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About This School

Chaparral Elementary School is a public elementary school in San Diego. The principal of Chaparral Elementary School is Dawn Zwibel and can be contacted at dzwibel@powayusd.com. 871 students go to Chaparral Elementary School and identify mostly as Hispanic; White, non-Hispanic; and Filipino. 16% of the Chaparral Elementary School students have "limited English proficiency." 7% of the 871 students here have subsidized lunches. The ratio of students to teachers at Chaparral Elementary School is 20:1. Painted Rock Elementary School is one of the nearest elementary schools.

Extracurricular Activities

  • Arts

    • Band
    • Chorus
    • Dance
    • Drawing painting
    • Orchestra
  • Sports

    • Cross country
    • P.E. classes

Student Ethnicities

Ethnicity School District
Hispanic 9% 11%
White, non-Hispanic 69% 55%
Filipino 3% 7%
Multiracial 3% %
Black, non-Hispanic 2% 3%
Asian 15% 17%
Unspecified 10% 6%
Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander 0.9% 34490%
Native American or Native Alaskan 0.6% 0.4%
Pacific Islander 0.6% 0.7%

Student Subgroups

Subgroup School District
Students eligible for free or reduced-price lunch program 7% 11%
Limited English proficiency 16% 12%

Community Rating & Reviews

  • (10 months ago)

    Competitive parental involvement (good and bad). Allows plenty of recess/movement. Student body is respectful and no bully behavior experienced. Many extracurricular opportunities offered but only through third party vendors and overpriced. Teachers focus on high test scores and fail to adapt their teaching to individual students. Lessons are rushed and crammed. Too much homework (average 1 hr 2-3 rd and 3 hrs by 5th grade and given over district recess). Be prepared to pay for all workbooks and technology (ipad laptop) despite funding two computer labs (mainly utilized for testing). Art is funded but is minimal inconsistent and dependent upon volunteers. Running club is a mandatory" requirement for the staff to log enough PE hours. Classes have too many students 28-35. Favoritism in class assignments is quite apparent due to the amount of cliques seen with the PTA and volunteer mothers and their relationships with the staff. School nurse" is more concerned with daily funding than sending sick children home when not feeling well. No busing makes for drop off/pick up extremely difficult and time-consuming. Overall average/good academics but questionable otherwise.

  • (1 year ago)

    My son is currently in 2nd grade at Chaparral. The teachers are highly motivated to teach in the best way for each child in their class. The Principal is driven and very active in supporting all programs to the benefit of the student population. It has strong academic standards even for the area which is high itself. The parent involvement is almost unbelievably high because of this the school has volunteer led art and run club programs as well as a Character Counts program. Both PTA and Foundation at this school are strong and actively involved in creating the best atmosphere possible for learning for the entire student population.

  • (1 year ago)

    Chaparral is an AMAZING school. Recently named a California Distinguished School we live up to the title! Chaparral is full of excellent teachers who are kind caring and amazing at their craft. The parent community is strong and supportive. The administration is supportive of parents teachers and students. Learning in a safe loving productive environment is the first priority of the staff her.

  • (1 year ago)

    Chaparral Elementary is a fantastic place for kids. The staff and principal work hard to make sure that every child learns and meets his/her full potential. The school has a strong parent community that supports ongoing programs such as music PE and technology despit the budget cuts and increased class sizes. The current principal came on board in August 2008 and has been a breath of fresh air. She's a stong communicator loves children and maintains high standards for staff and students. She's happy and always seems to have a smile on her face. She makes strong connections with the community. She was instrumental in leading Chaparral to recieve the Califonia Distinguished School Award last year. I can't say enough nice things about the school and its leadership. My children love it here and so will you!

  • (1 year ago)

    As a resident alien I was disappointed with this school and had to remove my children from it. During a school assembly I was FORCED AGAINST MY CONSTITUTIONAL WILL by the school principal to participate in the Pledge of Allegiance to the flag when my true allegiance is still to another country. This was in clear violation of the First Ammendment to the US Constitution. The school principal's closed minded views of indoctrination have no place in our modern and globalized society. I'm surprised that they do not say the Lord's Prayer in class each morning as well.

  • (1 year ago)

    My son was a student at Chaparral for 2 1/2 years in that time period we had such a bad experience. The first day of school my son was so excited to go to school it didn't last for long he started to complain did not want to go to school found out the teacher he had was screaming at the kids i talked to her about it and her answer was that my son was not ready for kindergarten she moved him down to pep making him loose a year. When my son went to first grade he let us know that he was afraid of his teacher and when we brought this to her attention she said "well good" I did not know what to think of this we had a meeting with the principal. We worked everything out I didn't want to make a big thing out of this but I was wrong. The last draw for me was when I was told of a family emergency. That day I took my son to school and on my was to dropping him off my cell phone rang I only answered it because my car was not in motion the person who is out there was so rude after talking to her she slammed the door to my car I took this to the principal all she did was humiliate me and told the other person that she had done nothing wrong. My son is at painted rock now love it

  • (2 years ago)

    Excellent teachers and parent volunteers high academic expectations one of the few CA elementary schools with a P.E. teacher and music teacher thanks to PTA funding Foundation funds the fabulous Art Corp program and the computer lab extra programs like Melody Makers (choir) and Fitness Club (running) help make this school one of the best in San Diego County.

