Locally, it's known as the best place to get Vietnamese food. It is perhaps less well known as an astonishingly fertile cradle of basketball talent, although it's that, too. This is a place that has produced more current NBA players than just about any other place on Earth—as many as Brooklyn, Manhattan, and the Bronx combined.
This jumped out at me:
Those most recognizable student is 6’7” senior and Louisville commit Shaqquan Aaron, who moved all the way from California to go to high school at Beach. Strange as it this seems if framed in a non-basketball context, such a thing would have been entirely unthinkable a few years ago.
As something of a last-ditch attempt to turn things around, the school began offering classes from the prestigious International Baccalaureate program, a route that had actually found relative success at similarly ailing schools elsewhere. Though admittedly a small sample size, test scores and enrollment have shown slight improvement in the years since adding the program, and, according to a recent article in the Seattle Times, “95% of juniors at Beach are taking at least one IB class.”
The newly strengthened emphasis on academics is evident in the pregame Senior Night festivities for the senior cheerleaders. Each girl is announced by her name, where she will be studying next year, and what the focus of her study will be – answers include radiology, anesthesiology nursing, and biochemistry. For a school that continues to struggle to move its students successfully through 4 years within its walls, the focus is noticeably and admirably beyond the confines of both the high school and the neighborhood.