Students enrolled 1021
School leader Rhonda Buss, Ed.D.

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16800 Shoemaker Avenue
Cerritos, CA 90703

School website
(562) 926-5566
(562) 926-2751
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Map of Whitney (Gretchen) High School address.

4 stars
Based on 81 ratings

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think about this school

April 28, 2014
I am a parent of Whitney high school in cerritos. Both my boys go here and I cant believe how much the staff and councelors help the students when ever they need them. The front office staff are great. The school prepares our kids very well that make them survive in any college later in life. we love this school!

- submitted by a parent
April 28, 2014
I attended Whitney from 1989-1994 and went on to attend UCLA and graduate school thereafter. It was a very academically focused school and I found that there was the constant positive peer pressure of getting into a good college and participating in extracurricular activities. People are still very impressed that I went to Whitney and it does somewhat guarantee that you'll be successful in life. I didn't have the best grades but still got into the best CA schools by virtue of the fact that I attended Whitney. The best thing about Whitney is that you get a private school education for free (if you can get in that is). Also, it's free of wannabe gangsters, potheads, mean girls, etc., that you'll find at most other schools.

- submitted by a community member
January 19, 2014
I'm an eighth grader currently attending Whitney. The staff goes abovw and beyond for us. They're very interactive, and I've become close to a lot of them. Whitney High is full of oppurtunities for students, and it's full of achievers. It's small, which makes all the students closer. We call ourselves the Whitney Family. I love how the older students befriend the 7th and 8th graders. It's very comforting to have older figures that treat you like siblings. Whitney has the BEST music program, and our brand new 6 million dollar media arts center shows it off well. I am so blessed to be here.

- submitted by a community member
April 23, 2013
My daughter went to this chool. Academically it prepared her to become a doctor. She learned a lot in this school. Children graduated from thsi school can go in any college and they do well.

- submitted by a parent
January 26, 2013
I went to this school almost a decade ago. The school provided a motivating environment but it placed too strong of an emphasis on test-taking over other skills such as critical thinking. The trend toward the end of my time there was to cut classes and programs for students, which is sad because students lost many opportunities to discover their talents and abilities.

- submitted by a community member
December 26, 2012
This is the best school in the whole wide world. Those people that think it's bad go take a look at it. You guys don't know nothing. Whitney has a high HPI score that means they have good teachers.

- submitted by a community member
December 21, 2012
Those who say bad things about the teachers here know nothing. As a student, I can say that our school has better teachers than you'll find anywhere else. They're very interactive with their students and do more than just educate us--they provide us with the guidance we need to get through school and, even further, life. This is the kind of close-knit community Whitney is, and there's a reason why we call ourselves the "Whitney family". Everybody has a place here, including the teachers and staff. The teachers are an especially big part of our lives at Whitney because they see us grow up from 7th grade to senior year. An speaking in terms of academics, yes, the teachers are excellent. Why else would our API score always bring us up to top 10 every year? Why else would we have one of the highest graduation, AP passing, and college entrant rates in the nation?

- submitted by a community member
October 02, 2012
i am currently a student at WHS, and I have to say that it DEFINITELY is not easy. plus, because you are competing with other HIGHLY intelligent students, so if you rank, let's say, 30th at WHS, you'd probably be in the top 10 at another high school. Therefore, when you apply for college, you probably will seem normal compared to the 29 people above you. However, it is very challenging, yet very fun at the same time. However, WHS does mostly concentrate just on academics. Perhaps the band program is the only exception: the band program is very enjoyable and unique. You grow very much musically. However, sports-wise, WHS is HORRIBLE, with the exception of girl's volleyball. We don't even have a football team. Also, since there are only about 900 (150 per grade, 7-12 grade) students, you get to know more of the people: there is a sense of closeness. Overall, this is a great school to attend, but if you're not doing well by getting failing grades, detentions, etc., you might have a really hard time at WHS- they DO give you a lot of work to do.

