Redwood High School is a public secondary school located in the city of Larkspur, Marin County, California, approximately 11 miles north of San Francisco. Redwood High is part of the Tamalpais Union High School District (TUHSD). The school serves the cities of Belvedere, Corte Madera, Greenbrae, Kentfield, Larkspur, Ross, and Tiburon.
The school houses the TUHSD headquarters.
By 1957, the school age population of the Tamalpais Union High School District had grown too large for Tamalpais High School and Sir Francis Drake High School to accommodate. With the pressure of students coming in from elementary schools from Sausalito to Belvedere to Ross, voters chose to create a new school, and chosen for its site was the marshy area that extended east from the centrally located town of Larkspur to U.S. Route 101, an area that townspeople had called "the slough" since Larkspur was settled. The importance of wetlands was under-appreciated, and the land was seen as "waste." Beginning in early 1957, a large section of the marsh was flattened and filled, two roads were cut through from Magnolia Avenue out to the new school, and a playing field and parking lot were included. The first students who were to attend the new high school chose the name of the newspaper and sports teams: the Giants became their mascot in reference to the nearby redwood trees. School publications followed the tree theme: the Bark became the school's newspaper, and the Log the school's year book. The colors red and gray were a source of much contention, but were finally accepted. The school opened its doors in 1958.
On September 11, 2008, Redwood was recognized by the federal Blue Ribbon Schools Program. The school has received the California Distinguished School award three times (1990, 1996, and 2003).
On May 24, 2006, Redwood gained notoriety for a prank gone wrong. Seven chickens were found dead in a school hallway. Apparently, certain seniors, intending to release 32 chickens purchased at a live market in San Francisco's Chinatown, had left them in the trunk of a hot car. A student tip led the administration and Marin's Humane Society to the "pranksters." The four students most directly involved were not allowed to participate in graduation ceremonies. The incident made it into the local newspaper, as well as several major newspapers around the country.
Redwood High School is set at the foot of Mount Tamalpais on a 63.88 acre campus which has 81 classrooms, a library, theater, swimming pool, and athletics fields. The original campus was opened in 1958, with additions to the main building made over the next few years. Redwood's main school building (an original; see above) contains approximately 69 classrooms, the Bessie Chin Library, four labs, and the theater. Other buildings on the campus contain industrial technology areas; photography, ceramics, and graphic arts studios; band room; and a cafeteria. Other sports and performance facilities include a large gymnasium and smaller gyms, a 40-meter swimming pool, tennis courts, a track, athletic fields, and an outdoor amphitheater.
Between 2002 and 2006, Redwood High School undertook major modernization as part of a $121 million facilities bond measure approved by the Tam District voters. Approximately $40 million was spent to remodel classrooms, refurbish the gymnasium, tennis courts, and theater, and install new athletics fields. In 2007–2008 Redwood again rebuilt the often flooded parking lot. During the 2008–2009 school year, a new small gymnasium was constructed, the 40-meter pool was built, and new tennis courts laid. During the summer of 2011, an experimental classroom space was created to allow teachers the opportunity to explore new technologies, classroom management, and instructional strategies.
In the spring of 2006, Redwood art students created a 40-foot mural of the Marin County countryside. The mural was created on an exterior wall of the cafeteria. The 100th anniversary of Larkspur, 2009, is also the 50th anniversary of Redwood High School.
The following breakdown of students based on ethnicity is from 2010–2011.