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GreatSchools Rating

Barbara Benson Elementary School

Public | K-5

 

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Living in Tustin

Situated in an inner city neighborhood. The median home value is $320,300. The average monthly rent for a 2 bedroom apartment is $1,700.

Source: Sperling's Best Places
 
Last modified
Community Rating

4 stars

Community Rating by Year
2014:
Based on 1 rating
2013:
No new ratings
2012:
Based on 3 ratings
2011:
Based on 4 ratings

Teacher quality

Principal leadership

Parent involvement

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14 reviews of this school


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Posted June 10, 2014

What a great school! It is the best kept little secret! Excellent teachers, staff and community!


Posted June 14, 2012

Benson is Tustin's hidden gem for an elementary school. The teachers, office staff and parents are wonderful. The parent who wrote the parents are questionable, gang affiliated, etc." must have reported the wrong school, because Benson is nothing of the comments written. Benson is very family oriented and all-around #1. Go check it out for yourselves.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted June 14, 2012

This is a review for Barbara Benson on Elizabeth Way. Please visit this school during school hours before you send your child there. My child is in Kindergarten, a class of 20 kids. 3 of the fathers are on parole currently. 1 is currently incarcerated. 1 father shows up every day wearing gang clothing and has tattoos of guns and tear drops on his face and eyes. He is a current gang member. This school is an open school meaning there are many kids coming in from Santa Ana. If you dont believe me or this review then I URGE you to go on a tour while school is in session.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted April 23, 2012

My family and I have had a wonderful experience there @ Benson! I had my 2boys go there and the teachers are very caring and very helpful and all the staff too! especially Cindy, school's secretary! She is awesome, always so helpful! thank you Benson and Staff for giving my boys and I an awesome experience and education! Unfortunately, we had to move just recently but will my boys will always remember your school!
—Submitted by a parent


Posted April 16, 2011

I used this site to find Benson when I was looking to transfer into the TUSD. It is a decision I have never regretted. My children have both attended Benson for the last 4 years and the school is like our extended family. Benson's Principal truly cares about her students, which is evident in her daily interaction with them and the teachers. I would even say she knows each one of those kids by name! Benson has an active PTO, always striving to keep the school fun by funding after school programs, musical classes and other interesting events. Benson is a welcoming gesture to transfers when other schools tend to "call you later IF we have room." This is our last year at Benson and my children and I have had an amazing experience in this little charm of a school. I would highly, highly recommend Benson to anyone!
—Submitted by a parent


Posted March 31, 2011

Barbara Benson is a great school. We moved to Tustin 3 years ago and I had many elementary schools to choose from. I chose Benson because my nieces both went to the school and they both loved it. They felt loved, they learned, and they made some great friends. I loved that the Principal got to know each student and was always out and involoved in everything. The parent support at this school is AMAZING. Benson is our home and I am happy to be here.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted March 30, 2011

My two kids go to Benson, 2nd and 4th grade and they love everything about benson. The all of teachers and principle are nice, friendly and approchable. Thank you TUSD for having a great small school for my kids.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted March 30, 2011

Benson is the best kept secret in the Tustin Unified School District. This is a school where kids thrive. The school is charming, the staff is personable, parents are very involved, and the programs that are unique to this school are plenty. In these difficult fiscal times, this elementary still has programs that encourage creativity, art, problem solving, creative writing and so much more! The students and their families are part of something special. The teachers at this school pay close attention not only to their own students, but show kindness and care for all. My children have absolutely thrived academically and socially at this school.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted April 13, 2010

My kids had the best experience ever at Benson... The teachers and all the staff is awesome and they have the best parent involvement ever!
—Submitted by a parent


Posted June 18, 2009

My daughter has attended Benson since kindergarten and will be in the 2nd grade come fall, with my son attending kindergarten also. I must state the obvious that the teachers and the principle are all the very best that any school could ever ask for. The involvment by all and with the help of the PTO and all the individual parents makes the a wonderful school for anyone to come to. I look forward to many, many years(at least 8 more) being at Benson and wouldn't want to be any where else.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted April 30, 2009

I have had my child here since Preschool and I can't say it enough on how happy I am with the quality of education and care that I get not only from the teachers but also from the Principal and school staff. It is such a great pleasure to know that my child is getting the type of education in a public school that he would get from a private school. Kudos to the Teachers/Principal and personnel of this great school.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted September 16, 2006