- submitted by a community member
August 28, 2012
The teachers are terrible. This school has a high API, but that doesn't necessarily mean it has good quality teachers and quality education. The workload is unbearable. Just because the name is Whitney doesn't mean it is a good school. TEACHERS DON'T EVEN MAKE AN EFFORT TO EXPLAIN A CONCEPT TWICE IF A CHILD DOESN'T UNDERSTAND IT. CHILDREN ARE MORE INDEPENDENT THAN THEY SHOULD BE AND HAVE TO UNDERSTAND THE CONCEPTS THEMSELVES. This is their childhood-it doesn't come back. Let them enjoy and have fun. Don't forget that top colleges like Stanford don't only select students from Whitney, they select students from other schools and bad schools also. It depends on the student. If he/she is hardworking, they can pass any obstacle.

- submitted by a parent
April 21, 2011
Graduated from here- and of all my family friends/ cousins/ anyone else in my life that was going to highschool at the same time ( 1999-2004) , I had the best experience. oh and i got into ucla just fine.

- submitted by a community member
April 10, 2011
Sure it's an academically oriented college PREP high school, but by attending Whitney, that student has a lower chance of getting into top-notch colleges like UCLA and such, given the fact that that student is competing with other highly intelligent students within the class. This high school is basically like another college, work-load wise, and is a good school to prepare for college. But a student's GPA and college app will be higher/stand out more in a high school like Cerritos High rather than Whitney because of that.

- submitted by a community member
January 29, 2011
4 Reasons Why Whitney Can do Better. The teachers are not great. They are usually inexperienced and lack professionalism. They like to say "we won't take your hand and walk you through it" but essentially they create a distance from themselves and their students' successes. The program does not prepare students for college. Tardy sweeps? Detention? Grow up Whitney. Your students are better than that. Students do well because the school only recruits high test-scorers. Duh.. Parents are not involved and principalship at the school has lost touch of the "family" aspect of Whitney High. Ask for the PTA and you'll be led into an empty conference room.

- submitted by a community member
no rating April 19, 2010
High academic achievement & caring faculty.

- submitted by a parent
January 19, 2010
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- submitted by a parent
January 18, 2010
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- submitted by a parent
January 08, 2010
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- submitted by a parent
January 07, 2010
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- submitted by a parent
December 02, 2009
I just got into Whitney, and I love it! The challenge is just great, and I love everything about it! A great way to begin middle school!

- submitted by a student
November 05, 2009
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- submitted by a student
November 03, 2009
Prepares kids for college. Students are there because they want to be there, not because they have to.

- submitted by a parent
October 07, 2009
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- submitted by a parent
October 05, 2009
The number one high school in the state of California has an awesome Robotics Club! Amazing students, dedicated teachers, supportive administration, dynamite parents and devoted community volunteers make this school like no other.

- submitted by a community member
September 29, 2009
I was concerned about my child transferring in from a private school to Whitney. I heard many wonderful compliments from other parents and alumni. However, any school, especially an academic selective school, is going to have some dissenting opinions. Whitney High School has surpassed all my expectations and my concerns have been eliminated. Many of the problems stem from overbearing parents that have unreasonable expectations for their child (too many think THEIR child will be the one that gets into Harvard, Princeton, or Yale). The other issue is that there are students that really are not ready to handle the academic load and discipline to compete in an environment where everyone else is just as capable. Whitney is very supportive of the students and are there to help them to be successful. Best decision we've made for our child!

- submitted by a parent
May 22, 2009
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- submitted by a community member
May 18, 2009
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- submitted by a student
May 11, 2009
best school in every aspect of learning

- submitted by a parent
no rating March 08, 2009
I am a current parent of a 7th grader at Whitney High School. I have mixed feeling about the school. I was told how fortunate my child is to be selected to attend such a great school. Education is very important, but being in an envirement that you feel comfortable and feeling like you really belong can just be as important, or being in a school that is well deversified. Feeling like you belong can add to the sucess of a student. Having parent that can actually help you with homework can make a difference in your EDUCATION! Having Money to send your child to the best tuitors and academy enrichment programs can put you in the first priority list for treatment. Concerned Mother, and feeling lucky...

