The Anaheim Union High School District has a long tradition of educational service. High school education was initially provided through the community’s elementary school district, which was formed in the 1870s. The high school district was created as a separate school system in 1898.

As is true with many California districts, the boundaries of the AUHSD are older than most of the cities it serves. For many years, the District was the largest union (junior high and high school district) in California. It currently serves the communities of Anaheim, Cypress, La Palma, Buena Park, and Stanton. It covers 46 square miles, bordered by Fullerton, the Santa Ana River, Garden Grove, and the Los Angeles county line.

Our student population reflects the fact that people from all over the world have enriched AUHSD communities over the years. Our students, who come to us from five elementary school districts, speak 49 languages. Our great diversity is one of our great strengths.

We have much to celebrate and appreciate as our schools continue to be recognized for their academic excellence. This is all the more impressive when you consider the fiscal backdrop against which these accomplishments took place. The signs that we are succeeding are everywhere.

Oxford Academy is again the No. 1 school in Orange County, while it ranks No. 2 in the state of California, according to the California Department of Education. Meanwhile, U.S. News and World Report ranked Oxford as the No. 1 school in California and No. 4 in the United States

Five of our campuses—Kennedy and Cypress high schools, along with Oxford Academy, and Lexington and Walker junior high schools—have earned California Distinguished School status, while Oxford was honored as a National Blue Ribbon School by the U.S. Department of Education.

This year, Savanna High School became a P21 National Exemplar School. South Junior High School has created the District’s first STEM (Science, Technology Engineering, Math) “elective wheel,” and students are already winning county accolades. Magnolia High School has the nation’s first Puente class for Pacific Islander students, which is designed to promote academic and cultural literacy, and is showing great promise. Sycamore Junior High School has partnered with the Discovery Science Center and California State University, Fullerton, on designing dual immersion math and science units. Loara High School is implementing a civic education initiative.

Meanwhile, Ball Junior High School has been identified by the Orange County Department of Education as a leader in implementing the Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports system and the Response to Intervention system, both designed to provide an array of early behavioral interventions to at-risk students. Dale Junior High School has been recognized by the National Document-Based Questioning Program as an exemplar school. Cypress High School had a national student finalist at a White House initiative on 21st century learning. Anaheim and Katella high school students led a P21 initiative gathering 5,000 signatures for the city of Anaheim to create mentoring and internship opportunities, which will be in place this summer. And Western High School had a Nobel Prize winner return to the campus and serve as a living reminder of what is possible.

Our teachers have shown tremendous dedication in improving students’ academic success, and our students have responded in kind. This is especially heartening given the backdrop of the state’s fiscal crisis, which has forced us to operate with reduced staffing and student programs.

As we recover from the Great Recession, we are faced with a huge challenge. In a mere 10 years, California will need more than 1 million college graduates to replace retiring Baby Boomers who comprise the backbone of the state’s economy. Who will replace them? Will those college graduates come from places like China or India or will they come from school districts like AUHSD?

Fortunately, over the last few years, AUHSD has been on the move. We have emerged as a leader in transitioning to instructional practices that align with Common Core State Standards across the curriculum. Our state superintendent, Tom Torlakson, has praised us for building a collaborative model where teachers are out front in designing relevant, student-centered lessons and performance tasks. Our teachers and administrators deserve high praise for building collaborative Professional Learning Communities where teachers can come together, and design and reflect on performance tasks that help them create more project-based learning activities.

The bar has been set very high, and it will take all of our employees—teachers, administrators, counselors, special education support staff, classified staff—and all of our community members—parents, and business, civic, and faith-based leaders—to work together focused on our mission of graduating students who are college and career ready.

AUHSD - Fast Facts