Students enrolled 440
School leader Jennifer Smith Jackson
District Pasadena Unified

Contact this school

2600 Paloma Street
Pasadena, CA 91107

School website
(626) 396-5660
(626) 798-4687
Nearby homes for sale
Map of Norma Coombs Alternative School address.

4 stars
Based on 65 ratings

Let others know what you
think about this school

October 15, 2014
My children are in Kinder & 2nd grade at NCAS. Both kids have caring supportive teachers. The new principle is devoted to her students. Literacy is a top priority at NCAS. Students are happy and there is a lot of parent involvment. Parents are asked to donate to help with some programs but isn't that the norm at all schools these days. We have school choice options and we choose to go to NCAS. Demographics is an even slice out of Pasadena. My children are academically on par with their friends from private schools.

- submitted by a parent
August 31, 2014
The school has a new principal and is making progress. There is still ceramics. There are still music programs for 3rd, 4th, and 5th, plus after school choir for all grades. There are new mobile computer carts but funds are needed to continue computer instruction and the school is asking families to donate. There is still a part time librarian and teachers do take students to check out books throughout the year. True, there is not much of a science lab but it needs funding. Parents who want to get more involved or who have ideas for solutions are welcome to share. Every school has its challenges and I think this school is making good effort to move forward. My kids have made progress every year, thanks to the many dedicated teachers there.

- submitted by a parent
August 30, 2014
Sadly, Norma Coombs has had two disappointing principals in a row and it isn't the school it used to be. The website promises great programs but the school doesn't live up to them. The science lab is a joke. My child's mixed grade class was terrible. The Library is never open. The Principal only cares about her favorites and if you aren't in her special clique don't expect to have any issues with your child addressed. But she won't hesitate to ask you for money over and over. She only cares about using technology for education and is willing to strip out all creativity to pay for computers. It seems her goal is to have robots for teachers and chase out, and shut down, any human that doesn't follow her regime. If you want your kids to learn first hand about fascism then definitely send your kids here. There are some good teachers but most have lost their light and are just going through the motions. There are a few great parents working hard to do good things, but they get little support from the majority. It is the same small group doing everything while the rest drop off and pick up and never look back.

- submitted by a parent
June 26, 2014
School does not have the funds to help educate your child. California State Test results from 2013 did not count. Funds were pulled from this school. No music class, computer class started a few months before school was out. New teachers are needed. New principal is needed who cares about these kids and the their future.

- submitted by a parent
May 31, 2014
This is an appreciation of a teacher that exceeded my expectations! PUSD has a jewel in there system.Mrs Charlotte Caldwell, an outstanding and caring second grade teacher at Norma Coombs Alternative School, went above and beyond the expected time given for each class. When most teachers are relaxing on their break, she would spend extra time with my son to help him become more engaged with his school work. Also, I noticed that she took the curriculum and changed it to meet my son s needs to in-crease his learning potential. She noticed my son had a hard time focusing and tookthat as a challenge rather than a problem. My son enjoys going to school now be-cause a teacher cared.

- submitted by a parent
November 15, 2013
My son went here for their hgh-functioning Autism class. The strides he made in 6 weeks were amazing. We moved out of state for a new job and haven't found anything close to this program.

- submitted by a parent
November 14, 2013
Hope I'm wrong, and I admit I'm spoiled, we used to be able to afford private elementary (it had it's own difficulties), but I felt like a person there not a number on a line in the boiling hot sun chanting. NCAS, so far sub-par. A slew of kids. My special needs kid is lost in the sauce trying to figure out an overwhelming situation for neuro-typical kids. Lots of lip service when we get into IEP meetings. They're over their heads and don't call a spade a spade. We're headed for rough roads ahead in this scenario. Playground a dustbin, buildings uninspiring, curtains faded....no flowers, no grass...Kid's still sweet, hope they have support at home, b/c it's a jungle here.

- submitted by a parent
September 25, 2013
I have a 5th grader and a 1st grader at NCAS. We have been through some transition in leadership over the past few years which has been a challenge. However, the teachers have been consistently fabulous. They really care about the kids and have a passion for teaching - even in the face of the budget cuts that all schools across CA have been dealing with over the past few years. Parents are very involved, which really helps keep the extras like library, computer lab, music, and ceramics going - as well as fun activities like fall festival. I'm happy we've stuck with NCAS, even with some of the ups and downs over the past few years.

