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St. Columba

Private | K-8 | 191 students


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Living in San Diego

Situated in a suburban neighborhood. The median home value is $312,800. The average monthly rent for a 2 bedroom apartment is $1,750.

Source: Sperling's Best Places
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4 stars

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12 reviews of this school

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Posted August 15, 2013

My daughter went to preschool at St Columba for 2 years. She went from shy to outgoing with the support of the teachers. They focus not only on the basics: reading, writing, Etc, but also on her social skills. She thrived at this school. Wish we could keep her there for the next 8 years.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted June 6, 2012

This small school is San Diego's best kept secret! It offers smaller class sizes, Art Corps program, choir, band, competitive parochial school sports from K up to 8th grade (mainly soccer, volleyball & basketball). We have been here 3 yrs & my kids LOVE it & have great friends. The older grades partner up with younger grades for reading buddies, class or school mass & various school activities. At this school all of the kids know each other & interact during the course of the day & help each other out. Each week the principal & student council lead the entire school in an assembly. The principal shows strong leadership & will always take the time to talk about any concerns you might have. Teachers are excellent and do a great job teaching the kids the faith & instilling good values in the students. Like any school (public or private) parent volunteers are essential. There are a few fundraisers throughout the year but nothing crazy. This is an older school so many students' parents or grandparents went here! We also have quite a few military families given our close proximity to Murphy Canyon. Great school! We highly recommend it!
—Submitted by a parent

Posted June 5, 2012

Both my children completed K-8 at St. Columba and both received a very comprehensive, challenging academic education with high expectations and standards of achievement. The principal is very strong and caring as well. There is always a great sense of family throughout the school. My children went on to Cathedral High School and received great preparation for this school.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted June 5, 2012

I currently have 2 daughters at St. Columba. We are extremely happy with the quality of education and teachers at the school. The kindergarten teacher is awesome!!! Before my daughter went to St. Columba I had done my research and realized St. Columba fit my needs in every way. The parent involvement is consistent and it is fun to interact and volunteer with different parents on a regular basis. I graduated from OLP and can see how St. Columba is a great prep school for OLP. 2 thumbs up for the best elementry Catholic School in San Diego.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted June 2, 2012

Our family has been at St. Columba for six years now. I have been extremely happy with the administration and teachers. The small class size and caring community is well worth the cost of tuition. We tried the public school in Tierrasanta for several years but were disappointed in the education my daughter was receiving. My older daughter now attends OLP and is doing great and credits it to the preparation she received at St. Columba.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted May 31, 2012

We have been involved with St. Columba School for over 10 years, with a child graduating this year moving on to high school, and one child moving on to 6th grade. Our primary reason to be a part of the school was simple - to have our children receive a faith filled Catholic education and a quality learning experience. The class sizes are great for the children to receive quality education, and there is a strong sense of community among all the parents and teachers. In today's economy, and with the lack of teachers who want to sacrifice to be a part of the Catholic school system, the tuition at St. Columba is below the San Diego average for private education. Lots of fundraising to be done, but it does help keep tuition costs down. Fantastic school, I highly recommend St. Columba to everyone looking for a faith filled learning opportunity.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted May 31, 2012

While so many of the public schools are doing away with fine arts I'm happy that St. Columba still offers an art program to all their students. At the end of the year they have an art show to display one piece of each child's work. Many parents volunteer their time to make this program a success. The students also have the option of learning an instrument and practice with a school band, although this is at an additional expense. The children participate in a beautiful Christmas program and monthly Mass where they practice songs, thanks to another parent volunteer. The teachers and staff of St. Columba are great. So are the many parents that willingly volunteer their time to make it a good place for our kids to be educated.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted May 31, 2012

We discovered St. Columba 17 years ago when we transferred to San Diego. Since then we've had 1-4 children enrolled. Over the years teachers and principals have come and gone but the school's dedication to teaching in a faith-filled environment has not changed. Some of my kids were stellar students and others were definitely average. Nonetheless, the teachers took the time to teach to the student's ability, meeting with me to keep me apprised of my child's performance. St. Columba is one of the most reasonably priced Catholic schools in San Diego. They are able to keep costs down by encouraging parents to volunteer. I cannot think of a better investment in my child's education than helping the school.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted April 28, 2012

This school is more interested in seeking more and more donations and volunteering than actually teaching the kids. I found the teachers to not communicate well with the parents and to be biased to those that donated more. The principal not only condones this but facilitates the biased behavior. I would not recommend this school unless you want to pay excessively for mediocre education.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted September 1, 2011

My daughter has been attending this school from 1st grade and now is starting 7th grade here. She has excelled over other friends in public school. My son started in preschool (which is FANTASTIC!) and is starting 4th grade here. They both learn not only the educational needs that a public school would have but also the spiritual aspects of the Catholic faith. Father Mario is great with the children, guiding them and helping them. The staff is very helpful. I would recommend this Serra Mesa Catholic school for those that want the best for their children.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted July 31, 2006

As a former student of this school I can safely say this is one of the best schools in the area. I was given support, guidance, and opportunities to learn from the school staff, other parents, and the priests who showed me right from wrong and gave me an education that is second to none. I am a college graduate and have been able to find success easy compared to my colleauges who struggle to communicate and exercise the ability to be assertive, fair, and logical.
—Submitted by a former student

Posted March 23, 2006

It's a good school. My child is ahead of most others in her grade level from other schools, especially from public schools. The classes are small enough that she gets all the extra attention from her teacher that's needed. I'm very happy with her progress. There is a requirement when it comes to parent involvement. Every family must do 40 hours of volunteer time during the school year. Also, there is a minimum fundraising requirement of $450. This can be done through sales of cookie dough, gift wrap, and purchase of gift cards. The only draw back is the % increase in tuition every year. It's at abouth 10% annually which is 4-5 times regular inflation.
—Submitted by a parent

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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 63% 26%
Hispanic 30% 52%
Asian or Pacific Islander 3% 11%
Black 2% 6%
Hawaiian Native/Pacific Islander 2% 1%
American Indian/Alaska Native 0% 1%
Two or more races 0% 3%
Source: NCES, 2011-2012

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School basics

School Leader's name
  • Rev. Mario Elias
  • Coed
  • Roman catholic
  • NCEA


Specific academic themes or areas of focus

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  • Religious


Partnerships with local resources and organizations
  • Diocese of San Diego
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3365 Glencolum Drive
San Diego, CA 92123
Website: Click here
Phone: (858) 279-1882


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