Del Mar Schools


The Del Mar Union School District has grown from a very small school district (two schools in 1992) to a medium-sized school district (six schools in 2002) in the space of 10 years.

In the fall of 2005, the District's newest school, Sycamore Ridge, will open to students and staff. The district's growth is understandable because of the desirability of the beautiful Del Mar/Carmel Valley area and the outstanding educational program for which Del Mar is known.


5 Ways San Diego Has a Great Culture for Higher Education

As the second largest city in the sunny state of California, San Diego is home to approximately 40 colleges and universities as of 2012, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. Schools range from Fashion Careers College and Paul Mitchell the School to the Newschool of Architecture and Design and the Thomas Jefferson School of Law. From bodywork to a bachelors in psychology, you can find a beneficial program of study in San Diego. Still not sure if San Diego is the right fit for you? Here are five solid reasons to study at colleges in San Diego.

Give Back to the Community

Imagine being able to study graphic design in a highly progressive classroom, while using what you learn out in the real world. UC San Diego Extension Digital Arts Center Graphic and We Design Program students are actively involved in putting their skills to good use by working exclusively with two community nonprofits. C2SDK is a nonprofit established to educate children in San Diego about computers, as well as providing them with free computers and software. The nonprofit Arts for Barks allows students to showcase their graphic design work; all proceeds support rescue and service dogs in San Diego.

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Project Management in 15 Months

Thanks to the California College San Diego’s Property Management focus in the Business Management and Accounting program you can gain skills and experience that you need to succeed in as few as 15 months. The program is also available online for those students who work full time or prefer distance learning.

Preparing for the Health Care Industry in Six Months

At the College of Extended Studies at San Diego State University, students can earn their certificates in professional health care with ease. According to the U.S. News and World Report, the health care industry comprises 13 out of 50 of the top careers in 2011. The program, available online and in-class settings, qualifies students to become health care professionals ready to work in as few as six months. The courses include hands-on practice and course work arranged for working adults to teach them the necessary skills to get into the workforce rapidly.

The Scenery, the Location

According to the Weather Channel, San Diego has one of the top two weather climates in summer, making for perfect beach days and surfing seasons. After a grueling day of classwork, you can relax on Pacific Beach or explore La Jolla Cove no matter what the season, thanks to the mild climate year round. The close proximity of Mexico allows students to become immersed in the Spanish language and Latino culture without boarding an airplane. You'll move there for the education but you'll find yourself loathe to leave. Don't be surprised if, come graduation, when you fill out job applications online they're all for local employers!

Plenty of Parks and Recreation

From the cultural park of Balboa, which is home to the San Diego Zoo and the San Diego Museum of Art among dozens of other locales, to the hiking trails of Cowles Mountain, students in San Diego have plenty of options. Whether you prefer to wind down with a Saturday at the shopping malls, or you love to end your busy day with a scenic nature walk, San Diego has more than just dozens of sandy beaches to offer.


Del Mar School History

Country Schools

The first schools moved from barn to barn in the sparsely populated area now known as Del Mar and Solana Beach, in the 1870's and 1880's. Teachers in those days not only taught students, but they lived with a farm family during the school year. Generally, the teacher's living quarters was a shack built onto the side of the family's barn. The teacher helped the family by doing chores, such as the family's laundry. Going to school in a barn had some disadvantages, as you can imagine - there were roosters crowing and lots of flies! Students didn't have paper, but they had little blackboards, and they wrote their lessons in chalk.

Before 1900, there was a country school on Carmel Valley Road called the Soledad School. Soledad School also had a library for adults, too. Eventually the school closed down, and the students joined the Del Mar School District.

Del Mar's first school was built in 1888. It was located on 10th Street on a hill about two blocks east of Camino del Mar. Del Mar was then a small village of about 25 cottages. The teacher used to heat the school building by burning wood in an iron stove. The students used the one room on the lower floor as their classroom, and they ate their lunches outside. The upstairs room was used for storage.

The school was known for its good plays - every pupil would act in them; the mothers would make the costumes; and the whole town would come to the performances.

The Del Mar School District was created October 3, 1906 after a survey of the entire Soledad and San Dieguito District indicated that there were 28 children between the ages of 5 and 17.

At that time, most of the land in this area was owned by the South Coast Land Company, the company that brought the railroad to Del Mar. The District was created by the efforts of the railroad company to locate a place for their section crew workers to live. Bond issues were approved on June 3, 1907.

By 1920, Del Mar was a growing town, and a bigger school was needed. A new school was built at Camino del Mar and 10th Street, the location of the current government offices of the City of Del Mar. By September 1921, the new school was ready, and 36 students in Grades 1 to 8 started school. The first kindergarten was not held until 1946. Eventually, a concrete wall was built to keep out the noise of the trucks and cars, since the school was on the main street.

No history of the 10th Street School can be told without mentioning Ruth Grove Niemann. She came to Del Mar in 1919, as an unmarried lady, and taught students in the old schoolhouse. When she retired in 1956, she was Mrs. Niemann, principal of Del Mar Shores School with 12 classrooms. In the beginning, Mrs. Niemann was the schoolteacher, principal, superintendent, secretary, nurse, counselor, and janitor, all rolled into one. She stayed up very late each night preparing her lesson plans, because she had eight different grades to teach the next day!
By 1945, there were three teachers at the 10th Street School, one using the basement as a classroom, and the School Board bought five acres of land for a new school on 9th Street - what we now know as the "Shores School".

A $55,000 bond was passed by the voters for constructing three classrooms. During the Thanksgiving holiday in 1947, the three teachers moved all movable parts of the old building to the Shores School, and the old school on 10th Street was sold.

The school grew rapidly and expansion was required. A $60,000 bond was passed in 1949, and new classrooms were occupied in 1951. The driving force through this period of expansion was Ruth Grove Neimann, and the Multi-Purpose Room at the Shores School is named in her honor. She retired in 1956.

As the school district continued to grow, a new school was built in 1965 on the eastern edge of town - Del Mar Heights School, followed by Del Mar Hills School in 1974.

The enrollment of the school district was 1,120 students in 1976 at three schools. Enrollment declined slightly in later years, as the population in the City of Del Mar stabilized and the boom in Carmel Valley had not yet occurred. The Shores School was no longer used as a public school, since all the growth was moving east.

Once construction of homes in Carmel Valley commenced, the school district's enrollment exploded. In 1992, Carmel Del Mar School opened, which was the District's first school east of Interstate 5. In 1998, Ashley Falls School opened, in 2000, Sage Canyon School opened, and in 2002, Torrey Hills School opened. The District's seventh school is slated to open in September 2005. All of these schools are in Carmel Valley. Current enrollment is 3,500 students.

Whether the enrollment is 36 students or 3,500 students, the spirit of pioneers like Ruth Grove Niemann to provide the best education possible in the best facilities possible is alive and well in those who have followed her.

Research compiled from a variety of sources, including "One Hundred Years of Going to School in Del Mar, 1872-1976" by Alice Goodkind and other District documents.


School Links

Del Mar Union School District


San Dieguito Union High School District


Solana Beach School District


San Diego County Colleges


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