- submitted by a parent
September 04, 2013
This a great school. Dr. Williams was a great principal. My son is missing the pledge of alligiance, the morning show. He missis Dr. Williams. Thes darn parents from the PTSA think they speak for all the parents in the school. They want to do the principals job so bad I want to see them run a school after they obtain their Doctorate. Other than the PTSA the teachers are great & they really care for our children & their education. They challenge them to think outside the box.

- submitted by a parent
August 05, 2013
My child has been at NCAS for the last 4 yrs. NCAS have faced major challenges throughout the years but we survived. People can complain all they want about the principal but what people don't realize is the principal only has so much power. Every decision must be approved by the district. It's not right, but it is what it is. There are too many politics, gossips and no nonsense bashing and it's ridiculous. Parents, STOP IT! We are here for our children's education. There are parents that should just step aside and see how they act. When you point a finger at the principal, there are 4 fingers pointing back at you. Grow up parents!

- submitted by a parent
June 10, 2013
I think that Dr. Williams is a great principal and the teachers are awesome! I do worry about a few of the PTSA parents and there mob mentality............

- submitted by a parent
May 22, 2013
Dr. Williams is running this school down to the ground. Her "quiet zone" is a joke. She yells and screams at students and blows her whistle while in the "quiet zone." She lacks people skills and has no idea how to run a school. She has worked against the parent volunteers by making them schedule appointments to volunteer. She sides with rude office staff and allows them to continue to be rude to parents, staff and visitors. Dr. Williams' "open door policy" is NOT an actual open door policy. You must schedule an appointment to see her, and she is well known for breaking her appointments. Not a way to run a school. This woman does not belong in education. It's really sad to see a once great school and community being torn apart by an incompetent "educator."

- submitted by a parent
March 31, 2013
NCAS was my first and only choice for my kids. NCAS is the most diverse school in the district, the teachers are top notch and the principal(Dr. Watkins) was the complete package. These are the reasons why we chose to bring our kids here. Two years ago Dr. Watkins decided to head back home to Georgia. Her departure and the arrival of Dr. Williams left most of us wondering if things were going to change. Well, they did. Dr. Williams has NO leadership skills. Her inability to talk to parents, allow volunteers on campus and her constant screaming in the "quiet zone" are driving my wife and I to change schools. Also, the office staff is very rude and will only act nicely to those they know. The fact that my kids LOVE the school's teachers and their friends had us stay for one more year. If things don't change as far as Dr. Williams is concerned, we will be headed elsewhere. I know of a lot of families that have left and it's a shame. The school has lost a lot of good families and will be losing a lot more because of Dr. Williams.

- submitted by a parent
December 18, 2012
Since our kids began here at Norma Coombs, we have found a very warm and loving environment in all of their classes. The teachers genuinely care about each and every student. Our Kindergarten teacher sent home a note with a list of the children and each of their "special qualities." This impressed us with how well she knew each child. You get a real community feeling here, which you can see after dropoff in the morning when MANY parents stop to chat with one another and check in. We have a very active PTSA (Parent Teacher Student Assoc.) Board, School Site Council, ELAC and AAPC - the parents are committed to tackling any issues thrown at them in an effort to make this school a great learning environment. We are thrilled to be Lions and to call Norma Coombs our home!

- submitted by a parent
December 17, 2012
Norma Coombs needs to address their number one problem teacher, 5th grade teacher Ms. Whitley. She is a bully, who verbally abuses children, who is unflexible and uncaring and I wish the principal would LISTEN to all of the parents of the children in Ms. Whitley's class. Norma Coombs is an ok school, until the child reaches 5th grade and they HAVE to deal with this teacher. Very sad.....

- submitted by a parent
December 03, 2012
The teachers at this school care about our children, and the volunteer parent community is very involved and passionate about providing the "extras" even while school budgets continue to be cut. These programs include Computer Lab, Music and Ceramics. It is a great school and we are happy with our choice.

- submitted by a parent
November 29, 2012
My daughter started at Norma Coombs in the 3rd Grade (2011-12) and, while it was a difficult transition, her 4th Grade year is going very well! The 4th grade teachers are both awesome and I stay in constant communication with each to ensure my daughter's progress and success! The teachers, parents and staff make NCAS a great learning environment for our children and I couldn't be happier with the Music, Ceramics and Computer Lab programs in place! This was an excellent choice for us...I am very excited about the rest of the school year!

