Santa Paula High School: Full Guide

Location: Santa Paula, CA

Are you a student or parent at Santa Paula High School? Want to understand how to get the most out of high school?

We've written the best guide to Santa Paula High available. Here we'll cover:

  • Breakdowns of student ethnicity, gender, and family income
  • How safe Santa Paula High is to attend
  • SAT/ACT/AP scores earned by Santa Paula High students
  • Which AP/IB classes you can take at Santa Paula High
  • Every sports team you can join at Santa Paula High

Let's get started!

Basic Information

Santa Paula High School is a public magnet school, supporting grades 9 to 12 . It's located in Santa Paula, CA in Ventura County.

Based on its location, Santa Paula High is classified as a school in a town fringe area, or more than 10 miles from an urbanized area. Here's the location on a map:


Contact Information

Mailing address:

Santa Paula High School
404 N. Sixth St.
Santa Paula, CA 93060-2008

Phone number: 8055254406

Santa Paula High School homepage: http://www.sphs.net/

Principal: Elizabeth Garcia
Email the principal: [email protected]


Student Demographics

Student Enrollment

The total enrollment at Santa Paula High School is 1542 students, making it a large high school, in the top 25% of all California high schools by size.

Attending Santa Paula High will feel like attending a small college. You'll have a few hundred students in your class, enough to provide an interesting set of activities, sports, and classes to try. But compared to the largest high schools in California, the student body size won't be overwhelming.


Growth in Student Body Size

Is Santa Paula High School growing or shrinking? This will help you see trends in where the school is headed.

From our calculations, the enrollment at Santa Paula High has increased over the past few years. We calculate this by comparing enrollment in grades 9 to 12.

Male Students Female Students All Students
9th grade 216 195 411
10th grade 210 250 460
11th grade 173 164 337
12th grade 161 173 334

As you can see in the table above, the freshman class is 77 students larger than the senior class. This suggests that the school is growing in size and taking on more students.

There are a few reasons this could be happening. The city of Santa Paula could be growing in population, thus sending more students into Santa Paula High. Alternatively, Santa Paula High could be relaxing its student policies and taking in more students.


Gender Split

Are there more boys or girls at Santa Paula High School?

From our statistics, Santa Paula High has a 50:50 split between male and female students in the high school grades.

Santa Paula High has a balanced male-female ratio that's largely representative of the general population in Ventura County. Since the student body is roughly half and half, it should feel like there are equal numbers of boys and girls in your classes.

This usually means that Santa Paula High doesn't strongly select for either males or females, unlike other schools that have a large majority of males or females.


Ethnicity Breakdown

What's the racial diversity at Santa Paula High School? Does one ethnicity make up most of the student body, or is it fairly balanced?

From our statistics, Santa Paula High has a very homogenous student body, with over 90% of students identifying as one ethnicity. This is especially extreme - fewer than 10% of California schools show as little racial diversity as Santa Paula High does. When attending class, you'll be surrounded by students of the same ethnicity.

The majority of students at Santa Paula High are Hispanic. In California, Hispanic students make up the majority of all students at 51.5%, and are thus the most common ethnicity. Predominantly Hispanic schools are the most common type of homogenous school, and Santa Paula High fits within this category.

Percentage Number
American Indian/Alaska Native 0.0% 0
Asian 0.3% 6
Hispanic 93.4% 1441
Black 0.3% 5
White 5.5% 86
Hawaiian Native/Pacific Islander 0.1% 2
Two or more races 0.1% 2

High schools usually reflect the population in the surrounding area, so the ethnicities of students likely resembles those of Santa Paula. If you'd like to see how other nearby schools look in diversity, just google "[name of school] prepscholar" to find our guide to that specific school.


Income Level of Santa Paula High Families

What are the family incomes of students at Santa Paula High School? To determine this, we look at the number of students who qualify for free or reduced lunches, a classification by the US federal government.

To qualify for a reduced price meal, family income needs to be below 185% of the federal poverty guidelines. For a family of 4, this means an income of around $45,000 or below.

To qualify for a free meal, family income needs to be below 130% of the federal poverty guidelines. For a family of 4, this means an income of around $32,000 or below.

The lower the percentage of students who qualify for free or reduced price meals, the higher the income levels are likely to be.

