Venice High School (Los Angeles)

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Venice High School
Venice High School (Los Angeles, small).jpg
Venice High School
13000 Venice Boulevard
Venice, Los Angeles, California 90066
United States
Coordinates 33°59′55″N 118°26′34″W / 33.99861°N 118.44278°W / 33.99861; -118.44278Coordinates: 33°59′55″N 118°26′34″W / 33.99861°N 118.44278°W / 33.99861; -118.44278
Type Public high school, Language Magnet, STEMM Magnet
Motto Rowing, Not Drifting
Established 1911 (LAUSD 1925), (Magnet 1988)
NCES District ID 0622710[1]
CEEB code 054069
NCES School ID 062271003429[2]
Principal Dr. Oryla Wiedoeft
Enrollment 2773 (including 526 from magnet)
Campus Urban
Color(s) Blue      White     
Mascot The Gondolier, (Gondo)
Publication Written Voice
Newspaper The Oarsman [3]
Yearbook Gondolier

Venice High School is located on the west side Los Angeles, in the U.S. state of California within the Local District West area of the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD).

VHS has 4 Small Learning Communities (SLC's):

  • Academy of Law and Public Service
  • Media, Arts & Technology Academy
  • School for Advanced Studeies (SAS) and GATE
  • Sports Medicine

VHS also has 2 magnet programs

  • World Language and Global Studies Magnet and
  • STEMM (Science Technology Engineering Mathematics and Medicine) Magnet,

Venice High is greatly supported by numerous community partnerships, parent groups, Booster, and Alumni associations. Venice is known for offering a large number of Advanced Placement classes and having an excellent athletics program. The school is also added an instrumental music teacher, marching band, and Mandarin teacher.

During the 2011-2012 school year, 69% of Venice High students were Hispanic/Latino, with 12% white/European Americans, 10% African Americans and 8% Asian Americans.[5] According to the Los Angeles Times Mapping L.A. project as well as zip code maps, because the school is just east of Walgrove Avenue it is not located in Venice, but the adjacent neighborhood of Mar Vista.[6]

Several neighborhoods, including Venice, Marina Del Rey, Mar Vista, and Del Rey, feed into Venice High School. The unique educational pathways offered by the six small schools draw students from across Los Angeles.

Elementary schools in the Venice High district include Beethoven Elementary, Mar Vista Elementary, Playa del Rey Elementary, Broadway Elementary, Braddock Drive Elementary, Stoner Avenue Elementary, Short Avenue Elementary, Westminster Avenue Elementary School and Coeur d'Alene Avenue Elementary School. Marina Del Rey Middle School, Daniel Webster Middle School, Mark Twain Middle School, and Palms Middle School feed into Venice. Until LAUSD established sufficient capacity in the area during the immediate post-World War II period, Culver City-based Betsy Ross Elementary, now closed, had been the largest single feeder to the then 7–12th grade high school.

The school's student news site, called The Oarsman, began as a school newspaper. Written Voice, a literary journal started in the spring of 2012, features students' poetry, short stories, and other work. An unofficial newsmagazine, The Venice Independent, was formerly run by Venice students.

The current principal is Dr. Oryla Wiedoeft.[7]


Replica of Spiritual (model, Myrna Loy) in front of Venice High School

The school was established in 1911 (then called "Venice Union Polytechnic High School") when classes were held in an old lagoon bathhouse two blocks from the beach. It moved to a new neo-romanesque structure at its present 29-acre campus two miles inland a decade later.

A famous statue, installed in 1922 and for which then-unknown Venice High School student Myrna Loy served as model, stood on the front lawn of Venice High School for over 70 years. An unsightly cage was erected to prevent vandalism, but the statue was ultimately removed and sent to indoor storage in 1998. However, a bronze-cast replacement statue was mounted before 2,000 cheering onlookers in an April 2010 ceremony.

On March 10, 1933, the school was seriously damaged by the Long Beach earthquake. As a result, classes were held in hastily constructed tents for two years until a replacement school was built. Art Deco earthquake-resistant buildings were built in 1935, and are still used by the school today.[8]

In fall 2007, some neighborhoods zoned to Hamilton High School were rezoned to Venice High School.[9]

On May 15, 2009, students staged a walkout in response to LAUSD increasing class sizes and cutting teachers.[10] Students who engaged in the walkout received support from the ACLU and the National Lawyers Guild in clearing their truancies on that particular day. A similar walkout occurred in 1951 when school administration disqualified a candidate for student body office because of a questionable campaign speech. Administration retaliated by focusing on agitators within the heretofore self-selective service clubs, suspending the clubs and then reorganizing them later with a more pliant membership. Small protests (e.g. graffiti, lawn burnings, tree fellings) continued sporadically for a year.[11]

Academics and academic performance[edit]

As of 1998 the school has mathematics and science programs and a magnet program that explores international politics.[12]

As of 2017, the World Languages and Global Studies Magnet offers courses in Mandarin Chinese, Japanese, Italian, French and Spanish.[13]

Venice High School won back-to-back National Science Bowl championships in 1996 and 1997,[14] and won regional championships in 1993, 1994 and 2005.[15][16][17] Venice High School is one of only three schools that have won two National Science Bowl championships.[18]

In 1998 Richard Lovett, the president of the Creative Artists Agency (CAA), gave self-esteem courses to the students, and Terry Hardy of Los Angeles Magazine wrote that the CAA "has adopted Venice High as its very own."[12]


