Whittier Union High School District

To Achieve and Maintain Excellence


Sandra Thorstenson - WUHSD Superintendent
Superintendent's Message

2015 Report to the Community

Dear friends and community,

It is my pleasure to present the 2015-16 Whittier Union High School District Report to the Community and share with you many of the wonderful achievements our District has celebrated, showcasing the robust learning environment in which our students are thriving.

Whittier Union continues to raise the bar for college- and career-readiness. As the data derived from the California Department of Education in this report demonstrate we have narrowed the achievement gap and our students are making impressive academic gains, with more students than ever graduating.

In addition, the number of students taking the most challenging curriculum through Advanced Placement courses continues to grow, preparing them for the rigors of college. Over 99 percent are also passing the California High School Exit Exam. Although the new California Standards are significantly more difficult and have increased academic expectations, student achievement continues to rise at each of our high schools. These accomplishments would not have been possible without every one of our talented and hard-working teachers, certificated and classified staff and administrative leaders, who have helped form a foundation of collaboration, trust and innovation as we ensure the well-being and achievement of every student who is entrusted to us.

This shared purpose of doing “Whatever it Takes” to make a significant and positive impact on our students has led to sustained academic success, which at the high school level has proven across the country to be the most complex and persistently challenging level in which to sustain continual student growth.

Under the leadership of our Board of Trustees, Whittier Union has honored its commitment to meet the needs of students through a focused instructional program that has earned prestigious recognition. There is no question that our students are reaping the benefits of such a strong academic culture.

The District’s sound budget, which incorporates the state’s new funding formula, prioritizes the needs of all students, particularly English learners, foster children and economically disadvantaged students.

Under the Local Control and Accountability Plan, now in its second year, we are investing $15 million to reduce class sizes, increase summer school courses and after-school programs, broaden student mental health services, add counselors, increase after-school library and computer lab hours, strengthen technology support, implement a unique Academic English course and increase college field trips. Furthermore, we have invested more in our arts programs to support this important and valued work. 

We have also maintained our focus to provide quality learning facilities – including beautiful new District stadiums and athletic facilities – and most importantly, classrooms to support students in reaching higher levels of preparation for post-secondary education and 21st century careers.

As always, we greatly appreciate the support of our Whittier Union community in our endeavors to continually build a culture of high expectations and opportunity for every student we serve.


Sandra Thorstenson


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