California High School (San Ramon, California)

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California High School
Cal High School 01.jpg
9870 Broadmoor Drive
San Ramon, California 94583
Type Public
Established 1973
CEEB Code 053229
Principal Sarah Wondolowski
Enrollment 2,259 (2011-12 [1])
Color(s) Black and Orange          
Athletics conference East Bay Athletic League
Team name The Fighting Grizzlies
Newspaper The Californian

California High School (commonly referred to as Cal High) is one of two public high schools located in San Ramon, California (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.

Cal High had 2,553 students in the 2011-12 school year.[1] 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.[2] 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.

Cal High's sports rivals are Monte Vista High School and San Ramon Valley High School in Danville, California, and De La Salle High School in Concord, California.


Cal has an all-weather track and an aquatic center, including 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, a new student quad, and a new counseling building. Then again, in 2008, the new fine arts building completed construction. 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 9 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, but demand exceeds available space.[3] 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 offered at the school. Twelve years of construction were concluded with the installation of SunPower solar panels over the back parking lot in the summer of 2011.

Notable faculty[edit]

William Everett Pence - Biology teacher who assisted students with discovering which chromosomes are the location of three cancer-causing genes. Mr. Pence was also California's Teacher of the Year in 1999.[4] He was a United States Aquanaut in 1984.

Notable alumni[edit]

Awards and recognition[edit]

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,[11] the highest award an American school can receive.[12][13]

Cal High's student run monthly newspaper, 'The Californian', is an award winning newspaper. The paper's writers, photographers, and graphic designs/artists have won numerous awards over the past 7 years (2000–2008), including a total of 17 during the 2007-2008 school year[citation needed]. The first school newspaper "The Bear Facts," was started in 1973.

California High School is ranked #250 in the top 500 US High Schools by Newsweek,[14] placing it within the top 1.5% of the over 18,000 high schools in the United States.[15] In 2005, Cal High was a California Distinguished School.[16]


Coordinates: 37°44′48″N 121°56′46″W / 37.74667°N 121.94611°W / 37.74667; -121.94611[17]


  1. ^ a b California Department of Education. "School Enrollment by Grade for 2011-12". DataQuest. Retrieved 14 September 2012. 
  2. ^ California High School Official Site
  3. ^ — California High School website: "Facilities"
  4. ^ — California Dept. of Education - 1990-2006 California Teacher of the Year
  5. ^ "California Golden Bears". David Bingham Profile. calbears. Retrieved 2013-04-29. 
  6. ^ "Pleasanton's David Bingham, Goalkeeper for the San Jose Earthquakes, Could be Going to 2012 Olympics". Dublin Patch. Retrieved 2013-04-29. 
  7. ^ "". 
  8. ^ "". 
  9. ^ Creaven, Patrick (21 December 2011). "Cal High Grad Ready For National Figure Skating Championships". San Ramon Patch. Retrieved 8 July 2014. 
  10. ^ Eiges, Brandon (February 5, 2010). "Alumnus turns pro in soccer". The Californian. p. A1. 
  11. ^ U.S. Department of Education Blue Ribbon Schools Program: Schools Recognized 2003 through 2006 (PDF), United States Department of Education. Accessed May 11, 2006.
  12. ^ CIBA cited as one of the best by Education Department, Journal Inquirer, November 16, 2006. "The Blue Ribbon award is given only to schools that reach the top 10 percent of their state's testing scores over several years or show significant gains in student achievement. It is considered the highest honor a school can achieve."
  13. ^ Viers Mill School Wins Blue Ribbon; School Scored High on Statewide Test; The Washington Post. September 29, 2005 "For their accomplishments, all three schools this month earned the status of Blue Ribbon School, the highest honor the U.S. Education Department can bestow upon a school."
  14. ^ "Newsweek rankings of the top US high schools". Newsweek. 2011-06-19. Retrieved 2011-07-24. 
  15. ^ "High Schools in the U.S." (PDF). National High School Center. late 2000s. Retrieved 2011-07-24.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  16. ^ "Message From Principal". Retrieved 2007-09-14. 
  17. ^ United States Geological Survey (9 November 1995). "GNIS Detail - California High School". Geographic Names Information System. United States Geological Survey. Retrieved 29 December 2009. 

External links[edit]

San Ramon Valley Unified School District