PUSD at a Glance

The Pasadena Unified School District (PUSD) serves approximately 17,000 Kindergarten through 12th grade students who reside in Pasadena, Altadena and Sierra Madre. There are a total of 26 schools in the district, including 18 sites serving elementary grades (K-5), 7 sites serving grades 6-8, and 4 sites serving grades 9-12. Every school provides a curriculum based on the California Common Core Standards, attention to social and emotional learning, arts and other enrichment programs, after school programs, and a diverse population that PEN believes leads to a rich learning environment for all students.

The District’s Parent/Student Handbook (updated August 2016) provides a directory of PUSD schools and an overview of programs and services.  Because homework impacts families, PEN facilitated a process to revise PUSD’s Homework Policy.  See also PEN’s Who to Contact page. Some highlights about PUSD schools include:

  • Ten elementary/K-8 schools had their most recent Academic Performance Index (API) above 800
  • 21 elementary and middle schools had an API above 700
  • Awards & recognition include a National Blue Ribbon School, California Distinguished schools, Title 1 Achieving schools, and more*
  • All four Pasadena Unified high schools (Blair, Muir, Marshall, and PHS) made the Washington Post’s “America’s Most Challenging High Schools” list for 2017
  • Transitional Kindergarten (TK) at seven locations and Expanded TK currently at two locations
  • Spanish Dual Language Immersion Programs at San Rafael, Jackson & Jefferson Elementary schools and Blair IB Secondary (6-12); French DLIP at Altadena Elementary
  • Mandarin Dual Language Immersion Program at Field Elementary, Sierra Madre Middle and Pasadena High School
  • STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Math) and STEAM (add Art) magnet schools at Washington Elementary and Middle
  • Eliot Arts Magnet middle school program that nurtures academic development through the integration of music, dance, theater and visual arts across the curriculum
  • Advanced Scholars program at Wilson Middle
  • Math Academy, a highly accelerated math program that allows gifted 5th, 6th, and 7th graders to begin learning Calculus
  • International Baccalaureate Program (primary program at Willardmiddle and diploma programs at Blair)
  • High School College and Career Pathways Programs
  • Dual Enrollment allows students to earn college credit for specified high school courses
  • Recognized leader in the transition to Common Core Standards/21st Century Learning
  • Arts for All school district including instrumental music and My Masterpieces visual arts program
  • Middle School Robotics program
  • Pasadena LEARNS Afterschool program (see also City of Pasadena’s After-School Adventures Program, available at several PUSD campuses)
  • Naviance (college planning and application software) available to all secondary students

*U.S. News & World Report has repeatedly awarded silver medals to Blair and Marshall Secondary Schools (both 6-12) and Pasadena High School, ranking them among the country’s top high schools; Newsweek named it a top national public high school and ranked it above La Cañada, San Marino and South Pasadena high schools.

Go Public, a documentary film project produced in 2012, captured some of the people who participate in our schools.

  • Bess, 5th grade, Webster Elementary
  • Abby, 2nd grade, San Rafael Elementary (Spanish Dual Language Immersion)
  • David, 2nd grade, McKinley K-8
  • Joanna, 3rd grade, Field Elementary (Mandarin Dual Language Immersion)
  • Esmeralda, parent volunteer, Madison Elementary
  • Frances, principal, Hamilton Elementary

Pasadena Unified School District website