- submitted by a parent
November 27, 2012
Norma Coombs is a "choice school" in the Pasadena Unified School District, which means it doesn't have an assigned neighborhood. As a result, the student body reflects the diversity of Pasadena as a whole rather than one of its neighborhoods. This is one reason we chose Norma Coombs. Another reason is that they still emphasize the arts (ceramics, music, choir, etc) when most other schools have cut their programs. They've keep their library open while most other schools have lost theirs. All these factors make for a very well-balanced education for our two children. Unfortunately, 2010-2011 was a rocky year for Norma Coombs: PUSD was threatening to close the school, despite its great successes. The parents and staff fought hard and kept Normal Coombs open. And then our principal left. As a result, our API has not grown as it has in the past. The new principal is still adjusting to our somewhat unique school community, but she is making good progress. Norma Coombs has a very strong parent involvement and its PTSA (the S is for Students) does a fantastic job at fundraising and generating a sense of community. As budget cuts keep coming, Norma Coombs keeps roaring.

- submitted by a parent
November 27, 2012
We are so thankful that our daughter was granted admittance to NCAS. She has completed 2 wonderful years and is doing awesome in 2nd grade... We continue to be impressed with the teachers, faculty/staff, parents, and students. We love NCAS because of the sense of community, the drive for excellence in all areas, and the well-balanced curriculum, inclusive of ceramics, computers, and library... Norma Coombs is also invested in the community, providing meals to families for Thanksgiving, participating in Toys for Tots for Christmas and numerous other community efforts... All of the boards at NCAS (PTSA, SSC, AAPC, ELAC) contain highly qualified parents and staff to provide excellent leadership... NCAS has always risen to any challenges and continues to prove triumphant.... GO LIONS!!!

- submitted by a parent
November 12, 2012
My two children (K & 2nd grade) have flourished at Norma Coombs. Their teachers are wonderful and truly care about each student. Both of my kids love going to school, love doing their assignments, and love attending extra-curricular activities at the school. The PTSA Board is a fantastic, caring group of people. Many parents are involved and really feel connected to the mission of Norma Coombs. We have worked closely with the Principal and find her to be very helpful. I encourage all interested families to consider our school.

- submitted by a parent
November 11, 2010
Excellent school! I consider all the staff part of my family. Very committed to our children in every way.

- submitted by a parent
no rating November 08, 2010
Having 3 children that went to various school in the district I wasn't completel satisified until my youngest started attending Norma Coombs. THe staff and teacher are so helpful and attentive to your needs and your child needs. WHen it was time to register my grandson for kindergarten Norma Coombs for the first choice for my daughter who did not atttend the school herself.

- submitted by a community member
no rating October 27, 2010
Passionate principal, teachers, and staff. One of the few schools here really doing great!

- submitted by a parent
no rating October 26, 2010
The passion for educating our kids seen from administration to staff to parents. Everyone is involved with heart!

- submitted by a parent
no rating October 23, 2010
NCAS is a great school, with wonderful teachers and a great principal.

- submitted by a community member
no rating October 22, 2010
Dedicated teachers, a visionary and hands-on principal, and parent involvement are what makes Norma Coombs a great place for students to learn.

- submitted by a parent
October 21, 2010
The principal, Mrs. Watkins, is very welcoming and friendly. Its parents are very involved. The small campus size and location lends to a great community feeling and learning environment.

- submitted by a parent
no rating October 21, 2010
Academic excellence in a supportive community

- submitted by a parent
no rating October 20, 2010
Norma Coombs fills a great need in the community. Its faculty and staff care deeply about the students, as evidenced by the recent turnout when PUSD was considering closing / moving it altogether.

- submitted by a community member
October 20, 2010
Diverse student body, great staff lead by a wonderful principal, high test scores and great group of parent volunteers is what makes this school the talk of the town. Dr. Watkins runs a tight ship and is the only principal I have known to be easily accessible.

- submitted by a parent
no rating October 20, 2010
Norma Coombs is a wonderful school, with great teachers and a great principal.

- submitted by a community member
no rating October 19, 2010
Great teachers and support staff, high level of parent involvement, cares about kids.

