The PAUSD Promise

Provide students what they need to be successful

Together we promise:

  • The District shall serve the community of Palo Alto as a source of pride and provider of an excellent education for all students.
  • Demographics shall not predict the student experience, academic achievement, sense of belonging, inclusion, or post-secondary options.
  • Competent and thoughtful management of District operations shall build trust and enable schools to positively impact students in safe learning environments.
  • Creativity, innovation, forward thinking, and sharing of best practices shall energize the District and lead to the next right answers for our profession.


On behalf of our Board of Education, I am pleased to share the PAUSD Promise. This guiding document is designed to clearly, concisely, and coherently outline our critical priority areas, provide space to explore our aspirations and determine metrics to monitor our progress.

PAUSD Superintendent of Schools,

Don Austin, Ed.D.

PaloAltoPromise-001.mp4

Our Priorities

High-Quality Teaching & Learning

All students are challenged to reach high standards and are provided an experience capable of accelerating learning through pedagogical academic supports, unobstructed access to rigorous courses, and an unwavering belief that our schools can positively impact the trajectory of each child.

Learn more about key strategies for High-Quality Teaching & Learning

Equity & Excellence

All students shall experience an environment characterized by acceptance, respect, and support to become invested in the pursuit of learning and excellence without fear of threat, humiliation, danger or disregard. Excellence shall become the norm for all regardless of background or demographics. Our schools shall embrace uniqueness, strengths, and challenges with support, understanding, expectations, and encouragement to succeed.

Learn more about key strategies for Equity & Excellence

Wellness & Safety

Create a physical environment that promotes safety through established protocols and procedures, appropriate internal and external security systems, and routine emergency preparations.

Provide for the social, emotional, and physical health needs of students and staff and cultivate positive, identity-safe school environments that promote high levels of connection, engagement, and overall well-being throughout the school community

Learn more about key strategies for Wellness & Safety

Special Education & Inclusion

Students with disabilities will be provided with appropriate identification and high-quality programs and services, in the least restrictive appropriate environment, designed to meet their unique needs and prepare them for post-secondary opportunities.

Learn more about key strategies for Special Education & Inclusion

District Office Operations

Align with industry-standard protocols and practices to maintain efficient, well-paced, compliant, and fiscally-responsible management of District operations.

Learn more about key strategies for District Office Operations

Moving the Needle

The California School Dashboard is an online accountability tool that visually illustrates Palo Alto Unified's performance on state and local indicators. The Dashboard is utilized by all public school districts across California and categorizes performance into color bands in order of level: Blue, Green, Yellow, Orange, and Red. Performance levels are based on current year results and whether results improved from the prior year.

While the overall measures indicate high performance (Blue and Green) for our district, some student subgroups are not experiencing the same levels of success.

By executing on each of the key strategies listed in the priority areas, we will move the needle for all under-performing student groups (Red and Orange).

Learn more about Moving the Needle