Award Year: 2013

George W. Simonds Elementary School

6515 Grapevine Way
San Jose, CA, 95120-4020

(408) 535-6251

Melissa Howell, Principal at time of Nomination

Mrs. Janice Samuels, Current Principal

San Jose Unified

School Website


The mission of San José Unified and Simonds Elementary is to eliminate the opportunity gap and provide every student with the finest 21st century education

Student Demographics
  • Black/African American: 1%
  • White: 54%
  • Hispanic: 7%
  • Asian: 35%
  • Native American: 1%
  • Two or more races: 2%
  • ELL: 9%
  • Economically Disadvantaged: %

Simonds Elementary School

Pride. This one simple word encapsulates what makes Simonds Elementary an exceptional school. Simonds Elementary teachers take pride in a tradition of academic excellence. They collaborate, seek professional development opportunities, and embrace emerging instructional practices with the goal of consistently upping the academic rigor and engagement in classrooms. Collaboration and shared responsibility among staff is high. Although Simonds Elementary is a high-achieving school, teachers continue to pursue research-based techniques and best practices to help every student achieve to his or her potential.

Students are actively engaged in their own learning. Every Simonds Elementary student knows that they can succeed and that their academic pursuits are valued. In the annual school climate survey, 99% of students report that they are clear about their learning goals. They affirm that their teachers hold high expectations and they take pride in rising to the challenge set before them.

An important component of Simonds Elementary’s success is the parent community. A consistent presence on campus, Simonds Elementary parents can be found in classrooms working with students individually or in small groups, or behind the scenes offering clerical support, or planning celebrations of student and teacher success. The Simonds Elementary parent community also fully supports the music and technology programs that provide all students with 21st century skills.

Finally, the Simonds Elementary staff goes above and beyond to make the school a clean, well-run campus that everyone can be proud of each day.