- submitted by a parent
February 21, 2009
First off, the high standardized test scores are not a direct result of the teaching staff here but, rather, because this is a magnet school where students take a test to gain admission. This means that students here were already scoring well on standardized tests prior to entering WHS. However, due to the nature of admission, what you get is a student body that is terribly homogenous and extremely type A. Unhealthy amounts of competition is encouraged and the end result is that it is actually much more difficult to gain acceptance to the college of your choice. C level efforts at WHS would earn A+'s in 'normal' high schools (trust me), and, when colleges are choosing students based upon how they did compared to their high school only, it becomes apparent why colleges have trouble choosing your child amongst other WHS students who are exactly the same.

- submitted by a student
January 25, 2009
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- submitted by a student
January 15, 2009
I was a student at whitney high school from 7th to 12th grade, and from the moment i walked through the double doors leading me to the orange locker-lined hallways, until the moment i walked across the stage accepting my high school diploma, i was constantly being pushed, and challenged by all of my teachers to be the best student, and the best all-around person i could be. Although i constantly complained about the amount of work we were expected to do and research papers we had to write, it really prepared me for college at Loyola University. while some juniors in college worry about an 8-10 page paper, I don't even break a sweat because of the 8-10 page papers my teachers in 8th grade were training me to write. =D

- submitted by a student
no rating October 12, 2008
As of the 2008-09 school year, Whitney High school no longer offers AP English Literature. The school will only offer the standard level English for its seniors. The talk among most seniors is that this change was made to protect seniors who are not interested in pushing themselves by taking the hardest level classes available. By getting rid of AP, Whitney has essentially leveled the playing field but at the expense of not pushing the communities most talented students with the most difficult coursework.

- submitted by a community member
May 19, 2008
I am a current student at Whitney and it rocks to be here. I have great friends and the teachers are really nice.

- submitted by a student
January 12, 2008
This school is the most awesome school out there. Usually, students just think of their teachers as teachers, but here at Whitney, students think of the teachers as friends and there are so many curricular activities like Faculty Follie where you see the teachers act crazy for only two dollars and all those ticket earnings goes to senior scholarships. Everyone in this school is super friendly and nice and you can immediately make friends on your first day. I can't wait to spend the next 6 years of my school life in the best school i have ever had.

- submitted by a student
January 02, 2008
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- submitted by a student
December 20, 2007
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- submitted by a student
December 05, 2007
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- submitted by a student
September 24, 2007
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- submitted by a parent
February 01, 2007
I am a student currently attending whitney high. It is no doubt a school of excellence and acadamic excel. Parents need to decide between wellroundness and academic achievement, because Whitney is not for those who wish to excell in areas outside academics. Regardless of everything I love it here and it is very friendly and spirited place to learn.

- submitted by a student
October 16, 2006
Wonderful academic program. If you're looking for just academic achievement then Whitney is the place. Extracurricular activities, however, are abysmal. Students lack well-roundedness and only excel academically. Narrow-education school.

- submitted by a former student
May 24, 2006
Academic programs are high quality, but focus on academics/college prep with little regard to well-roundedness. Lack of extracurricular programs. Competitiveness somewhat out of control, as students are geared towards achieving grades rather than knowledge.

- submitted by a former student
May 06, 2006
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- submitted by a parent
April 20, 2006
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- submitted by a parent
March 30, 2006
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- submitted by a staff
March 26, 2006
Whitney has amazingly bright, intelligent students, an amazing student body with so much spirit and school pride, and teachers that go beyond the curriculum!

- submitted by a student
March 01, 2006
The best public school that you can attend. Tight-knit and intimate, where the teachers and counselors really get to know the students. All the students are amibitious and hardworking.

- submitted by a former student
February 06, 2006
By far the best public high school that students could attend. Academic programs excels in all areas as the evironment for learning is perfect.

