Seminar program in Dingeman Elementary

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Submitted by andymajumder on April 12, 2017 - 9:36pm

Does anyone know much about the Seminar program at Dingeman elementary. I know its a very good school, probably one of the best in SDUSD. My daughter who's currently in 2nd grade at EBS(ellen browning scripps) got accepted in the GATE seminar program but looks like EBS only offers the Cluster program and not the seminar program. Wondering if its worth changing homes (sell my home in EBS zone and buy something in Dingeman area) just to get her into Dingeman seminar program if choice doesn't work.
I know we have quite a few folks from Scripps Ranch area on this site and many have had their kids grow through SDUSD, any advise would be appreciated.

Submitted by FlyerInHi on April 13, 2017 - 12:23pm.

I know nothing about the program, but congrats to your daughter!
I love it when parents do all they can to help their kids achieve excellence.

Submitted by dozzao on April 13, 2017 - 3:14pm.

Another option could be Miramar Ranch Elementary in Scripps Ranch which has an excellent Seminar program. The Seminar teachers at MRE are amazing and really challenge the kids.

Submitted by millennial on April 17, 2017 - 8:35pm.

My daughter is currently in the Seminar program at Dingeman and enjoys it quite a bit. The class doesn't go significantly faster than other classes, but the kids are generally more mature and seem more academically inclined than say when she was in a non seminar second grade class. We also like it since she is able to have the same kids in her class throughout the rest of elementary. This being said, I don't think that moving just for the seminar program is worthwhile. The difference compared to a regular class is just not significant enough, especially if you don't rely on the school to do all of the teaching. Hope this helps.

Submitted by andymajumder on April 18, 2017 - 10:43am.

Thank you for the feedback folks. Very helpful indeed.

Submitted by EVSDCA on April 18, 2017 - 11:19am.

I am not certain, but I believe that your daughter still can go to Dingeman for Seminar program even if you house is not in the boundary of Dingeman school. You should call the school to confirm it.

Submitted by andymajumder on April 18, 2017 - 1:51pm.

Yes that's correct EVSDCA, that's what I am trying. Depends on how many qualify for Seminar in Dingeman itself and how many kids from nearby schools apply on top of that. It does seem like with recent changes in GATE from RAVEN to CogAT testing has resulted in fewer students qualifying for GATE Cluster and Seminar programs since 2016. So there's a possibility that she might be able to get Dingeman through choice program.

Submitted by millennial on April 18, 2017 - 6:38pm.

From personal experience you should be fine. Each year there has been fewer than the required minimum and they have had to fill it up with kids that tested close, but did not qualify. I remember getting a flyer with the results which showed other Seminar schools within SD unified that your child can get into via open enrollment. I thought that you will have first crack at any of them if you want. I remember considering La Jolla elementary since we used to live there and my child still had friends there.

Submitted by serendipity4 on April 20, 2017 - 10:50pm.


Our home is assigned to EB Scripps in SR, but we have heard that Dingeman is better in terms of STEM/GATE/seminar etc.

Is that true, does it make enough of a difference to move our house to get Dingeman?

Also, how would Dingeman elementary compare to elementary schools in 4s (stone ranch/monterey ridge) vs carmel valley elementary schools?

We were thinking of elementary in Dingeman (we like SR location/proximity to a lot of things we are close to) and then middle and high school in carmel valley.


Submitted by flyer on April 21, 2017 - 6:15am.

As your kids grow older, you might want to consider high ranking private high schools (which our kids attended) such as Bishop's, Francis Parker and LJ Country Day, as well as Canyon Crest which is near the top of the list for public in CA.

Submitted by millennial on April 22, 2017 - 10:09am.

It's hard for me to compare because my kids never went to schools in 4S ranch, however they went to Torrey Pines Elementary and they like Torrey Pines more. My older daughter is in Seminar and younger one has not taken the test yet. In terms of selling your house for the purpose of switching to an elementary school down the street I personally don't think it's worth it. Dingeman does get quite a bit of kids choiced in from the EBS school but I have also heard that EBS is a newer and better school. Either way, I think the difference is negligible, and schools are really a personal thing and should be beyond test scores. In addition, if your child does get into Seminar then you will have the choice to move to a different school district that provides Seminar programs.

To be quite honest, although the Seminar program has some good aspects I think the difference in curriculum and added value is very insignificant when compared to the other classrooms. Kids in the class are smart but almost every classroom at Dingeman is full of smart and above average kids evidenced by the school's standardized test scores. In addition, the Seminar program is not funded or funded very little so most of the stem instruction comes from parent volunteers.

After middle school we are seriously thinking of removing my daughter from Seminar like many other parents do. I have heard that college admissions do not recognize the program and the increased difficulty of the curriculum can result in lower grades which negatively impacts college admissions. It's a long way ahead but something also to think about in a few year.

Submitted by Clifford on January 16, 2018 - 6:03pm.

My daughter is in the Seminar program at Dingeman.
I am wondering what the Seminar program at Marshall is like.

Does anyone have children who attend the Seminar program at Marshall ?

Submitted by millennial on January 16, 2018 - 9:54pm.

I’ll let you know next year

Submitted by SDowner on January 26, 2018 - 12:33am.

This is an interesting thread as I am contemplating what sort of schooling is in my Kid's best interest. He is currently going to MBMA second grade. He is very advanced in math and a self learner, has photographic memory and advanced in piano due to perfect pitch. Never had to put him in any special class due to his natural ability to learn.

Should I even consider moving him to public school if he'll get into Gate Seminar program or just continue the private school path?

The commute is hard and it would be nice to save the money on schooling, but I do not want to compromise on his learning curve.

Submitted by an on January 28, 2018 - 11:26pm.

My oldest boy went to MBMA through 1st grade, the 2nd one went there through Kindergarten. My youngest is at MBMA now in the K-side. My oldest is now in 4th grade at Jonas Salk Elementary now. He always tested several grade above while at MBMA, but when he went to public, he's essentially grade level, at least that was what his grades came out to be. For his 3rd grade State standardized test, he got 100% on both Math and English. So, I felt like both of my boys are exceling just fine at public school compare to MBMA. I do love how MBMA set a pretty strong fundamental for them and got them to love learning. So, I have no problem w/ MBMA, which is while my daughter is going there now. But, I'm also happy with their public school as well. So my daughter will be going to public school for 1st grade as well.

I do love the ability to walk them to school and save thousands of $ every year, which pays for their many extra curricular activities. The lack of commute also allow them to do more activities as well. Just something you might want to consider.

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