Saratoga High School (California)

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Saratoga High School
Saratoga HS CA.gif
Saratoga, California
United States
Type Public high school
Established 1959
School district Los Gatos-Saratoga Joint Union High School District
Principal Paul Robinson
Staff 72 (2012-2013)
Grades 9-12
Enrollment 1,419 (2011-2012)
Color(s)      Red
     Navy Blue
Mascot Falcon
Newspaper The Falcon
Yearbook The Talisman
Communities served Saratoga, Monte Sereno, Los Gatos
Feeder schools Redwood Middle School

Saratoga High School is a public high school in Saratoga, California, United States. It is part of the Los Gatos-Saratoga Joint Union High School District. The school is jointly accredited by the California Department of Education and the Western Association of Schools and Colleges. Student enrollment averages around 1350. U.S. News & World Report ranked Saratoga as the 152nd best public high school in America.[1]


SHS Football Field and Track

Saratoga High is locally known for its rigorous academic program. 98% of graduates go on to college or technical school. In 2005, 98% of the students took the SAT with a mean of 1283. In 2006, 908 AP exams were taken with 89% receiving qualifying scores. 23% of the class of 2007 were semifinalists or commended students in the National Merit Scholarship Program.[2] In 2003, the school's California State Academic Performance Index (API) score was 911, the leading score among all comprehensive public schools in the State of California. The school's 2005 API score was 914,[3] its 2009 API score was 933,[4] and its 2010 API score was 931.[4] In recent 8 years, five Saratoga High alumni have been awarded the Rhodes Scholarship.[5] Most recently, SHS won California Distinguished School in years 2009 and 2013.

Music Department[edit]

Saratoga High School is well known for its award-winning and accomplished Music Department.

Saratoga High School Music Department ensembles travel to world events every three years. In 2006, the band, choir, and orchestra went to Australia to perform in the Sydney Opera House. The tour band premiered "The Sails of Time" by David Gillingham. Past events include performing in Europe (2009),(2003) and Hawaii (2000). In 2010, the Saratoga Strings and the Saratoga Wind Ensemble was invited to be featured performers on March 8, 2011 at the 2011 New York Wind Band Festival. They performed in the Evening Showcase Concert at Carnegie Hall in New York. The Saratoga High School Choir traveled to Italy to perform in the summer of 2012. The Saratoga High School Marching Band performed in the 86th Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade on November 22, 2012.[6]

Marching Band[edit]

The Saratoga High School marching band currently has over 220 members, which is over 20% of the school population. In the Western Band Association (WBA) Championships in 2006; The Saratoga High School Marching Band competed and advanced into finals competition for the first time where they placed in State.

Year Show WBA Class Championship 5A Prelims WBA Grand championship Finals
Placement Score Placement Score
2005 "The Wind and the Lion" 10th 83.25 *
2006 "The Process of Invention" 8th 84.80 10th 83.89
2007 "Boundless" 6th 88.05 8th 87.40
2008 "Mirror Images" 9th 86.44 11th 87.08
2009 "Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night" 6th 89.85 6th 89.00
2010 "Thoughtcrime" 6th 88.70 ^
2011 "In the Beginning" #
2012 "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings" !
2014 "Sacred Geometry"

* = Did not Advance to Finals

^ = Rained Out

# = Attended MBOS Championships

! = Did not attend due to Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade



Saratoga Falcons

Saratoga Football has won five CIF Central Coast Section (CCS) championships: 1973, 1976, 1980, 1987, 1996. Because of complaints from residents, lights for the football field were not installed until 2006. In the past, the team has had to play at Los Gatos High School. In April 2006, the Trustees of the Los Gatos-Saratoga Joint Union High School District approved permanent lights for the football field.[7]

SHS Baseball won a division II CCS championship in 1999.

The girls' lacrosse team qualified for Santa Clara Valley Athletic League SCVAL championships and beat rivals Los Gatos High School for the first time in the program's history in 2013.

The golf team has won six SCVAL titles in the last seven years, and is currently on a five-year winning streak. The boys tennis team won the league title in 2004, 2006, 2007, and 2008. The badminton team held the league title for three consecutive years, from 2003 to 2005.

In 2009, the girls' varsity tennis team defeated rival Monta Vista High School 5-2 for their first CCS championship in the history of the program and went on to win the title again in 2010.

