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K-5
Public
Pasadena, CA
Students enrolled: 675

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3700 Denair Street
Pasadena, CA 91107

School website
(626) 396-5870
(626) 351-8892
Nearby homes for sale
Map of Don Benito Fundamental School address.

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February 11, 2014
Our children have had a great experience at Don Benito. The Principal is a gem and the teachers are knowledgeable and caring. There are over 500 PTA members and tons of parent involvement both in the classroom and at special events like Stargazing Night, Movie Night, and the Fall Carnival. My kids enjoy the after-school activities like Drama, Chess club, Cub Scouts and Brownies.

- submitted by a parent
August 04, 2013
Don Benito has been great for my daughter. She a Ms. Bendiksen for kindergarten who is everything you would want for your first teacher. The parent involvement is off the chart which I believe is one of the reasons Don Benito is such a gem. We are blessed that we our daughter has the opportunity to attend this school!

- submitted by a parent
April 30, 2012
We are coming in to the home stretch of our kindergarten year at DB and could not be happier. The quality of instruction, the challenging and nurturing atmosphere, the high level of parent involvement, have all been a terrific match for our son. He is thriving. We love the incredible diversity of our community too. The principal is a wonder and the PTA leadership has their heads screwed on straight. If your child gets in here--go.

- submitted by a parent
June 20, 2011
My son has special needs in academics. The staff has been very supportive. Mrs. Carlson has guided our family to receive the assistance my son needs. She has also tutored him. Ms. Turbull is awesome. Mrs. Hernandez, Miss Bell, Ms. McPherson and Ms. Bendikson.....all wonderful! I am very happy we are a part of Don Benito.

- submitted by a parent
May 30, 2011
Don Benito is an excellent school with highly qualified, dedicated teachers. There will always be complainers, but remember, one person's "mediocrity" is another person's favorite teacher of all time. It's ridiculous to expect every teacher to be a perfect and personalized match for your child's extra-special specialness. The principal is outstanding, and it's clear that she cares about every child. Your child will be friends with children from a wide variety of racial and economic backgrounds, in an environment where everyone is safe and everyone is valued. If you're looking for a homogeneous, upper-middle-class "public private school," there are other PUSD options. But if you're looking for a real public school where your children will get an outstanding education, this is the place to be!

- submitted by a parent
March 11, 2011
I have been a proud parent and volunteer of Don Benito for the past 6 years. I rate the school and the staff 5 stars, for their excellence in teaching, strangth, leadership, challenging programs and outstanding achievment in bringing parents to be a part of their childs education and having excellent amout of parent envolvement. I high recommend Don Benito to all new families. Most of I would proudly rate our Don Benito principle with an extra 5 stars, for being the most an outgoing, dedicated, strong and excellent leader to all the Don Benito kids, parents, families and friends. The Solano Gonzalez family, loves you all.

- submitted by a parent
February 28, 2011
This is the first year our child attends Don Benito, I have to say that we are very impressed with the school so far. The teacher( Mrs. Huezo) is an excellent educator, she encourages the kids to learn in a fun atmosphere! Parent participation is very good to say the least. We look forward to having our son join the school in few years as well.

- submitted by a parent
January 11, 2011
I have very mixed feelings about Don Benito. The atmosphere there has improved dramatically since the new administration took over last year. However, we have had about a 50% satisfaction rate with teachers; We have had some excellent teachers who convey warmth, intelligence, and a love of teaching. We have also experienced flat, uninspired mediocrity from some of the staff. California public education seems to be hamstrung by the standard requirements placed on teachers. It takes a very special educator to work with and around those requirements while still making learning a good experience. For us, it has been hit-or-miss at Don Benito.

- submitted by a parent
June 22, 2010
Don Benito has experienced so many wonderful improvements this year with the new principal. She's a wonderful leader with a can-do attitude. The teachers respect her and the children adore her. She has pledged to continue high standards for learning despite budget cuts and no doubt, she will keep her word. Our experience with our child's teachers has been nothing but positive. There are high expectations for learning and clear-cut disciplinary policies. Also, teachers facilitate many extracurricular activities such as Odyssey of the Mind, Jumprope-A-Thon, and Literacy Night. They're a dedicated bunch. We're extremely happy with our child's progress and look forward to the time his siblings will attend. We're fortunate to be part of the Don Benito Family! p.s. The buses WILL continue next year!

