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Attending preschool for just one year prior to kindergarten gives children a tremendous advantage. Preschool teaches children how to listen, pay attention, interact with others, develop thinking skills, express themselves, improve coordination, and prepare for reading and math.

State-Funded Preschool

Our District offers free part-day (8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.) preschool programs for families who meet income and other eligibility criteria at Avondale, Bancroft, Kempton, La Mesa Dale, La Presa Elementary,  Rancho, and Sweetwater Springs. To enroll in preschool a child must be four years of age or turn four by September 2nd of the current year. Call (619) 771-6082, extension 2360, for more information.

SmartSteps Fee-Based Preschool

La Mesa-Spring Valley School District offers SmartSteps, a fee-based preschool program at two locations—Fletcher Hills Elementary, and Maryland Avenue Elementary. A child must be three years old by August 1st of the current school year to attend. Enrollment is open—you don’t have to live within LMSVSD boundaries.  The curriculum at SmartSteps is based on the State of California’s “Desired Results Child Developmental Profile.” Instruction is organized thematically, with the standards addressed through hands-on, fun learning activities. Dramatic play, puppetry, art, and music all take place in the SmartSteps classroom which is designed to promote children’s freedom to choose materials and interact with one another and adults.

SmartSteps Preschool Holidays

September 3, 2018Labor Day
October 8 – 19, 2018 (2 Weeks)Fall Break
November 12, 2018Veteran’s Day
November 19 – 23, 2018 (1 Week)Thanksgiving Break
December 21, 2018Staff Development Day
December 24, 2018 – January 4, 2019Winter Break
January 21, 2019Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day
February 11, 2019Lincoln’s Birthday
February 18, 2019Washington’s Birthday
April 15 – April 26, 2019Spring Break
May 27, 2019Memorial Day

SmartSteps Preschool Fees

Non-refundable Registration fee: $50.00

3-day program 8:30–11:30 am$65 per week
2-day program 8:30–11:30 am$45 per week
5-day program 8:30–11:30 am$107 per week

SmartSteps Preschool Locations

Fletcher Hills Elementary 
2330 Center Place
El Cajon, CA 92020
(619) 668-5820

Maryland Avenue Elementary
5400 Maryland Avenue
La Mesa, CA 91942
(619) 668-5744


Supervising Director
Tracy Olander
(619) 771-6082 (x2361)

Office Assistant
Eva Munoz
(619) 771-6082 (x2360)

For Questions Regarding SmartSteps Payment:
Sandra Ward
(619) 668-5700 (x6475)

Preschool Enrollment Office: 4811 Glen Street (Room 1), La Mesa, CA 91941

You'll Love It Here!

  • Award-winning, tuition-free neighborhood schools
  • All-day kindergarten offered at all schools
  • Engaging before and after school care offered at all schools
  • Exemplary staff dedicated to educating, supporting, and nurturing ALL children
  • Innovative educational programs and academies including:
    • Arts and Music
    • Dual Language Immersion and Acquisition
    • International Baccalaureate (candidate school)
    • No Excuses University
    • Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Mathematics (STEAM)
  • World-class physical education facilities

Enroll Today!

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District Spotlight

Kindness Challenge at STEAM Academy

Spread the word about kindness at STEAM Academy! STEAM Academy is a grades 4-8 school specializing in science, technology, engineering, arts and math.


Kindergarten Wisdom

Kindergarten enrollment is now open in LMSV schools. Visit to learn about upcoming parent information meetings and options for kindergarten.


#AttendConnectBelongLMSV at Highlands

Students at Highlands Elementary School engage with teachers, staff and the school principal to feel connected and a sense of belonging.