Balboa High School (San Francisco, California)

Balboa High School (San Francisco, California)

Infobox SFHS
name=Balboa High School

motto="First on the Pacific"
principal=Patricia J. Gray
streetaddress=1000 Cayuga Avenue
city=San Francisco
country=United States
faculty=63Cite web| url=| title=California Department of Education - DataQuest report 2007-2008| accessdate=2008-08-23]
students=1,071 (2007-8)
avg_class_size=26.5Cite web | url= |title = Average Class Size | publisher=Education Data Partnership | accessdate=2008-08-23 ]
colors=color box|orange Orange
color box|blue Blue
website= [ Balboa High School]

Balboa High School, colloquially known as Bal, is an American public high school located near the Excelsior District in the Mission Terrace neighborhood of San Francisco, California.cite web| url=,sch,&nvis=ncor,aer,ent,frn,red,opn,gar,sup,traf,zip,zon,mun,prt,&p=41&t=1&x1=&y1=&label=&city=&zipcode=&thetype=&minsize=0&maxsize=999999999999999&units=&selid=&report=&distance=&s=913&sic=&parcel=&address=&forsale=no&leaserate=&forlease=no&entzone=no&fedrenew=no&geotype=neighborhood&geo=Mission+Terrace&state=pan&cmd=pan&MinX=5999085.131463565&MinY=2090229.6886138343&MaxX=6002237.2717596255&MaxY=2092697.5305546343 | title=San Francisco's SFProspector| accessdate=2007-03-18| publisher=City and County of San Francisco] Balboa serves grades nine through twelve as part of the San Francisco Unified School District (SFUSD).

Balboa is a comprehensive school located in an urban working class district. It educates a greater proportion of the city's disadvantaged and minority students relative to other city high schools. Mirroring conditions in the areas it serves, the school has a history marked by periods of violence, controversy, and low academic performance.

The school motto is "First on the Pacific". The campus is the first and only historic landmark school in the district and the only one operating in the city. Following the dismissal of the entire faculty in 1999, it became the first school in Northern California to embrace and convert its curriculum to the concept of small learning communities. It was the first in California to start a school-based student health clinic. In response to the AIDS pandemic, it was the first school in California to distribute free condoms to students. In the last decade, Balboa has experienced a turnaround and has improved its reputation and academic performance.cite news| last=Knight| first=Heather| url=| title=Reluctant Balboa students now are boosters for their school / A less-favored S.F. high school suits them just fine|accessdate=2006-11-19|date=2004-03-12|work=San Francisco Chronicle| page=B-4] The school achieved placement on Newsweek's "America's Top Public High Schools" list in 2007 and 2008.cite web | url= | title=America's Top Public High Schools (San Francisco) | publisher=Newsweek | accessdate=2008-07-25 ]


Balboa High School is named after 16th century Spanish explorer Vasco Núñez de Balboa. Founded in 1928, campus construction was completed in 1931.

In the spring of 1952, students at Balboa invented a variation on a conga line dance which inspired bandleader and songwriter Ray Anthony to compose an accompanying hit song with the same name, "The Bunny Hop".Cite news|url=,9171,817795,00.html|title=New Pop Records|accessdate=2007-01-20|date=1953-01-26|work=Time Magazine]

In 1986, Balboa converted its metal shop into the first school-based health clinic in California: the Balboa Teen Health Center. The clinic provides basic medical and mental health services. The clinic has improved access and the health habits of a disadvantaged student population that might otherwise have gone without professional health assistance.cite news|url=|title=Linking health and schools|accessdate=2006-11-19|date=2006-03-23|work=San Francisco Chronicle| page=B-8] In an effort to prevent the spread of AIDS, Balboa became the first school in California to distribute free condoms to students in May 1992.cite news| title=Condom Program Starts May 4 S.F.'s Balboa High will make them available with parental consent | work=San Francisco Chronicle |date=1992-04-08] This program and the clinic's other family planning and sexually transmitted disease efforts have featured somewhat controversially in a number of research papers and debates.cite journal | author=Hartigan, JD| title=The disastrous results of condom distribution programs| journal=Couple to Couple League Family Foundations: 1999 Mar-Apr| year=1999| volume=25| issue=5| pmid=12295141| url=| pages=22–23] cite journal | author=Darney, Philip D.; Callegari, Lisa S.; Swift, Allison; Atkinson, Elizabeth S.; Robert, Anne M.| title=Condom practices of urban teens using Norplant contraceptive implants, oral contraceptives, and condoms for contraception| journal=American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology| year=1999| volume=180| issue=4| pmid=10203661| pages=929–937| doi=10.1016/S0002-9378(99)70664-2] cite news| url=|title=Condoms in District Schools Stir Concern, Skepticism Series| accessdate=2006-12-16|date=1992-05-17| last=Horwitz| first=Sari| coauthors=Goodstein, Laurie|work=Washington Post]