- submitted by a community member
no rating October 19, 2010
Norma Coombs is a wonderful school with a great staff.

- submitted by a community member
October 18, 2010
Great teachers, great staff, great principal, great students, and great parents! Always improving!

- submitted by a parent
no rating October 18, 2010
She is teaching my cousin and he is a genius.

- submitted by a parent
October 18, 2010
It has a total learning environment for All their students.

- submitted by a community member
October 18, 2010
The people (admin, parents and students) seem to be all about what is best for the kids!

- submitted by a parent
no rating October 18, 2010
I Love Norma Coombs Alternative School because Norma Coombs gives my child the ability to experience all of the different cultures that are represented in pasadena, ca. Norma Coombs is giving my child the foundation he needs to become a doctor, scientist, lawyer, and teacher. I love Norma Coombs because the teachers and parents care about the kids education.

- submitted by a parent
no rating October 18, 2010
I love Norma Coombs because they care about the education of our kids.

- submitted by a parent
October 18, 2010
Norma Coombs is a great school not only because of its high API score but because of its close knit community. When I walk on the campus to pick up or drop my son other families, teachers, the principal, and staff all say hello. The parents at Norma Coombs are great and are always willing to help raise funds to keep our excellent programs. This year we have ceramics, computer lab, accelerated reader, violin, and keyboarding all because of the leadership at Norma Coombs (Dr. Watkins) and parent participation. The principal Dr. Watkins is amazing and because of her leadership we were able to keep our class sizes down and keep our library open with a librarian. I have a 4th grader that has attended Norma Coombs since kindergarten and he still says he loves his school!

- submitted by a parent
no rating October 18, 2010
Great principal, involved parents. Norma Coombs is an excellent school

- submitted by a parent
no rating October 18, 2010
Norma Coombs Alternative School is a great school for many reasons. The first is the children are the number one priority for the staff. It also has large parent partication along with a high API score. Let me also mention the school has a fantastic principal. There are plenty of reasons why this school is great.

- submitted by a parent
no rating October 18, 2010
NCAS is a great school, has great teachers, a wonderful principal,families that all care for the children, and let us not forget a high API Score.

- submitted by a parent
no rating October 18, 2010
This is a great school.I am not only a teacher at this school, but a parent as well.I have 5th and a 2nd grader.

- submitted by a teacher
no rating October 18, 2010
I love it. Strong principal, strong PTSA.

- submitted by a parent
October 17, 2010
Norma Coombs Alternative is a fantastic elementary school. We have a dynamic principal who is a true leader. The teachers are exceptional and we have an amazing group of highly involved parents. We have a diverse student population with excellent test scores for all of our kids. A truly outstanding school!

- submitted by a parent
no rating October 17, 2010
The principal and the teachers are top notch. The ceramics program, music, computer program and library are parent supported...the parent involvement is through the roof...just a fabulous place for kids to learn.

- submitted by a parent
October 17, 2010
Because its the best school private or public around.

- submitted by a parent
October 17, 2010
My daughter just started kindergarten and we have been so happy with the principal, teachers, programs and community. We are looking forward to many more years there. Hopefully my son who is 2 can attend kindergarten there too in three years!

- submitted by a parent
October 17, 2010
This school has an excellent principal, wonderful teachers and a great deal of parent support. All contribute to it's high academic achievement and success as a school.

- submitted by a parent
no rating October 17, 2010
Norma Coombs has committed teachers, dynamic Principal Leadership, Involved parents and a diverse student body. The staff/teachers work closely with the parents to ensure the success of all students. Norma Coombs provides a challenging academic environment for studenst to grow and learn.

- submitted by a parent
no rating October 17, 2010
First we value the community that is cultivated at Norma Coombs Alternative School; it's unbelievable to join together with families of all different types of gifts and skills that are shared and help our children grow to reach their dreams. Second we were impressed by the teachers and staff and their ability to assist students in meeting high academic standards. Third, the leadership of Dr. Vanessa Watkins is unmatched; we could clearly see that in our visit to Norma Coombs and we have not been disappointed. Fourth, we value art education and expression and the Norma Coombs ceramics program under Ms. Rodriguez s direction is incredible. Also having music opportunities from 3rd grade on was important. Since being a part of this community over the last three years, we've also realized their high value on our school library and reading as well as the development of technology skills. Both these skills are vital to a successful future. This gives you just a small glimpse into our decision to choose Norma Coombs.

