School is in Session

School is a child’s second home. It is where they learn crucial lessons, create valuable memories, and make important discoveries about themselves and their environment. Read along as we speak with the principals of Carmel Valley’s own schools to gain insight on their campus culture: Ashley Falls School, Carmel Creek School, Carmel Del Mar School, Ocean Air School, Sage Canyon School, Solana Highlands Elementary, Solana Pacific School, Solana Ranch, and Sycamore Ridge School.


Ashley Falls School 

Principal: Chris Delehanty
Address: 13030 Ashley Falls Dr.
Email: cdelehanty@dmusd.org
Phone Number: 858-259-7812

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Q&A with Chris Delehanty, Principal

What is your role as principal?
As the principal of the school, my job is first and foremost to be the lead learner. It is my goal to foster academic as well as social-emotional growth. My responsibilities can range from helping students out of their parent’s car in the morning to refereeing a soccer game at recess. The interaction with students is the most rewarding aspect. I am in the unique position to see students grow over the course of seven years of schooling.

What are the major events that the school is hosting this year?
Monthly PeaceBuilder assemblies include student recognition, examples of PeaceBuilder behavior, and often include a performance by a student group. This spring some students will participate in Science Field Day, Junior Olympics, and the annual Goodwill Games. Our sixth graders will have a performance and participate in promotion.

What are some of the highlights of students’ time at Ashley Falls School?
At our sixth grade promotion, we have students deliver speeches that inevitably touch on their wonderful teachers. Students also remember field trips, performances, and our student involvement opportunities.

How does the school prepare students academically?
We aim to challenge each of our students through rigorous academic standards. Our site and district are fortunate to have time on Wednesday afternoons to meet as a staff for professional learning. In addition, we have school-wide conversations that help us to provide a cohesive K-6 learning continuum.

Please tell us about the PTA and their involvement on campus.
We are extremely fortunate to have a very involved PTA that supports our school community. Their fundraising has helped to purchase technology, provide teachers with mini-grants, and make our school tight-knit. Our school hosts a number of major events each year, including our Spooky House in October, the Soaring Soiree, the Jog-a-Thon, and our Spring Carnival.

Please tell us about after-school activities and programs offered to students.
We have enrichment programs for a fee that are coordinated through our district’s After School Program department.

Ashley Falls School is most proud of…
The amazing students, staff, and families that comprise our community. We are extremely fortunate to have a highly enthusiastic and dedicated staff, engaged parents, and wonderful children who come to learn each day.


Carmel Creek School 

Principal: Terri Davis
Address: 4210 Carmel Center Rd.
Email: ccinfo@sbsd.k12.ca.us
Phone Number: 858-794-4400

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Q&A with Terri Davis, Principal

How has Carmel Creek School evolved over the years?
Carmel Creek opened for the 1994-95 school year as a kindergarten through sixth grade elementary school. In 1998, we completed 12 additional classrooms to accommodate a growing Carmel Valley population. We opened this year with transitional kindergarten through third grade.

What is your role as principal?
My role at Carmel Creek is to be the instructional leader for teachers. My responsibilities include staffing each school year, providing support to teachers, budget planning, and working closely with parents and the community. The most rewarding part of being a principal is watching children become critical thinkers. We are preparing our children for a world that we don’t know, so our students must learn how to be flexible learners and adapt to change through creativity, communication, and collaboration.

What’s in store for the school in the future?
Our focus over the past few years has been the development of instruction for the Common Core standards in the areas of mathematics and English language arts. Our most recent efforts have been in the area of STREAM (Science, Technology, Research, Engineering, Arts, and Math).

What are the major events that the school is hosting this year?
Our PTA and school’s foundation provide a host of events and opportunities which include the STREAM Expo; Fun Run; Family Restaurant Nights; Red Ribbon Week; Kindness Week; Care and Share (Adopt a Family); Parent Book Club; Math, Science and Beyond nights; Spring Fling; Heritage Day; and an end-of-the-year party.

What sports are offered at the school?
We have an after-school pay program that many students participate in, which includes specific sports like soccer, dance, and karate.

How does the school prepare students academically?
Our teachers are of the highest caliber and participate in ongoing training throughout their career. We emphasize critical thinking and creativity through the core subjects and support students in the areas of technology and life and career skills.

Carmel Creek School is most proud of…
Our children are happy, motivated, engaged, and making a difference in our diverse world!


