Encinal High School

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Coordinates: 37°46′22.7″N 122°17′21.37″W / 37.772972°N 122.2892694°W / 37.772972; -122.2892694

Encinal High School
210 Central Avenue
Alameda, California 94501

United States
Type Public
Established 1952
Principal Kirsten Zazo,
Faculty Approximately 60
Enrollment Approximately 1,300
Color(s) Royal Blue and White
Mascot Jet
Information (510)748-4023: Phone
(510)521-4956: Fax

Encinal High School is a public coeducational high school serving grades 6-12. It is located in Alameda, California and is part of the Alameda Unified School District.

Threatened closure[edit]

The school was one of several in the Alameda district that was said to face closure depending on the success or failure of Measure E, a $150-per-parcel property tax increase voted on by mail-in ballot.[1] Measure E was defeated when it failed to garner the required two-thirds majority; however, the school did reopen in fall 2010.


The student body is 23% African-American, 20% White non-Hispanic, 39% Asian, 15% Hispanic or Latino, 1% American Indian or Alaskan Native, 1% Pacific Islander, and 1% Multiple Ethnicity or No Response, according to the California Department of Education for the 2005-2006 school year.[2]

College and work preparation[edit]


  • 56% of students take the SAT.
  • Average SAT scores are 400 verbal and 420 math.

Continuing education[edit]

  • 86% of graduates will attend two- or four-year colleges.
  • 21% of graduates will attend UC's.
  • 25% of graduates will attend CSU's.

Courses offered[edit]

  • Encinal offers 14 Advanced Placement courses: Biology, Calculus, Chemistry, Economics, English Language, English Literature, Environmental Science, European History, French Language, US Government, US History, Spanish Language, Statistics, and Studio Art.
  • The school also offers five special school-to-career programs in automotive technology, child development, computer programming and technology, cosmetology, and finance and marketing


  • Encinal High School has an Academic Performance Index of 7/10. However, when compared to socioeconomically similar schools, its API is a 9/10.[3]
  • Encinal is the only high school in the city of Alameda to have open-enrollment AP classes.
  • Encinal High School shared its campus with the Alameda Community Learning Center but since the 2013-2014 school year it now shares the space with the Junior Jets (a 6-8 middle school)
  • Encinal High School has an armory below its Gym, which teaches JROTC. The current instructor is retired U.S. Army, 1SG William R. Allen. Students can take JROTC, in place of Physical Education. This program teaches citizenship skills, along with leadership skills and communication skills. It teaches a cadet how to become a better citizen, teaches a cadet how to work in a team and become a leader, as well as teaches cadets public speaking skills.

Student budget protests[edit]

April 1st, 2010 budget teach-in[edit]

On April 1, 2010, about 200 students attending Encinal High School staged a "teach in" protest in light of possible further budget cuts from the AUSD and closure of the school. Teachers and students planned a series of classes that were divided into two sessions with a break in between that included free food (from the Barbeque Club) and live music from certain Encinal staff members. Most of the classes were led by teachers, but two were taught by seniors (including a "no boundaries" music class led by Matt Ortega). The students that attended showcased their Jet Pride by participating in a variety of unique classes including how to make salt water taffy through chemistry, protest poetry and art, a music class with no musical boundaries, cow eyeball dissection, and many more. A small point that the coordinators of this event wanted to get across was the date that was chosen for it: April 1, 2010 was the Thursday before Encinal's Spring Break began.[4]

March 2008 student walkouts[edit]

On March 5, 2008, about 1,000 students from Encinal High School walked out of class to protest the budget cuts for the 2008-2009 school year. The budget cuts were a result of the $4 billion budget cut approved by California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. The budget cuts would eliminate many school sports, Advanced Placement classes, and lay off about 46 teachers. The walkout began at Encinal High where students marched to the Alameda Unified School District (AUSD) offices located on the Alameda High campus, where the 1,000 Encinal students were joined by many more students from Alameda High. After about a half hour of chanting protests outside the District offices, AUSD superintendent Ardella Dailey invited the walking out students into the Kofman Auditorium to try to explain why the cuts were required.[5]

Text messaging technology, as well as social networking sites, such as MySpace, Facebook, and YouTube helped the students coordinate and announce the walkout. Before they reached the district office, many Encinal students text messaged students at Alameda High. Aware of the walkout only when the Encinal students reached the district office, Alameda High officials were unable to prevent their students from leaving class.They were all marked with cleared absences.

