Saddleback Valley Unified School District

Saddleback Mountains overlooking RSM Lake


Welcome to the Saddleback Valley Unified School District

Under the leadership of Superintendent of Schools, Crystal Turner, Ed.D., the Superintendent's Office oversees all District divisions, departments, and operations.

For more information, call (949) 586-1234.

Crystal Turner, Ed.D.

News From Dr. Turner


Superintendent's Welcome Back Message, September 2018


As we settle into the groove of the new school year and the dust of back to school happenings settles, I wanted to take an opportunity to personally welcome you back to the 2018-2019 school year!  

Reflecting on the first full year as the proud Superintendent of Saddleback Valley Unified School District, 2017-2018 was a year full of bright spots and innovation throughout the district, with many final statistics coming in over the summer.  Some of these include:

  • 7 National Merit Scholars
  • 87 Full International Baccalaureate Diplomas
  • 44 Two Way Immersion Graduates
  • Opening the SVUSD Virtual Academy, TK-6
  • First Unified Sports Champion District in Orange County
  • Platinum, & Gold PBIS Implementation Award Recognition (Los Alisos & Serrano Intermediate)
  • Performing Arts Excellence with many award winners in performance & instrumental music
  • 2 State, 7 CIF, and 13 League Titles
  • 2 SVUSD Teachers named to the Top 10 & Top 25 Teachers by OC Parenting Magazine
  • Supportive PTAs with 314,118 documented volunteer hours

These are just a few of the many great things happening throughout our district, and examples of what we can achieve when students, families, and educators work together with the common goal of supporting and providing a superior education for all students, and implementing SV Innovates.  As you may recall, SV Innovates was the result of the many conversations I had with over 300 stakeholders when I first came back to SVUSD, and focuses on intentional lesson design, engaging strategies, and developing innovative practices that create successful students, both while they are with us in SVUSD and when they leave our campuses and pursue career goals.

Looking forward to 2018-2019, we continue our work implementing SV Innovates, and have spent the summer planning and creating opportunities for our students.  We are proud to announce the openings of two new magnet schools for 2018-2019: Santiago STEAM Magnet Elementary School in Lake Forest and Linda Vista International Baccalaureate Primary Years Program Candidate Magnet School in Mission Viejo. Both schools had festive grand reopenings over the summer where families were able to tour the newly renovated schools, inclusive of innovation labs, flexible learning spaces, and technology upgrades. 

The success of the K-6 SVUSD Virtual Academy (SVA) last year led to its expansion to grades 9-12 for the 2018-2019 school year.  SVA blends online learning with face to face learning experiences to offer students in grades kindergarten through high school, a flexible and personalized online learning experience. While attending SVA, high school students have additional opportunities to participate in sports at their residence high schools.  SVA, along with our two new magnet schools, complement our fabulous neighborhood schools and provide additional options and opportunities for our students and families.

It is also exciting to share that SVUSD students continue to outperform both the county and state in high school graduation rates and University of California/California State University “a-g” course requirement completion.  SVUSD continues to increase the amount of students taking Advanced Placement courses, the number of Advanced Placement exams taken, and the overall Advanced Placement exam pass rate.  Again, SVUSD is committed to student success now and in the future.

In order to ensure our teachers and staff have the necessary tools to continue offering amazing learning opportunities for all students, in 2018-2019 SVUSD is:

  • Adding 3,219 Chromebooks for our students’ use.
  • Converting 102 teacher classrooms into innovative learning spaces with flexible seating and upgraded technology through an application process.
  • Replacing 1,000 staff computers, and will continue to do so over the next few years, making all staff computers 4 years old or less throughout the district.  

Saddleback Valley Unified School District is full of innovation and I will close by sharing that SVUSD is indeed a special place that continuously strives to meet the needs of all our students.  We have many bright spots throughout the district, but continue to push the boundaries of what is possible.  Thank you for entrusting your children’s education with SVUSD, and may 2018-2019 be a year of learning, growth, and innovation!


Crystal Turner, Ed.D.


SV Innovates: Community Letter, August 25, 2017

On behalf of the SVUSD Board of Education and myself, I would like to welcome you to the 2017-18 school year! I have had the honor of being your Superintendent for the past 4 months and as many of you know, I started in SVUSD as a teacher. It is a privilege to return home and work as a team with our stakeholders to take our students to new heights.

Since returning in April, I visited each school and saw student engagement, the use of integrated technology, and teachers providing the best possible learning environment for students. Our teachers collaborate to meet the needs of all students through the co-teaching model and I visited many of the different Career Technical Education (CTE) classes that provide real world experiences for secondary students.It was a great way to start back in SVUSD. I also had the opportunity to meet many of our families and community members at the Meet and Greet hosted by the Board of Education in May. The commitment of our community to support successful schools is one of SVUSD’s many strengths.

