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