History of Scripps Ranch Schools

Scripps Ranch Schools Through The Ages

September 1970

  • Miramar Ranch Elementary School Site I opens in a temporary building. There are only four teachers and approximately 125 students in kindergarten through second grade.
  • The school has portable classrooms and is located on Red Rock Road near Scripps Ranch Blvd. The principal is Bill Berner, who is also the principal of a school in Mira Mesa where the students had attended prior to the opening of Miramar Ranch Elementary School.
  • At the time, older children are bussed to Einstein Jr. High School and Kearny High School.

Fall 1970

  • A Schools Committee is formed under the chairmanship of Ivor Lemaire. The committee campaigns relentlessly to get a permanent school in Scripps Miramar Ranch. Rapid growth soon necessitates split sessions, double sessions and more temporary buildings at another site.
  • Ivor Lemaire and Dr. Phil Halfaker, the community’s elected School Board representative, push the community’s need for schools through the school district.

Spring 1971

  • Leadership Housing Systems, Inc., now a subsidiary of Cerro Corp., writes that it has acquired 200 acres of land from Macco and is no longer related to the former company. At this point, they also report that the second temporary school site has been rough graded.

April 15, 1971

  • Miramar Ranch Elementary School Site II opens at the corner of Red Cedar and Aviary with three bungalows to help accommodate the rapidly growing number of children in Scripps Ranch. At this time, two temporary elementary school facilities operate in Scripps Ranch.
  • Both temporary school sites do not have cafeterias. The District cannot provide cafeterias for temporary schools due to a lack of funds. The temporary facilities are provided by Leadership Housing and thus are limited to classroom and administrative spaces.
  • The future of a permanent school facility depends on the outcome of a $133 million bond issue on the June ballot.

Scripps Ranch Penny Press Volume 4 Miramar Ranch Elementary School

September 1971

  • By the start of its second year, the student population at Miramar Ranch Elementary School has grown from 125 students to over 500 students.
Pouring concrete pads for Miramar Ranch Elementary School 1975 Scripps Ranch
Pouring concrete pads for Miramar Ranch Elementary School, 1975.
Children outside temporary Miramar Ranch Site II Scripps Ranch
Children outside air-conditioned bungalows at temporary Miramar Ranch Site II, while construction of permanent school takes place.

Autumn 1971

  • Schools Committee Chairman, Ivor Lemaire, and others are very active in efforts to bring schools to Scripps Ranch. The Schools Committee requests that the developer donate land so that the community will have something of a permanent nature for its schools.LHSI states that it is not prepared to donate land since providing permanent schools is the responsibility of the Board of Education, but it is willing to offer the District a five-year lease option on Miramar Ranch School II and the two permanent elementary school sites.
  • Over the objections of Mira Mesa and Scripps Ranch residents, the School Board designates Montgomery Junior High and Mission Bay High as the schools to be attended by Scripps Ranch students. The School Board does not have any portable classrooms available for the Ranch.

Spring 1972

  • The School Board accepts Leadership Housing’s offer to continue to provide elementary school facilities until August 3, 1975. Since the temporary school situation is stabilized, the Schools Committee focused its efforts on the quest for permanent schools for Scripps Ranch. The Schools Committee successfully petitions the Board of Education to designate Taft Junior High School as the school for Scripps Ranch students starting in Fall 1972. The district does not pay for transportation to Junior and Senior High School and the buses cost parents an average of 60 cents per day.

January 16, 1973

  • The School Board instructs District Staff to prepare papers to purchase School Site II, for use as a permanent elementary school in Scripps Ranch.

February 20, 1973

  • At a special Schools Committee meeting, the community votes not to join Mira Mesa in its efforts to petition for a separate school district.

November 1974

  • “After four plus years of frustration, the community finally assured our children of permanent, full activity elementary school facilities.” Proposition XX passes, which is a lease-purchase measure for the construction of 22 separate school building projects, including Miramar Ranch I at Red Cedar, Miramar Ranch II at Avenida Magnifica and Mesa Madera, and a junior and senior high school in Mira Mesa.

