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Stella Maris Academy

Private | PK-8 | 230 students

 

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Living in San Diego

Situated in a suburban neighborhood. The median home value is $810,000. The average monthly rent for a 2 bedroom apartment is $1,690.

Source: Sperling's Best Places
 
Last modified
Community Rating

5 stars

Community Rating by Year
2014:
Based on 1 rating
2013:
Based on 2 ratings
2012:
Based on 1 rating
2011:
Based on 2 ratings

Teacher quality

Principal leadership

Parent involvement

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17 reviews of this school


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Posted June 17, 2014

I couldn't be more happier with the school we chose for our daughter. She has been at the school since Kindergarten and will be heading into 3rd grade. We love the family oriented atmosphere because of the size of the school. Lots of parent involvement and transparency with the teachers and administrative staff. She not only gets a quality education but good spiritual guidance and lessons in proper etiquette. For its size the school offers quite a lot.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted May 4, 2013

You won't be disappointed with SMA. My son has another loving parent while at school, his teacher! Expect hugs, consistency, high expectations, diversified student population, organization, high quality 'specials' educators (in particular Spanish, Music, Art, and Reading Specialist), individualized instruction, helpful and knowledgable resource specialist, and parent involvement.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted April 9, 2013

We could not have chosen a better school for our son...and, actually, he told us he wanted Stella Maris Academy for his kindergarten year. We moved to San Diego from the East Coast. With family 2,800 miles away, we knew school would be more than a safe-haven for our son during the day....it would be our first step toward growing within a new community. Our initial hopes have been surpassed at every turn. We hoped SMA would be a place for our child to grow in his faith, find happiness with new friends and be a place for him to spread the wings of his mind and embrace new thoughts and information. SMA, on a daily basis, takes proactive steps to go beyond our basic wish for our son. We toured 11 schools from North County to Downtown and we told our son it was his final decision. We set foot at SMA, and he had a light shine from within. Everyone had a sincere, vested interest in him, as a person not just a prospective student, even at such a young age. Now in our 2nd year, we believe there is no better place for him, and for us. Everyone cares, makes a honest effort, teachers are stakeholders, parents are friends and our son is happy...Could not ask for more.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted November 1, 2012

I'm actually a grandfather of student here but I am very involved with my grandson's education. Leadership here is very weak. Great teachers are being let go for artificial reasons . This school is very "teacher based" instead of "student based." I.e. changes made are based on the teachers' needs and wants instead of what students' need. For example, this school used to have an amazing Resource Center, constructed by a knowledgeable and effective educator and my grandson benefitted from this program greatly. I witness his increased academic performance while this educator was on board. Yet, somehow, the school managed to get rid of her despite the evident improvement of the students utilizing the center. Now, it is ran by an incompetent teacher who makes students feel bad for having special learning needs (as reported by my grandson and parents of several other students), and the center is crumbling. There is something fundamentally wrong with leadership. If your child has any challenges learning in a traditional way, this school is not for him/her. Although this school might give support, it is not effective and you will need outside resource to aid in your child's education.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted November 23, 2011

This is a wonderful school. The principal, the teachers and the community is great. It is a true gift to be part of this school. My son is a new student and is extremely happy. He is enjoying learning again, and is very motivated. The teachers are so considerate,professional, caring, helpful and challenge their students to their fullest potential. The teachers are AMAZING! Not to mention that they all have degrees, credentials, masters, etc. etc.. You do not hear teachers yell at their students. The classes are super well structured and the discipline and respect is amazing as well as the academics. The way students learn is very unique. You feel at peace here. The social skills curriculum is superb also. Almost like a finishing school were students learn to interact in the outside world. They are taught to be confident, respectful and strong individuals, as well as how to behave in different circumstances. Very supportive, humble and caring school environment.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted May 19, 2011

No leadership from the church or Pastor. No connection to the Church except for the standard Catholic curriculum. The 5th Grade teacher is Amazing!
—Submitted by a parent


Posted April 30, 2010

Have you seen the short bios on the teachers here? Do you notice how many of them have Master's Degrees, certifications, etc? The teachers are well-qualified, and most of them have children who went to SMA. The community of parents are wonderful. The children are brought up in a close knit, respectful, and wholesome way. The classes are intimate and the children respect and enjoy each others differences.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted April 18, 2010

Because it's a smaller size school (only one class per grade), there is a huge sense of community and responsibility, the teachers know your kids before they reach the grade they teach and therefore know how to challenge them to the top of their potential.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted November 10, 2009

This is a fantastic school. My child switched halfway through the year from public school and has been really enjoying it there. The teachers are kind and supportive, and they motivate their students to do their best.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted November 10, 2009

A wonderful community within La Jolla where kids can grow and learn in a great environment. Uniquely personal and with strong academics.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted November 9, 2009

Such a hidden gem! Small class sizes, highly credentialed and degreed staff, an environment valuing achievement.... we love this school. The spanish, art and P.E. programs are incredible as well, especially since these have been cut at some area schools. Very diverse and inclusive as well, and set right in the village of La Jolla with all it's natural beauty and cultural resources.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted November 6, 2009

SMA is largely underrated in the community. With all SMA has to offer, it is surprising the tuition is so low. The teachers are extremely professional and knowledgeable. The students are taught to be self-directed learners and kind people. My 2 daughters are thriving!! I highly recommend SMA!
—Submitted by a parent


