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Winter Gardens Elementary School

Public | K-1


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15 reviews of this school

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Posted June 25, 2014

Worst teacher selection ever! The principal from Riverview took all experienced teachers and put new teachers at Wintergardens. What?! That's a great leader! This campus is crazy with inexperienced teachers and an administrator that talks but doesn't walk. She has so many tricks up her sleeve. To sum it up without boring you!!!! GO TO LAKEVIEW ELEMENTARY. I'm taking my son there. Even is you decide on an all English program, their Spanish enrichment is awesome and they are very organized and EXPERIENCED!!!!
—Submitted by a parent

Posted May 6, 2014

I MOVED . Plain and simple. I am a teacher and can easily notice when things are not working out. I too fell into the bandwagon. What's the point of three languages if your child isn't succeeding in one? It's true that administration lacks big time and is never around on a campus of 5 yr olds ! ! What happen to putting children first? It's true that they will paint you a beautiful picture and then no follow through. The administrator on this campus thinks I'm ignorant and tried to distract me with showing me only a tenured teacher. NO ! Some advice See all teachers on different days unannounced.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted May 4, 2014

Wintergardens is not good. I notice the difference from the school I switched from. Do I regret it? Not yet, but I'm so close! In becoming close friends with a teacher I have learned that 6 of 8 teachers are new! They have no support from administration which is never there and their TOSA who is suppose to mentor has never taught immersion nor Kinder, 1st, 2nd, or 3rd. and she's never around. Who is training the teachers? I don't speak unless I have the facts. So, I walked around to every classroom. Everyone is cohesive, some teachers sing all day (from random visits in one day), some have nap time, one teacher was on the computer every time I walked in, no administration for two days. Ask a teacher and they will sugar coat their answers because they are new and will not speak up and loose their job. Ask the administrator and she will paint you a pretty picture. Judge for yourself on a surprise visit and be the witness. Now to see my other child at Riverview. I fell into the bandwagon following the popularity name of the program, but i'm afraid it's washed down.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted June 23, 2012

I too agree that Winter Gardens was wonderful and the teachers were great. We had such a small-town feel which we loved but since LUSD opted to expand the Language Emmersion programs. We were told we will now go to Lemoncrest. We were never asked what we would like to do yet our tax dollars are going for programs we never signed up for. Such a shame we will leave this district because its only going to get worse. So sad the English (primary language) speaking children will soon be on the very bottom rung...just saying.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted June 22, 2012

This school is as close as you can get to a private school. The teachers and staff are wonderful! Unfortunately Lakeside Union School District is taking it away to expand the Language Academy!!!!! Without any community input, LUSD does not care about our community or the best education for the children of Lakeside!! They only care about Money! Yes I am leaving the district that we pay taxes on because I refuse to put my child in over crowded schools!
—Submitted by a parent

Posted June 22, 2012

I love this school - we live in El Cajon but I put my daughter here at my sister's recommendation, as it is a small school and not overcrowded. She has been here for two years, Kinder and First. Mrs Mizar is a wonderful teacher, she has helped my daughter excel in her studies. Of course, all good things do not last and because of LUSD greed, this lovely little school will be a Riverview Language Academy extension. They are willing to plow money into a new Language Academy rather than into keeping this a traditional school. They shouldn't be allowed to do it. They didn't even tell us parents until March of this year and we didn't get to vote either. They kept sugarcoating and advising of "changes" to the school, but wouldn't come out and say that they were transferring the entire student body to an already overcrowded school until they were point blank asked about it. Now I'm seriously thinking about transferring my child back to Cajon Valley School District - maybe the parent who posted today also can advise of a school in East County that isn't overcrowded???
—Submitted by a parent

Posted July 20, 2011

the teachers and principle do nothing at all about bullying, they let the kids do what they please and pick favorites. worst school my children have attended.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted April 30, 2010

I love how small the school is. It's a more close-knit family feel than larger schools. Plus the teachers and staff are great and there are a lot of parent volunteers.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted November 5, 2009

My son has been attending Winter Gardens School since he started preschool and is now in the 4/5th grade combo class. He is having a wonderful year this year and I am happy with the teachers, the other staff members and the wonderful PTA. I also love the Peacebuilder philosophy, not only of this school, but of the district. I also like that it is a small school with small class sizes.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted October 28, 2009

My son is in the 1 / 2 combo class with Mrs. Mizar, and I am beyond happy. She is so encouraging, and uplifting! Last year he attended a school in the cajon valley district, that was just so cliquish, and I am talking about the parents! His teacher only had negatives to say about all the kids in her class, so coming the this school was such a relief. The school is so small that in my opinion it is ran very much like a private school (with a lot of money) would run. The fact that the lunch ladies, and the secretary knew my sons name in the first week of school, was also a pleasant surprise. I have no complaints about this school, and that says a lot!!! :o)
—Submitted by a parent

