Malibu High School
|Malibu High School|
|30215 Morning View Drive|
|Principal||David Jackson (interim)|
|Color(s)||Teal and Black |
|Website||MHS Official Website|
Malibu High School (MHS) is a public secondary school in Malibu, California for middle school (grades 6-8) and high school (grades 9-12). As one of three high schools in the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District, MHS serves the Malibu and Santa Monica communities and by inter-district permit, the greater Los Angeles area and Ventura County.
The campus is located on land originally part of Juan Cabrillo Elementary School, which was partitioned in 1963 to create Malibu Park Junior High School, named after its surrounding region in Malibu. With no public secondary school existing in Malibu, upon promotion from middle school the high school-age students commuted 2 hours roundtrip to Santa Monica to attend Santa Monica High School.
In 1992, the district converted the Malibu Park Junior High School campus to its present combined middle school/high school, and allowed MHS's first freshman class to walk onto campus. The State of California erroneously shows the high school established in 1993.) Classes were added every succeeding year, culminating in the first 1992 freshman class graduating in 1996. The school mascot, a grinning mako shark, was designed by an art student in the first graduating class of 1996.
The high school's first principal was Michael Matthews. Under Matthews's tenure in 2003, the school earned its designation as a California Distinguished School and first achieved a national ranking as #177 in Newsweek|Newsweek's Top 1200 Schools in America, a ranking system based on what percentage of a school's student body takes Advanced Placement exams in any given year.
The school is located in the northwestern part of Malibu one block from the Pacific Ocean and the famed Zuma Beach in the Malibu Park district. The school spans 35 acres (0.14 km²) of rolling hillsides between Merritt Drive to the south and Via Cabrillo Street to the north, and Harvester Road to the east. The campus is located next to Juan Cabrillo Elementary School, a public school, and Malibu Methodist Preschool & Nursery, a private pre-kindergarten school for ages 0–5. MHS's facilities include a baseball diamond, ranked the best in America in January 2004 by Baseball America.
The school is accessible via the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) bus line 534. The majority of students arrive on campus by private car or school bus.
The Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District had performed a polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB) cleanup of the school in 2009 and 2010 with the California Department of Toxic Substance Control (DTSC) advising. In October 2013, after three teachers developed thyroid cancer, a group of teachers grew concerned that environmental contaminants at Malibu High School may be to blame; caulk tested for PCB showed levels "slightly elevated" above the regulatory limit of 50ppm in November 2013. The three relevant government agencies, the DTSC, Los Angeles County Department of Public Health and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) were informed and certain buildings were closed to students.
"Based upon published reports and interviews with long-time residents who were present during those years" Malibu served as a WWII military training center. Upon recommendation of Hugh Kaufman, a senior EPA policy analyst, teachers approached Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER) for help. In February 2014, PEER attorneys wrote to the school district asking for a site assessment of the campus. After a five-month investigation, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers responded in July 2014, that the school had never been a military site. The District hired an environmental firm named Environ, whose initial clean up plan was criticized for allowing elevated PCB levels to remain inside classrooms for 15 years or more, for not testing caulk in all rooms built prior to 1979 and for air quality monitoring of only one year. The plan was rejected by the EPA in April 2014. Environ released a second PCB clean up plan on July 3, 2014. Two weeks later PEER published PCB test results of caulking and dirt from rooms sampled in June, and not previously tested by the District, "at thousands of times the levels previously released to the public".
MHS consistently boasts the highest SAT and API scores in its three high school districts. MHS has periodically been awarded honors by various ranking authorities; As of 2007[update] Newsweek Magazine's Top 1200 Schools in America ranked Malibu High #184. In 2007 US News & World Report ranked Malibu High #98 of the top 100 schools in the country and awarded a Gold Medal. Over fifteen Advanced Placement courses are offered at the school.
Besides regular college-preparatory, honors, and advanced placement courses, the school is one of a handful in California that provides extensive resources for Special Education (SpEd) students. As of July 2006[update], 125 SpEd students were enrolled with 26 SpEd faculty at MHS, where roughly 10% of the student body are receiving 24% of the school's instructors.
Taking advantage of close proximity to the Pacific Ocean, students who take 10th grade Biology or the Honors Marine Biology elective course participate in a year-long field ecology study known as "The Zuma Project." Students collect oceanographic and biological data (and plankton samples) every week during the academic year, and have done this since the first senior class in 1995. The research program has been copied and used by other schools as part of the UCLA OceanGLOBE program.
The school is classified a small school by the California Interscholastic Federation, competing at the Division IV CIF Southern Section. Football is in Division XI. A study published in 2007 by the MHS Site Governance Council reported that 75% of all honors and AP enrolled students participate in the school's sports programs.
MHS has won several awards in instrumental and choral music. In 2006 and 2007, the MHS full symphony orchestra earned the highest ranking (Superior) from Southern California judges. In 2011, all four MHS choirs received "Superior" ratings (the highest rating possible.
