Chapel Hill High School (Chapel Hill, North Carolina)

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1709 High School Road
Chapel Hill, North Carolina
United States
Type Public
Established 1916
School district CHCCS
Principal Charles Blanchard (2018 - present)
Faculty 115 (2006)
Grades 9–12
Gender Coeducational
Enrollment 1,463 (2015-16)[1]
Color(s) Gold and black
Mascot Tiger
Nickname Tigers
Accreditation SACS
Newspaper The Proconian
Yearbook Hillife
CHHS front.jpg
Planters adorning the front entrance

Coordinates: 35°56′47″N 79°04′49″W / 35.9465°N 79.0803°W / 35.9465; -79.0803 Chapel Hill High School is a public high school in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. It is located close to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Chapel Hill High School is part of the Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools district which contains two other high schools, Carrboro High School and East Chapel Hill High School. Chapel Hill High School was listed as one of the top-performing U.S. high schools in The Wall Street Journal (October 15, 1999), for "the best student performance over the past 10 years based on SAT, achievement-test and standardized-test scores."[5]


The original Chapel Hill High School was located on Franklin Street until, due to desegregation efforts of the mid-1960s, the school was demolished in favor of the construction of a new high school across town.[6] White Chapel Hill High School merged with the black Lincoln High School to form the new Chapel Hill High School.[6]

Lincoln High School, which closed in 1966, had award-winning football and band programs. In particular, its 1961 football team won the state championship without a single point being scored against it all year and averaging over 40 points per game, an incredible feat.[7]


In 2005, 62.5% of students took the SAT and scored an average of 1156 compared to a state average of 1008.[4] Similarly, 97.3% of the student body has taken the PSAT, and scored an average of 155 compared to the state average of 133.[4] Also, 69.2% (306 students) have participated in Advanced Placement (AP) examinations with 73.5% of all scores scoring above a 3.[4] As of 2005, Chapel Hill High School also has a high graduation rate of 94.7%. In 2005, 94.7% of students were proficient on State English I tests, and 93.1% of students were proficient on State Algebra I tests.[4] The school posted the third highest average SAT score in the Raleigh Durham area: 1754 with 87.9% of students taking the test.[8]


Chapel Hill High School has around 20 athletic teams. In the fall, the school offers cheerleading, cross country, field hockey, football, men's soccer, women's tennis, ultimate frisbee, volleyball, marching band, and women's golf. In the winter, the school offers cheerleading, men's basketball, women's basketball, swimming and diving, and wrestling. In the spring, the school offers men's golf, men's lacrosse, women's soccer, softball, men's tennis, track, baseball, and women's lacrosse. As of December 2013, CHHS athletics are directed by Timothy Bennett.[9]

The arts

Chapel Hill High has very strong performing and visual arts programs. The school has a marching band, jazz band, symphonic band, concert band, orchestra, percussion ensemble and several choruses. The students also participate in a strong drama program, including award-winning musicals, which also include an excellent pit orchestra. For example, in 2014 the drama department hosted successful presentations of 'Legally Blonde: The Musical'.[10] The pit recently won Best Pit Orchestra at a regional competition.

Schedule change

Before the 2006-07 school year, the high school used a six-period schedule. However, during the 2006-07 school year, a new controversial[citation needed] seven-period schedule was introduced. A mostly student-led protest organized sit downs with several members of the school board in order to avoid the change into a block schedule. After long talks between the two parties, the school board altered their plan to the now seven-period day.[11]


During the 2007-2008 school year, a cheating ring was discovered inside the school. Several students had been in possession of a master key which they had used to repeatedly enter the school and teacher's rooms in order to access and photocopy tests and answer keys. The resulting answers were then used by these students to score higher on exams; the answer keys were usually stored on cell phones and passed or sent around between members of the group. Some colleges then contacted the school seeking information about who was involved such that the perpetrators could have their admissions revoked. However, only local colleges got in touch with the school, so most of the 11 implicated students managed to avoid harsh punishment.

The master key copies had been in existence for about two years before anyone was caught and to avoid the possibility of some of the copies not being confiscated, all of the school's doors were re-keyed and the new keys are being held under closer supervision. The cost of this re-keying has been estimated at several thousand dollars.[12]

The Proconian was awarded the "Tar Heel Award" in 2013 along with six other school newspapers/magazines[13] by the North Carolina Scholastic Media Association.

On April 15, 2010, a student brought a gun on a school bus and accidentally shot it at the ground. No one was hurt, but the school and several nearby schools went on lockdown. The student was later arrested.[14]

Notable alumni

  • James Taylor - singer-songwriter and guitarist (attended until mid junior year)[15]


  1. ^ "Chapel Hill High". National Center for Education Statistics. Retrieved October 29, 2018.
  2. ^ "2007-2008 Profile" (PDF). East Chapel Hill High School. Retrieved 2008-06-04. [dead link]
  3. ^ "Chapel Hill High School Course Handbook (2004)" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2006-11-03. Retrieved 2006-12-09.
  4. ^ a b c d e "Chapel Hill High, North Carolina Public School - Overview - SchoolMatters" (PDF). Retrieved 2006-12-09. [permanent dead link]
  5. ^ "Orange County, NC: Education Statistics". Archived from the original on 2006-12-07. Retrieved 2006-12-09.
  6. ^ a b "A Thousand Words" column by Jock Lauterer, "Chapel Hill High School, 1962", The Carrboro Citizen, December 24, 2008, pg. 8
  7. ^ "Project aims to focus on Northside's history". The Daily Tar Heel. Archived from the original on 2009-02-07.
  8. ^ deBruyn, Jason. "High schools with highest SAT scores in Raleigh-Durham area". Triangle Business Journal.
  9. ^ "Chapel Hill High School - CHHS Athletics - Home of the Tigers". Retrieved 2006-12-09.
  10. ^
  11. ^ Winn, Patrick (2006-04-21). "Chapel Hill high school day to grow". The News & Observer. Archived from the original on May 10, 2006. Retrieved 2006-12-09.
  12. ^ "Chapel Hill Principal: Colleges Inquiring About Cheating". 2008-02-28. Retrieved 2012-01-19.
  13. ^
  14. ^ "Suspect in custody for reportedly discharging weapon on school bus - Orange County". 2010-04-15. Archived from the original on 2011-06-05. Retrieved 2012-01-19.
  15. ^ White, Timothy. James Taylor: Long Ago and Far Away, Omnibus Press, 2002, ISBN 0-7119-9193-6. p. 112.

External links

  • The Chapel Hill High School Official Website
  • The Chapel Hill High School Alumni Website
  • Proconian newspaper website
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