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Casita Center


The spirit of American innovation is valued at Casita Center, which offers a magnet program focused on science, technology, engineering and math. The school’s mission is to educate all students to become creative problem solvers and life-long learners. To accomplish this, Students there are able to regularly visit labs where specialists teach lessons related to those themes through inquiry-based investigations and projects. This allows them to apply their knowledge to real-world issues.

“Our goal is to instill in every student a love of math and science and have Casita students graduate elementary school with the ability to problem solve and think critically,” Principal Laura Smith said.

Building a solid knowledge base in science and math is an important aspect of the curriculum and is necessary for the future job market, Smith said.  Hands-on math activities in primary grades build number sense.  Older students apply math and science to real life applications.  For example, third-graders wrote and produced public-service announcements to explain global warming and to inspire action.  Fourth-graders study energy and their knowledge will be exhibited at the Spring Energy Fair.   Fifth graders recently built small-scale cities after using an architecture program and created a game app for a book report.  

Casita Center became a magnet school open to students from through Vista Unified School District in 1991. Before that, it was Casita Elementary School, which opened in 1971. The school has about 600 students in kindergarten through fifth grade and 25 teachers.

The western Vista campus has been designated as a wildlife habitat by the National Wildlife Federation. To qualify, the school had to offer native animals food, shelter, water and a place to raise their young. Casita has those things in its peace garden, which teachers use to teach kids about science and nature.

Cedar Road  Vista, CA 92083

(760) 724-8442