Providing Safe & Positive School Cultures

Carmel Unified School District, Monterey Peninsula Unified School District and Pacific Grove Unified School District envision school systems that serve all students well and engage each of them in deep learning that prepares them to solve challenges of the 21st century. We are committed to providing a high quality education for each student irrespective of their immigration status, ethnicity, race, religion, sexual orientation, ability, sex and gender identity, socio-economic status or beliefs. As part of our work, we pledge to provide safe and positive school cultures for our students, staff, and the greater community at large.

Wherever you stand on the political spectrum, this past election season has been especially divisive and unveiled deep-rooted social tensions across our nation. Unfortunately, the election season has resulted in some students, parents, teachers and staff expressing concern, uncertainty, anxiety, and fear for student and even staff safety because of the intolerant rhetoric made during the presidential race. Reports nationwide of bullying, harassment, and intimidation of students based on immigration status, religious, or ethnic identification are on the rise; and we as educators must ensure the safety and well-being of all students.

In Carmel Unified School District, Monterey Peninsula Unified School District and Pacific Grove Unified School District, we want to communicate to our students and parents that they are welcome on our school campuses, and share with them that existing laws protect their privacy (e.g., student records) from inquiries from outside agencies, including questions about immigration status. We encourage all parents and guardians to continue to participate in their school communities, and in the education of their children. Engaged parents play a key role in helping our students succeed.

Systems and programs are in place at each of our schools to provide a positive school culture conducive to excellent teaching and learning. As an example this spring, the Peninsula school districts – Carmel Unified, Monterey Peninsula Unified and Pacific Grove Unified – partnering with the Monterey County Office of Education will host a special evening event with nationally acclaimed, award winner Michael Pritchard to create “up-stander” citizens in our schools and communities. We encourage you to join us at Unifying to End Cyber Bullying: A Forum to Empower Students to Create a Positive School Culture on March 1 at 6:15 p.m. at the Carmel Performing Arts Center at Carmel High School located at 3600 Ocean Avenue.

While we may not have answers, we know that together we can continue to provide a safe and positive school culture. Our school boards, office, Cabinet teams, and schools are here to support, and if there is anything you come up against please feel free to reach out.


Ralph  Gomez Porras, Pacific Grove USD Superintendent

Karen Hendericks, Carmel USD Interim Superintendent

PK Diffenbaugh, Monterey Peninsula USD Superintendent




PGUSD Overview Feb 2017

PGUSD_Superintendent_Goals_2015-16 (updated 4/21/16)