Blair High School (Pasadena, California)

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Blair High School
Location

United States
Information
TypePublic
MottoThe Few, The Proud, The Vikings.
Established1964
PrincipalDavid Ibarra
Grades6th–12th
Number of students1100 (approx)
Athletics conferenceCIF-SS Rio Hondo League
MascotViking
Website

Blair High School is located at 1201 S. Marengo Avenue, Pasadena, California, and is in the Pasadena Unified School District (PUSD).[1] Blair is an International Baccalaureate World School serving grades 6–12. Blair offers the International Baccalaureate (IB) Middle Years Programme and the IB Diploma Programme.

History[edit]

In 2017, Blair also added the IB career-related Programme, as part of Blair's Health Careers Academy. The school underwent a major academic overhaul beginning in the fall of 2003 as a result of sub-standard academic performance, which prompted a state review. The school's two "co-principals" were replaced with a single principal, Rich Boccia (an administrative official with the Pasadena Unified School District, and district employee since 1980), who had been principal at South Pasadena Middle School. During Boccia's tenure, school wide academic performance rose sharply as a result of several academic reforms and in 2005 Boccia was named Secondary School Principal of the Year for the State of California for his leadership success at turning around Blair.

During the 2005–2006 school year, Blair was one of many PUSD schools threatened to be shut down due to budget cuts.[2] The prospect of having to send their children to John Muir High School and elsewhere brought out a strong showing of community support and was able to convince the Pasadena school board to keep Blair open. Students, parents (both with enrolled children, and those considering Blair), and various local figures attended school board meetings in large numbers to support Blair. The parents and community also advocated strongly for the smaller, more manageable size of the campus, the then 7th–12th configuration (now 6–12) which allows for longer buy-in time for families and the fact that Blair is authorized to offer the IB Diploma Programme in addition to the Middle Year's Programme. Blair is the only PUSD secondary school located in the Southwest part of Pasadena.

Blair's "C" Campus was torn down in spring of 2005 with the intent to rebuild (it was deemed less expensive to rebuild than to renovate the existing building). The Measure Y bond monies earmarked for that project were subsequently depleted in overages at other PUSD sites. In November 2008, voters approved Measure TT bond monies, and Blair's "C" campus was rebuilt. The new building opened in 2011, and primarily houses the middle school program.

The LEARNS program offers many extracurricular options for students in middle and high school including a performance choir program that has become well known in the area for its annual musical revue production called "OVATIONS".

Blair West is located across the street from Pasadena Public Library's Allendale branch. Renovation is underway on Blair's main building, the "A" building Blair West campus on the west side of Marengo Avenue. Construction is scheduled to be completed in December 2018. During construction, the main offices and high school classes are using the former Allendale Elementary school campus (1135 S. Euclid Avenue). The gymnasium and athletic facilities are located on Marengo Avenue. Construction is funded by Measure TT.

In addition to the International Baccalaureate Programme, Blair is known for its Health Careers Academy. The Health Careers Academy is the oldest of PUSD's College and Career Pathways, having been established in the early 1980s, and now offers the International Baccalaureate Career-related Programme. Blair offers PUSD's middle school and high school Spanish Dual Language Immersion program, and is also home to the district's International Academy (for newcomers to the country). PUSD offers an open enrollment process, and 80% of Blair's students attend Blair on permit. Over 100 students come from cities outside the PUSD attendance zone. The IB programme is cited by many of these non-PUSD families as the reason they chose Blair.

On February 6, 2019, the high school campus completed its $28.4 million dollar renovation project. In a ceremony with the presence of the Mayor of Pasadena, Terry Tornek, the Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Brian McDonald, and current and former teachers and alumni. The three-floor classroom building will have 23 classrooms, an expanded office area, a remodeled library, a new main entrance and a new track and athletic field. This project was funded by the school district's voters during the November 2008 election (Measure TT), which is used to renovate all the school campuses within the Pasadena Unified School District.

Athletics[edit]

Blair's Middle School offers a variety of sports as part of the after-school LEARNS program with competitive teams in basketball, soccer and flag football.

In athletics, Blair has historically had a very competitive basketball program with the 2007–2008 Varsity girls team being named League Champions. The 2007–2008 Varsity Football team was co-league champions. The Blair boys basketball team took 2nd place in the league in 2016–17 and advanced to the championship game in CIF-Southern Section (Division 4AA). The track team has also been quite successful. Blair offers a variety of other sports as including soccer, track, swimming, softball, cross-country, volleyball, water polo and tennis. Blair uses John Muir High School for all football home games due to lack of lighting on their home field. Blair's football team had to cancel the remaining of the 2016 season for safety reasons because it did not have enough players. The school's football team now competes as an 8-man team after they notified the CIF-Southern Section to change its schedule. They compete for the first time as an 8-man team after 51 years of competing as an 11-man team. Blair also has an SRLA (Students Run LA) program. In 1969, Blair's football team, lead by Coach Pete Yoder, went 13-0 and captured the school's only Southern Section Football Championship. The storied season was highlighted with the Vikings 28-27 victory over La Puente's Bishop Amat -- lead by future USC greats - Pat Haden and J.K. McKay in a 4-A Division final at the Coliseum.

Sports offered

  • Football
  • Softball
  • Volleyball
  • Basketball
  • Soccer
  • Track and Field
  • Cheer

Notable alumni[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Pasadena Unified School District Website: Blair International Baccalaureate School". Archived from the original on 2006-10-15. Retrieved 2007-03-22.
  2. ^ "City of Pasadena Newsletter". November 2005. Retrieved 2007-03-22.
  3. ^ Timothy, Mary (1974). Jury Woman. Palo Alto, California: Emty Press. Retrieved July 12, 2010.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 34°07′35″N 118°08′46″W / 34.126413°N 118.146227°W / 34.126413; -118.146227