The story of the creation of PACE goes back to 1975 when the Long Beach Unified School District faced the reality of court-ordered busing to desegregate Poly High School.  Poly teacher Nancy Gray, a Fulbright scholar, was tasked with developing a program that would attract students from other high schools on the east side of Long Beach to attend Poly.  Dr. Gray wanted to create a program that would attract students who valued and would benefit from a rigorous program in classical education.  In this program, students would have a seven-class schedule (rather than the traditional six-class schedule).  This extra class guided her naming of the program:  Program of Additional Curricular Experiences (PACE).  She structured specific grade level curricula, placing AP US History reinforced by American Literature in the 10th grade and AP European History reinforced by comparative world literature in the 11th grade.  The essential structural component of Dr. Gray’s course of study remains in place today.  Her insistence upon rigor is undeniably the essence of the program.*

*Condensed from Dr. Michelle Aberle’s article in the Fall 2012 issue of the Harebrain


The PACE Parent Support Group (PPSG) was officially founded in 2001, and yet it already had a long history and many variations.  The PACE PhoneBank began in 1996 to raise funds to support PACE.  It later transitioned to the PACE Scholarship Fund and the PACE Parent Advisory Committee.  The primary goal of these groups, and the current goal of the PPSG, is to raise the funds necessary to support the PACE program and the superior education it provides to its students. Over the years, PPSG has provided financial support for numerous educational needs and opportunities deemed vital to the success of the program, including: mobile computer labs; classroom aides, before and after school AP preparation and tutoring, supplemental teaching materials; teacher training and conferences; fieldtrips; and more.  Each year PPSG awards at least 10 scholarships to college-bound seniors to help defray the costs of their college educations.

PACE provides for free an education comparable to an elite private school.  As such, the PACE program absolutely relies on the generous support of its families, community friends and alumni.   All donations are tax deductible and are used exclusively for the benefit of PACE students.  Thank you for your generosity and commitment to PACE and its commitment to excellence in education.