Balboa became embroiled in controversy over a hazing incident on February 22, 1994 in which three Junior Reserve Officers' Training Corps (JROTC) cadets were assaulted by other team members under orders from senior commanders. Ultimately one cadet was rendered partially deaf from a punctured eardrum.Cite news| url=|title=Battle Lines on Campus / Does Reserve Office Training teach high school students how to lead or how to follow?|accessdate=2006-12-13| date=1995-01-15| last=Olszewski| first=Lori| work=San Francisco Chronicle| page=SC-4] The resulting litigation from this incident exposed a culture and history of JROTC hazing at Balboa and several other SFUSD schools extending back to the 1980s.cite journal | last=Berlowitz| first=Marvin J.| title=Racism and Conscription in the JROTC| journal=Peace Review: September 2000| year=2000| volume=12| issue=3| pages=393–398| doi=10.1080/713689698] This controversy has been cited by JROTC opponents in efforts to eliminate the program at all SFUSD schools.cite news|url=|title=SAN FRANCISCO / School board votes to dump JROTC program|accessdate=2006-12-13|date=2006-11-15|last=Tucker|first=Jill|work=San Francisco Chronicle|page=B-1]

Academic resurgence

In 1996, frustrated by high turnover and low performance on the part of the educational staff, the SFUSD dismissed the entire faculty in a desperate move to turn the school around.Cite news|url=| title=Hard Lessons| accessdate=2006-11-19| date=2000-10-11| last=Yeung| first=Bernice| work=SF Weekly]

During the 1999–2000 academic year, Balboa shifted its entire academic program to the concept of Small Learning Communities (SLC). These communities would form a "school within a school" in an effort to turn around past poor academic performance. To support the formation of SLCs, Balboa was the recipient of funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in 2004 and 2005 through the [ Every Child Can Learn Foundation] Secondary Redesign Initiative.

Frustrated by poor conditions such as insufficient textbooks and dilapidated facilities during the late 1990s, students at Balboa became members of the class-action lawsuit "Williams v. California".Cite journal | last=Verstegen| first=Deborah A.| coauthors=Venegas, Kristan; Knoeppel, Robert| title=Savage Inequalities Revisited: Adequacy, Equity, and State High Court Decisions| journal=Educational Studies: A Journal of the American Education Studies Association| year=2006| volume=40| issue=1| url=| publisher=Lawrence Erlbaum Associates Inc.| pages=60–76| doi=10.1207/s15326993es4001_6] Filed in 2000 by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) against the State of California, the suit alleged a failure to provide adequate facilities, textbooks, and teachers for the poorest schools in the state.Cite press release | url=| title=Civil Rights Groups Expand Landmark Education Suit| accessdate=2007-01-11| publisher=ACLU of Northern California| date=2000-08-15] The case was named after Eliezer Williams, a middle school student age 12 at the time, who would go on to graduate from Balboa.Cite news| url=| title=Teen's goal in sight for fixing schools| accessdate=2006-12-15| year=2004| last=Hull| first=Dana| date=2004-08-12| work=San Jose Mercury News] The lawsuit was resolved in 2004, with the administration of Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger agreeing to provide US$138 million for instructional material, US$50 million for critical facility repairs at nearly 2,400 state schools, and to reimburse school districts for future repairs of deficient facilities. Estimates indicate California may be liable for up to US$1 billion in reimbursements over several years.Cite news| url=| title=Deal on schools lawsuit crafted| accessdate=2006-12-15| date=2004-08-11| last=Sanders| first=Jim| work=Sacramento Bee]

