Foundations Academy

Serving students in grades 1-12, including a Transition Program for 18-22 year-olds

Foundations Academy meets students where they are, moving them from feelings of frustration to celebrating success by nurturing strengths and overcoming challenges.


3450 Clairemont Drive

San Diego, CA 92117



View our School Accountability Report Card here.

Our students fall into the "mild-moderate" and "moderate-severe" special-education classifications.

Our mild-moderate students have usually been functioning below grade level in some or all of the core subject areas, often causing them to become frustrated, discouraged, anxious, fearful of failure, unmotivated, and negative. But we can help! We provide specialized academic instruction and extra support in a small-group setting for our students in all grades.

Some of our high school students need more than four years to fulfill diploma requirements, and we give them that extra time and support to meet their goals.

Our students with moderate-severe educational difficulties have moderate cognitive delays and challenges in academics, socialization, communicative and pragmatic language development, and peer relations.

All our students receive transition services as they approach either graduation or their certificate of completion. This provides them with practical life skills and college/career preparation.

We begin by learning about each of our students and their unique learning profiles. Then we use that knowledge to empower students by recognizing their strengths and developing their foundations for learning.

We present subject matter using a multisensory and cross-curricular approach, and we embed key skills throughout the academic day.

All students begin at their own academic level and progress at their own learning rate.

A multi-tiered system of supports (MTSS) in both academics and behavior assures every student's needs are met.

For our students with greater academic and social needs, we offer a highly structured and varied basic skills and academic curriculum using experiential learning approaches and individualized instruction in conjunction with a wide range of integrated support services.

Students in grades 1-12 focus on basic skills education, working at their own pace and ability level. Social and communication skills are integrated and support IEP goals.

Our diploma-bound students are taught a robust, comprehensive curriculum based on the California Common Core Standards to meet high school graduation requirements as outlined by the students' school districts, including UC-approved a-g courses.

Executive functioning skills are explicitly taught as well as integrated throughout our curriculum.

Students also receive explicit instruction in the five core competencies for social-emotional learning: self-awareness, self-management, responsible decision making, relationship skills, and social awareness.

Our transition program is for young adults with autism spectrum disorder and other developmental differences, ages 18 to 22, providing vocational skills training, including supported job placements.

meet our staff

Mairen Ruiz


Jen Baron

Campus Operations

Stephen Garza

Administrative Assistant

Amber Fabros

Education Specialist

Sue Rodriguez

Education Specialist

Kurt Killpack

Education Specialist

Scott Sturgeon

Education Specialist

Elizabeth Hennessey

Education Specialist

Cheyenne McCarty

Education Specialist

Jessica Barajas

Education Specialist

Julia Kiel

Speech & Language Pathologist

Traci Friedman

Speech & Language Pathology Assistant

Randy Burtanog

Occupational Therapist

Monica Daniels

Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant

Lori Paul

School Counselor