About SMUSD » About the SMUSD

About the SMUSD


The San Marino Unified School District delivers a World-Class Education with Recognized Excellence in Academics, Arts, and Athletics


San Marino is a community which strives for continued excellence and continued growth. As part of that objective, the San Marino Unified School District (SMUSD) provides an education locally, nationally, and globally recognized as a leader in academics, arts, and athletics. The SMUSD works closely with the San Marino community to build capacity, opportunity, and improvement so that students reach their full potential.




The city of San Marino is a small suburban residential community northeast of Los Angeles. The internationally renowned Huntington Library and Botanical Gardens are located in the city, and Caltech is nearby in the city of Pasadena. The SMUSD benefits from partnerships with both institutions. The District operates two elementary schools (K.L. Carver Elementary School, W.L. Valentine Elementary School), one middle school (H.E. Huntington Middle School), and one comprehensive high school (San Marino High School) As of 2018-19, there are 2,997 students enrolled in transitional kindergarten through grade twelve. The District sponsors a Pre-Kindergarten Program serving developmentally disabled serving students from the West San Gabriel Valley Special Education Local Plan Authority (SELPA) at Carver Elementary School. Each school in the District has developed a School Plan for Student Achievement (SPSA) ensuring all students receive support in mastering academic standards and skills along with student, parent, and staff connectedness and wellness. All four schools have been named both a California Distinguished School and a National Blue Ribbon School.




More than 18 ethnicities are represented among students, the largest of these being Chinese.  More than 31 home languages are spoken in the SMUSD. Students learning English as a second language number 353, while students who are designated as socio-economically disadvantaged number 374, either through direct certification or through qualification for the federal free and reduced school lunch program. The SMUSD provides special education services to 264 students through an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) and has 54 students receiving accommodations and services through a Section 504 Plan.


High Performing District and Schools


Students of SMUSD consistently score in the top 1 percent of all students in the state on the Smarter Balanced English Language Arts/Literacy and Mathematics tests for the California Assessment of Student Progress and Performance. For the 2017-18 School year, students scored 99.3 points above standard in English Language Arts/Literacy and 92 points above standard in Mathematics. Additionally, 82.9 percent of English Learners scored at Level 4 (64.3%) Well Developed or Level 3 (18.6%) Moderately Developed on the English Language Proficiency Assessment for California. Finally, 82.8 percent of students in the 2018 graduation cohort were determined by the state of California to be prepared for college.


San Marino High School


San Marino High School (SMHS) is a leader in student academics, arts, and athletics. As such, SMHS offers 11 honors courses; Algebra 2 (HP), Calculus AB 12 (HP), Caltech STEM Research (HP), English 1-2 (HP), English 3-4 (HP), English 7-8 (HP), Geometry (HP), Humanities Seminar (HP), Math Analysis (HP), Physics (HP), U.S. History (HP). Additionally, SMHS offers 13 Advanced Placement courses; American Government AP, Biology AP, Calculus AB AP, Calculus BC AP, Chemistry AP, Computer Science AP, English Language AP, English Literature AP, Environmental Science AP, Music Theory AP, Spanish Language AP, Statistics AP, Studio Art AP. In 2018, 382 students took 834 AP exams with 87% of the scores earned being a 3, 4, or 5.


In 2018-19, 227 Seniors took the SAT and students at SMHS scored in the 89th percentile nationally, earning an overall mean score of 1337, an English mean score of 642, and math mean score of 695. In 2018, 105 graduates took the ACT earning an average composite score of 28.4. Additionally, the class of 2019 has 8 National Merit Semifinalists.


SMHS also offers a variety of Career Technical Education (CTE) courses, such as Digital Arts, Architectural Design, Advanced Architecture, Computer Graphics, Advanced Computer Graphics, Media Arts, Advanced Media Arts, Media Fieldwork, Introduction to Coding, Introduction to Computer Science, Fashion Design, Animation, Business Management, and Entrepreneurship. Moreover, SMHS provides award-winning Visual and Performing Arts Education. In 2018-19, the SMHS Marching Band earned marks of excellence at the Rowland High School Field Tournament and the Glenn A Wilson High School Field Tournament, earning 1st place for Marching Band, 1st place for Drum Line, and 1st place for Color Guard. Additionally, Marching Band earned 1st place, Color Guard 2nd place, and Drum Line sweepstakes at the Baldwin Park High School Field Tournament and the Los Altos High School Field Tournament. The SMHS Symphony Orchestra and the Wind Ensemble both earned a superior rating at the Southern California Schools Band and Orchestra Association Adjudicated Festival.


Students at SMHS participate in athletic competition through the Rio Hondo League in all the following; co-ed badminton, boys and girls swimming, boys and girls tennis, boys and girls track, boys and girls basketball, boys and girls golf, baseball, softball, boys and girls soccer, boys and girls water polo, boys and girls wrestling, boys and girls cross country, football, and boys and girls volleyball. Throughout its history, SMHS has won over 300 league titles and over 70 CIF championships. In addition, SMHS has nearly 600 student-athletes participating which accounts for nearly 60% of all students. Nearly every sport features both Junior Varsity and Varsity level competitions with several also including freshman level.


