Fairfax High School (Los Angeles)
|Fairfax High School|
7850 Melrose Avenue
|Motto||"Fare fac" (Say and Do)|
|School district||Los Angeles Unified School District|
|Student to teacher ratio||22.46|
|Campus size||24.2 acres (98,000 m2)|
|Color(s)||Crimson, gold, black|
|Athletics conference||Western League|
CIF Los Angeles City Section
|Newspaper||The 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. 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. Fairfax High School has been widely regarded as one of the most diverse high schools in the city, state, and country.
This section needs additional citations for verification. (January 2020)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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|
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.
In the 1950s, Fairfax High School was known for having a large Jewish student body, 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. In 1953, Fairfax High introduced Modern Hebrew classes, initially taught by the principal of the Beverly-Fairfax Jewish Community Center, Ronnie Tofield.
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."
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.
Small Learning Communities
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
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
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.
This article's list of alumni may not follow Wikipedia's verifiability policy. (May 2019)
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- Michael "Flea" Balzary, musician, bassist, trumpet player (Red Hot Chili Peppers)
- Steve Barri, songwriter and record producer
- Saul Brandman (1925–2008), garment manufacturer
- Chris Brown, former Mayor of Hawthorne, CA
- Cary Cooper, psychologist
- J. Curtis Counts (1915–1999), Director of the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service
- Mark Damon, film actor, producer
- James Ellroy, author of L.A. Confidential
- Warren Entner, musician (The Grass Roots)
- Mike "SuperJew" Epstein (born 1943), Major League Baseball player
- Danny Everett (born 1966), 1988 Olympic gold medalist 4x400 metres relay
- Janet Fitch, author
- Manuel Franco, lawyer and judge from the television shows La Corte del Pueblo and Juez Franco
- Larry Friend (1935–1998), National Basketball Association (NBA) player
- Rob Gardner, musician, L.A. Guns, founding drummer of Guns N' Roses
- Larry Gelbart, Emmy-winning, Oscar-nominated writer/producer, M*A*S*H
- Michele Greene, actress
- Tracii Guns, musician, L.A. Guns, founding guitarist of Guns N' Roses, whose surname was used in helping name the band
- Az-Zahir Hakim, retired NFL player
- Solomon Hill (basketball), NBA player.
- Jerome Hines, opera singer
- Darla Hood, actress, Our Gang
- Timothy Hutton, Oscar-winning actor
- Chanel Iman, model
- Jack Irons, musician, drummer (Red Hot Chili Peppers, Pearl Jam, The Wallflowers)
- Jackie Jackson, musician (Jackson Five)
- Tito Jackson, musician (Jackson Five)
- Rami Jaffee, keyboardist of Foo Fighters
- Mike Jagosz (1965–2014), original lead vocalist for L.A. Guns and Pyrrhus
- David Janssen (1931–1980), actor, TV series The Fugitive and films
- Alain Johannes, musician (Anthym, Eleven)
- Jack Kemp (1935–2009), U.S. Representative, 1996 Republican vice-presidential candidate and pro football quarterback for the Buffalo Bills
- Anthony Kiedis, musician, singer, writer (Red Hot Chili Peppers)
- Hub Kittle (1917–2004), Major League Baseball player and coach
- Erwin Klein (d. 1992), table tennis player
- Annette Kleinbard (later changed her name to Carol Connors), lead singer of the Teddy Bears ("To Know Him Is to Love Him"). As Connors, co-wrote "Gonna Fly Now" from Rocky, and the Ripcords' "Hey Little Cobra".
- Lenny Krayzelburg (born 1975, as Leonid Krayzelburg), backstroke swimmer, Olympic gold medalist, and former world record holder
- Mila Kunis (born 1983), actress
- Dave Kushner, guitarist (Velvet Revolver), soundtrack composer
- Barry Latman (born 1936), Major League Baseball player
- Alicia Bay Laurel, author, artist, singer
- Marshall Leib, singer
- Jerome "Jerry" Leiber (1933–2011), lyricist of Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller
- Cirroc Lofton, actor, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
- Carole Lombard, Oscar-nominated actress
- Quinn Martin, producer
- Eric Melvin, musician (guitar, accordion) – NOFX
- Chris Mills, retired NBA player, Cleveland Cavaliers, New York Knicks, and Golden State Warriors
- Roger Montgomery, basketball player and sports agent
- Demi Moore (born 1962), actress (dropped out at age 16)
- Ricardo Montalbán, actor, Fantasy Island, Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan
- Monica von Neumann, socialite and businesswoman
- Christian Nyby, television and film director and editor; graduated 1932
- Mo Ostin, Music executive
- Baby Peggy, child actor, later author under name Diana Serra Cary; attended in the 1930s
- Doria Ragland, mother of Meghan, Duchess of Sussex
- Judith Reisman, conservative writer
- Bong Revilla, actor and Philippine senator
- Mickey Rooney, iconic Oscar-nominated actor featured in hundreds of Hollywood films
- Aaron Rosenberg (1912–1979), All-American college football player, and film and television producer
- Joe Ruby, co-creator of Scooby-Doo
- Ann Rutherford, actress
- Henry Samueli (born 1954), co-founder of Broadcom Corporation
- Allan Sherman, musician, parodist, satirist, and television producer
- Larry Sherry (1935–2006), Major League Baseball pitcher; MVP of the 1959 World Series
- Norm Sherry (1931–2021), Major League Baseball player and manager
- Al Silvera (1935–2002), Major League Baseball player
- Simon Singer (born 1941), world champion American handball player, and radio and television actor
- Slash (Saul Hudson), musician, guitarist (Guns N' Roses, Velvet Revolver)
- P. F. Sloan (Philip Schlein), musician, songwriter ("Eve of Destruction", "Secret Agent Man"); graduated 1963
- Hillel Slovak, musician, guitarist (Red Hot Chili Peppers)
- Smear, contemporary artist, street artist
- Craig Smith (born 1983), basketball player
- Ted Sobel, Sports USA Radio Network, previously KFWB/KNX radio sports reporter
- Phil Spector, record producer
- Cynthia Szigeti, actress and improv teacher (The Groundlings)
- Peggy Stevenson, Los Angeles City Council member, 1975–1985
- Daniel Thompson, inventor
- Karrueche Tran, actress, model
- Marcelo Tubert, actor
- Mel Wasserman, education pioneer, founder of CEDU Education
- Chris Weber, musician, guitarist (Hollywood Rose)
- Bill Wold, basketball player
- Zev Yaroslavsky, Los Angeles City Council member, 1975–1994 and Los Angeles County Supervisor, 1994–2014
- Warren Zevon, musician
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