School Details

Ortega Elementary School

1283 Terra Nova Boulevard, Pacifica, CA 94044
(650) 738-6670
8

(out of 10)

Public Grades K-5 485 students 18 student/teacher

Test Scores by grade

72%
69%
56%
86%
79%
65%

California Standards Test (CST)

In 2011-2012 California used the California Standards Tests (CSTs) to test students in English language arts in grades 2 through 11; math in grades 2 through 7; science in grades 5, 8 and 10; and history-social science in grades 8 and 11. Middle and high school students also took subject-specific CSTs in math and science, depending on the course in which they were enrolled. The CSTs are standards-based tests, which means they measure how well students are mastering specific skills defined for each grade by the state of California. The goal is for all students to score at or above proficient on the tests.
  • This school in 2013
  • Pacifica average
  • California state average

% scale represents number of student who met or exceeded standards

58%
60%
46%
81%
77%
66%

California Standards Test (CST)

In 2011-2012 California used the California Standards Tests (CSTs) to test students in English language arts in grades 2 through 11; math in grades 2 through 7; science in grades 5, 8 and 10; and history-social science in grades 8 and 11. Middle and high school students also took subject-specific CSTs in math and science, depending on the course in which they were enrolled. The CSTs are standards-based tests, which means they measure how well students are mastering specific skills defined for each grade by the state of California. The goal is for all students to score at or above proficient on the tests.
  • This school in 2013
  • Pacifica average
  • California state average

% scale represents number of student who met or exceeded standards

65%
72%
65%
67%
78%
72%

California Standards Test (CST)

In 2011-2012 California used the California Standards Tests (CSTs) to test students in English language arts in grades 2 through 11; math in grades 2 through 7; science in grades 5, 8 and 10; and history-social science in grades 8 and 11. Middle and high school students also took subject-specific CSTs in math and science, depending on the course in which they were enrolled. The CSTs are standards-based tests, which means they measure how well students are mastering specific skills defined for each grade by the state of California. The goal is for all students to score at or above proficient on the tests.
  • This school in 2013
  • Pacifica average
  • California state average

% scale represents number of student who met or exceeded standards

77%
71%
60%
80%
73%
65%
74%
73%
57%

California Standards Test (CST)

In 2011-2012 California used the California Standards Tests (CSTs) to test students in English language arts in grades 2 through 11; math in grades 2 through 7; science in grades 5, 8 and 10; and history-social science in grades 8 and 11. Middle and high school students also took subject-specific CSTs in math and science, depending on the course in which they were enrolled. The CSTs are standards-based tests, which means they measure how well students are mastering specific skills defined for each grade by the state of California. The goal is for all students to score at or above proficient on the tests.
  • This school in 2013
  • Pacifica average
  • California state average

% scale represents number of student who met or exceeded standards

About this school

Ortega Elementary School is a public elementary school in Pacifica. The principal of Ortega Elementary School is Marc Lorenzen, whose e-mail is mlorenzen@pacificasd.org. 485 students go to Ortega Elementary School and identify as Multiracial; Asian; and White, non-Hispanic. 6% of the Ortega Elementary School students have "limited English proficiency." 17% of the 485 students here have subsidized lunches. The ratio of students to teachers at Ortega Elementary School is 18:1. Linda Mar Educational Center is one of the nearest elementary schools.

Extracurricular activities

Arts

  • Ceramics sculpture
  • Chorus
  • Computer arts
  • Dance
  • Drawing painting
  • Theater drama

Languages Taught

  • Mandarin
  • Spanish

Sports

  • P.E. classes
  • Yoga

Student Ethnicities

Ethnicity School District
Multiracial 9% %
Asian 6% 6%
White, non-Hispanic 58% 49%
Filipino 4% 11%
Hispanic 26% 15%
Unspecified 13% 15%
Native American or Native Alaskan 1% 0.6%
Pacific Islander 0.9% 2%
Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander 0.6% 3215%
Black, non-Hispanic 0.4% 3%