At Santa Paula High, 15.6% of students qualify for reduced-price lunches, and 60.5% qualify for free lunches.

This means Santa Paula High has a high percentage of students at or near poverty. Almost a third of all schools in California show this level of poverty, and by National Center for Education Statistics standards, Santa Paula High can be classified as a high poverty school. The income level of families in Santa Paula is thus likely to be low.

Number Percent
Reduced-price lunches 241 15.6%
Free lunches 934 60.5%
Do not qualify for reduced-price or free lunches 367 23.8%

As with ethnicity, this likely reflects the surrounding community in Santa Paula and doesn't speak much about the school itself.

Unfortunately, schools in areas of lower income levels are likely to be more poorly funded. As a result, they might feature less advanced coursework like AP/IB classes, and you may not have a full range of sports and extracurriculars to draw from. Because Santa Paula High is an especially high poverty-level school, it might not have the resources you need to meet your full potential.

You definitely don't have control over the city, the school, or other families, but you can structure your own learning to be more productive. If you'd like to open yourself to more opportunities, you can look into whether it's possible to transfer to a nearby school with higher income levels.

If not, don't be alarmed - it's possible that Santa Paula High has all that you need for your ambition. And you can definitely be proactive about learning outside of your school, looking to your community or to the Internet to find more resources.

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School Safety

How safe is Santa Paula High School to attend? Can you expect a lot of conflict as a student here?

To study this, we look at disciplinary data for two types of incidents at Santa Paula High: referrals to law enforcement (when incidents are reported to police), and arrests.

These are the most serious disciplinary actions available to school administration and are more severe than suspensions or expulsions. Suspensions are often discretionary and can be given just for being disruptive in class. In contrast, law enforcement referrals and arrests often indicate incidents that put the safety of other Santa Paula High students at risk.

In the school year of 2011-2012, there were 2 referrals to law enforcement (0 male, 2 female), and 2 school-related arrests (0 males, 2 females). This is out of a total enrollment of 1476 students.

To put this into perspective, most California schools (59% of them) reported 0 law enforcement referrals and arrests.

This means that 0.2 Santa Paula High is a safe school. For every 100 students, there is much fewer than 1 law-enforcement related action. It's not a perfect record, but it happens so infrequently that it might have just been a few bad apples.

With this record, is Santa Paula High School significantly different from other schools in the area? It could be that Santa Paula High has an especially bad record, or it could be that the local area shows a pattern.

Compare this school with other high schools in the same school district, using the following table:

Santa Paula Unified School District Safety

School Name Total Referred Total Arrests Enrollment
Renaissance High 2 0 118

Academic Performance


Now we get to a major aspect of assessing a high school: academic performance. How good of an education will you get at Santa Paula High School? Will you be competitive for college? Will you have access to advanced classes?

We've compiled everything we could find about Santa Paula High's academics here.


Standardized Testing


Next, we'll look at another major piece of high school academics: standardized testing performance for Santa Paula High School students. These are tests that are administered to large populations of students for comparison purposes.

Let’s start by taking a look at the data for nationally administered standardized tests.

SAT Scores

As you probably know, the SAT is a critical test used for college admissions. The higher the score you get, the better your academic performance compared to students nationwide, and the easier it is to get into top colleges.

We did in-depth research and found the average Santa Paula High School SAT scores.

The average composite SAT score is a 1310 out of 2400, compared to a national average of 1500. Each year, roughly 206 at Santa Paula High take the SAT.

This is a below-average SAT score, putting Santa Paula High School in the bottom 50% of all California schools. Only 19% of students here score the national average or higher. Because the SAT measures academic achievement, this suggests that Santa Paula High may offer a somewhat lacking high school education, compared to schools with higher SAT averages.

Note, however, that an average is just an average - top performers will still be able to impress. If you work hard and get an SAT score well above Santa Paula High's average, you'll have a great shot at entering a good college.

Here's a breakdown of SAT scores by section:

Average SAT Scores (2013-2014)

Source Critical Reading Math Writing Composite
Santa Paula High 431 446 433 1310
California 498 510 496 1504
United States 495 511 484 1490

Note that the SAT has since changed to a 1600 scale, but the trends above for your high school are likely to continue. Just use this guide to convert between the old 2400 scale and the new 1600 scale.

