Manual Arts High School

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Manual Arts High School
It Can Be Done
4131 South Vermont Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90037
Coordinates 34°00′30″N 118°17′32″W / 34.0083°N 118.29217°W / 34.0083; -118.29217Coordinates: 34°00′30″N 118°17′32″W / 34.0083°N 118.29217°W / 34.0083; -118.29217
Type Public
Established 1910
School district Los Angeles Unified School District
Principal Erica Thomas-Minor
Grades 9–12
Enrollment 1300
Color(s) Purple and Gray
Athletics conference Coliseum League
CIF Los Angeles City Section
Mascot Toiler

Manual Arts High School is a secondary school in Los Angeles, California. When founded, Manual Arts was a vocational high school, but later[when?] converted to a traditional curriculum.


Manual Arts High School was established in 1910 in the middle of bean fields, one-half mile from the nearest bus stop. It was the third high school in Los Angeles, California after Los Angeles High School and L.A. Polytechnic High School, and is the oldest high school still on its original site in the Los Angeles Unified School District. The school that would eventually become Lincoln High had been founded decades earlier but was still an elementary school at this time.

One of the school's first teachers was Ethel Percy Andrus (1911 - 1915). In 1916 Dr. Andrus became California's first woman high school principal at Lincoln High School in East Los Angeles. She later founded AARP.

After three semesters in an abandoned grammar school building, Manual Arts High School was opened on Vermont Avenue. After the 1933 earthquake, the entire campus was rebuilt, constituting the present Manual Arts High School campus. In 1995, "The Arts" became a Pacific Bell Education First Demonstration Site joining thirteen other demonstration sites in California, and in 1996 the school was named a California Distinguished School. In 1998, Manual Arts was officially granted Digital High School status.

The 2005–2006 school year opened with small learning communities (SLCs), three on each track totaling nine SLCs. Manual Arts was relieved by the opening of Santee Education Complex in 2005.[1] The school was relieved in 2007 when West Adams Preparatory High School opened. During the same year, a section of the Manual Arts attendance zone was transferred to Belmont High School.[2]

In July 2008, the school became part of MLA Partner Schools through LAUSD's newly created iDesign Schools Division. MLA Partner Schools, in collaboration with West Ed, will operate Manual Arts on a 5-year performance contract approved by the LAUSD School Board.

The school will be relieved by Central Region High School 16 when that school opens in 2011,[3] and by Augustus Hawkins High School when that school opens in 2012.[4]

In the 2011–2012 school year, Manual Arts will return to a traditional school calendar schedule.[5] As a result, several of the school’s small learning communities will be restructured and the number of security on campus will be reduced.[6] "The Arts'" football field is named in honor of James Blewett who was a standout player and longtime coach with 9 LA City titles and 225 wins.

Student body[edit]

The racial make-up of the school is mostly Latinos and African-Americans and the neighborhood surrounding the school reflects the same make-up.

During the 2004–2005 school year, MAHS had 3,766 students,[7] including:

As of 2010, the dropout rate at Manual Arts was 68%.[8]

With more than 90% of students qualifying for free or reduced lunch provided by the Los Angeles Unified School district.[9]

The school also maintains a store where students may purchase snacks.

Notable alumni[edit]

"A Long Strange Road," an E-book published by Amazon Kindle and authored by alumnus Edwin Erickson (Winter 1962), has sections about life at Manual Arts High School and the immediate neighborhood from 1959 to 1962.


  1. ^ "Project Details". 2011-10-13. Retrieved 2013-10-04. 
  2. ^ "Project Details". 2011-10-13. Retrieved 2013-10-04. 
  3. ^ "Project Details". 2011-10-13. Retrieved 2013-10-04. 
  4. ^ "Project Details". 2011-10-13. Retrieved 2013-10-04. 
  5. ^ "Manual Arts Senior High School". 2011-03-11. Retrieved 2013-10-04. 
  6. ^ "Sandy Banks: At Manual Arts High, same goals but different methods". 2011-05-17. Retrieved 2013-10-04. 
  7. ^ "School Profile (9-12)". 2009-09-16. Retrieved 2013-10-04. 
  8. ^ "UCLA IDEA Educational Opportunity Report". Retrieved 2013-10-04. 
  9. ^ "2010 Adequate Yearly Progress Chart". 2011-10-05. Retrieved 2013-10-04. 
  10. ^ Dennis McLellan,Roy L. Ash dies at 93; former Litton president, budget director, Los Angeles Times, January 12, 2012
  11. ^ "Paul Blair Statistics and History". Retrieved 2013-10-04. 
  12. ^ "Justice Jefferson Remembered as Soft-Spoken Legal Giant". 1910-06-29. Retrieved 2013-10-04. 
  13. ^ Stebner, Eleanor J. (1998). "The Education of Stanley Howard Knowles". Manitoba History. Winnipeg: Manitoba Historical Society (36): 43. ISSN 0226-5036. Retrieved May 19, 2014. 
  14. ^ [1] Archived April 20, 2008, at the Wayback Machine.
  15. ^ Ankerich, Michael G. (2010). Dangerous Curves atop Hollywood Heels: The Lives, Careers, and Misfortunes of 14 Hard-Luck Girls of the Silent Screen. BearMano. p. 283. ISBN 1-59393-605-2. 
  16. ^ [2] Archived November 11, 2007, at the Wayback Machine.

External links[edit]