Principal Oscar Hernandez said those gains were achieved by rethinking the expectations of the students at Hueneme High School, which has the highest percentage of free lunches and breakfast of any school in the district, a measure of the relative wealth of families in the area.
“This school has drastically changed in the last couple of years,” explained Hernandez, who has been principal of his alma mater for three years. Hernandez said he attended Hueneme High one year and graduated in 1989. “I came here at age 17 with my parents and didn’t speak English.”
One of the changes instituted in the school was the elimination of standard classes in favor of an all-college-prep curriculum. “If a kid is placed in standard classes, they don’t even have a chance to apply to a four-year college,” Hernandez said. “If they are in college prep classes and they get A’s or B’s they can apply to any four-year college.”