History – The Work to Open Paso Verde School
Opening in August 2017, Paso Verde School planned west of Interstate 5 has a long and successful story.
Natomas Unified’s Board of Trustees approved a Facilities Master Plan in June 2014 that included a new school west of Interstate 5, but construction was no certainty given a series of issues unresolved at the time.
Since then, Natomas’ voters approved the Measure J school bond in November 2014, the community’s flood-related building moratorium was lifted in summer 2015, and projections show thousands of new students enrolling in NUSD over the next decade.
Opportunity also was created by Westlake Charter School’s plans to vacate its current campus along Del Paso Road next year, when it moves into a facility currently under construction on Mabry Drive.
NUSD trustees voted in November 2015 to temporarily house a new district-operated school at the current Westlake Charter site, pending construction of a new campus. A staff report at the time said the plan would:
- Create additional space for hundreds of elementary students
- Relieve students from having to cross I-5 to attend H. Allen Hight Elementary
- Potentially slow enrollment growth at Witter Ranch and H. Allen Hight elementary schools
Over the past year, much has happened, including community engagement; selection of boundaries for the new school; the hiring of Principal Tonja Jarrell; the decision to offer Transitional Kindergarten through 5th grades initially, then expand by one grade level annually for three years; and the decision to offer a rigorous academic curriculum, including an International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme (PYP) and a focus on Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math (STEAM).
The planned K-8 school in west Natomas is consistent with NUSD’s Board-approved Vision that, “All NUSD students graduate as college and career ready, productive, responsible, and engaged global citizens.”