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Overview of District Programs

  Educational Support   Educational Support   Alternative Education

About Cabrillo Unified School District

Cabrillo Unified School District, located just south of San Franciso on the beautiful Pacific coast, was established in 1965 and encompasses an area of approximately 135 square miles. The district currently operates 4 elementary schools, 1 intermediate school, 1 high school, 1 alternative school.  

The District provides education for approximately 3,300 students. Students come to school with a variety of ethnic backgrounds, languages, learning abilities, and individual needs. Fifty-eight (58%) percent of the population served are minority students, primarily Hispanic. Special Education and related services are provided for 321 students. In addition, approximately 25% of students are English Learners and receive English Language Development. Students live in families representing a wide range of socio-economic groups.  

Official Data sources: Ed-Data  |  DataQuest

Advanced Placement and High School Honors

Half Moon Bay High School offers honors and advanced placement (AP) courses in English, mathematics, social studies, science, foreign languages, and art. This AP program challenges students academically and prepares them to take AP tests that allow them to earn college credits while in high school. For more information visit the Half Moon Bay High School website.

Cabrillo Unified School District has been named on CollegeBoard's Annual AP District Honor Roll

AP Honor RollCUSD is 1 of 547 school districts on the CollegeBoard's AP Honor Roll list that simultaneously achieved increases in access to AP courses for a broader number of students and also maintained or improved the rate at which their AP students earned scores of 3 or higher on an AP Exam.

  • Press Release CUSD: Nov 2014 - Cabrillo Unified School District Placed on the College Board's 5th Annual AP® District Honor Roll for Significant Gains in Student Access and Success... Download pdf

Class Size Reduction

The District has reduced all Kindergarten through third grade classes to a maximum of 24 students.

Coastside Ready Schools Team

GOALS: 1) To develop a shared vision of ready school; 2) To plan and implement activities that will bridge the gap between pre K and early elementary education; 3) To create a transition plan for children and families moving from Pre K to K-12 systems on the Coastside. More info...

HEAL Project

The HEAL Project is a unique, hands on, award-winning program that instills healthy lifestyle habits in elementary school children while inspiring environmental and agricultural awareness through a comprehensive, interactive curriculum. HEAL classes Are based on California Academic Content Standards for Science, Nutrition, Social Studies, Math, Literature, the Arts, and support the District’s Wellness Policy. The administration and primary financial support for the program are through the efforts of a community nonprofit. For more information on The HEAL Project visit

Immersion Program

The Two-Way Spanish/English Immersion is a dual language education that combines students from two language groups for instruction in both of their languages. The goals of the program are to develop fluency and literacy in both languages, achieve proficiency in all academic subjects, cultivate an understanding and appreciation of other cultures, and achieve the Seal of Blliteracy award. LEARN MORE

Career Technical Education

Half Moon Bay High School offers a variety of Agriculture courses with opportunities for students to develop knowledge and leadership skills through hands-on experiences. If you are interested in participating in the Career Technical Education Advisory Committee, please contact the school principal.

Perkins Core Indicator Results (pdf)


A Balanced Literacy philosophy is in practice for grades K-12. Three underlying core beliefs are common:

  • Good literacy instruction is primary for academic success
  • Student learning is the focus
  • Teaching is based on the standards, but more importantly on the individual needs of each student, with ongoing awareness of the changing student demographics

Every Child a Reader and Writer (ECRW) Grades K-5

The initiative named, "Every Child a Reader and Writer (ECRW)", was designed to power up schools' ability to enable every child to be literate, that is, to be competent as both a reader and writer.

Teachers' College Reader's Workshop. Teachers regard the Teachers College Reading and Writing Project as a continual source of professional renewal and education to help young people become avid and skilled readers, writers, and inquirers.

Cabrillo Unified School District is firmly committed to the fundamental importance of literacy. Our District believes in the following statement: “The importance of our responsibility to teach students to read with comprehension and enthusiasm, to listen with understanding and compassion, to speak with conviction and effect, and to write with clarity and persuasion cannot be overstated.”

