Contact us (310) 378-9966

September 20, 2012


We are into the 4th week of school and already so much is happening.

 Once again the Palos Verdes Peninsula Rotary Club will host the Educator of Year dinner on November 7th.  This year’s honorees from the Palos Verdes Peninsula Unified School District are:

  • Sasha Ritcheske – Rancho Vista
  • Karen Clavadetscher – Dapplegray
  • Thomas Fitch – PVIS
  • Jill Verenkoff- Peninsula High


 The Palos Verdes Peninsula Chamber of Commerce is recognizing Rosemary Humphrey as the Citizen of the Year on October 19th at the Palos Verdes Golf Club.  Rosemary has many jobs/responsibilities in the community, but we are especially proud of her outstanding leadership as the Principal of Rancho del Mar High School.


 Congratulations to the three new student Board of Education members.  They will participate at school board meetings throughout the 2012-13 school year.

  • Najawa Abouchcharif – Rancho del Mar High School
  • Andrew Bucklin – Palos Verdes High School
  • Daniel Tartakovsky – Peninsula High School


Congratulations to the following high school students

  Palos Verdes High National Merit Semifinalists

  • Michael Konrad 
  • Virginia La Puma 
  • Lillian Liao
  • Annaliese Miller

 Palos Verdes High  National Hispanic Recognition Program

  • Virginia La Puma 
  • Ryan Patrick 
  • Lauren Swerdloff
  • Christopher White

  Peninsula High School National Merit Semifinalists

  • Jason Choe 
  • Justin Choe 
  • Yoon-Sung Choi
  • Jason Griffin 
  • Anna Gurevich 
  • Kylie Hess
  • Derek Hirata 
  • Megan Hung 
  • Charissa Iluore
  • Jamie Kang 
  • Maika Koehl 
  • Michelle Lin
  • Adriana Mellor 
  • Carol Qu  
  • Sophie Rehrig
  • Cynthia Shi  
  • Ashley Shim 
  • Daniel Tartakovsky
  • Wendy Wei  
  • Ashley Yin  
  • Jasmine Zahedi
  • Henry Zhang

 Peninsula National Hispanic Recognition Program

  • Natalia DaSilva
  • Natalia DeSalles
  • Cristina Gago
  • Sara Grzywacz
  • Andrea Herron


 Back to School Activities

We had very successful Back to School nights at all elementary and intermediate schools.  It was great to see so many of you at these well attended events.  The high school back to school night is schedule for this week.

On August 16th we initiated the District’s professional development & teacher collaboration plan for the school year.  This is a major, but necessary undertaking, in order to successfully transition to the Common Core State Standards (CCSS).  Regularly scheduled professional development and teacher collaboration time will provide opportunities for all staff, including administrators, to enhance their instructional strategies/technology skills as part of our adoption plan for the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) and 21st Century proficiencies.

  • Thanks to the generous support of the Peninsula Education Foundation, the District has employed two teachers as instructional coaches to support the implementation of our professional development plan. Lea Toombs (from Palos Verdes High) and Gina Stutzel (from Lunada Bay Elementary) will provide support for the transition to CCSS by working collaboratively with teachers and administrators at all school sites throughout the year.
  • The District will provide opportunities throughout the school year for parents to learn more about the Common Core State Standards and 21st Century Proficiencies.
  • There will be a brief presentation at the September 27th Board meeting on the District’s professional development / teacher collaboration plan.


 Test Scores

Throughout the Summer/Fall the District receives test scores from the prior school year that helps us monitor student success.  Results from Advanced Placement Tests, SAT, ACT, and STAR (API) once again indicate our students are performing at a very high level.


  Settlement Agreement Finalized with Lots C&D in (PVE)

Last week escrow closed on Lots C&D.  This transfer of land from the Palos Verdes Peninsula Unified School District (PVPUSD) to the City of Palos Verdes Estates came about because of a four-party agreement.  The agreement ended the litigation over the enforceability of the deed restrictions on District-owned property.

This four-party agreement transfers ownership of Lots C& D to the City of Palos Verdes Estates (PVE) to preserve as open space and made possible a separate and extraordinarily generous donation to the PVPUSD of $1.5 million.  Although the donation was made independently of the memorandum of understanding, it was contingent upon resolution of the lawsuit.


 September 27th  Board of Education Meeting

The Board of Education will discuss measurable objectives and action plans for the 2012-13 District goals:

  1. Begin to implement the Common Core State Standards, while continuing to foster critical thinking, collaboration, creativity, and communication skills. 
  2. Maintain multi-year plans in order to ensure the fiscal stability of the District and to support a high quality instructional program.
  3. Enhance communication and collaboration between and among the administration, staff, students, parents, Board of Education, and community.

The Board will review proposed designs for a new classroom project at Peninsula High School.


 October 4th Policy Meeting (4:30)

This Board meeting is scheduled to review District policies and practices.




In June, the State adopted a budget with an assumption voters will approve a ballot initiative in November.   Should this initiative fail, and/or Proposition 38 (supported by the PTA), school districts have been told by the County Office of Education to prepare for additional revenue reductions of approximately $457 per student this fiscal year.  Over 80% of District revenue comes from the State.

At this point in time, the District has made approximately $2 million in reductions for the 2012-13 budget year.  If both propositions fail, we are currently estimating another $5 million in reductions will be necessary for the next budget year.

As part of our budget reductions, the 2012-13 District calendar includes furlough days, non-student days and non-paid days for administrators, teachers, and classified support personnel.  Those days could become work days and/or possible instructional days, if the budget situation improves after the election.



 Peninsula Education Foundation

As stated in prior updates, we would not have survived the State budget meltdown since 2007-08 without the backing of the community (Parcel Tax) and our support organizations, especially the Peninsula Education Foundation (PEF), PTA, and Booster Clubs.

I encourage all families to donate to the PEF.  The funds go to school programs and staff (teachers) that directly benefit students.

You can contact the PEF at or (310) 378-2278.



 Mark Your Calendar

Reminder, the Pier to Pier Friendship Walk is on Sunday, October 28th.  This program helps raise funds to support PEF programs.