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Van Nuys High School

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Title: Van Nuys High School  
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Van Nuys High School

Van Nuys High School
6535 Cedros Avenue, Van Nuys, California 91411 USA
Type Public high school
Established 1914[1]

Ms. Yolanda Gardea

Campus Country
Color(s) Burgundy, Grey
Team name Wolves

Van Nuys High School (VNHS), established in 1914, is a public high school in the Van Nuys district of Los Angeles, California, United States, 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.

Several neighborhoods, including much of Van Nuys, portions of Sherman Oaks, Magnolia Woods,[3] and Victory Park,[4] are zoned to this school.


  • History 1
  • Community Adult School 2
  • Athletics 3
  • Notable alumni 4
  • Filming 5
  • References 6
  • External links 7


Van Nuys High School opened in 1914, four years after Van Nuys was established.[5] 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.[6]

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 only available on the A-Track Schedule, while the Math and Science Magnet was only available on the C-Track Schedule. B-Trackers could not take the same classes as C-Trackers, while C-Trackers could only take 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.

The opening of Panorama High School in October 2006,[7] relieved overcrowding at Van Nuys High School.[8]

Van Nuys High School has had the highest AP passing rate in the LAUSD for two consecutive years.

Van Nuys High School was indeed established in 1915. Although, the first graduating ceremony was held in 1914 for a small group of students that had previously attended different high schools. Legitimately making the class of 2014 The Centennials. The issue has been discussed between high authority figures of the school, they decided that even though the first graduating ceremony that took place for students that 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.

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.[9]

Van Nuys High has a variety of sports including: basketball, baseball, softball, volleyball, football, soccer, golf, wrestling, water polo, swimming and tennis.

Notable alumni


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.

The horror films Christine and Sleepwalkers, both written by Stephen King, were filmed at Van Nuys High School.

The campus was used as Hill Valley High School in the 1985 movie Back To The Future

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".

In addition, the pilot episode of The Wonder Years and several episodes of Highway to Heaven were filmed there, as was The Ramones' punk-rock movie classic Rock 'n' Roll High School.

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. 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 80's 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.


  1. ^ "Van Nuys High School (1914-)", Special Collections & Archives, Oviatt Library at California State University, Northridge (accessed 2014-05-23).
  2. ^
  3. ^ "A hideaway in Sherman Oaks". Los Angeles Times. 
  4. ^ Delson, Jennifer (19 June 2005). "Valley's bustle bypasses Victory Park". Los Angeles Times. 
  5. ^ LAUSD School Profile
  6. ^ Sauerwein, Kristina. "SAT Scores Find Valley School at Top : Exam: Van Nuys High posts highest average in LAUSD. Two other area schools also surpass national and state averages in math and verbal portions." Los Angeles Times. September 1, 1999. Retrieved on March 23, 2014.
  7. ^
  8. ^
  9. ^ "High School Baseball : Van Nuys Makes It a Day for Firsts." Los Angeles Times. March 24, 1989. Retrieved on March 23, 2014.
  10. ^ [2]
  11. ^ For radio host, big bands' allure endures, by Charles Fleming in Los Angeles Times, accessed 2013-12-19
  12. ^ a b c Hafner, Katie; Lyon, Matthew (1996). Where Wizards Stay Up Late: The Origins of the Internet.  
  13. ^ 
  14. ^ "Don Drysdale Stats". Baseball Almanac. Retrieved December 3, 2012. 
  15. ^ "Racing Heroes – Don Prudhomme". Hemmings Daily, September 3, 2013. Retrieved 2014-03-25. 
  16. ^ Reidel, Mija. "Oral history interview with Al Qöyawayma, 2010 Mar. 30-31".  

External links

  • Van Nuys High School website

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