Santa Cruz County History - Libraries & Schools

Santa Cruz High School Circular of Information, 1912

[In the Library's collection is a handbook for Santa Cruz High School, printed in 1912. It is titled " Circular of Information, " and is much like today's college catalog. It gives the objectives of the school, faculty, calendar, admission and grading information, student activities, and a description of the academic departments and courses. Below are excerpts from the circular; we have not included the department and course descriptions, but have included most of the text covering student life and administration. RAP-ed.]

To Parents

The school seeks most earnestly the constant co-operation of the parents in all of its efforts toward the uplift and education of the young people in its charge. Without it, we realize that results will be meager, no matter how fine our equipment or how efficient our teaching force. We want you to be acquainted with us, and intimately familiar with the administration of the school. To this end a cordial invitation is extended to all parents to visit the school frequently, to ask questions, to bring us your complaints, to consult freely with the principal and teachers about your children and their progress.

There are some things which work for good in the school that only parents can attend to. They should see that the attendance is good, that tardiness should be a rarity, that social functions should never interfere with school work, that high ideals of scholarship and character should be continually held before the children and words of encouragement and appreciation be never wanting. A good, comfortable place for home study is the right of every child, and home study should be insisted upon. Two hours each day is a necessity for almost every student. If the pupil makes the claim to his parent that he does not need that much, the matter should be looked into. The teachers would heartily welcome the formation of a Parent Teachers' Association of some kind, so that organized co-operation may be established between the home and the school these great factors in the training of the young.

Entrance into High School marks a critical epoch in the life of the young student. New subjects, new associations, new and strange methods of administration, new demands upon his self-reliance, initiative, resourcefulness, a new passion of loyalty to an institution of some size and attainments, a new physical development which induces mental disturbances and often discouragement if there are maladjustments of any kind; all these call for the most careful treatment on the part of parent as well as teacher. To the youth, High School life is everything. It "fills the whole sky." School work, its related activities, its friendships and society, its games, make up most that is interesting to the young at this time. So there must be just as careful guidance given in these matters as parents and teachers working together can possibly effect. The school exercises a certain amount of supervision over the athletic and other activities of the students, and most gratifying results are apparent on all sides from the guidance which is always given in a friendly spirit and received with a friendly spirit by the pupils. In fact it may be said that the ideal which pervades all of the relationships between teachers and students in this school, is to guide and befriend, and to compel as little as possible, to the end that that true self-discipline may be established in the young, which shall be the expression, both now and through life, not of compulsion from without but of impulses from within. The school affairs of the students are always attended by the teachers and the best of feelings are apparent. The only lack is a more extensive habit on the part of parents of attending these social affairs.

The parents are urged to give especial attention to the Report Cards, both kinds, signing and returning the six weekly cards. If poor work is manifested by the report, the school should promptly receive a visit. Sometimes a few words from a parent, who knows his child far better than the teachers can ever hope to, will give the problem of that child's education an entirely new aspect.

Finally, the High School is a place of business and a place for business. While there is every sympathy with the exuberant spirits of young life and no tyranny is practised, yet it is believed that the students are old enough to realize that they are engaged in a serious undertaking and are pursuing it at the expense of the hard-earned wages of the tax-payers. Successful progress is within the reach of every one who will do each day's task. Those who will not work are pre-doomed to failure and must either learn the lesson of concentrated effort or else drop out of the ranks.

General Information

This Circular is published primarily for the use of the students of the High School, their parents and the citizens of Santa Cruz, who are interested in the work of the institution. It is hoped that it will be carefully perused and kept for ready reference at all times, as the attempt has been made to include in it all necessary information recording the school and its work.


Students who are graduates of schools of grammar grade are admitted to the Freshman class. Proof of such graduation may be demanded at any time. Other students are admitted to appropriate classes upon consultation with the Principal.


Promotion depends upon a grade known as 3- in the daily work, supplemented in some cases by Final Examinations. Promotion in each subject is absolutely independent of every other.


A credit is given for one year's work in any subject which results in promotion. University matriculation credits are on a different basis. See below.


The status or class of a student is determined by the number of credits which he has. Three credits give Sophomore status, seven give Junior and eleven give Senior. When a student has a number of credits between those mentioned, he belongs to the class indicated by the lower number of credits.

No less than four studies are to be taken each term, nor more than four unless successful records have been made in the past.


Fifteen credits are required for graduation.

Spring Entering Classes

Although but one class graduates yearly, i. e. in June, yet classes are received into the school every half-year. The following explanation will elucidate the plan. To classes entering in the Fall or first term, will be offered all the subjects in the curriculum. But only a limited number of them will be given to those who enter in the Spring or second term. All of the latter class of students are required to take two periods per day of English, thus completing the Freshman year of English in one term. Latin is also given under exactly the same plan but is elective. Thus all Spring-entering Freshmen will be ready for Sophomore English in the Fall and those who elect Latin will likewise be ready for Sophomore Latin.

English and Latin would make four periods per day, the usual number for regular students. Other electives given in the Spring are Drawing, Manual Training and Domestic Science. A course in Arithmetic, introductory in character to High School mathematics, is compulsory for all students who were not honorary in Arithmetic upon graduation from the Eighth grade. All other Freshman subjects are begun only in the Fall term, and for these, the Spring-entering Freshmen must wait.

Table of courses for Spring-entering Freshmen. Spring term:

Subject Matr. No. Grad. Cr. Univ. Cr. Periods per week
*English 1 1 1 10
Latin 6 1 1 10
Manual Training 18a 1/2 1/4 6
Domestic Science 18d 1/2 1/4 6
Drawing 16 1/2 1/4 5





*Required of all students.

