Frequently Asked Questions

Enrollment

Please call the school office for further assistance to see if you can be accommodated.

Seminar-identified children receive enrollment priority.  However, there is usually room in the program for kids who received high scores on the GATE test, but not quite high enough to be identified as Seminar.  Contact the classroom teachers to discuss your child’s situation.

The seminar program is for students in 3rd, 4th, and 5th grades.  Most classrooms at Hawthorne Elementary are ‘combo classes’ with students from two grades.  Depending on enrollment in the program and in Hawthorne Elementary as a whole, it is sometimes necessary for one of the seminar classes to be a 2nd/3rd grade combo class.  When this happens, 2nd graders who show signs of giftedness are selected for inclusion in the 2nd/3rd grade class.

This is a form that you can use to enroll a seminar-identified student in the class in their neighborhood.  It is available from the district’s website .  The only students who can use this form to enroll in the Hawthorne Seminar program are seminar-identified students from the Madison High cluster, Clairemont cluster, or certain elementary schools in the Kearny cluster.  See our Enrollment page for more information.

CHOICE is the process the San Diego Unified School District utilizes to enable students to attend a school outside of their neighborhood and/or cluster. See our Enrollment page.

No!  Completing a Choice application DOES NOT COMMIT YOU to moving your child to Hawthorne.  If you think you might want to move your child, complete an application.  You can always change your mind later.  See our Enrollment page for more information.

Curriculum

Both teachers’ main homework program includes vocabulary development with weekly tests. The level is challenging, but the children make great progress in language and strive to do well on the tests. The routine is manageable as most of the kids engage in afterschool activities and sports. Each teacher supplements differently with additional reading and writing assignments and some math challenge. Both teachers understand the boredom these students endured with busy work.

It depends on your child. Some children are self-sufficient once they learn how to do the work in the vocabulary program. Other children might like or need to work with a parent or older sibling, discussing the more advanced language and getting help with practice quizzes. As time passes, the children should gain more autonomy over their work. Similarly, the math challenges may be difficult, at first, while students gain more base knowledge. If parents do choose to help, the students will advance more quickly in understanding the concepts. There are other forums for learning the math in class, so it’s not an imperative to help; however, parents often enjoy the time helping their child figure out challenges and the children enjoy the quality time together. Some special projects may require parent help, and again, the amount of help varies.

Both teachers are responsive and caring. They know children learn best when they are happy and comfortable, and they will take the time to find solutions for problems as best as they can. Encourage your child to talk to the teachers about school problems, as they can make an individual adjustment for your child. Feel free to communicate with your child’s teacher if there are social, emotional, or academic concerns. They want your child to enjoy learning and appreciate open dialogue.

Most students realize from day one that the classes are more interesting and challenging than their previous classes. There is some adjustment period for many of the students as they progress to the advanced level and higher expectations. Both teachers help support this transition, if needed. Some kids immediately find like-minded friends and fit in socially for the first time, while others miss old friends. Within a few months, almost all the students embrace their new learning environment whole-heartedly and would not choose to go back to their previous school at all.

Foundation and Volunteering

No.  Parents are not obligated to contribute to the foundation in any way.  It is 100% voluntary.

The Foundation is a non-profit organization that supports the Hawthorne Seminar Program at Hawthorne Elementary.  All members are current families attending the Seminar Program. No funding is provided by SDUSD.  Money is raised to support student activities for the current school year.

Please see the Volunteer page for a list of opportunities.  If you have any questions, please contact President@HawthorneSeminarFoundation.org.