Palos Verdes Peninsula Unified School District

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Education Insights

PVPUSD Progress Report
We are approaching the final stretch of the year.  In a few weeks, our students will enter, promote, or graduate from the PVPUSD.  Earlier this year, we shared the PVPUSD Road Map to outline some of the work ahead of us for the next three years.  This is a time of reflection for many of our families, so we thought it would also be an appropriate time to benchmark our progress related to the first year of our ambitious plan. This brief summary will highlight some aspects of our plan in the areas of Personnel, Facilities, and Curriculum & Instruction.

The success of PVPUSD begins with our people.  We believe strongly in hiring, training, and retaining, the best possible employees.  Over the last year, we have promoted several internal employees, trained hundreds of teachers in research-based instructional strategies, reduced administrative positions, and created collaboration time at the elementary school level for teachers to plan together.  We have also added teaching and classified positions despite declining enrollment, improved the elementary PE program, and hosted the first-ever professional development opportunity for every classified member of the District.  There is no finish line in this work, but the first steps are in motion.

Our Board of Education recently approved a Request for Proposals to create a much-needed Facilities Master Plan.  The plan will identify challenges and opportunities at each of our sites ranging from safety to function.  We have reduced consumption of water and electricity and are taking steps to produce our own energy.  Additionally, we have successfully refinanced existing bond debt for taxpayer savings, while maintaining our credit rating of Aa1.  Safety remains a top priority across the District.  We have upgraded our first three playground surfaces and equipment with more on the horizon.


Curriculum and Instruction
Over the last two years, we have successfully implemented Math In Focus (Singapore Math) at the K-5 levels, Big Ideas Math at grades 6-8, and recently adopted Big Ideas for Algebra I, Geometry, and Algebra II.  Each adoption has been followed with professional development, online supplemental materials, and alignment of resources that shifted the burden of providing books at home for each child from our PTA to the District.  Summative exams were given in math to provide calibration between schools, a consistent criteria for placement, and information for families to make their own final decisions.  The years ahead will focus on English Language Arts and the transition to Next Generation Science Standards.  We are excited to launch our first pilot online courses this summer and in the fall of 2016 using the FuelED platform and our own PVPUSD teachers.  Finally, we are proud to have some of the best counselor to student ratios in California thanks to our Peninsula Education Foundation to guide our students through the changing landscape.  

We will continue to evaluate the gap between what is and what could be for our District.   The journey to World Class is challenging, complex, and completely worth it!  We are a few exams, some awards banquets, and a number of last-minute opportunities to make lifetime memories away from the end of a banner year. Let's finish strong!

Don Austin, Ed.D.
Superintendent of Schools
Follow us on Twitter:  @DonAustin_PVP and @pvpschools 
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Year End Results 2016
The Palos Verdes Peninsula Unified School District is pleased to release its Year End Results for 2014-2016.
The First Edition of our Year End Results book chronicles work completed over the past two years. While not an exhaustive compilation, the document is designed to memorialize some of the most impactful initiatives, highlight noteworthy accomplishments, acknowledge challenges, and foreshadow future work.
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