Spring 1976

  • The School District announces that it cannot buy the property slated for the Avenida Magnifica school sit,e since there are not sufficient students in the area to warrant the school at the present time. The District wants to extend its option to purchase the parcel from Leadership for another three years. Leadership offers the District the opportunity to obtain the park site located on Avenida Magnifica at no cost as long as they purchase the adjoining school site before August when the current option on the site expires.

June 15, 1976

  • The School Board votes to purchase the site for the Avenida Magnifica Elementary School, but does not vote to construct the school at the current time. A letter writing campaign and meetings with district representatives continue efforts to get the School Board to approve using Proposition XX funds to construct the school.

August 3, 1976

  • The School Board approves the construction of the Avenida Magnifica Elementary School using Proposition XX funds. “This happy outcome should prove once and for all how effective our efforts can be if we are organized and willing to spend the time to petition for the needs or our community.”

September 13, 1976

  • Mira Mesa Junior/Senior High School on Mira Mesa Blvd. opens, with students in grades 7-12. The school holds double sessions with 9-12 graders attending class from 7:30 am 11:30 am and 7-8 graders holding classes from 12:10 pm 4:20 pm until all of the permanent buildings are complete.

November 3, 1976

  • A permanent site of Miramar Ranch Elementary School opens on Red Cedar Dr. with a 45,000 square foot, 18-classroom building, designed to conform to the split-level wooded site.
Cover of program from dedication ceremony for Miramar Ranch, 1976
Cover of the program from the dedication ceremony for Miramar Ranch, 1976.

January 10, 1977

  • Chauncy Jerabek celebrates his 87th birthday by visiting the children at Miramar Ranch Elementary School.
Letter written to Joan Gass by Chauncy Jerabek, 1978
Letter written to Joan Gass by Chauncy Jerabek, 1978.

September 1977

  • Wangenheim Junior High School opens in Mira Mesa. Only 7th graders attend Wangenheim the first year, with all 8th through 12th graders attending Mira Mesa Junior/Senior High School. Jim Vlassis, better known as Mr. V, Wangenheim’s first Principal, greets all incoming 7th graders in a tuxedo to welcome them to secondary school.

January 1978

  • The Miramar Ranch PPA establishes its Block Parent Program, where concerned parents and other people who are likely to be home during the hours when children are usually home or going to or from school will be available to help children in need.

    A Block Parent volunteers their home, in case of an emergency (such as a child being injured or bothered by a stranger or older child), for a child going to or from school.
    Bright orange signs with pictures of Mickey Mouse and the words “Scripps Ranch Child Watch” are placed in the window of homes participating in the Block Parent program to alert children.This program lasts for more than five years and is helpful in creating an emergency phone tree and search parties when children do not return home when their parents expect them to.

April 1978

  • The first delegation of 53 5th and 6th grade students at Miramar Ranch travel to the Rice School on the San Carlos Reservation in Arizona under the long-running Apache Exchange Program.This program was the brainchild of Joan Gass, who saw a 1977 court ruling that each elementary school have a Race-Human Relations committee. Gass thought the concept would benefit both the children of the San Carlos Reservation, where she had recently lived for three years, and the children at Miramar Ranch.Mrs. Gass had to organize the entire program and coordinate all aspects of the program, including approvals from the Apache elders and the San Diego Unified School District. The following month, 32 Apache children would stay a week and visit in San Diego.The Miramar Ranch Apache Exchange Program would run for 16 years.The following text is from the original parent flier announcement for the program.
Miramar Ranch Apache Exchange Club Scripps Ranch
Miramar Ranch Apache Exchange Club literature, 1978.

