Student & Community Profile

Whitney is a seventh through twelfth grade public high school with a student population of 1025. Whitney is a voluntary magnet school given the single mission of preparing academically proficient students for admission to university. Each grade level is composed of approximately one hundred seventy students. All district sixth graders and other students desiring admission are given the District's placement test (a combination of CAT5 or CTBS and Writing sample). Every student admitted to Whitney must score in the top quartile of this placement test. In order to ensure geographic representation from throughout the district, the top three scoring students from each of the districts' nineteen elementary schools and the top twenty students from each of the five middle school attendance areas are invited to enroll. The top scoring private school students who live in the district and students whose parents who work in the district round out the seventh grade class. Each elementary school and each middle school represents a different socio-economic and cultural mix. Whitney has an ethnic diversity representative of the K-12 population of the ABC Unified School District. Whitney's specific ethnic enrollment is: 0.1% American Indian/Alaskan, 74.4% Asian, 0.2% Pacific Islander, 8.5% Filipino, 1.7% African American, 6.3% Hispanic, and 8.8% Caucasian.

Whitney offers twenty-two Advanced Placement courses. Over 660 tests were given to students participating in the Advanced Placement testing program. The inaugural season of the STAR testing program shows stanines in the seven through nine category for all subject areas for our current grades eight through twelve. We have no LEP students, although many current students have tested out of the program as recently as last year. Four percent of our students participate in the free/reduced price lunch program.

Success at Whitney is measured by:

  • admission of our graduates to University of California system: sixty-two percent: and prestigious private colleges and universities, thirty-two percent;
  • the unprecedented thirty-two National Merit Scholars, twenty-nine National Merit Commended Scholars, two National Hispanic Scholars and one Achievement Scholar. forty percent of the class of 2001 is a recognized National Scholar.
  • the number of scholastic achievement scholarships given each year: $716,000 to the class of 1998.
  • increasing enrollment in our Advance Placement classes showing our students are
    willing to take risk and pursue the ability to enter college as a sophomore or junior.
  • three California State University and three Community College courses being taught on campus to students who wish to earn college credits.
  • One hundred percent of our students are identified as gifted. (Whitney High School receives very limited GATE funds for supplementary educational programs).

Not so easily measured are advantages of the school culture. The clear mission, the fact that students, families, staff and community are of one accord, allows Whitney to meet the high expectations of all its stake holders in an atmosphere of collegial familiarity and mutual support. Students can be seen gathered in the hallways before and after school helping each other with studying and homework. Older students help younger ones with problems as varied as uncooperative lockers and bruised egos. There is a respectful mutual affection between teachers and students and at times reasoned disregard for traditional rules and practices. Parents are actively involved and support the school through through the Whitney Foundation for Excellence, the Korean Parents Association, the Chinese Parents Association, the Parent Teacher Student Association (PTSA) and various other volunteer parent groups.

There are thirty-seven full time and four part-time teachers employed at Whitney High School. There are twenty-six teachers with advanced degrees. The classroom student to teacher ratio in regular classes is 31.5 to 1. With less than a one percent staff turnover rate, teachers and staff work together to create a successful learning community. Actual student daily attendance is ninety-nine percent and our drop out rate is zero.

The facilities at Whitney, with the exception of gymnasium which was completed in December of 1997, are below established standards. The classrooms are small. The largest of the rooms is smaller than California's average classroom, the halls are crowded and specialty rooms such as fine arts rehearsal and performance facilities arts are absent. The school climate however is claim, friendly, and optimistic. The crowded halls do not lead to hard feelings. Fist fights are unknown. Although we continue to seek to upgrade our physical facilities through out the district and through our partnerships, we realize that excellence comes not from the physical plant but from our individual attitudes and endeavors.

Once admitted to Whitney, students become part of the Whitney family. The seniors have a mentoring program designed to provide whatever is missing for the younger at-risk students. Teachers have an adopt-a-student program and there is a volunteer big brother/sister program to help the youngest adjust. There is also a free tutoring program offered by Whitney's chapter of the California Scholarship Federation (CSF) and an Academic Leadership Program to offer an after school tutoring program staffed with paid student tutors, a faculty supervisor and a late bus.

Whitney has a history of siblings attending the school as well as tradition of alumni returning to teach. Many teachers have enrolled their own students in the school. Students, parents, community members and faculty are all made to feel wanted, accepted, valued, and loved at this school.