Skip to main content

About Nelson

Jessie E. Nelson Academy

Jessie Elwin Nelson Academy, named after the co-founder and first mayor of Signal Hill, is built to accommodate 850 students in grades six through eight.

"This beautiful new school is one of many exciting projects that are part of our Measure K school construction and renovation efforts,” said LBUSD Superintendent Christopher J. Steinhauser.  “These projects are allowing more children to attend up-to-date, technology-ready schools."

In Nelson’s case, technology includes an iPad for each student to use at school and at home.  Nelson is LBUSD’s first school to broadly integrate wireless iPad technology based on instructional strategies called for in the state’s Common Core Standards.

“We are going to pilot new ways of teaching and learning,” said Principal Sparkle Peterson, who, along with about 60 staff members at Butler Middle School, transferred to Nelson this fall (Butler will now accommodate Roosevelt Elementary School students while their school is rebuilt).  “Technology will change the way we educate students and put a world of resources at their fingertips,” Peterson said.

Measure K funds, approved by local voters in 2008, are protected from state budget cuts and must be used solely for construction and renovation.

The $45 million Nelson project at 1951 Cherry Ave. includes 31 classrooms, administration offices, a library/media center, gymnasium, health office, serving kitchen, multipurpose room and other support facilities.  Outdoor facilities include a soccer field, five basketball courts and an open quad with hardscape and landscape areas.  The project incorporates environmentally sound features including use of recycled construction materials when allowed, energy-saving and ozone-friendly air conditioning and heating, high efficiency lighting and water-conserving fixtures.