Step 1: Research & Discovery

step 1

It has been 17 years since the school district received a significant amount of funding to invest in school facilities. In April 2016, Portola Valley School District (PVSD) began building a team to help evaluate and better understand facility needs. Brent McClure from CAW (Cody Anderson Wasney Architects), was selected through a competitive process to guide PVSD through its Facilities Master Plan project.


Corte Madera School (4-8)

Designed by Rosse and Callister architects, Corte Madera School was
originally built in 1958 to house first and second grades. Buildings were added over time clustered around courtyard spaces with large oaks and a commanding view of Windy Hill.


Ormondale Elementary (TK-3)

Designed by architect Kal Porter, Ormondale was constructed in 1961 to house third and fourth grades. Ormondale featured “Eichler-style” classroom wings with large windows and modern roof lines, situated next to mature redwood trees and a small creek. This campus has also expanded over the years.

ORM map


The District’s annual operating budget is about $15 million.


About 92% of the District’s revenue comes from property taxes, parcel taxes and the Portola Valley Schools Foundation. The District receives about 8% from federal and state sources, mainly for the Special Education program and the state mandated Voluntary Transfer Program students.

Portola Valley School District is a basic aid school district, which means the number of students enrolled does not affect the amount of money received from the State of California. Read more here to better understand the implications of being a basic aid district.



Approximately 80% of the District’s budget is spent on salaries and benefits. The other 20% funds supplies, materials, services and other operating expenses including facilities maintenance.

Detailed information about District revenue and expenditures can be found on PVSD's Financials website. The District currently meets the State’s requirement for healthy reserves and has received a clean opinion from the latest audit.


3. PVSD Bond History 

The District has a long history of funding infrastructure improvement through bond issuance. A bond measure provides local funding to make improvements to classrooms, buildings, and facilities. These funds may not be used toward salaries or pensions, supplies or academic programs.

bond history

The 1998 and 2002 bonds (totaling $23 million, which is approximately $32.5 million in 2018 dollars) paid for major upgrades at both campuses: 

Ormondale - 

New construction including Administrative and Staff Rooms, the Multi-Use Room/Gymnasium, Rooms 8, 9, 10, 15, 16, 24, 25, 26, and the Library.

Corte Madera - 

New construction included the District Office building, Library and connected rooms, School Administration Building, Art and Music rooms attached to Multi-Use Room/Gymnasium, and 400, 900 and 1100 classroom wings.

Our PVSD community currently pays the lowest cumulative school tax rates in the Sequoia Union High School District and is the third lowest county-wide. This chart represents the current tax rates per $100,000 of assessed value (not market value).

tax rate

Other districts have approved substantial increases to their taxes in order to improve their campuses. For example, nearby Las Lomitas School District voted in June 2018 to increase their K-12 school bond tax rate from $94.30 to $124.30. If PVSD’s Measure Z passes, our tax rate will still fall below the San Mateo County average.

other taxes

The most recent parcel tax renewal was in 2013 (Measure O, passed by 69% of the vote) and set the parcel tax at its current rate of $581. The parcel tax is a fixed amount per household, not affected by property value, or inflation and currently brings in about $1.2 million to the district. This is the equivalent of about eight teachers’ salaries and benefits. This is an eight year tax which will require voter approval to renew by June 2021.