Downfall of East Palo Alto high school to blame

Many of the students that currently attend Carlmont commute from East Palo Alto due to the closure of Ravenswood.

In 1976, Ravenswood High School in East Palo Alto was closed after being open for a mere 18 years and provided the students the opportunity to go to surrounding schools.

Ravenswood High School was opened in 1958 and was part of the Sequoia Union High School District, but when it closed it left many students stranded without a high school nearby.

Ravenswood was shut down for two main reasons, there was a decline in enrollment and it was more expensive than getting the students to other schools.

In the early 1960s there was actually an increase in the number of students that attended Ravenswood but the conditions of the campus brought attention to the Congress of Racial Equality and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.

The school board instituted a bus program that sent many of the students to neighboring schools to increase diversity, 60 percent of the school was African American.

The bus system worked for a couple of years but eventually the number of volunteer students to attend Ravenswood became rare.

The cost of running the school with less and less students attending it finally brought the closure of the school.

The Board of Trustees decided to split up EPA into different sections and bus all the students to different neighboring schools.

Vice Principal Robert Fishtrom said, “It also provided for far more diversity on our campuses.”

SamTrans has routes that accommodate the need for many of the students to go to their designated schools.

Junior Gabe Crespin said, “It is hard for some of my friends to go to sports after school that live in East Palo Alto but they contribute a lot to our sports teams but our team is more than happy to get them to or from events if there is a bind.”

The students that come from EPA have not only saved money for the district, but has also spread diversity throughout the school.