Dear Parents,

We are delighted to announce that the plan for our exchange program with the San Carlos Indian Reservation is near completion. There is a great deal of work to be done in the weeks ahead. Please help us by completing the enclosed forms and returning them to the office on or before March 15th. We hope the following information and checklist will be helpful.

We have set the cost of the field trip at $70.00 per pupil. This will more than cover the cost of airfare and insurance. It may be necessary for us to use the remaining funds for breakfasts, lunches or unforeseen incidental expenses. Upon our return, the remaining funds will be returned to you, or if you wish, kept in a fund to be used for expenses of field trips for the children when they visit us.

No more than $2 pocket money per child.

Luggage per pupil: 1 bedroll, 1 medium or small suitcase. Be sure all articles are labeled with name and address where possible. The child should have an inventory list for easy packing when returning home.

Miramar Ranch Apache Exchange Club Scripps Ranch cultural day

Miramar Ranch Apache Exchange Club Scripps Ranch cultural day activities

November 1978

    • The City Planning Commission approves the revision to the Conditional Use Permit to allow the Immanuel Baptist Church to run a kindergarten through 12th grade school at its present site. Strict conditions are imposed, calling for no further building. Initially, the Church had sought to build a high school and proposed a 500 percent increase in buildings, quadrupling the number of parking spaces and the removal of many trees. The community heavily opposed the creation of the school.
    • Jerabek Elementary School opens on November 13, 1978, with 18 classrooms using solar energy. On the first day of class, school children parade en masse down Scripps Ranch streets from their old school, Miramar Ranch Elementary, to the brand new elementary school.Chauncy Jerabek at Jerabek Elementary School grand opening, 1978

Chauncy Jerabek is present for the dedication of Chauncy I. Jerabek Elementary. The children sit in the auditorium for the first time in a huge circle surrounding Chauncy Jerabek as he tells them of the trees he planted throughout Scripps Ranch.

In a film documenting the occasion, Jerabek thanked Jo Tarvyd because he felt the school wouldn’t have been named after him except for her efforts. He also recalled that Mrs. Scripps was the most gracious and generous person he had ever met, as she always remembered the ranch employees and people in smaller areas around the ranch.

Chauncy Jerabek at Jerabek Elementary, 1978The children start the school year at Miramar Ranch with teachers who move with them to Jerabek Elementary when it opens.

Chauncy Jerabek passes away on the first of December, less than a month after the opening of Jerabek Elementary School.

May 1979

  • A heritage fair brings history to life at Miramar Ranch Elementary School.Heritage Fair At Miramar Ranch Elementary, 1979

May 1986

  • Students from Serra Junior-Senior High paint a mural depicting hawks in the entry hall of Miramar Ranch Elementary School. The mural is meant to symbolize and embolden the regal hawk as the mascot of the school.

September 1986

  • The average class size for kindergarten at Jerabek is 38 students.

January 1987 

  • The School District holds a meeting at Jerabek School to discuss its proposed plans to relieve overcrowding at Wangenheim Middle School by creating a temporary 7th-grade school to be comprised of 42 portables and be located in western Mira Mesa, making Wangenheim for 8th and 9th graders only.

  • UCSD’s Elliott Field Station, 183 acres maintained in its natural state located off of Pomerado Road, serves many uses for the university. In one area, seismic measurements are taken, another area is reserved as a “magnetic observatory” for the calibration of scientific equipment and in a third area, livestock and other animals used for medical research as part of the UCSD School of Medicine are kept.

February 1987

  • The School Board for the San Diego City Schools approves a long-range facility plan that identifies Jerabek School as a school that will go on a four-track year-round program.

May 1987

  • Mr. Honig, Superintendent of Schools, announces that Jerabek Elementary School received the Distinguished Elementary School Award issued by the California Department of Education.

June 21, 1988

  • Jerabek School is nationally recognized for its selection as the Best Elementary School in the San Diego Unified School District.

January 17, 1989

  • Jerabek School holds its first annual Jog-a-thon.

