"Our standardized test scores rank among the highest in the district."
Students enrolled 492
Hours 9:05 AM - 3:30 PM
School leader Jonathan Saipe
Transportation options Yes
District San Diego Unified School District
Before school Yes
After school Yes

Contact this school

4902 Mount Ararat Drive
San Diego, CA 92111

School website
(858) 496-8110
(858) 496-8734
Nearby homes for sale
Map of Holmes Elementary School address.

4 stars
Based on 45 ratings

Let others know what you
think about this school

January 22, 2014
Each time I drive into the nice neighborhood at Holmes Elementary, I feel thankful that my kids attend Holmes. It's got a warm, community feel. The parents, teachers and principal work together to make sure the kids are learning and having fun too. Great volunteer opportunities and STELLAR academics here. Good choice of before-and-after-school programs. We have been SUPER HAPPY with all the teachers we have had. A+!!!

- submitted by a parent
January 19, 2014
This is an amazing school! My daughter has attended for the last 3 years and has flourished under her caring teachers guidance. When it was time for our son to start kindergarten we were overjoyed to learn that he would have the same teacher our daughter did. The PTA is a cut above as they have provided extra curricular activities that have inspired both our children. We are eternally grateful to both the teachers and the parent volunteers that have given our kids so much.

- submitted by a parent
January 18, 2014
Our daughter is in second grade and has attended Holmes all 3 years. This is an incredible school. The teachers are all involved caring educators. The principal provides leadership and great communication. In addition, the PTA and parental involvement create the environment for excellence. This is why this school is ranked so highly and why it's one of the best in the San Diego school district!

- submitted by a parent
December 19, 2013
This is a great school if your child dont have any problem ( no IEP, no behavior ). But if you do, I don't reccomend this school.

- submitted by a parent
September 10, 2013
The parent participation at Holmes is what enables the school to provide a quality, enriching learning experience for the children.

- submitted by a parent
August 11, 2013
Holmes is a great school! I have 3 kids that either are at Holmes or have been through Holmes. There are lots of after school programs. Weekly computer lab, library, and choral music/band for each child. Parent run Arts Attack for every room too! The needs of all learning levels of students are addressed. There is huge parental involvement at this school, so many volunteers. This is what makes it such a great school.

- submitted by a parent
July 30, 2013
Holmes Elementry is a diamond in the ruff! My son loves school and that is the greatest gift for our family. His teachers have been great at making learning fun. I have also been very impressed with the leadership of Holmes. I am impressed when I see the principal spending his time exercising with the students in the afternoons in order to allow his teachers to prepare their lessons!

- submitted by a parent
December 19, 2012
We choiced into this school after doing a lot of research. We have not been disappointed - everyone - from the lunch room staff, groundskeepers, office staff, principal and of course teachers say they care about the kids & their learning first and foremost and they prove it every day. Our child is happy here and is learning fast. There are plenty of extra programs after school (for $) to choose from that keeps our son engaged and always learning something new. We are energized by the atmosphere and LOVE love love our current teacher (Yea Ms McGarr!!). There are some scary financial cutbacks that have caused some drawbacks (yeah, the arts program was cut, but hey, right on PTA - thank you for Arts Attack!, yeah landscaping was scaled back - but right on PTA/teachers for creating eco-friendly gardens tended by the kids!!!). PTA is great, teachers are involved and there are a number of great school-wide activities every few weeks/months. It really does make a difference. Parents seem engaged as well. All in all, we are stoked to have our child in this school.

- submitted by a parent
April 29, 2012
I have a Kindergarten and 2nd grader at Holmes. LOVE this school, the teachers and lots of parent involvement and programs. My kids are very happy here!

- submitted by a parent
October 25, 2011
Before I started my Kindergartner here last year I had heard all kinds of things about Holmes, mostly good but a few negative comments. I toured probably 5 other magnet & charter schools and picked Holmes above them all. It truly is a great school--I felt it then and I feel it now. It isn't perfect but the parents and principal go above & beyond to make it the best school it can be with the massive siphoning of funds from the public school system. And there are FANTASTIC things on the horizon for this school!! RE some of the sour comments: there are observations and there are emotionally loaded opinions. What I have found being an involved parent is that--like anything--it is what you make it! Bitter commentary comes from bitter mouths.

- submitted by a parent
October 24, 2011
We are a new family to Holmes and we are impressed. Sure there are some problems. No school is perfect. Mr Saipe is wonderful. Any measures that he has instituted are for the safety and well being of the children. As a parent volunteer, I am glad for the changes. I want my children to learn how to read well (and enjoy literature), write (stories of the imagination), think well (and creatively) and enjoy math. I really don t care if they do that on a computer or not. Frankly the fanaticism that I see in some parents about the issue of technology is a bit scary to me. I want my children to unplug from the screen, not be zoned out by it. I want my children to learn how to be a good friend and develop character. Some of the parents at Holmes are not very friendly, but that is okay. The good people find each other. Holmes is a good school. It is not a perfect school, but a good school. It has good faculty (who really care about the kids), good staff (who are efficient), good principal (go Mr. Saipe!) and a good parental (go PTA) involvement. The PTA at Holmes provides so much for the school. Yes, it is run by imperfect people, but look to the good. We are fortunate.

