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Helix Montessori School
3941 Conrad Dr, Spring Valley, CA 91977

Helix Montessori School is a small, residential building with an enclosed backyard. The backyard houses a play placeMore for its school children, complete with a small slide, clubhouse and sandboxes. Students at the school practice the "Montessori method," a way to teach children that emphasizes "self-learning" and encourages a sense of independence. It is  a private school with a capacity of 35 students.

The small amount of students provides a close, nurturing atmosphere, where strong relationships can be developed. The school is owned and operated by Madhavi Shah.

Avocado Elementary School
3845 Avocado School Rd, La Mesa, CA 91941

Since 1970, Avocado Elementary School has been educating children in the Mount Helix and La Mesa areas. It has a veryMore involved PTA with parents who frequently volunteer at the school.

It is a California Distinguished School, and is headed by Principal Ryan Burke, who has been at Avocado for three years. The most recent API score for the school was 865, which is 62 points higher than the score from just two years ago.


Avondale Elementary School
8401 Stansbury St, Spring Valley, CA 91977

Established in 1959, Avondale Elementary School has long served the Spring Valley Community.

According toMore Principal Claudia Burris, it is only one of two schools in East County with a PEI program (Prevention and Early Intervention). The school is a Title 1 school, meaning it is eligible for federal funds when they are available.

The school is in a residential neighborhood of Spring Valley and is surrounded by a large chain-link fence that helps secure the facility.

Last year the school received a state award for student achievement, and it offers grant money to qualifying families for after-school care.

Anza Elementary School
1005 S Anza St, El Cajon, CA 92020

As part of the Cajon Valley School District, Anza Elementary School faithfully serves the El Cajon and Mount HelixMore communities.

It was built in 1960, and since then has provided its students with a high-quality education.

The school tries to engage with the community and surrounding areas by hosting events for parents and students, such as the Fall Festival. The school also has two pre-school programs that have almost 50 children enrolled.

College Preparatory Middle School
5150 Jackson Dr, La Mesa, CA 91941

The Mountain Empire School District charters this school, which opened for the first time in September 2010. ItMore includes students from Jamul, Santee, Lemon Grove and San Diego. The school occupies the lower level of the Church of Christ.

The school has uniforms, but they are not mandated and there is a parent-teacher association. The school also partners with the La Mesa library to provide a bookmobile twice a month.

Grossmont Union High School District
1100 Murray Dr, El Cajon, CA 92020

With 11 high schools, the district covers 465 square miles and includes three charter schools (among them HelixMore Charter High School in La Mesa), one continuation high school and two alternative education sites. More than 20,000 students attend district schools.

Headquartered is in the Old Main building—the original home of Grossmont High School—the administrative offices adjoin the current Grossmont High School. The district calls itself the largest employer in East San Diego County. And, in recent years, more than 70 percent of  its graduates have gone on to community colleges or a four-year college/university.

The district's Home Choice program makes it possible for parents to home-school their high-school-aged children. The district also has a coordinator for homeless and foster youth, as well as an adult school in El Cajon that is open to those 18 years old and older.

Lemon Avenue Elementary School
8787 Lemon Ave, La Mesa, CA 91941
With budgets tigh , this school has instituted a "Lemon Avenue Wish Tree," in the main office where teachers postMore "lemons" noting needed school supplies. Students in grades 1-5 can take part in a running blub that starts at 7:15am, a supervised activity where children walk or run for 25 minutes before school. "We keep track of mileage and students earn incentives throughout the year," says the school. One of several PeaceBuilder schools in the district, Lemon Avenue fosters an anti-bullying ethic and atmosphere of trust and support. The school's annual Halloween Carnival, a major fundraiser, is a big neighborhood tradition.
Casa de Oro Elementary School
10227 Ramona Dr, Spring Valley, CA 91977

Established in 1949, Casa de Oro Elementary is one of the oldest schools in the La Mesa - Spring Valley SchoolMore District. The school offers an environment that stresses achievement, both in and out of the classroom.

Some of the special programs offered at the school include the OASIS reading tudor program, an autism cluster and a Garden Club, of which more than 80 students, teachers and communty volunteers are a part.

A California Distinguished School, Casa de Oro's principal is Lisa Conry, who is in her first year at the school after coming from Fletcher Hills.

