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Bonita High School is a high school located in the city of La Verne, California in the foothills of the San Gabriel Mountains. The majority of its students come from Ramona Middle School, which is also located in La Verne.
The original high school, started upstairs in a building on D Street, soon moved to a large Mission-style building built in 1903 halfway between Lordsburg (the first name of La Verne) and the town of San Dimas. The school was known as Bonita Union High School. When new Earthquake engineering were put in place, the 'old Bonita' was sold to the Catholic Diocese of Los Angeles, which it then converted into Damien High School, a private, all-boys Catholic high school. A new Bonita High School was built at 3102 "D" Street, a 20 years later due to population growth of the two communities of La Verne and San Dimas the school district built San Dimas High School in the late 1960s opening in the fall of 1972.
Bonita has been recently recognized as a California Distinguished School for its excellence in Academics, Athletics, and the Arts, with a CST rating of 828, (the California standard is 1000 with a score of 800 considered excellent). The city of La Verne was recently named on the ten best towns for families by Family Circle magazine and boasts a unique small town feel that extends to the school and its relationship with the community. BHS prides itself on offering outstanding programs in academics, athletics and the arts, as well as extra-curricular activities that allow students to be well prepared for life after high school.
Bonita High has achieved high levels of academic excellence. This past year over 400 students took one or more Advanced Placement exams with a total of 880 exams taken. There have been several additions to the AP program recently including AP Music Theory and AP Biology. The school has seen its Academic Performance Index grow over the past three years to a height of 838 in 2009-2010. When compared to all schools in California, Bonita is ranked a nine of a possible ten and when compared to schools of similar demographics we have scored a perfect ten for the past two years. In addition, BHS has a wide variety of art and elective courses including, auto shop, jewelry, cosmetology, computers and video game design to allow students to explore a wide range of artistic and vocational pursuits. Academic achievement is recognized by active student participation in the California Scholastic Federation and the National Honor Society.
In athletics, Bonita High has been impressive whether on the field, the court or in the pool. Last school year, BHS qualified for CIF playoff competition in 19 of the 21 sports and was CIF Finalists in Baseball and Girl’s Volleyball. The Bearcats won an impressive 10 Miramonte League titles throughout the year and will continue to perform at a high level as we move into the newly formed Hacienda League. BHS’ goal is to be competitive in all sports and seek to develop student athletes who are successful both in the classroom and on the court.
Finally, Bonita High has high quality extra-curricular programs designed to give students a well-rounded high school experience. Students can be a part of the many clubs on campus including Interact, Key Club, French Club, and Fashionista Club. Students gain valuable leadership experience through student government and class councils and develop mentorship experience through participating in our Link Crew. Students can also be a part of our award winning music and drama programs. This past year the BHS choirs received national recognition at the Heritage Festival of Gold in Chicago, and our bands, drumline and colorguard continued their string of impressive field shows and live performances.
In 1999 The Bonita Bearcats won the CIF-SS Div IX title going 14-0 that season. Once a year, Bonita plays a football game against its rival in the district, San Dimas High. This is a huge rivalry game, dubbed the "Smudgepot Bowl" which thousands of alumni and community members attend. The winning team takes home a chrome-plated smudge pot as symbol of the area's heritage, smudgepots where used for Orange grove heating when La Verne was known as "Heart of the Orange Empire." San Dimas High School currently leads the series 21-16-1.
Bonita High School currently offers sixteen Advanced Placement courses.