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

"Victory with Honor"
12431 Roscoe Blvd, Sun Valley, Los Angeles, California 91352
Type Public
Established 1897
School district Los Angeles Unified School District
Principal Ari Bennett
Grades 9-12
Enrollment 3,500 Students
Color(s) Blue and Gold         
Athletics conference East Valley League
CIF Los Angeles City Section
Mascot Parrots
Newspaper The Poly Optimist
Yearbook The Polytechnic Student
Website John H. Polytechnic High School Official website

John H. Francis Polytechnic High School is a secondary school located in the Sun Valley suburb of Los Angeles, California. 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 campus of Polytechnic High under construction in 1905

In 1905, Polytechnic moved to the corner of Washington Boulevard and Flower Street, in downtown Los Angeles.[1] Polytechnic High School was the first school to offer studies in multiple class subjects, which is now modeled by many high schools, as "periods". Polytechnic High School was renamed in 1935, in favor of the school's founder and first principal John H. Francis.

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[2] and Panorama High School[3] relieved much of the overcrowding at Polytechnic. The 2009 opening of Sun Valley High School additionally relieved overcrowding.[4]

In February 2012, a 27-year-old athletic assistant was arrested for having a relationship with a 16-year-old student from another school.[5]

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.

Bell Schedule

Poly works on a 4x4 block schedule. Throughout the day students attend only four classes, compared to that of the traditional 6. With two fewer classes, students have more time to concentrate on completing their homework and thoroughly learning their subjects. Each class is now 90 minutes, giving the teachers time to delve deeply into the important concepts and really help the students master them. Because the class periods are so much longer now, each quarter is only eight weeks and an entire year's course of study sixteen weeks (the time they used to spend for just a semester), it means that each day is equivalent to two days on the old system. It is therefore crucial that all students really cannot afford to miss school or come unprepared. Students must be seated in their classes by 8:05am or they will be picked up in the tardy sweep. Each time they are late, they not only miss valuable instruction but they will also receive detention and phone calls home.[6]

Notable alumni

Notable faculty


  1. School history
  2. Arleta High School
  3. Panorama High School
  4. "Proposed Changes to Sun Valley High School Area Schools," Los Angeles Unified School District. Retrieved on March 17, 2010.
  5. Blankstein, Andrew. "Athletic assistant arrested in relationship with 16-year-old". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 23 February 2012.
  7. 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.
  8. Tom Bradley Bio
  9. 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.
  10. Peri, Don (2008). Working with Walt: Interviews with Disney Artists. Jackson: University Press of Mississippi. ISBN 1-934110-67-1.
  13. Gail Goodrich bio
  14. 1 2
  16. 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.
  17. "Greg Palast" (PDF). Current Biography. June 2011. pp. 73–80.
  18. Abdollah, Tami (2009-07-11). "Inside the mind of a killer 'Santa'". Los Angeles Times.
  19. Jessie Carnie Smith, ed., Notable Black American Women Volume 2 (VNR AG 1996): 612. ISBN 9780810391772
  20. Turner Publishing Company, The Military Order of World Wars, 1997, page 60
  21. "Sloppy Thurston". Baseball-Reference.Com. Retrieved October 6, 2012.
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