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

  • Spanish Dual Language Immersion Programs at San Rafael, Jackson & Jefferson Elementary schools and Blair IB Secondary (6-12)

  • French Dual Language Immersion Program at Altadena Arts 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

  • Altadena Arts Magnet elementary school and Eliot Arts Magnet middle school nurture 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 starts in 6th grade at McKinley, Sierra Madre, & Washington STEAM middle schools. Students complete BC Calculus by the end of 8th grade and learn college-level pure & applied mathematics in high school.

  • International Baccalaureate Program (primary program at Willard; middle and diploma programs at Blair)

  • High School College and Career Pathways Programs

  • Early College Program where students engage in a rigorous, four-year program, earning up to two years of transferable college credit while in high school

  • 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, My Masterpieces visual arts program, and Open Stage Performing 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

Pasadena Unified School District website


The 2018-2019 school year started on Monday, August 13, 2018.  View the academic calendar. 

PUSD students are accepted at some of the country's most elite colleges and universities.  See where the Class of 2018 was accepted.