LearnBoost welcomes Aliso Niguel High
Aliso Niguel High School (ANHS) is a high school located in the city of Aliso Viejo, California. Most of its students reside in the communities of Aliso Viejo and Laguna Niguel. The school is a California Distinguished School, a National Blue Ribbon School, and a New American High School. Aliso Niguel was ranked as number 683 in Newsweek's 2008 list of the top 1,300 high schools in the nation, falling within the top 5% of high schools nationwide.
Opening its doors in 1993 with a student body of 1600, ANHS became the fourth high school in the Capistrano Unified School District. With the implementation of Digital High School grant in 2000, Aliso Niguel High School invested over $1 million in new technology and related instruction. Additionally, all teachers have e-mail addresses and web sites for swift communication with parents. Organized parent involvement takes the form of an active PTSA and a wide range of parent booster organizations.
In 1996, Aliso Niguel was selected as a California Distinguished School, the youngest school ever to be recognized as such by the State Department of Education. In 2000, Aliso Niguel High School received national recognition as a Blue Ribbon School and New American High School. In 2004, The Western Association of Schools and Colleges granted Aliso Niguel a six-year term of accreditation.
Although the high school started small (with about 1,400 students) in their first year, the high school grew rapidly over the years, and it still continues to grow to this present day. Currently, the school has 26 portable classrooms in its southern parking lot adding to 22,080 square feet (2,051 m2), and 100 permanent classrooms. The permanent buildings are 200,000 square feet (19,000 m2) forming a grand total of 222,080 square feet (7.4 m2) on the campus, making Aliso the largest school in the district. Aliso Niguel's campus consists of hallways numbered 100-1000.
The 100 hallway (located at the front of school) has History, Foreign Language, and Language Arts classrooms. The 200 hallway is the location of Foreign Language classrooms. The 300 hallway has Language Arts classrooms and the 400 hallway has Language Arts and History rooms. The 500 hallway is used for the Math Department. The 600 hallway is used for English, Math, and History classes. The 700 hallway has science classes and the 800 hallway has technology classrooms. The 900 hallway holds science and elective classrooms and the 1000 hallway has Fine/Practical Arts rooms . In addition, there is a main gym, and a smaller auxiliary gym used for sporting events and various school activities. There is an administrative building located at the front of the campus as well as a guidance center, culinary arts facility, school library, and an Auto Mechanic facility (located in the 900 building). 26 portables have also been built to handle overcrowding. In terms of athletic facilities, Aliso has a swimming pool, soccer fields, six tennis courts, two gyms, baseball/softball fields, and a turf football field and track in the stadium.
Aliso Niguel offers Advanced Placement Program (AP) classes in AP Biology, AP Calculus AB, AP Calculus BC, AP Chemistry, AP Computer Science, AP English Language and Composition, AP English Literature and Composition, AP European History, AP French Language, AP Studio Art, AP Physics B, AP Physics C: Mechanics, AP Physics C: Electricity and Magnetism, AP Psychology, AP Spanish Language, AP Spanish Literature, AP United States Government and Politics and AP United States History. The only current honors course at Aliso Niguel is Honors Precalculus.
The exam consists of Algebra 1 and materials covered in English II or English II Accelerated classes.
2005 Results:After taking the CAHSEE, Aliso Niguel scored within the top 90% of all schools in the state that serve 9-12th grades. 90% of all students that took the English Language Arts passed. 91% passed in the Math section.
For the student graduation years of 2008 and beyond, there is a minimum level that is needed to be fulfilled in order to allow the student to graduate. The requirements are as follows: 40 credits (4 years) of college preparatory English, 20 credits (2 years) of Mathematics, 20 credits of Science (10 credits biological, 10 credits physical), 30 credits (3 years) Social Science, 10 credits (1 year) of Fine Arts electives, 20 credits of Physical Education electives (1 semester must be taken in freshmen year), 5 credits (1 semester) of Health. For individuals who did not score "normal grade level" (a RIT score of 228 or above) on their 8th grade Standardized Spring CORE Reading Test, they must take Reading Improvement (5 credits) or Reading Workshop (10 credits), depending on their RIT score, in their 9th grade year in high school.
For the Class of 2007 and previous classes, students were required to fulfill the graduation requirements above and take the Career Education and Computer Applications (C.E.C.A.) course in order for the student to graduate, but the requirement was waved for the class of 2008 to 2011. However, it was reinstated as a requirement for the classes of 2012 and beyond under a new name; College and Career Prep (CCP) In addition, all students must pass the California High School Exit Exam beginning in their sophomore (10th grade) year in order to graduate.
