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Manual Arts, established in 1910, was the third high school in Los Angeles, and is the oldest high school still on its original site in the Los Angeles Unified School District. This legacy school boasts a rich history and notable alumni such as artist Jackson Pollock, director Frank Capra, and current LA County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas. Originally founded as a vocational school, Manual Arts now features nine small learning communities (SLCs), each with its own theme, and offers a rigorous college preparatory education.

Manual Arts was one of LAUSD’s first high schools to successfully convert into nine smaller semi-autonomous schools. The school has received regional acclaim for many of its academic programs including the Academy of Finance, the Imaging Science & Technology Academy, and the College Pathways Project. In 2008, the parents and teachers of Manual Arts voted to join MLA’s network of schools through LAUSD’s iDesign Schools division. Within this new space, students, parents, and school leaders have begun to weigh in on how best to support their students’ education, with the vision of turning Manual Arts into a beacon for the community.


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School Info
Year joined MLA 2008
Year founded  1910
API 514*
Attendance rate 88.4%
Schedule Year round
Student Population
Enrollment 3459
English Learner 36%
Special Ed 12%
F/R Lunch 77%
Academic Progress
Math proficient 3%
ELA proficient 13%
CAHSEE pass ELA/Math* 69.6%/64.6%
Graduation rate 40%
Students completing A-G 24%
College enrollment N/A
*10th grade