Award Year: 2018

San Diego Jewish Academy Lower School

11860 Carmel Creek Road
San Diego, CA, 92130-2474

(858) 704-3759

Mrs. Kelley King, Principal at time of Nomination

San Diego Jewish Academy

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The mission of the San Diego Jewish Academy Lower School is to further academic excellence, social responsibility, and active Jewish living.

Student Demographics
  • Black/African American: 1%
  • White: 96%
  • Two or more races: 3%
  • ELL: 6%
SDJA third graders participate in a hands-on science lesson

SDJA third graders participate in a hands-on science lesson

The San Diego Jewish Academy Lower School challenges young minds with learning experiences that nurture curiosity, creative thinking, and entrepreneurial spirit. The school encourages students to take risks, to experiment, and to stretch beyond their comfort zones. By understanding students’ unique needs, talents and passions, the faculty meets students where they are academically, enabling students’ growth and success.

Equally important, the school strives to inspire purpose. Jewish values and teachings are infused throughout curricula. Through words and deeds, students and staff value studying and learning for life, prayer and spirituality, kindness towards others, and love of God. Community service projects ("Tikkun Olam") help us bring Jewish teachings into the real world.

Our students' academic success in the last four years is the result of important changes—every piece of curriculum, assessment, and instruction was reviewed, re-imagined, re-aligned, and given new life. Systems and structures are in place to fully leverage the school's resources to benefit students' learning. Personalization—even customization—of learning now is a hallmark of the SDJA Lower School. New and exciting initiatives in the areas of STEM, Israel studies, innovation, entrepreneurial studies, musical performance, global collaborations, and social-emotional learning are flourishing.

A few key ingredients contribute to the ongoing success of the San Diego Jewish Academy Lower School: an ambitious faculty that is comfortable with change and empowered to try new things; engaged and respected teacher leadership; a school culture of continuous improvement; robust professional development; and a high level of involvement and support from school administration.