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State of the District Presentation

Click here for a pdf file of community presentation on the State of the District report given by Dr. Rodriguez.  

Equal Opportunity Audit Report

At the August 23 meeting of the Board, staff presented a summary of findings and recommendations from the Equal Opportunity Audit from Education Trust-West which was conducted last Spring in PVUSD. The information presented will be used to guide the PVUSD collaborative blueprint process which will be conducted over the next 5 months. The blueprint process will develop a plan to improve systems, practice and policies in PVUSD which will support reaching our goal of all students being college and career ready. 


Click here for the report


En la reunión del 23 de agosto de la Junta, el personal presentó un resumen de los hallazgos y recomendaciones de la Auditoría de Igualdad de Oportunidades de Education Trust-West que se llevó a cabo la primavera pasada en PVUSD. La información presentada se usará para guiar el proceso de proyecto colaborativo de PVUSD que se llevará a cabo durante los próximos 5 meses. El proceso de diseño del plan desarrollará un plan para mejorar los sistemas, la práctica y las políticas en PVUSD, lo cual apoyará el logro de nuestro objetivo de que todos los estudiantes estén preparados para la universidad y la carrera.


(enlace es para el reporte en ingles solamente)




Dr. Michelle Rodriguez


August 16, 2017


Dear PVUSD Colleagues,


The beginning of a new school year, like the start of a new day, reminds us that the future holds endless possibilities and excitement. I hope that your summer was peaceful, as well as filled with explorations and good health because you deserve it.  It was an honor and pleasure meeting the grand majority of you as I visited classrooms, departments and attended events at your schools during my inaugural year as your Superintendent.  I look forward to continuing to build connections with you in the 2017-18 school year. I will continue to give you my unwavering commitment of leadership and dedication, in addition to a relentless focus on students, as we propel Pajaro Valley Unified School District towards even greater success. I wish everyone the greatest success as we welcome over 20,000 students to their educational journey of 2017-18. I know that our students are in the capable hands of our highly focused teachers and staff committed to making PVUSD the most innovative and successful school district in Santa Cruz County. 


Like all successful organizations, we are constantly reinventing ourselves to better serve our students, parents and community. We have awesome staff doing tremendous work.  Let's celebrate together by looking at a few highlights of the significant investments we are making to ensure our students have a world-class education. 


Advancing Academic Achievement:

Our top priority is to expand opportunities and access to high quality learning environments. This summer, thousands of students have engaged for the first time in:

  • Hands on Science Learning with the Pacific Grove Museum of Natural History
  • Coding training with Education Training Research (ETR)
  • Performing arts experiences with West Theatre and Tandy Beal Dance Company
  • Expanded credit recovery completion by 867 secondary students
  • Newly established Freshmen Bridge Program at Watsonville High to support students' transition to high school


For the upcoming school year, many innovative programs will be introduced to our schools:

  • Edward James Olmo's award winning Latino Film Institute Youth Cinema Project at Starlight Elementary and Cesar Chavez Middle schools
  • El Sistema of Santa Cruz is providing music instruction at Radcliff Elementary.
  • Paso a Paso: Creciendo Juntos (Step by Step: Growing Together) to support early literacy for preschool through 3rd grade as well as for all children and families in our community
  • College and Career Centers are being supported at all three comprehensive high schools; Aptos High School will be included for the first time this year
  • VAPA (Visual and Performing Arts) program expansion to include music offerings at all middle schools 


Investing in Human Resources:

Since February, PVUSD has been engaged in recruitment efforts to ensure students are taught by high quality staff. In addition we are:

  • Continuing to on-board new staff
  • Launching a Human Resources site visitation with all new teachers to support a seamless transition into their teaching profession
  • Working diligently to reduce teacher vacancies to only 7 teacher vacancies as of the first day of school
  • Offering "Voice and Choice" Professional Development days to support building of teacher capacity;   Teachers will be able to select their topic for professional learning days.
  • Implementing four benefits committee approved additional medical plans for employees.


Improving Learning Environments with Maintenance and Facilities:

We are dedicated to continually improving the learning environment for students.  This year, our students will be welcomed into many modernized and renovated facilities.  The District completed 50 modernization projects at 27 schools this summer. Some highlights include:

  • Aptos High School: lighted walkway and updated 21st Century Library
  • Mar Vista: new portables and replacement of fire alarm system
  • Pajaro Middle School: new basketball court
  • Mintie White: updated façade and fencing
  • Rolling Hills: STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) laboratory

We believe our learning environments extend beyond the classroom, therefore we have:

  • Placed hot spots for Wi-Fi access on long-ride buses to facilitate digital literacy and student learning with Chromebooks
  • Began a pilot program to find green fuel alternatives for buses
  • Installed GPS on all buses
  • Implemented Z-pass system on buses to increase efficacy and safety of student loading and unloading

Serving the Whole Child:

PVUSD values a holistic approach based on meaningful relationships to achieve student success.  To accomplish this goal, the following initiatives are moving forward:

  • Lead counselor position to facilitate mobilization of resources to support wrap around services
  • New Socio-Emotional Counselors at alternative secondary sites to support our most fragile students
  • Professional development for teachers and staff on mindfulness
  • Positive behavior training at all sites to support innovative disciplinary practices
  • Nutrition enhancement through salad bars at all highs schools
  • California Thursdays for fresh meal choices at all high schools
  • Harvest of the Month program expanded to K-12
  • New pre-school assessment clinic and full time administrator at Special Education site Duncan Holbert

We will ensure student success through providing high quality learning environments, expanding parent and community partnerships, and maintaining quality staff. We will continue to place students' learning at the center of all decisions.  Thank you for all that you do everyday for our students.




Please feel free to e-mail us at or contact the office at 786-2135, and we will gladly assist you.



Eva Renteria, Executive Assistant




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.