Posted May 14, 2008

Blue Ribbon school that is a wonderful place for kids. The curriculum is great, and the dedication and caring cannot be matched.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted January 19, 2006

We looked at many other private schools, catholic and secular, and decided on SMA for our two children because of the very warm and supportive environment for the students and families. It is a small school so the children get to kmow all the kids in the different grades which has proven to be very enriching for our children. Academically it is challenging and the teachers have high expectations of their students. As in all schools, some teachers are more challenging than others. When the kids start at SMA from a young age, they become accustomed quickly to the expectations and thrive. I did not attned catholic school so was a little skepitcal about the reliogion but is has been a blessing for our family. Along with religion, daily the students learn about moral vaules, how to treat others and how to help others in need who are less forunate.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted December 23, 2005

Our family loves this school. It is very strong academically and provides a caring, personal community experience for the children. The principal is on the street corner just about every morning to greet your child and give him or her a hug. The children are taught kindness and respect. It is a very positive learning environment.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted September 22, 2005

Stella Maris Academy is a 'Blue Ribbon' school. They provide an Excellent education to the students, and the teachers are absolutely incredible. If you are fortunate enough to be able to have your child attend this school, you will be amazed with the classes, as well as the extracurricular activities. (Soccer, Bat-Ball, Basketball, Kick-Ball, Choir, Dance, Languages, to name a few) Parent involvement is a requirement, so you should expect to 'volunteer' frequently.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted August 25, 2003

This school provides a beautiful learning experience spiritually, educationally as well as emotionally. This is a great place to 'grow' your children.
—Submitted by a parent


Community ratings and reviews do not represent the views of GreatSchools nor does GreatSchools check their accuracy or verify the reviewers' identities. Use your discretion when evaluating these reviews.

About these ratings

The Community Rating is the school’s average rating from its community members (e.g., parents, students, and school staff). The highest possible rating is five stars; the lowest is one star.

We currently do not have any test score information for this school. Unlike public schools, private schools are not always required to report data about their schools or not required to take the same tests as public schools. Many private schools take different standardized tests; however, that information is often made available only to families of enrolled students. We strive to acquire additional private school data whenever available.

Student ethnicity

Ethnicity This school State average
White 45% 26%
Two or more races 32% 3%
Hispanic 14% 52%
American Indian/Alaska Native 1% 1%
Black 1% 6%
Hawaiian Native/Pacific Islander 0% 1%
Source: NCES, 2011-2012

Teacher resources

Special staff resources available to students Art teacher(s)
Assistant principal(s)
Computer specialist(s)
Instructional aide(s)/coach(es)
Librarian/media specialist(s)
Music teacher(s)
PE instructor(s)
Priest, pastor, or other religious personnel
Robotics/Technology specialist(s)
Read more about programs at this school
Source: Provided by a school official.

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Science, Technology, Engineering, & Math (STEM)

Staff resources available to students
  • Computer specialist(s)
  • Robotics/Technology specialist(s)
School facilities
  • Computer lab
  • Science lab

Arts & music

Staff resources available to students
  • Art teacher(s)
  • Music teacher(s)
School facilities
  • Art room
Music
  • Band
  • Choir / Chorus
  • Instrumental music lessons

Language learning

Foreign languages taught
  • Spanish

Health & athletics

Staff resources available to students
  • Instructional aide(s)/coach(es)
  • PE instructor(s)
School leaders can update this information here.

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School basics

Before school or after school care / program onsite
  • Before school
  • After school
School Leader's name
  • Fr. James Rafferty
Gender
  • Coed
Affiliation
  • Roman Catholic
Associations
  • NCEA

Programs

Specific academic themes or areas of focus

Don't understand these terms?
  • Religious
Foreign languages taught
  • Spanish

Resources

Staff resources available to students
  • Art teacher(s)
  • Assistant principal(s)
  • Computer specialist(s)
  • Instructional aide(s)/coach(es)
  • Librarian/media specialist(s)
  • Music teacher(s)
  • PE instructor(s)
  • Priest, pastor, or other religious personnel
  • Robotics/Technology specialist(s)
Transportation options
  • None
School facilities
  • Art room
  • Computer lab
  • Internet access
  • Library
  • Science lab
Partnerships with local resources and organizations
  • Diocese of San Diego
School leaders can update this information here.

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Sports

Boys sports
  • Baseball
  • Basketball
  • Flag football
  • Soccer
Girls sports
  • Basketball
  • Cross country
  • Soccer
  • Softball
  • Volleyball

Arts & music

Visual arts
  • None
Music
  • Band
  • Choir / Chorus
  • Instrumental music lessons
Performing arts
  • None
Media arts
  • None
School leaders can update this information here.

School culture

Parent involvement
  • Attend parent nights
  • Chaperone school trips
  • Coach sports teams or extracurricular activities
  • Join PTO/PTA
  • Organize cultural events
  • Organize fundraising events (school auction, bake sales, etc.)
  • Present special topics during curricular units
  • Serve on school improvement team or governance council
  • Volunteer in the classroom
  • Volunteer time after school
School leaders can update this information here.

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7654 Herschel Avenue
San Diego, CA 92037
Phone: (858) 454-2461

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