6 Best Elementary Schools in the San Diego Suburbs

If you and your family are looking to move to the San Diego suburbs and searching for the best elementary schools, this article is for you!

Currently, most school rankings favor the schools that are located in wealthier neighborhoods. This is a result of family income being one of the main factors that drive test score performance. In addition, this also leads to socioeconomically diverse schools getting underrated and overlooked by parents who are looking for good schools.

There is much research out there that shows that a diverse learning environment has a positive cognitive impact on kids, which just does not exist at a homogenous school with little diversity. This article explains some of benefits of inclusion and diversity in the classrom.

This is why SchoolSparrow has created an equitable school ranking system that factors in parent income and, therefore, shows the true multitude of options in school selection. Our ranking system uncovers hidden gems that other ranking systems overlook because they are focused on high parent income (high test scores = high parent income).

Want to know more about how we rank schools? Check out this blog post!

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Photo Courtesy: Steele San Diego Homes

Just For Reference

The scores for each school listed below represent the percentage of students who meet or exceed state standards on the Reading/Language Arts (RLA) section of the National Assessment of Education Progress (NAEP) standardized test. Some states conduct their own state assessment and report these results, but either way, our scores focus on the RLA scores.

We understand that looking for the perfect school for your child can be a difficult process, so SchoolSparrow has made a list naming 6 of the best elementary schools in the San Diego suburbs that you might have otherwise overlooked.

1. Vallecitos Elementary School – Rainbow, CA

Vallecitos Elementary is located in the small suburban city of Rainbow, California. As of 2018, the population was around 2,000 people, and it is approximately 53 minutes away from downtown San Diego.

When ranked on GreatSchools, Vallecitos Elementary is only given a 6/10 which suggests that the school is average. However, SchoolSparrow rewards this school with a 10/10 (A+)!

Let’s take a look at the data.

The school has a diversity score of 10 out of a possible 40 points. On average, California schools with similar parent income profiles tend to score 34.8 points. Vallecitos Elementary scores an impressive 57 points which is 64% higher than the average.

Plus, Vallecitos Elementary is upward trending by 4.8% compared to the previous year, and all students from 3rd to 8th are earning an overall grade of A- or better. Shout out to all the students making outstanding grades! There is absolutely zero doubt that Vallecitos Elementary deserves recognition as one of the best elementary schools in the San Diego suburbs.

Looking for homes near Vallecitos? The median home list price in Rainbow, CA is $549,500 compared to San Diego’s average list price of $725,000. Here is a 3-bed, 2-bath home within the school boundaries and listed for only $275,000!

Address: 5211 Fifth St. Rainbow, CA 92028

Website: http://www.vallecitossd.net/

2. Hazel Goes Cook Elementary School – Chula Vista, CA

Second, there’s Hazel Goes Cook Elementary located in the 2nd largest city in the San Diego metro area: Chula Vista. ” The 2018 population was almost 272,000, and the school’s about 16 minutes away from downtown San Diego.

Photo Courtesy: Hazel Goes Cook

SchoolSparrow gives this school a perfect score: A+ (10/10)! On the contrary, Hazel Goes Cook Elementary is yet another school that is given an average score of 6/10 on GreatSchools. When looking at the stats, this score is much too low.

For instance, Hazel Goes Cook’s diversity score is a 10 out of 40 points, and all students from 3rd to 6th grade are receiving an overall grade of an A- or better. Special shoutout to all grades 3-6 for individually earning A’s!

California schools with similar parent income usually score 41.6 points, but Hazel Goes Cook scored 67 points. This is 61% higher than the expected average. Equally important, Hazel Goes Cook is trending 29.6% upward compared to last year. It’s clear that this school truly belongs on this list of best schools in the San Diego area.

Searching for homes near Hazel Goes Cook Elementary? The median list home price in this area code is $524,900 which is much lower than $725,000 (San Diego’s average price). Check out this 4-bed, 3-bath home listed for $575,000.

Address: 875 Cuyamaca Ave. Chula Vista, CA 91911

Website: https://cook.cvesd.org/

3. La Paloma Elementary School – Fallbrook, CA

Third, we have La Paloma Elementary located in the city of Fallbrook, also known as the “The Friendly Village”. In 2018, the population was a little bit above 33,000, and the school is about a 56 minute drive to downtown San Diego.

