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San Diego Unified School District Artifacts

Building Paths to Graduation for Every Student

Click the links below to access tangible materials—such as templates and tools—that leaders in San Diego Unified School District created to guide their work.

These artifacts are organized around the four parts of San Diego's theory of action:

  1. Create a system for school leaders to identify off-track students and assign them to graduation-track classes.
  2. Change "gatekeeping" policies and practices.
  3. Adapt the central office's structures and operations to facilitate successful school-level efforts.
  4. Involve the community to help students explore options for meaningful postsecondary plans.

*Note: Not all theory of action components have accompanying artifacts. 


Create a system for school leaders to identify off-track students and assign them to graduation-track classes.

#1: A-G “Broad and Challenging Curriculum” Presentation

What is this? Analysis of district practices that form barriers to students’ graduation, presented to the board of education.

How can you use it? Use as an example argument for changing policies and mindsets based on data.

#2: Online Student Profile System Training Presentation

What is this? Slides from a training workshop for principals, showing example data about which students are on track to graduate.

How can you use it? Ask these types of questions about your own students in order to make the best scheduling decisions.

#3: Master Schedule Expectations (High Schools,  2019)

What is this? List of guidelines to create a high school master schedule that removes barriers to graduation and reflects equity in students’ access to coursework.

How can you use it? Similar scheduling principles could be helpful in your school or system.

#4: Master Schedule Expectations (Middle Schools, 2019)

What is this? Similar to high school master schedule expectations, with an emphasis on the courses middle schools need to offer to put students on track to graduate once in high school.

How can you use it? Similar scheduling principles could be helpful in your school or system.


Change “gatekeeping” policies and practices.

#5: EdTrust West “Equity Audits” Presentation

What is this? Summary of policy changes for “meaningful graduation” and analysis of  student outcomes during the first two years of implementation.

How can you use it? Provided as supporting data; examine early outcomes of San Diego Unified's work in more detail.


Adapt the central office’s structures and operations to facilitate successful school-level efforts.

#6: School Planning Timeline “Placemat”

What is this? Calendar of major milestones in the school planning process, including goal-setting, staffing, scheduling, and budgeting.

How can you use it? Differences from your own planning timeline could suggest alternatives that let principals make decisions earlier.

#7: Community Survey Results

What is this? Survey data showing community choices about which central office functions are valued.

How can you use it? Use as an example method to gather community input.


Involve the community to help students explore options for meaningful postsecondary plans.


Explore all case studies in the District at Work series

About This Series

The Districts at Work series of case studies shares specific examples of districts around the country that struggle with the same challenges as many urban systems—but are taking new approaches to school support and seeing exciting results.

Explore the Series

San Diego Unified School District Artifacts
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