I have 2 children in this school. I could not do it without the exceptional teachers, administration and Mrs. Fresch! They offer exceptional programs and help my children feel good about school and themselves. There is a tremendous amount of parent involvement which helps the children take their education seriously! My children struggle in school and even though I do not expect them to, I am touched by the amazing effort all of their teachers have lovingly, willingly provided. Thank you PTO! Thank you Mrs. Fresch! Thank you all Benson teachers...'Benson's Best!'
—Submitted by a parent


Posted May 26, 2005

We love Benson! Experienced teachers, a dynamic principal and very involved parents make this a special school. The PTO offers enhanced art, music and academic programs, and Benson has an excellent computer center. It has a smaller student body than most Tustin schools (about 380) and is on a large campus with recently remodled buildings. Benson test scores are only slightly lower than the local academy/gifted school. Half of the students transfer in from other parts of the district to go to Benson. There is a lot of diversity in the student body and the students are generally supportive of each other. Our kids really enjoy it here.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted March 30, 2005

Being at Benson Elementary in Tustin has been a huge blessing to my daughter and I. The staff at Tustin Unified and on site at school have never ceased to attend dutifully & genuinely to every detail of both mine and my daughters needs. Accomodating, professional, and dedicated to the kids. School offered programs are exceptional, quality of teaching and parent involvement distinguish this school above the typical elementary. 2004 marked the award of being a California State Distinguished school. A magnet school, Benson's true value lies in the partnership of parent involvement and school staff. Well worth the petition and efforts to attend. Art Masters, Computer Technology, Cultural Series, Women in History, LEAP, (Learning Enrichment Program), Class Act Music Program, Volleyball Teams, and GATE include a fraction of the programs offered in this incredible school. Being at Benson has enriched our lives to an immeasureable value. You should go!
—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.

The test results by subgroup show how the designated group of students is performing in comparison to the general population.

The API reflects year-over-year schools performance based on STAR test score results from spring 2013.

This school's
API score

857

Change from
2012 to 2013

-6

API Statewide Rank
(2012)

8 / 10

API Similar Schools Rank (2012)

7 / 10


API Growth scores over time

Did this school meet the API goal this year?
The state goal for API is 800. All schools that are below 800 are assigned an API improvement target each year.
  • This school met the state goal of 800.

API Growth scores by subgroup

In addition to schoolwide API scores, each student subgroup receives an API score.
Did this school meet all the API goals for student subgroups this year?
The state goal for the API is 800. All the student subgroups at a school that are below 800 are assigned an API improvement target each year.
  • This school met all student subgroup API targets for 2013

This school's
API score

857

What is the API?
The Academic Performance Index (API) is a single number assigned to each school by the California Department of Education to measure overall school performance and improvement over time on statewide testing. The API ranges from 200 and 1000, with 800 as the state goal for all schools.
Change from
2012 to 2013

-6

Change from 2012 to 2013
Comparing the API Growth to the Base shows whether or not this school’s test score performance improved between Spring 2011 and Spring 2012. The API ranges between 200 and 1000, with 800 as the statewide goal for all schools. Schools scoring below an 800 are given at least a 5 point target for the next year.
API Statewide Rank
(2012)

8 / 10

API Statewide Rank (2012)
The API Statewide Rank ranges from 1 to 10. A rank of 10, for example, means that the school’s API fell into the top 10% of all schools in the state with a comparable grade range. The 2012 rank is based on results from tests students took in Spring 2012.
API Similar Schools Rank (2012)

7 / 10

API Similar Schools Rank (2012)
The API Similar Schools Rank ranges from 1 to 10. It shows how the school compares to other schools with similar student demographic profiles. The California Department of Education uses parent education level, poverty level, student ethnicity and other data to identify similar schools.
English Language Arts

The state average for English Language Arts was 56% in 2013.

68 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
63%

2012

 
 
72%

2011

 
 
67%

2010

 
 
53%
Math

The state average for Math was 65% in 2013.

68 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
69%

2012

 
 
70%

2011

 
 
73%

2010

 
 
66%
Scale: % proficient or advanced

About the tests


In 2012-2013 California used the California Standards Tests (CSTs) to test students in English language arts in grades 2 through 11; math in grades 2 through 7; science in grades 5, 8 and 10; and history-social science in grades 8 and 11. Middle and high school students also took subject-specific CSTs in math and science, depending on the course in which they were enrolled. The CSTs are standards-based tests, which means they measure how well students are mastering specific skills defined for each grade by the state of California. The goal is for all students to score at or above proficient on the tests.

