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John H. Francis Polytechnic High School

Coordinates: 34°13′22″N 118°24′24″W / 34.2227818°N 118.4067144°W / 34.2227818; -118.4067144

John H. Francis Polytechnic High School
John h francis polytechnic high logo.jpg
12431 Roscoe Boulevard

, ,

United States
School typePublic, comprehensive high school
MottoVictory with Honor
Established1897; 122 years ago (1897)
School districtLos Angeles Unified School District
PrincipalElidia Vazquez
Teaching staff126.49 (2016-17)[1]
Enrollment2,806 (2016-17)[1]
Student to teacher ratio22.18∶1 (2016-17)[1]
Color(s)     Blue
Athletics conferenceEast Valley League
CIF Los Angeles City Section
NewspaperThe Poly Optimist
YearbookThe Polytechnic Student
Last updated: February 5, 2019; 6 months ago (2019-02-05)

John H. Francis Polytechnic High School is a secondary school located in the Sun Valley neighborhood of Los Angeles, California, United States. It serves grades 9 through 12 and is a part of the Los Angeles Unified School District. Despite its name, Polytechnic is a comprehensive high school.



Polytechnic High School opened in 1897 as a "commercial branch" of the only high school at that time in the city, the Los Angeles High School. As such, Polytechnic is the second oldest high school in the city. The school's original campus was located in downtown Los Angeles on South Beaudry Avenue, the present location of the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) Board of Education headquarters.

Old, neoclassical campus of Metropolitan Polytechnic High near LA’s historic core, 1905

In 1905, Metropolitan Polytechnic moved to the south side of Washington Boulevard at the corner of Flower Street in downtown Los Angeles, across Washington from old St. Vincent’s College.[2][3][4] Poly was the first school to offer studies in multiple class subjects, which is now modeled by many high schools, as “periods.” In 1935, its name was changed to “John H. Francis Polytechnic” to honor the founding principal.

In February 1957, Polytechnic moved to its present site in the San Fernando Valley and opened its doors to new students for the then fast growing suburb. Since Poly's relocation, the former site has been the campus of Los Angeles Trade-Technical College. The school mascot is a parrot named Joe Parrot, and he now has a female companion named Josie.

In 2006, the establishment of Arleta High School[5] and Panorama High School[6] relieved much of the overcrowding at Polytechnic. The 2009 opening of Sun Valley High School additionally relieved overcrowding.[7]

Poly's football and track stadium is named for NBA Hall-of-Famer Gail Goodrich, a Poly alumnus. The Parrots have had a longtime rivalry with both Van Nuys High School and North Hollywood High School.

Notable alumniEdit

Notable facultyEdit

  • Arthur E. Briggs: Los Angeles City Council member, 1939–1941, taught law at night
  • Ralph Jesson: football coach at Polytechnic (1924–1928)


  1. ^ a b c "Search for Public Schools - John H. Francis Polytechnic (062271003020)". National Center for Education Statistics. Institute of Education Sciences. Retrieved February 2, 2019.
  2. ^ School history
  4. ^ “Exterior view of the Polytechnic High School on Washington Street, Los Angeles, ca.1898-1905,” USC Digital Library.
  5. ^ Arleta High School
  6. ^ Panorama High School
  7. ^ "Proposed Changes to Sun Valley High School Area Schools," Los Angeles Unified School District. Retrieved on March 17, 2010.
  8. ^ Anderson, Carl David (1999). Weiss, Richard Jerome (ed.). Early Years as a Curious Child. The Discovery of Anti-matter: The Autobiography of Carl David Anderson, the Youngest Man to Win the Nobel Prize. World Scientific. p. 3.
  9. ^ Tom Bradley Bio
  10. ^ Scanlon, Jennifer (2009). Toff, Nancy (ed.). Bad Girls Go Everywhere: The Life of Helen Gurley Brown. Oxford University Press. p. 14. ISBN 978-0-19-534205-5.
  11. ^
  12. ^ Peri, Don (2008). Working with Walt: Interviews with Disney Artists. Jackson: University Press of Mississippi. ISBN 1-934110-67-1.
  13. ^
  14. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2015-04-02. Retrieved 2012-08-15.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  15. ^ Gail Goodrich bio
  16. ^ a b
  17. ^ Libby Clark, "Collection on View in USC's Louis Hall: Fay M. Jackson, Hollywood's First African American Publicist/Film Specialist" Los Angeles Sentinel (March 8, 2000): C9. via ProQuest
  18. ^
  19. ^ F.M. Carney; N. Ravitch; L.M. Van Deusen; R.V. Hine (1986). Krogh, David (ed.). "John W. Olmsted, History: Riverside". University of California: In Memoriam: 225–227. Archived from the original on 2015-10-18.
  20. ^ "Greg Palast" (PDF). Current Biography. June 2011. pp. 73–80. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2012-10-28. Retrieved 2012-08-15.
  21. ^ Jessie Carnie Smith, ed., Notable Black American Women Volume 2 (VNR AG 1996): 612. ISBN 9780810391772
  22. ^ Turner Publishing Company, The Military Order of World Wars, 1997, page 60
  23. ^ "Sloppy Thurston". Baseball-Reference.Com. Retrieved October 6, 2012.

External linksEdit