About Us » Welcome to John F. Kennedy High School

Welcome to John F. Kennedy High School

COLORS: The school colors are Las Vegas gold, brown, and white.

MASCOT: The school mascot is the "Golden Cougar."

ALMA MATER: Hail to thee, oh Kennedy; Hail to thee, oh Brown and Gold, Hail to those who made you so brave and mighty; strong and bold. For we know that you are best; strive to win at every test We are loyal to you, Kennedy; for we love you, Kennedy.

FIGHT SONG: Oh, Cougars fight with all your might as we meet on the field. Their team can't hold our Brown and Gold, and we will never yield. Our spirit's bright; our cause is right; our goal is victory. We'll win the game and earn our fame; fight on for Kennedy!

HISTORY: John F. Kennedy (JFK) High School is one of 103 comprehensive high schools in the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD). It is located 23 miles northwest of downtown Los Angeles in the middle-class San Fernando Valley neighborhood of Granada Hills.  Groundbreaking on the 27½ acre site for Kennedy High School took place on March 25, 1969; three years after the Los Angeles Unified School District acquired the land.  Kennedy opened its doors in 1971 as part of the LAUSD. It was intended as a District response to court-ordered integration, with students from other neighboring areas and ethnic communities being bused in. As a result of the building of several new schools in the San Fernando Valley area, the need to receive students from neighboring areas no long exists.

CAMPUS: Kennedy’s campus is comprised of three core buildings (A,B, and C) that framing the students' favorite gathering spot, the Quad, with a small oval outdoor stage known affectionately as "The Mushroom."  The administration building (Building A), one classroom building, and the gymnasium were destroyed and subsequently replaced following the 1994 Northridge Earthquake. After the earthquake, the school was further expanded with 28 additional bungalow classrooms. The school property also includes a theater, cafeteria, library, 2 gymnasiums, various athletic fields, College and Career Center, Parent Center, 5 computer labs, a ceramics workshop, filming studio, photography lab, Computer Aided Design (CAD) lab, and digital imaging studio. Kennedy High School is also home to the Jane Addams Continuation High School as well as the Kennedy Clinic and Family Resource Center.

ENROLLMENT: Due to several new high schools opening in the 2011-2012 school year, enrollment at Kennedy High School dropped from 3,600 in 2007 to approximately 2100 students in the 2014-15 school year. Approximately 20% of Kennedy’s students are a part of our Architecture, Digital Design and Filmmaking magnet program, which continues to expand and has nearly 500 students. Kennedy also added a second magnet, the Gifted Medical Magnet, in 2016 and will expand in 2019-2020 to include 500 students, also making up about 20% of Kennedy's student population. Although most of our students are residents of Granada Hills area, nearly 400 magnet students are bused in from various parts of Los Angeles to participate the magnet programs. The student body is comprised of 1300+ students in the community school, nearly 1000 students in the magnet programs, and over 300 of those students participate in the Special Education program. Our Special Education population is approximately 14% of the total student population.

SMALL LEARNING COMMUNITIES: In order to increase the level of personalization and to promote school community, Kennedy supports five Small Learning Communities (SLC’s) to bring students personalization on this large campus including: The Teaching Career Academy (TCA); Freshman Academy; School for Advanced Studies (SAS); the Architecture, Digital Design, and Filmmaking Magnet; and Gifted Medical Magnet.

CULTURE & LANGUAGES: Kennedy has a culturally diverse student population. Students at Kennedy speak 28 different languages besides English including:  Spanish, Arabic, Armenian, Hindi, Korean, Punjabi, Russian, Tagalog, Thai, Urdu, and Vietnamese. Our English Language Learner (ELL) population consists of nearly 200 students that is comprised of approximately 50 English as a Second Language (ESL)  students.  All EL students participate in a Structured English Immersion Program. All English Learners receive access to the core curriculum through “Sheltered” classes implementing Specially Designed Academic Instruction in English (SDAIE) strategies in English, mathematics, social studies, and science. There are also 150 Long Term English Learners (LTEL’s) at Kennedy. These students receive instruction in either the Advanced English Language Development (ELD) program or in the Language and Literature classes.  Both of these programs offer an additional intervention class that is designed to provide assistance and to ensure that our LTEL students receive access to grade level English curriculum.

