Saddleback Valley Unified School District

Saddleback Mountains overlooking RSM Lake


mountain logo with Saddleback Valley Unified School District




The Saddleback Valley Unified School District (SVUSD) is a public school district located in South Orange County, California. The district serves approximately 24,000 students in grades preschool through adult education in the cities of Lake Forest and Laguna Hills as well as parts of Aliso Viejo, Mission Viejo, Rancho Santa Margarita, and Irvine. The unincorporated communities of Trabuco Canyon and Modjeska Canyon are also included in the district’s boundaries. While Laguna Woods has no schools due to it being a retirement community, students who live with relatives in the area may choose to attend SVUSD schools.

The district's 34 school sites include 23 elementary schools, four intermediate schools, four comprehensive high schools, and three alternative campuses—a continuation high school, special education/adult transition school, and virtual academy. Preschool, transitional kindergarten, and before/after-school child care programs are available at select campuses.

Academically, SVUSD students excel on standardized testing, outpacing state and county averages. The district consists of numerous award-winning campuses including:

  • National Blue Ribbon Schools
  • California Distinguished Schools
  • National and California Green Ribbon and Green Achiever Schools
  • California Pivotal Practice Award Schools
  • California Schools to Watch
  • California Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports Program Implementation Awardees
  • Special Olympics National Champion Schools

In 2023, Parenting OC recognized SVUSD with multiple distinctions including Best South Orange County School District, Best Public Elementary School, Best Alternative Learning School, Best Public High School, and Best Bilingual School.

Exciting learning opportunities and innovative programs exist for students to take advantage of across the district. This includes a K-12 STEAM Academy, International Baccalaureate (IB) Primary Years and Diploma Programmes, and TK-12 Spanish Dual Language Immersion Program. Each year, thousands of intermediate and high school students enroll in one or more career technical education (CTE) courses across several industry sectors such as agriculture, architecture, arts, automotive, computer science, culinary, digital media, engineering, entertainment, and health science.

Graduating classes boast a long list of accomplishments following their learning experience in SVUSD, earning millions of dollars in academic and athletic scholarships. The Class of 2024 included 84 IB Diploma Programme candidates, 77 Advanced Placement (AP) Capstone diplomas, 45 Dual Language Immersion Program graduates, 51 student-athletes signing National Letters of Intent, and two College Board National Merit Finalists. Students consistently win high honors in local and statewide competitions in academics, athletics, and the arts.

SVUSD teachers, staff members, and administrators have been honored for their expertise and contributions to education. Numerous state and county awards have been presented to staff, including California Teacher of the Year, Orange County Teacher of the Year, Orange County Classified Employee of the Year, California Exemplary IB Educator of the Year, Orange County Counselor of the Year, Parenting OC Top Teachers, Staff, and Leaders, and Orange County Music and Arts Educator Awards.

The SVUSD Superintendent of Schools is Dr. Crystal Turner, Ed.D. Her office oversees all district divisions, departments, and operations. It is the mission of SVUSD to focus on equitable, intentional, and engaging practices which provide opportunities for each and every student to be successful. Explore SVUSD schools at