Aliso Niguel's sports teams are known as the Wolverines. Most of them compete in the South Coast League, in the highest divisions of the California Interscholastic Federation's Southern Section. From 1998 to 2005, they were members of the Sea View League. Before that, the Pacific Coast League. The high school's football & track stadium was upgraded with artificial turf football and a 9-lane all-weather track in late 2006.
The Wolverines boys team won the Southern Section I-A title in 2005.
One of Aliso Niguel's relentless sport is its Men's cross country team - which competes in theFall sports and almost always finishes league each season with more progress than its last. Competing in the South Coast League, which is arguably one of the most competitive leagues in Southern California; Aliso has been “Keeping its pace.” Aliso's cross country program has been relatively successful in its past few years, most notably under the coaching program of John Walsh. In recent years, the team has produced several outstanding athletes and teams. The Cross country running cross country team is directed by John Walsh, a cross country coach and a biology teacher/two-time ironman finisher. The team competes in races that consists of three miles, and have made it to CIF prelims in 2006, 2007, 2008, and 2009. Aliso Niguel High School is currently in the top 10 of Orange County and is ranked 2nd in the South Coast League with 9 wins and only one loss to the State Champion team Dana Hills High School. This team is looking very promising to win a League Title. Their abundant seniors ranked number 1 in numerous invitational’s and in League led by Sean Thompson may take their team to new heights. Let's give it up for Coach Walsh for bringing this team from the slums to a very competitive team representing Aliso Niguel High. This years tenative varsity roster consists of: Tanner Collins, Ross Williams, Comi Ganji, Justin MacMillan, and Tareq Alwafei
Aliso Girls Cross Country team is led by Madame Hornacek who teaches French and Stacy Middlebrook who teaches American Government. The 2008 season featured up and coming freshman Danica Wyson who was able to go to the state championships.
In 1996, their third year of existence, the Wolverine football team went 14-0, winning the Pacific Coast League, and then the Southern Section Division VIII championship, defeating Pacifica High School in the title game. In the 2009 season, Aliso went 2-8. After the season their coach Jeff Veeder stepped down as head coach.
The Track and Field team is coached by John Walsh and Stacy Middlebrook and competes in the competitive South Coast Conference, which features perennial powerhouses Mission Viejo and Dana Hills. However, the team continues to produce strong athletes such as 2006 800 state champion Haley Lawrence, who runs for NAU, and 2008 800 state finalist Michael Andraszczyk(2008 sprinter of the year), who runs for BYU. Besides these large school division 1 athletes, Aliso is also represented on many smaller school track teams, such as sprinter Jonathan Kilson(2009 sprinter of the year) who now attends MT.SAC college, jumper Danielle Cox of Concordia, sprinters Nichole Buck, Alexis Deol, Distance runner Jesse Armijo (10k pr of 28:59.96, 2010) and Kirsten Allen of USD, polevaulter Lauren Lask of Westmont, polevaulter Matt Streshinky of CMS, and sprinter Justin Asharin of CUA. In 2010, the Boy's Frosh-Soph Team showed strength in their league, posting a 3-1 record with the only loss coming to Mission High School by single digits.
Aliso's Pep Squad consist of Varsity, Junior Varsity, and Frosh/Soph Song and Cheer Teams and Mascots. All teams support school spirit, cheer at school games, and compete at national levels. All squads (Varsity and Junior Varsity) have won national and international titles. 2005 Season: The Aliso varsity cheer team won the USA first place national title. 2006 Season: The varsity cheer team won second at USA and the JV cheer team won first. In the 2006-2007 season the Varsity cheer team took home first place in every competition except for one in their division (small varsity coed level 5); including the USA national title grand champions. 2007 Season: The varsity cheer team received seven first place victories along with one second place title. Almost undefeated, the team received first at USA Nationals(Small Co-Ed Level 5), and first place on the international level in Hawai. 2008 season: The JV and varsity cheer teams received 1st and 2nd places at all competitions during this season. Both JV and varsity also received 1st place at the National Competition: "King of the Bleachers". The Varsity Song team traveled to Florida for the NDA competition to compete agains teams from all over the US and got 2nd place in the Team Performance division, losing first place by .05 points. "2009 Season":The JV Cheer team won 1st Place at COA Nationals and 5th place out of 15 teams at USA Nationals. "2010 Season": In process
The girl's team won the CIF-SS Division I Championship in 2001 2006 Season: In the season, both the girl's and boy's soccer teams advanced to CIF. The boy's team, ranking first in South Coast League, made it one game farther in the playoffs than the girls team. The boys team then lost 1-0 to Milikan, one of the highest ranked teams in the state. 2007-2008 Season The boys were South Coast League champions, while the girls finished second. The boys team lost in their second game of CIF play. The girls lost, in quadruple overtime, in the semifinals to Long Beach Wilson High School, who went on to be state champions.
