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Torrance Unified School District
2335 Plaza Del Amo
, California, 90501
United States
District information
Established1947; 76 years ago (1947)[2]
SuperintendentDr. Tim Stowe
NCES District ID0639420 [1]
Students and staff
Students22,490 (2020–2021)[1]
Teachers915.76 (FTE)[1]
Staff1,234.32 (FTE)[1]
Student–teacher ratio24.56:1[1]
Other information

Torrance Unified School District (TUSD) is a school district in Los Angeles County, California, with its headquarters in Torrance.[3]

The district board of education has a president, a vice president, a clerk, and two members.[4] As of 2021, the District Superintendent is Dr. Tim Stowe.[5] The TUSD suburban schools generally rank high academically; West High School has won several County Academic Decathlons.[6]

The current board consists of James Han (president), Dr. Jeremy L. Gerson (vice president), Jasmine Park (clerk), with the two members consisting of Dr. Anil Muhammed and Betty Lieu.[7]


Prior to 1947 Torrance residents were in the Los Angeles City School District and the Los Angeles High School District. Evelyn Carr sought to establish a permanent school district and did so through a group she created, the Torrance Parents Association. A referendum held on August 20, 1946, to change the city charter to allow creating a new school district, passed on a basis. In 1947 a new school district was immediately formed, although for the 1947-1948 school year Torrance High School was in the Redondo Union High School District since California law prevented the newly-formed Torrance school district from immediately controlling high schools. The Los Angeles City School District removed all of the furniture from the Torrance elementary and middle schools; Sam Gnerre of The Daily Breeze wrote that "LAUSD [sic] was not pleased with the outcome of the election."[8]

In 1948 Torrance's high schools and elementary schools unified into one district.[9] The city's oldest school is Torrance High School, founded in 1917. Forty new schools were built in a building boom following World War II, as the city grew from its pre-war 10,000 to more than 140,000. However, declining enrollment later caused closing several schools.[citation needed]

In July 1985, talks between the City of Torrance and TUSD broke down over the purchase of the 3.4-acre (1.4 ha) Greenwood School site, a closed school site. The final offer from TUSD was $1.875 million ($4724048.58 when accounting for inflation). The final offer from the city was $1.6 million ($4031188.12 when accounting for inflation). Later in 1985, to avoid legal action, the city proposed that if the district gives the site to the city while negotiations over the sales price occurred, the city government would give the district $1.6 million in a deposit and allow it to draw interest in that deposit. The city promised to pay the difference between the $1.6 million and the final purchase price in addition to the interest as long as the final purchase price did not exceed $1.875 million. TUSD had until November 1, 1985 to decide on whether to take the offer.[10]


The district is in the South Bay region of southwestern Los Angeles County. The district's approximately 21 square miles (54 km2) of territory includes all of the City of Torrance.

Bordering areas include Gardena and Redondo Beach to the north and west, Carson to the east, and the Palos Verdes Peninsula to the south.[9]

Curriculum and instruction

The district cut vocal musical instruction from the elementary school budget in the 1987-1988 school year to make up for a $1.4-million budget shortfall. For the 1988-1989 school year the district reinstated vocal musical instruction in elementary school.[11]

As of 1986 the school district has Gifted and Talented Education (GATE) courses. For grades 3 through 12 one has to be in the 98th percentile of intelligence tests in order to participate. For the 1986-1987 year the percentile changed to 98 from 96.[12]


Torrance High School

The district has 19 elementary schools, 8 middle schools, 4 high schools, one continuation high school, one alternative high school, and three adult school campuses.[9]

Adult Education

Torrance Adult School

Secondary schools

High schools

Middle schools

Primary schools

Fern Elementary School

Former schools

Enrollment in the district dropped from more than 34,000 students in 1967 to a low of just under 19,000 in 1988 before beginning to rise again. Unlike neighboring districts, TUSD did not close any of its four high schools, but 12 elementary schools were shut between 1969 and 1984. Seven other elementary schools were repurposed into middle schools between 1970 and 1975 in an attempt to balance enrollments (J.H. Hull Middle School was purpose-built as a secondary facility in 1970, the last new campus to open in TUSD.)


  1. ^ a b c d e f "Search for Public School Districts – District Detail for Torrance Unified". National Center for Education Statistics. Institute of Education Sciences. Retrieved March 5, 2022.
  2. ^
  3. ^ "Contact Us Archived 2011-04-14 at the Wayback Machine." Torrance Unified School District. Retrieved on April 14, 2011. "District Office 2335 Plaza Del Amo Torrance, CA 90509"
  4. ^ "Board Member Archived 2011-04-14 at the Wayback Machine." Torrance Unified School District. Retrieved on April 14, 2011. "District Office 2335 Plaza Del Amo Torrance, CA 90509"
  5. ^ "Welcome to Torrance Unified School District". Retrieved July 31, 2021.
  6. ^ "Neighbors: Torrance's West High School wins LA County academic decathlon title". Daily Breeze. February 9, 2019. Retrieved December 11, 2019.
  7. ^ "Board of Education|Board of Education". Retrieved August 9, 2022.
  8. ^ Gnerre, Sam (July 12, 2013). "Evelyn Carr's role in the founding of the Torrance Unified School District". The Daily Breeze. Retrieved October 20, 2020. - The article states "Los Angeles Unified School District" but the Los Angeles schools were not yet unified into a single school district, as this happened in 1961.
  9. ^ a b c "About Us Archived 2011-04-14 at the Wayback Machine." Torrance Unified School District. Retrieved on April 14, 2011.
  10. ^ Moran, Julio. "Torrance Offers School District Unusual Deal: Interest on $1.6 Million Available While Negotiations for Campus Continue." (Info) Los Angeles Times. October 20, 1985. South Bay SB3 p. 1. Retrieved on April 3, 2013.
  11. ^ Williams, Bob. "Torrance District Revives Vocal Music Programs in Elementary Schools." (Info page) Los Angeles Times. August 7, 1988. Start Page 7 Metro. Retrieved on April 3, 2013.
  12. ^ "Torrance School District Adopts New Policy for Gifted Students." (Info) Los Angeles Times. September 11, 1986. South Bay Page 1. Retrieved on April 3, 2013.
  13. ^ a b "Local News in Brief : Conversion of School Approved". Los Angeles Times. March 3, 1988. Retrieved October 20, 2020.
  14. ^ Gnerre, Sam (September 12, 2015). "Torrance's Fern Elementary School survives, and thrives". The Daily Breeze. Retrieved October 20, 2020.
  15. ^ a b Rae-Dupree, Janet. "Development Fears Raised by Torrance School Sale : Land Use: Neighbors of 6.2-acre campus of Lycee Francais de Los Angeles ask City Council to retain current zoning." (Archive). Los Angeles Times. February 16, 1990. Retrieved on June 29, 2015.
  16. ^ Smith, Doug. "Former Torrance School to Be Used by Japanese." Los Angeles Times. August 12, 1979. Centinela-South Bay section p. CS1. Retrieved on May 10, 2013. "A Japanese expatriate concerned about a growing social problem in his country has found a solution for it in the vacant buildings of Parkway Elementary School, closed last year because of declining enrollment."