El Cerrito High School

El Cerrito High School is a four-year public high school in the West Contra Costa Unified School District. It is located on Ashbury Avenue in El Cerrito, California, United States.

El Cerrito High School
540 Ashbury Avenue

United States
Coordinates37°54′31″N 122°17′43″W / 37.90861°N 122.29528°W / 37.90861; -122.29528[1]
Typepublic high school
School districtWest Contra Costa School District
PrincipalPatricia Crespo
Faculty59.39 FTEs[2]
Grades9th - 12th
Enrollment1,482 (2017-18)[3]
Student to teacher ratio24.95[2]
Color(s)Green and white          
MascotGauchos (Cowboys in Spanish)[4]

As of the 2014-15 school year, the school had an enrollment of 1,364 students and 55.2 classroom teachers (on an FTE basis), for a student–teacher ratio of 24.7:1. There were 572 students (41.9% of enrollment) eligible for free lunch and 119 (8.7% of students) eligible for reduced-cost lunch.[2]


The original main school building was built in the late 1930s as a WPA project. The school opened to students on January 6, 1941.

Student population quickly outgrew the facilities, and the campus became a collection of small, outlying buildings. As concern grew over the building's safety and structural stability, plans were made for more integrated buildings and, in the summer of 2005, demolition of the old campus began. By 2007, the campus had been demolished, and the terrain was leveled in preparation for reconstruction. During the reconstruction, all classes were held in temporary buildings located south of the campus on the former baseball field. The new campus opened on January 5, 2009.[citation needed]

El Cerrito's student body is 35.6% African-American, 23.7% Hispanic, 17.2% Asian, 16.7% Caucasian, and 2.5% Filipino.[5] Many of these students are actually mixed race, making El Cerrito a very diverse high school. Half of students come from families with a low enough income to qualify for free or reduced price lunches under the National School Lunch Act.[2] Many students come from the neighboring city of Richmond, which is also served by the West Contra Costa Unified School District.[6]

Art ProgramsEdit

Before the bankruptcy of the Richmond Unified School District, El Cerrito High School was a regional magnet for the arts. Recovery from the bankruptcy coincided with less available funds, slowing recovery, but the rebuilt school has a theater that has been used by professional organizations such as West Edge Opera.


The Gaucho Band may have become the first high-school band to be nationally televised when they stood in for Ohio State University Marching Band at their game against Berkeley at Memorial Stadium on October 3, 1953. The Gauchos then adapted and adopted Ohio's fight song, "Across the Field," as "Down the Field."[7]

Notable attendeesEdit






  1. ^ United States Geological Survey (14 June 2000). "GNIS Detail - El Cerrito Senior High School". Geographic Names Information System. United States Geological Survey. Retrieved 2010-01-01.
  2. ^ a b c d School data for El Cerrito High, National Center for Education Statistics. Accessed December 17, 2019.
  3. ^ "El Cerrito High". National Center for Education Statistics. Retrieved December 17, 2019.
  4. ^ Remarkable seasons for Salesian and El Cerrito come to an end after losses Friday[permanent dead link]
  5. ^ California Department of Education, Educational Demographics Unit (2009-07-07). "2008-09 School Enrollment by Ethnicity - El Cerrito Senior High". Retrieved 2010-03-24.
  6. ^ WCCUSD. "WCCUSD High School Attendance Areas" (PDF). Retrieved 2010-11-30.[permanent dead link]
  7. ^ Johnson, Keith (2014). A History of El Cerrito High School Bands.
  8. ^ Todd Spencer NFL stats
  9. ^ "Todd Spencer". Stats Crew. Retrieved 10 February 2018.