- submitted by a student
January 22, 2006
Academic programs are good but not a varied selection. Competitive, with even mediocre students pushing very hard for grades. Grade inflation does take place. Poor athletic programs

- submitted by a parent
January 07, 2006
A school where the absolute atmosphere is to prepare for college. The peer pressure is to do well in school and to prepare for college.

- submitted by a former student
December 01, 2005
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- submitted by a parent
November 25, 2005
The focus of Whitney is preparation for college entry, and it does a fantastic job at doing so. Students do quite well in a good learning environment. However, the availability of art and music programs is lacking. Athletic programs are not a priority although the opportunities are there. Highly competitive, sometimes unhealthily so.

- submitted by a parent
October 12, 2005
The academic programs are great with lots of AP classes available, geared towards college entrance. It is lacking in sports since the concentration is on academics.

- submitted by a former student
September 04, 2005
Top school in Souher California in my opinion. Teacher are very well rounded. Academic is second to none (see API test scores).

- submitted by a parent
August 26, 2005
Excellent School, but students tend to be under too much pressure.

- submitted by a former student
August 25, 2005
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- submitted by a former student
August 19, 2005
Whitney High School is an excellent academic school. I have know the school past 5 years and my eldest Son goes here. The taeching and the atmosphere are so geared towards learning and the expectation from students are high. This will make the students to be well prepared for the college. The staffs are highly educated and teach the students beyond the requirement and make the students to excel. My second Son is going to join this year and we are very happy that we have such a wonderful No 1 ranking public school in the state of california.

- submitted by a parent
July 20, 2005
As a Whitney alumnus, I can say firsthand what a fine institution it is. Whitney fosters a great community of students committed to learning. The curriculum is well rounded, and there are plenty of opportunities for growth in specialized areas, including visual and performing arts, sciences, and language arts. Prospective students and parents must understand that, although Whitney is a public school, a test must be taken prior to admission.

- submitted by a former student
July 14, 2005
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- submitted by a teacher
June 27, 2005
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- submitted by a parent
June 17, 2005
Whitney has an excellent curriculum and its indeed a top school in California.

- submitted by a parent
June 15, 2005
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- submitted by a parent
June 11, 2005
Adacemic excellence is the mark of this school. I look forward to having some of my deserving children study at this school. High level of parent involement

- submitted by a parent
May 08, 2005
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- submitted by a parent
May 04, 2005
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- submitted by a student
April 16, 2005
Quite possibly the most aceademically intense public school education in the country.

- submitted by a parent
March 31, 2005
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- submitted by a former student
March 31, 2005
As a former student I can say that Whitney is an excellent academic high school with a supportive teaching staff and family atmosphere. A wide variety of academic and fine art classes are available. However, I don't think Whitney does a great job of preparing students for anything but college. It would have been nice to have a few 'practical' electives such as Home Economics or Shop class. Also, for those of us that choose the community college/4 year university transfer route in order to save money, the administration was less than supportive. Overall I think this is an excellent choice provided the things that are lacking in class selection are taught at home.

- submitted by a former student
March 15, 2005
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- submitted by a parent
March 13, 2005
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- submitted by a teacher
February 26, 2005
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- submitted by a student
February 05, 2005
accelerated program. high average on most of the standard testings.

- submitted by a parent
January 28, 2005
Academics: For such a small school, WHS is unmatched in terms of the number of advanced classes and high-level learning opportunities available to students. WHS consistently adds new classes to the upper end of its programs (e.g. many second-level AP classes), not the lower end. This demonstrates a continued commitment by administration, faculty, and students to keep striving and challenging themselves. Teacher quality is very good, and continues improving. Atmosphere: WHS truly has a 'family' air that crosses the traditional grade-level, faculty-student, and administration-everyone barriers. Students manage to be both highly competitive (pushing each other to excel) and highly supportive (cheering each other on in extracurriculars and developing strong friendships). Parents are highly involved through various 'parent associations.' Summary: WHS actively cultivates a culture of achievement and excellence while not losing the focus on strong personal realtionships. This is unequivocably a great place for growing young minds.