The school's journalism produces a monthly newspaper, The Current, for high school. The middle school's paper The Surfwriter is now[when?] defunct after a several-year run. A yearbook class also publishes the high school yearbook, Aquarius. In 2008 a school literary magazine, The Inkblot, was added, published by students showcasing student stories, poetry, cartoons, and illustrations.
- 2013: Some MHS teachers claim that recent construction and moldy classrooms are making them sick, causing cancer.
- 2012: Student accuses teacher of misconduct, gains media attention 
- 2009: MHS palm trees go missing.
- 2008: MHS vandalism causes a stir with racial implications.
- 2007: MHS is chosen by U.S. News and World Report as #98, one of the top 100 schools in the nation and awarded a Gold Medal.
- 2007: MHS technology controversy arises concerning students posting videos of teachers on YouTube.
- 2003: MHS is ranked by Newsweek as #177 among the nation's best schools. MHS consistently ranks in the top 184 schools on Newsweek's list.
- 1996: MHS's first class of seniors graduates.
For the 2007/08 school year, MHS's student composition was:
- 1,303 enrolled students; 52.9% male, 47.1% female
- middle school's (grades 6-8) class size averages 163.7
- high school's (grades 9-12) class size averages 203.8
- student demographics: 0.3% American Indian or Alaska Native, 2.0% Asian, 1.1% Pacific Islander/Filipino, 9.2% Hispanic or Latino, 2.5% African American, 84.7% White (non-Hispanic), 0.2% Multiple.
For the 2007/08 school year, MHS's teacher composition included:
- high school: 64 certified teachers; 53.1% male, 46.9% female
- high school: Certificated teacher demographics: 6.2% Hispanic or Latino, 4.7% African American, 87.5% White (non-Hispanic), 1.6% Multiple.
- Devendra Banhart, Musician
- Jesse Billauer, Class of 1996, quadriplegic surfer, motivational speaker
- Christoper and Jonathan Chu, Musicians (The Morning Benders/POP ETC) 
- Lauren Dukoff, Photographer 
- Charlie Sheen, Actor
- Colbie Caillat, Musician
- Gigi Hadid, Model
- Dr. Louis Leithold, author of The Calculus, a widely used high school and college textbook (2005)
Scenes from the movie Smile (2005) were shot at MHS. The film was inspired by the international organization Operation Smile and portrays real-life MHS figures such as former principal, Dr. Mike Matthews (played by Sean Astin). MHS hosts a student chapter of Operation Smile to help fundraise, and every year, a few students accompany Operation Smile tours. Scenes from the Disney Channel Original Movie Brink! were also shot at MHS and Zuma Beach.
In 2010 TV Show 90210 showed a "Malibu High School" flag at a surf competition.
- Educational Demographics Unit (2013–2014). "Primary enrollment by Grade for 2013-14". California Department of Education.
- Malibu High School 15th Anniversary Brochure, The Shark Fund: L. Rosenthal and Kaiser Marketing, Publisher: Kaiser Marketing and ColorGraphics 2007
- Melonie Magruder (6 August 2006). "High School High". Malibu Times. Retrieved 16 July 2014.
- "California School Directory.School: Malibu High". State of California Department of Education. Retrieved 26 July 2014.
- "MHS earns California Distinguished School Award". State of California Department of Education. 2003. Retrieved 26 July 2014.
- "Newsweek fails the high school ranking test". SFExaminer. 8 May 2006. Retrieved 26 July 2014.
- LAC Metropolitan Transportation Authority (busline)
- Simpson, David Mark (22 November 2013). "PCB Levels at Malibu High Trigger EPA Involvement". The Malibu Times. Retrieved 26 July 2014.
- Sagona, Nancy (17 July 2014). "Feds Say Malibu High Not A Former Military Site". The Malibu Times. Retrieved 26 July 2014.
- David Mark Simpson; Melissa Caskey (January 22, 2014). "New Firm to Handle Malibu High PCB Removal". The Malibu Times. Retrieved 26 July 2014.
- "Malibu school highly contaminated with toxic PCBs". Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility. 17 July 2014. Retrieved 26 July 2014.
- "Malibu High - Reports". California Department of Education. 2012/2013. Check date values in:
- "Newsweek Top Schools 2007". Newsweek. 2007.[dead link]
- "Malibu High: Best High Schools". USNews.com. 2007.
- MHS Special Education Enrollment
- MHS Site Governance Council, SGC
- Music Awards
- Malibu High School The Inkblot, 2008
- / Los Angeles Times article
- / Malibu Times article
- / CBS article
- State of California MHS Student Demographics
- State of California MHS Teacher Demographics
- Jesse Billauer Official Website
- Los Angeles Times Article http://www.latimes.com/features/lifestyle/la-ig-dukoff9-2009aug09,0,2310039.story
- Dr. Louis Leithold