Alhambra High School (Alhambra, California)

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Alhambra High School
Alhambra High School (Alhambra, California)
101 South 2nd Street

, ,

Coordinates 34°05′34″N118°07′42″W / 34.092837°N 118.128412°W / 34.092837; -118.128412 Coordinates: 34°05′34″N118°07′42″W / 34.092837°N 118.128412°W / 34.092837; -118.128412
Type Public
School district Alhambra Unified School District (2004-)
Alhambra Union High School District (1898-2004)
PrincipalMarisa Palacios
Teaching staff101.52 (FTE) [1]
Number of students2,389 (2018-19) [1]
Student to teacher ratio25.53 [1]
Athletics conference CIF Southern Section
Almont League
Nickname Moors
Rival Mark Keppel High School [2]
NewspaperThe Moor Weekly
YearbookThe Alhambran
Website School website

Alhambra High School (AHS) is a public high school in Alhambra, California established in 1898. Existing in the Alhambra Unified School District, it administers one of the most extensive high school and adult education programs in California, offering hundreds of academic, cultural, and recreational courses, day and evening, many located on the school grounds. In 2005, it was given a California Distinguished Schools award.


The school is located on Second Street, across the street from City Hall and the Police Department, bounded by Second Street, Commonwealth Avenue, Fifth Street, and Main Street. The campus is divided into three parts, by Third and Fourth Streets.


As of January 2015, enrollment at AHS is 3080 students, [3] In this ethnically-mixed school district, the high school is one of the three comprehensive high schools. Curriculum offerings encompass Reading for remedial instruction, to Advanced Placement courses in six subjects, [3] including English composition, Calculus, Environmental science, Physics, American Government/Civics, United States History, World History, Art History, Japanese, Spanish, Chinese, and Psychology [3]


Around 1884, Alhambra citizens saw the need for their own school. Two elections failed, because of the resistance of the San Gabriel School District. Alhambrans then petitioned for a partitioning of the district, placating the San Gabriel District by giving San Gabriel school at Vega and Main Streets. Old Mill Creek became the dividing line on the east, with a deviation that gave San Gabriel the school. Thus began the rivalry the schools hold with each other until this day. [4]

When the petition was granted, Sebastian Shaw, the school's principal, and the Alhambra students set up classes in an old redwood cabin on property on South Chapel near Beacon Street. A fire hydrant across the furrowed field on Garfield Avenue provided drinking water for the school. When the roof caught fire one day, the children used their dinner pails to bring water to douse the blaze. A $10,000 bond election was passed to build a school, and a site was purchased for $175 at Garfield and Alhambra Road. There a four-room, two-story frame building was constructed.

In September 1887, the school opened with 27 elementary and high school students. Mrs. E. Jones was the teacher and principal. The cornerstone for Alhambra High School was laid in April of that year, and Alhambra High School opened in 1898, [5] between Second and Third Streets, south of Main Street. [4]

On October 11, 2006, a small explosive device was found on a sidewalk bordering the north end of campus. Hours later, a second similar device was found in a trash can on the south end of campus. The Los Angeles County sheriff's bomb squad safely removed and disabled both items, and the campus was searched. [6] [7]

In early 2007, Alhambra High School hosted Hell's Kitchen . 100 members from the senior class of 2007 were invited to participate. Each chef had to prepare 100 portions of a dish for each of the seniors. [8] It was one of a select few public high schools in California to be awarded a distinguished Great Schools Rating of 8 out of 10. [9]


In 2009-2010, the minority population was 95.8%, 31.6% of the students were limited English proficient, and 83.7% considered economically disadvantaged, received free or reduced lunch. [3]

As of October 2009, the Alhambra High School student population was 48.7% Asian/Pacific Islander, 43.6% Hispanic, 5.9% White, 1.3% African American, and 0.1% Native American, [10] It is a Title I school. [11]


CIF championships


The marching band was selected to march in the 2009 Pasadena Tournament of Roses Parade, [12] the first time a band from Alhambra has been in the parade in 40 years. [12] The band made a second appearance in the 2020 Tournament of Roses Parade as part of the Alhambra Unified School District marching band.

The band marched in the Rose Parade on Jan. 1, 1964.

Alhambra High School alma mater, sung to the tune Annie Lisle by H.S. Thompson:

"In the city of Alhambra, challenging the eye, stands a school above all others, stands Alhambra High. AHS to thee we shall be, ever loyal and true. Striving always to do service, for the Gold and Blue. When our high school days are over, and we've scattered wide. We'll recall the name ALHAMBRA, and speak of her with pride."


In April 2005, an article was published by The Moor, the school's biweekly newspaper, titled "Latinos Lag Behind in Academics". It discussed that Hispanic students' test scores have improved, then asked why Asian scores were noticeably higher, postulating that Asian students worked harder in academics than Hispanic students, suggesting the latter were "not pulling their weight". [13] The Los Angeles Times discussed the achievement gap in context, noting the outrage and charges of racism towards the student author and the Latino pride response. [14]


They are ranked 450 on Newsweek's list of 1,000 "Best High Schools in America". [4] [15]

Longtime teacher, Ted K. Tajima, who taught at the school for 35 years, advised the school newspaper and guided it to 26 All-American awards from the National Scholastic Press Association. In October 2016, the Alliance College-Ready Public Schools named one of its high schools after him. [16]

Notable alumni

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