Vista La Mesa Academy
3900 Violet St, La Mesa, CA 91941
A third of this school's students live in the Chollas Heights Navy family  housing complex, and all students haveMore access to free breakfast and lunch. Preschool is on site, including a Head Start program. Improvements at the school will eventually include grass fields and a running track. This is a charter school under the Lemon Grove School District. Besides the 24-member faculty, the school has six support teachers and a social worker.
Loma Elementary School
10355 Loma Ln, Spring Valley, CA 91978

Sitting atop a hill across from Monte Vista High School, Loma Elementary School has been providing education toMore children in Spring Valley since 1979.

The school tries to engage with the community through many student-parent initiatives, including movie nights, reading programs, community-building lunches and teacher bulletins sent directly to parents.

Principal Julie Bankes leads a diverse student population, which gathers every morning, as the entire school recites the Pledge of Allegiance together, as one.

The school also stresses six important characteristics of its students: caring, responsibility, trustworthiness, respect, fairness and citizenship.

Kempton Elementary School
740 Kempton St, Spring Valley, CA 91977
Since 1960, Kempton Elementary School has been a place for families in the Spring Valley community to come together. AsMore a school, a resource center and a gathering place, the faculty and staff help students strive for high level achievement. The school, located next to the Spring Valley Public Library, has many programs for adults as well, including ESL classes and parental workshops. According to Principal Elisa Holston, it is the only school in the La Mesa-Spring Valley District to offer a biliteracy program, encouraging students to learn both English and Spanish. With approximately 700 students, it is also the largest elementary school in the district.
Rolando Elementary School
6925 Tower St, La Mesa, CA 91942

This elementary school near the San Diego border prides itself on its WATCH D.O.G.S. (Dads of Great Students)More program, a safe-school initiative of the National Center for Fathering that involves fathers and father figures spending "meaningful time with their children as well as 500 others in our school setting."  

The school promotes character education by spotlighting one trait a month: responsibility, respect,  fairness, caring, trustworthiness and citizenship. It also is a PeaceBuilders school, an anti-bullying program.

One of Rolando's second-grade teachers, Mark Arapostathis,  is a La Mesa city councilman and head of the Peter Pan Junior Theater.

Emerald STEM Magnet Middle School
1221 Emerald Ave, El Cajon, CA 92020

Since 1958, Emerald Middle School has been faithfully serving the El Cajon community.

It is a STEM MagnetMore School offering students in the community a high level of achievement in various aspects of learning in mathematics, science, engineering and technology.

As a California Distinguished School, its unique block schedule allows for more intensive learning and a more focused aproach to the classroom.

The principal is Dr. Kathy Skube.

Bancroft Elementary School
8805 Tyler St, Spring Valley, CA 91977

Since 1957, Bancroft Elementary School has been an institution of learning, growing, and fostering of relationshipsMore in the Spring Valley community. The principal is Lois DeKock, who has been serving at Bancroft since 1999.

One of the unique programs at the school is the establishment of the Olweus Bullying Prevention Program, which teaches students the physical harm and social ramifications of bullying others. The school's motto is "Bee a Buddy, Not a Bully." (A bee is the program's mascot.)



La Mesa Dale Elementary School
4370 Parks Ave, La Mesa, CA 91941
A few blocks north of La Mesa Middle School, this campus has a  highly diverse student population. The schoolMore prides itself on volunteers, including those taking part in Wednesday Workshop starting at 8:30am in the Parent Center next to the auditorum.  Adult ESL classes are offered daily to parents. One of several PeaceBuilder schools in the district, La Mesa Dale fosters an anti-bullying ethic and atmosphere of trust and support.
Shepherd of the Hills Evangelical Lutheran Church & School
9191 Fletcher Pky, La Mesa, CA 91942
With a great view above Fletcher Parkway, this Lutheran church and school has expansive grounds featuring a patioMore with picnic tables, playhouses, a basketball court area and a large parking lot. The church was established in 1965, and the school was established eight years later. The K-8 curriculum at the school reinforces Christian values, and extracurricular activities in the arts, music, theater, sports and science are encouraged.
Gateway West Community Day School
8693 la Mesa Blvd, La Mesa, CA 91942
Gateway West Community Day School is an alternative learning center located in a large retail plaza just off La MesaMore Boulevard. In addition to regular courses and classwork, Gateway West works with children who have been suspended or expelled from school by offering them one-on-one tutoring, counseling services and Web-based resources. The Gateway schools have some of the highest attendance rates in the district.
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