Upcoming Meetings:

Community Conversation : Transportation with guest speaker: Kelly Hubbard

Childcare and Spanish translation will be provided.

February 5th , 2019   5:30-7:00pm    Wednesday   East Palo Alto YMCA, Community Room

This is the second meeting held and will have the same information available. The power point from the January 22nd meeting is below.

Tinsley (VTP) Transportation Meeting-1.pdf


New Family Tinsley (VTP) Orientation:

January 9th from 5:30-7:30pm at the District Office in the Board Room. 

VTP Orientation 1-9-2020.pdf

New families will receive invitations in the mail by December 27th.


Community Conversation: Childcare and Spanish translation will be provided.

September 25, 2019   5:30-7:30pm    Wednesday   Board Room, District Office 25 Churchill, Palo Alto

Comments from Community Conversation 9-25-19.pdf

Comments from Community Conversation 9-25-19 English.pdf

Comments from Community Conversation 9-25-19 Spanish.pdf

Comments from VTP Community Conversation 10-22-19.pdf

The department of Academic Supports in collaboration with the Department of Maintenance Operations and Transportation will hold two community meetings with families who participate in the Tinsley program to discuss transportation. Data from the meetings, surveys, calls and emails have been collected to understand the student and family experience with busing. Staff will present changes that have been made, upcoming plans and information pertinent to families regarding transportation. Spanish translation and childcare will be provided.

January 22, 2020       5:30-7:00 pm                   PAUSD District Office, Board Room

February 5, 2020       5:30-7:30 pm                   East Palo Alto YMCA, Community Room

Tinsley Changes Over the Years.pdf

The Voluntary Transfer Program (VTP), also referred to as the Tinsley Program, brings students from Ravenswood School District to Palo Alto Unified School District (PAUSD). The program was created in 1986 as part of a Settlement Order in San Mateo County Court in response to a petition filed by Margaret Tinsley and other parents of the Ravenswood School District. 

The program aims to:

  • Reduce the racial isolation of students of color in the Palo Alto, Ravenswood, and other San Mateo County School Districts
  • Improve educational achievement of Ravenswood students
  • Enhance inter-district cooperation

Each year, 60 students from Ravenswood School District are assigned to kindergarten, first, or second grade classrooms in PAUSD. Terms of the settlement specify that only new students entering kindergarten, first, or second grade are eligible to enter the program. If VTP students transfer out of our District, PAUSD may be assigned more than 60 students per year. For example, PAUSD was assigned 77 VTP students for the 2002-03 school year because 17 VTP students transferred out of PAUSD during 2001-02. 

The San Mateo County Office of Education administers the Tinsley application process. Once students have been assigned to PAUSD, the VTP staff works closely with parents. We offer workshops which provide parents with the tools they need to ensure the academic goals they have for their children are met. 

Important Dates:

  • September 15, 2019  Applications available at PAUSD district office (siblings of current Tinsley students must fill out an application, siblings are not automatically enrolled).
  • November 15, 2019 Applications due to San Mateo County Office of Education

Currently there are about 560 VTP students from kindergarten through grade twelve enrolled in our District. As PAUSD students, they receive full District services and are provided bus transportation to and from school. 

Voluntary Transfer FAQ 2-2020.pdf

Parent Involvement

All Voluntary Transfer Program Parents are encouraged to be actively involved at the school site level in either the Parent Teacher Association (PTA) or The Parent Network for Students of Color(PNSC).


  • Students of Color living in the Ravenswood City School District entering kindergarten, first, or second grade

College Readiness 

While reducing racial isolation is the intent of the Tinsley settlement it is important that students participating in the Voluntary Transfer Program have the opportunity to pursue all educational and career goals upon graduating from high school.  The Palo Alto Unified School District works in partnership with Foundation for a College Education and College Track and encourages students and parents to utilize the exceptional resources available through these organizations.

Judy J. Argumedo

Director of Academic Supports
If you have questions, contact the PAUSD Voluntary Transfer Program office at (650) 329-3736 or vtp@pausd.org


Applying to the Voluntary Transfer Program

Applications are accepted every year from September 15 - November 15 by: 

Joy Dardenelle, Tinsley Transfer Administrator 
San Mateo County Office of Education 
101 Twin Dolphin Drive 
Redwood City, CA 94065-1064 

Applications must be postmarked or received in the San Mateo County Office of Education by November 15. 

Late applications are accepted until January 31, and transfers will be offered on a space-available basis from a waiting list. (Exception: students who move into the area after December 2 have 60 days from their date-of-arrival to apply.) 

DO NOT SUMBIT your application to Palo Alto Unified School District. 

Applicants are notified of results after December 15 by the San Mateo County Office of Education.


Students in the Voluntary Transfer Program qualify to receive free bus transportation to and from school. To sign up for the bus, please contact our office at 650-329-3736.

Rules and Responsibilities for the School Bus.pdf

VTP Routes 2019-2020.pdf