Albany High School (California)

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Albany High School
Albany High School (Albany, California) (front entrance - 2 December 2004).JPG
603 Key Route Blvd.
Albany, California
Coordinates 37°53′45″N 122°17′33″W / 37.895890°N 122.292421°W / 37.895890; -122.292421Coordinates: 37°53′45″N 122°17′33″W / 37.895890°N 122.292421°W / 37.895890; -122.292421
Type Public high school
School district Albany Unified School District
Principal Dr. Ted Barone
Grades 9-12
Campus Semi-urban
Color(s) red and white[1]
Mascot cougar
Newspaper The Cougar
For other schools of a similar name, see Albany High School (disambiguation).

Albany High School (AHS) is a comprehensive public high school located in Albany, California. Educating students in grades 9–12, the school has an enrollment of 1293 students. The school mascot is the cougar and the school colors are red and white. Dr. Ted Barone is the current principal.


In 2001, Albany was accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges for the maximum term of six years. Albany High School is #422 Nationally Ranked in 2013 (#83 among California high schools).[2]

The school is well known for its successful athletic, science, math, and music programs.

Music Programs[edit]

The music program at the school serves approximately 250 students and supports strong choral, orchestral, concert band, and jazz programs. Craig Bryant serves as the Director of Instrumental Music at Albany High School in Albany, CA, a position he has held since the Fall of 2007. Mr. Bryant leads a strong and visible music program that has quickly become recognized for its musical excellence throughout the Bay Area. Numerous students participate in the Jazz School Studio bands, the Oakland, Berkeley and San Francisco Youth Orchestras, the CMEA and CBDA All-State Bands as well as with other area honor groups.

The instrumental music program is made up of 2 concert bands, 2 jazz bands, and a string orchestra. There are about 140 students involved in the program, with about half the jazz students also participating in one of the concert bands. Each group at the school meets 3 times per week to rehearse (50 mins. on Mondays, and 90 on T/TH or W/F.)

Many performing groups have received Superior ratings at the CMEA large ensemble festivals. The ensembles at AHS perform four main concerts a year in addition to participating in festivals and recording competitions. The groups have garnered positive attention through performances at Yoshi’s Oakland, Ashkenaz, the Freight and Salvage and other Bay Area venues.

The Albany High School Jazz Band is the top performance ensemble at the AHS. They have received top ratings and awards at the Folsom, Reno and Santa Cruz Jazz Festivals. The 2010 group performed as a featured ensemble at the 2010 California Music Education Association State Conference in Sacramento. The band was also selected as a finalist for the 2010 Next Generation Festival, presented by the Monterey Jazz Festival, and the 2010 Essentially Ellington festival, presented by Jazz at Lincoln Center in New York, NY.

Other Programs[edit]

The science team won the 1993 Department of Energy National Science Bowl competition.[3] In 2005-06, the girls varsity cross country team won the league championship and the girls softball team won the Northern California Championship over rival Piedmont High School (California).[citation needed] Albany's soccer program is also very strong, with the varsity boys and girls going undefeated in the winter season of 2010.

In 2011, the school Science Bowl team went to Washington D.C. for the nationals.

U.S. News & World Report, in their recent survey of public high schools, awarded Albany High with a silver medal, placing it in the top 500 in the country.

The Albany High School women's volleyball team went to the Northern California State Championships in 2011, but lost.

In 2012, the school Ocean Science Bowl team went to Baltimore for nationals, where they placed in 7th

Campus History[edit]

Albany High School's new building.

In 1997, Albany High School’s main building and gymnasium, both completed in 1934, were deemed to be seismically unsound. They were demolished, and construction began on a new campus. During the four years of construction, between 1997 and 2001, classes were held in portable trailers. The new school building and gymnasium opened in 2001. The front of the school, with its huge, glass facade and adjacent functionless glass tower, were considered by many to be eyesores. Some derided the structure as being “designed by committee,” without input from the community. Many in Albany consider the new school building, which resembles an airplane hangar, to be incongruous with the single-story wood and stucco homes in the surrounding neighborhood.