Building on an effort started in 2001 to increase scores by providing breakfast before tests, Balboa initiated a pilot breakfast program in 2005 called "Grab N Go".Cite news |title=Balboa High offers breakfast to test takers |url= |work=San Francisco Chronicle |page=A-18 |date=2001-04-26 |accessdate=2007-03-28] A first for Northern California, the program has increased the number of disadvantaged students receiving breakfast. Using magnetic swipe cards, eligible students can pick up a pre-bagged meal as they enter the building and can eat the meal during the first ten minutes of their first class.Cite news |title=Breakfast in the classroom |url= |work=San Francisco Chronicle|publisher=Hearst Communications |page=B-4 |date=2005-06-06 |accessdate=2007-03-28] Previously, students would have to arrive up to 30 minutes before classes started and finish the meal in the cafeteria. Prior to 2001 participation in the free or reduced fee meal program averaged under 40% of eligible enrollment. Since the pilot program started, breakfast participation has averaged over 55%. Credited with increasing academic performance, the program was nominated by Nancy Pelosi for and subsequently received a Victory Against Hunger Award from the [ Congressional Hunger Center] in 2006.Cite press release| title=Pelosi Honors San Francisco Unified School District For Victory Against Hunger Award |publisher=US House of Representatives |date=2006-07-18 |url= |accessdate=2007-03-28] Balboa was one of four schools nationwide to receive part of a grant from the [ got breakfast?] campaign in March 2007 to support the program.Cite press release| title="got breakfast?" Foundation Announces New Grants for School District to Implement Classroom Breakfast |publisher=got breakfast? Foundation| date=2007-03-05| url= |accessdate=2007-03-28] Balboa has continued to serve subsidized lunch meals in a traditional two-tiered system. The social stratification caused by the separate lunch lines has attracted some criticism and efforts by the district to improve participation by eligible students.cite news | url= | work=New York Times | title=Free Lunch Isn't Cool, So Some Students Go Hungry | last=Pogash | first=Carol | date=2008-03-01 | accessdate=2008-07-25]

For the spring 2006 administration, 47% of the school's ninth-graders scored "proficient" or above on the statewide standardized English exam, up from 39% from the previous year.Cite news| url= | title=STUDENT SUCCESSES DEFY URBAN TRENDS / SAN FRANCISCO: Improved performance has put once-struggling Balboa High in great demand | accessdate=2007-04-18 |last=Tucker |first=Jill | work=San Francisco Chronicle |date=2006-08-16| page=A-10]



The school campus is located a few blocks away from major thoroughfares including Mission Street. The campus is close to Balboa Park, Balboa Park Station, and Interstate 280. San Francisco Municipal Railway transit lines J, K, M, 9X, 14, 14L, 14X, 26, 29, 43, 49, and 54 provide nearby service.

The Balboa campus is part of a larger SFUSD academic complex that includes neighboring James Denman Middle School and the San Miguel Child Development Center. Balboa is close to City College of San Francisco, the private Lick-Wilmerding High School, and Catholic Archbishop Riordan High School. Situated at the bottom of a valley, parts of the campus are built over a former river and lake.cite news| url=| title=Over the River / Unearthing the damp environs of the Cayuga River| last=Whiting |first=Sam |work=San Francisco Chronicle| accessdate=2007-04-16| date=2002-07-07]


Balboa is the only historic landmark school operating in San Francisco. The campus became city historic landmark number 205 by proclamation signed on January 20, 1995 by mayor Frank Jordan.Cite news| url=| title=Preserving S.F.'s beautiful schools| accessdate=2006-12-15| date=2004-11-29| last=Knight| first= Heather| work=San Francisco Chronicle| page=B-1] Balboa is regarded as one of the better designed and visually engaging schools within the SFUSD.Cite news|url=| title=Golden Oldies / When form equaled function: high school architecture from its prime| accessdate=2006-11-19| date=2004-08-15| last=Whiting| first=Sam| work=San Francisco Chronicle] San Francisco architect John Reid Jr. designed the first campus buildings in the Spanish Colonial Revival Style with a prominent center courtyard, mission style roof tiles, and arcades.

Although originally designed with a distinctive red mission tile roof, all campus buildings had their roofs replaced in 1998 with seismically stable materials. An original roof tile is displayed in Balboa's Hall of History.Cite web | url= | title=Deems Lewis McKinley - Balboa High School|accessdate=2006-11-19]


The main entrance along the eastern side of the campus quadrangle is dominated by the three-story main classroom building. The library building to the north of the quad is equal in height to the main building and houses classrooms adjacent to and above the first floor library, including two computer labs and all the science lab classrooms. Distinct bridges on all three levels connect these two buildings.

Arts and athletic facilities dominate the southern half of the campus. Facilities along this side of the quad include the gymnasium, tennis courts, track, and football field. The main cafeteria and the Teen Health Clinic are housed on the southern side of the quad.

