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K-5
Public
Tustin, CA
Students enrolled: 650

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14392 Browning Avenue
Tustin, CA 92780

(714) 730-7536
(714) 730-7557
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Map of W. R. Nelson Elementary School address.

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September 24, 2013
Nelson is a great school. My children have been here for 4 yrs & their teachers really strive to challenge them. Both children are GATE students and they are always challenged thanks to TEAM time. Students in the same grade are grouped by level and each teacher takes a different level for part of the day. They do this for Math & Language. I love it because the lower level kids get the attention they need & the higher levels can go forward further. Technology in this school is very up to date. This year K-4th grades are getting 10 ipads/ class & the 5th graders will each get an ipad to use in class/home. Each class has surround sound with 1 mic for the teacher & 1 for the students. They use Class Dojo schoolwide so parents can login at home to see their child's behavior daily instead of waiting until conferences. Teacher's are using a class webpage called HAIKU to post homework, tests, & upcoming projects or events. I moved my kids here 4 years ago because I didn't like the student attitudes at their other school. Nelson has great students and they don't tolerate bullying. They really emphasize & reward good character. The principal is always cheerful & very helpful. Staff is great.

- submitted by a parent
November 05, 2012
I took my child out of Nelson. Nelson did not challenge our child, they went through 4 teachers in kindergarten in one year, there is no such thing as parking at this school, but require we walk your K children to class and then we had to wait for up to 15 minutes before our kids could go in. It really is a joke. The principal tried, but it was obvious there was no cooperation between the teachers and the principal.

- submitted by a parent
November 13, 2011
A growing Title I school that is testing high. Teachers actually care. Great kids, no violence/bullying!

- submitted by a teacher
October 19, 2009
Nelson is a wonderful and supportive school overall. Mrs. Poellnitz is the most amazing teacher I have ever met! I wish that I could clone her. She gave my children a wonderful foundation. The only reason I could not give Nelson 5 stars is because of Paula, the receptionist. She is the rudest thing and she should not be the one to greet visitors to the school. She is not bright and there is always a miscommunication. I can't wait until she retires, hopefully soon! Other than her, I am happy with the education that my children have received at W.R. Nelson.

- submitted by a parent
no rating October 13, 2009
The teachers at Nelson are great! They cater to every level of learning in their classes. Each grade level works together to give every child exactly what they need to do their best. I have two children at Nelson and I'm more impressed every year. As a parent I feel welcome to come to my child's class to watch or volunteer.

- submitted by a parent
October 10, 2009
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- submitted by a parent
August 31, 2009
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- submitted by a parent
April 02, 2009
Nelson continues to be a great elementary school and neighborhood asset. Leadership is good. Teachers are supportive and focused on learning. Our two boys could not have had a better foundation than what they received at Nelson. They and their friends are in college or headed for college--and well prepared for the challenge thanks to the great start they got at Nelson. Go Tigers!

- submitted by a parent
March 19, 2009
My daughter is halfway through her kindegarten year at Nelson, and both ehr dad and I are BEYOND happy with the school. We feel involved and engaged with the process on a daily basis. Mrs. Poellnitz is one of those rare and amazing teachers, a woman who cares and loves those kids beyond belief. I am floored; every morning when I drop off my dautghter, kids from the older grades flock around mrs. P to brag about their great test scores and how well they are doing. She's always got a smile, a high-five and a word of encouragement for them all. If you're not happy at Nelson, it means you're not involved. I'm a full-time working mom, too, but I do what I can, when I can. Your kid's education is not up to someone else--it takes YOUR active and engaged particiaption, as well.

- submitted by a parent
February 01, 2009
It's so refreshing to see such great reviews posted about a great school! I have had such a wonderful experience at Nelson and I think the staff goes above and beyond their call of duty. In addition, a recent article posted by Bill Gates states that its not the school your at but the teachers you have. The good news is that Nelson is both a great school with great teachers. The teachers at this school make a difference everyday in my childrens lives! Thank you Nelson..

- submitted by a parent
January 31, 2009
I'm glad there are still a few holdouts left at this school that have kept it from sinking completely. California schools are deteriorating into a morass of third world stature and Nelson is among the victims. Title I means that a majority of the students qualify for free meals, it is not my rule but traditionally lower incomes do not mean higher education standards. Nelson provides 'free daycare' for many, many families. The teachers are wonderful but can only do so much. Are you willing to let your child slip between the cracks? Thank God for Paula the secretary, she runs the school and gives us a glimmer of light. However the tide has turned against us and we will have to do like so many others in our neighborhood and pay for private school next year.