SOCIO-ECONOMICS: In addition to being culturally diverse, the student body finds itself to be economically diverse. John F. Kennedy High School’s Title I status is school-wide. Our percentage of Title I students has been steadily dropping over the years and is at 15% for the 2018-19 school year. The socio-economic status of the remaining student-body varies widely, ranging from lower middle-class to upper middle class backgrounds.

PARENT INVOLVEMENT:  Kennedy strives to build a positive school culture that engages all stakeholders. Communication occurs through home-to-school communication, school-to-home communication, parents as volunteers, parent involvement in the school’s governance and decision making, as well as a greater collaboration and connection with the community. JFK holds monthly parent meetings for Bilingual (ELAC), School Based Management (SBM), School Site Council (SSC), and Parent Teacher Student Association (PTSA). In addition, the Parent Center remains in constant contact with parents by organizing a variety of events and weekly and biweekly workshops. On a monthly basis the Principal invites parents to attend a social gathering called “Coffee with the Principals.” During this event, the Principal and Assistant Principals update the parents directly on a variety of events taking place on campus and gives them opportunities to share concerns. Back to School, Parent Conferences, and Open House events are sponsored throughout the year to allow time for parents to meet with teachers and to visit and observe what is going on in classrooms.

STUDENT LEADERSHIP: Kennedy also provides a wide variety of opportunities for students to get involved in school.Leadership students do the daily PA announcements. Magnet film students update Kennedy once a week with The Morning Show, which is broadcasted on school’s television network and website. The Journalism class publishes the school newspaper, known asThe Word, six times a school year.

CLUBS: There are a variety of active clubs including: Academic Decathalon, Anime, ARC Afterschool Program, Artist Club, ASL Club, Associated Student Body (ASB), AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination), Bam Challenge, Band / Color Guard, Book Club, Cal-HOSA, California Scholarship Federation (CSF), Cheer, Community Comic, Debate Team, Glee Club, GLOW in the Dark, Love Club, Gay Straight Alliance (GSA), Hiking Club, Inspired Beauty by Kennedy, JFK Players, Journalism, JROTC Navy, Junior Class Council, Key Club, Link Crew, Nice Buddies Association (Peer Buddies), Project BOLD, Red Cross Club, Rise Up, School of Advanced Studies (SAS), Senior Class Council, Skills USA, Spanish Club, Sports Programs Students Run Los Angeles (SRLA), Teacher Career Academy (TCA), Ultimate Frisbee, Vegan Club, Volleyball, WE Club, and Yearbook

ATHLETICS: There are over 850 student athletes that participate in various sports including:  football, baseball, basketball, softball, volleyball, soccer, tennis, golf, cheer, drill team, swimming, water polo, cross country, and track & field.

SPECIALIZED CLASSES: We have a plethora of specialized instructional programs including: Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (JROTC), band, architecture, drafting, film, ceramics, digital imaging, Italian, French, AVID, Computer Aided Design (CAD), Microsoft A+ Certification, theater, stage crew, psychology, physiology, business, Health Career Pathways, Medical Terminology, and Academic Decathalon (AcaDeca).

ADVANCED PLACMENT COURSES: We also offer a wide variety of Advanced Placement (AP) courses including: Biology, Calculus, Chemistry, English Language, English Literature, Environmental Science, Government, Research, Spanish Language, Spanish Literature, Seminar, Statistics, World History, and US History.

COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT: Our students actively work with parents, community members, and local businesses to enhance the school culture and community including: community parades (Chatsworth, Granada Hills, San Fernando, Rose), Snap Chat, David and Goliath Advertisement Agency, Sandy Hook Foundation, USC Keck School of Medicine, CSUN (Art Gallery, Performing Arts Center, & New Journal of Student Research Abstracts), UCLA Sound Body Sound Mind, Mission College, Kaiser Permenente, Providence Holy Cross, New Horizons Green light to Mobility, Special Olympics, Census Bureau, Women in Entertainment, MB2 Raceway, Tulsa ES, Danube ES, Haskell ES, UCLA Blood Drive, Lions Club, Lowe's, Sprint 1 Million, Best Friends Animal Society, Vision to Learn, Masters Choral, Disney Concert Hall, San Fernando Mission Fire Station, and Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA).