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K-5
Public
Pasadena, CA
Students enrolled: 391
Before care: Yes
After care: Yes

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1090 Nithsdale Road
Pasadena, CA 91105

School website
(626) 396-5790
(626) 683-7429
Nearby homes for sale
Map of San Rafael Elementary School address.

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November 06, 2013
San Rafael Elementary is the best kept secret in Pasadena, but that's quickly changing. We looked closely at both public and private schools but found nothing that offered as an enriching "elementary school" experience as what we thought San Rafael might offer...and now I'm convinced! It has the "classic" elementary school environment many of us parents experienced as kids, supported by an incredibly involved parent/teacher support system, beyond enriching dual language/cultural program, and is anchored by the Principal Rudy Ramirez who is a natural motivator. In my opinion, San Rafael sets the example of what an elementary school experience should be. Good luck getting in, with it's rise in popularity it's probably tougher to get into than any other Pasadena public or private school, and with its steep upward trending test scores it's catching the eye of non-Pasadena residents too. BTW, I am fluent in Spanish and my 1st grade daughter is already teaching me new Spanish words and phrases, and demonstrating learned math and problem solving skills that keep me in disbelief every time I watch her do homework! I'm truly impressed.....

- submitted by a parent
October 09, 2013
Our son just started Kindergarten in the dual immersion and loves it. Like all the other parents here we're very happy. At first we were hesitant about throwing him into a 100% Spanish speaking class, but he adjusted quickly and is thriving, thanks to a wonderful teacher and a parent community that is committed to doing everything possible to provide students with a high-quality education. The dual immersion program is drawing so many parents that getting into it is the biggest potential issue. The teaching is traditional and includes homework every night. Some parents may take issue with that, but we've found that it's really helped our son pick up Spanish quickly (we're not native Speakers) and work on his handwriting skills. His class is very diverse, as is the whole school, which is very important to us. San Rafael is a great school with very motivated and skillful staff. Only 2 months in but so far I highly recommend it.

- submitted by a parent
August 22, 2013
We have a 1st grader and preschooler here at the school. We are brand new this year and could not be more pleased. We came from a local top-tier private school in the area. It was a bit scary taking the leap from private to public and after attending the summer school program and now starting the school year I have no regrets. What may be lacking in terms of extracurricular is more than made up for by the incredible community of highly involved principal, staff, parents and students. In addition, parents are working hard to get many extras in place for our children. The diversity here is wonderful. I love that my children will not only be learning spanish but also be in such a caring, nurturing and well run school. If you are lucky enough to get in here you won't regret it. My oldest child has not once asked about his old school and has met far more well rounded students here who are well behaved, polite, studious and kind hearted. All the money we will end up saving will also put smiles on our faces knowing we can allocate those dollars to help the public schools more and pay for additional extra curricular programs if we feel they are necessary.

- submitted by a parent
July 18, 2013
Here's the truth: as to K-5 elementary schools, where kids are still 90%+ influenced by their parents, there is no such thing as a bad school. There are only bad parents. Private schools and destination school-districts are "great schools" because they self-select active, involved, educated, affluent parents. My kid has been at SR for Kindergarten, and is in the dual-immersion program going into first grade. This school is not the same place it was even five years ago. Scores are improving, the new principal is great, the teachers are great, parents are involved, there is community. The choice is yours! You can pay $20K/year for private school kindergarten (which blows my mind), or way more for a house in South Pasadena, or you can look into this school, or Field, or any number of other Pasadena elementary schools where you kid can get a perfectly great education and also experience real as opposed to highly-regulated diversity. Middle and high school are another issue, because of the peer pressures that kick in, but this is a great elementary school.

- submitted by a parent
May 19, 2013
My daughter has been at SRE for 3 years in the Dual Language Immersion program. Our experience at the beginning was one of blind trust. We didn't know much about the program or the school, but since we live literally a couple of blocks from the school we decided to give it a try. We had some rocky moments in the beginning, but there was a core of talented teachers and devoted parent volunteers that turned San Rafael and the DLIP into a neighborhood gem. This Fall, our son will begin Kindergarten at SRE. He is excited about starting school here and learning to speak Spanish. We are proud this is our school and confident about the DLIP's future.

