California High School (commonly referred to as Cal High) is one of two public high schools located in San Ramon, California, United States (Dougherty Valley High School is the other). It is one of four high schools in the San Ramon Valley Unified School District. Its mascot is the grizzly bear.
As of the 2014-15 school year, the school had an enrollment of 2,639 students and 107.5 classroom teachers (on an FTE basis), for a studentâ"teacher ratio of 24.5:1. There were 78 students (3.0% of enrollment) eligible for free lunch and 39 (1.5% of students) eligible for reduced-cost lunch.
Cal High's athletic rivals are Monte Vista High School and San Ramon Valley High School in Danville, and De La Salle High School in Concord.
Cal has an all-weather track and an aquatic center, including a multi-use athletic stadium and fields (football, soccer, lacrosse, and track and field). Outside, there are six tennis courts, four baseball/softball fields including one baseball field and one softball field intended for games, and an indoor gym and stadium. In 2004, a two-story, ten-classroom building was completed was designated the World Language building. In 2006, the school added a new main building (67 classrooms on 3 stories) and a new library. In 2007, the school completed a new careers and technology building, student quad, and counseling building. In 2008, the new fine arts building was completed. In March 2010, a second gymnasium was completed on the site of outdoor basketball courts, called the Event Center. In April 2010, a new theater, which was under renovation for three years, opened. It has nine classrooms and is fully fitted with a video production studio and soundroom, and an art gallery to display student work. Cal has a large student and faculty parking area, but demand exceeds available space. In light of this, many of the streets around the school are permit parking zones. Cal High also has a recently renovated weight room, equipped with lifting machines and 12 fully stocked Olympic weightlifting cages used mainly by the football team and weightlifting class. Twelve years of construction were concluded with the installation of SunPower solar panels over the back parking lot in the summer of 2011.
Unlike other schools in the district, Cal High operates on a block schedule. Classes are 100 minutes long, with the exception of Wednesday, when classes are 90 minutes long. The base schedule consists of six 100-minute periods; students have three classes per school day. Odd-numbered classes are on one day and even numbered classes the next. Some students opt to add an extra 50 minute "A-period" class to their schedule. A-period classes meet every day for 50 minutes, with the exception of 45 minutes on Wednesdays. At the end of the first full period of the day, from 10:05 to 10:35, students have a designated "tutorial" period during which they can read, study, collaborate on work, or get help from teachers. There is no tutorial on Wednesday, since the day is shorter.
Awards and recognition
During the 2006-07 school year, California High School was recognized with the Blue Ribbon School Award of Excellence by the United States Department of Education, the highest award an American school can receive.
Cal High's student-run monthly, The Californian, is an award-winning newspaper. The paper's writers, photographers, graphic designers and artists won numerous awards from 2000 to 2008, including a total of 17 during the 2007-2008 school year. The first school newspaper, The Bear Facts, was started in 1973.
California High School was ranked #250 in the top 500 US high schools by Newsweek in 2011, placing it within the top 1.5% of the over 18,000 high schools in the United States. In 2005, Cal High was a California Distinguished School.
- William Everett Pence - biology teacher who assisted students with discovering which chromosomes are the location of three cancer-causing genes; California's Teacher of the Year in 1999 He was a United States Aquanaut in 1984.
- David Bingham (2008) - Major League Soccer player for San Jose Earthquakes
- Dominic Chu (1995) - Television reporter for CNBC (and previously Bloomberg)
- Colby Buzzell (1995) - Author of multiple books and well-distributed magazine articles
- Kelly Miyahara (1996) - Television personality; member of the Clue Crew on NBC's Jeopardy
- Chuck Cary (1978) - Major League Baseball player for the Detroit Tigers, Atlanta Braves, New York Yankees, and Chicago White Sox
- Sandy LaBeaux (1978) - professional football player for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Houston Gamblers
- Craig Norris (2008) - US national pairs figure skater
- Andrew Wiedeman (2007) - professional soccer player
- Cal High website