• Coral Gables Preparatory Academy
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School History


Coral Gables Elementary School opened as Coral Gables Grammar School in October, 1923, with thirty-nine pupils and one teacher, Mary Feaster Jackson. Abigail Gilday was the first principal who opened the school and served as its first principal until 1945.
The school was financed and built by George Merrick, founder of Coral Gables, with the understanding that the Dade County School Board would repay him $10,000 for the land and $25,000 for the school building. Upon completion of the third phase, in 1926 the school had grown to 1,000 students.

Because Merrick believed that "beautiful things inspire higher ideals in the minds of children," he commissioned the nationally known architectural firm of Keihnel & Elliott to build a school of Spanish colonial architecture. In recognition of the school's major role in the architectural and cultural history of Coral Gables, it was made a "City of Coral Gables Landmark" in 1982, and placed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Between 1936 and 1948, Coral Gables Grammar School included grades 7 and 8. In 1970, in response to a federal court order for desegregation of the Dade County Public Schools, the school was paired with George Washington Carver Elementary and became a Kindergarten, 3-6 Center. Today Coral Gables Elementary (CGE) is paired with Carver Elementary and Sunset Elementary in the District’s Controlled Choice Program which allows students to be assigned in grades K-5 based on school boundaries, space availability, parental choice and random selection.

Located in the middle of a still-growing international city, CGE reflects the ethnic and international flavor of the city of Coral Gables near the offices of more than 100 multinational corporations. CGE serves families from all socioeconomic backgrounds, including the affluent middle class and many recent immigrants from developing nations in Latin America 26% of our students qualified for free and reduced lunch this school year. CGE's population is 33% White Non-Hispanic, 61% Hispanic, 2% Black Non- Hispanic and 4% Other Non-Hispanic. 12% are limited English proficient and 33% qualify for the Exceptional Student Education Program.

Coral Gables Elementary houses a Full-Time Gifted Program with 223 students in first through fifth grade. The school also provides an Extended Foreign Language Program (EFL) Program in Spanish for students and a Special Education Program (SPED) that provides services to 13% of the students.

One of CGE’s strengths is the partnership with the parents and the community. The school received the prestigious Five Star School Award in 2008 for its business partnerships, community involvement, volunteerism, student community service, and school advisory councils. We currently have 411 active school volunteers that assist us with a multitude of programs. These volunteers work diligently to provide success to our school programs such as: KinderKlub, and P.A.I.R tutoring; Media Center, BookFair, Halloween Carnival, Family Fun Day, Wacky Wednesday, and the Kindergarten Art Program. The school has also established a partnership with the Coral Gables Museum and will be doing activities with the students. The first such activity is a canvas pictorial that the students created under the direction of Ms. Bushman, art teacher.  The pictorials depict “historic places” in the Gables.

The school also has received the following awards:

    •   * Five Star School Award 2007-2008 School Year
    •   * Proclamation from Miami Dade County Public Schools for being in the top 4% of all of the elementary schools in the State of Florida
  •   * Platinum Award 2003 – present for the ‘A’ designation
  •   * Florida Sterling Council – Sterling Challenge, June 2005
  •   * Golden School Award for Volunteerism 1989 - Present

The Current and Former Principals of Coral Gables Elementary School:

2003 – Present         Cheli Cerra
1991 – 2003            Melanie Fox
1971 – 1991            George Bowker
1961 – 1971            Jack Jameison
1945 – 1961            Bertha Webb
1923 – 1945            Abigail Gilday