- submitted by a parent
no rating October 17, 2010
The leadership is phenomenal, the teachers are excellent, and the school size is great for my kindergartner.

- submitted by a parent
no rating October 17, 2010
Quality, diversity and the lion's pride!

- submitted by a parent
no rating October 17, 2010
This is a fantastic school with a very good and still rising API score across all demographics!!!!

- submitted by a community member
no rating October 17, 2010
Norma Coombs Alternative School is an incredible mix of top-notch administration, caring and dedicated teachers, and involved parents surrounding a diverse body of students. We are a high-performing elementary, but we also foster arts (including a unique ceramics program), science, and character-building. Our family has two children at NCAS and will enroll a third in a couple of years. Come join us!

- submitted by a parent
October 14, 2010
The principal, staff and teachers at Norma Coombs are outstanding! They know every student by name and put the needs of the children first. Norma Coombs also offers weekly ceramics classes, as well as computer, music, and library instruction. NCAS parents are always visible on campus, they are active, fun, and very involved. My son has made great friends at school, but so have I! Norma Coombs has some of the highest academic scores in the district, as well as many extracurricular activities and many happy children! It is the best alternative!

- submitted by a parent
October 13, 2010
A shining example of what Pasadena public schools can be. As parents, we had a choice between sending our kids to public or private school. After visiting the campus and meeting their dedicated principal, Dr. Watkins, we were convinced that Norma Coombs Alternative School (NCAS) was what we wanted. NCAS is a school of choice in the Pasadena Unified School District (PUSD). This means that parents actively choose to send their children there (the school has no assigned neighborhood). It is also a random lottery, so NCAS draws from all PUSD neighborhoods equally. The result is a very diverse student body, both ethnically and socio-economically, which we felt was important for our children. We have found that the other positive result of being in a school of choice is that the parents are, on average, more actively engaged than at other schools.

- submitted by a parent
October 11, 2010
Dedicated principal that fights for her students.

- submitted by a parent
October 08, 2010
I used to go to this school from 4th grade to 7th grade, and I'm now a freshman in High school. When I was there I found that the teachers were great, but the students were not so great. I was the kid that EVERYONE picked no. Dr. Watkins, the principle then and now, did a good job, at dealing with the situation, but it take while for kids to respond to her methods. But it wasn't her fault, it was the students. The teachers are great at this school. I had Ms. Bell in 4th and 5th grade, but she retired, so non of my ex-teachers re there any more. but overall I had a great experience at this school, I learned a lot!

- submitted by a community member
June 03, 2010
This was our first year at Norma Coombs and I have to say that we have been VERY pleased. My daughter has grown so much in so many ways during this school year. Her teacher has been wonderful and fostered a great sense of learning in her students. I have also been impressed with the parental involvement at NCAS. These parents are willing to step up and conquer whatever comes their way. With all of the issues that the public school system has now , I think that our principal, Dr. Watkins, is doing a fantastic job dealing with it. There is a great sense of community at NCAS and I would recommend and encourage anyone to become a part of our school.

- submitted by a parent
April 22, 2010
We love Norma Coombs. The biggest draws for us initially were the small student body (around 400 students) and the incredible principal, Dr. Vanessa Watkins. This public school packs a big punch when you consider its dramatically increasing academic performance, reduction in discipline issues, and rise in student respect and success. Teachers love teaching there, and Dr. Watkins has assembled and retained an incredible teaching team. Our kids have been supported and nurtured well. The student body is diverse in a number of ways, most especially racially and socioeconomically. For us this is a plus, particularly as we've witnessed our kids develop intercultural friendships and seen their appreciation for cultural differences grow. Public schools in Pasadena are on the rise because of schools like Norma Coombs!

- submitted by a parent
January 08, 2010
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a parent
no rating January 07, 2010
The principal is passionate, dynamic, and strong. She wears many hats, and knows every child in the school. We love the cultural diversity at NCAS, not just among the students, but among the staff. There is a community feel, and a lot of parent involvement. We love this school and are very disappointed that the district chose to take out our middle school (6-8) and add more elementary. As far as the school being 'alternative,' as its name suggests, it's become more of a traditional school over the years. Parents value the safety factor at this school, the current size (under 600), the teachers, and Dr. Watkins, our fearless leader.

