Last month I wrote about a smaller, lesser known school district in San Jose, Union School District. This month, I would like to focus on the largest school district in the South Bay – San Jose Unified School District. SJUSD is an award winning Pre-K to 12 school district with 41 schools in the district. This number includes; 25 Elementary, 2 K-8 Schools, 6 Middle, 6 High Schools and 2 Alternative Education Programs. An impressive 30,000 students attend these 41 schools covering communities from Downtown San Jose to Almaden Valley. The district is also home to 22 California Distinguished Schools, nine National Blue Ribbon Schools, and a California Gold Ribbon School.
SJUSD has gained a reputation as Silicon Valley’s innovative education leaders. Their mission statement reads – “San Jose Unified School District’s mission is to eliminate the opportunity gap and provide every student with the finest 21st century education“. SJUSD uses 11 Key Performance Measures to measure progress towards this mission. Examples of these measures range from early literacy education to college success. These incredible successes speak for themselves:
● The number of 3rd graders reading at or above grade level increased by 7% from 2015 to 2016.
● The average SAT score is 1591 compared to the state average of 1473.
● The graduation rate for the Class of 2015 (85.4%) was more than three points higher than the state average (82.3%).
● The district reduced suspensions by 31% and expulsions by 63% between 2011-12 and 2014-15 thanks to programs like Positive Behavioral Intervention and Supports (PBIS), which is now active on 32 campuses.
Several of the schools offer award winning and nationally recognized programs focusing on Two-Way Bilingual Immersion, Advanced Placement, Blended Learning, Environmental Science, Speech and Debate and Visual and Performing Arts to name a few. Parents also have many resources. SJUSD has an Office of Family Engagement which helps develop family leadership and advocacy skills. There are also several committees available to parents to volunteer for and serve as assets to their community. Budget Committees, District English Learners Advisory Committee and the Voluntary Integration Plan Committee.
Operating A Successful School District
One question you may be asking yourself is what does it take to operate such a big district? Just about 3,000 public servants are employed with approximately 1,700 of those employees serving as teachers with an average of 11 years teaching in the district. 44% of the teachers have a Masters degree. 1200 employees work in support roles for the students, including school nurses, bus drivers, etc,. SJUSD has a budget of approximately $350 million. 2,500 students are transported by bus or van per day to and from school. 18,000 meals are served daily at all 41 schools. In order for a safe and environmentally responsible facility to welcome students every day custodians and groundskeepers must maintain 3.3 million square feet of space.
SJUSD has a vision and that vision is that all San José Unified School District students are inspired and prepared to succeed in a global society. In my humble opinion, the educators, parents, administration and so many more contributors have gone above and beyond to make this statement come true. For more information on the district, please visit the website, http://www.sjusd.org/ Click here for the accountability report cards for the District:
If you are looking to purchase a home in the San Jose Unified School District, I can help you locate available homes and share more information about each school in the district.
Kerry Smith, 408-887-2245