Centinela Valley Union High School District

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Centinela Valley Union High School District
14901 South Inglewood Avenue
Lawndale, CA 90260
United States
Type Union high school district
Established 1905
Locale South Bay, Los Angeles
School board Hugo Rojas, President; Gloria Ramos, Vice-Pelresident; Rocio Pizano, Clerk; Daniel Urrutia; Marisela Ruiz
Superintendent Dr. Gregory O'brien
Teaching staff 318 (2008–09)[1]
Employees 614 (2008–09)[1]
Grades 912; adult
Enrollment 6787 (2009–10[4])
Average class size 27.8 (2008–09)
Student to teacher ratio 23.0 (2008–09)
Language English
Campuses Hawthorne High School
Lawndale High School
Leuzinger High School
Lloyde Continuation High School
Accreditation Western Association of Schools and Colleges, Accrediting Commission for Schools
Revenue $75,141,157 (2008–09)[2]
Communities served Lawndale, Hawthorne, Lennox, Del Aire, El Camino Village
Feeder schools Hawthorne School District, Lawndale Elementary School District, Lennox School District, Wiseburn School District[3]

Centinela Valley Union High School District, (CVUHSD) is a public union high school district located in southern California that serves about 6,800 students[4] in grades 9–12 from Lawndale, Hawthorne, Lennox, Del Aire, and El Camino Village. The district's four associated elementary feeder school districts are Hawthorne School District, Lawndale Elementary School District, Lennox School District, and Wiseburn School District.[3] The Centinela Valley district also offers adult education classes.[5]

Students attend Hawthorne High School, Lawndale High School, Leuzinger High School, or the continuation school, Lloyde Continuation High School.[5]


The district has as its basis the 1905 formation of the Inglewood Union High School District, which included at the outset the territories of Hawthorne, Inglewood, Lennox, and Wiseburn school districts. In 1912 the El Segundo school district formed out of territory in the Wiseburn district and was a part of the Inglewood high school district. El Segundo withdrew from CVUHSD on November 22, 1925, when the El Segundo Unified School District was formed.[6]

The high school district was named Centinela Valley Union High School District on November 1, 1944. On July 1, 1954, Inglewood, with its Inglewood and Morningside high schools, withdrew to form the Inglewood Unified School District.[6]

In 2004 the areas in the Wiseburn School District had made a proposal to break away from Centinela Valley Union.[7]

Jose Fernandez became the superintendent in 2008. He received $663,000 in total compensation in 2013. This fact was revealed in a 2014 newspaper investigation. The superintendent of the Los Angeles Unified School District, John Deasy, had an annual salary of $390,000. KCAL-TV stated that a crowd appeared asking for Fernandez to resign. Fernandez stated that he had made improvements to CVUSD.[8] The board later put Fernandez on paid leave and selected Bob Cox as the interim superintendent. The District Attorney of Los Angeles County began investigating the district.[9]

In 2014 the Daily Breeze reported that TELACU, a company which received building contracts worth millions of US dollars from the high school district, had bankrolled election campaigns of board members.[10]


In the 2011-2012 school year the district spent $6,900,000 on district administration. Salaries and benefits made up slightly over 50% of the spending. Conferences, financial consulting services, legal fees, and travel made up the remainder. In the 2011-2012 school year the district spent $1,150 per student on districtwide administrative costs. During that school year, the average administrative cost per student of the California school districts was $468. CVUHSD's administrative per pupil cost was the second highest in Los Angeles County after that of the Gorman Elementary School District.[11]

Academic performance[edit]

As of 2004 the district average Academic Performance Index (API) was 549. The California average at the time was 693, and the Los Angeles County average was 676. In a two-year period ending in 2004 the district did not make the progress mandated by the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB). Jean Merl of the Los Angeles Times stated that some residents of the Hawthorne School District and Lennox School District had created charter schools which had "signaled their continuing dissatisfaction" with the Centinela Valley district.[7]

District service area[edit]

Corporate operations in El Segundo, such as those of Mattel (headquarters pictured here) provide significant tax revenue for the district

The area within the Wiseburn School District area as a whole, as of 2002, generates about 40% of the assessed property value of the entire Centinela Valley district.[12] Jean Merl of the Los Angeles Times wrote in 2004 that Wiseburn "provides by far the largest portion of [the Centinela Valley Union High School District]'s assessed property tax valuation."[13] As of 2014, most students within the Wiseburn School District do not matriculate to Centinela Valley after leaving the 8th grade. In November 2013 the voters in the Wiseburn school district voted to separate from Centinela Valley and establish a high school for the Wiseburn district.[14]

As of 2014 the CVUSD district includes a portion of eastern El Segundo with a high concentration of businesses and no residents. This area, also within the Wiseburn School District, houses operations of various companies, including Boeing, Mattel, Northrop Grumman, Raytheon, and Xerox. As of 2014 the concentration of businesses gives about 33% of the funds towards any approved school bond. CVUSD had passed two bonds, each worth almost $100 million, from 2008 to 2014.[14]


  1. ^ a b National Center for Education Statistics, CVUHSD information, accessed December 23, 2010
  2. ^ Education Data Partnership, District Reports, Centinela Valley Union High, District Reports, FISCAL YEAR:2008-09, accessed December 23, 2010
  3. ^ a b Wiseburn School District, "Unification Update - October 14, 2009" Archived March 6, 2010, at the Wayback Machine., accessed 12/23/2010
  4. ^ a b California Department of Education, DataQuest Reports,Centinela Valley Union High - Reports, accessed December 23, 2010
  5. ^ a b "Profile," CVUHSD website
  6. ^ a b History of School District Organization, Los Angeles County Department of Education (1975), quoted in the CVUHSD website
  7. ^ a b Merl, Jean. "A Bid to Drop Out of High School District." Los Angeles Times. September 6, 2004. p. 1. Retrieved on April 4, 2014.
  8. ^ "CA school supe's $663K compensation sparks outrage Archived March 5, 2014, at the Wayback Machine.." CBS 8 Los Angeles. February 26, 2014. Retrieved on March 1, 2014.
  9. ^ Kuznia, Ron. "Centinela Valley schools superintendent’s high pay investigated by L.A. County District Attorney’s Office." Daily Breeze. April 16, 2014. Retrieved on April 19, 2014.
  10. ^ Kuznia, Rob. "Exclusive: Construction firm TELACU bankrolling Centinela Valley school board campaigns, receiving millions in contracts." Daily Breeze. February 19, 2014. Retrieved on April 19, 2014.
  11. ^ Kimitch, Rebecca. "Centinela Valley school district spends more than double the state average on administration." The Daily Breeze. March 17, 2014. Retrieved on April 19, 2014.
  12. ^ Murillo, Sandra. "Wiseburn Schools Secession Plan Clears a Hurdle, but There's a Catch." Los Angeles Times. May 2, 2002. Retrieved on April 4, 2014.
  13. ^ Merl, Jean. "School District Breakup On Hold." Los Angeles Times. December 11, 2004. Retrieved on April 5, 2014.
  14. ^ a b Kuznia, Rob. "Aerospace business corridor in El Segundo a cash cow for Centinela Valley school district" (Archive). Daily Breeze. February 19, 2014. Retrieved on April 19, 2014.

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