Ponderosa Elementary School, K-5, is located in the Santa Clara Unified School District, two blocks east of Wolfe Road in the city of Sunnyvale. Situated on a ten acre site, the school was constructed in 1964. Ponderosa is a clean, well-kept school located adjacent to Ponderosa Park. Ponderosa offers an extended day childcare program for its students. A pre-school class is also offered. Ponderosa has 30 classrooms, a library media center, multi-purpose building, a music/ art room, and an administration building which houses the office, a nurse/ first-aid station, and teacher work areas.
During the summer of 2016, Ponderosa underwent a large renovation. Air conditioning was installed in all classrooms. New carpet, LED lights and new ceilings were added to the majority of rooms as well. During the summer of 2017, interactive projectors were installed in every classroom. In addition, over the past several years, the District has invested in a new roof, new paving, additional landscaping, painting, extensive classroom renovations, and other structural improvements.
In the fall of 2019, Ponderosa proudly unveiled it's All-Inclusive Playground on the primary yard. This playground was a joint purchase made possible by a $136,000 grant from the Santa Clara County Parks and Rec department, a $100,000 donation from PEPCO, a $90,000 donation from Tru-Mark Homes, and other donations from the school, students, families and community supporters. Also, during the 2020-2021 school year, SCUSD used bond measure revenue to build brand new all-inclusive kindergarten and upper grade playgrounds as well as a covered outdoor eating area.
All school buildings meet or exceed the Field Act earthquake safety specifications and EPA asbestos standards. Our school participates in regular emergency drills and is inspected yearly by the City of Sunnyvale Fire Marshall. The custodial staff maintains a clean and safe school environment. Ponderosa/SCUSD has made considerable investments in technology. All students have access to 1:1 Chromebooks for use at school and at home. The school is networked to a central fileserver and mail server for student classroom use. The office maintains a separate fileserver. The library and cafeteria are computer automated.
All teachers are assigned within their field of expertise and credential specification. Tenured teachers and classified staff members are evaluated at least every other year, probationary teachers are evaluated annually by the principal. District staff development provides numerous opportunities for the staff to advance their skills. Many staff members take advantage of community staff development opportunities. Several times a year the staff meets on campus for special training related to the school's curricular goals. Mentor teachers are available for additional support. We also have several student teachers each year through a partnership through Stanford University. Qualified substitute teachers are always available to teach students in the absence of the teacher. Classes at Ponderosa average 25 students for grades K-3, and 30 students for grades 4-5.
Counseling and Student Support Services
The members of Ponderosa staff include classroom teachers, Special Education teachers, PE Teacher, speech/language specialists, a music teacher, classroom aides, and office, cafeteria and maintenance staff. Ponderosa staff also includes part-time counselors, music teacher, nurse, Wellness Coordinator and psychologist. Ponderosa School uses the Student Success Team process to make recommendations to the teacher and parent, which will help the student be successful in school. Early literacy is an emphasis at Ponderosa.
An active and supportive PTSA, PEPCO, ELAC and School Site Council, composed of parents, teachers, and administrators are integral to the school. There is a recognized synergy between the community and the school. In addition to regular parent-teacher conferences, parents are encouraged to attend orientation programs, classroom Open House celebrations, and other school activities such as our Science Fair, Halloween Happening, Family Science Night, and other events. The Ponderosa Press, a school newsletter, is published weekly and emailed to families . After school programs such as Starting Arts, Math Olympiad, Future Scientists and Engineers of America (FSEA), Volleyball, Flag Football and a variety of family funded programs are also offered.