Aliso Niguel High School In Aliso Viejo Is A California Distinguished High School

2008 API = 825

3197 Students Enrolled



Aliso Niguel High School (Aliso Viejo 92656) is nestled near a creek bed in the city of Aliso Viejo, California, a mere stone’s throw from the Pacific Ocean. In many ways, however, it resides even closer in philosophical proximity to the state’s legendary Silicon Valley.

The school’s renowned “high tech” environment provides quite a contrast to the California beach culture so immortalized in the American psyche.

One of the youngest high schools ever to be honored as a California Distinguished School,

National Blue Ribbon School

New American High School

AlisoNiguelHighSchoolFrongANHS is without question one of the most technologically advanced schools in the region – a region where the words technology, network and infrastructure are batted about like so many volleyballs on the beach. Commonly called a high school for the 21st century, ANHS has been visited by California Superintendent of Schools Delaine Easton (1996), representatives of former governor Pete Wilson (1994), and business leaders from throughout the community. ANHS has become a model of everything that is “right” about public education.

AlisoNiguelWolverinesOpening its doors in 1993 with a student body of 1400, ANHS became the fourth comprehensive high school in the Capistrano Unified School District (CUSD), one of the fastest growing district in the state. Teachers with eyes set on the future were immediately attracted to ANHS. They saw themselves as pioneers who would turn the promise of educational excellence into reality. They understood that technology is only a tool until placed in the hands of thoughtful teachers who have the ability to inspire, motivate and challenge students. For example, the TV Production instructor quickly transformed a small, ordinary classroom into a state-of-the-art newsroom complete with industry-standard cameras and editing equipment. Within a year of the school’s opening, students were not only broadcasting live daily news programs to every classroom, they were also producing the CUSD superintendent’s Chalk Talk cable access television show!

Yet, technology represents only a part of ANHS’s total vision of providing individualized programs that transform the larger high school landscape into smaller group settings. The overall educational program revolves around a central theme: There are two lasting bequests we can give our children – one is roots, the other is wings. Interweaving a strong academic core (the roots) with incentives for personal aspiration (the wings), the ANHS campus houses teams of teachers and students working together in a culture that is collaborative, dynamic and supportive, while thriving on shared discovery. Even though the school’s population has almost doubled since opening, ANHS still feels like a hometown school – a place to belong, a place to garner strength for the journey ahead. Like the nearby Pacific Ocean, ANHS and the communities it serves are dynamic bodies, constantly changing to nurture their inhabitants.

The ANHS culture continues to reshape itself, responding to input collected from town hall gatherings, small group meetings and community feedback forums. In response to these dialogues, ANHS is focusing on three critical areas: teaching practices (technology integration, project oriented/hands-on activities), assessment methods (curriculum mapping, comprehensive rubrics, standardized testing strategies) and logistical structures (block schedule, tutorial period, cross-curricular teaming). On any given day, a typical Wolverine student might begin the morning conducting on-line research in the Media Center, spend mid-day attending tutorial for extra help with math, and finish the afternoon integrating historical facts with related literature in a cross-curricular Humanitas (English and social science) program.

A commitment to excellence is the cornerstone of all ANHS programs. Spurred by the academic talents and ambitions of their fellow students, over half the ANHS seniors regularly take the SAT, last year scoring well over state and national averages with a combined score of 1107. ANHS teachers have added steadily to the number of AP courses available, now offering a total of seventeen. Additionally, AP course enrollment has steadily increased, while the combined pass rate has remained at an impressive 78%. The newly mandated California Stanford 9 test is given annually to over 95% of ANHS students in grades 9-11 (providing normreferenced data in reading, language, mathematics, science and social studies), while demonstrating that Wolverine students consistently score higher than their district and state counterparts.

However, such impressive test scores and quantitative data tell only half the story. Through an academic and co-curricular culture that seeks to incorporate every student, the real proof of success lies in the nearly unanimous perception that “there is something for everyone” at ANHS. This core value was best exemplified last year when the Associated Student Body was presented the “Model of Unity Award” by local community organizations. At ANHS, a special-needs student, an AP scholar and a “typical student in the middle” can all be seen walking shoulder-to-shoulder with heads held high in a spirit of full inclusion.

28000 Wolverine Way, Aliso Viejo, CA 92656-3385 (949) 831-5590