The tennis team at Aliso Niguel High School won a first place victory in 1997, the school also reached first place in 1998 and the latest significant finishing for the school was second place in 2000. The school's victories are on the Pacific Coast League.
Aliso Niguel has a volleyball program with Varsity and Junior Varsity teams.
This school hosts a high school wrestling team for all high school grade levels. The team made it to the CIF regional duals. They also had 3 wrestlers make it to the Masters tournament in the 06-07 season. In the 07-08 season, the Wolverines finished in a tie for third in the South Coast League, led by Senior Eric Willens who finished eighth in CIF.
This school hosts a high school swim team for all grade levels. The team is coached by Justin Ferdinand and Ryan Cox. This school hosts a high school water polo team for all grade levels. The team is coached by Justin Ferdinand (boys) and Eric Lynch (girls). The Boy's JV team went 20-1 and 5-0 in League in 2008. The Boys Varsity team placed last, after a hard fought season. The Varsity squad lost each league game by 1 or 2 goals, making it one of the toughest season yet. However, in the recent 2009 season, the varsity team qualified for CIF playoffs and defeated Long Beach Poly in the first round, making it the most accomplished water polo team in the history of the school.
In 2007, the Wolverines founded their co-ed club team. 2008 brought official CIF status and the teams were then divided into the Boys (Varsity & JV) & Lady Lacrosse teams. 2008 boys’ team had 2 members on the county All-Star team, including Bryce Hirschberg, who was at one point the front runner for League Most Valuable Player, and 3 second team nominations.
In 2008 the previously co-ed lacrosse team was divided into a men's team and women's team. In the 2008 season the Ladies Lacrosse team made it to CIF playoffs. For the 2009 season a Junior Varsity team was added, and a Freshmen Sophomore team is planned for 2010.
In the 2009 season, the Wolverine Girls Softball program won the South Coast League and made it to the second round of CIF. This team was coached by Joe Miller, but he was fired.
The high school band consists of instruments in the brass, woodwind, and percussion families: trumpet, trombone, euphonium, tuba, French horn, alto saxophone, tenor saxophone, baritone saxophone, bassoon, clarinet, bass clarinet, oboe, flute, xylophone, bass drum, Timpani, snare drum, and chimes.
Starting in the 2007-2008 school year, the concert band is the starting point in the band program for incoming students. Students may take marching band as a dual enrollment in their schedule for physical education credits needed to graduate high school.
Also starting in the 2007-2008 school year, the symphonic band was created. It is a intermediate level band which performs various pieces of music from many types of backgrounds. Students may take marching band as a dual enrollment in their schedule for physical education credits needed to graduate high school.
The wind ensemble is the most advanced and the highest level class in all of the band classes. Wind ensemble students may also take marching band as a dual enrollment in their schedule for physical education credits needed to graduate high school.
The Aliso Niguel Marching Band is a representative class that rehearses outdoors. As part of the Western Band Association, they perform in four marching competitions and participate in the WBA finals. They also perform in the Laguna Niguel Holiday Parade in the second Saturday in the month of December every year.
In 2008 the marching band took first place in state.
The orchestra performs for many local communities. They have also created a mass performance with the Aliso Niguel band program adding up to a total of at least 200 players combined. Their mass performances are usually held in their large gymnasium. Aliso Niguel's orchestra is currently directed by Albert Jeung.
Two of the choir classes, Men's Ensemble and Women's Ensemble, are open for all students to join. The second most advanced choir is the Bella Cantore, which is an auditioned choir for women. The most advanced choir is Madrigals, the school's chamber choir.
The advanced Madrigals and Bella Cantore choirs were invited to perform in Carnegie Hall in the spring of 2007. They toured New York and also sang in St. Paul's Chapel. Both choirs regularly perform at festivals in nearby universities, including the University of Redlands, Chapman University, the Soka University of America, California State University, Long Beach and UCSB. They perform in four concerts of their own each year and in the choral department's Coffeehouse Cabaret.
The Aliso Niguel Drama Department has grown in the last four years. Recent performances include "The Wingless Butterfly", "Bat Boy the Musical", "Smile the Musical", "The Skin of our Teeth", "The Crucible", "Seussical the Musical", "Rehearsal for Murder", and "Urinetown". The drama department's awards include 3rd place spirit award winners at the fullerton theater festival, several Macy award winners, Cappie award winners and Cappie nominated performances.