Students at SMHS also participate in one of the most decorated Speech and Debate teams in the country which has earned hundreds of honors over the past decade along with an equally competitive and honored Robotics team both of which compete nationally. The yearbook and publications programs have also earned high honors with the annual Titanium yearbook earning National Scholastic Press Association’s National Pacemaker Award 2011, Pacemaker Finalist Award 2012, 2015, All American Honors Awards 2011, 2012, 2014, 2015, 2016, Best of Show Awards 2011, 2012, 2016, as well as the Columbia Scholastic Press Association's Gold Crown Award 2013, Gold Medalist Certificates 2012, 2013, 2014, and the Yearbooks at the Beach Journalism Camp’s Awards for Excellence 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2017. The annual Titan Musings Literary Magazine has also earned the National Scholastic Press Association’s National Pacemaker Finalist Award 2017, All American Honors Award 2017, and First Class Honors Award 2018.


Huntington Middle School


At Huntington Middle School (HMS), students are encouraged to participate in both intramural and traveling competitive sports via the 210 League. The HMS Athletic Department's motto is, "A sport for everyone, and everyone in a sport." Students at HMS compete in flag football, basketball, volleyball, softball, tennis, soccer, cross country, track and field, and dodge-ball. HMS has, for more than 15 years, excelled in each of these sports earning multiple league titles and tournament championships in each sport. Consistently more than 70% of all students participate in at least one sport each year. Students at HMS are also provided daily opportunities to participate in choir, visual arts, band, and orchestra, as well as forensics, and coding. The HMS visual and performing arts department have, since 2010 earned over 150 honors including Heritage and Forum Music Festival Gold and Superior ratings and Southern California Vocal Arts Superior ratings. Moreover, multiple clubs and competitive academic teams provide opportunities for students via HMS Forensics Team, Math Team, Science Olympiad Team, Mock Trial Team, First Lego League, and the Los Angeles Regional Spelling Bee. HMS provides students the opportunity to participate in a vibrant yearbook program which has earned National Scholastic Press Association’s National Pacemaker Finalist Award 2015, First Class Honors Awards 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, and Best of Show Awards 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019. Additionally, Huntington offers 6 honors or accelerated courses for students in preparation for access to the high school honors and Advanced Placement program; Accelerated Math 6, Accelerated Math 7, Algebra, Honors Algebra, Honors English 7, and Honors English 8.


Elementary Schools


Students at both Carver and Valentine Elementary Schools are provided enrichment throughout the school day through a shared visual arts program, shared choir, orchestral, and band music programs, as well as individual STEM labs with full-time instructors, daily physical education, coding, and participation in First Lego League competitions. Additionally, all students attend between 5 and 12 field trips and/or have programs visit the schools to provide instructional support to students depending on the grade level and curricular requirements. And, thanks to the generous Parent Teacher Association (PTA) each elementary school hosts an annual science fair. 


Graduates of the SMUSD


A graduate of the SMUSD is an astute critical thinker, a passionate, self-directed learner, an effective communicator, a collaborative, adaptable professional, a producer of excellence, an innovative user of technology, is a community and global contributor, is personally responsible, and is an individual who embraces challenging opportunities through prudent risk-taking with strong moral character and integrity. The graduation rate for students at SMHS for the 2017-18 cohort, was 96.4 percent, with 98 percent of the students in the Class of 2018 pursuing higher education. Other students are pursuing careers in the military or finished specialized educational programs. SMHS prides itself on its efforts and outcomes getting each and every student into the college that is best for them. To that end, 209 students elected to attend a 4-year institution (61 Public In-State, 52 Private In-State, 32 Public Out-of-State, 64 Private Out-of-State), 45 students elected to attend a 2-year institution (43 Public In-State, 1 Private In-State, 1 Public Out-of-State), and 2 students elected to attend institutions outside the United States.


In short, the SMUSD serves its diverse community through multiple programs, supportive environments and innovative opportunities for student learning. The SMUSD promotes individual student excellence, invites collaboration and discovery, and challenges students to take responsibility as members of a diverse, global community. The SMUSD goals and objectives are to be on the leading edge of excellence in academics, arts, and athletics, to maintain long-term fiscal health, to thoroughly integrate technology, and to improve and enhance communication strategies. The SMUSD cornerstones for success are to recognize and value that each individual has dignity and worth, that education and learning never stops, that all students are unique, and can learn with high expectations and challenging curricula. The SMUSD seeks and values community involvement, outstanding, highly trained, and dedicated personnel, personal responsibility and accountability, serving others, and continuous improvement. We do this through a variety of community input committees including the Elementary and Middle School Parent Teacher Associations (PTA), the high school Parent Teacher Student Association (PTSA), the San Marino Schools Foundation (SMSF), the Local Control Accountability Plan (LCAP) Stakeholder Committee, the Academics Advisory Committee, the Facilities Advisory Committee, as well as School Site Councils, English Language Advisory Committees, and the District English Language Advisory Committee.