- submitted by a parent
April 08, 2013
William F Elliott elementary school in Artesia ca and it occurred as one of the best elementary schools to attend towards wonderful high standards in academics with math and science. I truly recommend Ms. Joana Sena a fifth grade teacher who can change your ways to like school even more with helping you towards the subjects your weak at and try and help you get back on track. I am a student from Elliott elementary as class of 2009 as one of the successful student who enjoy this awesome magnet program they offer. Anyone can visit this school anytime and hope that your minds will be transform as your child enters this school and graduates as a confident learner towards further higher grade level.

- submitted by a community member
September 03, 2012
My son started Kindergarten last year in the DLIP. WOW! Are we SO happy. We had SOME reservations at first, we took him out of private school to get into this program. He is now starting 1st grade and continues to thrive. This ischool has an amazing group of parents,some fantastic teachers, and NOW a principal who seems a PERFECT fit for the wonderful school.

- submitted by a parent
August 19, 2012
What a great time it is to be at San Rafael! In 2009, San Rafael school introduced one of PUSD's Signature Programs with the Spanish Dual Language Immersion Program. Teachers are AMAZINGLY talented at instruction in both languages and there's a strong and active parent community. For the 2012-2013 school year, the bilingual principal and additional Immersion teachers have raised the bar for quality in public education in Pasadena.

- submitted by a parent
February 04, 2011
My daughter entered the Dual Language Immersion program last September. We transferred her from a private school as this is our neighborhood school and we were excited about the program. This school has been equal to and in some ways even better than the private school she was previously attending. The parental involvement is far greater at San Rafael. The teachers and administration all care so much. They go the extra mile for the children in so many ways. My daughter is well nurtured, well educated and, oh yes....SPEAKING SPANISH!!!! We can't believe how much progress she has made since September. She didn't speak a single word going in and now she is speaking in full sentences and singing whole songs - and she LOVES it. I am also very impressed with the LEARNS after school program. It is very structured and she gets homework help. She is learning Spanish dancing and how to sew. At the private school, the after school program was pretty much a free for all. LEARNS is much more organized and we like it so much better.

- submitted by a parent
February 04, 2011
I am a parent of a kindergarten student in San Rafael's Dual Immersion Program. My younger daughter is scheduled to enter kindergarten next year as well. I couldn't be more impressed with the quality of the teachers and the parent involvement. It is clear that we made the right choice for our daughter. Although it is not our home school, it really feels like home to us. Not perfect (but what is?), but a caring community (staff and parents) makes up for the limitations.

- submitted by a parent
February 04, 2011
My daughter is in the dual language program and I couldn't be more pleased about the decision we made. I had felt that public school wasn't an option for our children with all the cuts to education. But I have no doubt she is getting the best possible education offered in Pasadena. She is in Kindergarten and reading and writing in both Spanish and English already. She runs to her classroom each morning and is so enthusiastic about her work. She is singing in the school musical and participating in a Daisies troop on campus. The biggest and best surprise was the community of parents involved in the DLP. They are intelligent, committed, warm and just terrific! I am so pleased this will be our community through the school years and hopefully beyond!

- submitted by a parent
February 03, 2011
My child is in the Dual immersion Spanish program and we love it. Both the school and class sizes for kindergarten are small. My son spoke no spanish when we started, and within months he is speaking and reading in 2 languages. The teachers are attentive, communicative and available. The level of parent involvement is high. San Rafael is a lovely school.

- submitted by a parent
February 03, 2011
We took a leap of faith when we decided to send our son to San Rafael. He was the first Kindergarten class in the Dual Immersion program and the results are undeniably amazing. I never realized how important it is to be biliterate as well as bilingual. Truly when I observe the class and hear the children talk in a language that is not their first (for half of them) it blows me away! The teachers are incredibly dedicated to the success of the children. In his two years at the school, his teachers have gone above and beyond their required duty! They are teaching a language, while teaching the curriculum that is required by the state. So basically my son is learning everything in 2 languages. He is not getting half of an education. He is getting twice the education. The campus is in a beautiful neighborhood. And more improvements will be coming once funds are released from measure tt. Overall had I to make the decision over again I would send my son here! In fact I will be sending my daughter in the fall. San Rafael has a diverse, caring, and nurturing community that is growing every day.

- submitted by a parent
January 21, 2011
My child is in the Spanish immersion program and loves it! Not only is the school site charming, the spanish program has attracted a really committed, diverse, and dynamic group of parents. I did not think my child would learn s0 quickly. Half way through kindergarten, he is reading and writing in spanish. He has also made some amazing friends. Thank you, PUSD, for starting this program!

