Choose Our District
A Culture of Respect and Personal Accountability
We value respect and personal accountability. From the Board of Education and Superintendent, to custodians and coaches, and teachers and support staff, we model the respect and personal accountability that we expect of each other as employees, and from the students and parents we serve. It's one of the most important lessons we teach.
The safety of students and staff is always our first priority, and it shows. Statistics show that school is by far the safest place for children. And by cultivating an expectation of safe and responsible behavior, combined with a close working relationship with local law enforcement, a seasoned school district security department, and continuous upgrades to site safety equipment, we intend to keep our schools safe and protective places for both children and employees.
Continuing state budget cuts have forced school districts to make some difficult choices. At Pomona Unified, however, we're pleased to report that our class sizes remain some of the smallest in the region, allowing students more individual attention from teachers
Great things are happening at PUSD. In August, 2007, we opened our two newest schools: Cortez Mathematics and Science Magnet School, and the School of Extended Educational Options. Cortez, unique in our region, is a collaboration with Cal Poly Pomona and Western University of Health Sciences, which delivers core academic content around a mathematics and science focus for students in grades Pre-K-8. It already boasts an API well above the state standard. The School of Extended Educational Options, our first district-dependent charter school, serves students in grades 7-12 who can benefit from independent or small-group learning, or who need a path to accelerated learning. It's located at the safe and technology-rich Village at Indian Hill, where students can also take advantage of the many social and career services located there. In 2009-10, two new small academies were launched: Palomares Health Sciences Academy, and Fremont Engineering and Design Academy. In 2010-11, the two new academies are officially becoming high schools as they each add grade 9. Each consecutive year, the academies will add another grade level. The Class of 2014 will be the first to graduate from Palomares Health Sciences Academy and Fremont Engineering and Design Academy. The academies are open to students in other parts of the district on a space-available basis. In addition, five new Pre-K-8 programs were launched in 2009 at existing elementary schools: Golden Springs, Lexington, San Jose, Vejar, and Harrison elementaries. These new programs, along with our more traditional elementary, middle, and high schools, give parents and students from all across the district more choice and more opportunities.
Two of America's Very Best High Schools -- and a Presidential Visit!
In December, 2007, U.S. News & World Report selected Village Academy High School and Diamond Ranch High School as two of America's top 500 high schools - out of 21,000 nationwide Unlike the annual Newsweek ranking, which considers only the numbers of students taking Advanced Placement exams, the U.S. News ranking takes a much broader view, considering a variety of qualities that go into creating a well-rounded education and options for student success, both in school and after graduation. The two schools shared the honor once again in 2008. And VAHS was chosen as one of America's best high schools for a third consecutive year in 2009. Here, President Obama (back row, center) poses with VAHS students in 2009. They were the only students he met with during his first visit to California as president.
PUSD has had a number of schools selected as among California's best. Currently, we have three California Distinguished Schools: Cortez Mathematics and Science Magnet School, Ranch Hills Elementary, and Diamond Ranch High School. Cortez is just entering its third year of operation and has already been recognized as among the very best. Ranch Hills was also a nationally recognized Blue Ribbon School in 2005. For Diamond Ranch, it's the second consecutive Distinguished School recognition. In fact, DRHS was one of only 13 high schools in all of Los Angeles County selected, and was the only California Distinguished high school in the eastern San Gabriel Valley.
In 2008, for the third year in a row, Village Academy High School was recognized as an outstanding Title I school by the State of California Department of Education. Joining VAHS in 2007 as a Title I Academic Achievement Award winner was San Jose Elementary. Kellogg Polytechnic Elementary and Alcott Elementary were recognized as Honorable Mention winners.
You know you're doing something right when so many alumni choose to come back to work in the same schools they attended. Currently, 20 percent -- one in every five -- of our teachers are PUSD alumni! We actively encourage the best of our students to consider careers in teaching, and to come to us first when they look for their first assignments. That's part of the reason there's less teacher turnover at PUSD than at many school districts.
We encourage, welcome, and rely on parental involvement. Our volunteer policies were changed recently to make it easier for parents to be involved at their children's schools. All of our schools have active Parent/Teacher Organizations (PTOs) and Parent Resource Centers, and our high schools have booster clubs. But we also have hundreds of parents at each of our elementary schools who take a nine-week course from Parent Institute for Quality Education (PIQE) that teaches them how to access the American public education system and be involved, effective advocates for their children's needs, both in the classroom and all the way up to the district level.
Recruiting by the Nation's Best Colleges
Our seniors are aggressively recruited by colleges from across the country, including America's most prominent and distinguished schools. Our high schools regularly host recruiters from Yale, Dartmouth, Harvard, Stanford, USC, Columbia, The Claremont Colleges, Duke, Oberlin, NYU, Swarthmore, Princeton, Vanderbilt, Tulane, Johns Hopkins, University of Puget Sound, Bowdoin, UCLA, Willamette, UC Berkeley, Williams, Cal Tech, MIT, and many others. Our graduates are now studying at top colleges here in the United States and abroad. The Class of 2010 was offered more than $49 million in college scholarships and grants.
Progressive, innovative, forward-thinking: These are words that others have used to describe us, and they're well-deserved. We are creating an upward spiral of student success, and it's an exciting time to be a part of PUSD!
The Pomona Unified School District provides a well-rounded and challenging educational program of the highest quality, empowering students to lead productive, fulfilling lives as lifelong learners. Supported on a foundation of integrity and respect, students will gain academic excellence and take personal and community pride as responsible citizens and productive participants in a diverse society and global economy.
The Pomona Unified School District is a world-class educational system committed to:
Respect, where all students, parents, staff, and community members are valued partners;