Other student activities[edit]


Encinal Jets Football

Encinal High has several Varsity sports, including:

  • Badminton
  • Basketball
  • Baseball
  • Cheerleading
  • Cross Country
  • Football
  • Soccer
  • Softball
  • Swimming
  • Tennis
  • Track & Field
  • Volleyball
  • Water Polo

The Jets are a member of the West Alameda County Conference (WACC 12).

Partnership with Jetsetters[edit]

Jetsetters has partnered up with Encinal to provide ROP Classes for students such Drivers' Education, Dancing, and Arts & Crafts. They also have an after school program where it's designed to help out students in need.


Sanctioned clubs at the school include:

  • Afghan Club
  • Anime Club
  • Art Club
  • Badminton Club
  • Barbeque Club
  • Black Student Union
  • Buddy Club
  • Chess Club
  • Chinese Club
  • Creative Writing Club
  • DECA
  • East African Club
  • French Culture Club
  • Filipino Club
  • Gay Straight Alliance
  • Gaming Club
  • Glee Club
  • Hispanic Club
  • Interact Club
  • Jets for Jesus
  • Junior State of America
  • Key Club
  • Manga Club
  • National Honor Society
  • Pirate Club
  • Philosophy Club
  • Spanish Club
  • Red Cross Youth Club
  • Undead Club
  • Vietnamese Club

Other activities[edit]

The Encinal High Jets band, the Marching Jets, is the island's only high school marching band, which is led by Band Director, Armen Phelps. Throughout the year, the musicians compete in band reviews all over Northern California and hold the Island Winterguard show every March of the school year. Perhaps one of the most anticipated events is the Encinal Extravaganza of Bands where more than 3000 musicians, guard units and spectators come to watch the marching band competitions. During the 2005-2006 school year, the band placed in the top three in every review they entered.

Encinal High School also possesses an extremely rich dramatic arts program,ran by Robert Moorehead. The Encinal drama department has in past years performed critically renowned productions of such classics as Les Misérables, Hamlet, and The Sound of Music. In the spring of 2006 Encinal High performed Cats. In the winter of 2007, Encinal High School performed Twelve Angry Men.

In 2008 they performed Angels in America. They were the first high school to do so, and were extremely well received. They also performed Carousel and Twelve Angry Men.

In 2009 they became one of the first schools in the country to perform the school edition of Rent.

In 2010 they performed the classic musical West Side Story.

In 2011 they performed their version of Seussical, a Dr. Seuss musical.

In 2012 they performed the classic musical Anything Goes.

In 2013 they performed a high school version of the musical Hair (musical), though without the nudity in the traditional renditions of the musical.

In 2014 they performed the musical Hairspray.

In 2015 they performed In the Heights.

In addition, the school has a nationally recognized JROTC program.


  • The school mascot is a Marine Corps A-4 Skyhawk attack jet; a tribute to the military heritage of the town and to the now-closed Naval Air Station on the west end of the island. In 2004 there was a dispute as to whether the mascot symbolized war, and there were some people who wanted to have it removed. The jet was not removed after a show of support from the students and the community.
  • Most students come from The Academy of Alameda (formerly Chipman Middle School) or Wood Middle School.
  • The TV show MythBusters sometimes uses the school's facilities in its experiments, including the pool and football field. Additionally, in 2006 the Mythbusters held a Q&A event in Alameda to raise funds for the school.
  • Eileen Walsh, spouse of Jamie Hyneman from the MythBusters was a teacher at Encinal High School.
  • President Obama posed for a photo with Jamie Hyneman and Adam Savage from MythBusters while holding an Encinal Jets hooded sweatshirt in December 2009.
  • Because of the continuing budget crisis in California, Encinal High School has been rumored to be closing within the next two years. If it remains open, it will most likely become a 6-12 school.[1]

Notable alumni[edit]


  1. ^ a b Voters face tough choice: pay up or shutdown
  2. ^ CA Department of Education, "Student Ethnicity", http://www.greatschools.net/cgi-bin/ca/other/6, 2005-2006
  3. ^ CA Department of Education, "API Index", http://www.greatschools.net/modperl/achievement/ca/6, 2005-2006
  4. ^ Encinal students stage learn-in April 2, 2010
  5. ^ Student Walkout In Alameda Over Budget Cuts, March 5, 2008
  6. ^ "Alameda Rugby". 

Tommy Harper, Baseball Player for the Boston Red Sox. Curt Motton, Baseball Player for the Baltimore Orioles

External links[edit]