An historically successful sports competitor, Venice High fields 16 sports with most teams competing in the Western League of the CIF LA City Section. The football team has won 9 of the last 10 Western League titles and the baseball team has won five City championships (1967, 1972, 1984, 1985, 1986). The girls' softball team won the CIF LA City Section Division 2 championship in 2013. The basketball team won the City championship in 1948. The boys' swimming team won three consecutive City championships in the 1950s (even before the school had an on-campus pool). The school also captured the City championship in golf in 2011 and 2012. The boys' volleyball team won back-to-back City Championships in 1991 and 1992. Eight graduates have appeared in Major League Baseball and NFL games in the last 20 years[19]

Filming location[edit]

Venice High School was used as the Rydell High School location for the 1978 movie Grease—in which the opening shot was the Myrna Loy statue. The school was also used in other movies such as A Nightmare on Elm Street, American History X, Matchstick Men, and Heathers, as well as in several music videos, including Britney Spears' international hit "...Baby One More Time", Bowling for Soup's "High School Never Ends", Cher Lloyd's "Oath", and Young MC's "Principal's Office".[20] Venice is also in The Faders' "No Sleep Tonight". Additionally, aerial photographic images of the school were used to show the location of the high school in the 1987 movie Masters of the Universe. The campus was also used for the TV show Glee on an episode ("Yes/No", aired January 17, 2012) which recreates the classic "Summer Nights" scene from Grease, as made famous by John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John (and filmed on the same location). The Australian TV series Rake also used Venice High School as a filming location.[21] The music video for Alesso's 2014 song "Cool" was also shot here.[22]

Neighborhoods zoned to Venice[edit]

Three University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) student housing facilities for families are zoned to Venice High School.[23] They include Rose Avenue Apartments,[24] University Village,[25] and Venice-Barry Apartments.[26] Rose Avenue had been rezoned from Hamilton High School to Venice in 2007.[27]

Notable alumni[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Search for Public School Districts – District Detail for Los Angeles Unified". National Center for Education Statistics. Institute of Education Sciences. Retrieved 17 January 2011. 
  2. ^ "Search for Public Schools - School Detail for Venice Senior High". National Center for Education Statistics. Institute of Education Sciences. Retrieved 17 January 2011. 
  3. ^ Online Newspaper
  4. ^ U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Venice Senior High School
  5. ^ "Venice High School Demographics". 
  6. ^ "Mapping L.A. - Westside, Venice". Retrieved 2015-02-05. 
  7. ^ "Venice Finally Gets a Permanent Principal". The Oarsman. 2015-06-02. Retrieved 2015-07-15. 
  8. ^ Stanton, Jeffrey (June 21, 1998). "Venice Schools". Retrieved October 11, 2008. 
  9. ^ "Proposed Changed to Hamilton High School Area Schools" (PDF). Los Angeles Unified School District ( Archived from the original (PDF) on March 9, 2008. Retrieved April 3, 2011.  (Archive)
  10. ^  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  11. ^ Goldberg, Angela (June 12, 2009), "A New and Improved Venice Student Union is in Progress", The Oarsmen 
  12. ^ a b Hardy, Terry. "Top of the Class" (education section). Los Angeles Magazine. Emmis Communications, October 1998. Vol. 43, No. 10. ISSN 1522-9149. Start: p. 52. CITED: p. 66.
  13. ^ [1] Venice High Website - WLGSM
  14. ^
  15. ^
  16. ^
  17. ^
  18. ^;jsessionid=dlWvJC9Qtb7GpvCG6TwlnZnc5qN7ykgVClvhTywwQxWGDtMTZqn3!841171520?_afrLoop=63640253627461&_afrWindowMode=0&_afrWindowId=null#%40%3F_afrWindowId%3Dnull%26_afrLoop%3D63640253627461%26_afrWindowMode%3D0%26_adf.ctrl-state%3D5i1bye3qf_4
  19. ^ "Kevin Brockway Named New Venice High Baseball". Los Angeles Sports Journal. August 27, 2012. Retrieved August 29, 2012. 
  20. ^ "Young MC – Principal's Office". YouTube. December 7, 2006. Retrieved January 21, 2011. 
  21. ^ [2]
  22. ^ Lee, Christina. "Alesso Releases His "Cool" Video: Watch The Nerdy Clip | Music News, Reviews, and Gossip on". Retrieved 2015-03-12. 
  23. ^ "School Finder." Los Angeles Unified School District. Retrieved on October 2, 2011.
  24. ^ "Rose Avenue Apartments." University of California Los Angeles. Retrieved on October 2, 2011. "Location: Rose Avenue Apartments 11140 & 11130 Rose Avenue Los Angeles, CA 90034"
  25. ^ "University Village Apartments." University of California Los Angeles. Retrieved on October 2, 2011. "Location University Village 3200 Sawtelle Boulevard Los Angeles, CA 90066"
  26. ^ "Venice-Barry Apartments." University of California Los Angeles. Retrieved on October 2, 2011. "Venice/Barry Apartments 11811 Venice Boulevard Los Angeles, CA 90066"
  27. ^ "Proposed Changed to Hamilton High School Area Schools" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on March 9, 2008. Retrieved April 3, 2011. 
  28. ^ "Craig Breedlove". Bluebird Electric Racing Limited. 
  29. ^ Reynolds, Alan (April 6, 2004). "Jan & Dean". National Review Online. Retrieved October 11, 2008. 
  30. ^ Bromfield, John (February 19, 2006). "The Autobiography of John Bromfield". John Bromfield. Retrieved October 11, 2008. 
  31. ^ "Astronaut Bio: Walter Cunningham". Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center. Retrieved October 11, 2008. 

External links[edit]