Yosemite High School

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Yosemite High School is a secondary school in the Yosemite Unified School District in Oakhurst, California. YHS occupies 100 acres (0.40 km2) of rolling, wooded hills and is located within the foothills of California's Sierra Nevada mountains. Yosemite High School is a California Distinguished School. The school opened in 1976.[citation needed] and current[when?] enrollment is approximately 1200 students.[citation needed]


Yosemite High School (YHS) is located in the Sierra Nevada foothills in the rural community of Oakhurst, 12 miles (19 km) from the south entrance to Yosemite National Park in Central California. The campus is on a 100-acre (40 ha) site with pines, oaks, and seasonal streams with views of the High Sierra.


The school features an International Baccalaureate (IB) program that involves over 40% of our students.[citation needed] YHS is one of only 47 IB schools in California.[citation needed] YHS also offers Advanced Placement courses.

In addition to a rigorous academic program, YHS also provides a comprehensive vocational program, which includes technology training in computer networking and multi-media production.[citation needed]

Title I programs, Math and Language Labs provide students with assistance in passing proficiency exams.

A survey of graduates showed that 50% of YHS students completed courses to qualify for the University of California or California State University systems, 50% planned to attend a two-year college, 27% planned to attend a four-year college, 3% were going into a vocational program, 17% planned to enter the work force, and 3% were joining the military.[citation needed] In the third statewide administration of the STAR test in 2000, YHS students earned an API rating of 742, ranking 9 on a scale of 10 for the State.[citation needed] 2000 SAT and ACT scores for YHS students were slightly higher than the state and national averages.[citation needed]

Test Scores and Honors[edit]

YHS was named a California Distinguished School in 2001 and 2005. Its 2005 Academic Performance Index (API) score was over 9000, which places it in the upper tier of California high schools.[citation needed] At least one alumnus has been awarded the Rhodes Scholarship.[citation needed]

Student Demographics[edit]

The ethnic breakdown of the student population at YHS is 84.3% White, 8.2% Hispanic, 6.2% Native American, 0.5% Asian, 0.5% African-American, and 0.1% Pacific Islander.[citation needed] Approximately ten percent of the students receive free and reduced meals and five percent of the students are from families receiving AFDC.[citation needed]


The school has received a Western Association of Schools and Colleges six-year accreditation.[citation needed]

Feeder Schools[edit]

Yosemite has nine major feeder schools, of which eight are elementary schools and one is a middle school:

  • Bass Lake Elementary
  • Coarsegold Elementary
  • North Fork Elementary
  • Raymond-Knowles Elementary
  • Rivergold Elementary
  • Spring Valley Elementary
  • Wasuma Elementary
  • Wawona Elementary
  • Oak Creek Intermediate

Extra-curricular activities[edit]

Academic competitions[edit]

YHS teams often excel in the Academic Decathlon (AD) competition, having won sixteen consecutive Madera County titles as of 2009, in addition to having taken first place twice in 2000 and 2001 and second place at the state level multiple times, most recently in 2006 and 2007.[1]

Music Department[edit]

Yosemite High School's Music Department consists of two choirs, two bands and two percussion classes. During football and basketball season the Advanced Percussion, Concert Band, and Wind Ensemble combine to form a pep band. In the spring the bands perform at CMEA (California Music Educators Association) Festivals and the Heritage Festivals in Anaheim, California.[citation needed]


Yosemite fields interscholastic teams in seventeen sports. It is a member of the North Sequoia League in the Central Section of the California Interscholastic Federation (CIF). The girls basketball team, won its fourth consecutive section title in March 2007.[citation needed]

Controversial teaching methods[edit]

When the school originally opened, its unorthodox education methods raised concerns. Students (referred to as “learners”) chose their own classes, handled their own attendance, and gave themselves their grades, much to the chagrin of parents, who “…were worried that the students [were] running the school and that there [was] a lack of supervised instruction…”[citation needed]

Teachers (referred to as “learning facilitators”) were also given free-rein with the classes they taught, resulting in such classes as skateboarding and rock climbing. They taught in a single large building with simultaneous classes operating without walls, leading to a good deal of confusion and distraction. Although 6-foot (1.8 m) tall partitions were soon set up, they did little to reduce the noise.[citation needed]

In recent years, YHS has returned to more traditional academic practices, including fixed schedules, standard classrooms, state-mandated coursework and grading criteria, and referring to "teachers" and "students."[citation needed]

Notable alumni[edit]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ "Academic Decathlon results". The Fresno Bee. February 7, 2009. 
  • Turcsanyi, Melinda. "YHS: Full circle in 25 Years", The Sierra Star, November 9, 2001.
  • Ward, Earlene. "A long, difficult road to the first diploma", The Sierra Star, March 13, 1997.
  • Ward, Earlene. "YHS at 30", The Sierra Star, September 1, 2006.

Coordinates: 37°19′43.9″N 119°37′53.99″W / 37.328861°N 119.6316639°W / 37.328861; -119.6316639