During the 2004-2005 school year, several security cameras were installed in the building to prevent various acts of vandalism. 2004 was also the year the school suffered overcrowding due to an overly large freshman class. The large influx of students was caused in part by an Albany Unified School District policy, which allowed students from other cities such as El Cerrito and Richmond to enter Albany schools.

Academic Competitions[edit]

Albany participates in many local competitions, including NAQT, NOSB's Otter Bowl (which they won in 2006 and took fourth nationwide), and the National Science Bowl, in which they also took fourth place nationwide. Albany High won its 2008 Science Bowl regional competition, defeating academic rival Mission San Jose High School. Traditionally, both schools went to different regional competitions, but in 2008, due to a desire to participate in both the Otter Bowl and Science Bowl, whose regionals coincided, Albany was forced to attend MSJ's regional competition for Science Bowl. In 2009, their NOSB team did not fare as well. However they fared much better in the National Science Bowl, placing 5th nationwide. In 1993, they won the nationwide Science Bowl competition in Washington D.C.

The school also hosts a well established Model United Nations program. In the 2010-2011 academic year, Albany also became home to a forensic (Speech and Debate) team. The Albany High Speech and Debate team[4] is a member of the Golden Gate Speech Association and the National Forensic League. It should be noted that both programs are established in club format: while other local schools have classes dedicated solely to Model UN and debate, Albany runs both programs as student clubs.

Block schedule[edit]

Albany High changed from a 7-period per day schedule to a block schedule during the 2005–2006 school year. Instead of having seven 57-minute periods per day, the new block schedule consists of two blocks, A and B. Block A, on Tuesday and Thursday, has 94-minute periods for periods 1, 3, 5, and 7. Block B, on Wednesday and Friday, has 94-minute periods for periods 2, 4, and 6 with an added 40-minute Advisory period between 2nd and 4th period. On Monday, all classes meet for 51 minutes. The first class always begins at 8:10 AM, excepting finals week.[5]

Neighborhoods zoned to Albany[edit]

The entire city of Albany is zoned to this school.[6] The University Village development, a student housing complex of the University of California Berkeley which houses families, is assigned to this school.[7]

Notable graduates[edit]

  • Amani Toomer - NFL Football player (attended AHS for one year before transferring to De La Salle in Concord).
  • Ron Hansen, 1956 - Major League baseball player, 1960 American League Rookie of the Year and one of the few players in history to turn an unassisted triple play, July 30, 1968.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ [down]
  2. ^
  3. ^ "NSB: 1st Place Teams and Prizes". Archived from the original on 2008-01-16. Retrieved 2008-01-23. 
  4. ^
  5. ^ "Bell Schedules". Retrieved 3 November 2014. 
  6. ^ "INITIAL STUDY ALBANY HIGH SCHOOL COUGAR FIELD IMPROVEMENTS PROJECT." Albany Unified School District. April 2006. 2. Retrieved on October 2, 2011. "The high school campus, with an enrollment of approximately 1,200 pupils in grades 9-12, and the middle school, with about 900, serve students in the entire District attendance area which coincides with the boundaries of the City of Albany"
  7. ^ "Local Schools." University Village. Retrieved on October 2, 2011.
  8. ^ Viard, Alex (2007-10-30). "The Pack Interview". Drop Magazine. Archived from the original on 2008-02-12. Retrieved 2008-04-22. 
  9. ^ a b Garofoli, Joe (1995-12-13). "Rancid Proves It's Punk Enough In A Blazing Show". Contra Costa Times. p. F01. 
  10. ^ Heater, Jay (2006-06-09). "Getting kick out of mixed martial arts: Griffin, a former Times' top 100 athlete from Albany High School, carries a 6-0 record into tonight's lightweight fight". Contra Costa Times. Retrieved 2008-04-22. 

External links[edit]

Extracurricular activities[edit]