San José Unified School District

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San José Unified School District
Image: 250 pixels
United States
Coordinates37°20′10″N 121°54′41″W / 37.33611°N 121.91139°W / 37.33611; -121.91139 (District office)Coordinates: 37°20′10″N 121°54′41″W / 37.33611°N 121.91139°W / 37.33611; -121.91139 (District office)
District information
TypeUnified school district
Established1853 (1853)
SuperintendentNancy Albarrán
NCES District ID0634590[1]
Students and staff
Teachers1,412.15 FTE[1]
StaffOver 3,000
Other information

San José Unified School District (abbreviated SJUSD) is a TK-12 unified school district in Santa Clara County, California, that covers a large portion of the city of San Jose. The district has more than 3,000 full-time employees serving approximately 30,000 students in 41 schools from Downtown San Jose in the north to the Almaden Valley in the south. It is one of 19 school districts that serve parts of San Jose, the largest school district in the Santa Clara Valley, and the 24th largest in California.[3][4][5]

Mission and vision[edit]

San José Unified's vision is "Preparing today’s students to be the thinkers, leaders, and creators of tomorrow." The district's mission is "Uniting as one community, we elevate opportunities for all."[6]


San José Unified School District was established in 1853 as the San Jose City School District. The district adopted its present name in 1936.

In 1863, the district opened San Jose High School, the second-oldest public high school in California. In 1953, the district took over operation of San Jose City College from San Jose State College.

State law originally required school districts to be coterminous with city limits. San Jose's rapid expansion under city manager Dutch Hamann caused territory to be transferred to the San José Unified School District from the surrounding rural school districts. The rural districts used lawsuits to delay or block annexations in an attempt to preserve their tax bases. In 1954, the state passed a law allowing school districts to have distinct boundaries from cities, mostly confining San José Unified School District to its boundaries at the time. Christensen (2015) cites the resulting hodgepodge of school districts within San Jose as a contributing factor in the city's "fragmented politics, lack of identity and racial segregation".[3] The law also required certain elementary districts to either build their own high school or be annexed by a district that already had a high school. Thus, in 1956, the voters in Almaden Union School District elected to merge with San José Unified.[7]

In 1971, parents in San Jose filed suit against the school district to force school integration. The district claimed that any racial segregation was due to housing patterns, not explicit policy. However, in 1984, the United States District Court for the Northern District of California issued a desegregation order for the school district, embarrassing local officials.[8] The district responded by opening magnet schools and busing students.[9]

In 1983, federal bankruptcy judge Seymour Abrahams declared the school board bankrupt under Chapter 9. The judge rolled back employee wages.[10]

In the late 1990s, a fire sprinkler broke in the basement of the district office, destroying many of the district's historic documents. District staff and local historians have been working ever since to rebuild the district archive.

By 2017, a high cost of living and housing shortage had contributed to the district's declining enrollment.[11]

Over 164 years, San José Unified has supported 53 elementary schools, of which 26 remain active as of the 2017–2018 school year. Additionally, the district supports six comprehensive middle schools, six comprehensive high schools, a continuation high school, and an alternative education school.[12]

San José Unified School District administration building, 855 Lenzen Avenue
Horace Mann Elementary School in downtown San Jose
Hammer Montessori Magnet School

List of schools[edit]

School Name Students FTE Teachers Pupil/Teacher Ratio
Allen at Steinbeck (K-8) 807 47 17.2
Almaden Elementary School 415 25 16.6
Bachrodt Elementary School 644 39 16.5
Booksin Elementary School 794 36 22.1
Broadway High School 251 18 13.9
Canoas Elementary School 429 27 17
Rachel Carson Elementary School 422 21 20.1
Castillero Middle School 1247 61 20.4
Anne Darling Elementary School 473 34 13.9
Downtown College Prep 399 25 16
Empire Gardens Elementary School 450 19 23.7
Gardner Elementary School 549 27 20.3
Grant Elementary School 602 28 21.5
Graystone Elementary School 758 36 21.1
Gunderson High School 1128 57 19.8
Hacienda Environmental Science Magnet School 688 32 21.5
Hammer Montessori Magnet School 312 14 22.3
Bret Harte Middle School 1999 56 21.3
Herbert Hoover Middle School 1093 63 17.3
Leland High School 1795 82 21.9
Liberty High School 334 26 12.8
Abraham Lincoln High School 1786 84 21.2
Los Alamitos Elementary School 703 31 22.7
Lowell Elementary School 399 25 17.1
Horace Mann Elementary School 614 32 16
Middle College High School 42 2 21
John Muir Middle School 1178 54 21.8
Muwekma Ohlone Middle School 883 51 20.2
Olinder Elementary School 443 32 13.8
Pioneer High School 1627 77 21.1
Reed Elementary School 513 23 22.3
River Glen Elementary School 538 26 20.7
San Jose Community High School 15 5 3
San Jose High School 1119 58 19.3
Schallenberger Elementary School 564 25 22.7
Simonds Elementary School 719 31 23.2
Terrell Elementary School 529 29 18.2
Trace Elementary School 1002 51 19.4
Washington Elementary School 507 34 14.9
Williams Elementary School 718 28 25.6
Willow Glen Elementary School 749 33 22.7
Willow Glen High School 1589 77 20.6
Willow Glen Middle School 1227 73 16.8

* Note: Based on data from the 2013-2014 school year


San Jose Unified School District's bus fleet consists of the following

Historical fleet[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Search for Public School Districts – District Detail for San Jose Unified". National Center for Education Statistics. Institute of Education Sciences. Retrieved February 27, 2019.
  2. ^ "K-12 Public School Enrollment: 4369666-San Jose Unified". DataQuest. California Department of Education. Retrieved February 27, 2019.
  3. ^ a b Christensen 2015, p. 11.
  4. ^ Keller, Matt (August 15, 2018). "Students in largest Silicon Valley school district go back to class". KGO-TV. Retrieved February 27, 2019.
  5. ^ "Vote Meek, Foley for San Jose Unified board". The Mercury News. DigitalFirst Media. October 28, 2016. Retrieved February 27, 2019.
  6. ^
  7. ^ San Jose Mercury News. January 18, 1956. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  8. ^ Vasquez et al. v. San Jose Unified School District, 633 F. Supp. 808 (N.D. Cal. 1986).
  9. ^ Christensen 2015, p. 18.
  10. ^ "San Jose Schools Can Cut Pay, U.S. Bankruptcy Court Rules". The New York Times. August 30, 1983. p. B8.
  11. ^ Sanchez, Kris (September 13, 2017). "San Jose Unified School District Enrollment to Plunge Amid Skyrocketing Living Costs, Shortage of Single-Family Homes". KNTV. Retrieved February 27, 2019.
  12. ^ "Find your school | Schools | Our Schools | San José Unified School District".

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]