School Details

San Marcos High School

1615 San Marcos Boulevard, San Marcos, CA 92078
(760) 290-2200
9

(out of 10)

Public Grades 9-12 2242 students 22 students/teacher (CA avg is 21)

Test Scores by grade

35%
40%
25%
98%
96%
65%
76%
74%
58%
27%
21%
38%
80%
82%
62%
13%
17%
16%
71%
58%
45%

California Standards Test (CST)

In 2011-2012 California used the California Standards Tests (CSTs) to test students in English language arts in grades 2 through 11; math in grades 2 through 7; science in grades 5, 8 and 10; and history-social science in grades 8 and 11. Middle and high school students also took subject-specific CSTs in math and science, depending on the course in which they were enrolled. The CSTs are standards-based tests, which means they measure how well students are mastering specific skills defined for each grade by the state of California. The goal is for all students to score at or above proficient on the tests.
  • This school in 2013
  • San Marcos Unified School District average
  • California state average

% scale represents number of student who met or exceeded standards

13%
21%
13%
69%
68%
39%
40%
43%
41%
85%
71%
46%
74%
66%
35%
78%
74%
52%
35%
27%
15%
96%
92%
76%
79%
72%
54%
71%
73%
46%

California Standards Test (CST)

In 2011-2012 California used the California Standards Tests (CSTs) to test students in English language arts in grades 2 through 11; math in grades 2 through 7; science in grades 5, 8 and 10; and history-social science in grades 8 and 11. Middle and high school students also took subject-specific CSTs in math and science, depending on the course in which they were enrolled. The CSTs are standards-based tests, which means they measure how well students are mastering specific skills defined for each grade by the state of California. The goal is for all students to score at or above proficient on the tests.
91%
90%
83%
93%
91%
84%

CA00019

None
  • This school in 2013
  • San Marcos Unified School District average
  • California state average

% scale represents number of student who met or exceeded standards

12%
14%
10%
28%
30%
15%
90%
84%
51%
46%
49%
32%
55%
51%
37%
67%
59%
48%
26%
15%
8%
48%
53%
49%
90%
85%
58%
70%
67%
50%

California Standards Test (CST)

In 2011-2012 California used the California Standards Tests (CSTs) to test students in English language arts in grades 2 through 11; math in grades 2 through 7; science in grades 5, 8 and 10; and history-social science in grades 8 and 11. Middle and high school students also took subject-specific CSTs in math and science, depending on the course in which they were enrolled. The CSTs are standards-based tests, which means they measure how well students are mastering specific skills defined for each grade by the state of California. The goal is for all students to score at or above proficient on the tests.
  • This school in 2013
  • San Marcos Unified School District average
  • California state average

% scale represents number of student who met or exceeded standards

About this school

San Marcos High School is a public high school in Carlsbad. The principal of San Marcos High School is Julie Mottershaw, who can be contacted at julie.mottershaw@smusd.org. 2,242 children attend San Marcos High School and identify mostly as Asian; Hispanic; and White, non-Hispanic. 12% of the San Marcos High School students have "limited English proficiency." 42% of the 2,242 students here get reduced lunch prices. The student to teacher ratio at San Marcos High School is 22:1. High Tech High North County School is one of the nearest high schools.

Extracurricular activities

Arts

  • Band
  • Ceramics sculpture
  • Chorus
  • Computer arts
  • Dance
  • Drawing painting
  • Photography
  • Theater drama
  • Video film production

Languages Taught

  • French
  • Spanish

Sports

  • Baseball
  • Basketball
  • Cheerleading
  • Cross country
  • Field hockey
  • Football
  • Golf
  • Lacrosse
  • P.E. classes
  • Soccer
  • Softball
  • Swimming
  • Tennis
  • Track
  • Volleyball
  • Water polo
  • Wrestling

Student Ethnicities

Ethnicity School District
Asian 5% 5%
Hispanic 44% 47%
White, non-Hispanic 44% 39%
Black, non-Hispanic 3% 3%
Filipino 2% 3%
Multiracial 0.8% %
Asian/Pacific Islander 0.6% %
Pacific Islander 0.6% 0.7%
Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander 0.6% 19085%
Native American or Native Alaskan 0.4% 0.5%
Unspecified 0.1% 1%