- submitted by a parent
January 28, 2009
I just read that Nelson is one of only 200 schools out of 6000 in California to be recognized as a 2008-2009 Title I Academic Achievement Award School and a CBEE 2009 Honor Roll School. This along with having been named a California Distinguished School in 1997 and 2004 says it all. They have also been recognized for their Response to Instruction program TEAM Time. This is definitely a school that works toward the high achievement of all students. Students are happy and working hard. Parents are supportive and active in volunteering in the school. It is one of the hardest working staffs and principals that I have ever seen at one school.As I read some of the reviews here, I can only say that you can't please every one. As for me, I feel truly blessed to have my children attending W. R. Nelson Elementary

- submitted by a parent
November 06, 2008
My child went to Nelson for 2 years before I took him out. I volunteered to try to do my part to help this school. However, it was always the same people doing the help. I'm not raining on the parade for this school, but there's only so much the same help can take. I was not happy with the leadership of the school (and lack of). There were a handful of teachers whom I just love and yet others who just didn't seem to be there to teach to the fullest. I have seen the problems fellow parents discuss (busing in, translation of lessons, English speaking students not getting the same one-on-one time). When a school is stuck in a rut, a dedicated parent must make a decision on how to help broaden their childs future and put them in a place were education is taken seriously.

- submitted by a parent
August 05, 2008
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- submitted by a parent
July 20, 2008
I have enjoyed the close knit diverse feel of this school. Nobody puts on any airs at this school! There is a nice mix of homeowners and renters and nobody thinks or acts like they are more superior than the rest. It is just wonderful. Nelson test scores are fantastic, the teachers are outstanding, and the principal is very experienced. What more could you ask for???

- submitted by a parent
July 18, 2008
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a parent
July 12, 2008
I have taught at Nelson for many years and have seen tremendous changes in our community and student population. As a staff, we are constantly working to adapt our teaching strategies to meet the needs of each and every student. The reality in California is that schools are changing. No longer do we see a heterogeneous student body. We encourage our community to embrace these changes and to support teachers who, even with limited resources due to budget cuts, are working very hard to meet the needs of each student. It is obvious from some of these reviews that many parents do not understand that Nelson faces the same challenges as every other school in California. If you truly want to voice an opinion, write to your representative in Congress and urge them to give support to the teachers who are giving their all to make every student a success.

- submitted by a teacher
July 10, 2008
Our family is delighted with Nelson. We volunteer once a week in the classroom and the teachers are first rate and care about the kids. We've seen a noticeable improvement in our children's reading, writing, math and socialization skills. Unlike some places where the kids come pre-programmed and just show up to school, we feel like the staff is actually making a differnce in our children's development. It is easy for the nay sayers to rain on the party. I suppose the web has made it too easy for folks to write complaints rather than act to help. But there are plenty of us here that are makng a difference in these children.

- submitted by a parent
July 08, 2008
I really don't see how these fellow parents can actually give this school five stars! I agree with the fellow poster when it comes to the lack of parent involvement. It seems the same parents are doing the PTA & school functions year after year. Most families don't speak English so there is a key reason why there isn't more help with the PTA board. My child is still attending Nelson but this will be their last year. If there was a way for me to afford private school for them the past few years, I would have done so. What would greatly help Nelson is to have a new, fresh principal who is there for the children and parents as well.

- submitted by a parent
July 07, 2008
I was very unhappy with this school. My child did not get the proper education due to the majority of classtime going into the translation of classwork. Parents are very uninvolved here as well. Not a very close-knit school. There is alot of talk going around about the situation of students being bused in from other cities. As the one parent stated that Nelson is overflowing, well, the busing in of other children is your answer for that one. Our child, along with other close friends, have chosed to take our children out of this school for the sake of their educational future.

- submitted by a parent
July 05, 2008
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a student
July 01, 2008
There are many fantastic things going on at Nelson Elementary School. The entire staff is top notch and work together as a professional learning community to ensure that every student reaches his or her full potential. The PTA president is just one example of a very dedicated volunteer who won the classified employee of the year award as she also works part time in the computer lab. She works hard day in and day out organizing teams of volunteers for the many great programs that the PTA provides. The principal is also visible and available at all times. He surrounds himself with a leadership team where each member represents their grade level and together as a team the decisions are made. Last but not least, this school has a great mix of students from different ethnic backgrounds which helps prepare them to live and work in our very diverse world.

