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School History & Focus

Wagon Wheel Elementary School opened its doors in September 1997. It is situated in Wagon Wheel Canyon, adjacent to Coto de Caza. With beautiful vistas stretching south and eastward into Cleveland National Forest, our school sits in the shadow of Santiago Peak and is adjacent to the General Thomas Riley Wilderness Park. Children from nearby neighborhoods enjoy our state-of-the-art campus and participate in an academic program carefully blended with studies of the natural world.


As a Professional Learning Community, the team at Wagon Wheel envisions:

·         Rigorous content and performance standards driving curriculum

·         Frequent, on-going assessment targeting instruction

·         Implementation of research-based, best practices in the classroom

·         All students receiving equal opportunity and access to the curriculum

·         Parents and school staff working collaboratively to ensure the success of each child

·         The facilitation and promise of a physically and emotionally safe learning environment

·         Where children learn more today than yesterday, and more tomorrow than today  


Transforming the next generation of empowered students by fostering innovation and creating a culture of learning is the collaboratively developed theme that runs through Wagon Wheel’s comprehensive instructional program. Strong academics, scholarly attributes, community service and character education are integrated throughout the curriculum. Nestled amidst the tapestry of rolling, rustic hills of Trabuco Canyon, the kindergarten through fifth grade school serves 500 children and is currently celebrating 20 years of providing students with a rigorous, challenging education. 


Children from all walks of life make up and add to the richness of Wagon Wheel’s student population.  Positive Behavior Support Program provides the internal structure for identifying clear, measurable standards and outcomes for student conduct and character development. Staff and parents model the high expectations and attitude required for positive character development, citizenship, respect and responsibility that serve as the hallmark of Wagon Wheel’s positive school climate.  Students walk with Mustang PRIDE and are explicitly taught essential character qualities (Prepared, Respectful, Integrity, Determined, Empathy) that support learning in all areas on campus - from classrooms to the library to the blacktop.  


Wagon Wheel sets a high standard for providing a rigorous, standards based, differentiated instructional program that is passed down to students within each lesson. Frequent, on-going assessment, study of school data and subsequent provision of differentiated instruction serve as the foundation and core of student learning and are key components of the school’s commitment and vision. The Wagon Wheel Professional Learning Community has student learning and achievement as its main focus.  


Perhaps one of the most salient features of Wagon Wheel is the high level of parent involvement.  An integral part of the school’s culture, parents, grandparents, retirees and community members volunteer daily to provide support, encouragement and assistance to an already nurturing, warm learning environment.  Working jointly with parents and members of the school community, the Wagon Wheel staff recognizes the importance of establishing and maintaining a strong partnership between home and school. It is with commitment, firm belief and pride that we function as a truly effective Professional Learning Community, joining hands to transform the next generation of empowered students by fostering innovation and creating a culture of learning.

Non-Discrimination Statement

The Capistrano Unified School District prohibits discrimination, harassment, intimidation, and bullying in all district activities, programs, and employment based upon actual or perceived gender, gender identity, gender expression, race, ethnicity, color, religion, ancestry, nationality, national origin, ethnic group identification, sex, sexual orientation, marital or parental status, pregnancy, age, physical or mental disability or on the basis of a person’s association with a person or group with one or more of these actual or perceived characteristics. Reference: AR 1312.3, BP 1312.3 and BP 5183.

Rich Montgomery, Executive Director, Human Resource Services/Compliance
33122 Valle Road, San Juan Capistrano, CA 92675
(949) 234-9200

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