District Snapshot

Petaluma City Schools

There are over 878 staff members in the Petaluma City Schools who, along with the larger school community, are responsible for the educational experiences of 7400 students.

There are six elementary schools in the Petaluma City (Elementary) School District with an enrollment of approximately 2,120. Class Size Reduction has been implemented in Grades K-3 at all elementary schools. There are also two charter schools operating under the Petaluma City Schools umbrella.

In the Petaluma Joint Union High School District there are two junior high schools, a community day school serving Grades 7-9, two high schools, two small alternative/continuation high schools (one at each comprehensive high school site), and a continuation high school, with a combined enrollment of approximately 4,900.

The districts also have an independent study program (Valley Oaks School) as an alternative available to students in Grades K – 12. All schools within the Petaluma City (Elementary) and Joint Union High School Districts offer special education services, along with Gifted and Talented Education (GATE). Special assistance is provided for all English learner students.

The Petaluma Adult School is an integral part of the Petaluma City Schools. It offers an opportunity for students to continue their education on a high school or post-high school level suitable for adults. Many students enrolled in Adult School classes are working toward a high school diploma, learning English as a second language or fulfilling a desire to just learn something new.

Volunteers are numerous in the districts. Parent groups, including an educational foundation and patrons of the arts, augment the athletic and fine arts programs. They also enrich classrooms and provide individual grants for teachers.

The Petaluma Community

Petaluma, founded in 1858, with a current population of nearly 60,000, is located in Sonoma County, just 32 miles north of the Golden Gate Bridge. Centrally located on Highway 101 and the east/west artery of Highway 116, Petaluma is an ideal home base for exploring Sonoma County’s wine country, the redwoods, and the dramatic northern California coastline. To top it all off, in less than an hour, you can be in the cultural heart of San Francisco.

Because Petaluma was miraculously untouched by the 1906 earthquake, a substantial number of exquisite Victorian and turn-of-the-century homes and iron-front commercial buildings remain, making sightseeing particularly rewarding. The Victorian Riverfront charm of Petaluma’s downtown is surrounded by scenic rural back roads, offering hiking and bicycling, just minutes away. Petaluma’s downtown area, which has been placed on the National Historic Register, offers extraordinary diversity in shopping and dining experiences, a wealth of nightlife, and numerous city parks. Turn-of-the-century buildings house many antique shops, art galleries, restaurants, and live entertainment.

Petaluma is home to the Sonoma Marin County Fair, the World’s Ugliest Dog Contest, birth place of the World’s Wrist Wrestling Championship, the Butter and Eggs Day Parade, and an annual Quilt Show. Petaluma was the first U.S. city to be able to protect its individuality through a residential growth management plan, and its “Americana” visual appeal has drawn filmmakers since the earliest days of Hollywood. More Petaluma firsts: the first movie filmed in Petaluma was in 1911; Petaluma had the world’s first and only chicken pharmacy; the first hotel was built in 1851; the first stage line from Petaluma to Sonoma started in 1854; first newspaper and brewery in 1855; gas lamps in 1863; electricity in 1893; and Fred Wiseman made the first airmail flight from Petaluma to Santa Rosa in 1911.


Below are some “quick-facts” that profile the scope of our School District and underscores the value we provide to the Petaluma community.

June 2010
Total Number of K-12 Students = 7,567 (males = 50.5% females = 49.5%)

Elementary = 2,448 (33% of District enrollment)
Secondary = 5,051 (67% of District enrollment)

Hispanic = 27.6%
Asian = 3.9%
African-American = 2%

Free and Reduced Lunch program
Elementary eligible / participation = 36%
Secondary eligible / participation = 27%

English Learners: 1,307 Spanish Speakers = 23.2%
Special Education with active IEP = 13.2%

Total Employees = 878

Total Number of Certificated Staff = 478
Total Number of Classified Staff = 400

Total Number Petaluma citizens served by Adult School (includes basic education and fee-based classes) = 2,536

Annual District Operation Budget = $64 Million

Total Miles of Student Transportation (bus services) provided = 254,947

Total Number of Student & Staff meals served by District Food Services = 537,665