Student Subgroups

Subgroup School District
Students eligible for free or reduced-price lunch program 17% 17%
Limited English proficiency 6% 8%

Community ratings & reviews

  • (7 months ago)

    Ortega is a fantastic school. My daughter will graduate from 5th grade this year and the teachers have done a wonderful job preparing her for middle school. The principal and secretaries are also amazing. She has ADHD and I sent her to the local (terrible) private school for kindergarten and 1st grade. What a waste of money...she received no help or extra support. Switching to Ortega at the beginning of 2nd grade was the best decision we ever made. She couldn't even read when she started. Now she is an honor student confident and thriving. Reads above grade level and especially excels at math. Thanks Ortega!

  • (9 months ago)

    Ortega like 90% of California schools suffers from a critical lack of proper financial management. The principal is great working with parents and staff to eek as much as he can out of a limited budget. The teaching staff are hit or miss. Our Kindergartner had a superb teacher. Our third grader had a teacher who could not control her classroom and didn't bother to teach math. Please be aware that children attending Ortega ( and other Pacifica schools) do not have access to full-time librarians or paid instructors for PE Art or Music. Don't even hope for a band program it is non-existent. The PTA has tried to cover the funding gaps paying salaries for part-time librarians and other "elective" instructors. However the PTA has been staffed for several years with two women who bully and harass other parents. This has led to a down-ward trend in parent participation and fundraising. Additionally Ortega school grounds are constantly covered with litter and the building is in dire need of repairs.

  • (9 months ago)

    Awesome. Best teachers and office staff your could ever ask for. Creative committed and supportive teachers make the students feel confident and challenged. I couldn't be happier.

  • (12 months ago)

    I'll start off by saying I was the most reluctant convert to moving my kids to Ortega. We were living in the city but moved to Pacifica last year and opted to keep our kids in SF public school where my oldest had finally gotten an IEP placement that we were pleased with. However inter-district transfers need to be submitted every year and Pacifica denied our request for this year. Initially I was mildly steamed but we decided to meet with the Special Education folks before putting up a fight. Best move ever. The bottom line is that the city probably has fewer resources to go around. We were accustomed to fighting tooth and nail for every single service in the city but our experience with Pacifica has been completely different. You ask for what you want and they just give it to you! The Principal Teachers and PTO are all wonderful and the sense of community is unparalleled in my experience. )

  • (12 months ago)

    We love Ortega. Our son has a wonderful teacher. The school offers a very well balanced education including science and art in kindergarten.

  • (1 year ago)

    Principal and PTO are doing a very good job raising money for Sciences Lab computer lab art and a lot more activities. Very good teachers involved and available!

  • (2 years ago)

    I can't say enough great things about this school! It was our first choice for many reasons and has been amazing so far!! My son just finished kindergarten and his teacher (along with the other kinder teachers) was very on top of things. She dealt students fairly and at the varying academic levels. She treated everyone kindly and taught them the importance of respecting themselves and others. The parent involvement here and PTO have been fabulous! We couldn't have imagined a better year and anticipate the older grades well go well too.

  • (2 years ago)

    My child is currently attending kindergarten at Ortega. As many other parents we chose this school as a second choice mainly because it is so close to our home. We really connected with the principal and we were excited to start a new phase on my child's life. Six months into the school year I feel drained because the experience has been less than rewarding partly because our child and the teacher have not connected at the same level expected. Despite the conversations we've had with both the principal and the teacher we have seen little progress. I understand the challenges that teachers must face given the limited budget assigned to the school which is very sad because I still believe in the principal's philosophy and I truly admire his drive. The PTO is fabulous and involved and the daycare is just a few steps away. However I'm still concerned about my child's education and have little hopes for my child to move to first grade so I'm looking for options outside the school district. Don't get me wrong this is a good thriving school. It's just not for us.

