School Choices

  • All San Juan Unified schools offer the same excellent curriculum for core subjects (English, history, math and science), and all require students to follow the same behavior standards. In addition, all schools welcome family involvement. Beyond these similarities, each school has developed special programs and teaching strategies to meet the needs of its students. Parents may enroll their students in any school where space is available. The best time to apply is during Open Enrollment when open enrollment applications are accepted during specified dates in December and January of each year for the following school year.  Dates for the Open Enrollment lottery application dates change each year, please check our website under Open Enrollment for specific information and dates.

    Neighborhood Schools

    Every student residing in the San Juan Unified School District is assigned a neighborhood school based on their home address. Visit our School Finder to locate your neighborhood school. Many families will decide that their neighborhood school is their best option, with a well-rounded and rigorous curriculum. 

    Open Schools

    Cambridge Heights Elem., Mission Avenue Elem., and Orangevale Open K-8 are open-structured schools that provide learning opportunities in all subject areas as they relate to the individual needs and interests of the child. The emotional well-being of the student is a primary goal, and the community is used as an extension of the classroom. Active family participation is strongly encouraged.

    Fundamental Schools 

    Cowan, Dewey, Green Oaks, Arcade, Pasteur, Casa Roble and El Camino are fundamental schools that provide a highly structured learning environment founded in educational excellence. Each school strives to instill in each student a sense of responsibility, citizenship and pride in accomplishments. Active family participation is strongly encouraged.

    Dual Language ImmersionStudents in dual immersion kindergarten classroom

    The Dual Language Immersion Program is available at Thomas Edison Language Institute. It is a unique education program that builds student bilingualism and bi-literacy in English and Spanish. Instruction is provided by highly trained and caring teachers. Students continue  to learn standards-based content while they become fluent in two languages; linguistically and academically.

    International Baccalaureate

    The IB program awards an internationally recognized diploma to students who complete the curriculum. Thomas Kelly Elementary School is an IB Primary Years Program (PYP) candidate school, offering an education with an international focus, inquiry- and action-based learning, Group of Churchill students in school shirts second-language classes and an understanding of how people work together. Winston Churchill Middle School and Mira Loma High School currently operate IB Middle Years and IB Diploma programs. Both schools are recognized as IB leaders in the Sacramento region. 

    Other Accelerated Programs

    Each site addresses the academic needs of its students with its own offerings.  Specific information is available by contacting the school. The District also has a specialized, self-contained Rapid Learner program which is available at Del Paso Manor, Deterding, and Pershing Elementary schools. The District identifies qualified students and notifies parents of their eligibility to participate in the program. 

    Career Pathways

    Career pathways provide a multi-year sequence of training in a specific career or technical field. This training can lead directly to jobs in these fields or can provide a transition to higher-level training in a variety of settings. Visit our Career and Technical Education page to explore more than 30 programs at Culinary students at stove different schools across the district.


    The Montessori Program is available at Cottage Elementary School. With the Montessori method, students receive a broad academic education in the context of a carefully planned, stimulating community and environment. The goal of Montessori education is to prepare children for a lifetime of creative thinking and learning. Montessori teachers at Cottage Elementary are highly trained and have both California state teaching credentials and Montessori teaching certificates.

    Special Education

    Respecting individual needs and learning styles, in collaboration with families, community and all district employees, our Special Education programs challenge and support students with special needs to develop independence and achieve their potential by providing effective instruction and related services in the least-restrictive setting. Placements are the responsibility of a student’s IEP team based on student needs and appropriate programs. Although Special Education students are entitled to participate in the open enrollment process, not all programs are available at all school sites. 

    Alternative Schools

    San Juan Unified School District offers various alternative schools and programs to assist students in completing their high school education, including the El Sereno Independent Study Program
    Meraki, San Juan Unified's newest high school, offers personalized, hands-on learning leading to college and career readiness. Students have the flexibility to design their daily learning schedule, in collaboration with teachers and mentors. 
    Blended Learning Academy is now located on three campuses within San Juan Unified School District: Encina Preparatory High School (grades 9-12) New San Juan High School (grades 9-12) and La Entrada Continuation High School (grades 11-12 only). This program offers an alternative learning environment for students who are struggling or have become credit deficient at the traditional high school setting
Last Modified on May 22, 2019