In September 2006, the Principal Charles Salter canceled the remainder of all school dances in response to students "freak dancing" and arriving drunk to the first dance of the year. Salter stated that he would bring back dances if, and only if, students and parents could cooperate and develop a solution to "the problem." This story initially received regional attention. The story gained widespread, national attention later that month when the school's annual Homecoming Dance was banned. The dance ban was covered by the BBC, NPR The Morning Show with Mike and Juliet and the national news program Geraldo at Large. The principal later reinstated the dances with explicit rules that were developed by five parents, five students and three school officials. The first dance under the new rules was the Winter Formal of February 2007. These rules include the type of dancing students are allowed to do. Also, in order to attend any school dance, students and their parents must sign a dance contract before buying a ticket. Although students are upset over losing their Homecoming dance, many are relieved that the ban has been lifted and hope that this will not happen again.
In the 2008-2009 school year, Principal Charles Salter announced he would change the immensely popular block schedule in which Mondays have 1-6 periods each lasting 52 minutes on a normal school day, and 40 minutes on a minimum day; Tuesdays and Thursdays have periods 2,4,6 lasting for one hour and forty minutes with a forty minute study period, known as tutorial, and Wednesdays and Fridays having periods 1,3,5 with tutorial thrown in. He would switch it to one that had three Monday schedules a week, and only two block days a week. Many students protested this through a booth at Club Rush, a Facebook group entitled ANHS Student Union, and a petition that garnered 1734 signatures . Teachers were also opposed to this, with only one department head being for the switch. In the end, Principal Salter decided that the schedule would remain the same in the 2009-2010 year provided that the student's keep up their grades and improve on the STAR test, a California standardized test administrated to students from kindergarten to 11th grade (Junior year).
On April 2, 2010, nearly 500 students walked out of their first period class to protest impending teacher pay cuts. At about 7:50 A.M. roughly 400 students had congregated under the large canopy in front of the school. After being ordered numerous times to return to class by a number of high-ranking school officials, the students ignored the order, and marched up the driveway to the one road leading to the school. They overran it, waving signs, and chanting in support for their teachers. After reaching the main intersection of Aliso Creek Road, and Wolverine Way, the students took over the four corners of the intersection and continued waving signs and chanting. Numerous passing drivers showed support by leaning in their horns, or waving out the window. At about 8:30 A.M., Capistrano Unified School District Officials showed up to witness the protest, although school officials followed the mass of students in order to prevent a riot like situation that occurred at nearby Dana Hills High School, several days earlier. For the most part, the protest remained peaceful, albeit loud and energetic. Police were also on hand to make sure nothing got out of hand. At 9:30, students began to march back to the high school, to return to classes, only to find proctors waiting for them, and all classroom doors locked. The students were detained (under the canopy at which the protest started) ,but were later released during passing period. The rest of the school day was allegedly filled with false fire alarms, but nothing more. The protest received immediate coverage from the local newspaper Orange County Register , as well as the local contingent of national new corporation CNN . Capistrano Unified School District even released a response to the incident saying,
"People have emotions, and those emotions sometimes get expressed when you're young in ways that aren't acceptable." "It doesn't surprise me. But we don't want to see our students missing time in class. They're going to college and they're going to be tested, and they need that class time," said school board President Anna Bryson. 
Immediately after the incident, in an article published to The OC Register, school officials promised that students will be disciplined for their actions, saying that "Even Martin Luther King Jr. and Ghandi served the consequences for their civil disobedience."
Some parents allegedly supporting their students actions, saying the walkout may help the district "Wake Up". 
Aliso Niguel's Associated Student Body, often referred to as ASB, is one of the longest-running, school-funded organizations. This organization is made up of approximately 30 people who have been appointed and elected to their positions to serve the student body as successfully as possible. Within ASB, there are three separate components that work to ensure student government operations, activities, and representation. The Executive Council is made up of the ASB President, Vice President, Treasurer, and Secretary, who preside over the formal business meetings. This council works to complete all of the administrative work including passing disbursements and paid checks, holding monthly Senate meetings, recording minutes, and appointing the different commissioner and class representative positions. The second component of ASB is the Commissioners, who focus their efforts solely upon student life and student activities much as the ASB focus is. The Commissioner positions are: Academic Relations, Activities, Arts, Athletics, Audio, Clubs, Community Relations, Digital Media, Marketing, Pep, Philanthropy, Publicity, Special Events, Staff Relations, and Video. Each specific position is in charge of a series of tasks or events. The final component of the ASB is the Class Council, which consists of the President and Representative of each class (9th, 10th, 11th, & 12th grade). They work to support their class through special events and attend PTSA and Site Council meetings as student representatives.
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