Henry M. Gunn High School

Henry M. Gunn High School serves 1,854 students in grades 9-12.
The student:teacher ratio of 18:1 is lower than the CA average of 22:1.
Minority enrollment is 57% of the student body (majority Asian), which is less than the state average of 74%.
Henry M. Gunn High School operates within the Palo Alto Unified School District.

Overview

The student population of 1854 students has stayed relatively flat over five years.
Grades Offered Grades 9-12
Total Students 1,854 students
Henry M. Gunn High School Total Students (1987-2012)
Gender % 48% Male / 52%Female
Total Classroom Teachers 104 teachers
Henry M. Gunn High School Total Classroom Teachers (1987-2012)
Students by Grade Henry M. Gunn High School Students by Grade

School Comparison

The student:teacher ratio of 18:1 has decreased from : over five years.
The school's diversity score of 0.65 is more than the state average of 0.64. The school's diversity has stayed relatively flat over five years.
This School (CA) School Average
Student : Teacher Ratio 18:1 22:1
Henry M. Gunn High School Student : Teacher Ratio (1987-2012)
American Indian
n/a
1%
Asian
40%
11%
Henry M. Gunn High School Asian (1988-2012)
Hispanic
8%
52%
Henry M. Gunn High School Hispanic (1988-2012)
Black
1%
7%
Henry M. Gunn High School Black (1988-2012)
White
43%
26%
Henry M. Gunn High School White (1988-2012)
All Ethnic Groups Henry M. Gunn High School Sch Ethnicity Henry M. Gunn High School Sta Ethnicity
Diversity Score
The chance that two students selected at random would be members of a different ethnic group. Scored from 0 to 1, a diversity score closer to 1 indicates a more diverse student body.
0.65 0.64
Henry M. Gunn High School Diversity Score (1988-2012)
Eligible for Free Lunch
Families meeting income eligibility guidelines may qualify for free and reduced price meals or free milk. These guidelines are used by schools, institutions, and facilities participating in the National School Lunch Program (and Commodity School Program), School Breakfast Program, Special Milk Program for Children, Child and Adult Care Food Program and Summer Food Service Program.
n/a
10%
Henry M. Gunn High School Eligible for Free Lunch (1993-2011)
Eligible for Reduced
Lunch
Families meeting income eligibility guidelines may qualify for free and reduced price meals or free milk. These guidelines are used by schools, institutions, and facilities participating in the National School Lunch Program (and Commodity School Program), School Breakfast Program, Special Milk Program for Children, Child and Adult Care Food Program and Summer Food Service Program.
n/a
n/a
Henry M. Gunn High School Eligible for Reduced Lunch (1999-2011)

District Comparison

The district's student population of 12,740 students has grown by 2775% over five years.
School District Name Palo Alto Unified School District
Number of Schools
Managed
19
4
Number of Students Managed 12,740 1,577
Palo Alto Unified School District Number of Students Managed (1987-2012)
Graduation Rate n/a n/a
Palo Alto Unified School District Graduation Rate (2003-2008)
District Total Revenue $177 MM $19 MM
Palo Alto Unified School District Total Revenue (1990-2009)
District Spending $186 MM $18 MM
Palo Alto Unified School District Spending (1990-2009)
District Revenue / Student $400,065 $11,099
Palo Alto Unified School District Revenue / Student (1990-2009)
District Spending / Student $419,901 $10,975
Palo Alto Unified School District Spending / Student (1990-2009)
School Statewide Testing View Education Department Test Scores
Source: 2012 (latest year available) NCES, CA Dept. of Education

School Notes:

  • Gunn High School is one of two public high schools in Palo Alto, California. The school is named after Henry M. Gunn (1898-1988), who served as the Palo Alto superintendent from 1950-1961. During his tenure he saw the Palo Alto Unified School District. He also oversaw the expansion of 17 new schools, and is credited with the establishment of De Anza College and Silent Foothill College, two local community colleges. In 1964, the Palo Alto Unified School District announced it would name its third high school after him. The first graduating class was the Class of 1966. The school is also home to the Spangenberg Theatre.
  • The mascot of the school is Timmy the Titan. The student newspaper is The Oracle, part of the High School National Ad Network.
  • Academic reputation: Gunn High School is well known for achieving outstanding academic results. It is listed as the 2nd best public school in California based on the 2006 Academic Performance Index. Newsweek ranked Gunn 53rd in the United States in 2003, 70th out of America's top 1,000 high schools in 2005, and 79th out of 1,200 in 2006. The average SAT score for Gunn seniors hovers around 1250-1300 on the former 1600 scale (1267 in 2003, 1249 in 2004, 1291 in 2005). Education in mathematics and computer science is particularly strong. In 2004, 5 students qualified for the USAMO out of around 250 nationally, and during the 2004-2005 school year 5 out of the approximately 35 American students in the Gold Division of the USACO were from Gunn.
  • Senior Pranks: On June 8, 1994, an incorrectly concocted smoke bomb designed by three students destroyed a fountain on the high school quad and spewed molten sugar and fertilizer on the quad, injuring 18 students.
  • Previously that year, bricks had been pried out of the surface of the elevated "Quad" (the main courtyard in the school) and replaced with cement, spelling "1994." This prank backfired, as the school administration then took the money needed to replace the bricks from the class of 1994's party fund.
  • In 1992, students, presumably from the senior class, entered the school's library, removed all the books and placed them in stacks in the exterior courtyard area of the Quad. In the same incident, much of the library's furniture was hoisted onto the roof of the building. Some students were amused by the ambitious prank, while school administrators immediately reacted with harsh condemnation. A considerable number of the library books used in the prank were damaged, as a consequence of having been roughly handled. The prank was widely viewed as retribution by the senior class for the cancellation of an annual skit show called "Senior Frolics."
  • In 1988 some students hijacked the school's public address system and for a period of a few hours broadcast various humorous recordings and rock music. School administrators were initially unable to turn off the recordings and many classes were disrupted. Some teachers went as far to rip the wires out of the speakers in their classroom, leaving a number of classrooms that, for years afterward, were unable to hear morning announcements. Many teachers just took their students outside and had their students do independent study on the grass. The prank was picked up by local news and became a minor news item. This prank was repeated near the end of the 2002-2003 school year.
  • At some point in the late 1980s, pranksters filled the enclosed "Batcave" area with water and stole a number of carp from a local hotel. The carp were then placed in the flooded Batcave. Perhaps unanticipated by the pranksters, the carp then died en masse, creating a rather fearsome stench.
  • Issues: With one vehicle entrance to the main parking lot and drop off areas, Gunn has always had a traffic problem. To curb traffic, the administration raised student parking permit costs to $150 for single drivers and $100 for carpools. The price hike has encouraged some students to pursue alternative modes of transportation. Gunn has set up the Pedal-for-Prizes program, which rewards bikers with gifts and chances at larger prizes, like biking gear. The revenue subsidizes student bus passes.
  • In 2005, Gunn's award-winning Gunn Robotics Team withdrew from regional competitions due to internal problems. Two students filed restraining orders against two other students during the six-week build period; as a result, the program was shut down. The 05-06 GRT team was reformed and is again active in the FIRST Robotics Competition.
  • A film series operating at Gunn High School's Spangenberg Theatre was closed in early 2006 after the volunteers operating the theater came into conflict with school administration.
  • Notable alumni: Notable alumni of Gunn High School include: Zoe Lofgren, Class of 1966 — elected 5 times to the United States House of Representatives.
  • Geoff Mulligan, Class of 1975 — author of "Removing the SPAM" (Addison-Wesley, 1999).
  • Stanley Jordan, Class of 1977 — Jazz guitarist.
  • George Packer, Class of 1978 – journalist and author.
  • Stephan Jenkins, Class of 1983 — lead singer of Third Eye Blind.
  • Rick Porras, Class of 1984 — co-Producer on The Lord of the Rings film trilogy.
  • Shemar Moore, Class of 1988 — actor, formerly of the NBC soap opera The Young and the Restless.
  • Brian Martin, Class of 1992 — 2-time Olympic medalist in doubles luge (1998: Bronze, 2002: Silver).
  • Jessica Yu — director of Oscar-winning short documentary Breathing Lessons: The Life and Work of Mark O'Brien.
  • Jonathan Richard Cannon — Major League Baseball player.
  • Rebecca Agiewich, Class of 1986 — author of the novel BreakupBabe (Ballantine Books, May 2006).
  • Linda Dominguez, Class of 1968 — author of "How to Shine at Work" (McGraw-Hill, 2003) and "The Manager's Step-by-Step Guide to Outsourcing" (McGraw-Hill, 2005).
  • The host of Stanford Chinese School, the only major chinese school in the area that teaches Simplified Chinese.
  • Hosts many talent shows and stage performances from nearby schools in Palo Alto, Mountain View, and Los Altos.
  • Source: Wikipedia; it is used under the GNU Free Documentation License. You may redistribute it, verbatim or modified, providing that you comply with the terms of the GFDL

Nearby Schools:

The nearest high school is Los Altos High School (1.6 miles away).
The nearest middle school is Terman Middle School (0.4 miles away)
The nearest elementary school is Juana Briones Elementary School (0.6 miles away)
 All Schools  |High Schools High Schools  |Middle Schools Middle Schools  |Elementary Elementary  |Pre-K Pre-K  |Private Schools Private Schools 
Show me:
  • School Location Miles Students Grades
  • Palo Alto Terman Middle School
    655 Arastradero Rd
    Palo Alto , CA , 94306
    (650)856-9810
    0.4  mi  |  662  students  |  Gr.  6-8
  • Palo Alto Juana Briones Elementary School
    4100 Orme St
    Palo Alto , CA , 94306
    (650)856-0877
    0.6  mi  |  416  students  |  Gr.  KG-5
  • Los Altos Santa Rita Elementary School
    700 Los Altos Ave
    Los Altos , CA , 94022
    (650)559-1600
    0.7  mi  |  537  students  |  Gr.  KG-6
  • Los Altos Bullis Charter
    Charter School
    102 West Portola Ave
    Los Altos , CA , 94022
    (650)947-4939
    Charter School
    0.9  mi  |  465  students  |  Gr.  KG-8
  • Los Altos Ardis G. Egan Junior High School
    100 West Portola Ave
    Los Altos , CA , 94022
    (650)917-2200
    0.9  mi  |  556  students  |  Gr.  7-8

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