 

Carmel Del Mar School 

Principal: Jessica Morales
Address: 12345 Carmel Park Dr.
Email: jmorales@dmusd.org
Phone Number: 858-481-6789

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Q&A with Jessica Morales, Principal

How has Carmel Del Mar School evolved over the years?
Carmel Del Mar school was built in 1992. Over the years we have maintained high educational standards as well as strong community ties. Our school is known throughout the community as a “school with a heart.”

What’s in store for the school in the future?
We are committed to continued professional growth for our teachers and engaging our students in rigorous learning. We are also exploring ways to aid the social and emotional learning on our campus. Lastly, Carmel Del Mar School is in the planning stages of designing modern fifth grade classes.

What are the major events that the school is hosting this year?
Carmel Del Mar prides itself on well-attended community events. Students and families participate in a yearly Ice Cream Social, Halloween Parade, Winterfest, Fiesta Night, International Potluck, grade level performances, Open House, Chili and Game Night, Field Day, Father Daughter Dance, and a Dad’s Club BBQ.

What are some of the highlights of students’ time at Carmel Del Mar School?
The highlights of students’ time at Carmel Del Mar include attending classes in art, music, PE, science, and technology. Our specialist teachers also offer innovative clubs. Our school is fortunate to have this program as a result of community support and a strong partnership with the Del Mar Schools Education Foundation.

What sports are offered at the school?
We have an amazing physical education specialist. Our students learn the rules and skills associated with many sports, as well as participate in a weekly Mileage Club. Lastly, we host a yearly event called Jr. Olympics, an athletic competition for Carmel Del Mar students.

Please tell us about the PTSA and their involvement on campus.
They give countless hours of their time in an effort to support the educational initiatives of our school, as well as to create events that continue to connect community members. Carmel Del Mar also has an active Dad’s Club that supports the school through fundraising efforts and hosting events.

Carmel Del Mar School is most proud of…
Carmel Del Mar School is most proud of everything you have read above. We can’t choose just one.


Ocean Air School 

Principal: Ryan Stanley
Assistant Principal: Abby Farricker
Address: 11444 Canter Heights Dr.

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Q&A with Ryan Stanley, Principal

How has Ocean Air School evolved over the years?
Ocean Air School opened its doors in 2007. Since opening with 540 students, Ocean Air has grown to become a tight-knit family with just under 800 students.

What is the most rewarding part about being a principal? The most challenging?
Seeing the joy students have every day at school. I’m also proud of the incredible families and staff. With almost 800 students and families it can be a challenge to simply get to everything. I’m very fortunate to have Ms. Abby Farricker as our part-time assistant principal.

What’s in store for the school in the future?
We are applying the new Common Core State Standards to achieve great success. We continue to expand technology to enhance academics and this year added Chromebooks to all of our third grade classrooms. We are able to provide all of our children with a world-class education.

What are the major events that the school is hosting this year?
Our PTA hosts an International Night where different cultures are spotlighted. We also have many events throughout the year including Science Invention Fair, Science Olympiad, Art Show, and Open House. This year we started hosting parent education nights in order to work in partnership with our parents.

What are some of the highlights of students’ time at Ocean Air School?
Our inclusive school community and rigorous academics have enabled Ocean Air to be recognized by the State of California and the U.S. Department of Education. In 2013 Ocean Air School was awarded the coveted National Blue Ribbon School. In 2014 Ocean Air was recognized as a California Distinguished School.

What sports are offered at the school?
We have a robust Physical Education program. We have two PE teachers, one full-time and one part-time, who work with every student at Ocean Air. Students have the opportunity to participate in Jr. Olympics. Our PTA also organizes and manages a running club.

Ocean Air Elementary is most proud of…
Our amazing students, families, and staff.


Sage Canyon School 

Principal: Vivian Firestone
Address: 5290 Harvest Run Dr.
Phone Number: 858-481-7844

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Q&A with Vivian Firestone, Principal

What is the most rewarding part about being a principal?
The most rewarding part about being a principal is the opportunity to work with our amazing teachers in support of our students. We work together to make decisions to help our school be the very best place possible for children both academically and socially. It’s a joy to see our students grow and learn each day.

What’s in store for the school in the future?
We are committed to ensuring our teachers have the best strategies to support student learning. We have also revised our school-wide behavior system to focus on helping students find success in the classroom and on the playground. In order to further leadership opportunities for our students, we have turned over morning announcements to our student council members.

What are the major events that the school is hosting this year?
We begin the year with an ice cream social to welcome our families back to school. Our amazing fall festival is well attended by the surrounding community and is our major fundraiser of the year. Currently, we are looking forward to our annual art show. The Sage Canyon Speaker Series is a new event for our school, where we invite experts to come and share on topics of interest to our community.