- submitted by a parent
November 26, 2009
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a student
August 18, 2009
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a parent
no rating May 21, 2009
My son is in first grade with teacher Rhodda and is doing very well. I like that the school is small and everyone is willing to work with you. My son was in private Pre-K and K and already knew how to read, write, spell, and doing some math. During orientation I spoke with Dr. Watkins she was very proactive about putting him with the right teacher. He loves his teacher and is learning many different things about art, poetry, along with high academics. He is ready way beyond his age. We are very happy and hope we get the same quality teacher for next year.

- submitted by a parent
no rating May 05, 2009
As the parent of a first year pupil I have mixed feelings regarding my child's teacher; I don't feel she maintains control of her class and relies too heavily on ineffective disciplinary techniques. Just my opinion, others may not share my feelings.

- submitted by a parent
December 31, 2008
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a student
no rating December 05, 2008
I have a daughter in K and she is doing very well. We love her teacher and the principal. Academics are solid.

- submitted by a parent
January 17, 2008
I have a son in K and he is thriving. So far, we are very satisfied with the teachers, the principal and the school environment. We are excited about the opening of the computer lab and the new ceramics teacher. My son eagerly looks forward to school each morning and comes home relaxed and excited about his learning. All in all, we are very happy with Norma Coombs and feel we made a great choice for our child.

- submitted by a parent
December 19, 2007
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a parent
June 04, 2007
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a former student
May 11, 2007
My child has attended NCAS since kindergarten until this year in the 6th grade. The first six years were great with wonderful teachers, who loved my child as a student (who is also GATE identified). There is a very disappointing disconnect with the middle school, however. I had concerns that I expressed to the teachers and principle from the beginning of the year. I was assured that all was being done and my student was fine. My student's recent report card had 2 C's, 2C- and an F. This for a student who rarely ever received less than an A grade and scored very highly on the 'all important' testing. By the way, I received no notice or concern expressed from any teachers or the principle. You judge for yourself!

- submitted by a parent
January 03, 2007
My son has attended Norma Coombs for six years and he is now in the sixth grade. On the whole, we have been very satisfied with the school, which is established as a 'choice' school in the Pasadena Unified School District. We are particularly pleased with the arts education that he has received. He has played the clarinet for three years thanks to the inspiration of music teacher Amy Crocker. Other outstanding teachers include Debbie Breitenstein in the first grade, Charlotte Caldwell in the third, Janet Ezor in the fourth and fifth grade, and Stephen DeSal in the sixth. Library Coordinator Rebecca Neese has been tireless in building a library and collection for the students. Dr. Vanessa Watkins has provided strong leadership as principal in the first two years of her tenure. All in all, Norma Coombs is a terrific choice for a child who is academically and artistically strong.

- submitted by a parent
July 28, 2006
We moved our son from McKinley to NCAS and do not regret. Dr. Watkins is a positive force and the school is definitely on the right track. In fact, this fall we will have 2 children enrolled. Would like to see more Arts and technology as well as extra curricular actiivty, i.e. field trips, etc. Given a choice of private or public K-6, NCAS wins hands down.

- submitted by a parent
June 23, 2006
Hello I am a student turning to 8th grade next year this school taught me alot thanks to my 2 great teachers and also dr.Watkins. She has worked her butt off this year I am happy to say that next year we are hopefully the #1 alternitive school!

- submitted by a student
June 15, 2006
Great choice for public education in Pasadena!

- submitted by a parent
June 13, 2006
My son has been attending Norma Coombs since kindergarten. He is in 2nd grade now and loves his school. I have been happy with the level of education he has received. All of his teachers have been wonderful and very supportive. My son had a hard time with reading but has made a tremendous improvement with his 2nd grade teacher's support. Aside from academia, the school emphasizes arts and crafts and creative thinking and that is something I find valuable. We're very happy to be part of the NCAS family.

- submitted by a parent
May 06, 2006
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a parent
April 21, 2006
I have had two children in this school throughout the last nine years and needless to say in the last 9 years I have seen a lot of changes here.Norma Coombs is definately one of only two schools available in the district that I would even consider having a child enrolled. For the sake of these elementary and junior high students, there are quite a lot of things I would like to see changed to improve the quality of education provided. I do not believe the very infrastructure here,(the principal's position) has ever been very stable. In nine years 5 new principals! All of course with their own styles. Please just stay long enough to get in the groove. I also believe that the creative arts programs are suffering and would like to see some improvement in this area. Otherwise, can't wait to see the test scores this year!

