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Our Principal


Donna Tripi, LJES Principal

Welcome to La Jolla Elementary School, a 2012 California Distinguished School! This recognition, given to only 5% of California schools, was achieved through the hard work of a school community who cares deeply about meeting the needs of our diverse student population and providing them with rigorous, standards-based instruction and a comprehensive educational program. Our community of learners is made up of outstanding students, an expert and dedicated staff of caring professionals, active and involved parents and a supportive community. We are committed to working together toward the success of all of the children at La Jolla Elementary.

We are proud to be a part of San Diego Unified School District. The district’s mission: “All San Diego students will graduate with the skills, motivation, curiosity and resilience to succeed in their choice of college and career in order to lead and participate in the society of tomorrow,” is being achieved through our work to provide exemplary instruction in the classroom. Our rigorous curriculum is designed to help students meet California state standards in all subject areas. Our efforts in literacy are focused on helping students to understand and think critically about the books they read and to express their ideas both orally and in writing. We work with a variety of rich text in both narrative and expository forms. We hope that our children will become proficient and enthusiastic readers and writers, as well as lifelong learners. An important component of our work is the assessment of literacy skills and using these assessments to guide instruction as well as to keep parents informed of the progress of their children.

Our focus in mathematics is on developing mathematical thinking skills through the exploration of essential concepts. We have provided staff development and resources to create exemplary math classrooms for our students. Our approach to teaching science is one of inquiry. We utilize print and media resources and active experimentation using “Foss kits” to explore the essential questions outlined in the California state standards. Each grade level is engaged in units of study in earth science, physical science and life science. At La Jolla Elementary, we have included an additional life science unit on oceanography designed to bring about an awareness of ocean habitats and an understanding of environmental concerns for our oceans. Our social studies curriculum is comprised of rich, comprehensive units. Teachers provide projects and simulations to make the curriculum come alive for our students. Many field trips are planned to compliment both the science and social studies units.

We have state of the art multimedia equipment in all classrooms and have increased the ratio of computers to students through the purchase of shared carts of laptop computers in grades one through five classrooms. Kindergarten classrooms utilize a bank of desktop computers. All of our classrooms have wireless internet access. All students receive computer instruction weekly through our Technology Director and technology is integrated daily into the curriculum at all grade levels.

We have worked together in our school community to use district and outside resources to continually enhance the physical environment that we provide for our students. Over the last ten years, there have been many site renovations as a result of Proposition M/M allocations to our site as well as our own fund raising efforts. Our existing buildings have been renovated from floor to roofing, the site infrastructures have been updated and we have new playground equipment, shade structures and a refurbished athletic field. At the end of the 2004-2005 school year, we celebrated the grand opening of the Mark B. Wallner Library -- the first new building on our site in over forty years. The building is in a central location on the campus and is truly the “hub” of our literacy work. We extended our library building with an outdoor stage, reading areas and an interactive garden, known as our WordPlay garden. Our site beautification committee, Bloom, has completed several projects, The Kindergarten Terrace, The Girard Avenue Welcome Plaza and The Legacy Walkway (to connect the two sides of the school), that add color and beauty to our school. They continue to work with our parents and the community to fund projects that improve our landscape.

La Jolla Elementary School parents contribute greatly to our school community in so many ways. They work with teachers to support the education of their children at home. Additionally, they volunteer in classrooms, work behind the scenes to support teachers, and help us to provide fun and enriching activities for our students. We have two formal parent groups: the PTO and Friends of La Jolla Elementary, Inc. The PTO provides cultural enrichment through a monthly series of “First Friday” assemblies. They host community activities, e.g. the Family Dance and provide after school enrichment programs at a reasonable cost for our Wednesday Minimum Days. Friends of La Jolla Elementary, Inc., our fundraising foundation, provides funds that support the daily instructional needs of our students and to improve our physical facilities.

Fundraising efforts have taken many forms, including a very successful Open Aire Market each Sunday on our site (9:00 am - 1:00 pm) and various campaigns and special events, e.g. our annual gala.

Donna S. Tripi, Principal