Skyline High School (Oakland, California)
Skyline High School (Oakland, California) Motto Veritas (Truth) Established 1959 Type Public High School Principal Troy Johnston Faculty 143 Teaching staff 91 Students 2,137 Grades 9 - 12 Location 12250 Skyline Blvd.,
Oakland, California, United States
District Oakland Unified School District Oversight Western Association of Schools and Colleges Accreditation Western Association of Schools and Colleges Campus Urban
45 acres (0.18km2)
Athletics Oakland Athletic League Mascot Titan Yearbook The Olympian Newspaper The Oracle National ranking 25 Website http://skylinehs.org
Skyline High School (also known as Sky High or SHS) is a public high school in Oakland, California. It is noted for its strong academics and athletic programs, and consistently ranks as the top performing school in the area in terms of standardized testing, SAT scores, college acceptance rates, and matriculation. Skyline High School is part of the Oakland Unified School District. The primary feeder schools traditionally included Montera Middle School, Hillcrest Middle School, Bret Harte Middle School and Edna M. Brewer Middle School. More recently, in a process called "open enrollment," students living in Oakland have been allowed to choose which high school they would rather attend, replacing the old system in which students were put into schools based on their address.
Skyline High School was recognized with the Blue Ribbon School Award of Excellence by the United States Department of Education, the highest award an American school can receive. Skyline High School was also a California Distinguished School.
Skyline was constructed in the late 1950s by Branagh Construction Inc. The original name chosen for skyline was Hill Area High School; however, two prominent Oaklanders, George R. Sistek and Sean Kingston, suggested renaming the school after the boulevard on which the school was built. The school was officially named Skyline High School in February 1961.
At the beginning of the first school year in 1961, senior administrators requested two student body representatives of each class to formulate a student government, mascot and class ring concepts.
On December 14, 1961, the student body voted to adopt a Greek theme. They first selected a house-type government, in which the students of Skyline were divided into five counseling groups containing sophomores, juniors and seniors. In order to gain membership into one of these groups, students attended rush week, where they were offered bids into the various houses. Each group was named after a different Greek house: Delta, Epsilon, Phi, Chi, and Omega. The counselor of each house was also the house adviser.
The five houses would not only sponsor events, but would often compete against each other in various activities. This included things, such as bake-offs and sports. In 1974, however, the student body voted to combine the house in order to promote the spirit of unity, and the competitions would be phased out in favor of a new event, Titanpalooza, which was Skyline's annual homecoming fair. Since then, Titanpalooza has continued to be an annual tradition while the spirit of competition has been preserved through intramural sports.
Each house had an executive branch, a legislative branch, and a judicial branch. The officials within each branch were elected by the members of their house. Each house had a court, where they would assist the administration in various school decisions. If a student was late to class many times, the court would decide what the student’s punishment would be. Currently, however, a new system has been instituted, and is known on campus as "tardy sweeps." Under this system, students who are caught outside of class without a valid pass during school hours are rounded up by security and placed in the cafeteria for the duration of the class period, a controversial method which has been partially effective in motivating students to attend more classes. The student body chose the house system because it would get students more involved in the democratic system, which would develop leadership in them. It gave the students a much more active and efficient role in the way Skyline was run, and they were thus motivated to participate in government.
After 1974, when the Greek system was phased out due to a student body vote, the student government remained, though it now represented each class instead of different houses. In addition, the Associated Student Body was created in order to represent the interests of the entire student body.
Despite the phase-out of the Greek system, the students chose to continue maintaining the Greek theme, and going along with this, chose the Titan as the school mascot.
In Greek mythology, the Titans were mighty giants. They were valiant warriors who were revered and idolized for their greatness and eternal glory. Originally, Skyline considered adpoting the moniker "Warriors," but this title was already taken by rival McClymonds. The student body felt like all incoming student should emulate the Titans. They felt that the new school was to have high standards, and the Titan would be the symbol of these standards.
The Greek theme was carried on to the newspaper and the yearbook. In Greece, an oracle was a person through whom a deity was believed to speak and, thus reveal a vast amount of hidden knowledge. As a result, the newspaper was named the “Oracle” and was dedicated to bringing knowledge to students.
The yearbook was entitled the “Olympian,” which was also used to promote the prominence of the new school. Olympians in Greek mythology were the 12 principal gods of the Greek pantheon. By calling the yearbook “The Olympian,” the students hoped its reputation would reflect the dedicated and hardworking faculty and student body which were shown in the yearbook pages.
Principal: Troy Johnston Assistant Principal(s): Vinh Trinh, Marisol Arkin, Vinnie Blye, and Mr. Rogers
The administration currently makes use ofi iPads to monitor student learning. Principal Johnston's was bought out of his own pocket while his assistant principals had theirs footed by the school budget. Mr. Rogers was originally a cyber high teacher, but Principal Johnston found the money in the budget to hire Rogers.