- submitted by a parent
April 17, 2006
This is a small and wonderful school for k-5. The middle school still needs work as there are few electives for the older kids. NCAS has dedicated parents and staff that make it great. The school also (finally) has a pricipal that is sincere and very bright. It needs a computer lab and more art & music for all grades.

- submitted by a parent
April 08, 2006
Well-respected in the community; often difficult to gain admission through lottery process.

- submitted by a parent
no rating March 24, 2006
I hear this is a very good school.

- submitted by a parent
February 27, 2006
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a parent
February 13, 2006
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a parent
no rating January 06, 2006
Norma Coombs Alternative is a wonderful school to send your child to. I have been going here for 4 years now and I don't have one negative comment about it. It's academic programs are outstanding. The principal here is what also makes Norma Coombs the best alternative school. She is very much involved with the school and knows almost of the students name, grade and interacts with all of us everyday. I know that Norma Coombs has and will be a huge part of my successful life in the future.

- submitted by a student
October 24, 2005
I like this school because it is close to home. Also I found the teachers very supportive to the students.

- submitted by a parent
September 25, 2005
We chose NCAS over other public and private schools in Pasadena last year when our son was starting kindergarten, and we didn't regret it. Even in a difficult year when the old principal left and it took months for the new one to arrive, the school managed not just to maintain its quality but even to improve its API scores. The new principal brought energy and a can-do attitude, and the parental involvement - already high for a public school - is increasing all the time. Our son loves his school and his teachers, and we feel he's safe and getting a decent education. Yes, there are things we'd like to see improved (discipline issues, after-school care, less chainlink fences and District-mandated drabness), but overall this is a great school that offers academic quality, a welcoming environment, and wonderful student diversity.

- submitted by a parent
August 02, 2005
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a parent
July 24, 2005
My daughter completed kindergarten this year and were were happy with the school. We have heard only good things about first grade teachers. We are happy with Norma Coombs. A new principal started in in May.

- submitted by a parent
June 09, 2005
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a staff
February 20, 2005
Our first school experience was with San Gabriel Learning Center, which is a PreK - K school. On my first visit to the school, I was impressed with staff members, student work/progress and the learning environment. It is a mini school. I have visited many preschools prior to SGVLC, and non of which had a computer lab with more than 10 computers and a library where children could check out books. The school provides a conducive, nurturing and safe environment for learning. The staff members also have an open door policy which is great when you have questions you might want to ask right then and there. My eldest is attendign and has learned so much. I will send my youngest there when she is school age appropriate.

- submitted by a parent
August 17, 2004
I am really happy to see how the cat 6 test scores have improved from the last couple of years. There was almost 100% participation for these tests. I am happy with the teachers in the grades under 6. I think the school need more focus on improving/maintaining an increase in development for the upper grades. Scores drastically begin to drop after 2nd grade. I would like to see some improvement in grades 3-6. The school is well diverse, and only getting stronger through parental involvement. It takes a village to move mountains.

- submitted by a parent
August 26, 2003
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a parent
August 19, 2003
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a former student
Need help choosing a school? We can help »

Media Gallery

Media missing

Uh oh! No photos. This frame will look much better when you upload photos »

Ratings help families find and compare schools. Families should also use other factors when choosing a school.


Facebook


Nearby homes for sale

     
Last modified: October 28, 2014

Sign up for email updates

Connect with us

Translate this web page

About GreatSchools

Our mission is to help millions of parents get a great education for their kids. GreatSchools.org is an independent nonprofit and the leading national source of school information for families.


GreatSchools.org 1999 Harrison Street, Suite 1100, Oakland, CA 94612

©1998-2014 GreatSchools.org All Rights Reserved. GreatSchools is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization | Ad Choices

Norma Coombs Alternative School
2600 Paloma Street, Pasadena, CA  91107
(626) 396-5660
Last modified Norma Coombs Alternative School is a Public school that serves grades K-5. It has received a GreatSchools rating of 7 out of 10 based on academic quality.
Norma Coombs Alternative School Rating: 4 out of 5 based on 96 reviews. Top