LearnBoost welcomes Mission High
Serving grades 9-12, Mission is the oldest high school on its original site in San Francisco; it has been on 18th Street, between Dolores and Church, since 1896. The original campus burned in 1922, and the replacement was completed in two stages, the west wing in 1925 and the main building was dedicated by San Francisco mayor James Rolph on June 12, 1927. Originally, girls and boys had separate courtyards. The boys' is overlooked by the "baby tower", about 100 feet (30 m) high, and the girls' (right) topped by a 127-foot (39 m)-high baroque dome. Mission Creek runs beneath the school.
The school is two blocks from Mission Dolores, from which it gets its name. The current student body is extraordinarily diverse, with Latino and African American students constituting the two largest ethnic groups, although neither group makes up a majority of the student body.
The lobby leads to a theater that has 1,750 folding wooden seats on two levels and a gold leaf ceiling. Grand as any movie palace, it was outfitted with twin 35 mm projectors. Funding never came through for the elaborate pipe organ system it was promised, but the chandeliers have been re-lamped.
Mission High School was founded in 1890, although it was housed in various Mission District locations until 1896. That year, the Board of Education purchased a parcel of land from the Jewish Cemetery Association to construct a permanent school building. The original Mission High School building was completed in 1898 as a three-story brick school designed in the Italian Renaissance Beaux-Arts style. The building withstood the 1906 Earthquake, and became a neighborhood shelter, while Dolores Park, which stands across the street from the school, became a tent city for displaced residents.
In 1922, the original Mission High School was destroyed by fire. The present Mission High School complex was then constructed in a Mediterranean Revival\Baroque Churrigueresque style between 1925 and 1927, during the height of San Francisco’s "Golden Age" of school construction. John Reid, Jr., San Francisco's City Architect, was the designer. The elaborate ornamentation on the school is likely due in part to the visual proximity to the nearby Mission Dolores Basilica, which features towers and ornamentation in the Churrigueresque architectural style.
In 1936, California artist Edith Anne Hamlin was commissioned under the Works Progress Administration’s Federal Art Project to create a series of western-themed murals for the school. Noted artist Maynard Dixon consulted with Hamlin on the murals, and the pair married in 1937. Two murals showing the founding of nearby Mission Dolores still survive, while the third was lost during a 1970s seismic retrofit. The late 1930s also saw the construction of Drew Athletic Field behind the school, in an area that had been occupied by houses fronting on Dorland Street (the street was removed to construct the field).
Mission High School was retrofitted to meet earthquake safety standards starting in 1972. This included the removal of some of the buildings architectural ornamentation, as well as the loss of the WPA Hamlin mural. Students attended Polytechnic High School until their return in 1978. The building continues to function as a public high school and remains an architectural landmark in the Dolores Park area of San Francisco.
The school is currently being remodeled. Also, in the 2007-08 school year, principal Kevin Truitt won SFUSD Principal of the year.
An attractive program at Mission is the Academic Scholars Advancement Program(ASAP). As part of a summer program ASAP sends 150 Mission High School athletes attended 31 programs. They traveled to 22 locations in nine states, and a few ventured as far as Japan, China, and Italy. ASAP helps cover the bill to send these kids to a summer program.
A Partial List of Summer Programs
- A. P. Giannini Middle
- Abraham Lincoln High
- Alamo Elementary
- Alice Fong Yu Elementary
- Alvarado Elementary
- Aptos Middle
- Argonne Elementary
- Bessie Carmichael Elementary
- Bret Harte Elementary
- Brown, Jr., (Willie L.) Elementary
- Bryant Elementary
- New Traditions Elementary
- Mission Education Center
- Miraloma Elementary
- Metropolitan Arts & Technology High
- Martin Luther King Jr. Academic Middle
- Marshall Elementary
- Marina Middle
- Malcolm X Academy
- Life Learning Academy Charter
- Leadership High
- Lawton Alternative Elementary
- Kipp San Francisco Bay Academy
- Kipp Bayview Academy