Marks of Excellence


In May 2015, POLAHS received the 2015 California Gold Ribbon Schools Award, a recognition honoring schools that embrace rigorous academic standards, provide excellence and creativity in teaching, and create a positive school climate.


POLAHS received a full-term, six-year accreditation granted from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) in 2012. Following a week-long site visit, the WASC Committee noted that “maintaining an effective quality program for students in the face of today’s challenges is a truly commendable feat.” We consider this highest compliment a testament to the rigor and value of our program.

2012 WASC Report


In 2011, POLAHS was one of ten high schools in Los Angeles County to receive the California Distinguished School Award. The recognition highlights schools that exemplify a clear narrowing of the achievement gap between the highest and lowest subgroups, and act as a model for surrounding institutions.

California Distinguished Schools Program

  POLAHS has achieved graduation and college enrollment rates averaging 98%. POLAHS alumni attend colleges and universities such as UC Berkeley; UC Los Angeles; UC San Diego, and the California Maritime Academy. Graduates have received full-tuition merit scholarships to colleges and universities including Yale University, University of Notre Dame, United States Air Force Academy, Dickinson College, and University of Virginia. Seventeen percent of POLAHS' alumni have been the first in their family to earn a high school diploma, and 46% have been the first in their family to enroll in college.
    POLAHS’ 10th graders received pass-rates of 95% in English/Language Arts and 93% in Mathematics on the 2014-2015 California High School Exit Exam (CAHSEE).

POLAHS scored an 840 on the 2012 Academic Performance Index (API), surpassing the state-wide target of 800 for the first time. This represents a 49 point increase in only one year. POLAHS outperformed surrounding public high schools by over 160 points on average. 


  The passing rates on AP exams have increased significantly each year. In 2015, the pass rates were highly commendable overall. Examples include:
  • AP Calculus | 100% pass-rate | 13 students
  • AP English | 96% pass-rate | 26 students
  • AP Spanish | 95% pass-rate | 19 students
  • AP US History | 88% pass | 17 students
  • AP Government | 81% pass | 16 students

of the Year


POLAHS Principal Tom Scotti was named "Daily Breeze People of Distinction: Educator of the Year" in November 2011. Daily Breeze readers nominated over 100 individuals for awards in ten categories, including Education, Innovation, and Volunteerism. Principal Scotti received numerous award nominations for his unparalleled commitment to serving the 950 students who attend POLAHS.

Principal Scotti Wins Educator of the Year


  POLAHS has an outstanding average attendance rate (ADA) of 97%.