Canyon Crest Academy

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Canyon Crest Academy
Canyon Crest Academy emblem.png
5951 Village Center Loop Rd
San Diego, California
United States
Type Public secondary
Established 2004
School district SDUHSD
Principal Karl Mueller (left 2016), now Brett Killeen
Teaching staff 80
Grades 9-12
Enrollment 2300
Campus Suburban
Student Union/Association CCAASB
Color(s) Red and black
Mascot Raven
Rival Torrey Pines High School
Accreditation Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC)[1]
Yearbook Conspiracy
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. It is located near Cathedral Catholic High School and Torrey Pines High School in the Carmel Valley neighborhood.


During the first school year (2004–05) at CCA, only freshmen were admitted into the student body, with a new class of freshmen 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 founding freshmen were in their senior year. During the first school year, the students were instructed in portable trailers located in the school's parking lot. It was not until well into the year that the majority of the construction of the actual campus was completed, and classrooms were able to be moved into the new buildings. Other parts of the campus, such as the gym and theater, did not open until later on as construction was still underway. All facilities were open and construction completed by the end of the second school year (2005–06). The overall cost of building the campus mounted to $103 million.[2]Currently Building B is being built at the front of the school.

The 400-seat proscenium theater and other rooms on campus are generally considered top notch for high school and professional standards. The theater includes: a fly loft where sets can be pulled down from the rafters, a video feed in the dressing rooms, lighting in the catwalks above the house that can generate visual effects, and an orchestra pit that can accommodate an 80-piece ensemble.[2]

CCA's founding freshman class (class of 2008) was able to select the school's colors and mascot, among other traditions. The students originally elected a panther as the mascot, with red and black as the school's colors. However, the mascot was soon changed to a raven due to the similar mascot of a nearby school.

The principal of CCA as of 2015 is Karl Mueller. Mr. Mueller's last year was from 2015-2016. He has been selected to be the Coronado Unified School District Superintendent.


CCA offers the following AP courses: English Language and Composition, English Literature, World History, US History, American Government & Politics, Macroeconomics, European History, Psychology, Statistics, Calculus AB, Calculus BC, Biology, Chemistry, Physics 1, Physics 2, Physics C, Environmental Science, Spanish Language, Art History, Studio Art: 2-D Design, Studio Art: 3-D Design, Studio Art: Drawing, and Computer Science.

In addition to AP Calculus AB and AP Calculus BC, CCA offers Calculus III and Linear algebra on campus through San Diego State University's College of Extended Studies.The only weighted non-AP classes are Integrated Math 3 Honors and Honors Pre-Calculus.

Algebra 2 and Algebra 2 w/ Trig will be removed as of the 2016-2017 school year. Honors Pre Calculus will be removed as of the 2017-2018 school year.

In addition to the main curriculum, 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.

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.[3] 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. This is a three-year program for students in grades 10 through 12.[4] The students meet after school three days a week for about two hours and learn more about their discipline, or simply work on projects.

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 (overall) is roughly 34:1.

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 and FIRST Robotics Team are consistently in the top tier of teams in the United States, while the Science Olympiad Team, Quizbowl 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, Computer Science, 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 ones 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. 2016/17 will be the first publication of EcoClub's magazine, EcoEcho.

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.

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. [5]

The school also has a very talented vocal instructor (Anne Whattof) and strong theatre arts (Jeannine Marquie), having its rendition of The Drowsy Chaperone being 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. [6]

The school's 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010 and 2008 API scores were the highest in San Diego County for public high schools. 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.

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.[7] 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.[7]

In 2012, Newsweek ranked CCA as the 97th best high school in the United States,[8] 20th best west of the Mississippi River,[9] and 10th best in California.

In 2013, Newsweek ranked CCA as the 78th best high school in the United States.[10]

In 2014, Newsweek ranked CCA as the 72nd best high school in the United States.[11]

In 2015 U.S. News ranked CCA as the 89th best public high school in the United States.[12]

On February 25, 2015; Canyon Crest Academy broke the world record on biggest group hug in a school library. The record set was 191, beating the previous record of 74.[13]

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 was held. As of 2014, the lottery is no longer held. Enrollment for the 2007-08 school year was about 1800.[14]

CCA awards GPAs based on a 4.0 scale, with AP or weighted classes on a 5.0 scale.[15]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-07-24. Retrieved 2011-02-13. 
  2. ^ a b Saavedra, Sherry (September 30, 2006). "The future of learning: High-tech campus offers art, tech gear industry pros envy". San Diego Union Tribune. 
  3. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-04-03. Retrieved 2012-08-07. 
  4. ^ "Envision Conservatory | ENVISION". Retrieved 2015-10-16. 
  5. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-07-24. Retrieved 2011-02-15. 
  6. ^ "Home - The Ben Vereen Awards". The Ben Vereen Awards. Retrieved 2016-09-25. 
  7. ^ a b Advanced Placement Report to the Nation 2007, Page 78
  8. ^ "America's Best High Schools 2012". Newsweek. June 2, 2012. 
  9. ^ "Newsweek's Top 20 High Schools: West". Newsweek. June 2, 2012. 
  10. ^ "America's Best High Schools 2013". Newsweek. 2013. 
  11. ^ "America's Best High Schools 2014". Newsweek. 2014. 
  12. ^ "Best High Schools 2015". U.S. News. 2015. Archived from the original on 2014-12-10. 
  13. ^ "Carmel Valley School Sets World Record for Group Hug". NBC San Diego. 2015. 
  14. ^ Report of Principal Kohn to CCA Foundation, Sept 2007
  15. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2014-04-11. Retrieved 2014-05-15. 

External links[edit]

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