La Cañada Unified School District is a K-12 district characterized as forward-looking, involved and supportive. La Cañada residents are principally professional and business executives, who are attracted to this community because of its excellent schools and prime location. The expectations for student achievement are high,
Current student enrollment is almost 4,100, TK to grade 12. Students at all levels consistently score among the top 10% of all California students. The district operates three elementary schools and a high school, grades 7-12. The student population is predominantly white (65%) and Asian American (30%). Less than one percent of students qualify for free or reduced lunch. The Academic Performance Index (API) for all schools has consistently been well over 900 for the last five years or more, Ninety-nine percent of La Cañada 2013 graduates enrolled in postsecondary education.
There are many special programs to meet the needs of all students. Elementary schools in LCUSD offer art, drama, music, and Spanish classes as well as daily Physical Education for students. LCHS, grades 7-12, maintains many clubs and sports teams as well as an exemplary instrumental and vocal music programs and also outstanding visual and performing arts classes. The special education program serves 349 students from pre-school to age 22. Every special education student is provided the opportunity to receive a full and appropriate education in all areas of the curriculum. English language learners make up 4.5% of the total school population. Services are delivered through English Language Development (ELD) classes and SDAIE instruction. Almost 100% of elementary teachers have obtained the ELD authorization. The district is making efforts to match that percentage at the secondary level. The GATE program currently serves 543 students. The GATE program enables students to obtain optimum academic growth, expand their creativity and problem-solving skills as well as maintain a positive attitude toward themselves, La Cañada High School offers a wide selection of Advanced Placement courses, all of which are open enrollment, Students have consistently scored well, with 88% of students achieving a score of 3 or better in 2013. LCHS is proud of their of 12 national AP Scholars, 95 AP Scholars with Distinction, 62 AP Scholars with Honors and 94 AP Scholars in 2013,
In the summer of 2013, the district network infrastructure was upgraded. This shifted the focus from using technology from a predominately behind-the-scenes approach, to creating standardized classrooms where students engage with technology in daily lessons and projects. New computer or iPad labs have been added at each site with the goal of implementing a one-to-one program in the near future.
All core curriculum is becoming aligned to the new Common Core State Standards. Professional development is designed to give teachers the skills and knowledge to deliver the new curriculum and implement the instructional shifts to produce model citizens in the 21* Century. Teachers are well-versed in reviewing student assessment data to inform their practice. Teachers regularly assess student work to evaluate, adjust and plan future instruction. La Cañada's teachers are very well qualified. A majority of teachers have advanced degrees in their subjects. Districtwide there is only one teacher holding an emergency credential.
Parents are highly interested and involved in their students' education. There is a wide range of community and parent organizations giving generously of their time and energy to support student learning. The La Cañada Education Foundation raises over $2 million annually to enhance the district's educational programs.