Just how big is Eureka High?

We are frequently asked, “Just how big is Eureka High School?” Today, Eureka High School (EHS) has 1,100 students, and it is not much bigger than Arcata High School or Fortuna High School who each have about 800 students. Looking back, EHS once had nearly 2,500 students, within only grades 10 through 12. However, our community has changed. What does this mean for the programs offered and recognition received at EHS?

EHS has the largest variety of Career and Technical Education (CTE) courses on the North Coast with pathways in agriculture, building and construction, business and finance, computer technology, engineering and architecture, culinary arts, and automotive. EHS also boasts the largest Future Farmers of America (FFA) program in the area, with three full-time Ag teachers and 365 FFA members.

A stellar modern language program at EHS, offering Spanish, German and Yurok, has afforded students the opportunity to earn the State Seal of Biliteracy. In fact, students at EHS have earned more than double the number of State Seals of Biliteracy compared to any other high school in the area. EHS is also the most ethnically diverse high school in Humboldt County and has an active Multicultural Club and dance groups.

The Eureka Academy for Service learning using Technology (EAST), a nationally recognized service learning project-based program, has been active at EHS for 16 years. EAST organizes a variety of events for our schools and the community including the Autism Walk, Blood Drives and the ABC Project, which stands for A Better Christmas, benefiting homeless students.

Freshman Seminar, added in 2015, is a relatively new program at EHS. This is a yearlong course supporting ninth grade students in their transitions to high school by introducing and reinforcing skills necessary for success within a rigorous curriculum. Students regularly practice critical reading and writing skills, academic vocabulary, study skills, goal setting, and questioning techniques. This seminar also includes the Prevention Project, which educates students on human trafficking. The Prevention Project at EHS has attracted national attention and will be featured on the CNN Freedom Project in June.

EHS is a nationally recognized Advanced Via Individual Determination (AVID) School of Distinction and is applying to become a National Demonstration School. The AVID elective focuses on getting students ready for success in high school and rigorously prepares students for entry into a four-year college. EHS infuses AVID strategies school-wide and focuses on leadership, instruction and culture. In academics, EHS has a large offering of Advanced Placement, honors and dual enrolled college courses with one of the largest numbers of students on the North Coast moving onto four-year universities after high school. The dual enrollment partnership with College of the Redwoods also promotes the college-bound environment at EHS. Dual enrollment gives college credit for classes taken in high school. College credit is granted for CTE courses in agriculture and woodshop, as well as academic courses in English, science and math.

EHS offers many different types of classes and electives to students. EHS has a Pep Band, the Limited Edition group, choir, jazz ensemble, orchestra, symphonic band, guitar classes, pottery, jewelry making, drawing, painting, digital photography and a variety of sports and athletics.

EHS is a truly comprehensive high school. It remains large enough to have a wide breadth of programs but small enough to create a culture where personal connections are forged. This personal touch is reflected in our graduation rates from last year. EHS had the second highest graduation rate in Humboldt County, with a rate of 97.5 percent, closely following Ferndale High School. The high graduation rates at EHS are a testament to the ongoing relationships being built between staff and students. Come and see for yourself all the great options we offer at EHS. Principal Jennifer Johnson welcomes prospective students to contact EHS at 707-441-2508 to schedule a personal tour of EHS.

Fred Van Vleck, Ed.D, is superintendent of Eureka City Schools.

http://www.times-standard.com/opinion/20170518/just-how-big-is-eureka-high