Students enrolled 595
School leader John Ashley
Transportation options Yes
District La Mesa-Spring Valley School District

Contact this school

4354 Conrad Drive
La Mesa, CA 91941

(619) 668-5775
(619) 668-8343
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Map of Murdock Elementary School address.

4 stars
Based on 41 ratings

Let others know what you
think about this school

May 29, 2014
I love this school for so many reasons. First and most importantly, my son LOVES school! The Teachers he has had have given him the gift of LOVE for learning. What amazingly dedicated teachers! They go above and beyond for their students and school family. We also love Murdock for the incredibly strong parent involvement. You really can't find this type of support and involvement in any other school these days. The PTA at our school rocks! There is always something fun happening on campus that includes the whole family (movie & popcorn nights, Halloween Happenings, Science Night, Art Night, etc.). Daily, I see Moms, Dads, and Grandparents, on campus... helping with art, PE, reading with students, grading papers, volunteering their time for the students. It's a wonderful school family! You sense that family-feeling when you walk on campus. We also love this school because it has a Music Program. We feel very grateful that the PTA sees the importance of music in kids lives- and faithfully raises the funds to provide a great music teacher. What's not to love about Murdock?

- submitted by a parent
May 28, 2014
We left a private school during the past recession to place our son in this school. We heard lots of wonderful things about this school, and since we live in the boundaries, we thought we would give it a try. I agree that the office staff are extremely rude. They NEVER smile and act like you are bothering them when you have to speak with them. The principal also lacks great leadership skills. What makes this school stand out is its excellent teachers that care about teaching their students. The other is the parent involvement; however, it makes some of us full-time employed parents feel guilty about not being able to readily pitch in. This school works for the average or exceptionally intelligent child. It was a terrible fit for our son who needs a little more attention and support. We have since returned to the private school, which is a better fit for our son. I was under the impression that Murdock has no problem dismissing the students that are not gifted so they can keep their test scores high. They focus a lot on maintaining high test scores.

- submitted by a parent
August 14, 2012
I wrote my 1st review in '07 when we began here and I thought I'd write a new review now that this is our last year. First, we LOVE that there is a 6th grade on this campus. If we could stay longer, we would. Despite economic cut-backs district-wide, Murdock has kept its policy of providing the BEST education via it's caring teachers, support staff, and principal. The PTA is fabulous. What continues to make the difference and fill in the gaps is the amount of support from the parents. On any given day, you will see parents volunteering their time making copies, stuffing folders, laminating, doing errands, walking the halls, supervising the fields at recess...it truly all adds up and makes a difference. Thanks to all at Murdock for a wonderful 7 years; we have made great friends, learned lots and will truly miss you & wish you well!

- submitted by a parent
June 25, 2012
Our daughter was in EAK (Early Admission Kindergarten) at Murdock. I was a teacher at a local private school, and my husband and I hadn't considered public school as an option. We thought we'd try it for EAK and LOVED it. To say it is an outstanding school is truly not enough, and we have decided to send both of our children to Murdock. Mrs. Tavolazzi was patient, knowledgeable, kind, organized, and truly provided the best educational introduction these little students could have hoped for (as well as us parents!) We have heard wonderful things about the kindergarten teachers as well as many other teachers throughout the school. They are very strong in their field, & due to the strong interest in teaching at Murdock, must have many years of experience in order to teach at this particular school. They are accessible to families, and the number of volunteers here is astounding. I always felt welcome to come and help in the classroom and in the school. It is considered the strongest in La Mesa-Spring Valley School District, and I have no doubt after our time here that it is a very special place for any child during their educational journey.

- submitted by a parent
May 28, 2012
Murdock is top quality. Lots of parent involvement, rigorous curriculum, great PTA, and a wonderful before and after school daycare program. I'm glad it now has sixth grade on campus.

- submitted by a parent
June 15, 2011
Murdock has amazing teachers, tons of parent involvement, and a caring principal. Best public school in La Mesa.

- submitted by a parent
June 13, 2011
The teaching is wonderful my child is well above kids in other schools at the same grade. But the front staff is rude! and the pparking is a nightmare.

