The Anaheim Union High School District has a long tradition of educational service.
High school education was initially provided through the community’s elementary
school district, which was formed in the 1870s. The high school district was created
as a separate school system in 1898.
As is true with many California districts, the boundaries of the AUHSD are older
than most of the cities it serves. For many years, the District was the largest
union (junior high and high school district) in California. It currently serves
the communities of Anaheim, Cypress, La Palma, Buena Park, and Stanton. It covers
46 square miles, bordered by Fullerton, the Santa Ana River, Garden Grove, and the
Los Angeles county line.
Our student population reflects the fact that people from all over the world have
enriched AUHSD communities over the years. Our students, who come to us from five
elementary school districts, speak 49 languages. Our great diversity is one of our
We have much to celebrate and appreciate as our schools continue to be recognized
for their academic excellence. This is all the more impressive when you consider
the fiscal backdrop against which these accomplishments took place. The signs that
we are succeeding are everywhere.
Oxford Academy is again the No. 1 school in Orange County, while it ranks No. 2
in the state of California, according to the California Department of Education.
Meanwhile, U.S. News and World Report ranked Oxford as the No. 1 school
in California and No. 4 in the United States
Five of our campuses—Kennedy and Cypress high schools, along with Oxford Academy,
and Lexington and Walker junior high schools—have earned California Distinguished
School status, while Oxford was honored as a National Blue Ribbon School by the
U.S. Department of Education.
This year, Savanna High School became a P21 National Exemplar School. South Junior
High School has created the District’s first STEM (Science, Technology Engineering,
Math) “elective wheel,” and students are already winning county accolades. Magnolia
High School has the nation’s first Puente class for Pacific Islander students, which
is designed to promote academic and cultural literacy, and is showing great promise.
Sycamore Junior High School has partnered with the Discovery Science Center and
California State University, Fullerton, on designing dual immersion math and science
units. Loara High School is implementing a civic education initiative.
Meanwhile, Ball Junior High School has been identified by the Orange County Department
of Education as a leader in implementing the Positive Behavioral Interventions and
Supports system and the Response to Intervention system, both designed to provide
an array of early behavioral interventions to at-risk students. Dale Junior High
School has been recognized by the National Document-Based Questioning Program as
an exemplar school. Cypress High School had a national student finalist at a White
House initiative on 21st century learning. Anaheim and Katella high school students
led a P21 initiative gathering 5,000 signatures for the city of Anaheim to create
mentoring and internship opportunities, which will be in place this summer. And
Western High School had a Nobel Prize winner return to the campus and serve as a
living reminder of what is possible.
Our teachers have shown tremendous dedication in improving students’ academic success,
and our students have responded in kind. This is especially heartening given the
backdrop of the state’s fiscal crisis, which has forced us to operate with reduced
staffing and student programs.
As we recover from the Great Recession, we are faced with a huge challenge. In a
mere 10 years, California will need more than 1 million college graduates to replace
retiring Baby Boomers who comprise the backbone of the state’s economy. Who will
replace them? Will those college graduates come from places like China or India
or will they come from school districts like AUHSD?
Fortunately, over the last few years, AUHSD has been on the move. We have emerged
as a leader in transitioning to instructional practices that align with Common Core
State Standards across the curriculum. Our state superintendent, Tom Torlakson,
has praised us for building a collaborative model where teachers are out front in
designing relevant, student-centered lessons and performance tasks. Our teachers
and administrators deserve high praise for building collaborative Professional Learning
Communities where teachers can come together, and design and reflect on performance
tasks that help them create more project-based learning activities.
The bar has been set very high, and it will take all of our employees—teachers,
administrators, counselors, special education support staff, classified staff—and
all of our community members—parents, and business, civic, and faith-based leaders—to
work together focused on our mission of graduating students who are college and
AUHSD - Fast Facts