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District History

The Rancho Santa Fe School District is one of the oldest districts in San Diego County and has a longstanding history of academic success. We are proud of our rigorous curriculum and instruction in core subjects, as well as a robust offering of electives in the arts, technology, science, and robotics at our middle school. We are committed to engaging students in their learning, fostering their creativity, supporting their efforts, and giving them many opportunities to learn their strengths and explore their passions. Our Robotics Team competes at a local, regional, and national level. We also have a strong athletic program, offering after school programs in soccer, track and field, cross country, wrestling, basketball, volleyball, tennis, golf, and football with trained coaches. Our character education program teaches students to have exceptional character and to be personally responsible, accountable, and aware of our impact on others. We are a caring community that promotes mutual respect, interdependence, global awareness, and service to others. To that end, our Student Council organizes school wide philanthropic campaigns, e.g. childhood diseases, animal welfare.

From a tiny, one room schoolhouse to one of the top performing school districts in San Diego County, the Rancho Santa Fe School District is committed to being the school of choice within our community.

Click here to explore the history of the Rancho Santa Fe School District.

Today, District enrollment is just over 600 students from the communities of Rancho Santa Fe, Elfin Forest, El Cielo, and The Bridges.

The school was completely renovated in 2010 at a cost of $35 million using voter approved bond funds. It boasts a beautiful campus with an administration building, five classroom buildings, a performing arts center, a gymnasium, three playgrounds, and an athletic field. Our state of the art classrooms are equipped with interactive whiteboards/document cameras, a one-to-one ratio of ipads/laptops to students, and flexible seating.


The first school in Rancho Santa Fe was a wood-framed structure built in 1905 by Ferdinand Coehn, Theodore Fidero, and their neighbors in the northeast section. It was called the Aliso Canyon School. Although the structures and locations have changed through the years, the tradition of an excellent public education with whole-hearted community support and a dedicated staff continues today.


  • Early 1920’s –the country schoolhouse was closed and children attended classes in the village (now an art gallery) in a new school designed by renowned Rancho Santa Fe architect Lillian Rice. Ivy Fidero Laughter was the first graduate in 1924.
  • The Aliso Canyon School was officially renamed the Rancho Santa Fe School, and the Rancho Santa Fe School District was formed in 1927.
  • A larger schoolhouse was constructed in 1931 to accommodate the growing student population (35-40) in Rancho Santa Fe. The Association offices are currently located in that structure.
  • By the mid-1950’s school enrollment ballooned to 110 necessitating the purchase of a third and final school site on La Granada between El Fuego and Avenida de Acacias. The new school was completed in 1955 and R. Roger Rowe came from Coronado to join the teaching staff in 1958.
  • Rowe was promoted to Superintendent in 1964 a position he held for 29 years. The Middle School was added in 1971 when all nine grades (K-8) convened on one campus.
  • The current campus was completed in 2011 with a bond referendum. The state of the art Performing Arts Center was funded through private contributions from community members.
school house

The photograph depicting the original Rancho Santa Fe Schoolhouse was probably taken around 1910. The school was constructed by parents in 1905 with students coming from as far away as Rancho Bernardo to attend. During the week, the teachers lived in a one room cabin across the road from the school.