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South High School - Torrance, CA

Data Source:

School NameAddressPhoneGradesCountyTypeDistrict Name
South High School4801 Pacific Coast Highway
Torrance, CA 90505
(310) 533-43529-12Los AngelespublicTorrance Unified

Class SizeGradeYear
24 2008

Ethnic BackgroundPercentYear
White, non-Hispanic48.592009
Black, non-Hispanic1.662009
Hispanic10.692009
Asian32.752009
Pacific Islander0.542009
Native American or Native Alaskan0.492009
Unspecified2.732009
Filipino2.552009

Students per TeacherYear
21.62009

School Head OfficialYear
Scott McDowell2011

EmailYear
smcdowell@tusd.org2011

Students Getting Free LunchYear
7%2009

DateWhoComments
10/22/2012parentOne of the problems with South High is that the school's policies on bullying are soft or not enforced. Our daughter attended high school here and had to switch schools mid year last semester because of bullying. The school only made the problem worse. Our daughter was bullied on line then attacked by a soccer teammate. Afterwards, the soccer coach actually took a player and team parent vote on who he should kick off the team, and kicked her off even after he was told that our daughter would not be kicked off. The other girl was kicked off and at the end of the year, the coach was told to not let her attend the year-end banquet. When she showed up, he let her attend and also sit right across from our daughter, which made her so upset she had to leave. We have since met other people who had bullying experiences this school that were not addressed.
8/13/2012studentI loved South. I thought classes were challenging, but not too hard. Some reviews say AP courses make South, but I disagree. I have met students at my Univ. who went to private schools from all over CA and OR, both college prep and religiously based, and I was better or equally prepared for college as they were. I was OVER prepared for English and writing, and thought I would struggle with math. However, I was well above average in math too. Other schools don't require 4 yrs of math, or calculus. South expected both. I had teachers I didn't care for, but I don't think any of my classes were a waste of time. The band program has flourished in recent years, and there are now multiple levels of band, a very competitive marching band, and multiple Jazz bands. I too was slightly annoyed w/ many changes in administration through my years, but saying the principal is not relevant is, in my opinion, wrong. There were a few fights and other behavioral issues, and all were handled with privacy and strict, reasonable punishments by the principal. I never felt that anyone questioned his authority. He is friendly, and remembered my name by my jr. yr., even though I had never been in trouble.
7/5/2011studentgreat school. i went to a "high class educated" private school for two years and ended my high school yearrs at south high. better than a private school. great teachers and many extracurricular activities for the students. the teachers are very caring. highly recommended school.
1/6/2011studentSouth High is a really great school for the most part. The AP programs are definitely what makes it so. Regular classes were really easy for me, the kids that didn't understand often weren't listening in class (texting, talking, etc ) or didn't read the book. Not all the teachers were very good, but there were teachers (especially math teachers) that were outstanding. Some would help students from previous years with homework during lunch or during their grading period. There were students that would come visit even when they were in college to get help.The chemistry teacher and the physics teacher I had were also always willing to take time to help if a student needed it. As for students succeeding in college, AP courses are definitely going to prepare you better than regular courses no matter what school you are attending. Universities expect you to teach yourself to a large extent; you have to be motivated in order to do well. The reason regular classes don't prepare you for college is because the workload is too light.
6/22/2010parentSouth High seems to care more about the AP students at the expense of the regular students. The AP students don't need any help. They will succeed no matter what college they go to. It's the average students who need more help so they can go to college and succeed. As a full time nurse, I work at night so I can't help the kids with their homework, which are given by the mediocre teachers who don't explain them well.
11/24/2009parentThe Honors and AP program at South is nothing short of outstanding. My kids all participated in this curriculum and all are attending good universities. All three had several of the same teachers and would come home every day talking about something really great they did in chemistry, calculus or history. I can't really comment on the regular program but some of the AP and Honors teachers teach regular classes as well, so I can't image they are as bad as some claim. I also have no idea where the criticism of the administration comes from. The principal is an outstanding leader and is more concerned with education than CYA like most principals.
9/16/2009parentSouth High School has one of the best ratings in the South Bay. Their STAR scores are fantastic; their staff is knowledgeable, caring and communicative; the campus is inviting and conducive to learning.
11/8/2008parentSchool seems leaderless or unmotivated towards any purpose. The classes hammer of standards (which are questionable as absolute need to know material), but spark, life something could be shown from the top down to motivate. Uninterested, bored, tired, lazy. My kid does will and will move on fine, but he and his friends make it what it is for themselves.
