The Laguna Beach Unified School District (LBUSD) is located in a small, historical coastal community in Orange County where tourism is the main industry. The city of Laguna Beach is located 50 miles south of Los Angeles and 80 miles north of San Diego and has approximately 23,000 residents. Laguna Beach is known for its “scenic coves, environmental preservation, and an artist community.” Home to the Pageant of the Masters and the Festival of the Arts. Laguna attracts approximately 3 million visitors annually due to its miles of coastline, a downtown village, and summer art festivals.
Laguna Beach Unified School District is a relatively small school district with less than 400 employees, serving nearly 2800 students in grades transitional kindergarten through 12 by providing comprehensive educational programs through its two elementary schools, one middle school, and one high school. The District also provides a specialized preschool program and an adult education program. LBUSD is widely recognized as an outstanding district throughout Orange County and California. LBUSD has a clear, unwavering focus on student learning within a caring, supportive environment.
Demographically, our student population is approximately 73 percent white, 11 percent Hispanic, 8 percent two or more races, 5 percent Asian, 1 percent African-American, and 1 percent Filipino. Student groups demographics include 12 percent socioeconomic disadvantaged, 12 percent students with disabilities, 3 percent English learners, and less than 1 percent homeless and foster youth. Student achievement has increased year after year and our students are among the highest-achieving students in the state. The District strives to ensure all students are well-balanced with social emotional strength and positive self-identity.
LBUSD has two employee associations, Laguna Beach Unified Faculty Association (LaBUFA) for certificated staff and California School Employees Association (CSEA for classified staff, and a group of non-represented, at-will administrators. All employees are well-compensated with average salaries higher than the statewide average. The job benefits minimize employee turnover and create overall staffing consistency. LBUSD is proud of its strong community support and partnerships, including the PTA, SchoolPower Education Foundation, College and Career Advantage, the Early Learning Task Force, Boys and Girls Club of Laguna Beach, and City of Laguna Beach.
The LBUSD Public Communications team has laid a strong foundation from which to drive branding and marketing efforts districtwide. Channels of communication have been established and defined for each audience with content carefully tailored for each stakeholder group.
LBUSD embraces cultural proficiency, including self-awareness of how each student’s ethnicity, culture and life experiences may impact others. This is an ongoing process that needs to be continually woven into our school and community culture. It is everyone’s responsibility to maintain a welcoming and inclusive community of which we can all be proud. Working with our community partners, LBUSD will sustain a climate that values diversity and fosters inclusion to equip our students with the values they need to be global citizens. While this work is not always comfortable nor easy, it reminds us that we individually contribute to the fabric of our community.