  • (5 years ago)

    New principle is great - excellent communicator decisive firm and team player. School start-up was poor- last minute teacher notices the night before kids did not get to meet teachers in advance and initial open house left no time for Q & A. Some teachers seem to avoid parents react defensively to student performance questions and provide little to no communication on a week to week basis (especially at report card time). It would be great if all teachers took example from principle about proactive communication always better recvd even if the news is not good.

  • (5 years ago)

    We just started our son here and are reserving judgment. It is a very large school with 7 kindergarten classes. There are issues with the sheer number of kids on the playground (they take lunches and recesses in shifts) and with safety issues in the parking lot during dropoff and pickup times. The teachers seem good and well-intentioned but the curriculum is quite academic and there are lots of worksheets and busywork even at the kindergarten level. The entire district just implemented a full day schedule for kindergarten. The principal is new and is making a real effort at communication with phone messages and emails to the parents nearly every day and an improved website. New construction completed with a beautiful playground.

  • (6 years ago)

    The principal is a poor communicator. She does not follow through on policies that she has instituted. She seems to be more interested in keeping her test scores up and continuing the legacy of the 'Blue Ribbon School' status more than doing her job well. The teachers are very good and they do have a wide variety of activities in which the children may participate outside of the classroom. The individual teachers are what make this a Blue Ribbon school. It is too bad that they can not get a principal of the quality to match the rest of the school.

  • (6 years ago)

    The teachers are very organized and thorough and have a very good understanding of the children. I echo the sentiment about the principal about her aloofness toward the parents and teachers. The after school programs seem to be decent. I was a bit surprised to see that the teachers have to be traffic cops after school and that they will get in 'trouble' if they aren't at their positions immediately after the bell. I experienced this the other day when I tried to to talk to my son's teacher and we had to go to the parking lot to direct student pick-up traffic. However I give the school 4 stars mainly because of the teachers!

  • (6 years ago)

    My son's teacher is wonderful through and through. The parents participation is very heavy. The parents also kind of form their own exclusive cliques.

  • (7 years ago)

    Chaparral is one of the top schools in the top district in Southern California. The teachers are exceptional. Remodeling will make the playground really kid-friendly. The foundation and parent involvemnet at the site are a model for all schools. Can't say enough good thigs about the Hawks!

  • (7 years ago)

    I have been actively involved with committees and fundraisers as well as in various classrooms and on field trips. I agree that the volunteer/parental support is very good at this school but maybe over zealous. The teaching staff is one of the best but as with any school there are some weaker teachers and few exceptional teachers who will be your child's favorite teacher throughout their school career. The Principal is not at all well-liked by many if any. The Principal is unapproachable and unfriendly. I can't imagine working for someone like this Principal. Construction is nearly complete. New technology is top-of-the-line. In a safe and up-scale neighborhood. The Principal is the only downfall. What about the beautiful murals we had before the school repainting?

  • (7 years ago)

    I've been involved at the school for a few years. The children and parent support is great but some of the teachers have been teaching too long and have a hard time with change and working with others. Unlike others I think the Principal is great and does care about the students she just has her hands full with construction and the teachers. I think the quality of the school is great except for a few teachers who need to retire.

  • (7 years ago)

    I agree that the Principal is not effective nor liked. The Vice Principal however is well liked by my children. The school is undergoing a remodel/add-on and it's been a mess. Programs have been 'let go' this year but hopefully will be reinstated eventually. Some good teachers and some not so good. Limited play area for the children now and limited shady areas. Good cafeteria good character program. Strong PTA and volunteer program. They should go back to grading with A B C D & F; not with their confusing check mark system that they have in place. We truly miss the enrichment programs! And yes...where is the Science Fair? This school needs improvement...hopefully it will get it. After school care is not desirable.

  • (7 years ago)

    It is my feeling that the Principal is completely ineffective and uses poor judgement. Communication with her use to be non-existent and now we get countless automated phone calls about every little thing some days getting up to 3 per day. I believe she should be relieved of her position. There are some teachers that are not appropriate for this school. The enrichment classes have been discontinued with no explanation as well as the annual Science Fair. No mention of that at all to the parents. The campus is a mess with the construction and has been unsafe at times for the children. These does seem to be a good character building program in place. Good music program.

  • (7 years ago)

    My son is very intelligent. This school keeps adjusting it's students ratings. They use check marks plus signs and minus and sometimes actual letter grades. It extremely confusing. Parents can be very involved. The current Principal is not well liked. The school this year has been disrupted due to construction and it has not been managed well. We have had problems with two teachers one that should retire and one that should be teaching military or high school. This year we have worked on a Science Project for months and there is no word that they are even going to host a Science Fair. We miss the carnival in the Fall they keep choosing to do dances 'Hoe Downs' instead. The playground has been smaller due to construction and there is limited shade for the children. No enrichment programs anymore. They do have a strong ethic program.

  • (7 years ago)

    Our family has attended Chaparral for 8 years and has 6 more to go. The school is situated in a safe neighborhood and is staffed with some of the best teachers out there. As with any school there are a few bad ones but the good ones are so superior that they make up for the bad ones. The Prinicipal is not at all communicative. Our new VP is awesome! In such a short time he has managed to build a rapport with so many of the kids and families. Volunteerism is one of the highest in the district with a strong community of families and teachers dispite the lack of leadership in the Principle.

  • (7 years ago)

    Having had five collective years at this school please heed the warning...don't expect much from the principal's leadership and administration. This school is not equipped to deal with any child that does not fit the norm as far as learning and teaching are concerned.

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