Barbara Benson Elementary

Summary:

Barbara Benson Elementary is a public elementary school in Tustin, California, serving 327 students from kindergarten to 5th grade. The school is part of the Tustin Unified School District, which is ranked 429 out of 1,560 school districts in the state.

While Barbara Benson Elementary has a significantly higher percentage of Hispanic students (62.39%) compared to nearby schools, its academic performance lags behind. The school's proficiency rates in English Language Arts and Mathematics are around 10-20 percentage points lower than the district and state averages. Additionally, Barbara Benson has experienced a sharp increase in chronic absenteeism, rising from 12.5% in 2020-2021 to 33.4% in 2022-2023, which is notably higher than the 4.8% to 27.0% range of nearby schools. The school also has a high percentage of students (59.63%) receiving free or reduced-price lunch, indicating a higher proportion of students from low-socioeconomic backgrounds.

Over the past several years, Barbara Benson Elementary's statewide ranking has dropped from 1,291 out of 5,614 California elementary schools in 2015-2016 to 1,869 out of 5,848 in 2022-2023, with its SchoolDigger star rating decreasing from 4 to 3 stars. This decline in performance is particularly pronounced for Hispanic students, English Language Learners, and students from low-socioeconomic backgrounds, who perform lower than their peers at the school. In comparison, nearby schools like Ladera Elementary, Arroyo Elementary, and Tustin Memorial Elementary generally outperform Barbara Benson Elementary in various metrics, suggesting the challenges faced by the school may be unique or more pronounced.


Detail:

Public K-5

 12712 Elizabeth Way
       Tustin, CA  92780-2811


(714) 730-7531

District: Tustin Unified

SchoolDigger Rank:
1876th of 5,868 California Elementary Schools

Per Pupil Expenditures:  $10,872 Help


Students who attend Barbara Benson Elementary usually attend:

Middle:    C. E. Utt Middle
High:    Tustin High

Student/teacher ratio:  21.8 Help
Number of students:  327

Racial breakdown:

Hispanic:
62.4%
White:
20.2%
Asian:
10.7%
more

Free/discounted lunch recipients:  59.6% Help


 See top rated California elementary schools

 Compare Barbara Benson Elementary to nearby elementary schools!

Performance Trends
Help
Compare Details Barbara Benson Elementary ranks better than 68% of elementary schools in California. It also ranks 11th among 18 ranked elementary schools in the Tustin Unified School District. (See more...)
Help
Compare Details In 2023 the calculated Average Standard Score was 63.24. (See more...)
Help
Chronic absenteeism in a high school refers to a situation where students repeatedly miss school, with the threshold often defined as missing 10% or more of school days for any reason, excused or unexcused.
Student Body
Help
Compare Details Racial makeup is: Hispanic (62.4%), White (20.2%), Asian (10.7%). (See more...)
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Compare Details 59.6% of students are receiving a free or discounted lunch. (See more...)
Teachers
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Compare Details The student/teacher ratio at Barbara Benson Elementary is 21.8, which is the lowest among 18 elementary schools in the Tustin Unified School District! (See more...)
Help
Compare Barbara Benson Elementary employs 15 full-time teachers.
Finance
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Compare Details The average total spent per student at Barbara Benson Elementary is $10,872, which is the 3rd highest among 18 elementary schools in the Tustin Unified School District.
Schooldigger 2023 Rankings:

Barbara Benson Elementary:

SchoolDigger ranks Barbara Benson Elementary 1876th of 5868 California public elementary schools. (See Barbara Benson Elementary in the ranking list.)

Elementary School Test Score Ratings by Student Subgroup:


Low Socio Economic Status students:
Female students:
Male students:
Hispanic students:


Tustin Unified:

SchoolDigger ranks Tustin Unified 429th of 1560 California school districts. (See district ranking list.)


What do you think?

Your rating for Barbara Benson Elementary?

Rank History for Barbara Benson Elementary

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Compare

Rank History for all students at Barbara Benson Elementary

Year Avg Standard Score Statewide Rank Total # Ranked Elementary Schools CA State Percentile SchoolDigger Rating
2004 73.47 1174th 4809 75.6%
2005 78.50 990th 4822 79.5%
2006 82.49 853rd 4818 82.3%
2007 82.95 852nd 5113 83.3%
2008 75.43 1168th 5113 77.2%
2009 62.22 1803rd 5193 65.3%
2010 66.68 1641st 5314 69.1%
2011 69.41 1511th 5377 71.9%
2012 68.06 1629th 5390 69.8%
2013 61.72 2015th 5530 63.6%
2015 71.83 1427th 5611 74.6%
2016 75.44 1291st 5614 77.0%
2017 52.97 2379th 5692 58.2%
2018 46.20 2771st 5662 51.1%
2019 52.56 2454th 5789 57.6%
2022 58.05 2118th 5883 64.0%
2023 63.24 1869th 5848 68.0%
See the entire list of California Elementary School Rankings!

