Francis Joseph Reitz High School
- Francis Joseph Reitz High School's student population of 1,335 students has stayed relatively flat over five school years.
- The teacher population of 133 teachers has stayed relatively flat over five school years.
|Grades Offered||Grades 9-12|
|Total Students||1,335 students|
|Total Classroom Teachers||133 teachers|
|Students by Grade|
- Francis Joseph Reitz High School is ranked within the bottom 50% of all 1,769 schools in Indiana (based off of combined Math and Reading proficiency testing data) for the 2016-17 school year.
- The school's student:teacher ratio of 10:1 has stayed the same over five school years.
|Definition of Terms 2017-2018 School Year Data||This School||State Level (IN)|
|Overall School Rank (16-17)||#1386 out of 1769 schools|
|Math Test Scores (% Proficient)|
|Reading / Language Arts Test Scores (% Proficient)|
|Student : Teacher Ratio||10:1||17:1|
|Two or more races|
|All Ethnic Groups|
|Eligible for Free Lunch|
|Eligible for Reduced Lunch|
|School Statewide Testing||View Education Department Test Scores|
|School District Name||Evansville Vanderburgh School Corp School District|
- Francis Joseph Reitz High School is a historic public high school on the west side of Evansville, Indiana. It was founded in 1918, and is the second oldest high school still in use today in the city. It is a member of the Evansville Vanderburgh School Corporation.
- History: The idea for a school on the west side of Evansville came from the Centennial Club, led by Mrs. C.F. Werner, who fought a genteel, but determined battle with the reluctant school board. The ladies said the Evansville High School (old Central) was too far away to be financially practical for many west side families. After four years of crusading, the Centennial Club won.
- The school board had planned to call the school West Side High School. That was before the board discovered a lack of funds and Francis Joseph Reitz agreed to finance the building of the school. A grateful school board immediately voted that this new hall of learning (which incidentally cost $223,844.00) should be named after Mr. Reitz. Thus Francis Joseph Reitz High School became the first high school on the west side and the second in Evansville.
- At first Reitz was intended to be a Junior High School, including only seventh, eighth, and ninth grades, but as the student body grew older, the curriculum was geared to fit the needs of older students. Reitz graduated its first seniors in 1921.
- In September 1918 a two-story and basement building of brick and stone classic design was open. In 1921, the first year in which Reitz High School was fully accredited by North Central Association, the 10,000-seat Reitz Bowl was completed. In 1926, a four-story classroom building was added to the west end of the building. In 1956, an addition of a new office wing, nurse's suite, counselors' offices, home economics kitchen, dining rooms, sewing rooms, print shop, band and choir rooms, library, and study hall was added. In 1957, a five-story classroom wing, a second gym, seating more than 3,000, department offices, teachers' lounges, industrial shops, a new auditorium, a new cafeteria, and new restrooms were added. In 1973, a new greenhouse was completed. In 1977, a driving range on Barker Avenue was added to accommodate the Driver's Education Department. The Evansville-Vanderburgh School Corporation owns the land on which the range is located.
- The school evolved into a hodgepodge of corridors, floors, and rooms from additions over the years, yet Reitz was still the smallest high school in the area and had the smallest cafeteria. Finally the school board opted for renovation and after more than $26 million, Reitz celebrated its 80th anniversary in 1998 with a whole new look that makes it the largest and most advanced high school structure in Evansville.
- History on Reitz Home Museum: Francis Joseph Reitz was the eldest son of John Augustus Reitz, who had already made his fortune in lumber by the mid 1850's. After the death of FJ Reitz, the Catholic Diocese of Evansville was the owner of the home. It was the home of the first Bishop of Evansville. After discovering that the home was for sale the Reitz Home Preservation Society was formed and struck an agreement with the Catholic Diocese to take possession of the home in order to preserve its historical value. It was restored to its original state when owned by the Reitz family and turned into the Reitz Home Museum.
