The Santa Paula Unified School District operates an early childhood education program, six K-5 elementary schools, one 6-8 middle school, one comprehensive high school and one continuation high school. Approximately 535 certificated and classified employees serve 5,500 students on a budget of $61 million.
The District is comprised of a culturally diverse population of students in grades kindergarten through 12th grade, with 94 percent of the total students being of Hispanic/Latino origin and 83.4 percent who are socioeconomically disadvantaged. The community of Santa Paula has a large number of economically disadvantaged families. Of the 8300 households, 25 percent have incomes below the federal poverty level. In the Santa Paula Unified School District, the percentage of students that receive Free and Reduced Lunch ranges between 77 and 95 percent, depending on the school site.
A total of 98 percent of our teachers are highly qualified as per the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing. All of our English, math, ELD and science teachers have participated in broad based professional development in the Common Core Standards during the 2012-13 and 2013-14 school years. The district will be implementing Common Core Standards beginning in the fall of 2014-15.
All of our Title I schools have an active School Site Council which meets on a regular basis to discuss progress towards the school’s academic goals. Beginning in the fall of 2014, the Parent Institute for Quality Education (PIQE) will be starting a parent leadership and engagement institute at our school district with the goal of increasing our parent empowerment and involvement at school sites and the district in general.
Santa Paula Unified is proud to be the home of the National MESA Champions, the Migrant Speech/Debate Winners, a CSBA Golden Bell Award recipient, two award winning academic academies, and a National Blue Ribbon School (Grace Thille Elementary). In addition, both high schools were recently awarded six year accreditations as well as a new track and field facility and a state of the art science/technology building on the campus of Santa Paula High School.