Rank History for English Language Learner students at Barbara Benson Elementary

Year Avg Standard Score Statewide Rank Total # Ranked Elementary Schools CA State Percentile SchoolDigger Rating
2022 31.84 2462nd 3311 25.6%
See the entire list of Best California Elementary Schools for English Language Learner Students!

Rank History for Low Socio Economic Status students at Barbara Benson Elementary

Year Avg Standard Score Statewide Rank Total # Ranked Elementary Schools CA State Percentile SchoolDigger Rating
2018 46.70 2575th 5084 49.4%
2019 58.05 1894th 5173 63.4%
2022 51.69 2183rd 5264 58.5%
2023 54.66 2052nd 5355 61.7%
See the entire list of Best California Elementary Schools for Low Socio Economic Status Students!

Rank History for Female students at Barbara Benson Elementary

Year Avg Standard Score Statewide Rank Total # Ranked Elementary Schools CA State Percentile SchoolDigger Rating
2018 53.53 2303rd 5413 57.5%
2019 57.55 2079th 5492 62.1%
2022 57.71 2036th 5635 63.9%
2023 58.08 2022nd 5595 63.9%
See the entire list of Best California Elementary Schools for Female Students!

Rank History for Male students at Barbara Benson Elementary

Year Avg Standard Score Statewide Rank Total # Ranked Elementary Schools CA State Percentile SchoolDigger Rating
2018 38.43 3136th 5431 42.3%
2019 48.10 2559th 5510 53.6%
2022 57.71 2065th 5663 63.5%
2023 65.35 1705th 5627 69.7%
See the entire list of Best California Elementary Schools for Male Students!

Rank History for Hispanic students at Barbara Benson Elementary

Year Avg Standard Score Statewide Rank Total # Ranked Elementary Schools CA State Percentile SchoolDigger Rating
2018 49.53 2256th 4830 53.3%
2019 49.44 2318th 4963 53.3%
2022 56.18 1829th 5084 64.0%
2023 60.77 1618th 5079 68.1%
See the entire list of Best California Elementary Schools for Hispanic Students!

Data source: test scores: California Department of Education, rankings: SchoolDigger.com

As you review the school rankings data, please be aware that some of the information from certain demographics is missing. The reason for this omission is that the data has been redacted from the source data itself due to low population samples in these specific demographic groups.

Redacting data from low population samples is a necessary step to ensure the reliability and accuracy of the results, as small sample sizes may not be representative of the broader population. Additionally, this measure helps protect the privacy of individuals belonging to these demographic groups.

Barbara Benson Elementary Test Scores
Tests: 
  
Grades: 
  
Years: 
  
Group by: 
District Scores:
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Data source: California Department of Education

Review counts

All ratings (Avg rating: 4.4)
80%

0%

0%

20%

0%

  

Reviews:
by a parent
Thursday, February 12, 2015

Open Quote My child attends on an Intra-district transfer. I actually selected Benson Elementary over our home school. They incorporate updated technology for a greater learning experience and provide outstanding extra curricular activities. The school has a great mix of students and the teaching staff is excellent. We were lucky enough to have Ms. Ezaki as my child's Kindergarten teacher. So the first experience at school was a very positive one. Ms. Mayer in the office is always helpful and kind. Additional plus, the Principal Ms. Vela has brought great programs to the school, such as the Brave program from the Joyful Child Foundation. We are looking forward to our youngest child attending next year. Close Quote


by a parent on FaceBook
Friday, February 6, 2015

Open Quote I have had both of my kids at this school since kindergarten. One is in middle school now and my youngest is in his final year at Benson. I have had the opportunity to interact with ALL the teachers in one way or another. I feel that these teachers give their heart and soul and most importantly, their time to each and every one of the students at Benson. Both my children have thrived and come into their own, have been on honor roll, made beautiful work of art, been part of all the activities, and I contribute that to the Benson staff. I'm so very glad that my family has had such a wonderful experience at such a wonderful school. You would be wise to look into this great little hidden jewel of a school. Close Quote


