George Washington Preparatory High School was founded in 1927 as a six-year high school that slowly developed into a four-year school. In 1935 Washington High began accepting 11th and 12th graders only, and by the early 1960s, Washington Senior High School had expanded to include grades 10 through 12.
In the early 1980s, a new founder, the famed Dr. George McKenna, redefined Washington High School as a college preparatory school, and George Washington Preparatory High School, "The Prep," became an academic institution for grades 9-12. During subsequent years, Washington added Performing Arts, Math/Science, and Communication Arts Magnets and achieved honors in scholastic, athletic and extra-curricular competition. It has had championship teams in virtually every sport, and its students have won scholarship awards and contests in fields of: oration, drama, music, debate, art, and technology. Additionally, students have received honors recognition in scientific composition and from the public media, as well as having served as officers in district and city organizations. Alumni have gone on to achieve careers as professionals in business, medicine, law, and public service, and have earned recognition as celebrated figures in art and culture.
The reorganization of Washington Preparatory High School into Small Learning Communities (SLCs) began in 2006. The purpose of the SLC is to develop a sense of unity and cohesiveness and to foster the individual needs of students. The SLCs that were established as a result of this effort are: Etech (Engineering and Technology); ELMS (Ethics, Leadership, and Mediation Scholars); S.T.A.R.S (Visual and Performing Arts); BIZ (Business); SHAPE (Health and Fitness); and Law and Justice. The three Magnet programs have remained intact.
In 2009, in order to graduate and participate in senior activities such as prom, senior picnic, and grad night seniors must earn 230 credits, pass the California High School Exit Exam, and maintain 95% attendance.
Today, as part of an urban four-year comprehensive high school, we continue our commitment to providing our students with a quality education as part of a diverse student body, enabled to strive for excellence and to reach and fulfill their greatest potential, equipped to meet the challenges of a global, technological and changing society.