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Manual Arts High School

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Manual Arts High School

4131 S Vermont Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90037, USA

Los Angeles Unified School District

Dorsey High School, Belmont High School, Foshay Learning Center, Augustus Hawkins High Sch, West Adams Preparato

Writing in the community manual arts high school

Manual Arts High School is a secondary school in Los Angeles, California. When founded, Manual Arts was a vocational high school, but later converted to a traditional curriculum.



Manual Arts High School was founded in 1910 in the middle of bean fields, one-half mile from the nearest bus stop. It was the third high school in Los Angeles, California after Los Angeles High School and L.A. Polytechnic High School, and is the oldest high school still on its original site in the Los Angeles Unified School District. The school that would eventually become Lincoln High had been founded decades earlier but was still an elementary school at this time.

One of the school's first teachers was Ethel Percy Andrus (1911 - 1915). In 1916 Dr. Andrus became California's first woman high school principal at Lincoln High School in East Los Angeles. She later founded AARP.

After three semesters in an abandoned grammar school building, Manual Arts High School was opened on Vermont Avenue. After the 1933 Long Beach earthquake, the entire campus was rebuilt, constituting the present Manual Arts High School campus adjacent to the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum and USC. In 1995, "The Arts" became a Pacific Bell Education First Demonstration Site joining thirteen other demonstration sites in California, and in 1996 the school was named a California Distinguished School. In 1998, Manual Arts was officially granted Digital High School status.

The 2005–2006 school year opened with small learning communities (SLCs), three on each track totaling nine SLCs. Manual Arts was relieved by the opening of Santee Education Complex in 2005.

West Adams High School

The school was relieved in 2007 when West Adams Preparatory High School opened. During the same year, a section of the Manual Arts attendance zone was transferred to Belmont High School.

In July 2008, the school became part of MLA Partner Schools through LAUSD's newly created iDesign Schools Division. MLA Partner Schools, in collaboration with West Ed, will operate Manual Arts on a 5-year performance contract approved by the LAUSD School Board.

The school was expected be relieved by Central Region High School 16 (which became Dr. Maya Angelou High School (Los Angeles, California)) when that school opened in 2011, and by Augustus Hawkins High School when that school opens in 2012.

In the 2011–2012 school year, Manual Arts will return to a traditional school calendar schedule. As a result, several of the school’s small learning communities will be restructured and the number of security on campus will be reduced. The 'Blewett Football Field is named in honor of James Blewett who was a standout Manual Arts football player and longtime Head coach with 9 Los Angeles City titles and 225 wins.

Student body

The racial make-up of the school is mostly Latinos and African-Americans and the neighborhood surrounding the school reflects the same make-up.

During the 2004–2005 school year, MAHS had 3,766 students, including:

  • 3,054 Hispanics (81.1%)
  • 701 African-Americans (18.6%)
  • 5 White Americans (1%)
  • 4 Asian Americans (1%)
  • 2 Native Americans (1%)
  • As of 2010, the dropout rate at Manual Arts was 68%.

    With more than 90% of students qualifying for free or reduced lunch provided by the Los Angeles Unified School district.

    The Manuel Arts Student Store is where students may purchase school supplies, snacks, drinks and other items .

    Notable alumni

  • Jon Arnett, football player, member of the College Football Hall of Fame, class of 1952
  • Gus Arriola, cartoonist and creator of Gordo, class of 1935
  • Verna Arvey, musician and writer
  • Roy L. Ash, (1918–2012), president of Litton Industries, budget director
  • Ted Bates, American football player
  • Paul Blair (baseball), professional baseball player, Yankees, Orioles, Reds
  • Lyman Bostock, professional baseball player, class of 1968
  • Steve Broussard, Former NFL Running Back, Class of 1985
  • Nacio Herb Brown, songwriter, class of 1914
  • Yvonne Brathwaite Burke, L.A. County Supervisor
  • Frank Capra, film director
  • Leland Curtis, artist, environmentalist, and Antarctic explorer
  • Peter Thomas Dalis, former Athletics Director, UCLA
  • Jimmy Doolittle, World War II aviator, class of 1914
  • Tom Fears, former professional football player, class of 1941
  • Earl C. Gay (1902–75), Los Angeles City Council member, 1933–45
  • Kathryn Grayson, actress known for Thousands Cheer
  • Philip Guston, artist, class of 1930
  • Robin Harris, comedian and actor, class of 1971
  • Ed Heinemann, self-taught aerospace engineer and aircraft designer for the Douglas Aircraft Company.
  • Bernard Jefferson, Justice, California Supreme Court
  • Jimmie Jones, American football player
  • Reuben Kadish, artist, class of 1930
  • Goodwin Knight, 31st governor of California, class of 1914
  • Leo K. Kuter, film art director
  • Mittie Lawrence, Actress
  • Woodley Lewis, American football player
  • Ned Mathews, American football player
  • Gerson Mayen, midfielder for Chivas USA of Major League Soccer, class of 2005
  • Stanley Knowles, Canadian Member of Parliament and New Democratic Party House Leader
  • Ernie Orsatti, outfielder for the St. Louis Cardinals
  • Victor Orsatti, Hollywood agent, film and television producer
  • Dwayne O'Steen, American football player
  • Jerry D. Page, United States Air Force General, class of 1932
  • Dwayne Polee, former professional basketball player, class of 1981
  • Jackson Pollock, artist, class of 1930 (left before graduation)
  • Marie Prevost, actress, class of 1916
  • Scott Stephen, American football player
  • Irving Stone, author
  • Mark Ridley-Thomas, California State Senator, class of 1972
  • Eugene Selznick, American Hall of Fame volleyball player
  • Lawrence Tibbett, baritone, Metropolitan Opera, class of 1914
  • Paul Winfield, actor
  • A Long Strange Road," an E-book authored by alumnus Edwin Erickson (Winter 1962), has sections about life at Manual Arts High School and the immediate neighborhood from 1959 to 1962. Kindle E-Books, author Edwin Erickson.


    Manual Arts High School Wikipedia

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