Dorma Baker, Superintendent
PAJARO VALLEY UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT
The Pajaro Valley Unified School District (PVUSD) is unique in Santa Cruz County. PVUSD is the largest district covering 150 square miles and teaching over 19,000 students. The district’s student population has over 45% English learners with a significant percentage of our students classified as migrants. The District is divided into three zones with the North Zone covering Aptos, the Central Zone covering from central Watsonville to Aptos, and the South Zone covering central Watsonville into north Monterey County. We deliver our educational program at our sixteen elementary schools, six middle schools, three high schools, five charter schools, seventeen children's centers, a continuation high school, an adult education school, and two alternative schools.
Student achievement is the District’s highest priority. Over the past few years, student achievement has increased steadily throughout the district as measured by test scores on the annual state tests. Further evidence of progress is also shown in the steady increase in each school’s Academic Performance Index (API). Three schools in the North Zone have also been recognized for awards with one receiving national honors and two identified as distinguished schools at the state level.
While doing well with growth oriented State standards, the District has not done as well on No Child Left Behind (NCLB) federal standards. The NCLB standards focus on English Language Arts and Math and require every student subgroup to meet specified performance levels. The District has now developed a plan which aggressively addresses the improvement needed in Language Arts and math. This includes the consistent delivery of standards based curriculum and effective use of data to measure progress and identify areas where interventions are needed.
The District has identified an intervention team made up of top administrators, board members and a State consultant. This team is working with seven selected schools to identify action plans and provide needed support to enable those schools to meet their performance targets. Work is also being done with middle schools to increase the effectiveness of their instruction and to provide interventions to further support student progress. The District also has an extensive extended day program with after school programs operating at every school. These programs are articulated with the day programs to provide further support to students.
Our nationally recognized New Teacher Project provides ongoing coaching and support to improve instruction for new teachers. Extensive staff development is provided for teachers at all grade levels to enhance their skills and to enable them to better meet the needs of their students.
PVUSD has excellent Adult Education, Migrant Education, Extended Learning, and Special Education programs. Alternative education programs and charter schools exist in order to best serve our students.
Over the past 9 years, the District has brought to our community almost $180 million for over 40 construction projects. These include new facilities as well as modernization projects which were funded by aggressively soliciting State and Federal funds. PVUSD is one of the statewide leaders in obtaining funds to build and modernize our schools.
The District staff and Board of Trustees work with parents and the community to mobilize all possible resources to ensure quality learning and safe and clean schools for our students. We encourage you to visit your neighborhood schools.