Arcadia High – Photos by Ryan Foran
by May S. Ruiz
This monthly feature will focus on one school district at a time to cover as much information as necessary to help parents with school-age children in their quest for schools.
In the San Gabriel Valley, the City of Arcadia is well-known for its excellent school district. According to the website education.com, the Arcadia Unified School District (AUSD) comprises 11 schools serving 9,807 students from kindergarten through 12th grade. AUSD’s elementary and middle schools are highly-ranked, preparing children well for high school. Its two high schools are Arcadia High School (AHS) and Rancho Learning Center.
The U.S. News & World Report Best High Schools evaluated 19,000 high schools in the country and gave AUSD a Gold Medal three years in a row (2012, 2013 and 2014), a feat attained by less than 3% of the 19,000 high schools evaluated. It ranked AHS 432nd nationally and 89th statewide. Arcadia High School’s college readiness is at 49.7%, which is above the California average; its academic performance index is at 897, well above the California level of 789. It has a total enrollment of 3,665 students (51% male and 49% female), 84% of whom are minorities. It has 145 full-time teachers (student/teacher ratio is 25:1).
AUSD’s website lists the following high school curriculum standards: Language Arts from 9th to 12th grade; Math courses in Algebra, Geometry, Math Analysis, Calculus, and Statistics; Science courses in Biology, Chemistry, Physics, BioPhysics, Environmental Science, and Human Physiology; and Social Science courses in U.S. History, Modern World History, Government & Politics, and Economics. World Languages being offered are: French, Japanese, Mandarin, and Spanish.
Arcadia High School has a wide range of Performing and Visual Arts course offerings including: Dimensional Studio Art, Drawing & Painting, Theatre, Film, Animation, Art History, Music Theory, Chorus, Percussion Ensemble, Treble Choir, and Ceramics, among others. There are 35 AP and Honors Programs altogether.
Arcadia High School’s sports teams include: baseball, basketball, cross country, football, golf, pep squad, soccer, softball, swimming, tennis, track & field, volleyball and water polo.
If your children are thinking of playing sports in college, make sure they look into the NCAA requirements (www.ncaa.org) and let their coach and counselor know. Several universities offer athletic scholarships, and college coaches scout the country in search of the next rising star.
Life at AHS is abuzz with an amazing choice of academic teams and clubs such as Academic Decathlon, History Bowl, Math Team, Speech and Debate, to name just a few.
One of the most important hallmarks of Arcadia High School’s curriculum is its attention not only to its students’ academic life, but to their total development. At the same time that it had 22 seniors named National Merit Scholarship finalists and one of its seniors achieve a perfect score on the AP Calculus BC exam, the school boasts award-winning and nationally-recognized performing arts and athletic programs. To provide an enhanced experience for their students, AHS inaugurated a world-class Performing Arts Center on campus two years ago. They are opening a brand new state-of-the art library and cafeteria; they just got a new turf sports field; and a new pool and aquatics center are on track for completion this summer.
Arcadian Scott Hettrick lauded Arcadia High School’s 2014 graduates. Nine hundred seniors, or 99% of the total graduating class, attended their graduation ceremony held at Santa Anita Park. He reported that this year’s graduating class had an average GPA of 3.34, average SAT score of 1846, and average ACT score of 29. Ninety-four percent of these graduates planned to attend college (five were heading to Harvard, one to MIT, four were going to Stanford). There were three students who were accepted to Princeton, one to Yale, four to Brown, ten to Carnegie-Mellon, 47 to USC, and 56 were accepted to UCLA. These are formidable numbers indeed. It’s no wonder AUSD is the envy of other school districts.