  • (2 years ago)

    I have a first grader at Ortega (started in Kinder) and I cannot say enough great things about this school. After moving from the East Bay (Antioch) and seeing how a decent school district can turn quite frightening and fast I was a bit nervous. With budget cuts I assumed they were all heading that direction. That "fear" faded Fast! All around fantastic staff that seems to truly care and know your child and the best Secretary in the world! A principal that cares listens and is actively involved. Teachers are great and take time to get to know you and your child. Creating lesson plans to fit each child s needs - whether they need additional help or need a bit more advanced program than standard... I could go on and on! Amazing reading program and the enrichment classes such as Science and Art are favorites with the kids. Most schools have had to cut such programs but our staff district parents etc. do what they can to keep them in place! And a fantastic PTO - all parents are members and mosvery involved. Most staff and families are on a first name basis . Okay I must stop as I am running out of "characters"!!!! Email me with any questions or comments.

  • (3 years ago)

    Amazing! Love this school. The teacher/PTO involvement is wonderful. So glad my Daughter goes here.

  • (4 years ago)

    I couldn't ask for a better set of teachers! I have a kinder and 2nd grader and so far their teachers have been the best! The office staff is wonderful too couldn't ask for a better school for my children to attend!

  • (4 years ago)

    My grandson has attended Ortega and my daughter will not move from the Ortega School area she is pleased with the education that he is receiving and will soon have another child attending then another )

  • (4 years ago)

    For the life of me I cannot understand why Ortega only has a '6' overall rating. When we moved to SF in July 2008 we did a ton of research on area school and ended up going with Pacifica SD. Since we got here in the summer the lottery was already done and we were told we had to go to Ortega. I came on this website and read the reviews and I was honestly nervous to attend Ortega because the other schools had much higher ratings. The only thing I can think of as to why they are getting higher ratings is because they are K-8 schools. My kids loved Ortega...we have since moved to Mountain View and hate it here. If It made sense to commute to Ortega believe me we absolutely would. This school deserves a much higher score than it has. We miss you Otters! 5++++stars.

  • (4 years ago)

    My son is in kindergarten and has Mrs. Louthan. She is an amazing teacher who goes above and beyond for each student. My son was diagnosed with ADHD and she has been 100% supportive and patient with him and working with him and me daily on behavioral strategies in the classroom. The principal Mr. Lorenzen has also been supportive in this. Mrs. Lynn runs the office like a well oiled machine she manages to know all of the kids and parents names. This school is excellent and gets overshadowed by the competitiveness of the K-8 schools. If all Pacifica schools were K-8 there would definitely be a rush to get in.

  • (4 years ago)

    All three of my kids are attending Ortega. We moved from a private school and are very happy with the quality of the staff and teaching methods. My kids love school and feel like their teacher really cares about them.

  • (4 years ago)

    Wonderful school with great teachers!

  • (4 years ago)

    I am very happy with Ortega my son is in 3rd grade and daughter is in Kindergarten. I absonlutely love the teachers and the school is beautiful. There is a large parent involvment.

  • (5 years ago)

    The teachers principal ans staff are committed to providing the best education to the kids. They also listen to the concerns and ideas of the parents and have a great deal of parent help and involvement.

  • (5 years ago)

    Ortega is a wonderful place for my children to learn. The teacher principals and other staff care deeply about education and each child as a seperate and important person. We feel very blessed to have our kids at Ortega.

  • (5 years ago)

    It is a family friendly school. They get the parents and grandparents involved in class school and fundraiser opportunities. Ortega has a wonderful teaching standard and the children enjoy learning. Even with all the cuts ortega continues to be an outstanding school. We are proud to be an ortega otter family. Our grandson loves school and from day one felt comfortale and has excelled in his studies. He is in second grade and can read very well spell and do math and best of all likes it. Thank you ortega teachers staff and parents for making school a wonderful experience.

See all reviews on GreatSchools

Overall score

(based on 27 ratings & reviews)

  • Teacher quality
  • Principal leadership
  • Parent involvement

Nearby

Nearest Elementary Schools

Nearest Middle Schools

Nearest High Schools