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VUSD at a Glance

Mission, Vision and Values


Our vision in Vista Unified School District is to be the model of educational excellence and innovation.


The purpose of Vista Unified School District is to inspire each and every student to persevere as critical-thinking individuals who collaborate to solve real-world problems.


  • Respect: Treating all with dignity.
  • Trust: Having confidence that every decision focuses on the best interests of all students.
  • Collaboration: Working in a collective partnership with clear two-way dialogue that builds relationships among home, school and the community.
  • Equity: Ensuring all students have access to schools, resources and supports to be successful. 

Who We Are

Vista Unified School District is a Transition Kindergarten thru Grade 12 district.

We are one of northern San Diego County’s largest educational agencies. Our district stretches 39 square miles across most of Vista, a large portion of eastern Oceanside, some unincorporated areas and small slivers of Carlsbad and San Marcos. 


We have a total of 29 schools: 

  • 16 Elementary Schools
  • 5 Middle Schools  
  • 3 Comprehensive High Schools 
  • 2 Alternative high schools,
  • 1 Blended Learning/Independent Study Middle/High school
  • 1 Adult School
  • 1 Adult Transition Center (Serves Students with Special Needs) 

With 29 schools serving nearly 20,000 students from preschool to 12th grade, Five additional schools serving over 3,000 children operate as independent charter schools authorized by Vista Unified. Vista Unified also includes one of the county’s largest adult-education programs with approximately 20,000 students enrolled each year.


Click here for a listing of our schools. 


The district serves approximately 20,000 students including nearly 3,000 students in special education programs and more than 4,000 who are learning English as a second language.

Student demographics include:

  • 58 percent qualify for free lunch
  • 24 percent English learners
  • 10 percent homeless
  • 60 percent Hispanic
  • 28 percent white
  • 4 percent African American
  • 3 percent Asian
  • 3 percent two or more races
  • 1 percent Filipino
  • 1 percent Pacific islander


We employ more than 2,000 people including: 

  • About 1,100 teachers,
  • Approximately 1,000 support employees
  • 75 administrators

Board of Trustees

Our five-member school board oversees a budget of nearly $190 million. Each trustee is elected from a specified area within the district.

  • Area 1 is the northern portion of the district
  • Area 2 is the eastern portion
  • Area 3 is the western portion
  • Area 4 is the central portion
  • Area 5 is the southern portion

Our current Board members are:

  • Rich Alderson, President, area 5
  • Carol Herrera, Vice President, area 2
  • Jim Gibson, Member, area 3
  • Rosemary Smithfield, Member, area 1
  • Cipriano Vargas, Clerk, area 4

Click here to see more about the Board of Trustees.