The motto at La Madera Elementary School, a pretty campus dotted with eucalyptus trees, is "Believe! Achieve!…More Succeed!" Most of the 615 students who attend here reside in the immediate neighborhood, providing a strong sense of community among students, staff and parents.
Known for strong academics, La Madera received an API score of 895 in 2010, an increase of 13 points from the prior year. About 13 percent of its students are classified as "English Learners," while 11 percent receive free or reduced-price lunches.
Lake Forest's Aliso Elementary School saw a dramatic 45 point jump in its Academic Performance Index…More scores for the 2009-2010 school year, to 830 overall. The news thrilled the staff and students at the "Home of the Eagles" who are proud of their neighborhood school.
For the past three years, families at Aliso Elementary have received a letter offering them a different school because Aliso's test scores classified it as a "Program Improvement" school under the federal No Child Left Behind Act. Still, 99 percent of those families have chosen to stay, a fact principal Crystal Turner says speaks to the school's "incredible program."
About 48 percent of this small neighborhood school's population is classified as "English learners" and 51 percent participate in free or reduced-price lunches.
Aliso Elementary School participates in the Frieda Belinfante Class Act partnership which connects it with the Pacific Symphony. The partnership enhances the school's music program and increases the awareness and involvement with symphonic music for students, teachers and parents.