- submitted by a parent
September 13, 2010
As the parent of twins here at San Rafael, I am pleased with the school and the character of the staff and leaders. This little gem of a school is moving toward greatness and we all need to continue to help it succeed.

- submitted by a parent
no rating October 26, 2009
As a kindergarten family, we are thrilled to be in Pasadena s first dual immersion (Spanish) program at San Rafael Elementary. The principal is thoughtful & dedicated (it was under her leadership that both the district s inclusion and dual immersion programs came to San Rafael) and the teachers and support staff are all working together to turn San Rafael into a high performing school. Although the API is fair (748), it is clearly on the rise and with the growing support of everyone involved at SR, SR will easily be a high performing school within the next five years. In terms of the dual immersion program, the teachers are giving 300% of their time and talent to make the DLP a life changing experience for my daughter and her classmates. SR also has a pre-school and PasadenaLEARNs after school program for all kids, K-6th grade.

- submitted by a parent
October 25, 2009
My twins are in kindergarten at San Rafael Elementary. The teachers in their Dual Language class are AMAZING! I chose San Rafael because of this unique program, but I am equally happy with the school overall. It is a wonderful community to be in.

- submitted by a parent
October 24, 2009
I am new at San Rafael Elementary, and my daughter is in the new Dual Language Spanish Immersion Program. The teachers are truly remarkable, and go above and beyond what is expected. This school has had its trials, but I sincerely believe San Rafael is headed for greatness with the recent, incredible surge of community/parental support and caring, giving nature of the staff and teachers. It may not have all the bells and whistles of other programs, but it is a small, wonderful group of people who care about each and every child in that school. This school is going to thrive, and I am proud to be a part of choosing to rebuild and ignite our neighborhood public school.

- submitted by a parent
August 24, 2009
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a parent
June 20, 2009
Unfortunately the leadership in the school is lacking and extrememly uneven. There are teachers who care about teaching and helping to create a well rounded student, but they along with the parents have had to fight hard battles to see this come to fruition. Quite often the teacher's hands were tied. Personal experience with the leadership in the school has shown unprofessionalism on several occassions.

- submitted by a parent
June 18, 2009
San Raphael Elementary School under the leadership of Ms. Beecher has proven to be a place of great caring and inspiration for my two children. My daughter's confidence in regards to her school work and peer has improved and she loves the school. Teaachers have managed to channel my sons abounding energy into the classroom and he will enter the 'GATE' program next year. Needless to say I'm very pleased with all aspects of San Raphael.

- submitted by a parent
June 13, 2008
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a parent
September 02, 2007
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a parent
March 21, 2007
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a teacher
December 08, 2006
I am a parent of three students for the second year. I have been in support of the school staying open. Until the school got worst. There are a few good teachers there and staff as well unfortunately they are at the wrong place. My children will not be returning the following year and my not finish this year. Inclusion is a wonerful thing only if the people running the school know what there doing. PUSD is a horrible place to have your children.

- submitted by a parent
April 06, 2006
Was not please with the quality of education. The teachers were not that communicative.

- submitted by a parent
November 05, 2005
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a teacher
August 16, 2005
My son, who has autism, has been at San Rafael for 3 years after attending 3 other PUSD schools that could not meet his needs. This is the best school for all children. It has great teachers who lead the way to academic excellence and give the children a good example on how to accept and learn from all kinds of people.

- submitted by a parent
May 04, 2004
My son is in the class with Ms. Marilyn Raskin and her great support group, Ms. Erica, Ms. Rodriguez and the other great people. My son is autistic and has improved so much being in Ms. Raskin's class. I am a proud parent of a San Rafael pre k student. I am confident that my son will excel and thrive in this program of blended inclusion. Keep up the great work everyone.

- submitted by a parent
December 03, 2003
My experience with this school has been bitter-sweet. The teachers and staff here are great but I see the principal not been the right person for the job.

- submitted by a parent
September 10, 2003
I have been a parent at San Rafael for eight years and have been very pleased with the level of education my children have experienced.

- submitted by a parent
July 27, 2003
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a parent
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San Rafael Elementary School
1090 Nithsdale Road, Pasadena, CA  91105
(626) 396-5790
Last modified San Rafael Elementary School is a Public school that serves grades K-5. It has received a GreatSchools rating of 6 out of 10 based on academic quality.
San Rafael Elementary School Rating: 4 out of 5 based on 32 reviews. Top