Vocational and cafeteria facilities form the western side of the campus quad. Balboa's auditorium, theater, and music rehearsal rooms also are found on the western side of the campus quad. In 2004, the theater was refurbished with the help of charitable funding from theatrical producer Carole Shorenstein Hays.Cite news|url=| title=Second Acts / San Francisco's Carole Shorenstein Hays has built a career on Broadway by taking calculated risks| accessdate=2006-11-19| date=2004-10-31| last=Winn| first=Steven| work=San Francisco Chronicle|page=CM-8]

In partnership with PG&E, Balboa will be one of seven SFUSD schools to participate in the district's "Solar Schools" program. Solar panels will be installed on the roof to benefit from and raise awareness of alternative energy.Cite press release |url=| title=PG&E and SFUSD Announce Solar Schools Partnership at 8 Schools| accessdate=2007-06-12| date=2006-11-15| last=Blythe| first=Gentle| publisher=San Francisco Unified School District ]


Balboa historically has a school population of primarily ethnic minorities. Since 1993, the White population at Balboa has consistently totaled less than 7% of yearly enrollment. Up to 2003, the predominant ethnic groups at the school alternated between Hispanic (24–30%) and African American (19–24%). During this time Filipino students also figured prominently in the ethnic distribution (19–30%) briefly becoming the majority ethnic group between 1997 and 1999. American Indians have always comprised less than 1%, and Pacific Islanders less than 3% of the school population.

Starting in 2004, the school's increasing academic stature combined with citywide demographic changes attributable to gentrification radically changed the student demographic at Balboa.Cite news| url= |title= S.F. moves to stem African American exodus / Critics say effort to reverse longtime trend may be too late |last=Fulbright |first=Leslie |date=2007-04-09 |accessdate=2007-04-10 |work=San Francisco Chronicle | page=A-1]
Asian students became the predominant ethnic group (34–39%) previously accounting for less than 20% of the school population. Hispanic and Filipino students followed with declining majorities. The largest decline was in the number of African American students, accounting for only 11.3% of the school population through the 2007-2008 school year.

Coinciding with the academic turmoil of the late 1990s, the dropout rate at Balboa experienced a spike of over 230 students (16.8%) leaving in 1998. The year 2000 saw a sharp decline in the dropout rate, with no students leaving that year. The rate has averaged 2–6% since then.

The demographic composition of certificated faculty over the last decade has consisted primarily of White teachers (32–54%) with approximately similar distributions of staff reporting Asian (6–15%), Filipino (9–19%), or Hispanic (11–19%) ethnicity. African American staff accounted for the remaining 8–11%. The number of staff over the last decade has averaged between 55 and 91 members.


Balboa participates in the SFUSD's admissions lottery in which students from the entire city can indicate a preference to attend any of the district schools regardless of geographical location. Based on this preference and certain socioeconomic factors, students are then assigned to schools per district policies and goals.

mall learning communities

Academic instruction at Balboa High School is centered on the concept of SLCs. Each community has a thematic focus that encourages individualized learning, an awareness of the future, and personal responsibility. Teachers and students work in a shared thematic collaboration to integrate lessons from their classes. The same sets of students are present in each of the classes, fostering the learning community. Some teachers will follow their students into successive grade levels to enhance continuity.Cite news| url=| title=A peek at small schools across the bay| accessdate=2006-11-19| date=2001-12-20| last=Scharfenberg| first=David| work=Berkeley Daily Planet]

In their first two years, communities of approximately 60–120 students experience focused core literary and mathematics instruction, with emphasis on community citizenship, and an exploration of career paths. Academies or pathways are chosen by students at the end of the 10th grade for the second half of their school career with the goal of preparation for career and college. A few exceptions are noted below.

Every community or academy has several goals in common. Students are educated in preparation for their future career or post-secondary education. All communities provide the University of California "A-G college prep" coursework necessary for university admissions eligibility.Cite web| url=|title=University of California a-g Course Lists: Balboa High School| accessdate=2007-08-21| year=2006-2007] All 11th and 12th grade academies have a common goal of combining coursework with external experiences through field trips, internships, or a mentorship with local business entities or the community at large. These external events are used to raise career awareness. Students in all communities will develop a personal portfolio or résumé. Students will develop skills in research and presentation with the goal of developing collaborative and social skills.

*10th Grade E/F: Engages students in their academic future, preparing them to make decisions about the direction of their future high school career. Explores core subjects including ethnic literature, biology, and modern world history.Cite web| url=| title=Lifelong Learners Academy| accessdate=2006-11-19]

*Academy of Information Technology (AoIT): A two year academy which develops digital technology skills. Students participate in an electronic mentorship program with professionals in the technology industry and develop a digital portfolio.Cite web| url= | title=Balboa AoIT |accessdate=2007-06-29] In collaboration with the Pearson Foundation, AoIT students have developed digital storytelling exercises to learn about historical subjects such as abolitionism.Cite web| url= |title=Abolitionism - Balboa High School| accessdate=2007-06-29]

*Action: Students may choose to enter the Action academy starting in the 10th grade. Students receive tailored support and instruction to develop an enabling vision of their future. Classwork is combined with community activities to develop social awareness.Cite web| url=| title=Action Academy| accessdate=2007-06-29]

