Escondido, CA

Superintendent Mary Gorsuch welcomes students back to school on August 20



Valley Center – Pauma schools will start back in session on August 20th and we are excited to start a new year of learning! We’ve had a busy summer, getting ready for students to return. Here are a few highlights:

• Our new Culinary Arts classroom at Valley Center High School is complete. It is truly a commercial kitchen, and our students will learn skills for home and for future careers in hospitality!

• Our Technology Department upgraded our current iPads and set up our new ones so that every student in grades 3 -12 will have a school-issued iPad to use in school and home for homework, textbook access and will have a digital planner and calendar. Detailed information for parents will be given at registration at each school site.

• Summer programs for online learning in high school and pilot summer programs gave students a boost – the largest group in many years!

• Teachers participated in professional development in many areas including writing, mathematics, advanced placement, and special education, just to name a few.

We are so proud of students and teachers, and their commitment to continual improvement. This hard work pays off: Valley Center – Pauma again has the highest graduation rate in San Diego County – 98 percent!

We have several new administrative appointments this year including:

• Valley Center Primary School: Mike Schanze will be principal this year. Mr. Schanze was formerly the principal at Valley Center Prep School and Oak Glen High School.

• Valley Center Prep School and Oak Glen High School: Dennis Zabinsky will be the Principal of Alternative Education Programs this year. Mr. Zabinsky was formerly the Assistant Principal at Valley Center High School and was the founding administrator at OGHS.

• Valley Center High School: Mark Hailwood will be the new Assistant Principal at VCHS. Mr. Hailwood has been a teacher leader and instructional coach throughout the district.

We’re also expanding our options for families who wish to homeschool or blend homeschooling with teacher support. The Learning Center at VCHS is a new option for high school students who wish to blend independent study options while being a part of the student life at VCHS. Students can build options that include online or independent study courses and be part of athletics and other opportunities at VCHS. For more detailed information, students and parents can contact the high school office at 760-751-5500.

“My Learning Academy” continues to grow, with options for two full days in class weekly for grades K-5 and 6-8. Students work with their parents for the rest of the week and have the option to participate in extracurricular activities such as band and drama. For more information, parents can contact the school at 760-751-5590.

For up to date information on our schools, please go to, or follow us on Facebook and/or Twitter (@vcpusd).

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