Pupils who enter in the Spring will, by careful planning and close application, be able to graduate in three and one-half years, but it is not generally advisable. Ordinary students will take four and one-half years. Those who desire for some special reason to graduate in three and a half years should at once consult the Principal and formulate a course of study.

Courses of Study

There are in the Santa Cruz High School no courses of study as they are generally termed. Certain subjects are required of all students. All others are elective. It is presumed that a High School pupil with the guidance of his teachers, is capable of systematizing his own subjects according to a definite purpose wich he has in view, and it is desired to give as free choice of subjects according to individual tastes as is consistent with a well-rounded education.

At the beginning of the descriptive matter on each Department in this book, a paragraph of general remarks is placed, intended to help the student and parent to a conception of the nature of each subject so that an intelligent choice may be made. Pupils are not to choose subjects ahead of their own status without special permission. Nor may a subject once chosen be dropped without a request to the Principal, accompanied by a note from the parent.

[The next section of the circular describes each department and its courses: English, Mathematics, Science, Latin, German, Spanish, Drawing, Commercial (Typewriting, Stenography, Bookkeeping, Commercial Law), Manual Training (Metal and Woodworking), Domestic Science (Cooking, Nutrition), and Music. This section has been omitted here.]

Student Activities

Student Body

All the students of the school are organized into an Association called the Student Body which meets every month in the Assembly Hall, and transacts business pertaining to the students' affairs. Elections for officers in this association are held each term and are by the Australian Ballot System and Direct Primaries.

The High School paper, the Trident, is controlled by this organization, the editing and managing staff being elected at the same time and in the same way as the other officers.

One of the most important activities in the High School is carried on through the Improvement Committee of the Student Body. This is a survival of a former independent organization called the Improvement Society. It has been and still is one of the most energetic and efficient factors in the school. It has for its chief aim the beautification of the building and grounds, although many other matters of more general import have passed through their hands. Many pictures have been bought, vines planted, plants secured for the halls, a rest-room for the girls furnished, and just now the front entrance hall is being furnished with rugs, settles, etc. Donations for these worthy objects are occasionally received from friends of the schools but the committee raises its funds principally by conducting a second-hand book exchange and by holding sales, entertainments, etc.


The athletic interests of the students are taken care of by two associations, the Boys' Athletic Association and the Girls' Athletic Association. These are independent of the Student Body, being supported by dues of the members and by the proceeds of games, meets, etc., but act in co-operation with it whenever necessary. The school is a member of the Coast Counties Athletic League, in which it has achieved a most enviable record. All of the current trophies given by the League are in the possession of the school. Two have been won permanently and two others, if won this year, will pass into the permanent possession of the school also. While the school's notable athletic success is due in some measure to the fact that it is the largest in the League, it is undoubted due much more for the fine spirit of loyalty which pervades the institution and the large measure of paternal guidance and friendliness toward student activities on the part of the Faculty without which many schools have to struggle along as best they can.

One of the teachers is also the Director of Student Finances, having the ultimate handling of all funds except those of the class organizations, and the auditing of their books. Each organization elects its own Treasurer, who is responsible to the Director, and must keep his accounts in accordance with a system devised by him. This plan insures not only a business-like expenditure of money, but trains the pupils in right business methods and ideals.

Better than any extraordinary prowess in athletic lines, is the reputation which the school enjoys for fair play, sportsman-like conduct, and generous courtesy to visiting teams. Ideals of this kind are more important than any trophies that may fall to our lot, and it is to be hoped that the high reputation that the school now enjoys among the schools of the League may never be lost. There is a certain criticism commonly made of school athletics that it has been the steady policy of Santa Cruz High to avoid. The charge is made that owing to the nature of interscholastic contests, too few are engaged in athletics, and the benefits derived are limited to a small number of students. To avoid this just criticism and to provide training where it is needed and to the largest number, interclass contests of all kinds are fostered and games within the school itself. A handball court, tennis court, and basketball court are equipped for the use of all the students and are exceedingly popular with a large percentage of girls and boys. Still more, however, needs to be done among the girls to provide them with the proper physical training, and arrangements should be made for securing a much more extensive playground. No modern High School is properly equipped without a minimum of five acres of grounds, a large part of which should be set apart for playgrounds.


In debating the school is represented by two societies, the Forum and the Delphia, both exceedingly active and producing the best of results. Such a keen interest has of late been aroused that an instructor in Oral Expression is going to be a strong demand in the near future. A series of class debates, followed by interclass, is held each year, the competition for places on the teams being very warm. These debates are all public and the patrons of the school are invited to be present.


Year Enrollment
first month
per Year
Average Daily
% of
Boys Girls Total Boys Girls Total    
1906-07 79 130 209 102 148 250 194 96.0
1907-08 74 132 206 96 152 248 195 98.7
1908-09 90 135 225 101 160 261 219 99.1
1909-10 93 145 238 116 186 302 233 99.1
1910-11 107 174 28I 129 200 329 278 99.2
1911-12 119 190 309  


Year Valuation
of Lots, Buildings
and Equipment
Assessed Valuation Tax Levy
on $100
Vols. in Library
1906-07 $60,000 $5,200,000 25¢ 500
1907-08 60,000 5,500,000 32¢ 550
1908-09 70,000 6,500,000 32¢ 630
1909-10 80,000 8,100,000 27 1/2¢ 760
1910-11 85,000 7,395,000 37 1/2¢ 960
1911-12 90,000 7,500,000 30¢ 1010

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