* [ Communication Arts (CAST)] : CAST is one of the more popular pathways at Balboa. CAST approaches courses in history, literature, and the sciences with a focus on communication through art, media, and technology. All CAST students participate in a community arts experience.Cite web|url=|title=CAST Academy|accessdate=2008-01-22]

*International Pathway (formerly World Languages): This program has a curriculum with an international and multicultural focus. Courses focus on ethnic literature, American history, and American literature. Students participate in projects and write papers to develop interpersonal skills (public speaking and conflict resolution), and an awareness of human geography.Cite web| url=| title=International Pathway| accessdate=2006-11-26] The International Pathway is available to students for all four years of their high school career.

*Law: The Law Academy prepares 11th and 12th grade students for college and career with a focus on justice. By encouraging students to challenge and reflect on their coursework in American history, American literature, and Pre-law; students develop an awareness of community and interdependence. Students will build analytical and problem solving skills by identifying a need or issue in a community and addressing it.Cite web| url=| title=Law Academy| accessdate=2006-11-19]

* [ Wilderness Arts and Literacy Collaborative (WALC)] : A co-curricular academic pathway started in 1998 with the goal of using education in and of the environment to provide an alternative means to learning science, art, technology, math, and literacy. The Sierra Club provided an initial grant as part of a private / public funding initiative to help start the WALC.cite journal | last=Snell| first=Marilyn Berlin| title=Life Study: How Nature Nurtures Students at an Inner-City High School| journal=Sierra Magazine, Nov-December 2003| year=2003| volume=88| issue=6| url= | accessdate=2008-01-27| pages=36–43] Sponsored by the Tides Center, students combine wilderness experiences in environmental citizenship such as hiking, habitat restoration, recycling, or gardening with a rigorous classroom curriculum. WALC is offered to 11th and 12th grade students.Cite web|url=|title=WALC|accessdate=2006-11-19|publisher=SFUSD|year=2000]

Advanced placement

Balboa began offering two Advanced Placement (AP) classes in 1990 which were briefly discontinued from 1996 to 1998. Since 1998, the number has grown to the current offering of ten AP courses in Biology, Calculus AB, Computer Science A, Chinese, English Literature, Physics, Spanish, Statistics, and World History. Honors classes are also provided for students wishing to learn at an accelerated pace. The administration has placed an emphasis on attracting and retaining students in AP courses from underrepresented ethnic groups. For example, the AP Spanish class is used to introduce Hispanic students to other AP classes. The school has a unique policy of not allowing students to drop out of an AP course without the approval of the principal. The goal of this policy is to identify struggling AP students and to provide additional resources and support to allow them to complete the course.Cite news| url=|title=SAN FRANCISCO / Balboa pushes college-prep curriculum / High school urges students with potential to enroll in Advanced Placement courses| accessdate=2006-12-15| date=2005-01-30| last=Schevitz| first=Tanya|work=San Francisco Chronicle |page=A-17]

Extracurricular activities


The athletic programs at Balboa participate in the [ San Francisco Section] of the California Interscholastic Federation. Female sports teams are fielded in badminton, basketball, cheerleading, cross country, fencing, golf, soccer, softball, tennis, track, and volleyball. Eleven male sports teams are fielded in baseball, basketball, cross country, fencing, football, golf, soccer, tennis, track, volleyball, and wrestling.

The football team achieved a 111–39–5 record between 1962 and 1977, including four wins of the annual city Turkey Day title game in 1967,1968,1975 and 1976, led by Coach Archie Chagonjian, for whom the stadium is now named. From 1967 to 1984, the team won section or season titles 11 times.Cite news | url= | title=Archie Chagonjian -- Balboa coach with 'a brilliant mind' for football | date=2005-05-04 | accessdate=2007-05-18 | last=Chapin | first=Dwight | work=San Francisco Chronicle] Beginning in 1984 the football program at Balboa went into decline, failing to make it to the Turkey Day playoff until 2004.Cite news | url= | title=TURKEY BOWL / Balboa vs. Lowell / Coach restoring Bucs' proud tradition / Balboa back in title game after 20-year hiatus | last=Simmons | first=Rusty | date=2004-11-24 | work=San Francisco Chronicle | accessdate=2008-01-27] They lost to Lowell in 2004 but made it back again in 2005, with that year's Samoan team members notably performing a haka dance before going on to lose to Lincoln High.Cite news | url= | title=Hacked off by duty to indulge dancers | last=Lothian | first=Bill | date=2005-11-25 | work=Edinburgh Evening News | publisher=Johnston Press | accessdate=2007-05-18] Cite news | url= | title=Balboa has chants for greatness / Buccaneers are physical and lyrical | last=Simmons | first=Rusty | date=2005-11-24 | work=San Francisco Chronicle | accessdate=2007-05-18]

Balboa also has made a come back in baseball making it to the Semi-Finals under their new coach in 2007. They had a 13–2 record going into the game against Lowell and barely lost. The Balboa team had many star players, including the player of the year.


