The Cupertino Union School District has 17 neighborhood elementary schools and five neighborhood middle schools. Each of these programs offers a standardized core curriculum.
Every address in the District is assigned to a neighborhood elementary and middle school. Please use the Cupertino Union School District's Address Locator to determine the neighborhood schools assigned to a particular address in the District.
The Cupertino Union School District currently maintains four alternative programs. The Board of Trustees is committed to offering parents residing in the District a choice of schools in which to enroll their children, and to providing parents diverse educational options from which they may select a program that best meets their child’s needs. The four alternative program choices in the District are:
- Faria Elementary School – A structured teacher-directed program placing emphasis on the basics in a traditional classroom environment.
- McAuliffe School – A progressive Kindergarten - Grade 8 parent participation, experiential program based on a developmental education philosophy that emphasizes the needs of the whole child.
- Murdock-Portal Elementary School – A program in which students are grouped in open, multi-age villages with teams of teachers using a balance of basic skills and project-based strategies.
- Cupertino Language Immersion Program (CLIP) (Elementary | Middle) – A Mandarin language immersion program for Kindergarten through Grade 8 students. The program provides core curriculum in English and Mandarin.
Since 1989, CUSD has offered an optional District-home partnership in the form of a Home Study (independent study) program for families of TK-Grade 8 students who wish to teach their children at home with professional guidance from supervising teachers and District administrators.
- Teaching and Learning
- Program Design
- Progress Monitoring and Student Support
- Who to Contact/How to Request Parent-Teacher Meeting
- Technology Support and Requests
- Instruction and curriculum are consistent with CUSD California State Content Standards and CUSD guidelines.
The required core subjects are English Language Arts (Reading, Writing, English Grammar, Speaking), Math, Science, Social Studies, and Physical Education.
Student, parent, and supervising teacher work as a team to develop the student's educational plan/written Learning Agreement, including goals, objectives, and assignments, and meet at least once an attendance period (every 10-19 school days) for 30-60 minutes. These meetings are held in person to support conversation, connection, and a review of student work samples.
- In grades TK-5, the parent is the person delivering most of the instruction to their child(ren). The parent learns the material, teaches, corrects work, and reteaches as needed. Some live, virtual and in-person events are scheduled for elementary students.
In grades 6-8, the District uses an online platform called Edgenuity to support learning. Progress is supervised by a CUSD teacher of record. Students are expected to spend approximately one hour online per day in each of their six courses. Students may make appointments with their CUSD home study teacher, with their online Edgenuity instructors, and with Edgenuity content-area tutors whenever they need help with their coursework.
Middle School students have the opportunity to take one or two classes at a CUSD middle school.
- Home Study is an ungraded program, and students receive a year-end completion certificate for their grade level.
The Home Study team closely monitors student progress. Students must demonstrate satisfactory educational progress to remain in Home Study.
Students receiving Special Education Services may be eligible for the Home Study Program if the student’s Individualized Education Program (IEP) specifies that Home Study is an appropriate educational option. If your child has an IEP and you are interested in Home Study, please contact your case manager.
English Learners receive live, virtual instruction in English Language Development from a CUSD teacher.
Visit the enrollment tab to register for Home Study. CUSD residency requirements still apply unless approved through an Inter-District Transfer Agreement. When a family is offered a Home Study placement and accepts the offer, this will become the student’s school for the remainder of the school year.
If parents/guardians wish to unenroll their child(ren) from Home Study and return to in-person instruction, the change will be made as soon as possible and no later than five instructional days from the date of the parent/guardian request.
If the family wishes to return to their attendance area school, the District will try to accommodate this request, if space is available. If the family attended another school through an open-enrollment offer immediately prior to Home Study, the family will have the opportunity to rejoin the living waitlist with priority placement due to previous attendance during school year or before the first instructional day of the next school year.
To request a parent-teacher meeting, please contact one of our Home Study staff: Moreen Belong (Gr 2/3), Dominic Ruggio (Gr 4/5), Kristen Fong (Gr TK/K/1), Celina Perez (Gr 6/7/8), Tehmina Antulay (Gr TK/K/1), Jessica Guyette (Gr TK/K/1), Pam Pell (Gr 2/3), Adrienne VanGorden (Program Principal Middle) or Steven Kaufman (Program Principal Elementary).
Students will be required to use the internet and a device (iPad or Laptop) to log into meetings with the teacher and to complete assignments. CUSD will ensure that all students who need devices or internet access to engage in learning receive this support upon request.
To request a device or hotspot from CUSD, fill out a form and indicate “Home Study” as your school.
Absences Due to Family Travel and Vacations
The District does not support the practice of taking trips/vacations on school days. Absences due to family trips are unexcused unless the absence is pre-arranged and a short-term independent study contract has been approved by the school principal. The District will not hold a student’s seat at a school after a ten-day absence, with or without a Short-term independent study contract, without pre-approval due to extenuating circumstances. The Student Assignment Office will work with families upon their return to confirm residency and school assignment when an absence is more than ten days and is not pre-approved.
Short-Term Independent Study During Travel
Parents may request a Short-Term Independent Study provided the student will return to school at least five (5) days prior to the last day of school. Such absences are unexcused unless it is prearranged and a short-term independent study contract has been approved by the school principal. Requests for Short-Term Independent Study will be evaluated by the school principal on a case-by-case basis after consideration of the criteria set forth below:
- Requests must be made at least ten (10) school days in advance of the planned absence
- The student must be in attendance at their assigned school for at least three (3) weeks prior to the commencement of the independent study
- Absences for this purpose must be for a minimum of five (5) consecutive school days and a maximum of ten (10) consecutive school days per school year and shall not occur during the Spring assessment period
- The student has not been declared habitually truant, receiving five (5) unexcused absences of 30 minutes or more in a school year
- The student possesses the necessary motivation, commitment, organizational skills, and academic skills to complete the work assigned
Student assignments under short-term independent study contracts are due on the first school day immediately following the student's return to school.
- A Report of Absence form should be filled out by the parent/guardian for any planned student absences. The school will work with parents to determine if the planned student absence is considered an excused or unexcused absence. Contact your school office.
- The Report of Absence form will be filed in the student’s cumulative file.
- At least ten (10) school days prior to the start of the absence, the parent/guardian may request a short-term independent study in the school site office by completing their portion of the Short-Term Independent Study Agreement. Short-Term Independent Study Agreements are available in all school offices.
- The secretary will inform the parent/guardian that the principal will review the request for a short-term independent study and has the right to deny this request. The parent will be notified within 48 hours only if the short-term independent study is denied.
- Once the principal has reviewed the Short-Term Independent Study Agreement and signed the approval, it will be given to the classroom teacher for a signature.
- The signed and completed independent study will be available to be picked up the last day of school before the absence is to begin.
- If the student is absent on the last day of school before the contract begins (whether excused or unexcused) the work will be available to be picked up for the student in the office between lunch and the end of the day. Work will not be faxed or sent to the student; it must be picked up in person by the parent/guardian.
- Independent Study work must be turned in on the day the student returns to school in order to be graded and calculated for attendance purposes.
- Report card grades may be affected due to incomplete Independent Study work.