Poway; Originally an unincorporated community in the county, Poway officially became a city on December 12, 1980. oway is located which lies north of the city of San Diego and south of the city of Escondido. Some nearby communities are Rancho Bernardo, Sabre Springs, Scripps Ranch, Rancho Peñasquitos, and Ramona to the East. According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 39.3 square miles (102 km2), of which 0.1 square miles (0.26 km2) (0.25%) is water.
Artifacts such as arrowheads, spear points, metates, grinding stones, and pottery found along the bed of Poway Creek all indicate an early Diegueño presence. Various pictographs adorn many of Poway's boulders, and modern dating techniques suggest these paintings date to the 16th century and earlier.
The original name of the valley ("Pawiiy" or "Pauwai") is derived from the Kumeyaay language of the Diegueño Indians who roamed the area for several hundred years before the Spaniards came. Traces of these Native Americans still remain in Diegueño.
Poway established its school district in 1871, but did not have a schoolhouse until 1885, when a one-room school was built at Midland Road about a 2–3-minute walk south of the Templar's Hall. The site is still in use today as an elementary school (Kindergarten through 5th grade), though it was torn down and rebuilt in 1945, and renovated again in 2004–2006. First through eighth graders were included in one classroom. Children learned to read and write using slates, and eventually progressed to study subjects such as arithmetic, spelling, English, language (German or Latin), grammar, history, and geography. Students did not usually attend high school, and had to travel to Escondido if they wished to do so. In 1909, only three students from Poway graduated from high school. Women who went on to more school from there usually had teaching ambitions. Education, while compulsory and considered a worthwhile pastime, had few far-reaching applications for Poway's farmers' children. Enrollment in the Poway School 1st–8th grades did not reach 100 until 1932.
Presently, the Poway Unified School District (PUSD) has grown to 25 elementary (Kindergarten to 5th grade), six middle (6th–8th grades), six high (9th–12th grades) schools, a home-schooling program, and a K–8 school. PUSD has a record of high performance, and one of its students, Anurag Kashyap (an eighth-grader at the time), became the 2005 National Spelling Bee champion after winning on the word "appoggiatura"
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