- submitted by a parent
September 02, 2011
This is top school that is just beginning to incorporate high tech technology. The entire district is implementing Promethean Boards and laptops for every student in each classroom. All teachers will be trained and a few parents last year were a bunch of whiners always complaining, impatient and very aggressive in attempting to get their way and they became part of the PROBLEM, not the solution. Holmes is a great school for teaching lifelong skills such as writing, spelling, math and reading. We have a 911 API also! For our students to be prepared in the 21st century they need a solid grasp of the basics to utilize technology to the fullest!

- submitted by a teacher
August 18, 2011
Good BASIC public school but they are way behind on technology and project based learning. If you are ok with your kids memorizing worksheet after worksheet, then this is the school for your child. Everything is based on test scores and the kids that are above average get very little push to do better. Holmes is stuck in the past and needs to be brought into the future ..... allow children to have an opinion and let them know that there is more than one way to get to an answer. They need a fresh outlook on teaching! Maybe the new Principal can turn things around.

- submitted by a parent
July 17, 2011
I have children attending this school for the past four years. The PTA is the best in the area and goes above and beyond. Not only do they pay for music, art, PE and other wonderful things that help inrich our childrens education experience they are also a huge support to our teachers and staff. The teachers have always been wonderful and we look forward to many more great years at holmes.

- submitted by a parent
June 03, 2011
On paper, this school looks amazing..but the reality is far different. My child experienced multiple teachers and bullying, all while in Kindergarten! This is not the experience I anticipated. The PTA raises funds to provide for a Music and PE teacher and has a very large voice in this school and the parents seem to be overly involved. The principal is amazing; however she is retiring at the end of the year. We will be choosing another school to attend.

- submitted by a parent
June 03, 2011
the PTA runs this school...idle hands while Husbands are on deployment. my child will not be returning. Principal is leaving at the end of the year and we are getting voice mails for replacement votes...no, thanks.

- submitted by a parent
January 19, 2011
We love Holmes! The teachers are wonderful and the students are learning everyday. One issue I have noticed is that a small group of parents try to interfere with the classroom teaching too much. These parents are always taking the time of the principal and the teachers complaining, criticizing and trying to cause drama. This group of parents try to run the school and I hope the new principal is learning to take the reins and be the boss.

- submitted by a parent
May 26, 2010
Holmes is a jewel. Wonderful sense of community as shown at each event and through the amazing efforts of the PTA, teachers are stellar, new principal is fabulous. Holmes is where the heart is:)

- submitted by a parent
May 19, 2010
Definately one of the best schools in San Diego with "GREAT" teachers!! New principal is not scared of trying new things to get the school to the next level. I respect that in a leader. The only improvement would be for PTA to focus on "supporting" the school , not running it. With the new elected PTA President there is hope.

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


- submitted by a parent
no rating September 20, 2009
We have been going to this school for 5 years now and it is the best school in San Diego.

- submitted by a parent
August 13, 2009
We love homes. Good parents and good kids!

- submitted by a parent
August 11, 2009
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a student
May 15, 2009
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a parent
no rating May 15, 2009
Holmes overall is a great school where the majority of the staff are professional and caring.

- submitted by a parent
May 04, 2009
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a parent
March 27, 2009
Overall, we've been satisfied with Holmes, depending on the teacher. One of our children's teachers last year was not stellar (not a bad person, just not a great teacher), but we are happy with the ones we have this year. It seems to be a bit hit-or-miss with that. There are definitely those who excel and will go above and beyond with their students, but unfortunately we were very disappointed last year. By far one of the strongest aspects of Holmes is its vast army of incredible parent volunteers and the strong sense of community: this is a down-to-earth school with fabulous parents who work hard for this school. It is because of these parents that we have had so many great extracurricular programs such as guitar, drama, and even dance lessons in the classrooms.

- submitted by a parent
November 02, 2008
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a community member
September 04, 2008
As a former parent and staff member, Holmes Elementary is a little piece of heaven. Mrs. Brown (principal) office staff and teachers are a #1. The PTA is also very supportive, involved with the school and the community. My children and I were very fortunate to have had a wonderful experince at Holmes Elementary.

