30, 2012

Invaluable investment. As a former public school teacher, I can tell you that MHA s research-based methods result in astonishingly rapid achievement and eliminate teaching to the lowest level. MHA believes that children have an unlimited capacity for learning. Students reach high academic expectations yet do not feel pressured. My children don t realize how much they are learning because they have so much fun doing it in MHA s energized and nurturing environment. Teachers truly care about students and are clearly happy to be there. The curriculum includes teaching how to be good friends and respectful citizens. Problem solving, communication and responsibility are taught in both formal and informal lessons and are integrated into daily culture. In addition, daily P.E. and weekly music and art courses taught by professionals help our children stay healthy and inspired. We also appreciate the strong social network parents are friendly, helpful and engaged. Final thought: Don t judge this book by its cover. The warm atmosphere inside is remarkable, the classrooms are equipped with the latest technology, and it s amazing to watch the students in action. Be sure to schedule a tour!
—Submitted by a parent


Posted March 30, 2012

Invaluable investment. As a former public school teacher, I can tell you that MHA's research-based methods result in astonishingly rapid achievement and eliminate teaching to the lowest level. MHA believes that children have an unlimited capacity for learning. Students reach high academic expectations yet do not feel pressured. My children don't realize how much they are learning because they have so much fun doing it in MHA's energized and nurturing environment. Teachers truly care about students and are clearly happy to be there. The curriculum includes teaching how to be good friends and respectful citizens. Problem solving, communication and responsibility are taught in both formal and informal lessons and are integrated into daily culture. In addition, daily P.E. and weekly music and art courses taught by professionals help our children stay healthy and inspired. We also appreciate the strong social network parents are friendly, helpful and engaged. Final thought: Don't judge this book by its cover. The warm atmosphere inside is remarkable, the classrooms are equipped with the latest technology, and it's amazing to watch the students in action. Be sure to schedule a tour!
—Submitted by a parent


Posted January 26, 2012

Highly Academic, Dedicated Teachers, Amazing School!! Our child has been going to Mt. Helix Academy since Kindergarten and is now in 2nd grade. Living in Chula Vista and working in Del Mar, we researched all the schools throughout San Diego County for the best school. We are grateful to have found this academy! As working parents, we are very fortunate that our son goes this safe and caring school. We are also impressed with the dedicated and passionate teachers who have worked with us to provide our son with a highly challenging academic environment. The small groups and ability to move up and down the grades for core subject areas allows our son to go as far as he can go academically, yet still be with his age group/peers throughout the day. Most of all, the teachers and professional staff create a fun and positive environment, inspiring the kids to want to learn more! We are blessed to have our son attend this academy and highly recommend this school!!
—Submitted by a parent


Posted January 25, 2012

My husband and I went to 'many' schools all over San Diego to see what the best fit was going to be for our daughter. Although we don't have a lot of money, we still went to tour/visit the most expensive privates schools, many Catholic schools, and Charter and public schools. We did this so as to have comparisons of what each school and setting could offer to our child. Some of the main reasons why we picked Mt. Helix Academy: 1. THEY CATER TO YOUR CHILD'S ABILITIES: For every main subject (Reading, Math, Spelling), the children are put into groups of 7-8 kids that match up to their abilities. 2. WHATEVER LEVEL YOUR CHILD IS IN FOR THE CORE ACADEMICS, HE/SHE WILL RETURN FOR THE REST OF THE SCHOOL DAY TO HIS/HER GRADE LEVEL 3. TEACHER TO STUDENT RATIO 4. QUALITY OF TEACHERS and their LOVE for education! Just a wonderful staff all around! 5. KIDS ARE TAUGHT TO RESPECT EVERYONE and it is apparent at every turn you take at Mt. Helix. 6. MT. HELIX ACADEMY HAS A GREAT MIX OF STUDENTS AND OFFERS SCHOLARSHIPS SO THAT ANY STUDENT HAS THE OPPORTUNITY TO GET SUCH AN AMAZING EDUCATION! You will not go wrong if you choose Mt. Helix Academy!
—Submitted by a parent


Posted July 28, 2011

I enrolled my 5 yr old son in Summer Camp w/ the intent that he d have a positive learning experience & start Kindergarten w/ happy feelings about school. Little did I know that he d love MHA so much. His academic & social skills made leaps forward. He was warmly welcomed by his teachers, the secretary & administrative staff daily. He felt that he was a valuable part of his class & school. He made friends w/ classmates & with kids in all the grades; a plus of having your kid enrolled in a school where the kids & adults really get to know each other. He made great improvement in his skills during his 5 weeks of summer camp. MHA provides a perfect blend of academic instruction & real-life lessons in social skills/personal responsibility, that challenged him to stretch his academic muscles & refine skills he s mastered. It sounds simple, but my kid was really HAPPY when he was at school. The school practices Catch em being good. My son was uber proud to bring home his certificates. The campus is clean, bright & beautiful. (Awesome student art on the walls.) It s clear that there s great pride in the school & campus. Truly a great school, all-around!
—Submitted by a parent