Chess Team[edit]

At the 2005 National Grade Level Chess Championships in Houston, the 9th graders were national champions, and the 10th graders took second.[8][9] At the 2006 National High School Chess Championships in Milwaukee, the school chess team placed 3rd out of more than 50 teams from across the nation. The team has won the NorCal State Championship 6 consecutive years (2004–2010) which is a record for state tournaments. In 2008 a Saratoga player tied for 1st at the individual level to secure a team win. The most recent win came in April, 2010 when SHS edged out Mission San Jose in the last round and won the record 6th consecutive State Championship.[10][11] SHS placed 2nd in the state championship in 2011 and 2014

Drama Department[edit]

Saratoga High School has a strong and talented Drama Department. The Department produces a Fall Play and a Spring Musical every year. The most recent Fall Plays have been Tartuffe, Our Town, and On the Razzle. The past three Spring Musicals have been South Pacific, Jekyll & Hyde, and Anything Goes.

Saratoga High School is also home of International Thespian Society Troupe #6354. Every year, the members of Troupe #6354 travel down to Ontario and participate in multiple events at the Southern California Thespian Conference.

Rhodes Scholars[edit]

Varun Sivaram (Class of 2007) from Stanford,[12][13] Henry Barmeier (Class of 2006) from Princeton University, Chelsea Purvis (Class of 2001) from Yale University, Ankur Luthra (Class of 1999) from UC Berkeley, and Betsy Masiello (Class of 1999) from Wellesley.


The school has tennis courts[quantify], a quad, and an Olympic-size swimming pool.[14]

McAfee Performing Arts and Lecture Center[edit]

McAfee Performing Arts and Lecture Center at Saratoga High School.

The McAfee Performing Arts and Lecture Center, a community facility, was completed on the campus around 2005. It was originally planned for the early 1960s but construction was postponed and the funds used for seismic upgrades to the Los Gatos campus. Public and private funds were raised 40 years later and it was scheduled to open in early-2004, but budget and construction delays pushed the completion date back to August, 2005. The center is named after Saratoga residents Eric McAfee and Marguerite McAfee, who donated $1 million towards its construction. The lecture center is now being operated by Adrian Stapleton, a stage tech director.[15]

Suicide of Audrie Pott[edit]

Saratoga High School drew notoriety for the alleged sexual assault and the subsequent bullying and suicide of then-15-year-old student Audrie Pott in September 2012.[16][17]

Notable alumni[edit]


  1. ^ "Saratoga High School in SARATOGA, CA | Best High Schools | US News". 2014. Retrieved 2012-06-06. 
  2. ^ [1][dead link]
  3. ^ "2006 API Growth School Report". 2007-07-06. Retrieved 2012-06-06. 
  4. ^ a b "2009 Base API School Report - Saratoga High". 2011-02-18. Retrieved 2012-06-06. 
  5. ^ "Another year, another Rhodes Scholar; fifth alumni wins award". Saratoga Falcon. 2010-11-24. Retrieved 2012-06-06. 
  6. ^
  7. ^ "Saratoga News - News | 0618 | Wednesday, April 26, 2006". 2006-04-26. Retrieved 2012-06-06. 
  8. ^ [2][dead link]
  9. ^
  10. ^ "Chess team breaks six-year win streak at state tournament". Saratoga Falcon. 2011-04-26. Retrieved 2012-06-06. 
  11. ^ "Little known chess team aims for sixth straight state championship". Saratoga Falcon. 2010-03-23. Retrieved 2012-06-06. 
  12. ^
  13. ^
  14. ^ Burleigh, Nina. "Sexting, Shame and Suicide." Rolling Stone. September 17, 2013. Retrieved on November 4, 2013.
  15. ^ "Saratoga News | 0536 | September 7, 2005". 2005-09-07. Retrieved 2012-06-06. 
  16. ^ "New defendant added to suit in Audrie Pott death". Bay City News (Saratoga, California: ABC News). July 26, 2013. Retrieved October 22, 2013. 
  17. ^ "Audrie Pott's parents agree to settle with two defendants". Bay City News (Saratoga, California: ABC News). August 9, 2013. Retrieved October 22, 2013. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 37°15′58″N 122°1′44″W / 37.26611°N 122.02889°W / 37.26611; -122.02889