Van Nuys High School (VNHS), established in 1914, is a public high school in the Van Nuys district of Los Angeles, belonging to the Los Angeles Unified School District: District 2. The school is home to a Residential Program and three Magnet Programs—Math/Science, performing arts, and Medical.
Several neighborhoods, including much of Van Nuys, portions of Sherman Oaks, Magnolia Woods, and Victory Park, are zoned to this school.
Van Nuys High School opened in 1914, four years after Van Nuys was established. For years the only high schools in the Valley were Van Nuys, Owensmouth (now Canoga Park), San Fernando, and North Hollywood. The main buildings and auditorium were built in 1933, incorporating remnants of the 1915 building which had been destroyed in the Long Beach earthquake. The football and track stadium, originally built at the same time as the current high school, is named for Bob Waterfield, and the baseball field for Don Drysdale, the two most famous athletes to have played for VNHS.
For the 1998–1999 Scholastic Assessment Test (SAT), Van Nuys high had a 537 average on the verbal portion and a 568 on the mathematics portion, giving it the highest SAT scores in the LAUSD that year.
The Los Angeles Unified School District ordered Van Nuys High School to convert to year-round scheduling in 2001, due to such reasons as overcrowding. Even though this relieved the overcrowding at the school, the Magnet Programs separated tracks, along with the residential students. The Performing Arts Magnet and the Medical Magnet were only available on the A-Track Schedule, while the Math and Science Magnet was only available on the C-Track Schedule. B-Trackers could not take the same classes as C-Trackers, while C-Trackers could only take certain A-Track classes. Teachers that had both A-Track and C-Track students were frustrated because the curriculum had to be synchronized with both tracks.
Van Nuys High School returned to the Traditional School Calendar in 2005. The switch was caused by a decline in the school population and by a new district policy to eliminate year-round schools whenever possible.
The opening of Panorama High School in October 2006, relieved overcrowding at Van Nuys High School.
Van Nuys High School has had the highest AP passing rate in the LAUSD for two consecutive years.
Van Nuys High School was indeed established in 1915. Although, the first graduating ceremony was held in 1914 for a small group of students that had previously attended different schools. Legitimately making the class of 2014 The Centennials. The issue has been discussed between high authority figures of the school, they decided that even though the first graduating ceremony that took place for students that did attend Van Nuys High School was in the year 1915, the first graduating ceremony to take place in the school took place back in 1914.
The Adult School is on the same campus as Van Nuys High School. It allows adults as well as high school students to take classes. Most Van Nuys High School students take courses in the Adult School for academic remediation. However, some take classes for Counselor-Identified High School Credit Deficiencies, while others take classes for personal necessities of flexible scheduling.
The Adult School is considered a work-at-your-own-pace program. A student can finish an entire course in just 2–3 weeks, but can take longer depending on the work effort of the student.
In baseball Van Nuys High qualified for postseason play. The following time the school's team qualified was in 1989, after a 9–7 victory over Birmingham High School at the Van Nuys-Sherman Oaks Recreation Center.
Van Nuys High has a variety of sports including: basketball, baseball, softball, volleyball, football, soccer, golf, wrestling, water polo, swimming and tennis. It has had longtime rivalries with Francis Polytechnic High School and Hollywood High School.Paula Abdul (born 1962), entertainer
Brandon Stirling Baker, designer
Ed Begley, Jr. (born 1949), actor/environmentalist
Julie Brown (born 1958), actress/comedian/producer/singer/writer
Chuck Cecil (born 1922), disc jockey
Vint Cerf (born 1943), computer scientist, one of the "fathers of the Internet"
Stephen M. Cohen (born 1948), controversial internet entrepreneur
Steve Crocker (born 1944), computer scientist, inventor of the RFC series
Kim Darby (born 1948), actress who appeared in True Grit
Dorothy DeBorba (1925-2010), actress who appeared in Our Gang
Larry Dixon (born 1966) NHRA drag car champion
Tony Dow (born 1945) actor
Don Drysdale (1936-1993), National Baseball Hall of Fame pitcher
Erika Eleniak (born 1969), actress
David Gerrold (born 1944), writer
Joseph Gordon-Levitt (born 1981), actor
Steve Kanaly (born 1946), actor
Stacy Keach (born 1941), actor
David Klein, creator of Jelly Belly jelly beans, subject of the 2010 film Candyman
Bruce Kovner (born 1945), financier, former hedge fund manager
Scott Mason (1959-2015), Los Angeles Disc Jockey
Bob McChesney (1926-2002), NFL football player
Marilyn Monroe (1926-1962), actress
Jon Postel (1943-1998), computer scientist, known as "the god of the internet"
Don Prudhomme (born 1941), drag racer
Al Qöyawayma (born 1938), Hopi sculptor and co-founder of the American Indian Science and Engineering Society
Robert Redford (born 1936), actor
Ted Robbins (born 1955), NPR journalist
Ricardo Rodriguez (born 1986), American professional wrestler and ring announcer
Jane Russell (1921-2011), actress
John K. Singlaub (born 1921), Major General, US Army
David J. Skorton (born 1949), Secretary (CEO) of Smithsonian Institution; previously President of Cornell University
Bob Waterfield (1920-1983), Pro Football Hall of Fame quarterback and punter
Alice Waters (born 1944), creator of "California cuisine"
Natalie Wood (1938-1981), actress
The campus was used as a location for the 1982 movie Fast Times at Ridgemont High. Ridgemont High's mascot in the movie was the same as Van Nuys High School—a wolf, which remains VNHS's mascot today.
The horror films Christine and Sleepwalkers, both written by Stephen King, were filmed at Van Nuys High School.
Some perhaps less well known movies filmed at Van Nuys High include My Science Project, Kid 'n Play's Class Act and My Stepmother is an Alien (featuring Kim Basinger). were also filmed at VNHS, as were scenes in the Disney film "Starstruck".
In addition, the pilot episode of The Wonder Years and several episodes of Highway to Heaven were filmed there, as was The Ramones' punk-rock movie classic Rock 'n' Roll High School.
The music video of Vitamin C's Graduation song was filmed at Van Nuys High School. An episode of Apple's Way 1974–1975 Vince Van Patten was filmed on the football field. An episode of Scrubs was filmed on the track field. An episode of 7th Heaven was filmed there as well, as was an episode of Twin Peaks. 2009 film Love at First Hiccup was also filmed at the front of the school and in the school's quad.
A 2009 music video "About a Girl" by The Academy Is... was also filmed in Van Nuys High School. Also, several episodes of the 2010 series "Parenthood" were shot in the school's library and quad area.
VNHS was used as the location for many of the scenes in the 80's TV series "The White Shadow".
The 2014 music video for the song "Unlimited" made by the clothing company Old Navy was filmed at Van Nuys High School.