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Aliso Narrative


Enjoying cool breezes from the nearby Pacific Ocean, Aliso Niguel High School (ANHS) is nestled near a creek bed in the city of Aliso Viejo, California.   Named for the two main cities it serves (Aliso Viejo and Laguna Niguel), it opened its doors in the fall of 1993.  Originally built to house 1,400 students, ANHS has grown over the last 20 years to hold more than 3,000.  In that time, ANHS has gained recognition as a California Distinguished School, a New American High School, and a National Blue Ribbon School.  


Academic Excellence

ANHS prides itself on a commitment to academic excellence.  On any given day, a typical Wolverine student might begin the morning conducting on-line research in the library’s Media Center, spend mid-day attending tutorial for extra help with math, and finish the afternoon integrating historical facts with related literature in a cross-curricular Humanitas (English and social science) program.  Spurred by the academic talents and ambitions of their fellow students, over half the ANHS seniors regularly take the SAT, last year scoring well over state and national averages with a combined score of 1644.  ANHS teachers have added steadily to the number of AP courses available, now offering a total of eighteen.  Additionally, AP course enrollment has steadily increased, while the combined pass rate has remained at an impressive 82%.  ANHS students consistently pass the California High School Exit Exam at rates above 95%.  The California Standards Test is given annually to over 95% of ANHS students in grades 9-11 (providing norm referenced data in reading, language, mathematics, science and social studies), while demonstrating that Wolverine students consistently score higher than their district, state, and national counterparts.


Co-Curricular Experiences

However, such impressive test scores and quantitative data tell only half the story. Through an academic and co-curricular culture that seeks to incorporate every student, the real proof of success lies in the nearly school wide perception that "there is something for everyone" at ANHS. This core value is best exemplified by the numerous clubs and co-curricular activities offered on our campus.  We are especially proud of the number of “service-oriented” clubs; some raise funds (such as Peace by Peace which sends money to African school children) and others offer time to help others (like National Honor Society which offers free peer tutoring).  The spirit of full inclusion is encouraged here as demonstrated by our annual events like Club Rush and our Multi-Cultural Fair.  At ANHS, a special-needs student, an AP scholar and a "typical student in the middle" can be seen working together whether it is raising funds for a local charity, performing a Dance Appreciation routine, or competing in a football game.  


Educational Culture

The ANHS Professional Learning Community continues to strive for improvement by responding to input collected from stakeholder surveys, small group meetings, and community feedback forums. In response to the information gathered, the Aliso Way focuses on three critical areas: teaching practices (aligning district power standards, encouraging project oriented/hands-on activities), assessment methods (comprehensive rubrics, standardized testing strategies, common assessments) and logistical structures (block schedule, tutorial period, collaborative meetings).  As a result of this commitment to a culture of personal enrichment, ANHS allows students many opportunities for a cohesive learning experience.  



Each spring as the academic year comes to a close, the ANHS mission is finally realized. Looking out across campus, one can see the sun slowly set over the coastal hills as the lights in the football stadium begin to glow. Seniors gather in an adjacent field as they prepare to take their final graduation walk while the band enthusiastically warms-up for the traditional march. The graduates brim with hope for the future and with fond memories of the past.   Perhaps they are preoccupied by reminiscences of the warm welcome of the Link Crew during freshman year, or the many special teachers who made a difference, or the life-long friends made during the journey.   Perhaps they sense the transformation, at once subtle and profound, which now forms their nature, their character, their identity.  All involved in the Aliso Way rejoice, for the opportunities to soar, for the commencement into hope, for the future of our graduates.

Non-Discrimination Statement

The Capistrano Unified School District prohibits discrimination, harassment, intimidation, and bullying in all district activities, programs, and employment based upon actual or perceived gender, gender identity, gender expression, race, ethnicity, color, religion, ancestry, nationality, national origin, ethnic group identification, sex, sexual orientation, marital or parental status, pregnancy, age, physical or mental disability or on the basis of a person’s association with a person or group with one or more of these actual or perceived characteristics. Reference: AR 1312.3, BP 1312.3 and BP 5183.

Rich Montgomery, Executive Director, Human Resource Services/Compliance
33122 Valle Road, San Juan Capistrano, CA 92675
(949) 234-9200

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