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School History

Present Day

The present school campus was constructed in 1924 and occupies 33 acres in central San Rafael.  The current buildings serve approximately 1000 students. The school has several main buildings: Administration which houses an auditorium, main offices, two computer labs, a distance learning center, career center and several classrooms; Liberal Arts which houses the library, four computer labs, and most of the classrooms in the school; Music which houses all classrooms and offices related to music; Industrial Shops which include wood, metal, auto, and ceramics/art; Science which houses a computer lab, photo lab and all science classrooms; Cafeteria which houses the food service and eating area for students, and the District’s Continuation High; Auxiliary area which houses a small theater, art class and radio program, and the County SED Program; Gym Complex which houses three gyms, dance room, one pool, 6 tennis courts, baseball, softball and soccer fields, all weather track, lighted football field, and weight room. Our campus is large and offers extensive facilities to support our many programs, and at the same time it does reflect its age and years of deferred maintenance.  As a result of the enormous community support for the San Rafael City School District, two bond measures were passed in 1999 and 2002 to upgrade all the facilities at San Rafael High School.  Upgrades have been concluded, with the campus retaining the rich history of our school, while incorporating state of the art classrooms and facilities.



Have you ever wondered why we are called the Bulldogs?  We received this title quite by accident back in 1924,at an assembly here on October 10th.  Mr. Oliver R. Hartzell, then principal of San Rafael High School, spoke at the assembly commending the football team for the terrific game they had played against Sacramento the week before.

The ride to the game had been long and tiresome, the heat was almost unbearable, and San Rafael had to contend with a team continually refreshed with new men.  In spite of these handicaps, our team fought them to a standstill with neither team scoring until the last five minutes of the game when our physical endurance finally gave way.  Sacramento scored their first and last touchdown.  San Rafael continued to fight, and within the last two minutes of play they advanced to Sacramento's 10 yard line where they were forced to remain until the final second of the game.

We had lost the game.  But as Mr. Hartzell said, we fought like "bulldogs" and since Mr. Hartzell's speech in 1924, the Bulldog has been our well known mascot.

 From the 1959 Searchlight - the San Rafael High Yearbook