There are over 40 extracurricular clubs or organizations for students.

*100 Bucs Society
*Automotive & Technology
* [ Being in Balboa, Living Examples (BIBLE)]
*Black Student Union
*Building With Books
*Club (Filipino)
*Computer Art
*Computer Repair
*Drum Corps: see JROTC
*Gay-Straight Alliance
*Mock Trial
*Peer Resources
*Political Sciences
*Random Acts of Kindness
*Red Cross Association
*ROOTS: see United Playaz
*SASSY (Girls' Club)
*School to Career
*Spoken Word/Hip-Hop
*Student Activities Association (the SA)
*Student Newspaper and Yearbook
*United Playaz
*Urban Debate League

Army Junior Reserve Officers' Training Corps

Balboa has six JROTC companies (classes) with five of them meeting each day, five days a week. Balboa has a before and after school class from 7 a.m. to 8 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. to 4:30 pm, respectively everyday. Balboa's Drum Corps are well-known for receiving first place in the SFUSD Brigade Fall Liberty Ball Competition for over a decade during the 80's, 90's, and early 2000's. Balboa constantly participates in physical activity challenges in its Raiders Team, individual drill-down competitions, guidon flag drill and other drilling and marching exhibitions. Balboa's special teams participate and perform in many parades where it is well known and award winning such as the annual San Francisco Veterans Day Parade, the Excelsior District Festival and the annual 91st or spring drill competition in the Presidio.

The Balboa Battalion and its cadet corps of approximately 225 cadets volunteer extensively in different service learning projects and community service projects coordinated by the battalion staff of student officers and the army instructors. The battalion donates canned food items and toys to annual holiday food and toy drives where it has gained notoriety among the Student Association for amassing large amounts of food for the drive; because of this, the Balboa Battalion sponsors and puts together the food drive each year at Balboa. Balboa's JROTC participates in the city-wide beach clean up annually, as well as cleaning up the school campus on a regular basis several times a month. The Balboa Battalion is a familiar face in each Earth Day event at Balboa, where cadets volunteer and clean the school. The JROTC program participates in service learning programs such as training in the Neighborhood Emergency Response Team to respond to any emergency event that may happen within the city or the school to keep fellow cadets and students alike of Balboa High School safe.

Mock Trial

The Mock Trial team is sponsored by a local law firm.Cite news|url=|title=Balboa and Mission High Schools Compete in Mock Trial: BASF Members Coach Teams| accessdate=2006-11-26| date=2006-03-06| work=The Recorder] The team practices from September to February in preparation for City and County of San Francisco competitions held the last two weeks of February. The champion from this competition advances to the state competition in March. The state champion will then move on to the national competition in May, representing the state of California.

In 2006, it was crowned the champion of the City and County of San Francisco. Despite a 0–2 record in the first rounds, technicalities (a team's win/loss record and point percentages) allowed Balboa to move on to the semi-finals. It was then that the Balboa team defeated The School of the Arts after losing to SOTA previously in the first round. The team then went on to defeat Mission High School in the finals. As the winning team for San Francisco, Balboa went on to represent the county at the state competitions in Riverside, California.Cite web|url=| title=2006 California Mock Trial Finals County Winners|accessdate=2007-01-03| publisher=Constitutional Rights Foundation| year=2006] In commemoration of this achievement, San Francisco District 11 Supervisor Gerardo Sandoval awarded the Balboa Mock Trial team the title of "District 11 Local Heroes."Cite web|url=| title=Certificates of Honor 2006| accessdate=2007-01-03| publisher=City and County of San Francisco |year=2006]

In 2007, Balboa lost to Lowell High School, yet defeated Mission High School to advance to the semi-final competitions. In the semi-finals, Balboa lost to the School of the Arts who would then lose to Lowell High School in the city/county championships. Balboa's record for 2007 was 1–2. 2008 had Balboa faring better in competition; the school would enter the city finals with an undefeated record, to become the runner up to SOTA as city champions.

