Fairfax High School (Los Angeles)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Fairfax High School
FairfaxHigh Dec2006.jpg
7850 Melrose Avenue

United States
Coordinates34°04′55″N 118°21′36″W / 34.082°N 118.360°W / 34.082; -118.360Coordinates: 34°04′55″N 118°21′36″W / 34.082°N 118.360°W / 34.082; -118.360
Motto"Fare fac" (Say and Do)
School districtLos Angeles Unified School District
PrincipalLorraine Trollinger
Staff81.33 (FTE)[1]
Enrollment1,827 (2018-19)[1]
Student to teacher ratio22.46[1]
Campus size24.2 acres (98,000 m2)
Color(s)Crimson, gold, black    
Athletics conferenceWestern League
CIF Los Angeles City Section
NewspaperThe Colonial Gazette

Fairfax High School (officially Fairfax Senior High School) is a Los Angeles Unified School District high school located in Los Angeles, California, near the border of West Hollywood in the Fairfax District. The school is located on a 24.2-acre (98,000 m2) campus at the intersection of Fairfax Avenue and trendy Melrose Avenue.

Several sections of Los Angeles, including the Fairfax District, Park La Brea, portions of Hancock Park, and Larchmont, and the city of West Hollywood are served by Fairfax. Some areas (including parts of West Hollywood) are jointly zoned to Fairfax High School and Hollywood High School. In fall 2007, some neighborhoods zoned to Hamilton High School were rezoned to Fairfax High School.[2] Bancroft Middle School, Emerson Middle School, Le Conte Middle School, and John Burroughs Middle School feed into Fairfax. In 2009, some territory from the Los Angeles High School attendance boundary was transferred to Fairfax High School.[3] Fairfax High School has been widely regarded as one of the most diverse high schools in the city, state, and country.[4][5][6]


Fairfax High School was founded in 1924 under the direction of Principal Rae G. Van Cleve, for whom the athletic field is named. The original Spanish Colonial Revival main building did not meet earthquake safety standards, and most of the original campus facilities were demolished in 1966. However, the historic D. S. Swan Auditorium and iconic Rotunda were spared by preservationists and retrofitted. The theater was renovated in 2014. Greenway Court, originally built in 1939 as a social hall by the students at Fairfax as a class project, was also spared and was moved to its current location on Fairfax Avenue, where it was converted into a theater in 1999 by the Greenway Arts Alliance and renamed the Greenway Court Theater.

In previous eras, the school had a reputation for academic excellence and it had a majority Jewish student body.[7][better source needed]

Former NFL official Jim Tunney served as the school's principal from 1964 to 1970. Under his watch, most of the current campus facilities, except for those mentioned above, were built between 1966 and 1968, including the gymnasium.

When the 1971 San Fernando earthquake struck with a moment magnitude of 6.5–6.7, nearby Los Angeles High School was damaged severely and closed for repairs. Students from Los Angeles High attended Fairfax High on "double sessions," with Fairfax students using the campus from 7 am – 12 noon, and LA High students from 12:30 pm – 5 pm.

Fairfax was the foreign language magnet school in the 1960s and 1970s, offering Hebrew, German, Chinese and Latin, among other languages. The Fairfax Magnet Center for Visual Arts opened in 1981 and remains the only visual arts magnet in the Los Angeles Unified School District.

In 1984, Dr. Virginia Uribe, an LAUSD teacher and counselor for 42 years, founded LAUSD's Project 10 program, the first dropout prevention program specifically for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) students in the United States.[8]

By the 1980s, the proliferation of magnet schools caused an exodus of many White students and several of the school's best teachers. By that time the test scores declined and many school clubs and activities ceased operations.[7]

Organized by a group of local theater artists, the first Melrose Trading Post was held in 1996 in the school's parking lot. Regarded as most successful on-going fund-raising activity in the LAUSD, the flea market evolved into the Greenway Arts Alliance, the Friends of Fairfax and the Institute for the Arts at Fairfax High School, all which are of immense benefit to the school and students.[9]


As of the 2015–2016 school year, there were 2,108 students enrolled in Fairfax High School.

The racial/ethnic composition (as of the 2015–2016 school year) was as follows:

White Latino Asian Black Pacific Islander American Indian Two or more races
8% 55% 20% 17% 0.1% 0.4% 0%

According to US News and World Report, 92% of Fairfax's student body is "of color," with 79% of the student body coming from economically disadvantaged households, determined by student eligibility for California's reduced-price meal program.[10]

In the 1950s, Fairfax High School was known for having a large Jewish student body,[11] as a Jewish community surrounded the school. It became known as a "Jewish" high school, and some non-Jewish parents withdrew their children from Fairfax as they felt discomfort with the Jewish character of the school.[12] In 1953, Fairfax High introduced Modern Hebrew classes, initially taught by the principal of the Beverly-Fairfax Jewish Community Center, Ronnie Tofield.[11]

The racial composition became significantly more multi-cultural following the integration efforts of 1968. As Fairfax principal William Layne told the Los Angeles Times in 1975, “Fairfax began changing in 1968. Then the boundaries were adjusted to include an area past Pico. It caused a trauma to what had been an all-white, academic school. There was strong reaction from the community as well. The senior citizens got upset when they saw a kid they couldn’t identify with. There was also unrest at school, fearfulness, and an increase in thefts and people being molested."[13]

Eventually, racial tensions subsided as the school worked toward an active integration plan led by Layne.

The table below represents the number of enrolled students at Fairfax High School through 2003–2007.

2003 2004 2005 2006 2007
2,838 2,949 3,131 3,174 2,889


Small Learning Communities[edit]

Fairfax High School re-opened in fall 2008 reconfigured into a complex consisting of the existing Fairfax Magnet Center for Visual Arts and five new small learning communities (SLCs). The campus was divided into six areas of "contiguous space." Non-magnet students and staff were reorganized into five new schools-within-a-school. Subsequently, in 2010, two of the SLCs were replaced by a single SLC, bringing the total down to four SLCs and the Magnet. Currently, these SLCs are:

  • Academy of Media & Performing Arts (AMPA)
  • Academy of International Business and Communications (IBC)
  • Health Sciences Academy (HSA)
  • School of Mathematics, Science and Technology (SMST).

Fairfax Magnet Center for Visual Arts[edit]

Fairfax is home to the Fairfax Magnet Center for Visual Arts, which attracts students from across the 700 square miles (1,800 km2) of the district. It opened in 1981 and is the only visual arts magnet in Los Angeles Unified School District.

Greenway Arts Alliance[edit]

Fairfax High School is home to the Greenway Arts Alliance, which operates the Greenway Court Theater, a 99-seat Equity-waiver playhouse, and through the Institute for the Arts at Greenway, provides arts educational programs, mentoring, and employment opportunities to Fairfax students.

Since 1997, the Melrose Trading Post outdoor flea market has created opportunities for Fairfax High School and the surrounding neighborhood. Money raised by this nonprofit organization from the low-cost patron admission and vendor booth fees fuels an arts education program on the FHS campus called, Institute for the Arts at Greenway.