Posted January 4, 2011

This school has helped my son learn to love his education. We tried public school last year and the teacher student ratio was unacceptable. At Mt. Helix there are three groups for reading, language and math to accommodate all levels and challenge all the students appropriately at a 1:8 ratio for these core classes. My son has blossomed at this school and completely changed his attitude about school. The kindergarten teachers are amazing to say the least. The price is worth the outcome.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted November 10, 2010

My children have been attending MHA since Kindergarten. The social skills taught to my children are so useful in this day and time. My children can solve a problem or issue with another student without name calling or fighting. They have learned skills that are very necessary to this day and age. My children are also very academically strong in all subjects. They have skills to be able to sit and work on homework without being distracted to things going on outside due to the fact that they love school and they love learning before anything. They love being SMART! Thank you MHA!
—Submitted by a parent


Posted May 21, 2010

My son started at this school in Kindergarten and is now in his last year as an eighth grader. The kids at Mt. Helix Academy excel in every area; due in large part to the school's superior teaching methods and small class sizes. I would highly recommend Mt. Helix Academy to anyone who is committed to providing a quality education for their children.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted May 20, 2010

My oldest child graduated from Mt. Helix Academy 2 years ago. He is now attending a high performing high school where he is excelling! I am so gratefully to Mt. Helix Academy for everything they did to help prepare him for this rigorous academic program. Not only did he enter high school ahead of most of his public school peers in terms of academic skill development, more importantly he had (and continues to have) excellent study and self-management skills. These skills do not come naturally, they must be taught. Mt Helix Academy taught my son how to be a good student. He loves high school and he loves Mt. Helix Academy. He continues to volunteer there every year in their summer camp program and visits whenever he can!
—Submitted by a parent


Posted March 23, 2010

This was once a great school. We were very pleased for many years. Now the school is in contract with public schools to bring in their problem students. This is creating a disruptive classroom environment. There is more bullying now and the school is not doing much about it. Recently a child was threatened with scissors by a 4th grader. That boy only received a 3 day suspension. This is not the school we signed up for years ago. If your child needs tutoring or has other issues this is the right place. Otherwise stick to your local public school.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted March 13, 2010

Their curriculum is not effective in teaching the kids. They are treated more like trained animals than students. After one year we pulled our son out of the school and have seen better results at a free public school than one that costs thousands of dollars a year.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted March 6, 2010

I have been going to MHA since i was in kindergarden too and i am now in middle school. I agree to a certain extent that the schools faculty is a little bit over protective, but school is not all about the social life, its more about a good education which mha has. The biggest problem i think i have faced here though is that its really a small school and when you are stuck with the same group of kids for 8 years you get really sick of them and if we are lucky, we get about 3 new students per grade per year. In the elementary years, yes, the teachers did most of the problem solving but in middle school not many kids tattle tale so we are forced to solve our social problems on our own which i think is good.
—Submitted by a student


Posted January 20, 2010

I have been at mha since kindergarden. I do not like this middle school because it always feels like they are breathing down our necks all the time and they don't give us space. I do like their system of moving students to their academic abilities but they do not let you move classes in spanish. 5 Out of the 7 teachers play favorites. If there is a problem between two students it is immediately taken care of. There are no bullies, fights, name calling, etc. Therefore, you are not prepared when people do make fun of you at other schools and the teachers do more of the problem solving than the students, so the problem is not solved between the students. I do not recommend this school to anyone who likes to socialize!!!
—Submitted by a student


Posted May 3, 2008

After extensive research and agony over private or public, we found Mount Helix Academy. My child is thriving there.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted November 22, 2007

Mt. Helix Academy is by far the best school we found in our search. Their research-based approach to education, in which kids can move ahead in individual subjects, rather than having to skip an entire grade, has meant that our son and daughter are challenged academically, while still fitting in socially. Extracurricular activity opportunities are excellent, with drama, music and art especially, and the social environment is very nurturing and caring.
—Submitted by a parent


Community ratings and reviews do not represent the views of GreatSchools nor does GreatSchools check their accuracy or verify the reviewers' identities. Use your discretion when evaluating these reviews.

About these ratings

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.

We currently do not have any test score information for this school. Unlike public schools, private schools are not always required to report data about their schools or not required to take the same tests as public schools. Many private schools take different standardized tests; however, that information is often made available only to families of enrolled students. We strive to acquire additional private school data whenever available.