SVUSD had many outstanding celebrations in the 2016-17 school year to highlight how “Saddleback Shines” including a 95.7% graduation rate.We celebrated 122 International Baccalaureate graduates, 7 National Merit Finalists, 32 Dual Immersion graduates from Laguna Hills High School, and Silverado High School had the largest graduating class, since opening their doors, with 107 graduates. Glen Yermo Elementary earned the 2016 California Gold Ribbon Award and La Paz Intermediate earned the 2017 California Gold Ribbon Award.

Serrano teacher and Peer Assistance Leader (PAL) Advisor, Kassie Valenti, was named PAL Advisor of the Year, and Montevideo teacher, Jaime Bennett, was named Educator of the Year by the Down Syndrome Association of Orange County.

In the performing arts, Trabuco Hills High School’s Marching Band was selected to represent California at the Fourth of July Parade in Washington D.C. and Mission Viejo High School’s “Thoroughly Modern Millie” was named the Best Musical of the Year as well as being recognized as the best Orchestra of the Year.

Continuing our excellence in athletics, we brought home 14 League titles district wide and 4 CIF Championship titles, including Boys’ Soccer and Baseball at El Toro High School, Boys’ Track and Field at Mission Viejo High School, and Wrestling at Trabuco Hills High School. El Toro High School was also named one of the most spirited high schools in America!

During the summer, I was excited to see staff participating in extensive Professional Development opportunities taking place this summer such as Instructional Rounds trainings, OCDE STEM Summer Institute, Blended Learning trainings, social science framework committees and many different math and NGSS trainings. The ELD Summer Enrichment Program for students was truly spectacular as well!

When I spoke with our community and staff, I heard the frequent requests for a central vision and to that end, SV Innovates was created. SV Innovates focuses on intentional lesson design, engaging strategies, and developing innovative practices that create successful students. Here are some examples that I saw from the walkthroughs in SVUSD this spring:

  1. Intentional Lesson Design- Teachers plan lessons intentionally to produce student learning.For example, small group instruction, collaborative grouping, and more student talk time than teacher talk time.
  2. Engaging Strategies- This includes more hands-on learning, the use of embedded instructional technology, and including strategies that have all students answer questions each time instead of only using hand-raising to gather responses.
  3. Innovation- What makes each school special? Is it a special innovative program? Is it a STEM lab with Next Generation Science Standards included? Our SVUSD schools are special and are ready to take their programs to the next level.

One of the many strengths of our district is the strong community partnership between parents and schools. This is evident from robust Parent-Teacher Associations (PTA) and Parent-Teacher Organizations (PTO), booster groups, advisory councils, and the multitude of other volunteer groups that parents participate in for the benefit of all students. I would like continue to strengthen and build on this network by welcoming parents to join us as part of SV Innovates.

We are committed to sharing the great and innovative things happening with all staff, families, and the community. To accomplish this, you will see our presence on social media, community e-newsletters and a community magazine. Please follow us on social media and join the community e-newsletter if you are not already subscribed.

Facebook- SaddlebackValleyUSD

Instagram- saddlebackvalleyusd

Twitter- @SVUSDSchools

I know that SV Innovates, and it is because of our outstanding stakeholders.Staff, administrators, and our school district departments are ready to help us all embark on this journey together and I know that our greatest inspiration will ultimately come from the daily magic that happens in the classroom as students and teachers dive deeper into instruction and take risks with teaching and learning. I am looking forward to an incredible 2017-18!

Crystal Turner, Ed.D.

Superintendent's Message, August 2017

Dear Saddleback Valley Community,

It is my honor to have been selected as the new superintendent of Saddleback Valley Unified School District (SVUSD) which serves 28,000 students from Southern Orange County. Visiting each school in SVUSD in the Spring was a great way to connect with the staff and community. In classrooms, it is exciting to see high levels of student engagement, the use of integrated technology, and the interest of teachers and staff to provide the best possible learning environment for students.In addition, the support that our parent community provides to SVUSD schools is remarkable. While there are many incredible things to celebrate in SVUSD, here are a few highlights:

  • SVUSD Seniors have a 95.7% graduation rate.
  • Student achievement is demonstrated by the excellence and growth on the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CASSPP) scores, International Baccalaureate completion, and Advanced Placement scores.
  • Thirteen different Career Technical Education (CTE) industry opportunities exist for secondary students providing real world experiences.
  • The K-12 Dual Immersion Spanish program teaches students to read, write, and speak in both English and Spanish.
  • Robotics programs are thriving at secondary schools.
  • Elementary Gifted and Talented Education (GATE) magnet programs are excelling at regional schools.
  • Teachers collaborate to meet the needs of all students through the co-teaching model.
  • Championship athletic programs are found at our four comprehensive high schools.
  • Award winning performing arts and music programs are thriving at our SVUSD high schools.
  • SVUSD Virtual Academy is opening in 2017-18 to offer K-8 students a unique and flexible online learning environment.

Together with teachers, staff, administration, and parents, Saddleback Valley Unified School District creates personalized learning and activity opportunities for students. Looking forward to the 2017-18 school year, I am confident that our SVUSD students will continue to shine!


Dr. Crystal Turner


School News Roll Call Annual Superintendent Magazine, 2017