February 17, 1989

  • Jerabek School holds its first annual Invention Convention.

September 1989

  • A survey is conducted regarding whether Jerabek Elementary should stay on the multi-track year. Results show more people in opposition to a multi-track year-round school.

November 11, 1990

  • The Los Angeles Times reports that Challenger Junior High, Wangenheim Junior High, and Mira Mesa High School are the lowest-ranking schools to receive funding on a per-student basis.

June 1991

  • Parent-pay bus rides to Mira Mesa schools (Wangenheim Junior High School and Mira Mesa High School) are discontinued because the State of California Department of Education informs the School District that it prohibits the charging of fees for home-to-school transportation and violates the state provision of providing a free public education.

July 17, 1991

  • Groundbreaking for Scripps Ranch High School takes place with over 100 community members and school district personnel in attendance. Surprising the crowd, the Superintendent of Schools announces that BCED/McMillin had made a $2 million contribution to the facility.The building of the high school comes after 17 years of hard work and perseverance by community members. The high school has been a lifelong dream of Karen McElliott, the Miramar Ranch North Community Planning Committee Chairman whose children are now too old to attend the high school.

    Theresa Colby, Bob Dingeman, Sarah Fraleigh, Joan Gass, Aileen Heimlich, Joan Le Duca, Lynn Parke, Linda Rogoff, and Karen McElliott donated countless hours to bring a high school to Scripps Ranch.

November 1991

  • Miramar Ranch Elementary School’s “Apache Exchange Program” earns the prestigious George Washington Medal. This award is bestowed annually to “Americans who, through word or deed, help maintain the principles of our nation and fulfill the Freedom Foundation’s Bill of Responsibilities: ‘To respect the rights and beliefs of others.’”  

Spring 1993

  • The last student exchange between Miramar Ranch Elementary and Rice School on the San Carlos Reservation occurs. The 16-year program comes to a close due to several factors.

Miramar Ranch Apache Exchange Club Scripps Ranch field trip

  • Miramar Ranch Elementary School’s 6th graders are now in middle school instead of elementary school, and 5th graders are generally too young to have as successful an experience.The fact is that the exchange experience is not as diverse and different anymore as when the program started, due to the increased exposure of the Apache children to white culture due to technological advances.

Miramar Ranch Apache Exchange Club Scripps Ranch field trips

September 7, 1993

  • Scripps Ranch High School opens its doors to its first-year students. Since it is a new school, the administration is able to recruit among the brightest and best teachers from throughout the district.For the seven posted department chair positions, they had almost 100 applicants. For the 30 certificated teacher positions, the school had 274 applicants and interviewed 162 people.

    Dr. Barbara Brooks is the school’s first principal. All sports are offered the first year, with the exception of varsity football (although the junior varsity football team plays five varsity teams their first season). QUALCOMM and San Diego Trust and Savings are official partners with the new school.

November 5, 1993

  • Scripps Ranch High School holds Newcoming (aka homecoming), complete with a Newcoming Parade that proceeds up Treena and Hibert to Scripps Ranch Blvd. down Scripps Lake Dr. and back onto campus.

January 13, 1994

  • An official dedication ceremony is held for Scripps Ranch High School. Associated Student Body President, Ken Goss, emcees the dedication ceremony. Scripps Ranch High School is the first high school to be dedicated in San Diego County since University City High School 15 years prior.Members of the Scripps and Jessop family, whose relatives occupied a small farm on the high school site back in 1890, are present for the ceremony.

February 1994

  • A community survey is conducted regarding what to name the new elementary school.

May 1994

  • The San Diego School Board approves the plans for turning the site of the proposed third Scripps Ranch elementary school into a middle school campus in order to alleviate overcrowding of the Wangenheim Middle School. Around this time period, Jerabek staff and parents also vote to move from a multi-track school calendar to a single year-round track rather than switch back to a traditional school calendar schedule.