Photo Courtesy: La Paloma Facebook

Just as the schools listed above, GreatSchools has given La Paloma Elementary the low score of 6/10, yet SchoolSparrow gives the school an A (10/10) overall.

Students in the 4th, 5th, and 6th grade are receiving overall grades of an A- or better, and the elementary school is pretty diverse with a diversity score of 20 out of 40 points.

Also, La Paloma Elementary scored 60 points on standardized tests, but the expected score of California schools with similar parent income profiles was 44.9 points. La Paloma’s score is 34% higher than the expected score! La Paloma Elementary is, indeed, one of the best schools in the San Diego suburbs.

Are you moving near La Paloma Elementary? The median home list price in this area is $600,000 which is still significantly lower than the San Diego average of $725,000. This 3-bedroom listing is $50,000 less than Fallbrook’s average!

Address: 300 Heald Ln. Fallbrook, CA 92028

Website: https://lap.fuesd.org/

4. William H. Frazier Elementary School – Fallbrook, CA

This school is also located in the same city as the previous school and is just as great!

Photo Courtesy: WHF Elementary School

Similarly, GreatSchools gives William H. Frazier Elementary too low of a score (6/10), and it’s SchoolSparrow that awards the school a much deserved A- (9/10).

In comparison to last year, WHF Elementary is trending upward by 5%, and the 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders are all earning an overall grade of B+ or better. Congrats to to students and staff for making these great improvements!

California schools with similar parent income profiles usually score 44.4 points. In contrast, WHF Elementary scored 24% higher than the expected score with an astounding 55 points! The school also has a nice diversity score: 20 out of 40 points.

Interested in buying a home near WHF Elementary? The median listing price is also $600,000 and is $125,000 less than the San Diego listing average. Check out this home listed for $579,000.

Address: 1835 Gum Tree Ln. Fallbrook, CA 92028

Website: https://whf.fuesd.org/

5. Casa De Oro Elementary School – Spring Valley, CA

Next, we have Casa De Oro Elementary which is located in the city of Spring Valley. It was ranked 22nd in “Best Suburbs to Raise a Family in the San Diego Area”, and it is about 17 minutes from downtown San Diego.

Photo Courtesy: LMSV Schools

This school has the lowest rating and, truly, does not deserve the 4/10 given by GreatSchools. Of course, SchoolSparrow notices Casa De Oro’s true feats and rewards the elementary school a B+ (8/10).

Casa De Oro Elementary has a diversity score of 20 out of 40 possible points, and the students all grades are earning overall grades of a B- or better. The school is also trending upward by 22.9% compared to the previous year!

California schools where parents have similar income profiles tend to score 39.7 points. Even so, Casa De Oro exceeds the expected score by 18% with a total of 47 points. This proves that this school is worthy of being named one the best schools in the San Diego suburbs.

Considering buying a home near Casa De Oro? The median list price is this area falls at $525,000 and is lower than San Diego’s $725,000 average list price. Here is a 3-bed, 2-bath near the school listed at $499,000.

Address: 10227 Ramona Dr. Spring Valley, CA 91977

Website: https://www.lmsvschools.org/casadeoro/

Bonus: Descanso Elementary School – Descanso, CA

Descanso Elementary is located in the city of Descanso, and it has a small population of almost 1,700. It is also a 42 minute drive to downtown San Diego.

Photo Courtesy: Descanso School Facebook

GreatSchools gives Descanso Elementary an average score of 6/10, but SchoolSparrow gives this school an 8/10 which is a B+.

Descanso Elementary has a great diversity score of 20 out of 40 points, and the school is trending upward in comparison to last year. Also, the students in grades 3 and 5 are receiving overall grades of a B- or better. Shout to the students and staff for these amazing improvements!

Additionally, California schools with similar income profiles tend to have an expected score of 63.6 points. Descanso Elementary, on the other hand, scored 72 points on standardized tests! This score exceeds the expected by 13% and is another school that is rightfully seen as one of the best schools in the San Diego suburbs.

If you are thinking about purchasing a home near this school, the median list price in this area is $599,000 compared to San Diego’s average price of $725,000. This is a 2-bed, 2-bath home listed for $466,250.

Address: 24842 Viejas Blvd. Descanso, CA 91916

Website: https://de.meusd.org/

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