- submitted by a teacher
December 11, 2004
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- submitted by a parent
December 06, 2004
For academically motivated students, there are better schools than Whitney such as Long Beach Polytechnic. The school not only lacks in diversity, but fails to culturally foster the student's well being as a whole. The student's must be taught that there is more to life than high grades such as the overall growth of the individual. I wouldn't send my child to such a sheltered environment. There's more to life than book-smarts.

- submitted by a parent
September 08, 2004
The best High School in the State of California! Peer pressure is positive - students admire success in one another and actively support and encourage their peers to do well. Clubs and organizations stress community involvement and making a positive difference in the lives of those around us. Once a math magnet, Whitney has programs to meet the needs of everyone - except the serious football player. There is no football team. There is, however, basketball, baseball, swimming, water polo, track, academic decathlon, competition robotics, Lego robotics, Space Settlement Design Team, music, bands (all of kinds), drama, and so very much more. This school has earned the highest API score in the State of California since API scores have been measured. Dedicated teachers work evenings and weekends to give their students the best education possible. Loving parents work many long hours with teachers and students to bring it all together.

- submitted by a parent
August 24, 2004
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- submitted by a parent
August 02, 2004
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- submitted by a parent
May 04, 2004
This is my daughters first year at Whitney, and I have to say that it is a great school. The teachers volunteer to work with the students that need help before and after school hours. My daughter has a 3.83 grade point average and has learned so much in this past year that it is incredible. I have reviewed some of her work and notice the subject detail and her advanced style of writing as compared to last year. She is definitely more confident and outgoing in her school work and her overall state of mind. She has gained this from attending Whitney. From the sports participation, drama classes, class speeches, and overall class particiation, She has literally grown in more ways than I can express, and all attributed to the way Whitney prepares there students for the future. It's no wonder Whitney is #1 in the State.

- submitted by a parent
March 22, 2004
I am not a parent. I actually attend whitney, and i am in 8th grade. this school does have high expectations, but it's worth going to this school because teachers actually focus on their students rather than just give out assignments.

- submitted by a student
March 03, 2004
I am a former student of Whitney High School that maintained a 4.0 GPA throughout junior high. However, I left of my own accord in freshman year because the students were rowdy, few actually concentrated on studying, and students even smoke in the bathrooms! For me, it eventually got so bad that kids were swearing at me in the halls, and the administration not only did nothing, but they blamed me for it! In addition, all the PTA does is ask for donations, and they don't do anything worthwhile with the money! If you want your child to succeed without bad influences blocking the way, do not send your son or daughter to Whitney and waste their life.

- submitted by a former student
September 11, 2003
Whitney High School is simply the best school. High standards set by students themselves with the support from the teachers and parents make every student a winner. No wonder this is #1 school in the state of California!

- submitted by a parent
September 09, 2003
I think this school is number 1 in the country. Its test scores are remarkable and the extracurricular programs are tremendously helpful and gratifying.

- submitted by a parent
August 13, 2003
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- submitted by a parent
August 10, 2003
My son came from an excellent private elementary school before he got admitted into Whitney. I think he was very intimidated because majority of the students are overachievers. But Whitney did not give up on him, even if his grades and test scores were less than desirable. The school's involvement paid off. My son has come out of his shell and has a much better GPA. He is one of the editors of their award-winning yearbook. Thank you, Whitney!!! You deserve to be the best school in California.

- submitted by a parent
no rating August 10, 2003
Terrific school! would be better if it was a bit bigger.

- submitted by a parent
August 06, 2003
whitney high school fosters a learning environment that engages the students and welcomes parent involvement. all student who eneter, are already gifted and motivated, but the teachers' experience compliments what is already in the students.

- submitted by a former student
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Whitney (Gretchen) High School
16800 Shoemaker Avenue, Cerritos, CA  90703
(562) 926-5566
Last modified Whitney (Gretchen) High School is a Public school that serves grades 7-12. It has received a GreatSchools rating of 10 out of 10 based on academic quality.
Whitney (Gretchen) High School Rating: 4 out of 5 based on 85 reviews. Top