Skyline High School is located on a 45-acre (180,000 m2) campus at the crest of the Oakland hills. The campus is near the Redwood Regional Park and has a panoramic view of the San Francisco Bay Area. The location of the campus is in an affluent residential neighborhood away from commercial venues; the school has a closed campus system.
The school has dedicated various parts of the campus to the different class level, these are:
- Senior Lawn
- Junior Quarter
- Sophomore Square
- Freshman Bungalow
The Atlas Freshmen House
To begin the 2009 - 2010 school year, Skyline launched Atlas, an innovative new program for freshmen.
In the Atlas system, each ninth grader is placed in a team named after a mythological figure represented by Skyline’s mascot, the Titan. Atlas is the Titan who carries the heavens on his shoulders, so giving his name to the freshman house symbolizes a commitment to building a strong foundation for a new Skyline.
In the Atlas system, each ninth grader shares the same four teachers for Math, Social Studies, English, and Science. This provides teachers with a greater opportunity to intercommunicate about the students’ social and academic development.
Freshmen also attend a weekly "Advisory" period during which they receive lessons in academic and career planning, study skills, interpersonal development and citizenship.
With each teacher serving as an advisor for only 25 students, the Atlas system permits a greater connection to be established between teachers, students, and families. As one teacher stated, “No one falls through the cracks.” 
Skyline High School is known as the innovator of an event called Club Rush, in which all of the various student organizations at Skyline High School gather on the Senior Quad during a 30-minute lunchtime period in order to recruit new members to join their ranks. This event has been going on ever since it came as a result of the efforts of student body president Jeffery K. James in 1964, and has been an annual occurrence ever since.
Skyline High School is also known for its annual homecoming festival, Titanpalooza, in which Skyline students, staff, and alumni all gather on the Senior Quad for a cornucopia of fun, food, and games. It is organized by the Skyline Leadership class, and generally takes place before the homecoming football game.
Senior Picnic is one of the most anticipated events of the year at Skyline High School for the senior class. Officially a retreat for the senior class, underclassmen are not allowed to attend. This event is traditionally organized by the senior class officers in the Leadership class, and in past years, Skyline students have embarked on trips to such locations as Roberts Park, Waterworld California, Catalina Island, and most recently, the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk. Generally, the Skyline High School administration creates strict rules on transportation to the event, and all students must take charter buses to the location or risk suspension. In the aftermath of the latest event in 2009, three students were suspended for two days each by the school's administration for driving to the event.
Sunset Barbecue was an event established in early 2009, in which students gather in the lower basketball courts by the gym after school. Approximately ten student organizations sold food and drinks to Skyline students.
Created three years ago by Skyline film instructor Mark Frey, the Skyline High Annual Film Festival is a major event that occurs at the end of the year, showcasing the multitude of works produced by Frey's film students throughout the year.
The annual Art Show in the Skyline High School Library attracts many Titans, and is an exhibit featuring the works of Skyline's ceramics and art classes.
Senior Day was officially established as an annual event starting last year, in 2008, by former Associated Student Body President Paul Pugh. During this event, former Skyline students visit Skyline classrooms and present their college experiences to prospective college students.
Skyline High School first graduating class was in 1962. At that time, the student body was predominantly white. The school's demographics have changed over the years. Skyline brings together a diverse group of students coming from various socioeconomic backgrounds. In 2010–2011 Skyline has over 2,000 students with an approximate demographic distribution of:
- 38% African American
- 25% Hispanic American
- 21% Asian American
- 10% White
- 2% Mixed Race
- 1% Pacific Islanders
- <1% Filipino
- <1% Native American
- 1% Unspecified
Sophomores - White
Juniors - Black
Seniors - Red
Skyline High School has committed to “minimize its energy use, reduce negative environmental impacts and promote environmental stewardship.” The Energy and Environmental Advisory Committee has developed a set of ambitious goals for the school to reduce its carbon emissions and eventually achieve carbon neutrality. Skyline High is going Green website collects information about Skyline’s progress toward greenhouse gas emissions reductions and related campus initiatives like courses, research, projects and student groups.
The school newspaper is the Skyline Oracle and the yearbook is the Olympian. These publications have existed since the early decades of Skyline High history. The participants of each publication are involved by taking the offered courses.The Skyline Oracle has won numerous honors over the years for the quality of its publication.
The Skyline Olympian Yearbook is currently under the direction of Martin Rabotti.
Skyline High School students may choose either to pursue in general studies or enroll in an academy. Students who do not enroll in an Academy may take classes offered by the Academy if space is available, though space is often tight due to the program's perceived prestige among the Titans' student body.
