Canyon Crest Academy

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Canyon Crest Academy
Canyon Crest Academy emblem.png
5951 Village Center Loop Rd

United States
TypePublic secondary
School districtSDUHSD
PrincipalBrett Killeen
Teaching staff88.06 (on an FTE basis)[1]
Enrollment2,406[1] (2016–17)
Student to teacher ratio25.61[1]
Student Union/AssociationCCA ASB
MascotRupert the Raven
AccreditationWestern Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC)[2]
National ranking2nd Public School in CA 30th Public School in the U.S.
Front entrance of the Canyon Crest Academy in San Diego.JPG
View of Canyon Crest Academy in San Diego.JPG

Canyon Crest Academy (CCA) is a public high school in San Diego, California. Founded in 2004, the school is a member of the San Dieguito Union High School District, and is located in Carmel Valley, a residential suburb of San Diego.


During the first school year (2004–05) at CCA, only first-year students were admitted into the student body, with a new class being added with each subsequent year. As a result, a complete student body did not exist on campus until the fourth year of instruction (2007–08), when the first class were in their final year. During the first school year, the students were instructed in portable trailers located in the school's parking lot. All facilities were open and construction of the original buildings was completed by the end of the second school year (2005–06). The overall cost of building the campus amounted to $103 million.[3] Until 2014, a lottery was held to determine admission to the school, as the number of students who wished to attend exceeded the school's maximum enrollment. A new building, the B building, was added in early 2016, and was opened by August 2017, to alleviate the capacity issues.

The first group of students chose the raven as the school's mascot.


CCA follows a semester class schedule instead of a traditional year-based schedule, which means that students can complete eight classes in a year (four in the fall term and four in the spring term), rather than six year-long courses. The current student to teacher ratio is roughly 34:1.

CCA's science department runs QUEST, a program designed to allow students to learn science as it is applicable in the real world and conduct independent research. Students in the program progress through three tiers: Research Methods, Applied Sciences, and Internship. A similar class, Advanced Engineering and Technology, provides opportunities primarily focused on STEM areas of research.

Organic chemistry, including mechanisms, reactions, and biochemistry was started in the 2017-18 school year for the fall term. As of the 2019-2020 school year, biochemistry was removed from the course curriculum.[4]

CCA offers an arts and technology program called Envision. Should they choose to participate, students can specialize in Digital/Fine Arts, Theater, Cinema, Dance, Vocal Music, Instrumental Music, or Humanities.[5] The program regularly sponsors shows and performances, and interacts with art professionals and teachers. Students have the option of taking classes from MiraCosta Community College on the CCA campus, available after school.

CCA also offers an Envision after school program called Conservatory for students extremely passionate about their art discipline or humanities. This is a three-year program for students in grades 10 through 12.[6] The students meet after school three days a week for about two hours and learn more about their discipline or simply work on projects.

Extracurricular programs[edit]

CCA offers a range of extracurricular activities, enrichment programs, and clubs many of which place emphasis on science, technology, math, and engineering (many of which do not). The school's established extracurricular programs include a nationally ranked math team, a Science Olympiad team, a Speech and Debate team, a FIRST Robotics Team, a Model UN team, and Academic Team, which competes in the North County Academic League.

The Math Team, Quiz Bowl Team, Computer Science Team, and FIRST Robotics Team are consistently in the top tier of teams in the United States, while the Science Olympiad Team, Speech and Debate team, Model UN team, and Academic Team (which competes in the North County Academic League) have achieved honors and awards. Recently, Science Bowl, Food Bank club, and History Bowl/Geography Teams have been established at the school.

Several clubs play a vital role in the school's culture and experience. They include academic clubs such as the Investment Club and Chemistry Club, service clubs like Key Club and EcoClub, science outreach clubs such as Ignite Science Outreach, extracurricular arts clubs such as Music Outreach Club, and common-interest clubs like Media Production Club. CCA's Catalyst Science Magazine, started in 2010, has won several awards in journalism and publication. EcoClub's magazine, EcoEcho, also has a magazine, with the first edition published during the 2016-2017 school year.

Teacher-run science programs at the school include a SMART (structural biology and modeling) Team, which regularly participates in research and other activities at the local Scripps Research Institute, and a Science Fair Team, which has included several ISEF, Siemens, and California State Science Fair winners.


CCA is a member of the Avocado West league in San Diego, along with Torrey Pines High School, La Costa Canyon High School, Carlsbad High School, San Dieguito Academy, and Sage Creek High School.[7] The mascot of Canyon Crest Academy is the raven.

Fall sports include Boys Water Polo, Girls Golf, Girls Tennis, Girls Volleyball, Cross Country, and Girls Field Hockey; winter sports include Boys Basketball, Boys Soccer, Girls Basketball, Girls Soccer, Girls Water Polo, and Wrestling, and spring sports include Boys Golf, Boys Lacrosse, Boys Tennis, Boys Volleyball, Girls Lacrosse, Baseball, Softball, Swimming, Track & Field, and Beach Volleyball[8] CCA does not have a football team or cheerleading squad; the founders of the school did not believe that the culture associated with high school football and cheerleading would be healthy for the students.

