The History of PYLUSD


K. Smith

Placentia-Yorba Linda Unified School District has a long tradition of pride.

The history of the Placentia-Yorba-Linda School District has dated all the way back to 1834 when the Spanish government gave Bernardo Yorba a land grant of 13,328 acres. Bernardo Yorba died in 1858, and the land was split between his wife and children, who named the land Yorba Linda. They called the land this because Yorba was the last name of the former owner, and Linda meaning beautiful in Spanish. The year 1849 was the year of the gold rush, which brought many people, and in 1850, California was admitted to the Union because of this. In 1874, twelve different families made their home the Anaheim ditch, and this little community eventually grew. The children needed to be educated, so a teacher from the Santa Ana School, William McFadden, moved and became the kids’ teacher. Because the parents wanted their children to have an education, McFadden started a school, and two other teachers joined him in teaching. The little community was able to build a new school with a budget of $500, but the total cost of making the school was only $400.

   Throughout the years, that little schoolhouse turned into a larger program and was eventually replaced with a two-story building. There was an average of 14 students that attended every day, and because a lot of the children didn’t know how to read or write, the building was named the Placentia Grammar School. In 1889, Orange County separated from the Los Angeles County, OC County had 33 school districts, but 23 of them had 100 or fewer people enrolled in school. Twenty-two years later, Yorba Linda School District welcomed all students who, before, attended the neighboring school, Olinda School, to join their schools. Between the years of 1912 and 1926, a lot of events took place, the first PTA membership started (14 total members), two new school districts formed, and one of those districts joined the Placentia School District. The new name was the Placentia Union School District. Six years later, the other school district joined Placentia Union School District. 1933 was an important year for the Placentia Union School District because it was the year that they separated from the Fullerton Union School District, it was also the year that Valencia High School opened, using Bradford High School’s rooms.

   In 1954, Richard Nixon School opened using the former campus of Yorba Linda School Sold because of the number of classrooms. It was 1959 when Kraemer Middle School opened and had many students enroll for their education. 1960 was the year that Ruby Drive Elementary School opened. Two years later, the two schools of Wagner and Mabel Pane, both elementary schools, opened for everyone. In 1964, a lot of schools were opened: Morse Elementary, Rose Drive Elementary, Sierra Vista Elementary, Van Buren Elementary, and Yorba Linda Middle. Orchard Elementary School opened and closed all in the same year of 1965, and the elementary school of Rio Vista opened. One year later, Golden Elementary school and El Dorado High School opened for everyone. After two years, there were three more schools that opened: Glenknoll Elementary, Brookhaven Elementary, and Tuffree Middle school. From the years of 1970 to 2001, 13 schools opened; Bernardo Yorba Middle, Fairmont Elementary, George Key, Glenview Elementary, Topaz Elementary, Esperanza High School, Linda Vista school, El Camino Real Continuation school, John O. Tynes Elementary, Woodsboro Elementary, Travis Ranch Elementary, Bryant Ranch Elementary, and Parkview. In 2004, Melrose Elementary School opened on the old, unused campus from La Jolla school, making the overcrowding at Rio Vista and Tynes. A year later, Lakeview Elementary School opened, mainly for the students who live in the community of Vista del Verde. Adjacent to Melrose Elementary School, the new school of Valadez Middle School Academy opened. Finally, in 2009, the first high school in Yorba Linda opened, Yorba Linda High School, making it the newest school in the P.Y.L.U.S.D.