Student Subgroups

Subgroup School District
Students eligible for free or reduced-price lunch program 42% 41%
Limited English proficiency 12% 23%

Community ratings & reviews

  • (10 months ago)

    top notch sports teams zero tolerance bullying lots of clubs strong sense of pride and beautiful brand new campus with top notch technology

  • (1 year ago)

    I can go on about this school but i won't! Let just say you are better of sending your kids to a charter school! Specially if your kids are mexican! I'm not going to get into details about this lets just say some teachers are perverts! The assistant pricipal MR. Zeith thinks his the owner if your child! He will BELITTLE YOUR KIDS AND HUMILIATE THEM IN FRONT OF THEIR PEERS! His so out of control with his attitude that the staff will ask him if everything is ok? He needs to learn his place! Don't raise your voice at my child!!

  • (1 year ago)

    So basically the class of 2012 carried this entire school on its back. The API under this amazing class went from 774 to an all time high of 859 and the school went from unranked to ranked 11 nationally according to US News and World Report. This class fundamentally changed the attitudes of all the staff at the school who were now uplifted and inspired by how awesome the class of 2012 was. Now that the class of 2012 is gone the API has slowly dripped from the all time high of 859 to 858 the next year and 857 this year. Also the school ranking has plummeted off a cliff. As you can see although no other class can hope to come close to the class of 2012 the positive influence left in 2012's wake has caused all the teachers to be about 329% more effective. If you are to enroll your kid in this school do so immediately before all of the magic voodoo placed on the staff by the class of 2012 wears off for good and the school reverts back to its middling baseline level. God bless the United States of America.

  • (1 year ago)

    Currently I wrote a review about my school that wasn't that great. I was very angry with the school at that time. I wish I could take it back. I got the chance to talk with the assistant principle Mr. Zeait we discussed what happened. It was just a misunderstanding. He was very cool about it.

  • (1 year ago)

    This school is probably the worst school I have ever gone to. I am currently a in my second year of high school and the year just stated a few weeks ago. So far I have had three different things stolen from me and today was one of those times. Also today the assistant principle Mr. Zeait pointed directly at me and said something about how "All you little freshman" should come to the football game. Now I am a good student so he wasn't mad at me or anything. I guess that he thought that it would be a good I idea to point me out and not only say what he did but honestly it hurt my feelings. Obviously I'm writing this because I'm very frustrated with the San Marcos High school as a whole. I know parents may write awesome things about how great their kids high school is but honestly you should probably take some advice from someone who has to go there almost every single day. Thank you for reading I hope this helped.

  • (1 year ago)

    SMHS is a school that keeps improving. The AAPLE academy is awesome and allows kids to challenge themselves at the top level. The creation of the Entrepreneurship Academy is such a brilliant idea! Teachers there are wonderful and care for their students. World History teacher Mr Burrows is incredible but so are Ms Mandarino Mr Bausbach Mr Roth and Mr Holdren! San Marcos deserves to be more recognized. And the students there are much more friendly and humble than in Dos Pueblos or in Santa Barbara High. It is simply a nice community! I am very happy my child is part of the Royals.

  • (2 years ago)

    Overall I am very pleased with this school. It has a very positive vibe and the teachers are very conscientious. I enjoyed the Shadow your Knight day and was impressed with each teacher. I asked my child if the teachers were always that awesome and he said yes. I love the school spirit of this school. We love going to the basketball games. My ONLY complaint so far is that I was very unimpressed with one teacher (I won't elaborate) and administration absolutely REFUSED to let my child switch teachers. I was told he COULD switch teachers but he'd have to drop honors. I felt this was very unfair. I have never asked to switch teachers with any of my children in ten years. I have always taught my kids that they have to get along with whomever they get as a teacher. I knew this teacher was not a good fit for my child. I am still upset about this. Anyhow other than that...AWESOME!

  • (2 years ago)

    Unfortunately the US News ranking is based on inaccurate data from the federal government. Still look forward to my kids attending and think it's a fine school.

  • (2 years ago)

    Hey people just look at U.S. News ranking of high school's in CA and you'll see SMHS ranked #3. That is a huge achievement and should be acknowledged. I have 5 kids and none go to SMHS but I am thinking of relocating and this is one of the areas I am looking at just because of the school.

