San Marcos High School (Santa Barbara, California)

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San Marcos High School
4750 Hollister Ave

TypePublic High School
School districtSanta Barbara Unified School District
PrincipalRichard Rundhaug
Faculty88.63 FTE
Enrollment2,181 (2015-16)[1]
Color(s)    Scarlet      Royal Blue
Athletics conferenceChannel League
RivalsSanta Barbara High School Dos Pueblos High School
PublicationCrown and Sceptre

San Marcos High School is an American public high school located in a suburban area two miles from the city of Santa Barbara, California. Accredited through the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, the school was named a California Distinguished School in 1994 and 2005, and a Gold Ribbon School in 2015. The student body includes a significant number of students from first-generation and non-English-speaking families.


San Marcos High School was established in 1958.

The campus was first located at the Rivera Theater campus on Alameda Padre Serra for the 1958-59 school year. Only sophomores comprised the first group of students. The campus moved to its current location for the 1959-60 school year at 4750 Hollister Ave. Santa Barbara, CA 93110. Only Sophomores and Juniors comprised the second group of students. For the 1960-61 school year, San Marcos had 3 full grade level and also its first graduating class.

The Student body[edit]

San Marcos High School enrolls approximately 2,100 ninth through twelfth-grade students from a variety of economic and ethnic backgrounds.

Student Ethnicity
Ethnicity Percentage
Hispanic / Latino 54.4%
White 38%
Asian 2.7%
African American 0.8%
American Indian / Alaskan Native 0.6%
Filipino 0.8%
Two Races / No Response 2.7%

49.9% of the student body is classified as socioeconomically disadvantaged, 22.1% as English Learners and 12.6% as Students with Disabilities. Exit survey results from the Class of 2014 indicated that 93% of graduates will continue their education, with approximately 39% of those graduates attending a 4-year institution, and 54% attending a 2-year institution.


San Marcos operates on a 4 X 4 Block Schedule, with four terms per year. Each class period is approximately 90 minutes in length. A full schedule is considered three classes per term. Final grades and credits are given each term, which equates to a semester under other systems. In order to graduate, students are required to complete a minimum of 220 units/credits and to pass the California High School Exit Examination. In addition to these academic requirements, all students are required to complete 60 hours of community service for graduation.

Weighted grades are given in Honors, AP and Dual Enrollment courses, the most rigorous classes offered at the school. Honors classes are offered in core courses in grades 9-11. AP courses are taken primarily by juniors and seniors. AP course offerings include American Government, Biology, Chemistry, Economics, Computer Science, English Language, English Literature, Environmental Science, European History, French, Latin, Psychology, Physics, Studio Art, Art History, U.S. History and World History. English, Calculus, Statistics, Spanish Language, Environmental Horticulture, Latin, Professional Development, Certified Nursing Assistant, Medical Terminology, Marketing (Entrepreneurship) and Auto classes are also offered on campus as Santa Barbara City College (SBCC) dual enrollment courses. College credit and a weighted grade are given to students who successfully complete these courses. Students may also complete required coursework through Dual Enrollment courses on the SBCC campus.

San Marcos also offers several well-respected Academy programs. Students enrolled in the Health Careers Academy take a core health class followed by a curriculum of related Santa Barbara City College classes taught on campus. Students in the Health Careers Academy also have the opportunity to become a Certified Nursing Assistant during their senior year. The Accelerated Academic Program for Leadership and Enrichment (AAPLE) is a program designed to offer the most rigorous 4 year academic pathway while simultaneously providing hands-on, enrichment opportunities for a group of the highest achieving students. The Entrepreneurship Academy is a three-year program that provides students who wish to start their own business with the necessary knowledge and skills in a course that includes experience in local business community partnerships and student run business ventures. 2014 saw the start of a Culinary Program. The Program for Effective Access to College (PEAC), is an academic program for first-generation college bound students, that provides them resources such as after school tutoring, college counseling, college trips, and mentoring. Students in PEAC are also enrolled in AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination) for one semester each school year. A staffed Career Center offers guidance programs including The Majors Program, job shadowing and internships. All San Marcos students are encouraged to attend college and are counseled to follow a college preparatory track that will fulfill the course requirements for admission to the University of California system. Students are required to complete a 10-year Plan, focusing on college and career goals.

Extra-curricular and co-curricular activities[edit]

San Marcos has numerous student-led clubs and organizations, including 56 male and female interscholastic sports teams. The school is a CIF Division II school and a member of the Channel League. Over the years, the school has won many league and CIF championships. Programs at San Marcos include the nationally recognized Performing Arts Program that includes theater, instrumental and vocal music groups. The school fields two successful Mock Trial teams that have been successful at county and state level. A school newspaper is published ten times a year by students in the journalism class and the yearbook, the "Crown and Sceptre" is published annually. The video production class produces daily features and an award-winning weekly 10-minute news and entertainment program. The leadership program consisting of ASB and Class leaders puts on 3 school dances (homecoming, winter formal, and prom) and implements new ways to make SMHS a better place. Link Crew consists of about 80 juniors and seniors who lead groups of 10 incoming freshmen during their first quarter of high school. All students are required to participate in two years of directed school activity such as athletics, drama, band, choir, or physical education. Honor societies include the California Scholarship Federation (CSF) and National Honor Society (NHS).

San Marcos High School, Santa Barbara, CA.

Alma mater[edit]

Written by Alan Lee Brackett, winner of contest for writing new alma mater in 1961.

Oh, San Marcos, Alma Mater, we shall sing our praise to you,
We shall honor your fair colors, Scarlet red and Royal blue,
We shall cherish all our memories and ever faithful be
As we honor thee San Marcos, Alma Mater, hail to thee.


San Marcos was named a California Distinguished School in 2005. The school has received awards and distinctions in many fields, including:

  • The Royals Marching Band – 1st at the SCSBOA 1A championships in 2008.
  • The San Marcos dance team, the Marquettes – national champions.
  • The mock trial team – state champions
  • The school newspaper, The King's Page – First Place with Special Merit in the American Scholastic Press Association newspaper contest in 2002 – 2003.
  • The Academic Decathlon team – county champions .
  • The Varsity Girls Soccer Team – CIF, City, and Channel League Champions.
  • The Golf program – multiple CIF championships.
  • The San Marcos Madrigal Singers – one of four groups accepted to perform in the Carnegie Hall National Choral Festival.
  • The San Marcos varsity football team – City Champions of Santa Barbara.
  • The San Marcos Varsiy Cheerleading Team- state champions in 2016 at the Cheer Pros Cheerleading Competition in Ontario, California.

Charity work[edit]

Students in the AP Economics classes have put on the annual "Kids Helping Kids event," which has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for various charities. Celebrities, bands, artists, etc. contribute and donate to this event, held at the Granada Theater. In recent years benefit concert headliners have included Andy Grammar, Need to Breathe, and Gavin Degraw.


The mascot is the Royal - a lion wearing a cape and crown The colors are royal blue and scarlet red

Notable alumni[edit]

Coordinates: 34°26′15.1″N 119°47′13.8″W / 34.437528°N 119.787167°W / 34.437528; -119.787167


  1. ^ "San Marcos Senior High". National Center for Education Statistics. Retrieved October 18, 2018.
  2. ^ "Chuck Liddell UFC Bio". Retrieved 2016-09-29.
  3. ^ Pole Vault progression

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