Capistrano Unified School District (CUSD) is the second largest school district in Orange County, California, the 12th largest in California and the 85th largest in the United States. Orange County is a county in Southern California, United States. The district currently has 51,512 students . The school district serves the following cities:
The CUSD runs 38 elementary schools (plus 1 closed), 10 middle schools, 6 high schools and 2 alternative education programs. Aliso Viejo is a city in Orange County California, United States. Dana Point is a city located in southern Orange County California. Laguna Niguel is a city located in southern Orange County, California. Rancho Santa Margarita (English Saint Margaret Ranch) is a city in Orange County, California, United States. This article is about a city in Orange County California For other meanings see San Clemente (disambiguation. San Juan Capistrano (pronounced wɑn kæpɪˈstɹɑnoʊ in English and xwan kapisˈtɾano in Spanish is a city in southern Orange County California, USA, located Coto de Caza is a Census-designated place (CDP and guard-gated private community in Orange County California. Dove Canyon is a private residential community located in Rancho Santa Margarita, California Ladera Ranch is an unincorporated Planned community located in south Orange County California just outside the city limits of San Juan Capistrano Las Flores is an unincorporated Census-designated place (CDP in Orange County California, United States, located adjacent to the City of Rancho Santa Wagon Wheel is a residential Master planned community located in the city of Rancho Santa Margarita in Orange County California. See also Primary education An elementary school is an institution where children receive the first stage of Compulsory education known as elementary Middle school or Junior High School serves as a "bridge" between the Elementary School and the High School High school is the name used in some parts of the world (in particular Scotland, North America and Australia) to describe an institution Alternative education, also known as non-traditional education or educational alternative, includes a number of approaches to teaching and learning other
CUSD encompasses 195 square miles and has 40 California Distinguished Schools and 11 National Blue Ribbon Schools. The district has a graduation rate of 96. 5%, much higher than California's average of 85. 1%, and employees 4,432 employees, making it the largest employer in South Orange County. 
On October 25 and 26, 2007, every school campus in this district was closed due to the Orange County Wildfires. Smoke was severe in south Orange County making air quality dangerous for students. On Monday, October 29, 2007, every school reopened. Disaster funding will cover the Average Daily Attendance fees the school would have lost due to the school closures, so he lost school days will not be made up.
In recent years, CUSD has faced controversy, included two efforts to recall school board members. On February 14th, 2008 it was announced that 50-75 of the districts 148 School Bus Drivers would be laid off, due to the gross mismanagement, of funds by the Board of Trustees. In one instance the board spent $38,000,000. 00 on a new district office, nicknamed by some locals as the "Taj Mahal".
The Capistrano Unified School District has a seven-member Board of Trustees, with each trustee representing one of seven geographic areas within the school district. Each trustee is elected at large and serves a four-year term of office.
The Board of Trustees is the policymaking body for the school district. It is charged with providing a quality educational program for students in grades kindergarten through 12 in accordance with the California Constitution, the laws of the state, adopted Board policies, and the desires of the community.
As elected officials, trustees are state officers responsible for the governance of a political subdivision of the state. The school district is independent of city and county governments, but cooperates with them.
In addition to establishing school district policies, the Board adopts an annual budget and approves all expenditures, employs personnel, approves curriculum, textbooks and courses of study, and makes decisions on school sites, building plans and construction contracts.
Trustees have no power to act individually in the name of the Board. Action can be taken only when the Board is in formal session with a majority of its members present.
The chief administrative officer of the Capistrano Unified School District is no longer James A. Fleming, who resigned at the beginning of the 2006-2007 school year. An interim Superintendent has joined the board. The Superintendent acts as Secretary to the Board of Trustees.
The administration of the school district is delegated by Trustees to a professional administrative staff headed by the Superintendent.
2008 Classified Employees of the Year: 
2008 Teachers of the Year: 
CUSD’s mission, in partnership with the home and our richly diverse community, is to educate students and to assist them in realizing their full potential as responsible, productive, and contributing members of society by providing an educational environment in which students are challenged, excellence is expected and differences are valued.