Aliso Niguel High School

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Aliso Niguel High School
Aliso Niguel logo.png
28000 Wolverine Way
Aliso Viejo, California, 92656
United States
Coordinates 33°33′40″N 117°43′11″W / 33.56111°N 117.71972°W / 33.56111; -117.71972Coordinates: 33°33′40″N 117°43′11″W / 33.56111°N 117.71972°W / 33.56111; -117.71972
Type Public high school
Established 1993
School district Capistrano Unified School District
Principal Chris Carter
Faculty 120
Grades 9-12
Enrollment 2976
Campus Suburban
Color(s)              Black, teal, white
Mascot Wolverines
Newspaper The Growling Wolverine
Yearbook The Legend
Aliso Viejo, California

Aliso Niguel High School (ANHS), which is part of the Capistrano Unified School District, is located in the city of Aliso Viejo, California. Most of its students reside in the communities of Aliso Viejo and Laguna Niguel. The school is a California Distinguished School, a National Blue Ribbon School, and a New American High School.[1] Aliso Niguel was ranked as number 217 in Newsweek's 2011 list of the top 500 high schools in the nation, and was within the top 5% of high schools nationwide.


Opening its doors in 1993 with a student body of 1600, ANHS became the fourth high school in the Capistrano Unified School District. With the implementation of Digital High School grant in 2000, Aliso Niguel High School invested over $1 million in new technology and related instruction. Additionally, all teachers have e-mail addresses and web sites for swift communication with parents. Organized parent involvement takes the form of an active PTSA and a wide range of parent booster organizations.

In 1996, Aliso Niguel was selected as a California Distinguished School, the youngest school ever to be recognized as such by the State Department of Education.[1] In 2000, Aliso Niguel High School received national recognition as a Blue Ribbon School and New American High School.[1] In 2004, The Western Association of Schools and Colleges granted Aliso Niguel a six-year term of accreditation, which it renewed for an additional six-year period in 2010.


Although the high school started small (with about 1,400 students) in their first year, the high school grew rapidly over the years, and it still continues to grow to this present day. Currently, the school has 26 portable classrooms in its southern parking lot adding to 22,080 square feet (2,051 m2), and 100 permanent classrooms. The permanent buildings are 200,000 square feet (19,000 m2) forming a grand total of 222,080 square feet (20,632 m2) on the campus, making Aliso the largest school in the district.


In 2005, the school's students scored within the top 90% of all schools on the California High School Exit Exam. 90% of all students that took the English Language Arts passed and 91% passed in the Math section.[citation needed]

The "Growling Wolverine" is the mascot of the school


Aliso Niguel's sports teams are known as the Wolverines and compete in the Sea View League of the California Interscholastic Federation's Southern Section. From 1998 to 2005, they were members of the Sea View League, and in the Pacific Coast League (California) before 1998.

Fine and practical arts[edit]

Marching band[edit]

The Aliso Niguel Marching Band is a representative class that rehearses outdoors. As part of the Western Band Association, they perform in four marching competitions and participate in the WBA finals. They also perform in the Laguna Niguel Holiday Parade in the second Saturday in the month of December every year.[2] The marching band won the title for 2008 WBA combined 1/2/3A Grand Champion.[3]


Dance ban[edit]

In September 2006, Principal Charles Salter canceled the remainder of all school dances in response to students "freak dancing" and arriving drunk to the first dance of the year.[4] Salter stated that he would bring back dances if, and only if, students and parents could cooperate and develop a solution to "the problem." This story initially received regional attention. The story gained widespread, national attention later that month when the school's annual Homecoming Dance was banned.[5]

The dance ban was covered by the BBC, NPR, The Morning Show with Mike and Juliet, and the national news program Geraldo at Large. The principal later reinstated the dances with explicit rules that were developed by five parents, five students and three school officials. The first dance under the new rules was the Winter Formal of February 2007. These rules include the type of dancing students are allowed to do. Also, in order to attend any school dance, students and their parents must sign a dance contract before buying a ticket. Although students are upset over losing their Homecoming dance, many are relieved that the ban has been lifted and hope that this will not happen again.[6]


ANHS students protested against the Iraq War by walking out of school on March 20, 2003, the day after the U.S. began military strikes in Iraq. Students marched from campus onto a nearby hill overlooking the school, where they stood for hours, holding signs bearing anti-war slogans that could be seen by other students and teachers on campus.

On April 2, 2010, nearly 500 students walked out of their first period class to protest impending teacher pay cuts. At about 7:50 A.M. roughly 400 students had congregated under the large canopy in front of the school. Ignoring orders to return to class by a number of school officials, the students marched up the road leading to the school, waving signs, and chanting in support of their teachers. After reaching the main intersection of Aliso Creek Road, and Wolverine Way, the students stood on the four corners of the intersection and continued waving signs and chanting. At about 8:30 A.M., Capistrano Unified School District Officials showed up to witness the protest, and police officers were on hand as well. For the most part, the protest remained peaceful. At 9:30, students began to march back to the high school, to return to classes, only to find proctors waiting for them, and all classroom doors locked. The students were detained, but were later released during passing period. The protest received coverage from the local newspaper, the Orange County Register,[7] as well as the local office of CNN.[8] Capistrano Unified School District released a response to the incident, saying "People have emotions, and those emotions sometimes get expressed when you're young in ways that aren't acceptable." School Board President Anna Bryson commented "It doesn't surprise me. But we don't want to see our students missing time in class. They're going to college and they're going to be tested, and they need that class time."[7]

Notable alumni[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "Aliso Niguel High School: Home Page". Retrieved 2012-11-08. 
  2. ^ Laguna Niguel Holiday Parade, a program partnered with the Toys for Tots
  3. ^ "Western Band Association". 2012-10-27. Retrieved 2012-11-08. 
  4. ^ Change in dance moves called for, The Orange County Register, September 21, 2006
  5. ^ Homecoming dance gets boot, The Orange County Register, September 29, 2006
  6. ^ Ban on Dances Lifted
  7. ^ a b Martindale, Scott. "Capo trustees: Illegal student protests must stop" Orange County Register (April 2, 2010)
  8. ^ "Aliso Niguel High School Student Walkout, April 2nd 2010 - CNN iReport". 2010-04-03. Retrieved 2012-11-08. 
  9. ^ "Michael Roll Biography". Retrieved July 28, 2014. 

External links[edit]