10/26/2008parentI am responding to the most recent posting...'the administration at this school is irrelevant' and the posting of Sept. 4th which says 'hammering away at standards constantly'. You are criticizing the wrong group. The school admin and teachers are only doing what the state/fed levels demand. All monies are based on test scores so what do you expect... It is not the school's fault. If you want passion and critical thinking, then contact Sacramento and Wash. D.C. and hammer at them to revise the awful 'No Child Left Behind Act' bipartisan law that is the root of this problem. All the schools whether elementary, middle or high school, are in the same boat, constrained by the same problem - the 'No Child Left Behind Act' as test scores = funding.
10/25/2008otherThe administration at this school is irrelevant unless getting by is the standard. The consistent hammering away on standards has actually dumbed down classes to facts, facts, and more facts. If this is a premiere school, as it is sometimes known, then somehow problem solving, creative thinking, innovation shoud be a goal. It is safe. The folks show up. Finances are always a topic in class on what they don't have and can't do. I doubt if it really would make a difference. Spark! Passion! Interest! Maybe the voters could vote on providing these things to the schools. It might be better than money.
9/4/2008otherThis school is the prime high school in Torrance but does not act like it. The curriculum is rigorous if AP courses are the test for that, but the interest level in success at the school is missing. The administrators seem to be always new and from some middle school and the principal seems to be unconcerned about most things. He certainly is not memorable or inspiring. He is just there. The staff is a motley crew of folks who are interested in what they do, and folks who seem to put in time hammering away at standards constantly. If this is the flag ship of Torrance, the flag needs to be passed to a school that seems to be more energized.
8/28/2008parentMy daughter had a severe injury last year, breaking both her arms. She was required to miss about 8 weeks of school. The counseling staff, administrators and teachers were wonderful. One of her teachers came to our house every day so that she was able to stay up to speed in all of her classes. They also assisted her in the process of getting back into her classes.
6/17/2008otherI started at this school in the 10th grade after finishing at a 6-9th grade middle school in the midwest. I was very disappointed at the lack of attention the counselors provided. I don't even remember seeing a counselor my whole 3 years there. I was also forced into a college prep class that I don't believe I was ready for and subsequently did not grade very well in. Also, the math level that TUSD places high school students in is one year below the midwest school district that I came from. Wish I would have never left but unfortunately had no choice.
5/27/2008parentI was a honor student during my school year at this school and the teachers are pretty good at honor classes. Although, when I then have to take classes that are regular classes to fill my requirements, the teachers seem to be more process oriented than working with the students.
9/10/2007parentGreat schools. Teachers. Curriculum. Rigorous. As far as staff is concerned, administration ..not very good at all.
1/31/2007parentSome classes, especially Honors and AP have excellent teachers. Many classes have teachers who don't seem to care. Time for a change in administration to someone stronger with more student centered interests. School atmosphere needs to be revitalized.
10/29/2006parentAs a parent of a former Special Needs Student there, I can say that not only the Teachers but the students as well were excellent. The Best Buddies Program is wonderful! They showed how much they care and worked hard to make sure my daughter had fun! I especially loved how they'd call to keep in touch. The Teachers all knew my daughter and regular Ed. Students and would greet her with much enthusiasm! South High has programs that also helped tutor and train my child for the outside world with SCROC. My child can now support herself. Her older brother now asks her for money!..*smiles*. My daughter loves her life, and she strives to work harder everyday and socializes very well. She now attends El Camio College...and loves life!...Kudos to South High School.. with much love, Mr & Mrs. Rigsby (parents of 2004 student)
5/12/2006former studentI liked going to school here. Overall, good teachers, good curriculum, higher quality friends, parent and student-friendly staff and administration when compared with my other high school (Narbonne in LA Unified District).
3/31/2006former studentPretty good. If you study hard.
3/9/2006parentEach student is encouraged to do their personal best. The teachers are highly skilled and work hard to bring out the best in each student. The principal is kind and knows each student by name.
2/13/2006parentThis is an excellent school with very good teachers and students. The campus is also very nice.
1/26/2006parentExcellent environment for learning. Plenty of extracurricular activities including music, dance, and sports. Proactive teachers.
11/30/2005parentThe school seems to have some improvement this year as teachers are seen at the start and end of school.
8/3/2005parentMy child enjoyed this school
7/6/2005former studentThough scoring well in test scores, this is more a function of the community. School politics, unnecessary changes in administration, and union interference in issues that are not in the best interests of our kids hamper the school.
4/15/2005parentChallenging academically for most students. Community wishes get in the way of access for all students. Some very good teachers, the old guard is tenaciously hanging on to what was instead of moving forward. Music/Drama vastly improved with the new teachers. Sports programs good. Administrative changes don't make sense, caused disruptions.


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