Source: California Department of Education

English Language Arts

The state average for English Language Arts was 46% in 2013.

53 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
54%

2012

 
 
64%

2011

 
 
50%

2010

 
 
58%
Math

The state average for Math was 66% in 2013.

53 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
77%

2012

 
 
81%

2011

 
 
70%

2010

 
 
73%
Scale: % proficient or advanced

About the tests


In 2012-2013 California used the California Standards Tests (CSTs) to test students in English language arts in grades 2 through 11; math in grades 2 through 7; science in grades 5, 8 and 10; and history-social science in grades 8 and 11. Middle and high school students also took subject-specific CSTs in math and science, depending on the course in which they were enrolled. The CSTs are standards-based tests, which means they measure how well students are mastering specific skills defined for each grade by the state of California. The goal is for all students to score at or above proficient on the tests.

Source: California Department of Education

English Language Arts

The state average for English Language Arts was 65% in 2013.

55 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
81%

2012

 
 
72%

2011

 
 
76%

2010

 
 
84%
Math

The state average for Math was 72% in 2013.

55 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
78%

2012

 
 
63%

2011

 
 
74%

2010

 
 
66%
Scale: % proficient or advanced

About the tests


In 2012-2013 California used the California Standards Tests (CSTs) to test students in English language arts in grades 2 through 11; math in grades 2 through 7; science in grades 5, 8 and 10; and history-social science in grades 8 and 11. Middle and high school students also took subject-specific CSTs in math and science, depending on the course in which they were enrolled. The CSTs are standards-based tests, which means they measure how well students are mastering specific skills defined for each grade by the state of California. The goal is for all students to score at or above proficient on the tests.

Source: California Department of Education

English Language Arts

The state average for English Language Arts was 60% in 2013.

53 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
64%

2012

 
 
76%

2011

 
 
78%

2010

 
 
63%
Math

The state average for Math was 65% in 2013.

53 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
53%

2012

 
 
71%

2011

 
 
80%

2010

 
 
71%
Science

The state average for Science was 57% in 2013.

53 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
58%

2012

 
 
78%

2011

 
 
70%

2010

 
 
60%
Scale: % proficient or advanced

About the tests


In 2012-2013 California used the California Standards Tests (CSTs) to test students in English language arts in grades 2 through 11; math in grades 2 through 7; science in grades 5, 8 and 10; and history-social science in grades 8 and 11. Middle and high school students also took subject-specific CSTs in math and science, depending on the course in which they were enrolled. The CSTs are standards-based tests, which means they measure how well students are mastering specific skills defined for each grade by the state of California. The goal is for all students to score at or above proficient on the tests.

Source: California Department of Education

English Language Arts

All Students63%
Females74%
Males53%
African Americann/a
Asiann/a
Filipinon/a
Hispanic or Latino70%
American Indian or Alaska Nativen/a
Native Hawaiiann/a
Pacific Islandern/a
Samoann/a
Other Pacific Islandern/a
White (not Hispanic)65%
Economically disadvantaged58%
Non-economically disadvantaged69%
Students with disabilityn/a
Students with no reported disability65%
English learner62%
Fluent-English proficient and English only64%
Migrant educationn/a
Gifted and talentedn/a
Parent education - not a high school graduaten/a
Parent education - high school graduaten/a
Parent education - some college (includes AA degree)81%
Parent education - college graduate54%
Parent education - graduate school/post graduate67%
Parent education - declined to staten/a

Math

All Students69%
Females68%
Males71%
African Americann/a
Asiann/a
Filipinon/a
Hispanic or Latino70%
American Indian or Alaska Nativen/a
Native Hawaiiann/a
Pacific Islandern/a
Samoann/a
Other Pacific Islandern/a
White (not Hispanic)74%
Economically disadvantaged55%
Non-economically disadvantaged83%
Students with disabilityn/a
Students with no reported disability69%
English learner67%
Fluent-English proficient and English only70%
Migrant educationn/a
Gifted and talentedn/a
Parent education - not a high school graduaten/a
Parent education - high school graduaten/a
Parent education - some college (includes AA degree)63%
Parent education - college graduate71%
Parent education - graduate school/post graduate80%
Parent education - declined to staten/a
Scale: % proficient or advanced

About the tests


In 2012-2013 California used the California Standards Tests (CSTs) to test students in English language arts in grades 2 through 11; math in grades 2 through 7; science in grades 5, 8 and 10; and history-social science in grades 8 and 11. Middle and high school students also took subject-specific CSTs in math and science, depending on the course in which they were enrolled. The CSTs are standards-based tests, which means they measure how well students are mastering specific skills defined for each grade by the state of California. The goal is for all students to score at or above proficient on the tests.