Student ethnicity

Ethnicity This school State average
White 77% 26%
Hispanic 12% 52%
Black 3% 6%
Two or more races 3% 3%
American Indian/Alaska Native 2% 1%
Hawaiian Native/Pacific Islander 1% 1%
Source: NCES, 2011-2012

Teacher resources

Special staff resources available to students Assistant principal(s)
Art teacher(s)
Computer specialist(s)
Music teacher(s)
PE instructor(s)
Foreign languages spoken by school staff None
Read more about programs at this school
Source: Provided by a school official.

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Awards

Academic awards received in the past 3 years
  • WASC 6 year accreditation (2012)

Special education / special needs

Level of special education programming offered
  • Basic - the school offers or partners to provide services based on the needs of individual students

Science, Technology, Engineering, & Math (STEM)

Specific academic themes or areas of focus
  • Mathematics
  • Science
  • Technology
Staff resources available to students
  • Computer specialist(s)
School facilities
  • Computer lab
  • Garden/Greenhouse
  • Science lab

Arts & music

Staff resources available to students
  • Art teacher(s)
  • Music teacher(s)
School facilities
  • Art room
  • Music room
Visual arts
  • Drawing / sketching
  • Painting
  • Sculpture
Music
  • Instrumental music lessons
Performing and written arts
  • Drama
Clubs
  • Yearbook

Language learning

Foreign languages taught
  • Spanish

Health & athletics

Staff resources available to students
  • PE instructor(s)
School facilities
  • Access to sports fields
  • Garden/Greenhouse
School leaders can update this information here.

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School basics

School start time
  • 8:00 am
School end time
  • 3:30 pm
Before school or after school care / program onsite
  • Before school: starts at 6:30 a.m.
  • After school: ends at 6:00 p.m.
School Leader's name
  • Mr. Michael Collins
Best ways for parents to contact the school
  • Email
  • Phone
Age at which early childhood or Pre-K program begins
  • 4 years old
Gender
  • Coed
Boarding options
  • Day school
Is there an application process?
  • Yes
Affiliation
  • Nonsectarian

Programs

Instructional and/or curriculum models used

Don't understand these terms?
  • Direct Instruction
  • Direct instruction
  • STEM
  • Standards-based
Specific academic themes or areas of focus

Don't understand these terms?
  • Mathematics
  • Science
  • Technology
Bi-lingual or language immersion programs offered

Don't understand these terms?
  • No
Level of special education programming offered
  • Basic - the school offers or partners to provide services based on the needs of individual students
Foreign languages taught
  • Spanish
Level of ESL/ELL programming offered
  • None

Resources

Staff resources available to students
  • Art teacher(s)
  • Assistant principal(s)
  • Computer specialist(s)
  • Music teacher(s)
  • PE instructor(s)
Foreign languages spoken by staff
  • None
Extra learning resources offered
  • Remediation
  • Tutoring
Transportation options
  • None
School facilities
  • Access to sports fields
  • Art room
  • Computer lab
  • Garden/Greenhouse
  • Internet access
  • Music room
  • Playground
  • Science lab
Partnerships with local resources and organizations
School leaders can update this information here.

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Sports

Boys sports
  • Intramural Sports
Girls sports
  • Intramural Sports

Arts & music

Visual arts
  • Drawing / sketching
  • Painting
  • Sculpture
Music
  • Instrumental music lessons
Performing arts
  • Drama
Media arts
  • None

Student clubs

Clubs (distinct from courses)
  • Student council/government
  • Yearbook
School leaders can update this information here.

Photos

School culture

Dress Code
  • Dress code
Bullying policy
  • This school has a bullying and/or cyber bullying policy in place.
Parent involvement
  • Attend parent nights
  • Join PTO/PTA
  • Organize cultural events
  • Organize fundraising events (school auction, bake sales, etc.)
More from this school
  • Mt. Helix Academy is a private, Trans K – 9, preparatory school that is co-educational and nonsectarian. We are a positive, safe, and nurturing school. Our highly skilled teachers use evidence-based methods with the result that our students love learning and our graduates excel in high school and college. Mt. Helix Academy received the highest level of accreditation that is ever awarded by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC)
School leaders can update this information here.

Apply

 

This school accepts applications on a

rolling basis

 
Apply now
 

What are your chances?


7 out of 10students were accepted for the 2012-2013 school year.


Students accepted for the 2012-2013 school year
52
Applications received for the 2012-2013 school year
75

What does it cost?

Tuition range for the 2013-2014 school year
$11000 - $13000
Vouchers accepted
No
Financial aid offered
Yes.
School-based aid

Planning ahead

Students typically attend these schools after graduating
Francis Parker
Mater Dei Catholic High School
Steele Canyon High School
Notice an inaccuracy? Let us know!

5955 Severin Drive
La Mesa, CA 91942
Website: Click here
Phone: (619) 466-1434

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