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.....
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.