- submitted by a parent
October 25, 2010
I love Murdock! We are all like one big family. On any given day there could be more volunteers on campus than there is staff. We all just CARE!!

- submitted by a parent
no rating October 19, 2010
There is an overall spirit of success at Murdock. Teachers, Staff, students, parents and other volunteers all work toward a common goal, "every child learning, every day!" Where other schools offer some extra programs, Murdock strives to offer many through its PTA, Accelerated Reader, Field Trips, Art Docents, PE Docents, Cultural Arts Assemblies, and lots of After School Clubs to name a few.

- submitted by a parent
October 15, 2010
I love that volunteers can come in to help their chid(ren)'s teachers and be a part of the school community. The teachers really care and teach to the best of their abilities, even with diminishing resources (aides and other support staff). You can work with the pricipal and his staff to make sure your child gets the best education, and know they are doing what is best for your child.

- submitted by a parent
no rating October 12, 2010
Murdock's teachers, staff, students and parents are passionate about creating and maintaining an extraordinary public education experience. The creativity and dedication of staff and abundant parent and extended family volunteers is enabling our students to achieve their best potential as students and good citizens. Murdock consistently scores extremely high on standardized tests to rank as a ten-ten (i.e. top) school. There is so much care, thought and activities put into creating a truly awesome Murdock community!!!

- submitted by a parent
no rating October 11, 2010
We Love Murdock becuase its a cool school with awsome teachers and staff who provide excellent reguard for the development of each of its students.

- submitted by a parent
no rating October 09, 2010
Murdock is a great public school. Last year we scored 918 on our API. The year before that we were at 907. That score is the highest in LMSVSD school district and is among the highest is San Diego county. Our parents are very involved, and as of today we have 286 members.

- submitted by a parent
no rating October 09, 2010
Murdock is an awesome school with the best teacher & staff members and of course the parents. Murdock has recieved the California Distinguished School numerous times. We have an abundance of volunteers, which the teachers and staff truly appreciate. It's a great school no doubt, come by and check it out and see for yourself.

- submitted by a parent
no rating October 09, 2010
Teachers,staff, and parents put the kids first!

- submitted by a parent
October 02, 2010
Murdocks great points experienced teachers, high-test scores and the large number of volunteers. Murdock teachers have been wonderful and push the students. My child s teacher has the attitude that children can learn anything as long as you expose them. Murdock encourages a parent-teacher partnership in educating our children. Remember high-test scores = a lot of work on both parts and this includes homework. Murdock s Accelerated Reading program begins in second grade and really requires a lot of reading from the children. Our child continues to enjoy reading, but note parents be prepared to work with your child at home.

- submitted by a parent
June 23, 2010
I find it amusing that our HIGHLY CRITICAL review was somehow deleted. It lends credence that this site does not allow for honest opinions. Take it for what it's worth, but maybe this school has improved with a leadership change. GreatSchools, I am disappointed with you, and I encourage parents to go the schools themselves and talk to parents, not PTA or Principals.

- submitted by a parent
no rating June 29, 2009
I can not speak for Murdock elementary until the new school begins, however Mrs. Greene's pre-school program could be much better. There is an opportunity for each child to answer questions at the very least once a week.....my son got to answer a question once this entire semester. The program obviously favors children who will be entering Kindergarten the following year, but they need to work on building self-esteem and a love for learning for every child, not just the ones, that need to be prepped for Kindergarten. There were numerous times my child was not included in a class action of some type, when confronted the preschool teacher simply said and I quote 'you can find another preschool' this is not an adequate response to a parents concern....

- submitted by a parent
June 19, 2009
There is NO better school than this one. The volunteers at the school are one thing of the things that make this school so great. the parents CARE, it is not just a drop and go school. Everyone is involved in making this OUR school. the environment really makes the kids more calm, more at ease. Drive by and check it out, I guarantee you'll be amazed.