- submitted by a parent
April 29, 2010
Don Benito is struggling to survive and keep afloat within PUSD. There are many wonderful things that happen at the school and a great deal of parent involvement. The district enrollment is dropping, bussing will be stopping next year and it appears unclear if Don Benito will continue to succeed academically. Will there be large gain in API scores this year, under the current leadership, it will be a challenge to say the least. Schools are judged by test scores not by lines of parents.

- submitted by a parent
January 21, 2010
I have a child in first grade and one that has recently graduated. My children have had very positive experiences over the years and love learning and get very high marks. The new principal is a great improvement over the previous one. I believe she will bring Don Benito back up to where it once was.

- submitted by a parent
January 20, 2010
Every teacher my children had at Don Benito was fantastic. My kids love to learn and I give the teachers credit for that. The previous principal threatened the teachers, lied to parents and put a dark cloud over the school so we left. A previous principal has now returned and I hear that people and teachers are very happy with her. My kids are now in a very good private school and they had no problem adapting to the new schools curriculum.

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


- submitted by a parent
no rating October 03, 2009
My daughter is finally getting the kind of individualized attention that she needs.

- submitted by a parent
no rating October 03, 2009
My daughter attended Don Benito. She received first rate instruction from caring teachers.

- submitted by a parent
September 23, 2009
The teaching staff at this school (with only two exceptions) is committed and qualified. They are great to work with and understand their role in and the incredible opportunity it is to teach. Our son is fortunate to be there. Unfortunately the silliness from the unqualified administration just keeps on coming. Why Pasadena can't get people that are capable of seeing the big picture I don't know.

- submitted by a parent
September 17, 2009
Don Benito has been an incredible school for our children. Our first child attended K-5 and our second child is currently in 4th grade. Don Benito has been a wonderful avenue for our kids on their road to success. Don Benito is challenging yet prepares each student in the fundamentals that they need to succeed. The teachers are fair, kind, respectful, compassionate, and dedicated. They make themselves available to the children and families, whether it be in person, by email or phone. We have always felt updated and that our children have been in the care of incredible professionals. We do not take it for granted that our children have been able to receive a great education in our public school system. We have yet to be disappointed by the staff at Don Benito, we are nothing but grateful. We are looking forward to another great year.

- submitted by a parent
May 18, 2009
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a parent
May 02, 2009
My son has been at Don Benito since kindergarten through third grade, and most of his teachers have been fantastic. Only one was a disappointment, but she wasn't terrible, just sort of average. The work my son is doing is much more challenging than what his private-school buddies are doing at the same grade level. We were really not impressed with the principal when she led our school tour, and that almost stopped us from applying, but we took a chance on public school and we're glad we did! Don Benito has wonderful teachers, and we're very happy.

- submitted by a parent
January 19, 2009
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- submitted by a parent
no rating November 07, 2008
We are now looking at middle schools and the experience has shown us what a good education our children are getting at Don Benito. We visited one local very expensive and highly touted private school and were interested to see that the work expected of 6th graders at that school was what the students at Don Benito did in 4th grade. It is too bad that so many Pasadena residents are afraid of public schools because it is clear that the educational experience is superior to most private schools.

- submitted by a parent
November 07, 2008
This is our third year at Don Benito, and we have been very happy so far. Not knowing whether or not we would get in, we applied and got accepted into four elite private schools when we were applying for Kindergarten. Not once have we regretted our decision to choose Don Benito instead. As a public school, Don Benito has less freedom than privates in many respects, and it can be frustrating at times, but there are so many positives: True diversity (both socio-economic and ethnic), creative and experienced teachers, very active PTA, involved parents, well-chosen fieldtrips, and a variety of after-school enrichment activities such as art and Spanish. We are hopeful that with Measure TT also our facilities will improve. A great school, and we parents can do so much to make it even better!

- submitted by a parent
November 07, 2008
My child is in fifth grade and I have been touring several elite private schools in preparation of 6th grade. I have been pleasantly surprised to find that Don Benito's academics are well ahead of the curve. Looking at the writing samples and curriculum at schools, such as Chandler, have made me realize that Don Benito is an excellent school academically. On top of that, we have been exposed to diversity - both racially and economically - which private schools tend to lack. I know we made the right decision when we enrolled at Don Benito so many years ago.