What sports are offered at the school?
We are very fortunate to have a full-time physical education teacher. Each year he facilitates the Sage Canyon Jr. Olympics. The top students from this event go on to compete at the district level. In addition our PTA sponsors a running program once a week and contracts with the Sharks Soccer Club who coordinate different physical activities for students during their playtime.

How does the school prepare students academically?
Teachers at each grade level set high standards for learning. Each teacher monitors student progress towards their goals carefully in order to provide support for children. Students receive additional help when they are not meeting expectations and are provided with extension or enrichment when they have mastered the learning goals.

Please tell us about after-school activities and programs offered to students.
Our school district offers activity choices for our students ranging from language classes to karate. In addition, we offer a child care program for our families who require afterschool care. This last year we have added additional site-based enrichment programs.

Sage Canyon School is most proud of…
We are most proud of the excellent learning environment established for our students through the collaboration of our wonderful educators and supportive parents.


Solana Highlands Elementary 

Principal: Matthew Frumovitz
Address: 3520 Long Run Dr.
Email: shinfo@sbsd.k12.ca.us
Phone Number: 858-794-4300

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Q&A with Matthew Frumovitz, Principal

How has Solana Highlands Elementary evolved over the years?
Solana Highlands was built in 1987. It has evolved from a K-6 to a K-4 to a TK-4 to the current configuration of TK-3.

What is your role as principal?
I have a variety of responsibilities including staffing, curriculum, budgeting, working with parents and the community, creating professional development opportunities, promoting the vision and culture of the school/district, and much more.

What’s in store for the school in the future?
We are developing our instruction to support the Common Core State Standards. We are promoting our district’s STREAM initiative, which includes dynamic instruction in the areas of Science, Technology, Research, Engineering, Art, and Mathematics.

What are the major events that the school is hosting this year?
We have many events that our community enjoys over the course of the year. These include a variety of activities promoted by our PTA like Science Night, Movie Night, Pancake Breakfast, Bingo Night, and Family Heritage Night.

How does the school prepare students academically?
Our students are prepared academically by a rigorous and engaging curriculum delivered by outstanding teachers and staff who are supported by fantastic parents and families.

Please tell us about the PTA and their involvement on campus.
Our PTA has a wonderful presence on our campus and makes our school even more special by providing enriching experiences for students.

Solana Highlands is most proud of…
Solana Highlands is most proud of our incredible teachers and staff, our engaging curriculum that promotes 21st century learning, our supportive and caring families and community, and, most importantly, our amazing students!


Solana Pacific School

Principal: Elisa Fregoso
Address: 3901 Townsgate Dr.
Email: spinfo@sbsd.k12.ca.us
Phone Number: 858-794-4500

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Q&A with Elisa Fregoso, Principal

How has Solana Pacific Elementary evolved over the years?
Solana Pacific opened in 2004. It opened as a fifth through sixth grade school and beginning this school year serves grades four through six.

What is your role as principal?
Some of my of responsibilities include curriculum and instruction, managing the school’s budget, hiring the most qualified staff, and ensuring they are receiving high-quality professional development opportunities, as well as working with parents, the community, and most importantly, the students.

What is the most rewarding part about being a principal?
The most rewarding part of being a principal is working with our students, teachers, and staff on creating a culture of high academic achievement as well as opportunities for positive social and emotional development. Solana Pacific Sandpipers have P.R.I.D.E.

What are the major events that the school is hosting this year?
We offer a variety of activities like Bingo Night, Field Day, Amazing Quest, Garden Club Farmer’s Markets and Family Heritage/International Night. Other exciting events include the Sandpiper Sprint and the “Dine and Art” open house on May 7.

What sports are offered at the school?
Solana Pacific School offers a comprehensive physical education program that works on specific athletic skills as well as sports and games. We offer an organized series of lunchtime intermural sports as well as an afterschool enrichment program.

Please tell us about after-school activities and programs offered to students.
The Solana Beach School District Child Development Center (CDC) offers many after-school activities. Special interest classes include: robotics, computer programming, spanish, sewing, cooking, sports, and more. The CDC also offers childcare both before and after school.

Solana Pacific is most proud of…
Solana Pacific is most proud of being named a California Distinguished School in 2014 as well as having the most wonderfully inspiring student leaders!