CCA's primary rival is Torrey Pines High School, located about three miles (5 km) to the west.

Awards and honors[edit]

The Envision Music Program has been selected as one of 130 finalists nationwide for the 2008 and 2011 Grammy Signature Schools National Award for Excellence in School Music Programs.[9]

The school's vocal and theater arts performed The Drowsy Chaperone which was nominated for the Ben Vereen Awards in 2016, with the pit orchestra winning an award, along with awards being given for many individual actors and other school shows.[10]

The school's API scores led San Diego County for public high schools in every year since 2010. In 2011 CCA had an API score of 910 out of a possible 1000 surpassing every public high school in San Diego County history (no public high school had surpassed 900 in the past). In 2012 CCA increased its API score to 917. Its 2012 API score puts it at 22nd out of California's 1839 public high schools.

Canyon Crest's average SAT score in 2015 was 1892, with the national average being 1490; the average ACT score was a 28.5 with a national average of 21.0. In 2007, the College Board announced that CCA's class of 2008 led the nation in AP World History scores for schools of its size.[11] The AP World History teacher was Mark Van Over. This accolade was published by the College Board in the 2007 AP Report to the Nation.[11]

In 2012, Newsweek ranked CCA as the 97th best high school in the United States,[12] 20th best west of the Mississippi River,[13] and 10th best in California.

In 2013, Newsweek ranked CCA as the 78th best high school in the United States.[14]

In 2014, Newsweek ranked CCA as the 72nd best high school in the United States.[15]

In 2015, U.S. News ranked CCA as the 89th best public high school in the United States.[16]

In 2018, CCA was ranked #1 in California and #132 nationally, however private schools were also included in the rankings.[17]

In 2019, CCA was ranked the best public high school in California.[18]

On February 25, 2015; Canyon Crest Academy broke the world record for the biggest group hug in a school library. The record set was 191, beating the previous record of 74.[19]

Student body[edit]

CCA's demographic is dominated by Caucasians and Asians from the surrounding neighborhoods of North San Diego County such as Carmel Valley, Torrey Hills, Rancho Santa Fe, Del Mar, Solana Beach, and Encinitas. If the number of students who desired to attend CCA after middle school exceeds the number of spaces, a lottery is held. As of 2014, the lottery is no longer held.

CCA awards GPAs based on a 4.0 scale, with AP or weighted classes on a 5.0 scale.[20]

Notable alumni[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "Canyon Crest Academy". National Center for Education Statistics. 2019. Retrieved January 24, 2019.
  2. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-07-24. Retrieved 2011-02-13.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  3. ^ Saavedra, Sherry (September 30, 2006). "The future of learning: High-tech campus offers art, tech gear industry pros envy". San Diego Union Tribune.
  4. ^ Sevilla, Kristin. "Organic Chemistry at CCA". Organic Chemistry. Retrieved 11 September 2019.
  5. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-04-03. Retrieved 2012-08-07.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  6. ^ "Envision Conservatory | ENVISION". Retrieved 2015-10-16.
  7. ^ "Avocado - West". San Diego U-T Preps. Retrieved 2018-05-16.
  8. ^ "Programs". CCA Raven Athletics. Retrieved 2018-05-16.
  9. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-07-24. Retrieved 2011-02-15.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  10. ^ "Home - The Ben Vereen Awards". The Ben Vereen Awards. Retrieved 2016-09-25.
  11. ^ a b Advanced Placement Report to the Nation 2007 Archived 2011-06-05 at the Wayback Machine, Page 78
  12. ^ "America's Best High Schools 2012". Newsweek. June 2, 2012.
  13. ^ "Newsweek's Top 20 High Schools: West". Newsweek. June 2, 2012.
  14. ^ "America's Best High Schools 2013". Newsweek. 2013.
  15. ^ "America's Best High Schools 2014". Newsweek. 2014.
  16. ^ "Best High Schools 2015". U.S. News. 2015. Archived from the original on 2014-12-10. Italic or bold markup not allowed in: |publisher= (help)
  17. ^ "Canyon Crest Academy". Retrieved September 12, 2018.
  18. ^ "2019 Best Public High Schools in California". Niche. 2019. Italic or bold markup not allowed in: |publisher= (help)
  19. ^ "Carmel Valley School Sets World Record for Group Hug". NBC San Diego. 2015. Italic or bold markup not allowed in: |publisher= (help)
  20. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2014-04-11. Retrieved 2014-05-15.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  21. ^ "Top catcher brings a thoughtful approach to baseball - Encinitas Advocate". Retrieved July 31, 2017.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 32°57′27.81″N 117°11′20.46″W / 32.9577250°N 117.1890167°W / 32.9577250; -117.1890167