Ravenswood High School opened in 1958 serving 629 students. The student population
consisted of Whites, African Americans/Blacks, Hispanics, Japanese, Filipino
and Sam oan,
as reflection of its current community population.
The city of
East Palo Alto's population was 25,000.00. Located four-five miles from
Palo Alto High School, which is adjacent Stanford University. Palo Alto high
is within the Palo Alto High School District. Although Ravenswood was closer
to Palo Alto than Sequoia it was within the Sequoia school district. Where
its closest district neighbor was located 10-15 miles away in the cities of
Belmont, Redwood City, San Carlos, and Woodside.
During 1963 the enrollment improved to 1,205. Many of the white families were
moving out of East Palo Alto in large numbers. School officials were concerned
about the effects of "residential segregation" on Ravenswood. By
1964 the school enrollment increased to 1,285. The African American/Black
student population rose 60 percent.
Almost a decade after the Supreme Courts decision in Brown Vs. Board of Education
Ravenswood' African American/Black majority population gained the attention
of the Congress
of Racial Equality (CORE) and the National
Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). Both organizations
expressed concerns that Ravenswood's population was becoming all African American/Black.
In 1970 the schools enrollment dropped to 781 and its student population was
64 percent African American/Black student. By fall of 1971 educators sought
to make Ravenswood a model school in order diversify the student population.
The Sequoia Union High School District decided to desegregate the school's
environment through a voluntary interschool-busing program. The object was
to create a "new Ravenswood" by giving students the choice to attend
Ravenswood. Many Japanese, Filipino, and Samoan students chose to transfer
out of Ravenswood when offered the opportunity.
In 1971 high school integration was a factor for Ravenswood. Educators developed
a plan to integrate students from the various surrounding communities into
Ravenswood. Residents of E. Palo Alto were bused to school within the Sequoia
Union school district.
Ravenswood became more diverse in its student population. Students were bused
in from the cities of Portola Valley, Belmont, Woodside, and San Carlos. Teachers
were also recruited from other high schools within the district. The school
board also voted to implement an experimental curriculum.
In addition to the traditional courses, additional courses were offered during
a short period of time, mini-cycle. Mini-cycle courses were 3-6 weeks courses
long. During mini-cycle the students were able to enroll in non-traditional
courses such as Scuba diving, Pottery, Mountaineering, Golf, Photography and
a sundry of other courses. Remember was still the time of "free love"
and "hanging loose" a time when people became aware of the nature
and their birth signs.
The school was under-reconstruction many changes were made. Even the Counseling
assignments procedures were also changed. Students where assigned to counselors
by their astrology signs. Academic advisors were assigned utilizing the twelve
astrology signs. Students were assigned to a "house" with an academic
advisor born under the same astrological sign.
Many of the experimental policies were incorporated into the school normal
actives. The Drama department still put on plays. As well as the Athletic
department participating in the traditional sporting events, and the school
still had a Spirit board with a Trojan mascot with a marching band.
During the lunch hour students typically had the freedom to leave the campus.
Students frequent the nearby establishments such as t Dairy Belle, Day and
Night restaurant. The Barbecue. The nearest McDonalds was Redwood City. The
school did not provide a hot lunch program. Occasionally Various student organization
sold food at the concession stand. Just like any typical high school on Friday
or Saturday nights after an Athletic events the students gathered for Pizza
at the local Round Table parlor.
The educators were successful with their mission student's district school
volunteered to attend Ravenswood. In the beginning there was some racial tension,
but administrator worked hard to work out the individual incidents. In 1972
enrollment declined to 956 and continued descend through 1974 when enrollment
reached a low of 823. In the following year of 1975 the Recruiting became
difficult fewer students knew popular teaching and less students wanted to
transfer into Ravenswood. In addition to the enrollment issue there was yet
a bigger issue, funding.
In 1976 the school board decided to close to school to ease its financial
burden. The board sited Ravenswood's depleted enrollment, the negative image
of East Palo Alto, cost savings and a district wide desegregation. Ravenswood
was the first school to go. San Carlos High School was also closed. Children
of East Palo Alto would become victims of one-way busing.
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