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Palos Verdes Peninsula Unified School District
375 Via Almar,
Palos Verdes Estates, CA 90274
District information
SuperintendentDr. Alex Cherniss
Students and staff
Other information
PresidentLinda Reid

Palos Verdes Peninsula Unified School District (PVPUSD) is a school district headquartered in Palos Verdes Estates, California with facilities in all four cities of the Palos Verdes Peninsula.


The Palos Verdes School District (PVSD) formed on January 26, 1925 as an elementary school district officially when unincorporated Palos Verdes withdrew from the Los Angeles City Elementary School District. The District began by serving 26 students from kindergarten through 8th grade in its first facility set up in two rooms above a drug store in Malaga Cove Plaza. High school students were sent out of the District to attend Los Angeles City schools in Redondo Beach. The first official school on the Peninsula, Malaga Cove School, opened in 1926 followed by Miraleste School in 1929. The school district continued to grow and, between 1955 and 1965, enrollment went from 2,285 to 13,204 students.[1]

Attempts to form a unified school district on the Peninsula, which would provide an educational program for all K-12 students to attend school on the Peninsula failed to pass in 1953, 1954, and 1957. Finally, in October of 1960, voters elected to form a unified school district. On July 1, 1961, PVSD officially unified and became the Palos Verdes Peninsula Unified School District (PVPUSD). In September 1961 Palos Verdes High School, the first public high school on the Peninsula, opened with an enrollment of 2,043 students.[1]

By 1973 enrollment in the District reached a high of 17,836 students resulting in serious overcrowding. Various measures were used to address the issue including redrawing attendance boundaries. The District also studied the viability of a year-round schedule with double sessions, extended-day sessions, reduction of high school graduation requirements and the purchase of portable classrooms.[1]

PVPUSD changed greatly in the 1970s largely due to changes in the way the District was funded. Prior to 1972, most District income came from local property taxes which were based on assessed property value. In 1974 however, student enrollment became the most important factor in determining District income. While the District had a high enrollment in 1973, the next year enrollment started to drop thus reducing the District's funding.

Due to budget shortfalls, the District cut student programs and started to lay off its teachers in 1975. Local efforts to increase revenue limits per student were defeated. Through 1979, the District made further reductions in its staffing, closed facilities and cut student programs including sports. In 1992, Miraleste High School and Palos Verdes High School were closed and all high school students on the Peninsula were funneled to the former Rolling Hills High School campus, re-named Peninsula High School.

As of October 2016, the PVPUSD serves the four cities on the Peninsula as well its unincorporated areas with enrollment of approximately 11,500 students. The District includes: two early childhood centers, ten elementary schools, three intermediate schools, two high schools and one continuation school.

In 1992 84.5% of relevant voters voted approved Proposition Z to move the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) portion of Rancho Palos Verdes to PVPUSD but Stephen E. O'Neil, a judge of the Los Angeles Superior Court, blocked the transfer.[2]

In 2019 the district began admitting students whose grandparents live on the Peninsula. It did so after enrollment declined by 500 students over the previous five years, causing a 10% decline in revenue.[3]


The district is headed by a superintendent - Alex Cherniss - and governed by a five-person, publicly elected school board.

The current board members are:

Attendance areas


This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it. (March 2014)

In 1985, there were 1,365 students born outside of the United States. 346 were from Japan, 214 were from Taiwan, 150 were from Korea, and others originated from several countries including Iran, Mexico, other countries in Latin America, and the Philippines. In 1988, the district had 1,559 students born outside of the United States. 434 were from Japan, 249 were from Taiwan, and 193 were from Korea.[4]

District Demographics Enrollment of 2020[5]
Student group Total Percentage
English Learners 690 6.3%
Foster Youth 5 0%
Homeless 9 0.1%
Socioeconomically Disadvantaged 914 8.3%
Students with Disabilities 960 8.7%
District Demographics Enrollment of 2020[5]
Race/Ethnicity Total Percentage
African American 244 2.2%
American Indian 19 0.2%
Asian 3,039 27.6%
Filipino 232 2.1%
Hispanic 1,518 13.8%
Two or More Races 1,011 9.2%
Pacific Islander 27 0.2%
White 4,806 43.7%


There are three high schools, Palos Verdes Peninsula High School (formerly called Rolling Hills High School), Palos Verdes High School (the latter located just a half block from the Pacific Ocean) and Rancho Del Mar High School (located on Crest Road in Rolling Hills). In the 1970s–1980s the high schools were: Palos Verdes High School, Rolling Hills High School, and Miraleste High School.

Primary schools


Elementary schools

Intermediate schools

High schools


  1. ^ a b c "Collection of Materials Relating to Public Education on the Palos Verdes Peninsula. (Collection 015). Local History Center, Peninsula Center Library, Palos Verdes Library District, Rolling Hills Estates, CA". Online Archive of California.((cite web)): CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  2. ^ Kowsky, Kim (1992-11-05). "School District Reorganizations Win Handily : The breakup of South Bay Union High School District is approved. But a proposition moving control of two schools from Los Angeles to Rancho Palos Verdes is blocked by a judge". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2020-10-28.
  3. ^ a b Rosenfeld, David (2019-03-04). "Wealthy Los Angeles school district to admit grandchildren of residents". The Mercury News. Retrieved 2022-11-09.
  4. ^ Goodman, Adrianne. "Japanese Investors Tap Residential Sales Boom : Peninsula Draws Buyers From Pacific Rim." Los Angeles Times. February 26, 1989. p. 2. Retrieved on March 6, 2014.
  5. ^ a b "California School Dashboard (CA Dept of Education)". Retrieved 2021-12-30.