Van Nuys High School
|Van Nuys High School|
6535 Cedros Avenue
|Type||Public comprehensive high school|
|School district||Los Angeles Unified School District|
|Teaching staff||115.50 (FTE) (2018–19)|
|Student to teacher ratio||22.81 (2018–19)|
Van Nuys High School (VNHS) is a public high school in the Van Nuys district of Los Angeles, belonging to the Los Angeles Unified School District: District 2. The school is home to a Residential Program and three Magnet Programs—Math/Science, Performing Arts, and Medical.
Van Nuys High School opened in 1914, four years after Van Nuys was established. For years the only high schools in the valley were Van Nuys, Owensmouth (now Canoga Park), San Fernando, and North Hollywood. The main buildings and auditorium were built in 1933, incorporating remnants of the 1915 building which had been destroyed in the Long Beach earthquake. The football and track stadium, originally built at the same time as the current high school, is named for Bob Waterfield, and the baseball field for Don Drysdale, the two most famous athletes to have played for VNHS.
For the 1998–1999 Scholastic Assessment Test (SAT), Van Nuys high had a 537 average on the verbal portion and a 568 on the mathematics portion, giving it the highest SAT scores in the LAUSD that year.
The Los Angeles Unified School District ordered Van Nuys High School to convert to year-round scheduling in 2001, due to such reasons as overcrowding. Even though this relieved the overcrowding at the school, the magnet programs separated tracks, along with the residential students. The Performing Arts Magnet and the Medical Magnet were available only on the A-Track Schedule, while the Math and Science Magnet was available only on the C-Track Schedule. B-Trackers could not take the same classes as C-Trackers, while C-Trackers could take only certain A-Track classes. Teachers that had both A-Track and C-Track students were frustrated because the curriculum had to be synchronized with both tracks.
Van Nuys High School returned to the traditional school calendar in 2005. The switch was caused by a decline in the school population and by a new district policy to eliminate year-round schools whenever possible.
Van Nuys High School was indeed established in 1915, although the first graduating ceremony was held in 1914 for a small group of students who had previously attended different schools, legitimately making the class of 2014 The Centennials. The issue was discussed between high authority figures of the school, and they decided that even though the first graduating ceremony that took place for students who did attend Van Nuys High School was in the year 1915, the first graduating ceremony to take place in the school took place back in 1914.
Van Nuys has a range of extracurricular teams. Its Science Olympiad team has consistently placed in the top 6 in regional competitions, from 2014 to 2019, even advancing to state competitions several times, such as in 2018. Its Science Bowl team won the national competition in 1995, and has placed highly in regional competitions in the years since.
Community Adult School
The Adult School is on the same campus as Van Nuys High School. It allows adults as well as high school students to take classes. Most Van Nuys High School students take courses in the Adult School for academic remediation. However, some take classes for Counselor-Identified High School Credit Deficiencies, while others take classes for personal necessities of flexible scheduling.
The Adult School is considered a work-at-your-own-pace program. A student can finish an entire course in just 2–3 weeks, but can take longer depending on the work effort of the student.
In baseball Van Nuys High qualified for postseason play. The following time the school's team qualified was in 1989, after a 9–7 victory over Birmingham High School at the Van Nuys-Sherman Oaks Recreation Center.
Van Nuys High has a variety of sports including: basketball, baseball, softball, volleyball, football, soccer, golf, wrestling, water polo, swimming and tennis. It has had longtime rivalries with Francis Polytechnic High School and Hollywood High School.
The Van Nuys High wrestling team won the Los Angeles City Championship in 1976.