- School colors: Reitz's original school colors were orange and purple, but those were given to Lincoln High School during the first half of the century. After they gave away their colors they picked blue and gray, as Reitz sits on the Mason-Dixon Line, and blue and gray were the colors of the North and South during the Civil War.
- The Reitz Bowl: The Reitz Bowl, one of the great natural stadiums in the nation, was born by accident. It was originally planned as a retaining wall for the new F. J. Reitz High School. Foresight by a school member noted that with some small changes a football stadium could be made too. In 1921, the first year in which Reitz High School was fully accredited by North Central Association, the 10,000-seat Reitz Stadium was completed. The first two years was a reserve schedule and then in 1921 Reitz began varsity play.The Reitz Bowl, one of the great natural stadiums in the nation, was born by accident. It was originally planned as a retaining wall for the new F. J. Reitz High School. Foresight by a school member noted that with some small changes a football stadium could be made too. In 1921, the first year in which Reitz High School was fully accredited by North Central Association, the 10,000-seat Reitz Stadium was completed. The first two years was a reserve schedule and then in 1921 Reitz began varsity play.
- In 1931, Reitz played its first night game. Also in 1931, Reitz played Bosse an extra game for charity on December 4th. This was during the great depression. 1959 was the last Thanksgiving Day game in the State of Indiana, Reitz against Bosse. 1973 saw the new all transistor scoreboard go into effect. It was, as all past Reitz scoreboards, a gift of the West Side Nut Club. In 1974 Prescription Athletic Turf (PAT) was introduced to the Reitz Bowl. PAT is a method of draining and irrigation from pipes laid beneath the playing surface. What occurs during this process is the drainage of any excess water by a vacuum system when the field is flooded by rain, and irrigating water to the surface of the field when it is too dry.
- Along with PAT came the renovation of the bowl seating, walkways, and stairs. A new all weather track was added too. In 1976 all metal permanent type bleachers become a reality. Play Clocks were introduced to the Bowl in 1995, and 2003 saw a brand new sound system that rivals those in the Big Ten Conference.
- In addition to being the home site for Panthers football games, home site for nearby Catholic High School Mater Dei Wildcats football games, the Bowl also hosts the annual Drums on the Ohio drum & bugle corps competition.
- Famous alumni and faculty: Herman Byers, legendary football coach.
- Don Hanson, NFL player.
- Rudy Charles, Total Nonstop Action Wrestling senior referee.
- Matt Williams, producer of The Cosby Show, Home Improvement, and Roseanne.
Nearby Public Schools
- School Location Miles Grades Students
- Evansville Tekoppel Elementary School Grades: K-5 | 492 students
111 N Tekoppel Ave
Evansville, IN 47712
(812)435-8333 0.8 K-5 492
- Evansville Helfrich Park Stem Academy Grades: 6-8 | 532 students
2603 W Maryland St
Evansville, IN 47712
(812)435-8246 0.9 6-8 532
- Evansville Daniel Wertz Elementary School Grades: PK-5 | 331 students
1702 S Red Bank Rd
Evansville, IN 47712
(812)435-8312 1.6 PK-5 331
- Evansville Signature School Inc Grades: 9-12 | 366 students
610 Main St
Evansville, IN 47708
(812)421-1820 2.0 9-12 366
- Evansville Cedar Hall Community School Grades: PK-8 | 533 students
2100 N Fulton Ave
Evansville, IN 47710
(812)435-8223 2.2 PK-8 533
I have mixed feelings about my time at Reitz. The classes are pretty easy because they're mostly geared towards students who can't pass ISTEP. Class sizes are large- most of my classes have 30+ people in them, besides AP classes. Take AP and dual credit as soon as possible. You can find some of the best teachers in those classes. The environment can be a little toxic at Reitz. There is also a large cheating issue, but this is manageable because the kids who cheat on their homework tend to fail the tests. Karma. I would suggest looking into magnet programs to further supplement your education that is offered by the EVSC.The clubs are pretty good here, and there is a large variety of sports to go to.
- Posted by Student/Alumni - J.
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