- submitted by a parent
June 01, 2009
I too transfered my son to Murdock based on the schools test scores. Our neighbor recomended the school to us along with Mrs. Greene's pre-school class (Great Program!!). Overall we have had a great experience. My older sons kindergarden year was a nightmare. I have to say that I'm glad it's over. He is now at the end of 1st grade and he has a great teacher. I can't say that he doesn't get into trouble, because he does, but it's dealt with in a possitive way. At times I think they are too nice, but everyone works together towards a common goal. I look forward to what next year will bring.

- submitted by a parent
November 10, 2008
We really fought to get our son into Murdock based on its great reputation. It is a physically beautiful place, but my son had nightmares about it ultimately. The new principal this year does not know how to handle kids who don't fit in the mold. My son had numerous problems in his kindergarten class, and though he hadn't ever acted out aggressively before, he had an aggressive incident nearly every day at this school. After many meetings and strategies that were tried half-heartedly, we decided to find a new school in the district. He has been there for two weeks and has had no problems. No agresssion. No problems with his work, so issues with the teacher, no trouble. I don't think the issue was my son. I think it was this school.

- submitted by a parent
August 18, 2008
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- submitted by a parent
January 22, 2008
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- submitted by a student
January 02, 2008
Private school attention, in a public school form. Going to Murdock was an excellent experience and truly enjoyable. I believe that my love for learning stemmed out of this elementary school, and I can see that is also true of my classmates. At my high school graduation, it seemed that all of the students going away to prestigious universities were the ones who went to Murdock -- it is a great foundation.

- submitted by a student
September 26, 2007
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a parent
June 27, 2007
I general I like Murdock Elem. My daughters all have or currently go to this school. Most years the teachers my children have had were great. However this past school year I was not to impressed with some of the teaching methods. Hopefully next year will be better. It is nice for the parents who have the time to volunteer, but I feel that those of us who do not have the time due to work, are not looked at the same way. In general my kids really like Murdock, which is great. I just wish the teachers would try to be more involved with the parents who are not able to be at the school as a volunteer. Academics for the young children are great.As they get older though, they can easily slide under the radar. Need more math help programs also.

- submitted by a parent
February 01, 2007
Murdock is a great school with a wonderful, caring, experienced staff. The parent involvement is tremendous- which allows the teachers to do what they do best-- teach. Having parents help with daily tasks is a win/ win situation for all. As a parent, it's wonderful to be able to observe your own child amongst his/her own peers. Thank you to our Principal, Mrs. Sardina, for providing the tools to allow our children to grow and learn in such a postive environment. We are very proud to be a part of the Mustang team. -Karen

- submitted by a parent
August 23, 2006
Murdock is an amazing place where children flourish! The academic program is rigorous and enriching with outstanding teachers and incredible learning experiences. An amazing level of parent involvement allows for many special programs including an active PTA and extensive after school club offerings ranging from chess to Spanish to dance to karate to gardening! My children love their school and are excited about learning. What more could a parent want?

- submitted by a parent
June 05, 2006
Decent school, but higher average class sizes allows for kids to fly under radar.

- submitted by a parent
April 22, 2006
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- submitted by a parent
March 31, 2006
The parent involvement at Murdock creates a family environment of people who care about the kids as if they were their own. Where the state funding has effected other schools, Murdock PTA has built in programs to replace what we may have lost... such as Art Docent programs and Reading programs that are so important to our childrens success! I am so grateful for Murdock and what it has done for my son! The teachers are well educated and do their very best because they love the kids!

- submitted by a parent
March 28, 2006
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- submitted by a parent
March 06, 2006
- Quality of academic programs is excellent. - There is a wide variety of musical, art sports and other extracurricular activities. - Level of parent involvement is incredible

- submitted by a parent
February 17, 2006
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- submitted by a parent
February 17, 2006
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- submitted by a parent
August 19, 2005
This school has it all, a kind/caring principal, outstanding teachers and staff. Great programs to motivate and assist students to be all they can be. The after school clubs offer a variety of 'classes' to suit almost any taste. The parental involvement is the envy of most other schools around, they actually have to turn-down parents who want to volunteer. In other words, a super school. My boys have both loved this school for all of the above reasons. Keep up the great work Murdock

- submitted by a parent
August 08, 2005
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- submitted by a parent
April 01, 2005
This is a great environment for children whose parents are able to volunteer 1-2 times a week. There is lots of opportunities for parents to be actively involved and contribute to their childs education. There tends to be some favoritism at times though with those children versus the children who's parents are unable to volunteer for whatever the reason. The quality if academics is average and very accelerated, due to high district and state standards. Extracurricular activites are limited to a extensive after school club program. There is opportunities for parents to lead and teach a club. Music, arts and sports is not stressed as much as reading and writing, (of course) but their could be more opportunity for the younger grades to get involved with music and drama.