The different student groups are identified by the California Department of Education; if there are fewer than 10 students in a particular group in a school, the state doesn't report data for that group.

Source: California Department of Education

English Language Arts

All Students54%
Females65%
Males42%
African Americann/a
Asiann/a
Filipinon/a
Hispanic or Latino38%
American Indian or Alaska Nativen/a
Native Hawaiiann/a
Pacific Islandern/a
Samoann/a
Other Pacific Islandern/a
White (not Hispanic)79%
Economically disadvantaged46%
Non-economically disadvantaged62%
Students with disabilityn/a
Students with no reported disability54%
English learner31%
Fluent-English proficient and English only64%
Migrant educationn/a
Gifted and talentedn/a
Parent education - not a high school graduaten/a
Parent education - high school graduaten/a
Parent education - some college (includes AA degree)47%
Parent education - college graduate52%
Parent education - graduate school/post graduaten/a
Parent education - declined to staten/a

Math

All Students77%
Females77%
Males77%
African Americann/a
Asiann/a
Filipinon/a
Hispanic or Latino65%
American Indian or Alaska Nativen/a
Native Hawaiiann/a
Pacific Islandern/a
Samoann/a
Other Pacific Islandern/a
White (not Hispanic)95%
Economically disadvantaged69%
Non-economically disadvantaged85%
Students with disabilityn/a
Students with no reported disability78%
English learner50%
Fluent-English proficient and English only89%
Migrant educationn/a
Gifted and talentedn/a
Parent education - not a high school graduaten/a
Parent education - high school graduaten/a
Parent education - some college (includes AA degree)67%
Parent education - college graduate81%
Parent education - graduate school/post graduaten/a
Parent education - declined to staten/a
Scale: % proficient or advanced

About the tests


In 2012-2013 California used the California Standards Tests (CSTs) to test students in English language arts in grades 2 through 11; math in grades 2 through 7; science in grades 5, 8 and 10; and history-social science in grades 8 and 11. Middle and high school students also took subject-specific CSTs in math and science, depending on the course in which they were enrolled. The CSTs are standards-based tests, which means they measure how well students are mastering specific skills defined for each grade by the state of California. The goal is for all students to score at or above proficient on the tests.

The different student groups are identified by the California Department of Education; if there are fewer than 10 students in a particular group in a school, the state doesn't report data for that group.

Source: California Department of Education

English Language Arts

All Students81%
Females92%
Males73%
African Americann/a
Asiann/a
Filipinon/a
Hispanic or Latino79%
American Indian or Alaska Nativen/a
Native Hawaiiann/a
Pacific Islandern/a
Samoann/a
Other Pacific Islandern/a
White (not Hispanic)86%
Economically disadvantaged68%
Non-economically disadvantaged93%
Students with disabilityn/a
Students with no reported disability84%
English learnern/a
Fluent-English proficient and English only83%
Migrant educationn/a
Gifted and talentedn/a
Parent education - not a high school graduaten/a
Parent education - high school graduaten/a
Parent education - some college (includes AA degree)83%
Parent education - college graduate80%
Parent education - graduate school/post graduaten/a
Parent education - declined to staten/a

Math

All Students78%
Females88%
Males70%
African Americann/a
Asiann/a
Filipinon/a
Hispanic or Latino76%
American Indian or Alaska Nativen/a
Native Hawaiiann/a
Pacific Islandern/a
Samoann/a
Other Pacific Islandern/a
White (not Hispanic)81%
Economically disadvantaged64%
Non-economically disadvantaged90%
Students with disabilityn/a
Students with no reported disability80%
English learnern/a
Fluent-English proficient and English only77%
Migrant educationn/a
Gifted and talentedn/a
Parent education - not a high school graduaten/a
Parent education - high school graduaten/a
Parent education - some college (includes AA degree)76%
Parent education - college graduate79%
Parent education - graduate school/post graduaten/a
Parent education - declined to staten/a
Scale: % proficient or advanced

About the tests


In 2012-2013 California used the California Standards Tests (CSTs) to test students in English language arts in grades 2 through 11; math in grades 2 through 7; science in grades 5, 8 and 10; and history-social science in grades 8 and 11. Middle and high school students also took subject-specific CSTs in math and science, depending on the course in which they were enrolled. The CSTs are standards-based tests, which means they measure how well students are mastering specific skills defined for each grade by the state of California. The goal is for all students to score at or above proficient on the tests.

