Ortega is a fantastic school. My daughter will graduate from 5th grade this year, and the teachers have done a wonderful job preparing her for middle school. The principal and secretaries are also amazing. She has ADHD, and I sent her to the local (terrible) private school for kindergarten and 1st grade. What a waste of money...she received no help or extra support. Switching to Ortega at the beginning of 2nd grade was the best decision we ever made. She couldn't even read when she started. Now she is an honor student, confident and thriving. Reads above grade level and especially excels at math. Thanks Ortega!
Ortega, like 90% of California schools, suffers from a critical lack of proper financial management. The principal is great, working with parents and staff to eek as much as he can out of a limited budget. The teaching staff are hit or miss. Our Kindergartner had a superb teacher. Our third grader had a teacher who could not control her classroom and didn't bother to teach math. Please be aware that children attending Ortega ( and other Pacifica schools) do not have access to full-time librarians, or paid instructors for PE, Art, or Music. Don't even hope for a band program, it is non-existent. The PTA has tried to cover the funding gaps, paying salaries for part-time librarians and other "elective" instructors. However, the PTA has been staffed, for several years, with two women who bully and harass other parents. This has led to a down-ward trend in parent participation and fundraising. Additionally, Ortega school grounds are constantly covered with litter and the building is in dire need of repairs.
My son has ADHD and the teacher's and administrators at Ortega worked with him to set up a plan for his success. They suggested and then worked with us to implement his 504 plan which has followed him to middle school and will follow him to high school. The teacher's at Ortega are amazing and completely committed to the success of all their students - even the ones that take more effort on their part. My husband and I could not be happier with the education and support our son received at Ortega. And his brother, who thankfully does not have a learning issue, is also thriving at Ortega. A great, well rounded school with supportive and dedicated teacher's.
Awesome. Best teachers and office staff your could ever ask for. Creative, committed and supportive teachers make the students feel confident and challenged. I couldn't be happier.
We love Ortega. Our son has a wonderful teacher. The school offers a very well balanced education including science and art in kindergarten.
I'll start off by saying, I was the most reluctant convert to moving my kids to Ortega. We were living in the city, but moved to Pacifica last year, and opted to keep our kids in SF public school where my oldest had finally gotten an IEP placement that we were pleased with. However, inter-district transfers need to be submitted every year and Pacifica denied our request for this year. Initially, I was mildly steamed, but we decided to meet with the Special Education folks before putting up a fight. Best move ever. The bottom line is that the city probably has fewer resources to go around. We were accustomed to fighting tooth and nail for every single service in the city, but our experience with Pacifica has been completely different. You ask for what you want, and they just give it to you! The Principal, Teachers and PTO are all wonderful, and the sense of community is unparalleled in my experience. :)
Principal and PTO are doing a very good job raising money for Sciences Lab, computer lab, art, and a lot more activities. Very good teachers, involved and available!
I can't say enough great things about this school! It was our first choice for many reasons and has been amazing so far!! My son just finished kindergarten and his teacher (along with the other kinder teachers) was very on top of things. She dealt students fairly and at the varying academic levels. She treated everyone kindly and taught them the importance of respecting themselves and others. The parent involvement here and PTO have been fabulous! We couldn't have imagined a better year and anticipate the older grades well go well too.
My child is currently attending kindergarten at Ortega. As many other parents, we chose this school as a second choice, mainly because it is so close to our home. We really connected with the principal and we were excited to start a new phase on my child's life. Six months into the school year, I feel drained because the experience has been less than rewarding, partly because our child and the teacher have not connected at the same level expected. Despite the conversations we've had with both the principal and the teacher, we have seen little progress. I understand the challenges that teachers must face given the limited budget assigned to the school, which is very sad because I still believe in the principal's philosophy and I truly admire his drive. The PTO is fabulous and involved and the daycare is just a few steps away. However I'm still concerned about my child's education, and have little hopes for my child to move to first grade, so I'm looking for options outside the school district. Don't get me wrong, this is a good, thriving school. It's just not for us.
I have a first grader at Ortega (started in Kinder) and I cannot say enough great things about this school. After moving from the East Bay (Antioch) and seeing how a decent school district can turn quite frightening and fast, I was a bit nervous. With budget cuts, I assumed they were all heading that direction. That "fear" faded Fast! All around fantastic staff that seems to truly care and know your child and the best Secretary in the world! A principal that cares, listens and is actively involved. Teachers are great and take time to get to know you and your child. Creating lesson plans to fit each child s needs - whether they need additional help or need a bit more advanced program than standard... I could go on and on! Amazing reading program and the enrichment classes such as Science and Art are favorites with the kids. Most schools have had to cut such programs, but our staff, district, parents, etc. do what they can to keep them in place! And a fantastic PTO - all parents are members and mosvery involved. Most staff and families are on a first name basis . Okay, I must stop as I am running out of "characters"!!!! Email me with any questions or comments.
Amazing! Love this school. The teacher/PTO involvement is wonderful. So glad my Daughter goes here.
I couldn't ask for a better set of teachers! I have a kinder and 2nd grader and so far their teachers have been the best! The office staff is wonderful too, couldn't ask for a better school for my children to attend!
My grandson has attended Ortega and my daughter will not move from the Ortega School area she is pleased with the education that he is receiving and will soon have another child attending, then another :)
For the life of me I cannot understand why Ortega only has a '6' overall rating. When we moved to SF in July 2008 we did a ton of research on area school and ended up going with Pacifica SD. Since we got here in the summer the lottery was already done and we were told we had to go to Ortega. I came on this website and read the reviews and I was honestly nervous to attend Ortega because the other schools had much higher ratings. The only thing I can think of as to why they are getting higher ratings is because they are K-8 schools. My kids loved Ortega...we have since moved to Mountain View and hate it here. If It made sense to commute to Ortega believe me we absolutely would. This school deserves a much higher score than it has. We miss you Otters! 5++++stars.
My son is in kindergarten and has Mrs. Louthan. She is an amazing teacher who goes above and beyond for each student. My son was diagnosed with ADHD and she has been 100% supportive and patient with him and working with him and me daily on behavioral strategies in the classroom. The principal Mr. Lorenzen has also been supportive in this. Mrs. Lynn runs the office like a well oiled machine, she manages to know all of the kids and parents names. This school is excellent and gets overshadowed by the competitiveness of the K-8 schools. If all Pacifica schools were K-8 there would definitely be a rush to get in.
All three of my kids are attending Ortega. We moved from a private school and are very happy with the quality of the staff and teaching methods. My kids love school and feel like their teacher really cares about them.
I am very happy with Ortega, my son is in 3rd grade and daughter is in Kindergarten. I absonlutely love the teachers and the school is beautiful. There is a large parent involvment.
The teachers, principal, ans staff are committed to providing the best education to the kids. They also listen to the concerns and ideas of the parents, and have a great deal of parent help and involvement.
Ortega is a wonderful place for my children to learn. The teacher, principals and other staff care deeply about education and each child as a seperate and important person. We feel very blessed to have our kids at Ortega.
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.
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.
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