November 16, 2021

Palo Alto Unified School District

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Our Background

The area that is currently known as Palo Alto has been inhabited for over 5,000 years. Before the Spaniards arrived in 1769, the Ohlone Indians resided here. The next hundred years witnessed the establishment of missions down the length of California, followed by Mexico's grant of ranchos to its preferred inhabitants.

The increasing influx of people into the area resulted in the establishment of Palo Alto (meaning lofty tree) and its development into the city we know today. Two big events shaped the city: the establishment of Stanford University in 1891 and the establishment of Hewlett Packard in 1939. The intellectual and cultural seeds of the city were sown with the first event, and the town's rise as a leader in technology and business occurred with the latter.


Attendance and acceptable behavior are the first steps in preparing for college and a job.
Our children will achieve grade level or higher.
Students that graduate from PAUSD have an advantage when it comes to post-secondary options.
Excellence is not determined by demographics.

Enrollment of New Students

To be eligible to register, enroll, and attend schools in the Palo Alto Unified School District (PAUSD), you must meet the following requirements:

Kids must be currently and continuously live with a parent/guardian whose house is located within the PAUSD bounds (Tinsley/VTP students must be currently and continuously residing with a parent/guardian whose home is located within the Ravenswood City School District, or RCSD).
Parents/guardians are highly recommended to understand the legal definition of "residing" on the web page headed Residency - Important Information to avoid a residency violation.
Registrations are only accepted from present residents. Residents can register two weeks before their move-in date.
Some portions of Palo Alto are not within PAUSD limits, while others in Los Altos Hills and Portola Valley are. Enter your address into the PAUSD School Finder program to see if your home is within PAUSD limits. (Tinsley/VTP: use the RCSD School Locator website to enter your address.)

Are you new to the area? Advice and planning recommendations can be found on the "Moving Into Palo Alto" page.
To enroll in Kindergarten, a student must be at least five years old on or before September 1 of the academic year in question. Visit the Grade Placement page for more information on age requirements for other grades.
PAUSD does not allow for early Kindergarten entry. Transitional Kindergarten is available to students who will be five years old on or before December 2 of the academic year in which they attend. Visit the PAUSD Transitional Kindergarten website for more information.
Residents of PAUSD who require Special Education Preschool services (3 years of age or older) may also register.

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Palo Alto Unified School District

25 Churchill Ave, Palo Alto, CA 94306, United States
(650) 329-3700

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