- submitted by a parent
November 06, 2008
My son is in first grade now - his teacher this year and from last have both been friendly, creative, and supportive for him. The school is highly organized and welcoming. The YMCA afterschool program at Don Benito is well worth the money.

- submitted by a parent
October 01, 2008
Our son is in first grade and we love it. Don Benito is everything you could hope for from a metropolitan school: diverse in everyway, vibrant with exposure to cultural activities and great academics. Our son is learning atleast as much as kids at our local private schools and the teachers seem to have a lot more experience. Parents are very involved and help support spanish, art and PE classes. We are very happy and have also made some great friends. Public schools in Pasadena and other parts of LA are too often overlooked by middle class parents who want to coddle their children with the sanitized environments of private schools.

- submitted by a parent
September 09, 2008
Last year my daughter went to a Private School for Kindergarten. This year she got into Don Benito for First Grade. We cannot be more thirlled so far. Everyone seems SO friendly and there is a ton of parent support. It is very organized and offers a lot more than the Private School. Involvement and donations are encouraged, but not forced. There are many after school activites available including the Fine Art classes, Girl Scouts, the YMCA, etc. Next week my daughter is already going on her first field trip and she is excited to ride on a school bus for the first time. We love her teacher and are very happy so far.=)

- submitted by a parent
August 15, 2008
Don Benito is a fading flower. Many other Pasadena elementary schools are better and if we had to do it over again we would not choose this school. There's more to a school than it's scores. We have been very frustrated dealing with the principal on a variety of issues the past few years. The pta is trying its best to keep things upbeat, but morale among teachers and parents is low.

- submitted by a parent
July 22, 2008
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a parent
June 25, 2008
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- submitted by a parent
no rating June 16, 2008
We have been at Don Benito for four years now and couldn't be happier with the teachers and principal. Our two children are thriving, learning and have made very good friends. Be wary when you read the comments below chastising the principal. There is a very loud and disruptive minority at Don Benito who will never be happy no matter what the leadership does. It's a shame they can't use their energy in a more constructive, positive way. We plan to be at Don Benito for many more years and look forward to years of excellence we have enjoyed. We saved a bundle on private schools and are so glad to be here!

- submitted by a parent
June 12, 2008
OUr children have attended Don Benito for several years now. We gave up a spot in a private school to attend DB with hopes that it was all that we had heard it was. After 4 years of being there we have realized many things. We believe that the decline that we have seen in families leaving throughout the last few years, low teacher morale and lowering API scores are a direct result of the poor leadership of our principal. The kids are great, the families are great and the teachers are fantastic! Those are the reasons we have stuck around for as long as we have. Now if the district would just hear our pleas and deal with the elephant in the room.

- submitted by a parent
April 20, 2008
There are many good things about Don Benito that outshines many other schools in Pasadena and other nearby districts and that is the true diversity of the students and the teachers. I really enjoy seeing my kids have such close ties to so many different cultures and identities. However, I must agree that the principal lacks the strong, take charge attitude of a real leader. Her role is one of a desk-job principal and not an active one. This school is only hanging on by a few good teachers and families.

- submitted by a parent
March 28, 2008
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a parent
November 18, 2007
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a parent
October 28, 2007
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a parent
September 23, 2007
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- submitted by a former student
June 06, 2007
This is our second year at Don Benito and so far the teachers we have had have been fantastic! It is because of those teachers that my child has excelled and experienced so much, so far. The teachers incorporate their personal experiences and wealth of knowledge to the curriculum and supplement extra curricular activities to stimulate high-interest in the Open Court, science, and math units. My concern, like many other parents is middle and high school. Where do we go from here? Also, in the two years at Don Benito, I haven't seen the Principal anywhere on campus, except at school-wide events. It would be nice if she had more of an open door policy and was more visual on campus/office to the parents.

- submitted by a parent
June 06, 2007
I have found the principal to have great 'people skills' and be a wonderful and caring leader and role model for young men and women. Sure, no place is perfect. But, we looked at all the private schools in the area and I would rate the principal at Don Benito to be just a capable, caring, involved, responsive and dedicated as any of the directors of the private schools here in Pasadena. The principal is doing a great job!