Notable alumni[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "Search for Public Schools - School Detail for Fairfax Senior High". nces.ed.gov.
  2. ^ "laschools.org/employee/mpd/fs-mpd/download/07-08_webmaps/Proj04.pdf" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on March 9, 2008. Retrieved January 24, 2011.
  3. ^ "Proposed Changes to Fairfax High School Area Schools, School Year 2009–2010." Los Angeles Unified School District. Retrieved on March 17, 2010.
  4. ^ https://www.ket.org/program/senior-year/
  5. ^ https://www.weho.org/Home/ShowDocument?id=2067
  6. ^ https://abcnews.go.com/US/story?id=7699907&page=1[bare URL]
  7. ^ a b Horstman, Penny Atkinson. "Why Go to Fairfax High?" Los Angeles Times. February 7, 1998. Retrieved on January 4, 2016.
  8. ^ "http://www.project10.org/history.html" Friends of Project 10, Inc.. Retrieved on June 1, 2013.
  9. ^ "http://www.greenwayartsalliance.org" Greenway Arts Alliance. Retrieved on June 1, 2013.
  10. ^ "rankings". www.usnews.com. Retrieved May 15, 2019.
  11. ^ a b Moore, Deborah Dash. To the Golden Cities: Pursuing the American Jewish Dream in Miami and L.A.. Harvard University Press, 1994. ISBN 978-0-674-89305-4, 9780674893054. p. 86.
  12. ^ Moore, Deborah Dash. To the Golden Cities: Pursuing the American Jewish Dream in Miami and L.A.. Harvard University Press, 1994. ISBN 978-0-674-89305-4, 9780674893054. p. 87.
  13. ^ Lee, Garnt. "Fairfax – It's Still Where the Heart Is." Los Angeles Times [Los Angeles] December 21, 1975: Print.
  14. ^ "Fairfax Senior High School Enrollment Rates". SchoolMatters.com. October 1, 2009. Retrieved January 24, 2011.[permanent dead link]
  15. ^ Noriyuki, Duane (November 9, 1995). "Class Clowns". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved May 2, 2010.
  16. ^ a b c d e f "City of West Hollywood to Honor Award-Winning Fairfax High School Marching Band and". Reuters. December 11, 2007. Archived from the original on February 1, 2013. Retrieved January 24, 2011.
  17. ^ a b c Thurber, Jon; Bloomekatz, Ari B. (May 3, 2009). "Jack Kemp, an original pillar in Republican 'big tent,' dies at 73". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved May 2, 2010.
  18. ^ a b c d e f Pool, Bob (May 21, 1999). "Fairfax High Alumni Bridge Generation Gap". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved May 2, 2010.
  19. ^ a b c d e f "Los Angeles Times Magazine Map No. 7". Los Angeles Times. April 13, 1986. Retrieved May 2, 2010.
  20. ^ a b c d e f Hartman 2012, p. 118.
  21. ^ a b c "Red Hot Chili Peppers | Music Videos, News, Photos, Tour Dates, Ringtones, and Lyrics". MTV. June 25, 1988. Archived from the original on July 18, 2007. Retrieved January 24, 2011.
  22. ^ Los Angeles Times: "Obituary:Saul Brandman" May 29, 2008
  23. ^ Simon Yaffe. "Modest psychologist proudest of mental health contribution". Jewish Telegraph.
  24. ^ Thurber, Jon. "J. Curtis Counts; Labor Negotiator Headed Federal Mediation Service", Los Angeles Times, July 4, 1999. Retrieved July 2, 2009.
  25. ^ Haldane, David (October 4, 1987). "Mother's Murder Unsolved, Too". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved May 2, 2010.
  26. ^ [1]
  27. ^ "California State Meet Results – 1915 to present". Hank Lawson. Archived from the original on October 6, 2014. Retrieved December 25, 2012.
  28. ^ McGreevy, Patrick; Fox, Sue (March 8, 2001). "Heavy Hitters' Gifts to Padilla Strike Some as Excessive". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved May 2, 2010.
  29. ^ Writer, California (May 1, 2008). "Janet Fitch at Santa Monica College". Californiawriter.blogspot.com. Retrieved January 24, 2011.
  30. ^ "Judge Manuel Franco Video by on Myspace".
  31. ^ "Former Cal Star Larry Friend Dies". AP NEWS.
  32. ^ Brando (March 8, 2018). "Ep. 50 – Rob Gardner, ORIGINAL drummer of Guns N' Roses" (Podcast). Appetite for Distortion podcast. Retrieved May 12, 2018.