by a parent
Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Open Quote Benson is an amazing little school with a giant heart! I have two children at Benson. We tried Tustin Ranch after moving into the area, because besides TMA it is THE school most parents think is best. I knew by the second day I had made a huge mistake. Benson has an amazing staff. Mr. Ricky is popular with all the kids & parents alike. Mrs. Vela is approachable and concerned about each student. As former technology coordinator for the district, Mrs. Vela and the teaching staff have made advanced technology a part of daily learning. Due to its small size, 5th grade teachers know kindergarteners by name. All of the teaching staff above 3rd grade are GATE trained. Finally, Benson has several special day classes for special needs students. It is a diverse little school with a more realistic picture of what it means to live in a diverse society than many OC schools. One of my children has some learning challenges, and Benson teachers, Resource teacher and staff have been amazing in supporting and accommodating him in the general education environment. Benson is a hidden little gem, and is the "Cheers" of Tustin Unified. It is a family oriented, child centered school. Close Quote


by a parent on FaceBook
Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Open Quote Barbara Benson Elementary is a wonderful school! My child has been enrolled for 2 years now, and I can honestly say that she has grown by leaps and bounds, largely due to the excellence of the teachers and staff. They are kind, attentive and engaging. They are also very easy to work with, and contact after school. For instance, if I have a question and need to email a teacher, I always receive a response very quickly, often within an hour.

The different programs at this school are wonderful. The kids are exposed to Fine arts in an engaging way. There are also "Family Nights" the school organizes that are either free or an extremely affordable way to take the family out for a fun evening.

Lastly, (regarding a previous reviewer's post) there are lots of involved parents helping out at Benson. Also, this school is neither overrun... nor have I ever even seen a gang-banger parent. This claim in my opinion is slanderous and deplorable. The school is filled with bright, intelligent and kind students as well. I would encourage anyone to visit Benson during business hours, so they can see it for themselves. Close Quote


by a parent on FaceBook
Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Open Quote Average school but below average non-educated, unemployed parents. Many are gang affiliated with tattoos on their face, neck, etc. No parent involvement at all as well as some very low income children. About 30% are English learners. My biggest concern was the parenting or lack there of. Close Quote



Enrollment information for Barbara Benson Elementary

Help
Compare
Year White African American Asian Hispanic American Indian Pacific Islander Two or More Races Not Specified Total
1993 253 14 21 153 6 n/a n/a 0 447
1994 258 8 20 134 8 n/a n/a 0 428
1995 307 10 29 82 11 n/a n/a 0 439
1996 307 10 29 82 11 n/a n/a 0 439
1997 317 17 27 95 10 n/a n/a 0 466
1998 268 14 28 93 8 n/a n/a 0 411
1999 263 9 40 97 6 n/a n/a 0 415
2000 261 10 44 112 4 n/a n/a 0 431
2001 299 9 41 138 2 n/a n/a 6 495
2002 212 17 37 126 1 n/a n/a 1 394
2003 212 17 37 126 1 n/a n/a 1 394
2004 192 24 30 114 1 n/a n/a 7 368
2005 172 25 33 132 2 n/a n/a 8 372
2006 152 21 29 132 3 n/a n/a 6 343
2007 130 15 32 139 3 n/a n/a 10 329
2008 132 25 38 157 2 n/a n/a 0 354
2009 125 24 38 176 2 3 18 0 386
2010 136 18 34 197 2 5 5 0 397
2011 129 13 30 210 1 2 5 0 390
2012 129 12 31 214 1 2 10 0 399
2013 113 11 32 189 0 2 8 0 355
2014 101 11 37 186 0 2 12 0 349
2015 89 10 35 203 0 1 15 0 353
2016 83 16 33 223 0 1 15 0 371
2017 73 7 36 240 0 0 23 0 379
2018 69 5 44 231 0 1 23 0 373
2019 68 2 46 236 0 3 28 0 383
2020 76 3 45 234 0 4 29 0 391
2021 61 4 33 192 0 1 19 0 310
2022 66 7 33 213 0 1 23 0 343
2023 66 3 35 204 0 2 17 0 327

Data source: National Center for Education Statistics, U.S. Dept of Education.

