La Cumbre Junior High School

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Core Knowledge » Overview


Academic Excellence

Core Knowledge provides a supportive, yet challenging environment, in which students can learn and succeed. We believe a true education lies in the joy of discovery and the immersion into an intellectual community that lives with integrity and learns with honor. This forges bountiful lives

and boundless futures. Whatever your path may be.


We aim to shape our students not just as scholars, but as human beings. We believe an education ultimately isn’t about what you get, it’s about what you are going to contribute. So

students learn to see beyond our walls, model respect for others, build relationships that will inspire them and others, and discover the passion from which they will change the world.

Global Perspective

In order to foster a sense of who they are in the world, Core Knowledge scholars are given many opportunities to experience the humanities in a hands-on way. Monthly field trips are incorporated into units of study. Students have the opportunity to visit museums and cultural sites from Los Angeles to San Francisco.

Frequently Asked Questions:

What is Core Knowledge?

Core Knowledge is an academic community within La Cumbre Junior High School. It is designed for students who will thrive in an enriching environment and benefit from a rigorous college preparatory education. Our students reflect and embrace diversity of thought and personal contribution to our school community through their academic potential and achievements, creativity, character, athleticism and involvement in school activities.

What makes Core Knowledge different from other English-language-arts programs?

Core Knowledge is built upon the idea that a strong student community will inspire academic success. To build this community, all Core Knowledge students have a continuous three-class block of English and history classes, move as a co-hort between seventh and eighth grades, participate in field-trips across the state, and enjoy many community building events throughout the year. Additionally, students are exposed to all the Common Core Standards and an additional set of rigorous English and social studies topics.

How can my child apply or be considered for the program?

La Cumbre’s enrollment materials have a separate section where parents can request enrollment into the program.We look at the whole child and anticipate that some students may need more support while other students are looking for more of a challenge. We do want to ensure that all students will be successful at the level of academic excellence offered by Core Knowledge.

What types of schools do your students come from?

Students come from all schools— public, private, and home-school. Because Core Knowledge is built upon a strong sense of community, students establish and continue peer relationships based on academics, shared interests, and common principles and values.

How would you characterize your faculty?

Remarkable in every way! Valerie Galindo (seventh-grade teacher) and Katie Pelle (eighth-grade teacher) have been teaching and mentoring Core Knowledge students for the past ten years. They have a passion for their content and the community that they share.

Will my child have other classes outside the Core Knowledge program?

Yes, your child will be placed in mathematics and science according to achievement level. Your child will also have the choice of any of La Cumbre’s electives and other programs to enrich and fulfill his or her day.

I’m interested but have additional questions. Who can I talk to?

Please don’t hesitate to email or call Valerie Galindo, Core Knowledge Director. She is happy to meet with you and discuss any questions or concerns you may have. Her contact information is or (805)-687-0761.