  • (3 years ago)

    I struggled initially with letting my kids attend SMHS. My perception was one of a lesser quality of education and on campus concerns. I now have a senior and freshman at SMHS and couldn't be more pleased with what they have and are experiencing at the HS. My senior now has the opportunity to attend a number of top level colleges due to his HS achievements. If you take advantage of what is offered at SMHS and choose to get involved there is no better HS in the county but that is a matter of choice. I glad we didn't spend the equivalent of college tuition to send our kids to a private school or get lured in to the need to attend LCC or TP even despite the inconvenience of the construction.

  • (3 years ago)

    This is in reply to the last review posted........So many parents objected to having their children moved off campus during construction. This is the reason your children are being subjected to construction woes. Originally an off campus site by CSU was offered but way too many parents complained about this. We have to deal with the mess until our new beautiful high tech school is finished. Sorry!!!

  • (3 years ago)

    What a really disorganized mess this school has become. Student parking lot is half a mile away from campus. My daughter also has to deal with the demolition dust from asbestos-laced buildings from 50 years ago. So what are they going to replace those old portables with? NEW PORTABLES! Where are the classes for their interim campus going to be held? Portables again! I am not sure she will be attending here next year.

  • (3 years ago)

    Look at the district website and the school accountability report card (SARC). SMHS has had student profieciency BELOW state averages in math for the past three years. In other areas they are barely treading water with the state averages. For the district they are under state averages. How the API is at 829 is mystery to me.

  • (3 years ago)

    My time at SMHS is unforgettable. After discussing my high school experience with college peers I have come to appreciate the education I received at SM. I was surprised to hear about poor quality of teachers at other CA high schools and it has made me realize that SMHS is one of a kind. I'm also completely appreciative of the emphasis on writing & the collaboration between History & English teachers because it has helped me easily transition to college level papers. I'm skeptical of "5 faculty transferring their kids" because I didn't know a single faculty member that lives in SMUSD that sends their kids to another school. In fact many faculty that don't live in SM transfer their kids to the school- some from as far as Santee. There are a ton of students that transfer from outside the district especially Vista and Escondido due to its great reputation in recent years. I would completely disregard any reviews in which the individual merely vents about the passage of Prop K. Just because you are mad about the tax increases doesn't mean SMHS isn't a great school. SM offers a real-world (diversity) and memorable experience and no parent should hesitate to send their kids there.

  • (3 years ago)

    Oh my. I was scarred to say anything about what I experiances were. Great schools thx for this site! I know of five teachers and staff of SMUSD that send their kids elsewhere to school. I didnt know it was this bad....I have two daughters who went to this school and my family will now be moving elsewhere.

  • (3 years ago)

    Seems to me the last reviewer does not have enough information in order to review this school based on the first sentence. The second sentnece is not true at all. Seems that this person might be just a disgruntled person unhappy with the passage of prorp K. To rank a school with one star when one is completely not informed is disgraceful. Campus programs that improve the community and create global awareness among students have helped earn San Marcos High School an inaugural United Nations award that recognizes positive actions. This school does not have a culture of mediocrity. It meets the needs of a diverse population just check out the api scores on this website and be sure to look at sub catagories and compare them to every top high school in san Diego. You will find they are higher than all!

  • (5 years ago)

    I am very pleased with the education provided by SMHS. My son graduated last year and is now attending UCSD earning mostly A's which indicates that SMHS grads are ready for college. He was able to pass 8 AP tests while enrolled at the high school due to the excellent instruction; this will allow him to graduate from college in 3 years saving us alot of money. This school is very diverse and offers many opportunites for students to succeed. Since the school isn't as large as other local high schools students have many opportunities for participation in sports and clubs.

  • (5 years ago)

    My two daughters have received a great education and the since of community is extraordinary.

  • (5 years ago)

    Wow what a fantastic school! I am so pleased with the interest my daughter now shows in school. The teachers are wonderful!! Every interaction I have had with the staff has been pleasant and professional.

  • (5 years ago)

    San Marcos HIgh School is a great school. It has friendly staff and the campus is kept fairly clean. I am going onto my sencond year at this school and I am proud to be a Knight!

See all reviews on GreatSchools

Overall score

(based on 54 ratings & reviews)

  • Teacher quality
  • Principal leadership
  • Parent involvement

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