About Enrollment/Ethnicity

For more information about how the Department of Education defines ethnicity, see Defining Race and Ethnicity Data, National Center for Education Statistics

Students eligible for free or discounted lunch at Barbara Benson Elementary

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Compare
Year # Students Full-time Teachers Student/Teacher ratio % Free/Discounted Lunch
1993 447 17.0 26.3 25.7
1994 428 18.0 23.8 20.8
1995 439 17.0 25.8 14.6
1996 439 17.0 25.8 14.6
1997 466 23.0 20.3 20.6
1998 411 21.6 19.0 24.6
1999 415 23.0 18.0 19.5
2000 431 22.0 19.6 18.3
2001 495 25.0 19.8 16.6
2002 394 20.4 19.3 19.1
2003 394 20.4 19.3 19.1
2004 368 18.0 20.4 22.4
2005 372 18.0 20.7 26.6
2006 343 18.0 19.1 24.6
2007 329 17.0 19.4 28.8
2008 354 20.0 17.7 32.8
2009 386 19.0 19.3 32.6
2010 397 17.8 22.3 37.8
2011 390 n/a n/a 39
2012 399 15.6 25.5 n/a
2013 355 11.2 31.6 46.8
2014 349 14.0 24.9 43
2015 353 14.0 25.2 46.2
2016 371 15.0 24.7 50.1
2017 379 15.0 25.2 49.1
2018 373 15.0 24.8 48.3
2019 383 11.7 32.5 47.3
2020 391 n/a n/a 49.1
2021 310 14.8 20.9 48.1
2022 343 13.7 24.9 46.4
2023 327 15.0 21.8 59.6

Data source: National Center for Education Statistics, U.S. Dept of Education.

About Students eligible for discounted/free lunch:

The National School Lunch Program (NSLP) provides low-cost or free meals to students in U.S. public and nonprofit private schools based on household income. Those with incomes below 130% of the poverty line receive free lunch, while those between 130% and 185% qualify for reduced-price lunch. The percentage of students receiving free or reduced-price lunch serves as a marker for poverty, as it reflects the socioeconomic status of families in a given school or district. A higher FRPL rate typically indicates a higher concentration of low-income families, suggesting that the school or district may face additional challenges in providing adequate resources and support for student success.

Student/Teacher Ratio Barbara Benson Elementary

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Compare
Year # Students Full-time Teachers Student/Teacher ratio % Free/Discounted Lunch
1993 447 17.0 26.3 25.7
1994 428 18.0 23.8 20.8
1995 439 17.0 25.8 14.6
1996 439 17.0 25.8 14.6
1997 466 23.0 20.3 20.6
1998 411 21.6 19.0 24.6
1999 415 23.0 18.0 19.5
2000 431 22.0 19.6 18.3
2001 495 25.0 19.8 16.6
2002 394 20.4 19.3 19.1
2003 394 20.4 19.3 19.1
2004 368 18.0 20.4 22.4
2005 372 18.0 20.7 26.6
2006 343 18.0 19.1 24.6
2007 329 17.0 19.4 28.8
2008 354 20.0 17.7 32.8
2009 386 19.0 19.3 32.6
2010 397 17.8 22.3 37.8
2011 390 n/a n/a 39
2012 399 15.6 25.5 n/a
2013 355 11.2 31.6 46.8
2014 349 14.0 24.9 43
2015 353 14.0 25.2 46.2
2016 371 15.0 24.7 50.1
2017 379 15.0 25.2 49.1
2018 373 15.0 24.8 48.3
2019 383 11.7 32.5 47.3
2020 391 n/a n/a 49.1
2021 310 14.8 20.9 48.1
2022 343 13.7 24.9 46.4
2023 327 15.0 21.8 59.6

Data source: National Center for Education Statistics, U.S. Dept of Education.

About Student-Teacher Ratio

Student/teacher ratio is calculated by dividing the total number of students by the total number of full-time equivalent teachers. Please note that a smaller student/teacher ratio does not necessarily translate to smaller class size. In some instances, schools hire teachers part time, and some teachers are hired for specialized instruction with very small class sizes. These and other factors contribute to the student/teacher ratio. Note: For private schools, Student/teacher ratio may not include Pre-Kindergarten.

Kindergarten Immunization Rates

Barbara Benson Elementary

Help
Compare
YearCompletely ImmunizedReligious ExemptionMedical ExemptionConditionalPolioHepatitis BVaricellaDTPMMR
201295.0%5.0%0.0%0.0%95.0%95.0%95.0%95.0%95.0%
201378.0%4.0%2.0%16.0%87.0%89.0%91.0%80.0%80.0%
201495.0%3.0%0.0%2.0%97.0%95.0%97.0%97.0%97.0%
2015100.0%0.0%0.0%0.0%100.0%100.0%100.0%100.0%100.0%
201695.0%4.0%1.0%0.0%95.0%95.0%95.0%95.0%95.0%
201794.0%1.0%0.0%4.0%98.0%98.0%≥99.0%97.0%96.0%
2018≥99.0%≤1.0%≤1.0%≤1.0%≥99.0%≥99.0%≥99.0%≥99.0%≥99.0%
201997.0%2.0%0.0%98.0%98.0%97.0%98.0%97.0%
202096.1%1.6%1.6%96.1%97.7%
202195.3%0.0%3.1%
202296.9%0.0%0.0%96.9%