I. Elective courses
- Academic Decathlon
- Architectural Design
- Computer Science/Digital Film
- Environmental Science
- Jazz Band
- Marching Band
- Wood Shop
II. Advanced Placement and Honors Courses
Advanced Placement Courses
- Biology AP
- Calculus AB AP
- Calculus BC AP
- Chemistry AP
- English 3 AP (Language and Composition)
- English 4 AP (Literature)
- Environmental Science AP
- Physics AP
- Spanish 4 AP (Language)
- Spanish 5 AP (Literature)
- Statistics AP
- US History AP
- US Government/Economics AP
- World History AP
- Chemistry HP
- French 3 HP
- Mandarin 3 HP
- Math Analysis HP
- Physiology HP
- Spanish 3 HP
Skyline High academies are “schools within a school” centered on career fields. Ninth grade students apply to the Academy of their choice Spring semester. Students study with the same team of teachers and group of students from 10th to 12th grades in their English/Social Studies and academy lab courses. Some courses include math and/or science, depending on the Academy of choice. Students can take advantage of internships and paid summer jobs in their fields. There are four academies. The Academies at Skyline High School include:
I. Architecture and Graphic Technology
This program emphasizes computer technology and its applications in drafting and graphics. Instruction is in mechanical drawing, graphic design and technical skills, keyboarding and illustration.
II. Computer Science and Digital Film
Students learn web design, basic multimedia, computer programming, and digital film making. The headmaster and founder of this academy is Mark Frey.
Interested students enter the Education Academy at the beginning of their sophomore year and remain in the Academy through their senior year. Education Academy students work with Oakland elementary schools in the inner-city on education-related activities and service learning. The following is the Education Academy elective course sequence:
- Year 1 (Sophomore): Introduction to Education
- Year 2 (Junior): Educational Psychology
- Year 3 (Seniors): Peer Education
IV. Performing Arts
Skyline’s Performing Arts Department provides a performing arts education in drama, dance, instrumental music, vocal music, and technical theatre. A typical school-year season includes 12 large-scale productions, frequent off-campus performances, and multiple opportunities to compete. Performances are held in the 975-seat Farnsworth Theater.
Students audition for entrance into the Academy, usually in the spring semester of the freshman year. Once accepted, they are enrolled in the Academy throughout their sophomore, junior and senior years. Academy students take a specific sequence of classes and must perform in their area of specialty. In general, students are required to take college-preparatory academic classes and to enroll in two performing arts classes each semester. The required classes vary, depending on the student’s particular area of study.
The Performing Arts Academy offers instruction in Six disciplines:
- Instrumental Music, such as Orchestra, Jazz Band and Marching Band (directed by Vincent Tolliver)
- Vocal Music (directed by Aretha Cooper)
- Theater/Drama (directed by Jan Hunter (Performing Arts Department head)
- Dance (directed by Dawn James)
- Film (directed by Mark Frey)
- Stage Technology
The Oakland Film office lists Skyline High School as a potential filming location in Oakland.
The Skyline Leadership class provide students with the opportunity to improve their leadership abilities while promoting school spirit on campus and working with the administration to ensure that the school is running efficiently.
Skyline High School students have the opportunity to participate in student governments, these include:
- All City Government
- School Site Council
- SHS Student Government
Skyline High School competes in the Oakland Athletic League (OAL). It currently offers 27 sports programs and is the defending OAL champion in bowling, tennis, volleyball, baseball, track and field, cross country, hockey, golf, swimming, badminton, and soccer.
Men Women Badminton Badminton Baseball Basketball Basketball Bowling Bowling Cheerleading Cross Country Cross Country Football Golf Golf Soccer Hockey Softball Lacrosse Swimming Soccer Tennis Swimming Track & Field Tennis Volleyball Track & Field Volleyball Wrestling
Clubs and student organizations
- Amnesty International
- Asian Youth Society
- Baking Club
- Black Student Union
- Black Jamaicans
- Book Club
- Building with Books Club
- California Scholarship Federation
- Chemistry Tutoring Club
- Chess Club
- COVE Club
- Debate Club
- ECO Club
- Entrepreneur Club
- Excel Club
- Fashion Club
- Film and Sandwich Club
- GAIA Club
- Gay Straight Alliance
- Glee club
- International Club
- IU Mien Club
- Indian Student Union
- Ivy League Club
- Jewish Student Union
- Junior State of America
- Key Club
- La Raza Unida Club
- Math Club
- Music Appreciation Club
- National Exchange Club
- National Honor Society
- Nikkei Student Union
- Operation Smile
- Poly Club
- Physics Tutoring Club
- SAT Help Club
- Seriously Addicted Writers (S.A.W.)
