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Voluntary Transfer Program

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.

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.

Parent Involvement

All Voluntary Transfer Program Parents are encouraged to be actively invloved 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


Applying to the Voluntary Transfer Program
Applications are accepted every year from September 15 - November 15 by:

Liz Wolfe, 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.


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 opportunitiy 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 organiztions.

Judy J. Argumedo

Ed Services Coordinator
If you have questions, contact the PAUSD Voluntary Transfer Program office at (650) 329-3736 or

Revised December 2010


VTP Events