Safe Routes to School Program (SRTS)

Cabrillo Unified School District’s Safe Routes to School Program is part of a countywide initiative to provide education and programs that will enable school children and families to walk, bicycle and carpool more often to school. CUSD began participating in this program during the 2012/2013 school year. Currently all CUSD schools are included in this initiative.

The overall goal of the program is “to make San Mateo County a healthier, safer, more sustainable and environmentally sound community with improved air quality and less traffic congestion by reducing the number of school related automobile trips.” LEARN MORE

School Linked Counseling Services

The School Linked Services Counseling Program provides short-term (4-10 weeks) counseling and case management to students and their families within the Cabrillo Unified School District. These services are provided through individual or group counseling on the school site but may also include some home visits. The focus is to address behavioral/emotional concerns early and increase the likelihood of improved relationships, solve specific problems, reduce feelings of distress and ultimately increase the child’s academic potential. LEARN MORE

Special Education

Cabrillo Unified School District (CUSD) provides special education services for students with exceptional needs ages 3 through 22 years of age.  CUSD has a full continuum of programs to meet the needs of students with IEPs from preschool, with speech, occupational therapy (O.T.), behavioral support, Resource Specialist Programs (RSP) and Special Day Classes. (SDC)   There are 6 SDC programs from preschool through age 22.  RSP, Speech, O.T., and behavior support services are available at all of our school sites. LEARN MORE

Specialized Programs

Our goal is to provide support programs and services for all CUSD English Language Learners, Preschool through Grade 12, and their families by coordinating with site and district staff, as well as with local, county, state and federal agencies. Expected outcomes include increased rates of student success, literacy, fluency in English, positive self-esteem, stability and positive changes in family life circumstances. Staff directory and funding...

English Language Learners (ELL) - Specialized Programs

ELL Options: Mainstream, Alternative Immersion

Parent Involvement Center

Migrant Education

Health Coverage Information

Learn more about ELL programs...


As CUSD continues to implement technology as an integral part of the learning environment at all grade levels, efforts are focused to: increase student access to computers and other educational technology, develop the expertise of staff, define and build curriculum guidelines and exemplary activities and provide technical support at each site. For more information visit the District Technology Department link:


Alternative Education

Pilarcitos High School

Pilarcitos provides an alternative high school setting for 10th - 12th grade students. Students work individually and in small groups to earn a high school diploma. For more information visit the Alternative Education web site:

Home Independent Study K-8

Home Independent Study is an alternative instructional program for grades K-8. It is designed to serve those parents who are teaching their children at home. Parents provide direction and monitor student progress. Their instructional strategies are responsive to the individual learning needs of their children. A credentialed teacher advises parents and provides appropriate educational materials. For more information visit the Alternative Education web site:

Independent Study 9-12

Independent Study is a positive and productive alternative to continue or complete a high school education. Independent Study allows students to pursue their educational opportunities outside the classroom, yet within the framework of the educational requirements of the Cabrillo Unified School District. The nature of the program gives students the opportunity to individualize instruction and the freedom to utilize various community resources. The student assumes the responsibility to complete an individual education contract. LEARN MORE

Work Experience

In order for a student to earn school credit, the student, the employer, and the school district must meet their respective responsibilities as outlined in the Work Permit Handbook for California Schools. Students are employed, for pay, in business or industry. The students' jobs need not be related to a stated career goal or the students' courses of study at Pilarcitos High School. LEARN MORE

Adult Education - La Costa Adult School

La Costa Adult School serves residents from Montara to Año Nuevo with two instructional locations: Half Moon Bay and Pescadero. In Pescadero, classes are offered at Puente de la Costa Sur.

Our mission is to support the education of students through all stages of adult life, to facilitate transition to college, to enhance workplace success, and encourage students to contribute to the community. La Costa Adult School’s vision is to empower its students with the communications skills they need to further their academic education, meet their employment goals and become fully engaged members of our community.

For more information visit the La Costa Adult School web site: