Welcome to La Jolla Elementary School, a 2018 California Distinguished School! This is our third state recognition awarded for exemplary instructional practices and high student achievement. In 2016, we also received national recognition through the National Blue Ribbon Schools Award for Exemplary High Performing Schools. These accomplishments are due to the hard work of a school community who cares deeply about meeting the needs of our diverse student population and providing them with rigorous academic 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 of providing a quality school in every neighborhood is exemplified through our school. All of our instruction is designed to meet or exceed the new Common Core State Standards in literacy and mathematics, and the Next Generation Science Standards. Our curriculum is designed to help students develop critical thinking skills in all subject areas. We work to provide exemplary instruction in the classroom.
Our efforts in literacy instruction are focused on helping students to understand and think critically about the text they read and to communicate their ideas well both orally and in writing. To that end, we have worked to develop their conversational skills so that they are able to build on and respectfully challenge each other’s ideas in order to deepen their understanding of the text. We work with a variety of rich text in both narrative (fiction) and expository (nonfiction) genres. We strive to have our children become proficient and enthusiastic readers and writers, as well as lifelong, engaged learners. An important component of our work is the assessment of literacy skills and using this data to guide instruction as well as to keep parents informed of the progress of their children.
Our focus in mathematics is on developing mathematical reasoning skills through the exploration of essential concepts. We utilize a Common Core Standards-based curriculum and additional problem solving resources to design an exemplary mathematics program. We provide ST (Spatial Temporal) Math software to supplement our classroom instruction and to help our students visualize mathematical concepts.
Our approach to teaching science is one of inquiry. We utilize print and media resources and active experimentation using “Foss kits” to explore phenomena in science and problems in engineering that are outlined in the Next Generation Science Standards. Each grade level is engaged in units of study in earth science, physical science, and life science. We have added an additional unit in engineering/robotics at all grade levels.
Our social studies curriculum is composed of rich, comprehensive units. Teachers provide projects and simulations to make the curriculum come alive for our students. Field trips are generally planned to compliment both the science and social studies curriculum.
We have state of the art multimedia equipment in all classrooms through the district’s i21 classroom initiative and purchases made through our foundation. All of our classrooms are equipped with interactive whiteboards, a sound system, and a document camera; and all have wireless internet access. Students at all grade levels have a one-to-one ratio of laptops to students. All students receive computer instruction through our Technology Director; and technology is integrated daily into our instruction at all grade levels.
We have worked together in our school community to use district and outside resources to continually enhance the physical environment of our school. Over the last thirteen years, there have been many site renovations as a result of taxpayer proposition funding to our site as well as through our own fundraising efforts. In 2005, 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 a garden known as our Word Play garden.
Our site beautification committee, Bloom, completed several large projects that added color and beauty to our school: The Kindergarten Terrace, The Girard Avenue Welcome Plaza, The Legacy Walkway (to connect the two sides of the school), the Marine Street Entryway, and painting the outside of all of the buildings. In the 2013-2014 school year, the foundation funded the addition of two new classrooms to allow for future needs (lower class size, designated art and music rooms, etc.) Our foundation and the new Prop S and Z funding will continue to fund projects that improve and maintain our campus.
La Jolla Elementary School parents contribute greatly to our school community in so many ways. They volunteer in classrooms, work behind the scenes to support teachers, and help us to provide fun and enriching activities for our students. They also work with teachers to support the education of their children at home. In addition, we have two formal parent groups: the PTO and Friends of La Jolla Elementary, Inc. The PTO hosts community activities, such as our Back to School Family Picnic, Family Dance, Family Science Night, Family Movie Night, etc., to bring our families back to campus to enjoy social and educational events. They provide after school enrichment programs at a reasonable cost for our Wednesday minimum days and before/after school. They provide enrichment through a series of cultural arts assemblies that take place during the school day as well. They also organize our extensive volunteer program. Friends of La Jolla Elementary, Inc., our fundraising foundation, raises funds that are used to support and enrich our educational program and to improve our physical facilities. Fundraising efforts have taken many forms, including a very successful Open Aire Market (Farmers’ Market) each Sunday on our site (9:00 am - 1:00 pm), and various campaigns and special events through the year, such as our annual gala.