To learn more about SAT percentile rankings, read our guide on what SAT percentiles really mean.

How good is 1310 as an SAT score? Find out with our complete 1310 SAT score guide, including which colleges you can get into with a 1310 or any other SAT score!

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ACT Scores

In California, the ACT is less popular than the SAT. Fewer students take the ACT, and typically these students are more motivated and academically prepared for college. Therefore, it's harder to compare Santa Paula High School ACT scores with the rest of the country.

At Santa Paula High, the average ACT composite score was 19, compared to the nationwide average of 20. Each year, roughly 104 out of 1542 total students take the ACT.

This is below average performance, putting Santa Paula High in the bottom 50% of California high schools. Most students who take the ACT are below the national average.

Since the ACT tests what you learn in school, this is a pretty strong indicator that you'll get an average or below average education at Santa Paula High.

Here are the average English, Math, Reading, and Science scores for Santa Paula High compared to California and the US:

Average ACT Scores

Source English Math Reading Science
Santa Paula High 18 20 19 19
California 21.8 22.8 22.3 21.7
UnitedStates 20.3 20.9 21.3 20.8

Scores provided are for the 2013-14 school year.

Find out more about percentile rankings and the ACT in this article.

Every individual is different. What counts as a good ACT score for you? Learn more with this article!

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Advanced Placement (AP)

Advanced Placement (AP) classes are college-level courses that are an additional academic challenge may give Santa Paula High School students credit for college.

Here's what we're looking for: high average AP test scores as well as high AP passing rates.

AP Scores

Every year, roughly 208 students in grades 9-12 at Santa Paula High take 310 AP exams. It's important to understand how students score on the AP - earning a 3, 4, or 5 on the AP test means passing the test and often earning college credit.

The average score of all AP exams taken at Santa Paula High is 2.0 out of 5.

Unfortunately, this score puts Santa Paula High at below average performance. For AP tests, the passing score is considered a 3, and the majority of students who take AP tests at Santa Paula High don't pass. This performance places Santa Paula High School in the bottom 50% of schools for AP tests in California.

This isn't all bad news. It's already good that Santa Paula High offers an AP program, so you can start dipping your toes into college-level courses. Some schools are new to offering AP courses, and teachers often get better at preparing students for AP tests. Furthermore, a good number of students still earn a passing grade of 3 or above. With hard work throughout the year, you'll still be able to beat your school's average.

We have specific data on how many students got a 1, 2, 3, 4, or 5 (out of 5) on AP exams in the chart below:


To find out the passing rates for specific AP courses at Santa Paula High School, you'll have to talk to your guidance counselor (who can then help you find that information). For instance, one AP Calculus teacher may have an above-90% passing rate, while another might only have a 50% passing rate. If you can, you'll want to take the class with the teacher who has more students get a 3 or above on the AP exam.

Find out more about the average score for each AP subject here.


State Tests

As of 2014, eleventh graders attending Santa Paula High School must take standardized tests in English/Language Arts and Math as part of the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP). These align with the new Common Core standards and are called the "Smarter Balanced" tests.

If Santa Paula High students meet or exceed state standards, they're academically prepared to graduate high school and go to college. Specifically, we care about the percentage of students who meet or exceed state standards. The larger this number, the higher the preparation of students at Santa Paula High.

English/Language Arts

At Santa Paula High School, 47% of students meet or exceed state standards in English/Language Arts.

This is considered below average and puts Santa Paula High in the bottom 50% of all high schools in California for English/Language Arts. The majority of Santa Paula High students do not pass state standards, and only a small percentage pass.

This specific percentage isn't much cause for concern - because the Common Core is new, the pass rate at Santa Paula High will likely rise over time. But it still reflects Santa Paula High's below average standing among California high schools.

English/Language Arts Test Results (2015)

 

Read more about what’s measured in each ELA area score here.


Math

The other major test taken for state assessments is Math. Across the state, Math performance is generally lower than English/Language Arts performance, so it's natural for this number to be lower.

At Santa Paula High School, 23% of students meet or exceed state standards in Math. This is considered well below average and puts Santa Paula High in the bottom 25% of all high schools in California. The vast majority of Santa Paula High students don't meet state standards, and only a small percentage pass.