- Paula Abdul (born 1962), entertainer
- George O. Abell (1927–1983) astronomer, professor at UCLA
- Diane Baker (born 1938), actress
- Ed Begley, Jr. (born 1949), actor/environmentalist
- Harry Browne (attended Van Nuys 1946), best selling author and Libertarian presidential nominee in 1996 and 2000
- Julie Brown (born 1958), actress/comedian/producer/singer/writer
- Chuck Cecil (born 1922), disc jockey
- Vint Cerf (born 1943), computer scientist, one of the "fathers of the Internet"
- Stephen M. Cohen (born 1948), controversial internet entrepreneur
- José Cortez (born 1975), NFL football player
- Steve Crocker (born 1944), computer scientist, inventor of the RFC series
- Kim Darby (born 1948), actress who appeared in True Grit
- Dorothy DeBorba (1925-2010), actress who appeared in Our Gang
- Larry Dixon (born 1966), NHRA drag car champion
- Tony Dow (born 1945), actor
- Sandra Jo Drummond (born 1938), model and daughter-in-law of Bing Crosby
- Don Drysdale (1936-1993), National Baseball Hall of Fame pitcher
- Erika Eleniak (born 1969), actress
- Diana Fuhrman (born 1962), women's weightlifting pioneer, inducted into USA Weightlifting Hall of Fame
- David Gerrold (born 1944), writer
- Joseph Gordon-Levitt (born 1981), actor
- Jack Hirsch (born c. 1941), basketball player
- Al Hoisington (born 1933), NFL football player
- Steve Kanaly (born 1946), actor
- Stacy Keach (born 1941), actor
- David Klein, creator of Jelly Belly jelly beans, subject of the 2010 film Candyman
- Bruce Kovner (born 1945), financier, former hedge fund manager
- Scott Mason (1959-2015), Los Angeles disc jockey
- Bob McChesney (1926-2002), NFL football player
- Norm Miller (born 1946), Major League baseball player
- Marilyn Monroe (1926-1962), actress
- Jon Postel (1943-1998), computer scientist, known as "the god of the internet"
- Don Prudhomme (born 1941), drag racer
- Al Qöyawayma (born 1938), Hopi sculptor and co-founder of the American Indian Science and Engineering Society
- Robert Redford (born 1936), actor
- Ted Robbins (born 1955), NPR journalist
- Ricardo Rodriguez (born 1986), professional wrestler and ring announcer
- Jane Russell (1921-2011), actress
- John K. Singlaub (born 1921), Major General, US Army
- David J. Skorton (born 1949), Secretary (CEO) of Smithsonian Institution; previously President of Cornell University
- Bob Waterfield (1920-1983), Pro Football Hall of Fame quarterback and punter
- Alice Waters (born 1944), creator of "California cuisine"
- Natalie Wood (1938-1981), actress
- Shawn Steel (born 1946), Republican National Committee Member for California since 2008, Founder of Shawn Steel Law Firm located in Seal Beach
The campus was used as a location for the 1982 movie Fast Times at Ridgemont High. Ridgemont High's mascot in the movie was the same as Van Nuys High School—a wolf, which remains VNHS's mascot today.
Some perhaps less well known movies filmed at Van Nuys High include My Science Project, Kid 'n Play's Class Act and My Stepmother is an Alien (featuring Kim Basinger) were also filmed at VNHS, as were scenes in the Disney film Starstruck.
The music video of Vitamin C's Graduation song was filmed at Van Nuys High School. An episode of Apple's Way 1974–1975 Vince Van Patten was filmed on the football field. An episode of Scrubs was filmed on the track field. An episode of 7th Heaven was filmed there as well, as was an episode of Twin Peaks. The 2009 film Love at First Hiccup was also filmed at the front of the school and in the school's quad.
A 2009 music video "About a Girl" by The Academy Is... was also filmed in Van Nuys High School. Also, several episodes of the 2010 series Parenthood were shot in the school's library and quad area.
VNHS was used as the location for many of the scenes in the '80s TV series The White Shadow.
The 2014 music video for the song "Unlimited" made by the clothing company Old Navy was filmed at Van Nuys High School.
Young Sheldon is filmed at Van Nuys High School.
The 2018 adaptation of the film Valley Girl was filmed at Van Nuys High School.
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- "News Corner". www.laschools.org. Retrieved October 19, 2017.
- "High School Baseball : Van Nuys Makes It a Day for Firsts." Los Angeles Times. March 24, 1989. Retrieved on March 23, 2014.
- Weart, Spencer. "Oral Histories, George Abell". AIP, American Institute of Physics. American Institute of Physics. Archived from the original on April 22, 2016. Retrieved April 8, 2017.
- For radio host, big bands' allure endures, by Charles Fleming in Los Angeles Times, accessed 2013-12-19
- Hafner, Katie; Lyon, Matthew (1996). Where Wizards Stay Up Late: The Origins of the Internet. ISBN 0684812010.
Steve Crocker and Vint Cerf had been best friends since attending Van Nuys High School in L.A.'s San Fernando Valley.... While Cerf and Crocker were academic stars, Postel, who was twenty-five, had had a more checkered academic career. He had grown up in nearby Glendale and Sherman Oaks, and he too had attended Van Nuys High School, where his grades were mediocre.
- "Larry Dixon Still Hometown Favorite as Season Begins," NHRA Motorsport.com, Jan. 31, 2000.
- "Don Drysdale Stats". Baseball Almanac. Retrieved December 3, 2012.
- Cerf, Vint (1998). "I REMEMBER IANA". RFC 2468 - I REMEMBER IANA. Network Working Group. Retrieved August 18, 2016.
- "Racing Heroes – Don Prudhomme". Hemmings Daily, September 3, 2013. Retrieved March 25, 2014.
- Reidel, Mija. "Oral history interview with Al Qöyawayma, 2010 Mar. 30–31". Archives of American Art Oral History Program, Smithsonian Institution. Retrieved October 28, 2013.
- "Sports Stars in Limelight," Van Nuys News, May 23, 1946, pg. 14.
- Staff, Interrobang (October 22, 2015). "We Checked Out the Preview of TruTV's New Original Comedy Series "Those Who Can't"". The Interrobang. Retrieved December 7, 2020.
- "Brief: Those Who Can't". The Mirror. Retrieved December 7, 2020.