- submitted by a parent
March 31, 2005
I am a new kindergarten parent at Murdock Elementary. Their staff is really nice and helpful. Their new principal is amazingly loving with each student, always positive and interested in each child as a person. The other parents are all so great - the PTA parents do everything they can to allow everyone to get involved and give back to the school in any way possible to make it the best environment for their kids to learn and grow to their highest abilities. We were disgussing private for safety and program issues, then I found Murdock - everything I wanted for my son is here. I highly encourage any parent to come and see for themselves!

- submitted by a parent
March 27, 2005
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- submitted by a parent
March 07, 2005
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- submitted by a parent
February 25, 2005
Great Librarian! Involved parents. Safe Playground. Murdock Mustangs are proud.

- submitted by a former student
September 11, 2004
Great shcool and great well discipline kids. The teaching staff bring out the best in your children and challenge them at every stage. I have never seen parent involvement at such an intensely high level. Truely amazing. The best elementary school in the district. Great variety of after school activities (golf, photo, guitar, karate, hula, spanish academy, etc.) My child has been to 3 good schools in this district but Murdock is amazing!

- submitted by a parent
August 07, 2004
Murdock Elementary is an amazing school. My son has been going there now for two years and he about to start third grade. He's excited to get back and I think that says a lot. His teachers have been incredible. They're available, they care about your child, and they see their potential. I would love to be able to comment more on the principal, or on how problems were solved; but we have not had any to report. One of my favorite things about this school is the reading incentive program. I have seen it work up close and how it has benefited children other than my own. Another notable quality about Murdock is the high output of parent volunteers. I have to say that the parents involved make school an enjoyable event...even for me.

- submitted by a parent
May 04, 2004
Murdock is the tops! Teachers, staff, and parents all working together towards the same common goals! Our son has had the extreme pleasure of having Ms. Carrera this year in third grade, and all we can say is wow! What a teacher, what an inspiration, educate the whole child, what a concept. We are so pleased to be a part of the Murdock community, and that is what it is, parents and teachers helping each other. Thanks Murdock!

- submitted by a parent
March 18, 2004
Murdock is simply the best. The overall atmosphere generated by Prinicpal and Staff, as well as the many involved parents produce a positive learning environment for the students. Rather than focus wholly on 'academics', the Staff is open to allowing the active PTA to provide additional music, art, and cultural additions to the student experience. As a result, the graduating students are well rounded and ready to proceed in nearly all environments. A big component of success for Murdock is the large contingent of parent volunteers who visit classrooms daily and help perform some of the routine tasks, thereby freeing the teachers to focus on teaching (what a concept!). Thank you to all the Murdock Staff and all the Murdock Parents for the wonderful experience my child has had at Murdock.

- submitted by a parent
October 29, 2003
Words cannot describe the awesome atmosphere that the teachers and staff create for the students. As a parent, I'm proud to have my child attend such a great school. My child has had nothing but very positive experiences.

- submitted by a parent
August 11, 2003
My sons have had an excellent experience at Murdock. Mrs. Belzman is an outstanding kindergarten teacher, full of love for the children and patience abounding, as well as skills in what she does...Ms. McKay helps the third graders grow beyond expectations, and is an expert in technology. I'm thankful my children are able to attend this school.

- submitted by a parent
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Murdock Elementary School
4354 Conrad Drive, La Mesa, CA  91941
(619) 668-5775
Last modified Murdock Elementary School is a Public school that serves grades K-5. It has received a GreatSchools rating of 8 out of 10 based on academic quality.
Murdock Elementary School Rating: 4 out of 5 based on 48 reviews. Top