The different student groups are identified by the California Department of Education; if there are fewer than 10 students in a particular group in a school, the state doesn't report data for that group.

Source: California Department of Education

English Language Arts

All Students64%
Females64%
Males64%
African Americann/a
Asiann/a
Filipinon/a
Hispanic or Latino57%
American Indian or Alaska Nativen/a
Native Hawaiiann/a
Pacific Islandern/a
Samoann/a
Other Pacific Islandern/a
White (not Hispanic)72%
Economically disadvantaged59%
Non-economically disadvantaged69%
Students with disabilityn/a
Students with no reported disability65%
English learner43%
Fluent-English proficient and English only72%
Migrant educationn/a
Gifted and talentedn/a
Parent education - not a high school graduaten/a
Parent education - high school graduaten/a
Parent education - some college (includes AA degree)52%
Parent education - college graduate85%
Parent education - graduate school/post graduaten/a
Parent education - declined to staten/a

Math

All Students53%
Females57%
Males48%
African Americann/a
Asiann/a
Filipinon/a
Hispanic or Latino43%
American Indian or Alaska Nativen/a
Native Hawaiiann/a
Pacific Islandern/a
Samoann/a
Other Pacific Islandern/a
White (not Hispanic)61%
Economically disadvantaged41%
Non-economically disadvantaged65%
Students with disabilityn/a
Students with no reported disability55%
English learner21%
Fluent-English proficient and English only64%
Migrant educationn/a
Gifted and talentedn/a
Parent education - not a high school graduaten/a
Parent education - high school graduaten/a
Parent education - some college (includes AA degree)38%
Parent education - college graduate77%
Parent education - graduate school/post graduaten/a
Parent education - declined to staten/a

Science

All Students58%
Females68%
Males48%
African Americann/a
Asiann/a
Filipinon/a
Hispanic or Latino43%
American Indian or Alaska Nativen/a
Native Hawaiiann/a
Pacific Islandern/a
Samoann/a
Other Pacific Islandern/a
White (not Hispanic)78%
Economically disadvantaged59%
Non-economically disadvantaged58%
Students with disabilityn/a
Students with no reported disability61%
English learner29%
Fluent-English proficient and English only69%
Migrant educationn/a
Gifted and talentedn/a
Parent education - not a high school graduaten/a
Parent education - high school graduaten/a
Parent education - some college (includes AA degree)43%
Parent education - college graduate85%
Parent education - graduate school/post graduaten/a
Parent education - declined to staten/a
Scale: % proficient or advanced

About the tests


In 2012-2013 California used the California Standards Tests (CSTs) to test students in English language arts in grades 2 through 11; math in grades 2 through 7; science in grades 5, 8 and 10; and history-social science in grades 8 and 11. Middle and high school students also took subject-specific CSTs in math and science, depending on the course in which they were enrolled. The CSTs are standards-based tests, which means they measure how well students are mastering specific skills defined for each grade by the state of California. The goal is for all students to score at or above proficient on the tests.

The different student groups are identified by the California Department of Education; if there are fewer than 10 students in a particular group in a school, the state doesn't report data for that group.

Source: California Department of Education

Breaking down the GreatSchools Rating

GreatSchools Ratings for this school are based on 2012-2013 test results. Use the breakdown ratings below to compare types of students at this school. Learn more »


Student ethnicity

Ethnicity This school State average
Hispanic 54% 52%
White 32% 26%
Asian or Asian/Pacific Islander 8% 11%
Black 3% 6%
Two or more races 3% 3%
Hawaiian Native/Pacific Islander 1% 1%
American Indian/Alaska Native 0% 1%
Source: NCES, 2011-2012

Student subgroups

  This school District averageState average
Students eligible for free or reduced-price lunch program 5%N/A55%
Source: NCES, 2011-2012

Teacher experience

  This school District averageState average
First-year teachers 6%N/AN/A
Source: CRDC, 2011-2012

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School basics

School Leader's name
  • Deena Vela
Fax number
  • (714) 730-7368

Resources

Extra learning resources offered
  • Title I Targeted Assistance program (TAS)
School leaders can update this information here.

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12712 Elizabeth Way
Tustin, CA 92780
Website: Click here
Phone: (714) 730-7531

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