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The future starts here.
We are a student-oriented district where children come first and where students always remain at the heart of our commitment. Thanks to the efforts of our talented and dedicated staff, strong support from our Board of Education, involved parents and a community that values education, our students benefit from a rich and varied curriculum.

As we pursue our Strategic Plan to provide a first-class educational program for all our students, our ongoing commitment is to improve student achievement and to support all areas of student development.

Smarter Balanced Assessment

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Top Elementary Education Administrator Taking New Position

The Director of Elementary Education, Kathleen Meagher, announced that she will be leaving the district at the end of the school year to step into the Director of Secondary Education position for the Arlington Public School District in Arlington, Virginia.  Ms. Meagher has been leading the Elementary Education Department for four years and was a teacher and principal in Palo Alto Unified School District prior to entering this position in 2010.

Smarter Balanced Assessments are Here

As you know, PAUSD, along with thousands of schools across California, are participating in a field test of a modern assessment system designed to help shape teaching and learning in the classroom. Known as the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress – or CAASPP – these computer-based tests replace the STAR program.  These tests are also called Smarter Balanced Assessments (SBA). AB 484 requires all California districts to participate in the field test. Students in grades 3-8 and 11 are expected to participate. We look forward to students and staff supporting us in this important effort and opportunity.

For an excellent video describing additional rationale for participating in the SBA field tests from a student’s perspective, please click here:

We’re All In this Together” and “Jaguars Have Your Back” Themes Set the Stage for 12th Annual Not In Our Schools Week

When students at Jordan Middle School and Gunn High School return from Spring Break on Monday, April 7, they will be entering one of the most important weeks of the year –Not In Our Schools (NIOS) Week.  NIOS started twelve years ago at Gunn and has spread across all secondary schools in Palo Alto Unified School District. Although messages of acceptance, empathy, awareness, and identity safety are emphasized throughout the year with staff and students, NIOS week deepens this work with structured class activities and lessons, invitational assemblies, and participatory lunch activities.

For more information on Gunn’s NIOS week, click here.  For specific information regarding Gunn High School’s and Jordan Middle School’s schedule and opportunities for photographs, please contact Tabitha Kappeler-Hurley.

District Announces Changes in Top Administrators at Gunn High School and Addison Elementary School for 2014-2015

The principals from Addison Elementary School and Gunn High School are planning for career changes in the 2014-2015 school year. Gunn Principal Katya Villalobos will be stepping into the Principal position at the Palo Alto Adult School, replacing Dr. Kara Rosenberg who is retiring in July.  Addison Principal Jocelyn Garcia-Thome will be leaving Palo Alto Unified School District in June to explore other career possibilities. Both principals started at their respective sites in 2010 and have led important efforts during their tenure in these positions.

Local Control Accountability Plan Community Forum on April 17

Recent legislation has changed the funding formula for schools.  It is now known as the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF). Part of this formula requires California school districts to develop a Local Control Accountability Plan (LCAP) specifying how categorical funds will be allocated.  Within this plan, school districts have the flexibility to prioritize categorical funds in order to meet the specific needs of their unique student populations.

PAUSD looks at this process as an opportunity to evaluate the programs that we have in place to support our students, particularly groups of students who are part of the groups mentioned above. The LCFF will address categorical funds only and use the new LCAP to drive the process. In April, there will be an engagement forum for community members to share what they believe should be the district’s priorities for students who are English-Language Learners, foster youth, homeless and low income. 

The Community Input forum will be held on Thursday, April 17 from 5:00-8:00 p.m. at JLS Middle School, 480 East Meadow Drive, Palo Alto. We hope all interested parents and community members will attend these important forums.  If you have any questions regarding these forums or the LCAP and LCFF, please contact Ed Services Coordinator Judy Jaramillo-Argumedo at

District Announces the Retirement of Four School Administrators

Four school administrators with nearly 100 years of combined teaching and administrative experience have announced their retirement from Palo Alto Unified School District. Ohlone Principal Bill Overton, Fairmeadow Principal Gary Prehn, Adult School Principal Dr. Kara Rosenberg, and Jordan Assistant Principal Ellie Slack will be retiring at the end of June 2014.  All four were teachers in the district prior to becoming administrators.