HISTORY OF THE PALOS VERDES SCHOOL SYSTEM
Palos Verdes school students, prior to 1925, attended schools in Redondo Beach, which was then part of the Los Angeles City School District. A separate Palos Verdes school district was created in 1925, however it was only for grades K-8. The first school constructed, in 1926 in Malaga Cove, housed all school grades from elementary school through eighth grade, with high school students continuing to attend schools in Redondo Beach.
Malaga Cove School under construction
During the construction of Malaga Cove School, students temporarily attended classes in the Gardiner Building in Malaga Cove Plaza.
Students attending class in Gardiner Bldg. 1926
Palos Verdes High School was originally planned and constructed as a six year school for grades 7 through 12 by the Los Angeles School District in 1960, but when the Palos Verdes Unified School District was formed to include high schools as well as grade school students, the partially completed campus of Palos Verdes High was converted to a high school in 1961 as the first high school of the Palos Verdes Unified School District. When the school opened, construction was not complete. Some classes had to be held in the lunch area and others met in the school buses. (PVPUSD owned a large fleet of yellow school buses at that time.)Originally, the school had a print shop and an auto shop, but both were never used for those purposes.
Malaga Cove School students in 1930 performing the "Bellamy Salute" during Pledge of Allegiance, named after Francis Bellamy, publisher of the original pledge of allegiance in 1892 as part of the celebration of the 400th anniversary of Christopher Columbus reaching the Americas. This "salute" was replaced in 1942 with the hand over the heart due to the Bellamy salute's resemblance to the Nazi salute at the beginning of WW II.
Prior to the opening of Palos Verdes High School, high school students on the Peninsula attended such schools as Redondo Union High and Narbonne High. Rolling Hills High School opened in the fall of 1964 for grades nine through eleven. Seniors stayed at Palos Verdes High School. Miraleste High opened in 1968.
In 1991, due to declining high school enrollment, the three high schools were consolidated on the campus of Rolling Hills High School, and renamed Palos Verdes Peninsula High School. "Peninsula High School" was the name that was supposed to have been given to the 4th high school that had originally been planned to be built on 35 acres across Highridge Rd. from Ridgecrest Intermediate School. However, that school was never built, 10 acres was developed as Highridge Park, and 25 acres was sold for $6,000,000 to a developer in 1986 (which caused quite a furor since many thought it was below market value) and so when the "consolidated" high school was named, it got the Peninsula High name.
Land planned for 4th High School on the left of picture at intersection of Highridge and Crest later developed into Wallace Ranch
At the time of consolidation, Palos Verdes High and Miraleste High were converted to intermediate schools, and the former intermediate schools at Malaga Cove and Margate were closed and temporarily leased to other preschools and prep schools. When Palos Verdes High school was reopened in 2002 (with just freshman and sophomores), the school at Margate was reopened as Palos Verdes Intermediate School, and Ridgecrest Intermediate School was converted from an elementary school site soon after. Palos Verdes High School and Peninsula High School are open enrollment schools, therefor any student in the district may attend either high school.
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