- Snow Club
- Spanish Club
- Students Against Destructive Decisions
- Techbridge for Girls
- Tennis Club
- Teochew Club
- University of California Club
- Vietnamese Students Association
- Youth Together
- Young Democrats of America
- Young Republican National Federation
Campus safety and security
Skyline maintains a full-time force of school police officers who use cameras and foot patrols to monitor inappropriate activities on school grounds. The officers can be dispatched when needed by the Oakland Police Communications Center or from the main office at the High School. The students are required to present a student identification card before entering and exiting the campus during school hours. The added security provides a safe haven for the student body at Skyline High.
- Davone Bess - NFL Wide Receiver
- Will Blackwell - Former NFL wide receiver for Pittsburgh Steelers; Head coach of Skyline Football
- Theotis Brown - NFL Running back for the St. Louis Cardinals, the Seattle Seahawks, and the Kansas City Chiefs
- Yonus Davis - CFL Running back for the BC Lions
- Greg Foster - Former NBA player
- Hotaru Honda - Rhythmic Gymnast
- Brian Johnson - Former Major League Baseball Catcher
- Bill Lester - Class of 1979 -Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series and NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Driver
- Gary Payton - NBA player for the Seattle Super Sonics, Los Angeles Lakers and Miami Heat
- Bip Roberts - Former Major League Baseball All-Star Second Baseman
- Kevin L. Smith - Former NFL player for the Oakland Raiders
- Marvel Smith - NFL Offensive linesman for the Pittsburgh Steelers
- Frank Summers - NFL Fullback for the Pittsburgh Steelers
- Gerris Wilkinson - NFL linebacker for the New York Giants
- Eric Harris - Minor league baseball player
- Tom Hanks - Hollywood actor and a two-time Academy Award-winner Best Actor in Philadelphia and Forrest Gump
- Nnegest Likké - Hollywood writer and director of Phat Girlz starring Mo'Nique, Best Supporting Actress in Precious.
- LaToya London - American Idol semifinalist
- Goapele Mohlabane - soul/R&B singer and songwriter.
- Del the Funky Homosapien - Rapper of the group Hieroglyphics
- Jon Owens aka Casual - Rapper, and member of Bay Area based rap group Hieroglyphics
- Aaron Woolfolk - film director, screenwriter The Harimaya Bridge
- Dave Meniketti - Singer & Guitarist for Y&T
- William Kennedy - member of the group Yellowjackets for over nine years
- Maxwell Caulfield - actor.
- C. W. Anderson - wrestler on Extreme Championship Wrestling.
- Daniel Lannon - Singer for The Frail
- John Kilduff - Painter and artist. Host of Let's Paint TV
- David Tom Cooke - Thoracic Surgeon, UC Davis Medical Center
- Michael A. Gardner - President and CEO Great American Mercantile Co., Inc./Siegel's Clothing Fulfillment to the Motion Picture and Entertainment Industries
- Amazon Eve - World's Tallest Model
- ^ Skyline High School
- ^ Skyline High School
- ^ a b Skyline Selected to Share $6.2 Million in Federal Money : The Skyline Oracle
- ^ Skyline High School
- ^ Student Teacher Ratio Skyline High School - Oakland, California - CA
- ^ The Green Screen!
- ^ The Skyline Oracle
- ^ Skyline High School
- ^ Skyline High School
- ^ "Skyline High School". Locations, Locations, Locations. Oakland Film Office. http://www.filmoakland.com/locationgallery/lg_e_skylinehigh.htm. Retrieved 2007-03-03.
- ^ Home - Seriously Addicted Writers
- ^ Will Blackwell NFL Football Statistics - Pro-Football-Reference.com
- Skyline High School website
- PSTA (Parent/Teacher/Student Association) website
- Link to 2006-2007 Accountability Progress Reporting
- Skyline High School 1975 (Flickr photo set)
- 1975 Photo gallery on Snapfish
- Campus Bird's Eye View on Microsoft Virtual Earth
Oakland, California Government Economy & History TransportationSan Francisco – Oakland Bay Bridge • Caldecott Tunnel • Posey and Webster Street Tubes • MacArthur Maze • Interstate 580 • Interstate 880 • Warren Freeway • Cypress Street Viaduct • Bay Area Rapid Transit • 19th Street BART • City Center / 12th St. BART • Lake Merritt BART • MacArthur BART • Oakland Coliseum Station • Rockridge BART • West Oakland BART • Oakland – Jack London Square Amtrak • Oakland International Airport • Port of Oakland • AC Transit EducationCalifornia College of the Arts • Holy Names University • Laney College • Merritt College • Mills College • Samuel Merritt University • The Crucible • Bishop O'Dowd High School • Oakland Unified School District • Head-Royce School • McClymonds High School • Oakland High School • Oakland Technical High School • Skyline High School Other
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