United Playaz

United Playaz is an anti-violence and gang prevention program that seeks to stop the seeds of school violence through collaborative meetings and activities. The program was started in 1994 by former Balboa student turned gang prevention counselor, Rudy Corpuz, in response to racially motivated gang violence between Balboa students. The group is best known for fostering meetings and discussions between the school administration, community, and various adversarial student factions. These efforts were credited with turning the security situation at Balboa around by 1997.Cite news| url=| title=A Jump Off the Streets / S.F.'s United Playaz gives teens a ticket to a life without gangs| accessdate=2006-11-19| date=1997-05-12| last=Martin| first=Glen| work=San Francisco Chronicle |page=A-13] The "Playaz" have hosted sports programs, talent shows, and field trips to dissuade at-risk youth from gangs. They provide ways for students to openly discuss and express opinions on issues and tensions which unchecked lead to violence.Cite news | url= | title=Fighting Violence with Good Vibes | accessdate=2006-11-19| year=2004 | last=Chow | first=May| date=2004-04-16 | work=Asian Week] United Playaz was the subject of an episode on television news magazine California Connected in June 2003.Cite web| url=|title=United Playaz|accessdate=2006-11-19| year=2003| author=Blum, Steven| work=June 19, 2003 : California Connected]

The United Playaz collaborates with the ROOTS program, a program for students whose parents or family members are incarcerated. ROOTS focuses on interdependence with their peers including the "Playaz."

Notable people

**William "Billy" Catalano, 1952: Trumpeter for Stan Kenton's jazz orchestraCite web|url=|title=San Francisco trumpeter and educator|accessdate=2006-11-19|year=2005|author=Jenkins, Todd S.]
**Gary DeLong, 1958: Former soccer goalkeeper for the United States men's national soccer team
**Juan Eichelberger, 1971: Former professional MLB baseball playerCite web|url= |title=Juan Eichelberger Baseball Statistics | |accessdate=2007-04-22]
**Solofa Fatu, 1984: Professional WWE wrestler best known as "Rikishi"Cite web| url=| title=Livin' large: there's no ifs, ands, or butts about it, rump-shaking Rikishi is the king of the WWE super-heavyweights - Special section: the heavyweight - Interview| accessdate=2007-01-11| year=2002| author=Varsallone, Jim| work=Wrestling Digest: August, 2002]
**Eddie Flores Jr, 1966: Co-Founder and CEO of the theme restaurant chain L&L Hawaiian BarbecueCite news| url=| title=Aloha, Spam and kalua pig| accessdate=2006-11-19| last=Holbrook| first=Stett| date=2004-10-13| work=San Francisco Chronicle |page=F-1]
**Jerry Garcia, dropped out in 1959: Lead guitarist and vocalist for the "Grateful Dead"cite book | title=A Long Strange Trip: The Inside History of the Grateful Dead| last=Mcnally| first=Dennis| date=2002| pages=15| publisher=Broadway| id=ISBN 0-7679-1185-7]
**Cindy Herron: Singer of the Contemporary R&B quartet "En Vogue". Actress best known for her role in "Juice"
**Calvin Jones, 1968: Former professional football cornerback for the Denver Broncos from 1973–1976
**Philip Lamantia, dropped out in 1943: Surrealist poet of the Beat GenerationCite news| url=| title=Philip Lamantia -- S.F. Surrealist poet / Visionary verse of literary prodigy influenced Beats| accessdate=2007-01-03| date=2005-03-11| last=Hamlin| first=Jesse| work=San Francisco Chronicle |page=B-7]
**Jim McLennan, 1950: NHRA Hall of Fame inductee, drag racing pioneerCite news | url= | title=Drag-racing pioneer Jim McLennan dies | date=2007-02-10 | accessdate=2007-05-19 | work=The Oakland Tribune | publisher=ANG Newspapers]
**Michael Norris, 1972: Former professional MLB baseball playerCite web |url= |title=Mike Norris Baseball Statistics | |accessdate=2007-04-22] Cite web |url= |title=San Francisco Balboa High School Grad Pics Online 1972 1973 |accessdate=2007-04-22]
**Winters Patterson, 1996: Noted for scoring the most points in a single Northern California basketball game with a 82–point performance against Skyline High School in November 1995 [Cite news|url=| title=Young S.F. basketball star dies after play: Record-setting Balboa High guard had enlarged heart| date=1997-01-08| last=Harris| first=Merv| work=San Francisco Chronicle| accessdate=2008-01-01]
**Richard Quitevis, 1987: Turntablist best known as "DJ QBert"Cite news| url=| title=A Dilly of a Career / The Bay Area's Invisibl Skratch Piklz have become world stars of turntablism| accessdate=2007-01-11| date=1998-11-01| last=Chonin| first=Neva| work=San Francisco Chronicle |page=PK-36] Cite web|url=|title="Get on your P's and Q's : Ten Things You Don't Know About QBERT"|accessdate=2007-01-11||year=2005|author=de Leon, Krishtine|work=Ruckus - Bay Area Rap Culture: July/August 2005]
**Brandy Reed, 1994: Former WNBA professional basketball playerCite news | url= | title=Ex-Balboa star Reed is out for year | work=San Francisco Chronicle | page=B- | date=1995-01-04 | accessdate=2007-05-13]
**Calvin E. Simmons, 1972: The first African-American conductor of a major U.S. symphony orchestra. Former assistant conductor of the Los Angeles Philharmonic and musical director of the Oakland Symphony OrchestraCite news | title=Unusual Young Musician Will Conduct "La Traviata" Tonight | work=The Fresno Bee Republican | accessdate=2007-08-21 | date=1974-03-01 | first=David |last=Hale]
**Bob Sweeney, 1936: Actor, director of "The Andy Griffith Show", and producer for "Hawaii Five-O" [Cite web| url= | title=Noe Valley Voice| date=June 2007 |accessdate=2008-01-02]
**Raymond Taft, 1937: Masters swimming coach and medalist, inducted as a International Swimming Hall of Fame honoreeCite news | url= | title=Raymond Taft -- nationally renowned swimmer and coach | last=Simon | first=Mark | work=San Francisco Chronicle | date=2002-07-23 | accessdate=2007-09-26] Cite web | url= | title=Stories About USMS Swimmers | accessdate=2007-09-26] Cite web | url= | title=RAY TAFT (USA) - 1996 Honor Masters Swimmer | accessdate=2007-09-26]
**George Varoff, 1932: Record setting pole vaulterCite book | last = Kaese | first = Harold | title = Famous American Athletes of Today | url = | accessdate = 2007-10-23 | series = 6th | year = 1977 | publisher = Ayer Publishing | language=English | isbn = 0836922336| pages = 283-287 | chapter = IX ]
**Derrick Ward, 1973: Customized car artist and founder of the Low Creations Car ClubCite news |url= |last=Guthrie |first=Julian |accessdate=2007-04-20 |date=2007-04-20 |title=Derrick Ward -- much loved car customizer |work=San Francisco Chronicle |page=B-11]
**Eliezer Williams, 2005: Lead plaintiff in the class-action lawsuit "Williams v. California (2000)"
**Willie Wise, 1965: Former professional basketball player with the Denver Nuggets and Seattle SuperSonics. Draft pick of the San Francisco WarriorsCite web|url=|title=Willie Wise Statistics -|accessdate=2007-01-04]

