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The Promise

"Building upon a foundation of excellence." Dr. Don Austin

Palo Alto Unified is recognized as one of the premiere school districts in the entire nation. Currently ranked as the top K-12 school district in California and the #1 district of over 10,000 students in the nation, Palo Alto is truly a destination location for families with children.

In 2019-2020, the PAUSD Promise replaced typical strategic plans to balance organizational goals, student outcomes, and innovative practices. An essential aspect of the PAUSD Promise is the prioritization of goals to maximize impacts. The five priority areas for 2023-2024 are:

  • Serve and Celebrate Others
  • Mental Health and Wellness
  • Early Literacy
  • Equity and Excellence
  • Innovation

Our students are challenged to reach high standards and are provided an experience capable of accelerating learning through pedagogical academic supports, unobstructed access to rigorous courses, and an unwavering belief that our schools can positively impact the trajectory of each child.

While competitive in every aspect, PAUSD also values the importance of inclusion and success for all students. We strive to create an environment characterized by acceptance, respect, and support to invest in the pursuit of learning and excellence without fear of threat, humiliation, danger, or disregard.

We are able to make progress on our vision and goals and do special things because of the talent, dedication and professionalism of our educators and staff. Our work is further supported by strong partnerships with our amazing parent community, including our partners from PTA and Partners in Education (PiE) who contributed over 50,000 volunteer hours and $5 million to our operational budget in support of high-priority areas.

PAUSD respects the journey as much as the destination. Please enjoy the summary of our progress this year and our plans to embrace a culture of continuous improvement together!