- submitted by a teacher
April 24, 2008
This school is the best. All the teachers are great and expierenced so they are limited by what they don't know. That is what makes a great teacher. 5 stars.........baby!

- submitted by a parent
January 23, 2008
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- submitted by a parent
November 10, 2007
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a parent
November 09, 2007
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- submitted by a parent
November 07, 2007
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- submitted by a parent
November 06, 2007
It makes me angry to read some of these comments that parents left. They have no idea what is really going on in the classrooms. Lessons are never translated while other students sit and wait. People need to realize that our state is changing, and we have to adapt to those changes. Some parents choose to run away from these changes, but Nelson is the type of school that imbraces them and helps all the kids. Nelson has implimented TEAM Time this year which allows the students to work in a group at their level. Students at every grade are being met where they are at, whether that is below grade level or above. Nelson is a great school and I am proud to be apart of it. Please ignore these bad reviews they don't know what they are talking about.

- submitted by a parent
November 02, 2007
Sure some teachers are great...but they are stuck between a rock and a hard place. They have no choice but to try to do their job to a no-win situation. Be honest with yourself and step up to the plate and be a conscience parent....this school deserves only a one star...if that!

- submitted by a parent
October 05, 2007
My two daughters have attended Nelson for the past 2 years and we have had nothing but great experiences. The staff and teachers are fantastic. We would highly recommend this school to anyone.

- submitted by a parent
October 03, 2007
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a parent
September 23, 2007
W.R. Nelson has just been asked to apply for California Distinguished status for the third time. This is because of the great teachers, great staff, involved parents and hard working students. I know this school will achieve this goal and am glad my child is in one of the best schools in Orange county.my child has been involved in all the activities that Nelson has to offer and it has made him a better student and is preparing him for his entrance into middle school.Ask any Nelson student and they will tell you this is a great school and a great place to learn. There are families out side of our district that get on the waiting list to be able to send their child to Nelson. They are thrilled when they get notified that there is room and we are thrilled to have them.

- submitted by a parent
July 31, 2007
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a parent
July 22, 2007
Nelson used to be a great school a few years ago when it received Distinguished school of the year award. With the massive influx of English Learning students the school has focused on them. After school programs are getting smaller.

- submitted by a parent
February 21, 2006
Nelson Elementary is a fantastic environment for children to learn in. My daughter has been to several different schools and none has had such wonderful and consistent teachers as Nelson. From Gate to Art Masters to all the wonderful afterschool programs, Nelson is a gem in Tustin. Parents are very involved and willing to help out in class and after school when needed. I highly recommend this school.

- submitted by a parent
October 22, 2005
I love Nelson. 2 of my girls went there. The teachers are really great and keep the parents up to date with whats going on with your child. There is alot of parent involvment from the classroom to the festival to the dinodash. My oldest was put into GATE and loves it.

- submitted by a parent
August 29, 2005
Tutoring on campus did not exist. Team teaching (shared contracts)may work for the teachers, but the child is faced with satisfying two sets of expectations and personalities. As a parent, I had this same challenge, and a difficult time establishing accountability. Principal access was no easy task either.

- submitted by a parent
August 23, 2005
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a parent
June 30, 2005
Nelson School has great teachers and an excellent curriculum to fit students' individual needs. The school also welcomes parent involvement and makes a concerted effort to communicate with parents on your childs progess.

- submitted by a parent
March 31, 2005
W. R. Nelson is the best-kept secret Tustin has to offer. The staff, especially the teachers are all phenomenal. The focus is always on the child. The number parents that volunteer on campus will astound you. The PTA provides John Yeiser Music Assembly s that are so much fun they are not aware they are learning. The Art Masters program is also provided to the school from the PTA. The teachers and children get to learn from this program. Overall, if you have to opportunity to join the W. R. Nelson team, you will not be disappointed. It is one of the happiest places in Tustin.

- submitted by a parent
January 26, 2005
This is a great school. Especially their Kindergarten program. They have excellent Kindergarten teachers who care a great deal about all of their students.

- submitted by a parent
November 18, 2004
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a parent
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W. R. Nelson Elementary School
14392 Browning Avenue, Tustin, CA  92780
(714) 730-7536
Last modified W. R. Nelson Elementary School is a Public school that serves grades K-5. It has received a GreatSchools rating of 6 out of 10 based on academic quality.
W. R. Nelson Elementary School Rating: 4 out of 5 based on 42 reviews. Top