Solana Ranch School

Principal: Jerry Jones
Address: 13605 Pacific Highlands Ranch Pkwy.
Email: jjones@sbsd.net
Phone Number: 858-350-6600

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Q&A with Jerry Jones, Principal

How has Solana Ranch School evolved over the years?
Solana Ranch was completed just this school year. Last school year, we gave online surveys asking parents and students what types of learning opportunities they would like to have for their child. Students also met with me to give feedback and families were able to pick the school name, mascot, and colors.

What is your role as principal?
I have been thrilled to be a part of this unique opportunity to create a very special school for students. We have created a rigorous and nurturing school environment that is focused on creating the leaders of tomorrow, and most importantly, the overall success of each and every child! It is extremely rewarding to help Solana Ranch have a positive school climate that is focused on academics, teaching and learning, and recognition of students. Our mission at Solana Ranch is “Inspiring Greatness in Tomorrow’s Leaders!”

What’s in store for the school in the future?
We have many activities throughout the school year, many to promote academics, community, and leadership. Some include science nights from the Reuben H. Fleet, parenting nights, movie nights, community service projects (e.g. canned food drive, shoe drive, sock drive), and an upcoming Leadership Day on April 21.

What are some of the highlights of students’ time at Solana Ranch School?
Our goal is to make leadership ubiquitous at our school and to give students opportunities to be their personal best. Additionally students are immersed in an engaging environment that fosters the 4Cs: creativity, critical thinking, communication, and collaboration. There are also many clubs that give students many opportunities to experience a well-rounded education.

Please tell us about the PTO and their involvement on campus.
Parents help provide technology, science, art, PE instruction, and materials through our foundation. Our PTO also provides many volunteer opportunities through Gold Medal Reading (a reading incentive program), science nights, pancake breakfasts, and more.

Solana Ranch School is most proud of…
The high expectations that we have for student character through Hawk P.R.I.D.E. (Positive Attitude, Respect for All, Integrity, Do the Right Thing, Effort Towards Learning), our focus on student leadership through the “Seven Habits of Highly Effective People,” the engaging and interactive learning environment, and the sense of school pride.


Sycamore Ridge School

Principal: Peg LaRose, Ed.D.
Address: 5333 Old Carmel Valley Rd.
Email: plarose@dmsud.org
Phone Number: 858-755-1060

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Q&A with Peg LaRose, Principal

What is your role as principal?
As a school principal, I wear many hats, including that of lead learner, knower of names, teacher, nurturing nurse, lunch server, manager, literacy lover, housekeeper, and four-square player. I could not do this work if I weren’t surrounded by such hardworking and brilliant teacher colleagues every day. I devote much of my time to building the capacity of teachers to work together to maximize the learning of students.

What’s in store for the school in the future?
Sycamore Ridge is delighted to be in the initial stages of a DMUSD pilot program as well as an Innovative Center to support our work in science, technology, engineering, art, and mathematics. Long-term, Sycamore Ridge will see growth in our student population over the next five years as the east end of Pacific Highlands Ranch is developed.

What are the major events that the school is hosting this year?
We will have our school-wide open house evening and our annual ESC showcase in the spring. We will have several student music performances and a band concert. In April our sixth grade students are headed to Camp Cuyamaca for a week of outdoor education and will have many special activities leading up to their promotion ceremony on June 12.

What are some of the highlights of students’ time at Sycamore Ridge School?
Students typically reflect on field trips, performances, special projects, and cherished friendships. However, the names of special teachers often enter the conversation as significant adults that made a big difference in the student’s life.

What sports are offered at the school?
Our credentialed physical education specialist, Coach Katy Moyneur, provides daily lunchtime sports such as 3-on-3 basketball, Ultimate Frisbee, handball tournaments, and various age appropriate games. We have a Tuesday and Thursday morning running club called Stallion Sprinters. Students can also participate in a Junior Olympics event in the spring.

How does the school prepare students academically?
Every child at Sycamore Ridge School is experiencing the exhilaration that comes with the implementation of the new rigorous Common Core state standards. The wise integration of technology has led to extraordinary growth in writing. We use Chromebooks in grades three through six to support students and teachers in the instruction and production of writing.

Please tell us about the PTA and their involvement on campus.
Our PTA provides many programs that support and enhance the educational experience for our students. Our PTA also plans and facilitates social and fun events for the entire family. Specifically, this school year our PTA has provided funding for Chromebook purchases, a new sound system for our MUR, and teacher mini-grants.

Sycamore Ridge School is most proud of…
We are particularly proud of our productive relationship with our dynamic and involved parental community. A school is as strong as the partnerships between its community of parents, staff, and students.