Award Year: 2016

A. J. Cook Elementary School

9802 Woodbury Avenue
Garden Grove, CA, 92844-2819

(714) 663-6251

Ms. Sandi Ortiz Ishii, Principal at time of Nomination

Title I School

Garden Grove Unified School District

School Website


At Cook School students feel safe to take intellectual risks, are engaged in learning, and are inspired to achieve to their fullest potential by focusing on growth and perseverance.

Student Demographics
  • White: 4%
  • Hispanic: 18%
  • Hawaiian/Pacific Islander: 1%
  • Asian: 68%
  • Two or more races: 9%
  • ELL: 50%
  • Economically Disadvantaged: %
Cook Scholars take pride in their hard work and growth!

Cook Scholars take pride in their hard work and growth!

Cook Elementary is a small, diverse school with a big heart. Teachers and staff ensure that every student knows they belong and are respected. This sense of belonging allows our students to feel comfortable taking intellectual risks and discovering their unique strengths. Cook students have many opportunities to experience academic success; build significant relationships with caring teachers and staff; take part in extracurricular activities; and get involved in the community. This enables all students to have the opportunity to build resilience and overcome obstacles. Cook staff create an environment where students understand that if they work hard and don't give up, they will succeed.

Cook is a community of learners where students are warmly welcomed by name and are encouraged to grow to their greatest personal potential. The growth mindset is embedded in every aspect of our school climate. This belief has fostered an academic environment where students love learning and accomplish their goals through hard work. The training and rollout of the growth mindset with staff, students, and parents supported the full embrace of the new Common Core Standards and the more prominent role of technology in learning and assessment. The growth mindset is trained with intentionality in all facets of our community and the motto, "I can and I will," is celebrated and rewarded. Perseverance and intellectual risks are clearly defined and goals are set to embed these scholarly habits into the academic life of our campus. Growth mindset is foundational to our students' ever-increasing success.