Sacramento City Unified School District
Since the adoption of the Strategic Plan 2010–2014: Putting Children First in the spring of 2010, SCUSD has launched several initiatives to meet commitments to the community in three focus areas: (1) career-and-college-ready students, (2) family and community engagement, and (3) organizational transformation.
According to the plan, “the same characteristics that make students appealing to top universities – the ability to think, problem solve, work well with others and communicate – make them ideal job candidates as well.” This commitment guides the district’s plans to integrate Common Core Standards with social and emotional learning standards and to engage district employees, community representatives and families in its SEL efforts. To encourage participation, the district has provided meals and child care for parents and community members who attend SEL work sessions. Over 400 district staff leaders, school board members, school teams, central office staff and community-based organization leaders have participated in professional learning on SEL. In addition, a districwide inventory of SEL programs and practices was conducted to provide a baseline for adopting and expanding currently used evidence-based SEL programs throughout the district.
As SCUSD rolls out implementation in a pilot cluster of schools, the focus is on providing professional learning for staff and community members, developing districtwide standards for SEL, building a districtwide SEL communications plan, and integrating SEL with the Common Core State Standards and other district initiatives and establishing districtwide SEL informational website links and online learning opportunities. District leaders are also identifying a second cohort of schools for further SEL implementation. In an effort to support shared learning experiences, SCUSD leaders also work with district and CASEL teams to form a regional network with two other collaborating districts, Oakland Unified School District in California and Washoe County School District in Nevada.
About the Superintendent
José L. Banda was appointed superintendent of the SCUSD on July 17, 2014. Previously he served as superintendent of the Seattle Public Schools. Under his leadership, Seattle created a new five-year strategic plan and voters overwhelmingly approved levies totaling more than $1 billion to help build and remodel schools. Before Seattle he spent four years as superintendent of the Anaheim (Calif.) City School District. While he was superintendent the district created a focused approach to instruction, assessment, and interventions while at the same time maintaining fiscal solvency during one of the worst economic crises in California’s history. Previously he was superintendent of the Planada School District and deputy superintendent of the Oceanside Unified School District, both in California. He also served as a high school counselor, assistant superintendent of human resources, and board member for the Salida (Calif.) Union School District. He holds a bachelor’s degree from California State University, Bakersfield, and a master’s in educational leadership from Chapman University.
SEL is making news in Sacramento. View TV coverage of a recent SCUSD conference.
SEL is getting attention! Read a recent article in the Sacramento Bee about SCUSD's SEL initiative.
Joined CDI: 2012
Total Student Enrollment: 47,896
- Largest Racial/Ethnic Student Groups: Hispanic (35.9 percent) and Asian/Pacific Islander (20.1 percent)
- Economically Disadvantaged Students: 71 percent
- Students with Limited English Proficiency: 25 percent
- Students with Disabilities (Individualized Education Programs): 11.3 percent
Total Number of Schools: 74
- Elementary Schools: 52
- Middle Schools: 9
- High Schools: 13
SEL Web page:
Chief of Staff
Mai Xi Lee
Senior District Consultant