|1030 E. California Blvd, Pasadena, California
|Grades||Kindergarten through 12|
|Color(s)||Orange & White|
|Athletics||25 Varsity Sports|
|Athletics conference||Prep League; CIF Southern Section|
The school was founded in 1907 as the first private non-sectarian, non-profit elementary school in California. It descends from the Throop Polytechnic Institute founded by Amos G. Throop, the same institution that grew into the present California Institute of Technology.
In the spring of 1907, the Institute decided to focus on the college level and closed the grammar school. Citrus tycoon and powerful eugenicist Ezra S. Gosney donated $12,500, a sum matched by twelve other donors. This money allowed them to purchase the property at the present site, originally an orange grove. The school opened in October 1907 with 106 students. At the time, the school was named Polytechnic Elementary School. The school added a ninth grade in 1918 and expanded to high school in 1959. Polytechnic ended its pre-Kindergarten program in 2005.
Poly offers Advanced Placement and honors classes as well as arts and athletic programs. According to a College Board report, Polytechnic School was named a world leader in student participation and performance on Advanced Placement exams. Furthermore, the report also named Polytechnic as the top small school in the world for having the largest part of its students achieve a 3 or above on the AP Calculus AB examination in both 2004 and 2005. In 2007, Polytechnic School was ranked 4th in the world by The Wall Street Journal in success rate in sending students to Harvard University, Princeton University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Williams College, Pomona College, Swarthmore College, the University of Chicago and Johns Hopkins University, higher than many older, better known east coast prep schools such as Exeter and Andover. In the 2011-12 class, 47% of class were National Merit Finalists & Commended students and 92% of students were accepted to 'highly-selective' top tier universities (institutions with an admit rate of 30% or lower). In the September 2008 issue, Los Angeles Magazine listed Pasadena Poly among the best high schools in Los Angeles. Poly was praised for its “national reputation for producing scholars, artists and athletes.”
Polytechnic School covers 15 acres and is divided by Cornell Road into two campuses, north (Lower and Middle School) and south (Upper School), and is adjacent to the Caltech campus. Most of the North Campus buildings were designed by Myron Hunt, who also designed the Rose Bowl and The Huntington, and Elmer Gray, who designed the Beverly Hills Hotel and the Pasadena Playhouse. The Cornett Mansion, designed in 1907, in the south campus serves as the administration building and houses several classrooms for the Upper School. Facilities include a Lower and Middle School Library, Upper School Library, Pool, Boys and Girls Gyms, athletic field, Garland Performing Arts Center, and historic as well as newly constructed classrooms.
Poly’s Athletic Department currently offers 25 Varsity sports in the three seasons of play and is a member of the Prep League. Poly has been competing in the California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) since 1962 and has a historical tradition of excellence in its athletic programs enhanced by the combination of outstanding facilities and a dedicated coaching staff.
The CIF Southern Section has recognized Poly for its commitment to sportsmanship and awarded Poly the CIF Southern Section Jim Staunton Champions of Character Award in 2012. Poly was named the ESPN Rise California/Cal-Hi Sport’s Division 5 School of the Year in 2011.
CIF Team Championships (32)
Football (2) - 1999, 2002
Baseball (1) - 2011
Boys Basketball (4) - 1978, 1979, 1984, 1995
Girls Basketball (2) - 1992, 2011
Girls Cross Country (2) - 1994, 1997
Boys Soccer (1) - 2000
Girls Soccer (8) - 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2013*
Boys Tennis (3) - 1989, 1991, 1992
Girls Tennis (4) - 1992, 1993, 1994, 1997
Girls Track & Field (2) - 1999, 2001
Girls Volleyball (2) - 1997, 1998
Boys Water Polo (1) - 2012
*CIF-State Southern California Regional Championship
CIF Individual Championships (59)
Boys Cross Country (2*)
Girls Cross Country (1)
Boys Swimming & Diving (21**)
Girls Swimming & Diving (19**)
Boys Track & Field (1)
Girls Track & Field (15)
*CIF-SS & CIF-State Championships **CIF-SS & CIF-Masters Championships
The “Mystic Niblick”
The “Mystic Niblick” is a trophy awarded every spring to the Varsity boys golf team with the lowest overall scores between Poly and Flintridge Prep .
- Ana Marie Acosta,(2014) 96th Tournament of Roses Queen 
- John Battelle, author, journalist, and co-founder of Wired magazine 
- Alec Berg, screenwriter, actor, and film producer
- Bruce Beutler, 2011 Nobel Laureate in Medicine
- Otis Booth, billionaire investor and philanthropist
- Otis Chandler, publisher, The Los Angeles Times
- Julia Child, television chef and personality 
- Anna Christy, soprano opera singer
- Steve Cohen, member of the United States House of Representatives representing Tennessee's ninth district
- Keegan de Lancie, actor
- Harriet Huntington Doerr, author 
- Rebecca Eaton, television producer
- David Ebershoff author of the international bestselling novels, The 19th Wife, The Danish Girl and Pasadena, and Executive Editor at Random House
- Kevin Greutert, film director and editor of the SAW series
- Ted Griffin, screenwriter, actor, and film producer
- R. Stanton Hales, former president of the College of Wooster
- Macky Makisumi, speedcuber
- F.O. Matthiessen, literary critic and author of American Renaissance: Art and Expression in the Age of Emerson and Whitman 
- Randall Miller, director, screenwriter, producer, actor
- Charlie Munger, billionaire investor and philanthropist, Vice-Chairman of Berkshire Hathaway Corporation
- Charlie Paddock, American athlete, Olympic champion
- Drew Pinsky, radio and television personality
- Rob Rasmussen, Toronto Blue Jays pitcher 
- Jethro Rothe-Kushel, film director and producer
- Alison Sweeney, actress
- Mike White, film director, screenwriter, and actor
- Aliya Haque (1995) 77th Tournament of Roses Queen
- Jennifer Halferty (1997) 79th Tournament of Roses Queen
- "Advanced Placement: Report to the Nation" (PDF). The College Board. 2006-02-22. p. 20. Retrieved 2008-09-18. "Exemplary AP Calculus AB Programs These schools lead the world in helping the widest segment of their total school population achieve an exam grade of 3 or higher in AP Calculus AB:Small-size school (<300 students in grades 10–12): Polytechnic School (Pasadena, CA) ... Teacher of Foundation Course: Laurianne Williams"
- Gamerman, Ellen; Juliet Chung, SungHa Park and Candace Jackson (2007-11-30). "How the Schools Stack Up (revised 12-28)". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 2008-01-16. "Weekend Journal looked at the freshman classes at eight top colleges -- Harvard, Princeton, MIT, Williams, Pomona, Swarthmore, the University of Chicago and Johns Hopkins -- and compiled a list of the students' high-school alma maters. The survey ranked the high schools based on the number of students sent to those eight colleges, divided by the high school's number of graduates in 2007, limiting the scope to schools that had senior classes of at least 50..."
- Pasadena Star News, 10-24-2013 Retrieved 25 October 2013
- "Sunday Morning - John Battelle's Searchblog". 11 May 2008. Retrieved 30 May 2011.
- Bates, Colleen Dunn; Jill Alison Ganon; Sandy Gillis (2006). Hometown Pasadena: The Insider's Guide (1st ed ed.). Pasadena, California: Prospect Park Books. p. 93. ISBN 9780975393918. OCLC 76881557. Retrieved 2008-03-09.
- "Polytechnic Elementary School Catalogue, 1907-1908." Available in Polytechnic School Archives.
- UCLA Bruins Athletic Site