Capistrano Unified School District

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Capistrano Unified School District (CUSD) is the second largest school district in Orange County, California, the 12th largest in California and the 82nd largest in the United States. The district currently has 51,512 students [1]. The school district serves the following cities:

The CUSD administers 38 elementary schools, 10 middle schools, 6 high schools and 2 alternative education programs.

CUSD encompasses 195 square miles (510 km2) and has 40 California Distinguished Schools and 11 National Blue Ribbon Schools. The district has a graduation rate of 96.5%, much higher than California's average of 85.1%, and employees 4,432 employees, making it the largest employer in South Orange County. [2]

Controversies regarding district management have prompted two efforts to recall school board members. On February 14, 2008, it was announced that 50-75 of the district's 148 bus drivers would be laid off due to the gross mismanagement of funds by the Board of Trustees.[citation needed]

Board of trustees[edit]

About the board[edit]

The Capistrano Unified School District has a seven-member board of trustees, with each trustee representing one of seven geographic areas within the school district. Each trustee is elected to a four-year term of office and is voted upon by the entire district. Trustees must reside in the area they represent.

Current board of trustees:

  • Jack Brick, Area 1 (elected 2008)
  • Sue Palazzo, Area 2 (elected 2008)
  • John M. Alpay, Area 3, Vice President (elected 2010)
  • Anna Bryson, Area 4 (elected 2006)
  • Dr. Gary Pritchard, Area 5, President (elected 2010)
  • Ellen Addonizio, Area 6 (elected 2006)
  • Lynn Hatton, Area 7, Clerk (elected 2010)
  • Ryan Pallas, non-voting Student Advisor (appointed 2011)

The board of trustees is the policymaking body for the school district. It is charged with providing a quality educational program for students in grades kindergarten through 12 in accordance with the California Constitution, the laws of the state, adopted board policies, and the desires of the community.

Functions of the board[edit]

As elected officials, trustees are state officers responsible for the governance of a political subdivision of the state. The school district is independent of city and county governments, but cooperates with them.

In addition to establishing school district policies, the board adopts an annual budget and approves all expenditures, employment decisions, curricula, textbooks, and courses of study, and makes decisions on school sites, building plans and construction contracts.

Trustees have no power to act individually in the name of the board. Formal action can be taken only when the board is in session with a quorum of at least half of the trustees.

The superintendent[edit]

From 1991 to 2006, the superintendent was long-time district official James A. Fleming. Due to political controversy, however, he resigned at the beginning of the 2006–2007 school year. Following his resignation, the board appointed an interim superintendent, A. Woodrow Carter. The superintendent acts as secretary to the board of trustees.

The administration of the school district is delegated by trustees to a professional administrative staff headed by the superintendent.

Carter was ultimately fired in 2009, again after political discord. He has since filed a lawsuit against the district. The district was being managed by Interim Superintendent Roberta "Bobbi" Mahler. In early May 2010, the board approved the hiring of Dr. Joseph M. Farley as superintendent for the district.

Employee awards[edit]

2008 Classified Employees of the Year: [3]

  • Jill Packard (Academic Advisor - Capistrano Valley High School)
  • Patricia Effenberger (District Office Support Services)
  • Colleen Lamb (Food Services - Capistrano Valley High School)
  • Bob Eaten (Maintenance Specialist)
  • Kathy Itzel (Instructional Support Services)
  • Arnie Smith (Custodian - Vista del Mar School)
  • Susie Stucky (Office Manager - Moulton Elementary School)
  • Dan Cherone (Transportation Services)

2008 Teachers of the Year: [4]

  • Christine Jones (Chaparral Elementary School)
  • Warren Nagano (Las Flores Middle School)
  • Cheryl Des Palmes (Tesoro High School)

Mission[edit]

The District's mission statement is:

[Our mission,] in partnership with the home and our richly diverse community, is to educate students and to assist them in realizing their full potential as responsible, productive, and contributing members of society by providing an educational environment in which students are challenged, excellence is expected and differences are valued.

Schools[edit]

Elementary schools[edit]

Middle schools[edit]

High schools[edit]

Alternative education programs[edit]

Student ethnicity[edit]

Ethnicity This District State Average
White, not Hispanic 67.4% 28.6%
Asian 5.2% 8.3%
Hispanic or Latino 18.1% 48.6%
Multiple or No Response 5.8% 3.1%
African American, not Hispanic 1.4% 7.4%
Filipino 1.5% 2.7%
Pacific Islander 0.3% 0.6%
American Indian or Alaska Native 0.2% 0.8%

See also[edit]

External links[edit]