Posted September 12, 2009

My daughter has been at Winter Gardens for over four years, and we've been extremely happy in almost all aspects of the school. The teachers and other staff are excellent, the PTA does great on extracurricular activities, and we've appreciated the focus on the arts that is missing in many schools. Winter Gardens could definitely use some updates in technology, playground equipment, etc., but they do very well with what they have to work with. My only real complaint is with some of the parents of our students, which is not the school's fault, but affects the atmosphere there nonetheless. There are a lot of problems with lack of involvement, even with the most simple things like homework completion and dress code compliance, especially as the kids get older. I know this is a problem everywhere, but seems to be more prevalent here. More parent involvement is desperately needed!
—Submitted by a parent

Posted September 7, 2009

I am a parent of a child who has been in three Lakeside elementary schools. He is now at Winter Gardens elementary where the 1st grade teacher is fabulous and spot on with her discipline plan. What I have found that I do not agree with is the lack of coherence in the school district among teachers and administration regarding their discipline plans. The Red, Orange, Yellow and Green card penalty discipline plans should be stopped! But the only way to waive the system is to talk with the teacher directly. This type of discipline demoralizes children and sets them up for failure. Other children see them as bad, and they begin to act bad.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted January 26, 2009

My son is in the infant/toddler development program here. I absolutely love this school. My only gripe would be really sick toddlers coming to school. That has nothing to do with the school itself though. I am usually unable to attend the parent participation because I work a funny schedule and my husband is usually out at sea. I really wish that I could participate more. Since I can't I am really grateful to the teaching staff for being so great with my son. Since being here he's learned how to crawl, and is attempting to pull up into a stand. If you knew my son you would know what a hard feat this is for him. They are miracle workers. Everyday my son comes home so excited. If only he could tell me just how great his day really was. I know that being here he will soon!
—Submitted by a parent

Posted October 17, 2007

Winter Gardens is a fantastic School with an awesome (kid friendly) principal and exceptional teaching staff. I requested a transfer to Winter Gardens School from a 'Distinguished School' in the Cajon Valley School District and what a difference. My son 'hated' going to school. It was so bad he would hide his face and beg me not to make him go to school. My son is very good academically however he was failing socially and saw himself as 'bad.' This small school changed all that. The school's office personnel, maintenance, and kitchen staff are wonderful too. I highly recommend this elementary school if you are looking for an enriching school environment for your child. This school teaches children to 'Love to Learn.' The only thing this school is lacking are more parents who want to get involved.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted April 19, 2006

Winter Gardens is a small school with a staff dedicated to enrichment through the arts. The quality of the parental involvement is high, while the quantity is very low. More parents need to be involved.
—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.

The test results by subgroup show how the designated group of students is performing in comparison to the general population.

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The API reflects year-over-year schools performance based on STAR test score results from spring 2012.

This school's
API score


Change from
2011 to 2012


API Statewide Rank

1 / 10

API Similar Schools Rank (2012)


API Growth scores over time

Did this school meet the API goal this year?
The state goal for API is 800. All schools that are below 800 are assigned an API improvement target each year.
  • This school met its schoolwide API target for 2012.
  • This school has not yet met the state goal of 800.

API Growth scores by subgroup

In addition to schoolwide API scores, each student subgroup receives an API score.
Did this school meet all the API goals for student subgroups this year?
The state goal for the API is 800. All the student subgroups at a school that are below 800 are assigned an API improvement target each year.
  • This school met all student subgroup API targets for 2012

This school's
API score


What is the API?
The Academic Performance Index (API) is a single number assigned to each school by the California Department of Education to measure overall school performance and improvement over time on statewide testing. The API ranges from 200 and 1000, with 800 as the state goal for all schools.
Change from
2011 to 2012


Change from 2011 to 2012
Comparing the API Growth to the Base shows whether or not this school's test score performance improved between Spring 2011 and Spring 2012. The API ranges between 200 and 1000, with 800 as the statewide goal for all schools. Schools scoring below an 800 are given at least a 5 point target for the next year.
API Statewide Rank

1 / 10

API Statewide Rank (2012)
The API Statewide Rank ranges from 1 to 10. A rank of 10, for example, means that the school’s API fell into the top 10% of all schools in the state with a comparable grade range. The 2012 rank is based on results from tests students took in Spring 2012.
API Similar Schools Rank (2012)


API Similar Schools Rank (2012)
The API Similar Schools Rank ranges from 1 to 10. It shows how the school compares to other schools with similar student demographic profiles. The California Department of Education uses parent education level, poverty level, student ethnicity and other data to identify similar schools.

Student ethnicity

Ethnicity This school
White 61%
Hispanic 31%
Asian 2%
Black 2%
Two or more races 2%
American Indian/Alaska Native 1%
Source: CA Dept. of Education, 2013-2014

Student subgroups

  This school District averageState average
Students eligible for free or reduced-price lunch program 28%N/AN/A
English language learners 2%N/AN/A
Source: CA Dept. of Education, 2013-2014

Teacher experience

  This school District averageState average
First-year teachers 0%N/AN/A
Source: Civil Rights Data Collection, 2011-2012

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School basics

School Leader's name
  • Olympia Kyriakidis
Fax number
  • (619) 390-2695


Extra learning resources offered
  • Title I Targeted Assistance program (TAS)
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8501 Pueblo Road
Lakeside, CA 92040
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Phone: (619) 390-2687


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