Aseltine School

4027 Normal Street
San Diego, CA 92103-0921
Tel: (619)296-2135
Grades: 1-12 | 40 students
Executive Director Dr. Hayden W. Thomas chats with a student at lunch.  Aseltine focuses on creating a strong, supportive community in which all students and staff feel safe, respected and heard.  As part of this community, staff treat all students as intelligent, capable young people who are full partners in their own learning process.
Executive Director Dr. Hayden W. Thomas chats with a student at lunch.  Aseltine focuses on creating a strong, supportive community in which all students and staff feel safe, respected and heard.  As part of this community, staff treat all students as intelligent, capable young people who are full partners in their own learning process.
Aseltine offers students a variety of study options depending on their needs and academic skills: on-line classes; book-based courses; one-on-one tutoring; independent study; fine arts; vocational education.
Culinary Arts students prepare food for a school event they catered.  In the program, students learn skills from cooking to safe food handling and preparation to healthy meal planning to budgeting while practicing social skills and learning an in-demand trade.
Each Spring, students' art studies culminate in the Festival of the Arts, where family, friends and community members view and purchase (at the students' discretion) the art students have made during the year.
Aseltine's garden provides students a chance to learn science in an interactive setting - and provides fresh herbs, fruits and vegetables for use by students in the Culinary Arts Program.
Art at Aseltine takes many forms: painting; drawing; furniture decoration; ceramics, and candle-making among others.
Participating in sports helps students learn to work together as a team while improving motor skills and maintaining an active, healthy lifestyle.  Aseltine competes against other non-public schools as part of the CAPSES league.  Options include flag football, basketball and softball.
Students participate in monthly problem-solving sessions where they work in small teams to reinforce their knowledge of science; improve their social skills, and learn to think critically and make thoughtful decisions.
To ensure a full and balanced education, Aseltine takes students to plays, musical performances, sporting events, outdoor activities, and educational venues like the Zoo and local museums.  This not only provides Aseltine students with opportunities to practice social skills in the real world, it also provides them with fun and enriching experiences that enhance their classroom learning.
To address students' different learning needs and styles, Aseltine teachers employ a variety of teaching methods and modalities to ensure all students are not just learning, but are engaged in and excited about their subjects.
The mission of Aseltine School is to establish a partnership with "at-risk" youth in which we imaginatively challenge, support and prepare them to gain better understanding and insight into the barriers that have limited their access to "mainstream" school and community; develop the skills, knowledge and resources necessary to overcome these barriers; develop the self-esteem that transforms fatalism and self-doubt into purposeful action; and make an independent and productive transition back into school, employment and community.

School Overview

School Type Special Education School
School Membership(s)School Assoc. California Association of Private Special Education Schools (CAPSES)
Religious Affiliation Non-sectarian
Grades Offered Grades 1-12
Learning Difference Programs Yes
Learning Programs Supported Severe Learning Disabilities; Processing Disorders; Asperger Syndrome; Emotional Disturbances
Year Founded 1968

Student Body

Total Students 40 students
Student Body Type Co-ed
% Students of Color
State avg.: 44%
Students by Grade Aseltine School Student By Grade

Academics and Faculty

Total Classroom Teachers 4 teachers
Student : Teacher Ratio 10:1
National avg.: 13:1
Average Class Size 8 students
Classroom Dress Code Casual

Finances and Admission

Admission Deadline None / Rolling
Tuition Notes If you are interested in applying for a needs-based scholarship, please contact us at or (619) 296-2135 and we would be happy to speak with you about the process and provide you with an application packet.


Total Sports Offered 3 sports
Sports Basketball, Flag Football, SoftballBasketballFlag Football,
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School Reviews

5.0 Stars   05/17/16
I attended this school in the early 90's and the experience has stayed with me my whole life. I was a very difficult child in many ways. I had been in classes for s.e.d children for my entire academic career and was very familiar with the system. I wish I could say that I flourished but sadly that is not the case. That is solely my own fault. I was the kinda child that knew everything and better then anyone. When I first got to this school I could tell that this was a different place then any other school I had been to. These people saw me for what I was and was not. The teachers and staff came from all walks of life. I was exposed to many things that I would have otherwise never seen or experienced. I over the course of my life look back and wish that I would have taken the guidance that they try very hard to give. This school and staff afforded me every opportunity to succeed. I wish that I would have listened. Now that I am in my mid thirties and a parent of a child with behavior problems I often find myself saying things to my son that I learned at this school. So I only have good things to say about this school.
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The average private school tuition in San Diego, CA is $8,270 for elementary schools and $13,990 for high schools (read more about average private school tuition across the country).
The average acceptance rate in San Diego, CA is 89% (read more about average acceptance rates across the country).