Math Test Results (2015)

 

Read more about what’s measured in each Math area score, go here.


Academic Offerings


In addition to the standard high school curriculum, many high schools like Santa Paula High School offer advanced coursework as part of the Advanced Placement (AP) or International Baccalaureate (IB) programs.

Brief Intro to AP/IB

AP and IB courses are designed at the difficulty level of college introductory classes. There are several important benefits to taking advanced coursework at Santa Paula High. First, taking more advanced classes shows colleges that you're committed to challenging yourself academically, and that you're one of the more advanced students at Santa Paula High. Taking AP/IB classes also raises your weighted GPA and makes you a stronger college applicant.

Furthermore, many colleges will accept your Santa Paula High AP/IB coursework as college coursework. In some cases, you'll be able to skip introductory-level classes and move to more advanced classes. In other cases, you'll be able to avoid having to take required courses and might even be able to graduate earlier than the standard 4 years. Often this will require you to pass the AP test, getting a score of 3 or above.

So what advanced courses does Santa Paula High School offer?

AP Courses

Santa Paula High School offers AP courses in 12 subjects.

This is a reasonable number of AP subjects, putting Santa Paula High School in the top 50% of California schools that offer AP courses. You'll likely have access to some of the most popular math and humanities AP subjects, as well as a few others.

The total number of AP subjects is 38, so Santa Paula High is missing a large number of subjects, including some popular ones. If there are any AP courses you want to take that aren't being offered at Santa Paula High, ask your counselor for ideas on how to cover the gap.

Of course, keep in mind that quality matters even more than quantity - even if Santa Paula High doesn't offer every AP course under the sun, the classes might still be taught very well. You can see student performance in the AP score analysis section above.

The following AP courses were offered at Santa Paula High during 2015-2016:

Course Title
Biology
Calculus AB
English Language and Composition
English Literature and Composition
Environmental Science
Music Theory
Psychology
Statistics
Studio Art: 2-D Design
Studio Art: 3-D Design
Studio Art: Drawing
United States History

Sports Teams

Finally, we'll cover which sports teams are available at Santa Paula High School. Sports are an integral part of many students' high school experiences. The more sports that are available, and the more levels supported (Frosh, JV, Varsity), the more likely you'll be able to participate in a sport at Santa Paula High.

By the way, the Santa Paula High mascot is the Cardinals. Go Cardinals!

Santa Paula High School fields 15 teams for girls' sports. This is a sizable number that puts Santa Paula High in the top 50% of California schools that offer girls' sports. You won't get the full range of sports and levels, but you'll be able to try out for a few options. If you participate in a sport that Santa Paula High doesn't offer, consider looking for a local non-school team that you can join.

And now for the boys: Santa Paula High School fields 16 teams for boys' sports. This puts Santa Paula High in the top 50% of California schools that offer boys' sports. You won't get every sport and level possible here, but you'll have a decent number of options. If you participate in a sport that Santa Paula High doesn't offer, consider looking for a local non-school team that you can join.

Boys Teams Girls Teams
Basketball
Var JV Fr
Basketball
Var JV Fr
Golf
Var JV Fr
Golf
Var JV Fr
Fieldhockey
Var JV Fr
Football
Var JV Fr
Wrestling
Var JV Fr
Wrestling
Var JV Fr
Volleyball
Var JV Fr
Volleyball
Var JV Fr
Baseball
Var JV Fr
Tennis
Var JV Fr
Softball
Var JV Fr
Trackfield
Var JV Fr
Trackfield
Var JV Fr
Soccer
Var JV Fr
Soccer
Var JV Fr
Swimming
Var JV Fr
Swimming
Var JV Fr

What’s Next?


Want to get more useful information about high school classes and preparing for colleges? Our blog has a ton of articles and advice on topics ranging from coursework and GPA to letters of recommendation, extracurriculars, and much more!

Ready to bulk up your schedule and maximize your college preparedness? Read all about the Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate programs.

Not quite in high school yet, but eager to get started? We've also got information for younger students interested in advanced learning opportunities, both in and out of school.

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Sources

The data on this page is drawn from a variety of sources, including (but not limited to):