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San Marino Elementary School

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Meet Your Principal

Dr. Omaira Lee

Dr. Omaira Lee






December Principal’s Message


December is here! Cooler temperatures… disappearing daylight. The upcoming weeks can become quite overwhelming as families prepare for family gatherings, special travels, and perhaps some shopping.  As we move towards the end of 2019 and the beginning of 2020, I feel so fortunate to be a part of a community of students, parents, and teachers whom are united in a desire to provide the very best environment for each individual child. Many thanks to those parents, who have helped in classrooms, participate in parent volunteer club, help organize events, take part in PTA, sixth grade fundraising, and or support us with a kind word or smile. Some of these things require a huge commitment of time and energy. It is much appreciated and please know that we could not do it without you!

I would also like to thank our wonderful staff for their hard work and their commitment to AVID throughout the year. Our teachers, who are so caring of the children and passionate in their desire to help all students achieve, along with our teacher-aides. I also want to thank my office staff, who greet all visitors, answer the phone, and do all the things behind the scene that helps make the school function.

As always, if I can be of assistance, please feel free to email me or make an appointment to meet with me. We have a great community when it comes to contributing toward our students’ learning and making decisions that impact others in positive ways.

San Marino is an AVID Elementary School

AVID—Advancement Via Individual Determination—fosters a safe, open culture, high expectations for teachers and students, and collaboration in all classrooms.

Teachers are inherently passionate about education. AVID helps teachers shift from delivering content to facilitating learning, resulting in an inquiry-based, student-centric classroom. These elements are at the core of our approach to closing the opportunity gap:

  1. Relationship building- Schools today include students of diverse cultures, languages, and backgrounds. AVID helps teachers relate to all students. AVID trains educators to recognize the unique circumstances that each student brings to the classroom. Teachers are encouraged to spend time throughout the year intentionally building relationships with their students. They start with low-risk relationship-building activities that progress into deeper connections, allowing teachers to tap into the knowledge and experiences students bring to the classroom.
  2. High Expectations - High expectations begin by changing what educators and students believe is possible. AVID teachers know that all students are capable, often challenging many core beliefs. AVID helps educators identify and change student practices that keep students out of advanced courses.  AVID-trained teachers provide the additional help students need to believe in themselves and handle the school’s most rigorous classes. AVID trained teachers strongly believe that all students can go to college and that they prepare students for their future.
  3. Collaboration, Inquiry, and Organization - Too many classrooms are “sit and get” when research shows that our students need to move and collaborate. At AVID trainings, teachers get to become students again and experience activities that engage their minds and bodies in learning. Here, they have an opportunity to learn from teachers and teach each other. They leave inspired to take these activities back to their classrooms, ready to try new techniques with their own students.
  4. Layering Existing Curriculum - AVID shifts the manner with which teachers facilitate learning without layering on a new curriculum. Teachers have the flexibility to add tools from AVID to augment learning of any subject. Starting at the elementary level, AVID students hone their academic skills, including note-taking, organization, time management, and critical thinking. They engage in peer tutoring, collaborative study groups, and student-centered activities such as Socratic Seminars and Philosophical Chairs. With AVID’s help, students gain the soft skills and confidence to take on a college- and career-ready path.


“The goal of education in America must be for the purpose of teaching all of our students to the very highest levels – for lifting up all people?” ~Mary Catherine Swanson, AVID Founder