History of the
Rancho Santa Fe School

The school history for Rancho Santa Fe commences in 1887 when the Aliso School District was formed. In 1905, Ferdinand Cohen and his neighbors erected a one room wood frame school building and named it the Aliso Canyon School. As years went on, and particularly after the Santa Fe Land Company began to develop what is now Rancho Santa Fe, the number of families in the area increased. In the early 1920's students moved into the Village of Rancho Santa Fe where a new Lillian Rice designed building, located on the northwest corner of La Granada and Paseo Delicias, was being completed. The first graduating class had one student, Ivy Fidero (Laughter) who still resides near the site of the original Aliso Canon School. Several years ago, Mrs. Laughter and Principal Glenda Sumida (also a Ranch School graduate), unveiled the "First School" historical plaque.

In 1927, we officially became the Rancho Santa Fe School District. By 1931, there were more students on the Ranch and it was time to construct a larger schoolhouse, which the community did. This is now the Association building and 35-40 students, with two teachers, moved into the building in the early 1930's. Rancho Santa Fe was slowly being discovered and by 1947 there were 47 students, k-6. By the early 1950's the school population had increased to more than 100 and the Association building was no longer large enough. It also failed to meet new California earthquake standards so a third, and the present school site, fronting on La Granada and Avenida de Acacias, was selected. The first seven room building here was completed in 1955. Numbers continued to grow and 1960 some classes returned to the Association building. 1961 saw the addition of the second 4 room wing and 220 students, grades k-6, together on the same campus.

About that time the community was recognizing the need for a library and the district sold 1/3 of an acre to the new Library Guild for $1.00. This was the first of several transactions between guild and school which have helped make possible a lovely library for the community and most rewarding facilities and programs for our students. By 1968 the school was bulging again and the community approved construction bonds and authorized the return of 7th and 8th graders from the Junior High in Solana Beach. 1971 saw completion of the Middle School and present administration building and all students, k-8, were educated in the local school. Following a very generous contribution by Gene Fletcher and the dedication of a new Rancho Santa Fe Youth Board (with original members guarantying construction loans for up to $10,000 each) a school gym and youth center was constructed.

The community and its school population continued to grow slowly but inexorably over the next years with classes housed, at various times, in the Fire Station and in portable classrooms located on school and Association property.

The Middle School library, auditorium, art and computer rooms, were also being used for classrooms by the late 1980's. In March, 1991, district residents overwhelmingly approved a bond measure and the two story building was completed in time for September 1992 classes. The new addition has 10 classrooms, a large art studio, and modern science/computer lab and facilities for Special Education and music. It also permits us to use Middle School and older facilities for the purpose for which they were planned.

From the parents and neighbors who constructed the Aliso Canyon School of 1905 to the community supported school addition of 1992 and programs of 1996-98, Rancho Santa Fe has worked to plan and provide well for its children, that they might be prepared to become participating and successful citizens. We seek to provide a school which academically and in all regards reflects our splendid community and enhances the values and welfare of all its citizens.


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