- submitted by a community member
March 06, 2008
we love the teachers at this school and all the parent involvement. The kids taught in a positive environment

- submitted by a parent
October 03, 2007
We are fortunate to be part of Holmes.The principal & teachers are committed and go above the call to duty daily. The PTA involvement and parent volunteers are something to be modeled after. I am proud to be a part of this group of go getters. They have added so much to this school and continue to do so. The independent computer lab is a fantastic addition to the classroom computer experience. The knowledge and experience students will gain from new programs like choral, art lab, and guitar, will stay with them the rest of their lives. This school is dedicated to the enrichment of each student and proves it by the devotion of the staff, teachers, students and parents. You are truly missing out on a wonderful school experience if you 'choice' out of this school. Holmes is where the heart is!

- submitted by a parent
October 01, 2007
We 'choiced' our son into this school upon the recommendation of the director at his pre-school. He started there in Kindergarten and is now in 5th grade. He has loved every teacher he has had and so have we! Awesome school! Great PTA! Friendly environment and lots of involved parents (I'm one of them!) We're sorry to be leaving after this year, but it's time to start Middle School. You'll have no regrets if you send your child to Holmes. The school's motto is: 'Holmes is where the heart is.' And it's true! :)

- submitted by a parent
August 13, 2007
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a parent
January 05, 2006
The principal is fabulous. She is sharp, kind, and accessible. She always gets right back to me whenever I have a question or a concern. I've been very satisfied with every teacher my children have been assigned over the years. The teachers encourage and appreciate parent involvement. I am made to feel as if I am an important memeber of a team comprised of parents, teachers, and administration. There are various after-school activities my children have enjoyed including chess and Mad Science. My daughter and her friends are absolutely enchanted with the music teacher. He has truly sparked a love for making music that I frankly didn't know she had. The only negative about Holmes is that you wouldn't want to send your child here if he is going to require resource assistance. The current program is unsatisfactory.

- submitted by a parent
October 18, 2005
We have been at Holmes for 2 school years, having transfered from a school with falling teat scores. It has been night and day! The academics are far superior to a school just a few blocks away. I couldn't believe the difference. They offer band and other activities also not offered at our previous school. I wish I had made the move sooner. grat school, you won't be dissapointed.

- submitted by a parent
October 13, 2005
Holmes is in trouble with for kids who require resource time. A change in staffing took place at the start of the school year. Off to a very rocky start. Hopefully the problem will be recognized and dealt with in an expeditious manner. Kids with IEPs that rely on their time spent in resource to help them meet their goals are in urgent need of attention to this matter. The principal needs to get it together before a lot of kids fall further behind.

- submitted by a parent
September 18, 2005
We consider ourselves lucky. We moved to California and our kids attend Holmes. It has a high level of parental involvement and amazing teachers.

- submitted by a parent
September 06, 2005
I was very happy with every aspect of this school.

- submitted by a parent
August 27, 2005
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a parent
August 16, 2005
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a parent
April 11, 2005
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a parent
April 02, 2005
I have a daughter who attends this school and this is her second year. She struggles with reading and there are no after school reading options at all. Very disappointing. I was also surprised to see the school does not utilize the Community College near them for resources for the parents who are seeking some help for their children. They are a very small school with a great sense of parent/teacher closeness and they are very kind people, however, they lack the kind of support that the schools we have attended in the past. I am sure part of it is resources, but they could network with near by schools to help these children. I personally paid for a private tutor for a whole year and will have to have my daughter in a private summer program next year, so she will be able to move forward with confidence.

- submitted by a parent
March 31, 2005
Holmes is fantastic! I choiced my daughter into kindergarden and look forward to my other 2 daughters attending as well. The staff is always helpful, especially Nora in the office, she always has a smile and an answer to any question I may have. Holmes makes it easy to send your little one off to school for the first time. The PTA is huge and parental involvement in all activities, stellar!

- submitted by a parent
February 20, 2005
i can tell you it is a wonderful school, the teachers are great! they have helped my 6 year old daughter, i think what i liek best about Holmes Elemntary, is the fact that the teachers and principal care about there students and the students parents. I f we as parents have a problem they listen to us and corect the problem. Thank you again staff at Holmes Elamtary!

- submitted by a parent
December 31, 2004
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a parent
August 19, 2004
This school provided acceptable schooling for my child. He attended the school since first grade. One of their strong points was the pull-out program. He benefited greatly from that and is ready for Jr. High

- submitted by a parent
July 20, 2004
Great teachers and great parent involvement. I have a 1st and 2nd grader attending this school. The principal is very involved and proactive.

- submitted by a parent
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Holmes Elementary School
4902 Mount Ararat Drive, San Diego, CA  92111
(858) 496-8110
Last modified Holmes Elementary School is a Public school that serves grades K-6. It has received a GreatSchools rating of 9 out of 10 based on academic quality.
Holmes Elementary School Rating: 4 out of 5 based on 47 reviews. Top