September 1, 1994

  • A groundbreaking ceremony is held for Scripps Ranch Elementary School #4, to later be known as Dingeman Elementary School.

Dingeman Elementary groundbreaking, Scripps Ranch, 1994

Dingeman Elementary School groundbreaking, Scripps Ranch, 1994

June 1995

  • The School District and community members work on the design for the new Scripps Ranch middle school. The schematic design is approved by the Board of Education. In light of the change in design, the overall construction budget for the new school is increased by $1.3 million to $11.6 million.The Board also adds another $500,000 to provide two-story portables at the site to aid in fitting a middle school onto an elementary school site. Colonel Bob Dingeman’s recommendation to name the middle school after Supreme Court Justice Marshall receives 83 percent of the votes cast.

September 1995

  • Colonel Robert E. Dingeman Elementary School opens, which reflects the first time that the San Diego Unified School District names a school after an active living person.

November 1995

  • SRHS receives the prestigious Golden Bell Award from the California School Boards Foundation. SRHS is one of eight high schools among the 32 total schools selected in California to receive the award. The school receives its award for “Spotlight on Success: Developing the High School of Tomorrow Today.” This project includes an emphasis on preparing students for life-long learning and successful participation in the community and workforce.

May 2, 1996

  • Dingeman Elementary School is dedicated before an enthusiastic crowd of students, parents, and friends.

    Colonel Robert Dingeman welcoming a student to school on the first day of class at the school named in his honor, 1997
    Colonel Robert Dingeman welcoming a student to school on the first day of class at the school named in his honor, 1997.

June 11, 1996

  • The San Diego City School Board approves a $13.16 million budget for the construction of the new middle school. The new Recreation Center fields will become joint-use fields and available for use by the school during school hours.

July 1996

  • The California Department of Education selects Scripps Ranch High School as one of the state’s Distinguished Schools.

September 8, 1996

  • The new 27-acre Chabad Center and Day School celebrates its grand opening, with Rabbi Yisrael Dinerman speaking about the expansion of the Chabad family to Scripps Ranch.

December 11, 1996

  • A groundbreaking ceremony is held for the new Marshall Middle School.

Groundbreaking ceremony for Marshall Middle School, Scripps Ranch 1996

November 20, 1997

  • More than 500 people flood the multipurpose room at Miramar Ranch Elementary to discuss critical school issues, including proposed boundary changes for Scripps Ranch middle and elementary schools. The school district acknowledges the present and continuing overcrowding of Dingeman Elementary School.

February 24, 1998

  • In an effort to reduce overcrowding at Scripps Ranch elementary schools, the School Board ignores recommendations of its own task force and adopts new boundaries for elementary schools, which will require residents who haven’t moved into homes near the new Marshall Middle to attend the relatively distant Jerabek Elementary instead of the closer Dingeman Elementary.Future residents west of I-15 will be shifted from Dingeman Elementary to Hage Elementary. As a recommendation of the elementary school task force, the school district forms a steering committee to research the possibility of obtaining an elementary school for Scripps Ranch.

August 31, 1998

  • Marshall Middle School opens.

October 22, 1998

  • Jerabek Elementary celebrates turning 20 with an evening birthday celebration complete with cake and ice cream for all present and former students, faculty and staff members.

July 13, 1999

  • The San Diego School Board approves a high school expansion, which will include the construction of additional recreation facilities and parking. In addition, portable classrooms will be moved on campus. Joint-use facilities and more bleachers are possibilities as well.

September 2003

  • Miramar Ranch Elementary School adds 6th grade to its class population as a result of overcrowding at Marshall Middle School. 

February 2009

  • The Safety Patrol program at Miramar Ranch Elementary School wins the “Best Elementary School Safety Patrol in the Northeastern Division of San Diego” for 2008-2009 and is ranked first out of 89 elementary schools in San Diego. Police Chief William Lansdowne presents an award to the Safety Patrol.