All students graduate with a 21st Century education that ensures they are college and career ready, globally competitive and citizens of strong character.
Downey Unified School District is committed to developing all students to be self-motivated learners and productive, responsible and compassionate members of an ever-changing global society. Our highly qualified staff foster meaningful relationships with students, parents, and the community while providing a relevant and rigorous curriculum in facilities that advance teaching and learning.
Teaching and Learning- We believe that teachers must engage and motivate all students in learning, using a rigorous and relevant curriculum based on principles of 21st Century Learning.
Best Staff and High Standards – We believe that highly qualified employees who reflect high moral and ethical character and consistently model a passion for education must be recruited, trained and retained.
Positive School Culture – We believe that a culture of understanding and mutual respect among all members of the learning community must be promoted in schools so that students grow academically and socially, and develop as responsible citizens.
Clean and Safe Schools – We believe that learning environments must be clean and safe to promote high performance within the school community.
Relationships and Partnership – We believe that partnership and communication with parents and the community must be nurtured to optimize opportunities for learning and personal growth for students.
Continuous Improvements – We believe that improvements and enhancements to all aspects of our program must be implemented based on performance data.
Fiscal and Operational Stewardship – We believe that efficiency, transparency and cost-effective practices must characterize District and school operations to ensure that resources are aligned and applied to achieve established goals.
- Continuous Growth – A 100-point gain in API scores over the last nine years resulting in numerous California Distinguished Schools Awards and Title I Achieving Schools Awards.
- Financially Solid – No Reduction in the school year and no layoffs of K-12 teachers. A $10 million savings in energy costs earned DUSD the federal government Energy Star Leader Award. Compared to similar districts in the state, DUSD spends the most amount of money in the classroom and the least amount of money for administration.
- Outstanding Graduation Rate – A 91% graduation rate, which is 15% higher than the state average, 19% higher than the county average, and higher than the 11 surrounding districts.
- Perseverance – Our 97% student attendance rate earned the District the Model School Attendance Review Board (SARB) Award. Approximately 90% of DUSD graduates enroll in two or four-year colleges and five percent enter trade schools or the military. Over 79% of the students were still successfully enrolled in college after 16 months.
- Accelerated Programs – Gifted and Talented Education (GATE) programs are offered in our elementary and middle schools culminating in nine honors courses and 22 Advanced Placement (AP) course offerings at the high schools.
- Upgraded Facilities – The passage of bonds in 1994 and 2002 resulted in $170 million in school site improvements. New infrastructure, classrooms, theaters, and sport stadiums at the high schools are just a few examples of the bond money at work. The last phase of construction can be seen starting at Downey High School with the new administrative and classroom building to be completed in 2014.
- High Tech – Successful pilot programs of portable technology in the classrooms resulted in an Apple iLearn Distinguished Program Award. In addition, DUSD received an Apple Exemplary Program Award for our state-of-the-art film and television program for its use of industry-approved software and hardware.
- Winning Athletics – DUSD student athletes won eight CIF championships in the last three years and 20 varsity league titles last year. Approximately 25% of all high school students participate in at least one of the 14 CIF sports offered for both boys and girls. One-third of our 6-8 grade students participate in the intramural sports programs at our middle schools.
- Character Education – Our district-wide CHARACTER COUNTS! Education program has expanded to a city-wide Coalition including the City of Downey, local sport leagues, the YMCA, local businesses, and other stakeholders. The emphasis on character education has resulted in a significant decrease in discipline cases. The city-wide Coalition earned DUSD the Cities, Schools, and Counties Association (CSBA) Golden Bell Award. Last year, our students raised over $100,000 to help fund True Lasting Connections (TLC) Family Resource Center, which provides physical, emotional, and intellectual support to our children and their families. In addition, our students donated thousands of food items to the PTA HELPS program that distributes food to the less fortunate in our community.
- Career Readiness – Our regional, state, and national award-winning Career and Technical Education (CTE) program is comprised of 12 Career Pathways. They include: Animation, Media and Design Arts, Construction Technology, Landscaping, Principles of Education, Engineering and Aeronautics, Engineering and Architecture, Health Occupations, Financial Services and Banking, Sports Medicine, Culinary Arts, Dance, and Law Enforcement. Construction is underway to build a $4 million automotive engineering center.
- Extensive Visual and Performing Arts – DUSD offers comprehensive, award-winning instrumental and vocal music programs at both the middle and high schools. Our drama students create a variety of productions at the middle and high schools. Extensive art course offerings include ceramics, drawing, painting, digital art, and illustration. DUSD is proud of our three first-place winners in the United States Congressional Art Contest.