- submitted by a parent
June 04, 2007
Don Benito is the greatest! I have three of my kids there. The parents are involved,the teachers are excellent and the kids are well mannered.

- submitted by a parent
May 06, 2007
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a parent
April 23, 2007
Don Benito is an okay school. The teachers and staff at Don Benito do a fantastic job but the parents need to come back to reality. Don Benito does a decent job in a troubled district. Don benito is not going to get your kids through junior high, high school and college sadly.

- submitted by a parent
March 02, 2007
My child is in Kindergarten right now and I couldn't be happier with the teachers. They are dedicated and warm and are truly giving my child a love of school and learning. My only problem is with the district wide Open Court system. If you have a gifted child, take the time to learn about this. All children are moved through this learning program at the same pace, regardless of their ability. If you have a gifted child, it will be completely up to you to challenge and advance your child at home. The teachers will give you extra work to do at home, but it doesn't take the place of advanced programs in the classroom - which are non-existent in Open Court. If your kid is really gifted, beware.

- submitted by a parent
May 08, 2006
This school has 'okay' API scores for the district. However, after graduating, my kids were not accepted to a private school because of the high demand and waiting lists. So we will have to consider moving out of Pasadena for a better school district we wish we would have known before enrolling our children at this one and only decent school in the district.

- submitted by a parent
May 02, 2006
Our son just finished K at Don Benito. We've found it to be a great place--committed parents, good teachers and balanced diversity, ethnically, socio-econnomically, and background. Only challenge is 1/2 day kinder for the most part, but they get homework every week and students who are ready will get extra enrichment homework. Art docent program with volunteer parents is very good.

- submitted by a parent
April 17, 2006
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a parent
February 27, 2006
My daughter is currently enrolled at Don Benito Fundamental as a kindergartner and we are very happy. The teachers have been terrific and have on their own initiated adding enrichment reading to our daughter's curriculum. We are pleased with this individual attention.

- submitted by a parent
January 11, 2006
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a parent
no rating July 05, 2005
Don Benito has high API scores given the amount of students enrolled.

- submitted by a parent
May 15, 2005
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- submitted by a parent
March 09, 2005
Great school! Probably the best elementry school in Pasadena. Very difficult, however, to get your child into the school. A lottery system is used and it factors in various demographics.

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


- submitted by a parent
February 28, 2005
My adult children and my 11 year old daughter have all benefitted from the exceptional learning environment at Don Benito. The school is rich with enthusiastic educators who create one of the best learning environments in the Pasadena area. The only criticism I have is that the school was K-5 up until last year. This was the first year for 6th grade and the administration was not prepared to make the leap. Additionally, teacher turnover was unusually high because of attrition. The shortcomings are being addressed and should be worked out come next year. Overall, however, I have been very pleased with my daughters progress.

- submitted by a parent
February 23, 2005
This is a nice school. My kids enjoy it.

- submitted by a parent
August 17, 2004
We are thrilled with Don Benito. This is an incredible school where parents have one thing in common - they care about their child's education. It a great alternative to a private school.

- submitted by a parent
August 04, 2004
My two boys have been fortunate to attend Don Benito since K(they are going into 3rd and 4th grade this fall). The experience has been excellent with great teachers and a wonderful learning environment. Our test scores are tops in the district and the state. If I had to complain, it would be that gifted children do not receive extra work or special programs. It is necessary for parents to supplement their children's education with enrichment and intellectual activities. My son's teacher has told me that, while my son aces all subjects, he is capable of so much more. However, the school has nothing to offer to help him get there. Also, like most public schools, DB is weak when it comes to offering subjects other than reading/math. Science, computer lab, social studies, art, PE and music are taught irregularly. Lottery system of admission. An excellent school and I recommend without hesitation.

- submitted by a parent
July 19, 2004
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a parent
October 01, 2003
Great school By Pasadena Public standards. But what happens after 5th grade? Back to private school! All Pasadena schools should have API scores such as Don Benito. Good Luck!

- submitted by a parent
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Don Benito Fundamental School
3700 Denair Street, Pasadena, CA  91107
(626) 396-5870
Last modified Don Benito Fundamental 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.
Don Benito Fundamental School Rating: 4 out of 5 based on 57 reviews. Top