Data source: California Department of Public Health
Finances

Per Pupil Expenditures for Barbara Benson Elementary

Help

YearTotal Expenditures Per Pupil
2018 $10,872

Data source: California Department of Education
Pre and Post Pandemic Data

Impact of COVID-19 on Barbara Benson Elementary

The coronavirus has had a profound impact on education in America. Learning shifted online overnight, attendance numbers dwindled, and enrollment decreased. SchoolDigger.com is making it easier for you to better assess how COVID-19 has impacted your school. Through the collection of pre-pandemic (2019) and current data, SchoolDigger.com is sharing test scores, enrollment numbers and school demographics from schools across the country – and we make it easy to see how impacted schools compare locally and statewide.

Rankings

Rank
Pre-pandemic (2018-2019)
Rank
Post pandemic (2022-2023)
Change (%)
Ranks 2454th of 5789 Elementary schoolsRanks 1869th of 5848 Elementary schools
 10.4%

Test Scores

% proficient
Pre-pandemic (2018-2019)
% proficient
Post pandemic (2022-2023)
Change (%)
3rd Grade English Language Arts/Literacy (Barbara Benson Elementary)43.847.7
 4%
   3rd Grade English Language Arts/Literacy (Tustin Unified)56.353.3
 3%
   3rd Grade English Language Arts/Literacy (California)48.543
 5.6%
3rd Grade Mathematics (Barbara Benson Elementary)43.850
 6.3%
   3rd Grade Mathematics (Tustin Unified)57.256.9
 0.3%
   3rd Grade Mathematics (California)50.245.1
 5.1%
4th Grade English Language Arts/Literacy (Barbara Benson Elementary)3552.3
 17.3%
   4th Grade English Language Arts/Literacy (Tustin Unified)5856.7
 1.3%
   4th Grade English Language Arts/Literacy (California)49.543.7
 5.7%
4th Grade Mathematics (Barbara Benson Elementary)37.538.6
 1.1%
   4th Grade Mathematics (Tustin Unified)55.554.6
 1%
   4th Grade Mathematics (California)44.940.8
 4.1%
5th Grade English Language Arts/Literacy (Barbara Benson Elementary)59.355
 4.3%
   5th Grade English Language Arts/Literacy (Tustin Unified)61.156.8
 4.2%
   5th Grade English Language Arts/Literacy (California)51.746.7
 5%
5th Grade Mathematics (Barbara Benson Elementary)57.447.5
 9.9%
   5th Grade Mathematics (Tustin Unified)51.348.5
 2.8%
   5th Grade Mathematics (California)3833.4
 4.6%
5th Grade Science (Barbara Benson Elementary)35.237.5
 2.3%
   5th Grade Science (Tustin Unified)42.145.4
 3.3%
   5th Grade Science (California)31.731.9
 0.1%

Student Body

Number of students
Pre-pandemic (2018-2019)
Number of students
Post pandemic (2022-2023)
Change (%)
Total Students383327
 14.6%
African American23
 50%
American Indian00
Asian4635
 23.9%
Hispanic236204
 13.6%
Pacific Islander32
 33.3%
White6866
 2.9%
Two or More Races2817
 39.3%
% Free/Discounted Lunch Recipients47.3%59.6%
 12.4%


Schools Near Barbara Benson Elementary









Frequently Asked Questions about Barbara Benson Elementary

In the 2022-23 school year, 327 students attended Barbara Benson Elementary.

Barbara Benson Elementary ranks 1876th of 5868 California elementary schools. SchoolDigger rates this school 3 stars out of 5.

Students at Barbara Benson Elementary are 62% Hispanic, 20% White, 11% Asian, 5% Two or more races.

Students who attend Barbara Benson Elementary usually go on to attend:

Middle : C. E. Utt Middle
High : Tustin High


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SchoolDigger data sources: National Center for Education Statistics, U.S. Department of Education, the U.S. Census Bureau and the California Department of Education.

IMPORTANT DISCLAIMERS: Not all boundaries are included. We make every effort to ensure that boundaries are up-to-date. But it's important to note that these are approximations and are for general informational purposes only. To verify legal descriptions of boundaries or school locations, contact your local tax assessor's office and/or school district.





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