**Archie Chagonjian: teacher and coach inducted into the San Francisco Prep Hall of Fame [cite news | title=CHANGONJIAN, Archie | url= | date=2005-05-03 | work=San Francisco Chronicle | accessdate=2008-01-13 ]
**Josephine E. Cole, 1942–?: The SFUSD's first African-American teacher. Namesake of the library at City College of San Francisco, South East CampusCite web| url=| title=Obituary - Josephine E. Cole passes away| accessdate=2006-11-26| publisher=May 15-21, 2006 - City Currents|year=2006|format=PDF] Cite news| url=|title=Josephine Cole -- First African American High School Teacher -- Balboa High School| accessdate=2006-11-26| date=1948-02-28| work=San Francisco News-Call Bulletin|publisher=Bancroft Library]
**Lloyd Leith, 1931–1936: Basketball Hall of Fame coach and referee
**Kevin Restani, 2006–present: former professional NBA player. [cite news | title=Although grayer, Restani still has game | work=San Francisco Examiner | url= | date=2007-04-25 | accessdate=2008-05-31 | last=Elliser | first=Matt | quote=Restani, who is now a counselor at Balboa]
**George White, 1966–1992: Hamburg Blue Devils head coach 1994-1996. California Coaches Hall of Fame inductee.Cite news | url= | title=FORMER PREP COACH WHITE DIES | work=San Francisco Chronicle | page=B-3 | date=1996-09-21 | accessdate=2007-05-13 ]

See also

*San Francisco County high schools


External links

** [ Balboa High School Online, a student and school-run official website]
** [ Balboa High School - SFUSD portal]
** [ Balboa High School - California State PTA]
** [ Decent Schools For California - Williams v. California]
** [ California Department of Education - DataQuest reports on Balboa HS]
** [ Great Schools profile on Balboa HS]
*Alumni and history
** [ Balboa High School Alumni Association]
** [ Balboa Photos and Yearbook Pictures (1959-1975)]
** [ Balboa High School: The Sixties]
** [ San Francisco Genealogy - Balboa Students, Faculty, Alumni, History]

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