Poway Unified School District

Superintendent ~ Poway Unified School District

15250 Avenue of Science, San Diego, CA 92128

SUPERINTENDENT, John P. Collins, Ed.D. 
(858) 521-2700 FAX (858) 485-1075

Tina McDowell, Executive Assistant to the Superintendent
(858) 521-2700    FAX (858) 485-1075

Superintendent’s September 2015 Message


September 4, 2015

Dear PUSD Family,

Your student’s scores for the spring, 2015 Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC) test, now called the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP), will arrive at your home sometime in late September.

PUSD teachers will use these scores as just one piece of information about your student’s academic progress. Classroom projects, writing assignments, math exercises, and classroom assessments given throughout the year all contribute information as we build a clear picture of how your student is progressing.

Like school districts throughout California, PUSD is in a period of transition. We have identified new skills that students should master; we have been teaching those skills in new ways; and now we are assessing progress with a new test.

It is important you understand that all California K-12 Districts are going through this transition. The California Department of Education has told districts only to use these test results for instructional and program improvement; they are not to be used to rank schools or to compare teachers.

These results are not being used in any state or national school improvement efforts, either, as California is in the process of designing a new system of accountability to replace the Academic Performance Index (API) and the U.S. Congress is still finalizing legislation to replace No Child Left Behind (NCLB).

Below, please find details and a link to a video from the California Department of Education on how to interpret CAASPP scores based upon your student’s grade level.

I encourage you to take a look at your student’s classroom accomplishments this year, as well as these test scores, and use this complete body of information when helping your student set goals for improvement in the coming year.

John P. Collins

Interpreting the Scores – Grades 3-8
You should consider this year’s test results a baseline for marking future growth. The scores on this test will not be comparable to last year’s annual test scores, as the old test assessed a different set of skills. Additionally, we have raised expectations for what students should be able to do, so this year’s results may show that many students will need to make substantial progress to master the desired skills. This is OK because we are headed in the right direction. As students spend more time with the new curriculum, their skills and their test scores will improve.

When you review these test results, please support your child in areas that seem to be more challenging, and take time to celebrate all of the different ways in which your child has grown this year.

Interpreting the Scores – Grade 11
You will receive a score report that describes your child’s achievement based on four levels: Standard Exceeded, Standard Met, Standard Nearly Met, and Standard Not Met.
Students who score at the Standard Exceeded level are considered ready for college-level coursework, and are exempt from taking the California State University (CSU) and participating California Community College placement tests. In most cases, this will eliminate the need for your student to take a placement test when they enter college and will spare them the time and extra expense of taking non-credit remedial courses.

Students who score at the Standard Met level are conditionally ready for college-level coursework, and are encouraged to take appropriate courses in their senior year to move directly to college-level courses.

Students who score at the Standard Nearly Met or Standard Not Met levels are not yet demonstrating readiness for college-level coursework. That does not mean that they should not plan on attending college. Instead, these students may need to take a placement test when enrolling, and may need to take non-credit courses to acquire the knowledge and skills needed to succeed in college-level courses. We will work with your child to help him or her make as much progress as possible before graduating.

If you have additional questions about interpreting the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress score report, please click the link below to watch an informational video from the California Department of Education:

August 28, 2015

A great place to learn; a great place to teach; a great place to work!

The schools that these teachers chose provided them with balanced and appropriate assignments, good curriculums with sufficient resources, colleagues who generously shared their ideas and encouragement, schoolwide practices that kept students focused on learning, and fair-minded principals who were actively engaged in the life of the school.-S.M. Johnson and Sarah E. Birkeland, “The Schools That Teachers Choose”

Dear PUSD Families,

While districts around California are experiencing troubling teacher shortages, PUSD has been able to recruit and hire an outstanding group of 150 teachers for the 2015-16 school year.

Some are veterans who have taught in other districts; others are first-time teachers. Some are new to California or to the San Diego area; others are "home grown" graduates of PUSD schools. Many are the children of current or former PUSD employees. Many are the parents of students who currently attend PUSD.

While these 150 teachers may have arrived in PUSD via different pathways, their reasons for seeking employment in our District are remarkably similar. Among the reasons they shared with us:

  •   The opportunity to improve their practice by working with the very best teachers.
  •   The need to work collaboratively and avoid the “isolation” that can make teaching a lonely profession.
  •   The desire to work with principals who are committed instructional leaders.
  •   The chance to work as a “team” with families who are supportive and involved.
  •   The opportunity to experience the positive learning environment that comes with teaching great kids!
  •   The chance to have their own children attend school in our “world class” District.

More than 300 new management and classified employees who support our educational mission have also joined our PUSD family this year. Like our teachers, some are brand new to the area; others are home grown. Some have worked in other districts; others are new to the world of public education. Many are the children of current or former PUSD employees. Many are the parents of students who currently attend PUSD.

These 300 employees are filling a wide variety of positions including: Library Media Technician, Principal, Instructional Assistant, Counselor, Assistant Principal, Custodian, Program Aide, Certificated Director, School Administrative Assistant, Groundskeeper, Food and Nutrition Assistant, HVAC and Refrigeration Technician, Food and Nutrition Supervisor, Personnel Commission Director, Lifeguard, and many more.

They understand that their jobs are an integral part of the system that ensures all PUSD students receive the educational opportunities they deserve. They know this from being brought up in our District, from having children who attend school in our District, from knowing the reputation the PUSD has earned in our community.

We often hear that “it takes a village to raise a child.” I also believe it takes an entire community to create a district that is a great place to learn, a great place to teach, and a great place to work.

Thank you to all of our families for your continued support, participation, collaboration, and dedication to making PUSD the “destination district” it is for our students, families, and employees.

It’s going to be another outstanding year!

John P. Collins, Superintendent




John P. Collins, Ed.D. 

(858) 521-2700 FAX (858) 485-1075

Tina McDowell
Executive Assistant to the Superintendent
(858) 521-2700    FAX (858) 485-1075

Rich Newman, Ed.D.
Director of Innovation, Office of Innovation
(858) 521-2737

Jessica Wakefield
Director of Communications
(858) 521-2707  FAX (858) 485-1075

Wendy Anderson
Executive Assistant to the Board
(858) 521-2700   FAX (858) 485-1075



PUSD Report “Poway Research Paper Final”

Hanover Executive Summary

Overall Parent Perception Data K-12

Formal Response to DAC – DELAC