The Garden Grove Unified School District was established July 1965. The district encompasses 28 square miles of territory, serving most of Garden Grove and portions of six surrounding cities - Anaheim, Cypress, Fountain Valley, Santa Ana, Stanton, and Westminster. The 2012-13 budget is $432.3 million, making the district the largest enterprise in Garden Grove.
The district is the third largest among 28 public school districts in Orange County with 47,960 students, ranks 11th in size of more than 1,000 school districts in California, and is the 96th largest school district of 17,800 in the U.S. The district employs more than 5,000 staff members and operates 70 schools: 47 elementary, 10 intermediate, 7 high schools, 2 continuation schools, 2 adult education centers, and 2 special education schools.
The GGUSD provides comprehensive educational services for K-12 students and adults in safe and well-maintained schools staffed by quality teachers and support staff meeting the highest professional standards. Adult education, preschool, English language development programs, ROP, fine arts education, Gifted and Talented Education, and special education are among the many support programs provided by the district. The district maintains the Class Size Reduction Program — with smaller classes in grades 1-3 and grades K-1 and 3-4 combination classes.
All schools in the district focus on a core curriculum of basic skills development in reading, writing, science, history-social science, and mathematics, while recognizing the importance of offering varied educational experiences through comprehensive music and visual arts instruction, electives, athletics, and leadership development. Computers and other technologies in classrooms, school libraries, and dedicated laboratories complement the delivery of the basic curriculum and provide the foundation for courses in computer applications and programming languages. All sites connect to the Wide Area Network, enabling classrooms, schools, and offices to exchange information electronically and have access to the Internet. The system is the largest of its type among Orange County school districts.
Additional Information About the GGUSD
- Allen Elementary School was selected as a 2011 No Child Left Behind Blue Ribbon School. The Blue Ribbon program, sponsored by the U.S. Department of Education, recognizes schools that are either academically superior or demonstrate dramatic gains in student achievement. Sunnyside Elementary School was chosen for the honor the year before.
- Four Garden Grove Unified School District elementary schools were selected as 2012 California Distinguished Schools. The district winners – Cook, Excelsior, Stanford, and Sunnyside – were among the 42 Orange County elementary schools and 387 statewide chosen for the honor due to overall excellence, performance on accountability measures, and documented progress in narrowing achievement gaps among student groups.
- Three GGUSD schools were designated ‘Title I Academic Achievement Schools’ for 2011-12. The GGUSD honorees were Cook, Murdy, and Paine elementary schools. They were among the 11 Orange County schools and 117 statewide selected for the prestigious honor.
- All seven GGUSD comprehensive high schools are listed among the state and nation’s elite in rankings released by U.S. News & World Report magazine. The GGUSD high schools – Bolsa Grande, Garden Grove, La Quinta, Los Amigos, Pacifica, Rancho Alamitos, and Santiago – were ranked as national silver medalists. The magazine analyzed data from nearly 22,000 public high schools in 49 states and the District of Columbia, with only the top 4,850 schools awarded either gold, silver, or bronze medals for academic achievement.
- Fourteen Garden Grove Unified School District schools made the prestigious statewide honor roll of academic awards from California Business for Education Excellence. The GGUSD Honor Roll Star Schools were Allen, Anthony, Excelsior, Hazard, Marshall, Paine, Peters, Simmons, and Sunnyside elementary schools, and La Quinta High School. Scholar Schools in the district are Barker and Patton elementary schools, Bell Intermediate School, and Pacifica High School. Additional recognition for the Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) Honor Roll was given to Allen and Excelsior schools.
- All GGUSD high schools have earned full, six-year accreditation from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges.
- The district has made major investments in technology including the continued expansion of a Wide Area Network – enabling all schools and offices to exchange information via e-mail and have access to the Internet.
- The district operates on a very lean management structure in which only a small percentage of the budget is directed to overhead and administration. Only 3.3 percent of the budget is devoted to administrative salaries, which is less than the state average for all school districts.
- In June 2010, district voters approved Measure A, authorizing $250 million in general obligation bonds and enables the GGUSD to qualify for as much as $200 million in matching state school bond funds for large-scale infrastructure repair, improvement, and modernization projects. Bond proceeds, coupled with state matching funds, will help finance such improvements as renovating electrical circuitry, plumbing, lighting, roofing, intercom, and fire safety systems; improving energy efficiency; replacing doors, windows, and outdated heating and ventilation systems; updating playground safety matting; upgrading telecommunications systems to accommodate current technology; replacing restroom and drinking fountain fixtures; and retrofitting schools for better accessibility for the disabled.