  33. ^ Chavez, Stephanie (January 23, 1993). "Hard Times at Fairfax High". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved May 2, 2010.
  34. ^ Michele Greene biography at her official website
  35. ^ Spitz, Marc (February 2003). "GN'R: THE INSIDE STORY". Total Guitar.
  36. ^ "US Vogue, May 2007". Archived from the original on April 20, 2007. Retrieved August 2, 2007.
  37. ^ a b Goldstein, Patrick (August 18, 1991). "latimes". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved May 2, 2010.
  38. ^ Jym, Harris (August 24, 2011). "EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW WITH MIKE JAGOSZ, ORIGINAL FRONTMAN FOR LA GUNS! – by Jym Harris". Proud to Be Loud. Archived from the original on September 27, 2011. Retrieved May 18, 2018.
  39. ^ "Southern California Jewish Sports Hall of Fame Home". scjewishsportshof.com.
  40. ^ "Looking to make a splash". Park Labrea News/ Beverly Press. August 22, 2019.
  41. ^ Lytal, Cristy (October 16, 2008). "I was a good kid". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved May 2, 2010.
  42. ^ "Barry Latman Statistics and History". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved January 24, 2011.
  43. ^ Barker, Andrew (August 22, 2011). "'Hound Dog' lyricist Leiber dies at 78". Variety. Retrieved August 23, 2011.
  44. ^ Rosenberg, Howard (July 3, 1999). "'Hoop's' Arena Is Culture of Sports Off the Court". Los Angeles Times.
  45. ^ "Carole Lombard Bio". Carole Lombard .org. Archived from the original on November 20, 2010. Retrieved January 24, 2011.
  46. ^ Saxon, Wolfgang (September 7, 1987). "Quinn Martin Is Dead at 65; Produced Popular TV Series". The New York Times. Retrieved May 2, 2010.
  47. ^ Rosenberg, Scott (January 1, 1987). "Fairfax Has the Horses in City Title Race". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved March 10, 2012. As of the 1986–87 school year, Montgomery was a junior at Fairfax.
  48. ^ "nosotros.org domain is for sale | Buy with Epik.com". nosotros.org. Archived from the original on April 30, 2005.
  49. ^ Whatever Happened to Baby Peggy? by Diana Serra Cary, page 197
  50. ^ "Meet Meghan Markle's family: The diplomat uncle, the yoga teacher mother and the cannabis-growing nephew". Retrieved May 20, 2018.
  51. ^ "City Section selects third class to be inducted in Hall of Fame". Los Angeles Times. October 20, 2014.
  52. ^ [2]
  53. ^ "Ames Daily Tribune, November 9, 1940, p. 8". Ames Daily Tribune. November 9, 1940. Retrieved June 16, 2012.
  54. ^ Conway, Ann (April 13, 1999). "Technically, Samueli Is Leaving Mark Backing Arts". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved May 2, 2010.
  55. ^ Lieberman, Paul (August 16, 2003). "The Boy at Camp Granada". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved May 2, 2010.
  56. ^ [3]
  57. ^ "Al Silvera Baseball Stats by Baseball Almanac". www.baseball-almanac.com.
  58. ^ "Fairfax High School Notable Alumni". Fairfaxclassof61.com. Archived from the original on March 8, 2010. Retrieved January 24, 2011.
  59. ^ Weber, Bruce (November 17, 2015). "P. F. Sloan, Enigmatic Writer of '60s Hit 'Eve of Destruction,' Dies at 70". The New York Times. Retrieved June 21, 2016.
  60. ^ Hartman 2012, p. 228.
  61. ^ Gheorghiu, Cristian (July 5, 2012). "KCET interview". www.kcet.org. Retrieved July 8, 2012.
  62. ^ Mikulan, Steven (July 20, 2009). "First Phil Spector Wife Vanishes". Blogs.laweekly.com. Archived from the original on September 24, 2009. Retrieved January 24, 2011.
  63. ^ Barnes, Mike (August 19, 2016). "Cynthia Szigeti, Groundlings Improv Teacher and 'Seinfeld' Actress, Dies at 66". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved September 6, 2016.
  64. ^ Davis, Stephen (August 26, 2008). Watch You Bleed: The Saga of Guns N' Roses. Penguin. ISBN 9781440639289 – via Google Books.
  65. ^ Boucher, Geoff (September 8, 2003). "Warren Zevon, 56; Singer Had a Sense of Grim Theater". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved May 2, 2010.


External links[edit]