Dana Hills High School

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Dana Hills High School
33333 Golden Lantern
Dana Point, California 92629
United States
Type Public School
Established 1972
Opened 1973
School district Capistrano Unified School District
Principal Jason Allemann[1]
Grades 9-12
Enrollment 2682 (Fall 2016)[2]
Color(s)           Blue & Silver
Athletics conference CIF-SS; South Coast League
Team name Dolphins
Newspaper THE PAPER
Yearbook The Mast

Dana Hills High School is a high school in Dana Point, California. It is one of the oldest high schools in South Orange County, having opened in 1973. The school's enrollment of nearly 3,000 students is drawn from the nearby communities of Laguna Niguel, Dana Point, Capistrano Beach, and San Juan Capistrano.

When Dana Hills was built in 1972-73, the area was an unincorporated area of Orange County. The school was named for its hilltop location over the unincorporated village of Dana Point, as well as the tip of the hill projecting south into the Pacific Ocean as the Dana Point headland. The school later became a part of the City of Dana Point, when the city was incorporated in 1989.

Dana Hills now has over 155,839 square feet (14,477.9 m2) in permanent buildings, yet it still struggles with overcrowding. Two new science buildings have opened in 2007, and the math wing has been redone, featuring wider hallways and larger classrooms. These two improvements to Dana Hills have allowed for the removal of fourteen portables making the new portable count 38. The principal is Jason Allemann.

STAR Testing[edit]

Dana Hills' Academic Performance Index (API) for the year of 2007 was 824. This was a significant improvement over 2006's API of 816. The high test scores in recent years have provided the school[citation needed] with partial funding for new science buildings, a renovation of the math department, an artificial turf football field / all-weather track, and over 150 new computers and flat screen monitors used in CECA, Career and College Planning, AP Computer Science, and Digital Photo. Incentives are given to the students to do well on these standardized tests.

Recent scores[edit]

Year API Growth
2011 [3] 855 58
2010 [4] 848 8
2009 [5] 839 0
2008 [6] 899 9
2007 [7] 824 8
2006 [8] 816 5
2005 [9] 811 43
2004 [10] 768 18
2003 [11] 749 0

Advanced Placement[edit]

Dana Hills offers a wide array of Advanced Placement (AP) classes. These AP classes include Calculus AB, Calculus BC, Statistics, Physics, Biology, Chemistry, Environmental Science, Literature, Language and Composition, Music Theory, Art History, Psychology, Spanish IV, French IV, European History, United States History, World History, Government/Politics, and Computer Science A. All AP classes offer a “grade bump” making a 5.0 GPA possible in that class exclusively.


The Dana Hills newspaper, originally called the Dolphin Dispatch from 1973 to 1992, now simply known as The Paper (stylized as "THE PAPER"), is produced by a staff of 28 students. Ten newspapers are produced a year. Following Kris Evans's retirement at the end of the 2007–08 school year, Paige Prescott served as the newspaper's adviser for two years. Yearbook adviser Tim Sampson also became The Paper's adviser at the start of the 2010–2011 school year.


Dana Hills has its own junior medical program, the Health and Medical Occupations Academy. The academy is for those who wish to study or pursue a career in medicine, as it prepares students for higher education in the medical field. Participants are involved in field trips, hospital duties, and even view medical procedures as they are performed.


The South Orange County School of the Arts (SOCSA), a part of Dana Hills High School, is a visual and performing arts academy for students within the Capistrano Unified School District. Conceived in 1989 by a group of parents, teachers and administrators, the academy was chartered by the District on November 20, 1995. The pilot program at Dana Hills High School was launched in the Spring semester of 1996.

The SOCSA Academy provides students with intensive training in the arts through a diverse curriculum, offering comprehensive study in the visual arts, dance, musical theatre, acting, vocal and instrumental music and theater management. Students receive individual and group training from faculty who have broad artistic competencies and expertise, including guest lecturers, performers, and designers. By 2011 approximately 500 Dana Hills students were enrolled in the SOCSA academy.

In October 2000, the SOCSA Foundation was formed to raise funds to support the SOCSA Academy. In the fall of 2015, the Friends of SOCSA was formed as a replacement non-profit to support the SOCSA Academy.

SOCSA website

Marine Ecology Program[edit]

One of Dana Hills' science courses is the Marine Ecology program, which offers a full year of marine science covering both the physical and biological sciences of the ocean and how they work together to form a working Ecosystem. Examples of some of the subjects taught during the class include plate tectonics, waves and tides, ocean currents, sand, algae, plankton, marine mammals, echinoderms, and fish. One of the most well-known traditions of the class is the annual Baja field study. In this field study, students, parents, teachers, and past alumni of the class travel down to Baja, California for a week, usually in May. The purpose of this field study is to apply what the students have learned that year in the class and see it in its natural environment, outside of a conventional laboratory setting. The Baja field study is unique only to that of Dana Hills, and essentially offered nowhere else in the United States.

Notable alumni[edit]


External links[edit]

Coordinates: 33°28′40″N 117°42′02″W / 33.47778°N 117.70056°W / 33.47778; -117.70056